Comet lander Philae woke up after seven months of hibernation

Jun 15, 2015 15:00 IST

Rosetta's lander Philae woke up after seven months in hibernation on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It is the first spacecraft in the space history to land on a comet.

The signals from the spacecraft were received at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany on 13 June 2015.

This is the first time it came into contact after it was forced to shut down on 15 November 2014 as the spacecraft’s battery got exhausted and its location on the comet could not allow it to use sun radiation to produce power supply from the solar panels mounted on it.

About Philae

• Its aim is to understand the elemental, isotopic, molecular and mineralogical composition of the cometary material.
• It was developed and launched as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission.
• It was landed on the surface of Comet 67P/ Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014.
• The landing site has been named as Agilkia and is located on the head of the bizarre double-lobed object.
• The lander name has been kept after Philae Island in the Nile, where an obelisk (a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument) that was found and used, along with the Rosetta stone, to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.
• The 1 billion pound (1.58 billion US dollars) Rosetta was launched on 2 March 2004 from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.
• It travelled 6.4 billion kilometers through the Solar System before reaching the Comet 67P.
• It reached the icy and dusty surface of the comet that orbits sun at speed up to 135000 km/hr on 6 August 2014.

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Read more Current Affairs on: Comet Lander Philae , ESA , Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko , Agilkia

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