Latest in Science

Image credit:

Europe's Philae comet lander finally wakes up

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 14, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

After seven months of not-so-voluntary deep sleep, the comet lander Philae has finally woken up in earnest. The European Space Agency got in contact with its explorer for 85 precious seconds late on June 13th, receiving 300-plus data packets that shed light on what happened following the machine's bumpy touchdown. As it turns out, Philae came back to life at least temporarily during its forced hibernation -- it just couldn't get back in touch with its Rosetta host ship and thus the ground crew.

This doesn't necessarily mean that everything is back on track. Philae still has yet to send over 8,000 data packets that will say what happened over the past few days, for a start. And while the lander appears healthy right now, it'll likely take some time before the ESA knows for sure that it's smooth sailing from here on out. Researchers will need sustained contact before they can make up for a ton of lost time and expand humanity's understanding of how comets work.

[Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

How to watch Biden’s inaugural 'Parade Across America'

How to watch Biden’s inaugural 'Parade Across America'

View
EU fines Valve and major game publishers for geo-blocking titles

EU fines Valve and major game publishers for geo-blocking titles

View
Donald Trump pardons ex-Waymo, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski

Donald Trump pardons ex-Waymo, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski

View
Mercedes-Benz' EQA crossover is its first sub-$50,000 EV

Mercedes-Benz' EQA crossover is its first sub-$50,000 EV

View
YouTube extends Trump's suspension ahead of inauguration day

YouTube extends Trump's suspension ahead of inauguration day

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr