Philae Comet Lander Awakes, Drops Earth a Line

ESA's sleeping lander has moved closer to sun, recharged batteries
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2015 6:45 AM CDT
Philae Comet Lander Awakes, Drops Earth a Line
This image from Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera shows the Philae lander on Nov. 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/ESA,File)

The Philae lander, which went dark after being dropped on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet last November, has awoken from its long nap and contacted Earth, European Space Agency officials tell the BBC. Philae, which worked for 60 hours before its solar batteries died, has since moved closer to the sun (aboard its comet) and as officials hoped, been able to recharge its batteries. As recently as Thursday, ESA officials said they had spotted a light that they believed could be the lander, notes the AP. The slightly botched landing had left the ESA unsure of the exact location of the lander, which is about the size of a washing machine. (More Philae stories.)

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