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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Holy Shit We Landed a Spacecraft on a Comet

• http://www.wired.com, By Marcus Woo

Update: At around 8:45 a.m. PST, ESA said the lander's harpoons did not fire, meaning that Philae is not anchored to the comet. Without being firmly attached to the ground, the worry is that the lander may fall off. ESA is now looking at options to refire the harpoons. A live feed of mission control is at the bottom of this post.

Humankind made history this morning when the Rosetta mission made the first-ever landing on a comet. Just a couple minutes after 8:00 a.m. PST/11:00 a.m. EST, the European Space Agency received confirmation that after a roughly 7-hour descent, the mission's lander craft, named Philae, touched down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

"This is a big step for civilization," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, the director general of ESA.

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