Comet Me Bro

Comet Me Bro

History has been made in the year of 2014. On November 12, 2014, the first ever landing on a comet occurred. Named the Philae probe, this chunk of metal successfully maneuvered itself to hit its three hundred and ten mile target. The probe is two hundred and twenty pounds, and is about the size of a washing machine in your home. The mother ship containing the probe was launched by the European Space Agency, otherwise known as the ESA.  It was launched at 3:30 AM and landed on the comet seven hours later. The probe Philae has no thrusters and literally had to be dropped perfectly in order to free fall onto its landing site. Oddly enough, even though it had no thrusters, the probe was still capable of tweeting,  “Touchdown! My new address:  67P!”  And later tweeted again: “I’m on the surface, but my harpoons did not fire.”

 

No ship, probe, or craft has ever successfully landed on a comet.  There was palpable joy in the ESA when Philae successfully landed.

 

This landing is the only “soft landing” in history. What this means is that it actually landed (on the first try and on purpose). After the landing, the ESA discovered that after departing from the mother ship Rosetta, named after the Rosetta Stone,  it might have bounced once before the final touch down.  This is significant because then it is not considered a soft landing.  But this little discrepancy has not stopped the celebration of this event.  Even if the probe bounced before it successfully landed, it is still the first to land on the surface of a comet AND orbit it.

 

This is science fiction brought to life, and is a tremendous leap for science and our knowledge of space.  The ESA is excited to receive the information back from the comet in the future.

 

 

Check out more about this amazing part of history in the link below! :

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/12/world/comet-landing-countdown/index.html