Rosetta mission 2014 in pictures: ESA spaceship lands philae on comet 67P for first time ever

 
Sarah Spickernell
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How the surface looked upon arrival (Source: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)
After a fraught wait, this morning the European Space Agency (ESA) received confirmation: we did it. Humans have landed a spacecraft on a comet for the first time ever.
Having spent 10 years travelling through the solar system, the ESA Rosetta spaceship finally made it to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Yesterday afternoon was a crucial moment for scientists at the ESA mission centre in the Germany's Darmstadt. At 4pm, they were eagerly awaiting a signal from the Rosetta's landing probe, Philae, to confirm it had arrived at the comet's surface.
Named after the code-breaking Rosetta stone which helped archaeologists decipher the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphs in the 1800s, it is hoped Rosetta will translate some of the secrets of the universe into explanations for the origin of comets, the solar system, and possibly even life on Earth.
But to find answers to these important questions, Rosetta has to be physically present on the comet, which is why this landing was so important.
Here are some of the most impressive pictures that the Rosetta spacecraft has shared with us earthlings:


The Philae leaves Rosetta to begin its seven hour descent (Source: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)


The Philae approaches comet 67P, as seen by the mothership (Source: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)


Getting closer - the Philae snaps comet 67P from a distance of 3km (Source: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)


Back down on Earth, the mission team receives the first images of the comet's surface (Source: Remy Gabalda)


Welcome to the comet - the Philae confirms it has landed (Source: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)

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