Philae lander contacts earth from comets surface after 7 months of no power

Artists impression of Philae on comet 67P
Artists impression of Philae on comet 67P

Philae, the first ever spacecraft to land on a comet has woken and sent messages to earth, 7 months after it’s batteries ran flat.

Philae landed on to the surface of Comet 67P, which is travelling at over 84,000 MPH, last November. However it worked for just 60 hours before its solar-powered battery ran flat.

Scientists said that it landed too close to the cliff wall, which blocked most of the sunlight for it to operate. They believe it got just 90 minutes of direct sunshine a day.

Comet lands in shadow.
Comet is dropped (cross) but bounces across comet and lands in shadow of a cliff wall.

The comet has since moved nearer to the sun and has allowed Philae to gather enough sunlight and power to work again.

The president of France’s CNES space agency said: “We received new signals from (Philae) for a period of two minutes, as well as 40 seconds worth of data.”

Project manager Stephan Ulamec said: “Philae is doing very well, the lander is ready for operations.”

How big is comet 67P ?
How big is comet 67P ?

The Philae landers control centre announced the wake up and contact with a tweet today:

Mission control of the Rosetta comet landing mission tweeted:

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