Credit: DLR

Credit: DLR

The European Space Agency’s Philae lander has beeped back, coming out of hibernation and sending the first data to Earth.

“The lander is ready for operations,” said Stephan Ulamec, team leader at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Lander Control Center.

Philae “spoke” for 85 seconds with its team on ground in its first contact since it went into hibernation.

The Lander Control Center (LCC) at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) facility in Cologne is responsible for commanding and operating the Philae lander.  Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

The Lander Control Center (LCC) at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) facility in Cologne is responsible for commanding and operating the Philae lander.
Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Data packets

More good news! In Philae’s mass memory, there are still more than 8,000 data packets, which will give the DLR team information on what happened to Philae in the past few days on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Philae shut down on November 15, 2014 at 01:15 CET, after being in operation on the comet for about 60 hours.

Credit: ESA

Credit: ESA

Since March 12, 2015 the communication unit on the Rosetta orbiter circling the comet has repeatedly been turned on to communicate with the lander and receive its reply.

Thanks to the lander’s reawakening, the exact whereabouts of Philae is expected to be identified.

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