Yesterday (Nov. 12) history was made. A spacecraft successfully landed–not on the moon, not on a planet, but on a comet.
The European Space Agency confirmed that the Philae lander, after a 7-hour descent, successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after signals were received at the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany. The signals took 28 minutes to travel to earth from 317 million miles away.
The lander is named after Philae Island on the Nile River, where an obelisk was discovered and used, along with the Rosetta Stone, to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. The lander’s objective is to study the composition of the comet’s nucleus.
A spacecraft has successfully landed on a comet. But it wasn’t sent from NASA. Find out who!