So far so good for the first ever attempt to land a probe on a comet.
The European Space Agency has confirmed that the special Philae lander has successfully separated from the Rosetta spacecraft.
Philae’s instruments – Texts: ESA
The lander will now continue on a seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Confirmation of its landing will come around 5-6pm Central European Time on Wednesday.
Rosetta set off 10 years ago to reach the comet, travelling some 6.5 billion kilometres. It’s hoped the scientific data gathered will shed more light on the development of Earth and other planets.
Rosetta has been orbiting about 23 kilometres above the comet for the past three months. Landing on the comet will not be easy, however, with the surface covered in craters and boulders.
The first data will hopefully tell us more about the dust and gas on the lander’s journey to the comet.
1.3 billion euros has been spent on the mission and has involved more than 500 scientists and engineers.