Europe is making a new attempt to establish a connection with the landing module of the Phil spacecraft, which is racing towards the Sun and is now at a distance of 360 million kilometers from Earth. Phil has a mother satellite called “Rosetta”, which resumed the communication line for 10 days. This will allow you to receive any signal. This information was reported by the manager of the Paris-based project Rosette, Francis Rocard. The chances of contact are increasing every day as comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko approaches closer to the Sun, although the orientation of the solar panels in Phil remains unknown. In March and April there were already unsuccessful attempts to contact the probe, which did not receive the signal for three days after landing on the “67P” last November.
Rokadr said they would listen again from May 8 to 17. He also added that they could not give a 100 percent guarantee that the spacecraft would wake up. A robotic laboratory weighing 100 kilograms landed on a comet on November 12 after 10 years of wandering on its mother ship. The small satellite had enough battery power, which was enough for 60 hours of various experiments to send data to Earth before the satellite went into standby mode on November 15. In the course of how the “67P” approaches the Sun, scientists hope that the best light will recharge the batteries to a level that will be enough to restart and to establish contact with the Earth, which will allow a series of new experiments. Until August 13, the comet will either reach that point at the distance to the sun, which is the maximum possible for it, or again deviate from the course. If Phil does not wake up until August 14, then he most likely will never wake up. Its location on the surface of a dusty ice comet has decreased to a zone whose dimensions are approximately 30-50 meters. But the Rosetta cameras have not yet identified the probe, and scientists do not know whether it is in an upright position.
Fila needs to warm up at least minus 45 degrees Celsius to wake up. “Spring affects the comet. Days go on longer. We hope to get about two or two and a half hours of sunshine per day for Fila, ”said Philippe Godon, chief operations officer at CNES, which is located in southern France.