Updated: 01/20/2014 2:58 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen
In this Dec. 10, 2013 file picture a European Space Agency, ESA, employee sits in the control room for the Rosetta mission at the ESA in Darmstadt, Germany.
Photo: Photo: AP/dpa, Boris Roessler, File
A comet-chasing space probe that has been in hibernation for almost three years has woken up and sent its first signal back to Earth.
The European Space Agency received the all-clear message "Hello World!" from its Rosetta spacecraft some 500 million miles away shortly after 1 p.m. EST.
Rosetta was put into hibernation in 2011 to conserve energy for its long journey to meet with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
If all goes as planned the probe will rendezvous with the comet in the coming months and drop a lander onto its icy surface in November.