A comet-chasing space probe was due to wake up from years of hibernation yesterday, but scientists face an agonisiong wait until the first signal reaches Earth.
Dormant systems on the unmanned
They had been powered down in 2011 to conserve energy, leaving scientists in the dark about the probe's fate until now.
"We don't know the status of the spacecraft," said
"There is a possibility that we're not going to hear anything. Two-and-a-half years are a long time," Ferri said.
"We're talking about sophisticated electronics and mechanics. We've taken all possible precautions for this not to happen but of course we cannot exclude that problems may have happened."
If all goes as planned, the probe |will reach 67P in the coming months and drop a lander on to its icy surface in November.
The unprecedented mission is different from
Space enthusiasts are being asked to compose and perform songs to "wake up
If no signal is received by today, scientists will try to manually restart the probe from the ground.
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