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Space probe reaches comet’s surface first time in history

November 12, 2014, 19:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The journey from the Rosetta spacecraft to the comet’s surface lasted about seven hours

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MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. For the first time in the history of space exploration a research probe has reached the surface of a comet.

The robotic lander Philae of the European Space Agency separated from the spacecraft Rosetta and landed on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko 500 million kilometers away from the Earth.

Philae separated from the Rosetta spacecraft at 11:35 Moscow time. The journey from Rosetta to the comet’s surface lasted about seven hours.

Rosetta and Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which was discovered in 1969 by Soviet astronomers Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko, now lie about half way between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, rushing towards the inner Solar System at nearly 55,000 kilometers per hour, the ESA said.

Rosetta will follow the comet for more than a year to provide a detailed scientific study of the Solar System body.

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