We landed a freaking spacecraft on a comet. This GIF and video explain Rosetta's 12-year journey



We didn’t land. We crashed. If this had been Mars or any other large body, Philae would be a blacked crater on the surface.

That said, any landing you get pictures back from is a good one. And first landings on on planetary bodies tend to be crashes. Mars, an early and frequent target, is a notorious eater of probes. The JPL practice of eating peanuts comes from the 1st successful landing on the Moon after a half dozen or so failures.

Yeah, right. It was all done on a sound stage in Burbank. I can tell by the pixels.

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hard to say it was a crash landing when what really happened was we failed to hang on. it may have been a failed landing but up until the point that the harpoons did not deploy, everything was nominal.


I recognize some of those rocks from the moon landing set.


Yeah it was a moment where you say " Hey humankind! You did an amazing thing!"

The brouhaha over some ones shirt choices pales into insignificance in comparison to the arse wipingly rubbish Sun Newspaper here in the UK.
It put Some woman called Kardashians backside in the same headline as kissing a comet with a space flying robot, with harpoons, and drills and sending back pictures of it doing it ( kinda ) :blush:
And with technology that is what? ten years old?


Anyway great going humanity!!

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So Philae’s achievements now include, in order:

  1. First landing ever in history on a comet.
  2. First suborbital flight ever (inadvertently) launched from a comet, achieving about 80% of escape velocity and a hang time of almost two hours, while traveling about a kilometer downrange.
  3. Second landing ever on a comet.
  4. Second suborbital flight ever launched from a comet, this one lasting only about seven minutes.
  5. Third landing ever on a comet.

And after all that, it was understandably tired, so it found a nice shady spot with a rock ledge to lean on, and went to sleep.



It dropped onto the surface at a speed of 1 m/s, with the equivalent weight of a sheet of paper.

If it had been Lunar Lander, it would have scored a perfect 100.

Unfortunately, the surface of the ground ended up being spongier than expected, and the thruster and harpoons did not work, so even the perfect landing caused a bounce.

Even still, it’s a bit much to compare it to a blackened crater, though…

Yes, I found, played, and screen-shotted some Lunar Lander clone just for you.)


Maybe. My larger point was that blackened craters are the norm for things with a never-before-attempted-by-man score this high. I mean, we’ve landed on various planets and moons and we’ve docked with other man-made vehicles. This is somewhere in between. A comet is big enough that it has gravity and gravity, if you’re not careful, will beat you. Comet gravity just doesn’t hit very hard.

Ahh, I don’t know whether to mock you for “torturing” yourself by playing or yell for bringing this to my attention, tempting me with it.

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