Some Basic Info:
- Philae is a robotic European Space Agency lander that accompanied the Rosetta spacecraft until it landed on comet 67P, more than ten years after departing Earth.On 12 November 2014, the probe achieved the first-ever soft landing on a comet
- Philae ’s mission was to land successfully on the surface of the comet and transmit data about the comet’s composition
- On 15 November 2014, Philae entered safe mode or ‘hibernation’ as its batteries ran out due to reduced sunlight at its unplanned landing site. It was hoped that better light as the comet approaches the Sun would recharge Philae’s batteries enough for it to reboot, then make contact, and ultimately carry out a new series of experiments.
Now, the News
- Philae awoke overnight and sent home its first message in nearly seven months.
- “Hello Earth! Can you hear me?” the washing machine-sized lander tweeted.
- The Philae mission seeks to unlock the long-held secrets of comets — primordial clusters of ice and dust that scientists believe may reveal how the Solar System was formed.
- A comet is an icy body that, when passing close to the Sun, heats up and begins to outgas, displaying a visible atmosphere, and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet.