The first-ever comet lander – Philae lands on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Comet_panoramic_lander_orientation_node_full_image_2

As reported by Earthsky.org:

The Rosetta mission made history on November 12 by sending the first-ever probe down to soft-land on the surface of a comet. That landing took place a few months after the Rosetta mothership became [the] first spacecraft to rendezvous with – that is, begin moving side by side with – a comet, on August 6, 2014. The comet and spaceraft were more than 300 million miles (500 million km) away on November 12, when the Philae lander sent confirmation of its own successful touchdown on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. There was some nail-biting when the lander initially failed to attach to the surface. However, as of Thursday morning, November 13, Philae appeared stable and was sending back data.

Unfortunately, the story of this incredible accomplishment got sidetracked when the heavily tattooed principal scientist, Matt Taylor, appeared at the news conference wearing a garish, and to some, vulgar Hawaiian shirt.  I suppose we all became accustomed to space scientists and engineers as nerdy guys in short sleeve white shirts with crew cuts and pocket protectors.  I certainly think it was a public relations faux pas, but ultimately a minor one—a tempest in a teapot.

The controversy will be forgotten and this great achievement will be remembered.  This may be looked upon as the first step in being able to prevent a Maki and the Bolide event from happening.  I am also happy that it was accomplished on what is for me a special day.

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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