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Old 12-11-14, 19:50   #1
 
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Earth VIDEO-Europe's Probe Makes Historic Comet Landing

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NASA Hails European Space Agency's Comet Landing, as 'Breakthrough Moment'

By AFP, 12 November 2014


NASA on Wednesday hailed the first-ever landing of a spacecraft on a comet as a "breakthrough moment" in the history of space exploration.
The European Space Agency's Philae lander detached from the Rosetta spacecraft and touched down on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in a complicated maneuver that some experts likened to a bullet meeting another bullet in space.

"We congratulate ESA on their successful landing on a comet today," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.




A handout photo released on November 12, 2014, by the
European Space Agency, captured by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera shows the Philae lander after separation



"This achievement represents a breakthrough moment in the exploration of our solar system and a milestone for international cooperation."
He also noted that three US space agency instruments are on board Rosetta to map the comet's nucleus and search for signs of water.

"We are proud to be a part of this historic day and look forward to receiving valuable data from Europe," he said.

The 100-kilogram (220-pound) lander separated from its mother ship, Rosetta, after a trek lasting a decade and covering 6.5 billion kilometers (four billion miles).

But the announcement was soon followed by worries that Philae may have landed in soft material and was not properly attached.


Probe Makes Historic Landing on Comet






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