June 14, 2015

Lander Philae is awake – 'Hello' from space

The Philae lander has reported back on 13 June 2015 at 22:28 (CEST), coming out of hibernation and sending the first data to Earth. More than 300 data packets have been analysed by the team at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Lander Control Center: "Philae is doing very well – it has an operating temperature of minus 35 degrees Celsius and has 24 watts of power available," explains DLR’s Philae Project Manager, Stephan Ulamec. "The lander is ready for operations." Philae 'spoke' for 85 seconds with its team on ground in its first contact since it went into hibernation.

When analysing the status data, it became clear that Philae also must have been awake earlier: "We have also received historical data – until now, however, the lander had not been able to contact us. "Now, the scientists are waiting for the next contact. In Philae's mass memory, there are still more than 8000 data packets, which will give the DLR team information on what happened to Philae in the past few days on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Philae shut down on 15 November 2015 at 01:15 CET, after being in operation on the comet for about 60 hours. Since 12 March 2015, the communication unit on the Rosetta orbiter has repeatedly been turned on to communicate with the lander and receive its reply.

The Mission

Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its Member States and NASA. Rosetta's Philae lander is contributed by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.

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Manuela Braun

Editor HR
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Central HR Marketing
Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Weßling

Stephan Ulamec

MMX rover scientific manager
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC)
Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Weßling