Philae's Landing: Two Relatively Small Bounces for a Spacecraft, One Giant Leap for Humankind

The first-ever soft landing by a spacecraft on a comet was even more dramatic than originally thought. As it turned out, the Philae lander bounced not once but twice before coming to rest on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko yesterday — on its side.

You can see a part of one of the lander’s legs in front of a cliff on the surface of the comet in the mosaic of two images above. Controllers believe only two of Philae’s three legs are in contact with the surface.

Click the thumbnail at

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