The comet landing of Philae enthralled the entire mankind in November last but soon it went into hibernation and the European space Agency thought it was lost forever on the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
When its mothership Rosetta landed the robotic space lander Philae, it created an unprecedented record but soon turned silent as it fell on the darker side of the Sun, losing the essential power source to remain active. With no signals for over seven months, Philae woke up and sent signals to Earth via Rosetta.
When freed from Rosetta in November after a 6.4 billion km journey that took more than 10 years at a cost of 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion), the european comet mission failed to deploy solar panels and went dead two hours later.
But harpoons to anchor Philae to the surface failed to deploy and it bounced twice before floating to rest two hours later. Scientists scoured the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for months in the hope that the lander would revive.
The excited scientists at the European Space Agency said on Sunday that the signal reached it on Thursday for the first time, after it went into emergency induced hibernation. They believe that enough sun light should be reaching the Philae to energize it again and send data.
“There’s great excitement about it being back,” ESA adviser Mark McCaughrean told Reuters by telephone. “But we have to make sure it’s not the last croak of a dying cowboy.”
They are analyzing why Philae “spoke” now though it could have been awake earlier. It spoke for 85 seconds with its team via Rosetta, which is orbiting the comet at a distance of about 6.5 km (4 miles).
Philae’s official Twitter account also came to life tweeting: “Hello Earth! Can you hear me?”
Philae was supposed to drill the comet in about 3-by-5 km range and preserve it as a times capsule and send information to the earth.
Comets are believed to have delivered water to earth when they collided with the planet aeons ago.