The lander has been out of contact with Earth since last November after it touched down on the surface of Comet 67/P. The craft was unable to secure itself to the comet, bounced several hundred meters across the surface, and came to rest in an unknown location that shaded the Sun from its solar panels. After operating and sending data for about 60 hours, the little lander went silent. But as the comet moved closer to the Sun, more light fell on the lander’s solar panels which allowed the craft to recharge itself sufficiently to broadcast a brief message. The signal was picked up by the Rosetta orbiter, the larger craft that carried Philae to the comet. Rosetta then relayed the message to Earth.
During our live broadcast, we’ll review the dramatic events surrounding Philae’s touchdown last year, examine the many efforts mission scientists initiated to find the craft, and discuss what Philae’s second act means for the future of the science mission as the comet nears its closest approach to the Sun this August.