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After months of hibernation, the Philae lander has woken up

After months of hibernation, the Philae lander has woken up


Hopefully feeling well-rested

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Back in November, after a rocky landing on a comet, the Philae lander went into a deep hibernation. Now, months later, the spacecraft has finally woken up, according to the European Space Agency. Early this morning, scientists at the Lander Control Center regained contact with the Philae, and have already analyzed more than 300 data packets from the spacecraft's mass memory.

Good morning, sunshine

After its bumpy landing last year, the lander ran out of power, and because of the way it crashed, its solar panels were blocked from getting any sunlight. Scientists hoped that as the comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, moved closer to the Sun, the craft would eventually have enough power to reboot. Originally, scientists predicted that wouldn't happen until at least August of this year, so things are moving more quickly than expected.

"Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 watts available," Philae Project Manager Stephan Ulamec said in a statement. "The lander is ready for operations."

The ESA says there are still more than 8,000 data packets in the Philae's mass memory, so now the scientists will wait to see if any more data is transmitted.