DARMSTADT, Germany — The European Space Agency says it has succeeded in landing a spacecraft on a comet for the first time in history.
TOUCHDOWN for @Philae2014! #CometLanding pic.twitter.com/ZMBeB8ng3h
— ESA Rosetta Mission (@ESA_Rosetta) November 12, 2014
The agency says it has received a signal from the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Philae lander after it touched down on the icy surface of the comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Flight director Andrea Accomazzo says “we definitely confirm that the lander is on the surface.”
Further checks are needed to ascertain the state of the lander.
The landing on the speeding comet marks the highlight of the decade-long Rosetta mission to study comets and learn more about the origins of these celestial bodies.