Cause we landed on a comet! What?! This is the coolest thing mankind has done since the moon landing, and it only took us over 40 years to do it!
This is how it happened.
Be Just And Fear Not
A spacecraft landed on the surface of a comet for the first time ever today, the European Space Agency confirms. The 220-pound Philae lander successfully made its way to the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as part of the agency’s 10 years in the making Rosetta mission.
ESA lander system engineer Laurence O’Rourke told CNN that the lander is not “steered” toward the comet—rather, the lander must be positioned and detached from the Rosetta at just the right time to “free fall” onto the comet.
According to the New York Times, Philae’s 10 instruments are designed to study the comet for 64 hours before its battery runs out. After its battery drains, the Times reports, solar panels will allow for one hour of observation from the lander “every couple of days.” Philae is expected to survive until March, when heat will likely incinerate the lander.