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

November 15, 2014 9:15 PM

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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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