Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
After eight days of sending signals, listening for Philae, and getting no response, Rosetta has ceased its effort.
“It was a very early attempt; we will repeat this process until we receive a response from Philae,” says DLR Project Manager Stephan Ulamec. “We have to be patient.” On 20 March 2015 at 05:00 CET, the communication unit on the Rosetta orbiter was switched off. Now, the DLR team is calculating when the next favourable alignment between the orbiter and the lander will occur, and will then listen again for a signal from Philae. The next chance to receive a signal from the lander is expected to occur during the first half of April.
They always knew that it was unlikely for the lander to come alive this soon, but they tried anyway. The odds improve, however, in the coming months.