Culture

We're Landing on a Comet

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Saying it out loud makes it even cooler. Try it.

“We’re landing on a comet.”

More:

A miniature spacecraft cast off from its mother ship Wednesday to start a lonely, nerve-wracking descent to the rugged terrain of a comet.

The European Space Agency’s washing-machine-sized spaceship, named Philae, detached from its carrier just after 3:30 a.m. ET. It faced a seven-hour trip to the comet’s boulder-strewn surface, with no way to steer or turn back.

If it touches down safely, Philae will enter the record books as the first craft to make a safe landing on a comet.

It took ten years to get there, and what we learn will make it all worthwhile — if they can stick the landing.

Fingers crossed…

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Cross-posted from Vodkapundit, Update from BBC News: “Probe makes historic comet landing”

The lander touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at about 1605 GMT.

There were cheers and hugs at the control room in Darmstadt, Germany, after the signal was confirmed.

It was designed to shine a light on some of the mysteries of these icy relics from the formation of the Solar System.

The landing caps a 6.4 billion-kilometre journey that was begun a decade ago.

“This is a big step for human civilisation,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, the director-general of the European Space Agency (Esa).