Two days ago, Saturday, June 13, 14:28 US time, the robot sent last November by the comet 67P probe Rosetta has re-established contact with the probe mother. The first communication lasted just 85 seconds, and now scientists are waiting for the next connection. Bignami: “A great satisfaction for science, for Europe and especially for Italy”
Philae shut down on 15 November 2014 at 1:15 CET after being in operation on the comet for about 60 hours. Since 12 March 2015 the communication unit on orbiter Rosetta was turned on to listen out for the lander.
At 14:28 yesterday, Saturday, June 13, the robot Philae ESA is out of hibernation in which he had entered on 15 November after about 60 hours of operation. And, for the first time after seven months of repeated and unnecessary attempts at communication, he finally broke the silence. He did it with a “call” of 85 seconds at a mother probe, Rosetta. A connection in which Philae sent to Rosetta, and then to Earth, over 300 data packets, the international team of the mission is processing and analyzing at this time.
“A great satisfaction for science, for Europe and especially in Italy,” said Giovanni Bignami, Chairman of INAF, “that in Philae has made a big investment of INAF scientists, university and industry. We had no doubt that Philae would be shared, especially now that the temperature of the surface of the comet is warmer – 40 degrees, because it is rapidly approaching the sun. ”
“Philae is behaving very well. Its operating temperature is currently 35 degrees below zero and has a total of 24 watts”, says Stephan Ulamec, project manager of the robot at the DLR. “The lander is ready for operations.”
Reconstructing the packets house-keeping status of the robot, it turned out that, in fact, has already for some time that Philae woke up. Only he could not communicate with the probe. Data sent during the short connection last night in fact include information gathered over the past cometary days. And in the memory of the edge of the robot there are still more than 8000 data packets. Packages that scientists are planning to be able to download over the next contact, and that should allow us to reconstruct what happened recently on the comet 67P.
Updates soon, stay tuned.