Rosetta—the first man-made spaceship designed to intercept and land on an comet—is alive and well. It just sent its first signal to the world after going into sleep mode 31 months ago. Scientists were anxious, hoping that the computer and the interplanetary probe would alright. All systems: nominal.

The space probe—launched by the European Space Agency in 2004—is now fully awake and humming as it races towards its target, the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Right now, it's about 501 million miles (807 million kilometers) from Earth. It went into sleep mode 31 months ago to save energy. When it reaches the comet, it will deploy a lander:


The lander—which you can see below—will study how the comet gets activated as it gets closer to the sun.

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