For the first time ever, a man-made object has successfully landed on a comet hurtling through space at speeds of up to 135,000 km/h.
The Philae lander detached itself from its mothership and landed on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet at around 4pm Irish Time. The landing process did not go smoothly, however.
Due to the comet’s low gravity, the Philae needed to attach itself to it via harpoons, but these failed to fire. The probe did land though, and it tweeted ‘My new address is 67P.’ Later on, a second tweet was received, ‘I’m on the surface but my harpoons failed to fire.’
It is unclear whether the probe is securely attached to the comet’s surface or not, but it has been sending data since.
The comet is currently 310 million miles away from Earth.
Today’s event culminates a highly challenging and pioneering mission, and marks a pivotal moment in mankind’s space-faring endeavors.