Why we all fell in love with Rosetta’s Philae lander

November 15, 2014 9:15 PM

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Why we all fell in love with Rosetta’s Philae lander

In 1969, the whole world crowded around their televisions to watch mankind make its first moon landing. On Wednesday, it seemed as if the whole world crowded around their computers instead – this time to watch the European Space Agency drop a probe onto the surface of a speeding comet.

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is currently about 300 million miles away from the Earth, whizzing around the sun at a speed of 84,000 miles an hour. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004, and has spent the past decade traveling over 4 billion miles in order to match the comet’s orbit.

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