Comet Lander Finally Phones Home

June 15th, 2015

The space comet lander Philae finally “phoned home” and contacted its base command center after several months of being on ice. Comet Lander Philae Phones Home After Long Hiatus Feared lost or dead on the comet after running out of power, the Philae space probe bounced across the crusted and bumpy surface of Comet designated “67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.” The lander was able to secure its position on the comet by firing a harpoon mannered anchoring device which failed to secure the comet in its intended location. Instead, the comet came to rest within a shady spot on the comet but without enough sunlight to power the lander, the unit went to sleep. Brad Reifler (reuters.com) has learned that it functioned for about 60 hours before contact was lost with the unit last November 2014. Then, at 10:28 p.m., the European Space Agency’s, (ESA), primary operations center located in Darmstadt, Germany, received a “hello” signal from Philae. The lander also transmitted more than 300 data bundles, which are being analyzed by ESA officials.

ESA officials state that the lander is in good condition and is ready to perform additional functions. The landing on the comet was a scientific miracle and a first for any human space endeavor. The fact that the lander successfully went into a self preservation stage and reconnected with its base command also is a minor miracle given the vast distance the ESA staff has to span to communicate with the Lander.

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