Earlier this week, the Philae lander finally woke up after seven months in hibernation on Comet 67P. And this is rather plain desk where the messages arrived. Well, what were you expecting?
The European Space Agency released this wonderfully normal photograph yesterday, and it's a lovely reminder that very normal people do very exciting science in very normal places. The Rosetta Flight Control Team work out of the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
On June 13, the ESA established a "weak but solid" radio link between Rosetta and the lander for 85 seconds, acquiring 300 'packets' — 663 kbits — of data along the way. Now, the team are on alert, waiting for new signals to arrive from the lander. When they arrive, their surroundings won't be much to shout about — but the work they're doing will be. [ESA]