Roving Spacecraft contacts Earth

The European Space Agency’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft roused itself, got to moving, and contacted its operators Monday before setting off on the final leg of its journey. The spacecraft woke up from 31 months of sleep. The 31 months of sleep included travelling into the mysterious reaches of the solar system. The mission control center is in Darmstadt, Germany. The signal from Rosetta arrived shortly after 7:00PM. The unmanned probe was launched in 2004 and is now nearly 500 million miles from the sun. That puts it at a distance just past the orbit of Jupiter. At that distance, the message it beamed back took 45 minutes to arrive.

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