ESA’s Philae comet landing in photos
After catching up with 67P, the ESA had to run a series of tests to see if Philae could be deployed. Even though the thrusters, which would counteract the force of the harpoons being fired into the comet, weren’t working, the ESA decided to go ahead.
The separation was successful meaning Philae and Rosetta were apart for the first time in over ten years.
Philae, the lander, and Rosetta, the carrier, swapped photos of each other as Philae caught up with 67P at a rate of one metre per second.
What followed was an anxious, seven-hour wait for confirmation that Philae had landed safely. At 1602 GMT, the signal arrived that Philae had touched down on the comet, becoming the first probe ever to land successfully. It was later discovered that the anchors had not properly deployed and Philae had actually bounced twice, landing a total of three times.
Ever the inseparable pair, Rosetta and Philae swapped photos again, Philae from the surface of the comet and Rosetta from high above the comet it will trail over the coming months.
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