A timeline of comet probe’s 11-year journey

Jun 14, 2015, 6:18 AM

BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency said Sunday that its comet lander Philae has woken up from hibernation and managed to send data back to Earth for the first time in seven months. The probe went quiet on Nov. 15, three days after it was separated from its mother ship Rosetta and touched down on the city surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Here’s a look at key moments during the mission:

___

March 2, 2004: Europe’s unmanned probe Rosetta takes off from Kourou, French Guiana, after a series of delays, including an abandoned January 2003 launch window because of a rocket problem.

Feb. 25, 2007: Rosetta carries out a close flyby of Mars. European Space Agency’s mission control breaks out in applause after the end of 15 tense minutes of radio silence as the craft passes behind the Red Planet.

Sept. 5, 2008: Probe successfully passes close to an asteroid 250 million miles from Earth. The spacecraft loses its radio signal for 90 minutes as planned during the flyby of the Steins asteroid, also known as Asteroid 2867.

July 10, 2010: Between Mars and Jupiter, Rosetta transmits its first pictures from the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite after it flies by Lutetia as close as 1,900 miles (3,200 kilometers). It is the closest look to date at the Lutetia asteroid.

Jan. 20, 2014: Waking after almost three years of hibernation, Rosetta sends its first signal back to Earth. Systems had been powered down in 2011 to conserve energy, leaving scientists in the dark for 31 months.

Aug. 6, 2014: Rosetta swings alongside comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Nov. 12, 2014: The probe releases the Philae lander and it drops to the comet’s surface. Seven hours later, Philae touches down on the comet.

Nov. 15, 2014: Philae goes into hibernation after performing experiments and sending data back to Earth for 60 hours.

Feb. 14, 2015: Rosetta swoops to a distance of just 6 kilometers (less than 4 miles) above the surface of the comet to take close-up pictures of the surface.

June 11, 2015: Scientists say they may have caught a glimpse of Philae, whose exact location remains unknown. After analyzing images and other data collected over the past months they identified several possible sites including one bright spot described as “a good candidate for the lander.”

June 13, 2015: Philae communicates with Earth for the first time in seven months in a sign that it has come out of hibernation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Science

(Dave Ellis/The Free Lance-Star via AP)...
Corbin Carson

Children’s brains are most elastic, moldable in their first 20 years

New research shows that human brains are most elastic in the first two decades of life.
7 years ago
FILE – This Oct. 21, 1954 file photo shows Dr. Frederick C. Robbins, new chief of pediatrics ...
Associated Press

Human fetal tissue long used for variety of medical studies

Controversy over Planned Parenthood's supplying fetal tissue for research has focused attention on a little-discussed aspect of science.
7 years ago
Malik Muhammad raises his fist during a demonstration calling for the firing and indictment of Texa...
Associated Press

Jail releases more footage of Sandra Bland before her death

Texas authorities on Tuesday released several hours of footage showing Sandra Bland during her three days in jail, saying they wanted to dispel rumors that she was dead before arriving there.
7 years ago
Associated Press

Spaceship pilot describes harrowing free fall after breakup

Free-falling miles above the desert, his test spaceship ripped to pieces and the frigid air hard to breathe, pilot Peter Siebold struggled through crippling injuries to turn on his oxygen and just to stay conscious.
7 years ago
William “Bill” Kelso, Director of Research and Interpretation for the Preservation Virg...
Associated Press

Remains of 4 early colonial leaders discovered at Jamestown

Archaeologists have uncovered human remains of four of the earliest leaders of the English colony that would become America, buried for more than 400 years near the altar of what was America's first Protestant church in Jamestown, Virginia.
7 years ago
n On Monday, July 27, 2015, Hermiston firefighters in hazmat suits carry what was reported as a sus...
Associated Press

FBI: Packages sent to Oregon sheriffs were not toxic

The FBI said Tuesday that no toxic substances have been found in letters sent to about 20 Oregon sheriffs or their offices.
7 years ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
A timeline of comet probe’s 11-year journey