European Space Agency's spacecraft Philae successfully lands on comet

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European Space Agency's spacecraft Philae successfully lands on comet
Germany, Nov 12: In a rare, splendid moment of success, European Space Agency landed a spacecraft called Philae on a comet on Wednesday ! It is the first time a soft landing has been achieved on a comet.

After landing was confirmed, the probe tweeted: "Touchdown! My new address: 67P!" Later, it tweeted again: "I'm on the surface but my harpoons did not fire." A CNN report said that ESA lander system engineer Laurence O'Rourke said the engineers are still checking the data to see "how we landed and where we landed."

ESA director Jean-Jacques Dordain said in a statement, "This is a big step for human civilization. The biggest problem with success is it looks easy." After the signal from Philae arrived at the mission control center at Darmstadt, Germany, celebrations erupted at the centre.

It was ESA's very ambitious attempt to place a spacecraft on the surface of a comet. The Philae lander separated from the mother ship Rosetta around 3:30 am (Eastern Time).

Philae, which weighs in at 220 pounds, took 10 years to move to the side of Rosetta during the journey across the solar system. A NYT report said that the lander, Philae, and its 10 instruments have now begun its mission - 64 hours of scientific operations.

The batteries in the lander will be recharged by Solar panels. This will allow uninterrupted operations over the coming months, about one hour every two days.

The successful probe will help the scientific world to learn more about the composition of comets and how they react when they get close to the Sun, said a CNN report.

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