Scientists have successfully landed a probe on the surface of a comet in an historic first for space exploration, the European Space Agency (ESA) says.
The lander, named Philae, left the Rosetta spacecraft and after a seven-hour descent, scientists at ESA confirmed its safe landing on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, just after 3:00am AEDT.
“Philae is talking to us,” said Stephan Ulamec, the lander’s manager.
“We are on the comet.”
“We definitely confirm that the lander is on the surface,” said Andrea Accomazzo, flight operations director.
“We can’t be happier than what we we are now.”
“This is a big step for human civilisation,” said the agency’s director general, Jean-Jacques Dordain, as a crowd of scientists, guests and VIPs cheered and applauded in relief.
Source: ABC News