Spacecraft Philae first in history to land on a comet | Rosetta Spacecraft Lands on comet | Philae touches down on the surface of a comet | Raw Video

Scene inside Mission Control as the team regained contact with Rosetta as expected after separation, and with Philae that is descending onto the surface of Comet 67P/C-G.

More about Rosetta:
http://www.esa.int/rosetta

After a daring 7-hour descent, a miniature spacecraft settled safely onto the rugged surface of a comet 300 million miles from Earth, provoking cheers of triumph and relief from scientists and engineers assembled at the mission control room.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpXv8bYf3XA

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHzvl3QVyhg

Rosetta Spacecraft Lands on comet | Philae touches down on the surface of a comet | Video
Cosmic 1st: European spacecraft lands on comet
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European spacecraft lands on comet 300M miles from Earth
Rosetta Mission’s Philae Lander Is Closing in on a Speeding Comet
Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a European spacecraft made history Wednesday by successfully landing on the icy, dusty surface of a speeding comet — an audacious cosmic first designed to answer big questions about the origin of the universe.

The European Space Agency celebrated the cosmic achievement after sweating through a tense seven-hour countdown that began when the Philae lander dropped from the agency’s Rosetta space probe toward the comet as both hurtled through space at 41,000 mph (66,000 kph).

The agency then received a signal at 1603 GMT (11:03 a.m. EST) from the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Philae lander after it touched down on the icy surface of the comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Philae had drifted down to the comet and latched on using harpoons and ice screws.

“We definitely confirm that the lander is on the surface,” said flight director Andrea Accomazzo.

While further checks are needed to ascertain the state of the lander, the fact that it is resting on the surface of the speeding comet is already a huge success. It marks the highlight of the decade-long Rosetta mission to study comets and learn more about the origins of these celestial bodies. mission: Esa lands spacecraft on comet – live coverage
Watch live: Rosetta spacecraft mission lands on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Rosetta already has gone where no other spacecraft has ever attempted to go before, becoming the first to orbit a comet — in this case one that can move at more than 80,000 miles per hour.

Now, a probe is on a seven-hour journey to land on 67P, the comet shaped like a rubber duck that Rosetta has been chasing around the solar system like a cosmic pingpong ball for 10 years.

This mission has captivated even “Star Trek” Commander Captain Kirk — prompting the actor who played him, William Shatner, to send his best wishes.

After a daring 7-hour descent, a miniature spacecraft settled safely onto the rugged surface of a comet 300 million miles from Earth this morning, provoking cheers of triumph and relief from scientists and engineers assembled at the mission control room in Germany.

With the touchdown, the spacecraft, named Philae, entered the record books as the first to land on a comet. Its success will give scientists unprecedented insights into the target comet, a 4-billion-year-old world of dust and ice that holds secrets to the origins of the solar system.

In a bravura performance, the little spaceship – about the size of a washing machine – cast off at roughly 4 a.m. ET from the mother ship that had carried it close to the comet. Then, as mission personnel waited in anxious suspense, Philae descended at a leisurely pace toward the comet’s rugged surface. There was no way to steer it on its way down, no way to change course and no going back.

A few minutes past 11 a.m. ET, engineers received word that the spaceship, which belongs to the European Space Agency, had alighted safely on the comet’s crater-scarred and boulder-filled landscape.
Touchdown! The Philae probe has landed on the surface of a comet, scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) announced Wednesday.
It is the first time a soft landing has been achieved on a comet.
Shortly after news came, the probe tweeted: “Touchdown! My new address: 67P!”
“This is a big step for human civilization,” ESA director Jean-Jacques Dordain told colleagues who had waited anxiously for confirmation of the landing. “The biggest problem with success is it looks easy.”
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And William Shatner,who played Captain Kirk in the science fiction series “Star Trek” tweeted: “touchdown confirmed for away team @Philae2014, captain!”
Led by ESA with a consortium of partners including NASA, scientists on the Rosetta mission hope to learn more about the composition of comets and how they interact with the solar wind — high energy particles blasted into space by the Sun.
Comet landing an ‘engineering miracle’ Lander snaps goodbye picture of Rosetta
The Philae lander separated from the mother ship Rosetta around 3:30 a.m. ET to begin its 7-hour descent.
Philae, which has spent 10 years fixed to the side of Rosetta during the journey across the solar system, could not be steered. Once it was released, it was on its own.