Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The European Space Agency (ESA) on Thursday put an effort to re-establish contact with its robotic probe 'Philae lander' that perched on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014.
The space probe sent a lot of data from the surface of the comet, before it ran out of batteries as it couldn't get in sunlight even after several attempts before falling silent. So, since last November, it has not streamed any data.
Philae's primary mission was always designed to last around 60 hours on its initial battery charge but engineers covered the spacecraft in solar panels in the hope that sunlight could charge a set of secondary batteries and extend the mission for months.
Now, Rosetta spacecraft, the mothership, will start sending “wake up” call to Philae starting from March 12 till March 20. Scientists hope that Philae may respond now as the Comet 67P/C-G has travelled closer to the sun than when it first landed on it. So, there are hopes that it might get back to life and will start sending back data once its solar panels absorb enough energy to boost its battery power. Philae needs a total of 19 watts to begin communicating.
On March 10, ESA Rosetta Mission tweeted:
— ESA Rosetta Mission (@ESA_Rosetta) March 10, 2015
Philae lander touched down on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014 and became the first ever spacecraft to land safely on a comet after travelling through space for more than 10 years and covering a distance of some four billion miles.
(With Agency inputs)