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Philae awakes from hibernation
Posted: Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 11:31 AM ET (1531 GMT)
Philae descending to comet 67P/C-G (ESA) The European Space Agency's Philae comet lander contacted Earth this weekend for the first time since shortly after its landing in November. ESA announced Sunday that it received signals from Philae, transmitted via the Rosetta orbiter, late Saturday. The data indicated the lander is in good condition and can resume operations, although controllers are awaiting additional data that the lander is expected to transmit in upcoming communications passes. Philae landed on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko November 12, but went into hibernation about two and a half days later when it exhausted its batteries after ending up in a shadowed region of the comet. Mission officials had hoped to restore contact with the lander should the comet's changing orientation bring the landing site into sunlight, allowing Philae's solar panels to generate power again.
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