The first space probe to ever make a soft landing on a comet flying through deep space just woke up after seven months of silence. European Space Agency mission controllers working with the Philae lander heard from the washing machine-sized probe for about 85 seconds on Saturday, a burst of communication indicating that the little spacecraft is alive and apparently able to beam back information from the surface of Comet 67P. The comet that Philae woke up to on Sunday is probably very different than it was when the lander went to sleep. Comet 67P is now only two months away from its closest approach with the sun in August, which means it is definitely heating up. One major objective of Philae and Rosetta's mission is to gather unprecedented data on how the comet changes throughout its roughly 6.5-year journey around the star and Philae's wakeup could allow scientists to do just that.
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