The Sciences

History is Made: Philae Makes First-Ever Soft Landing on a Comet

ImaGeo iconImaGeoBy Tom YulsmanNov 12, 2014 9:19 PM
ESA_Rosetta_OSIRIS-NAC_Philae_descent_anim.gif

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An animation of images shows the Philae lander dropping away from the Rosetta orbiter, on its way to a landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Nov. 12, 2014. (Source: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA) | Update 11/13/14: I've replaced the original animated gif at the top of the post with a better one. | As I'm writing this, the little spacecraft that could — Philae — has made history: It has made the first-ever soft landing on a comet. It is an absolutely astonishing feat. Discover is covering all of the events live — right here — so make sure to check that out. I just thought I'd share the animation above of three images showing Philae as it departed from the Rosetta spacecraft on its way to its historic landing. Rosetta has travelled 4 billion miles. Philae traveled another 13.6 miles and is now transmitting data to Earth. Absolutely outstanding!

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