Spacecraft wakes up – level 3
The Philae lander, which lost power after making its historic landing on a comet, has finally woken up and contacted the European Space Agency. The comet probe has been asleep since November after its batteries ran out and scientists were unable to recharge it. The Philae lander lay in the shadow of a crater wall and so was unable to gather solar power.
The European Space Agency has confirmed it is receiving transmissions from the Philae lander. It even sent a Tweet: “Hello, Earth! Can you hear me?”
When Philae landed six months ago, it only worked for around 60 hours before its solar-powered battery ran flat. The comet has since moved nearer to the sun and Philae has enough power to work again.
Scientists say they are now waiting for the next contact.
Difficult words: probe (an electronic machine that people send to study something far away), crater (a shallow hole on a planet or moon or comet), confirm (to prove something), transmission (a message), run flat (when something does not work anymore).
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