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Landing on Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet a milestone scientific event — one of discoverers

A comet is a capsule of time which preserves the primary material, says Klim Churyumov who discovered the celestial body with his fellow-scientist Svetlana Gerasimenko back in 1969

KIEV, November 13 /TASS/. Klim Churyumov, a corresponding member of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences, had described the landing of the Philae module on the nucleus of the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet as a milestone event for development of human civilization.

In 1969, Churyumov and his fellow-scientist Svetlana Gerasimenko discovered a celestial body, which was named after them.

“A comet is a capsule of time which preserves the primary material,” Churyumov said commenting on Wednesday’s event.

“The landing of a research module on the comet’s nucleus is a milestone event in the history of science and human civilization.

The landing of the Philae module from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft on the nucleus surface of the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet was broadcast live from the German flight control center to many countries, including Ukraine, on Wednesday.

It took the Rosetta spacecraft more than 10 years of flight to approach the researched object. Over that period the space probe covered more than 6.4 billion kilometres. The Philae module will have 4-6 months of operation on the comet nucleus surface.

Rosetta’s prime objective is to help understand the origin and evolution of the Solar System. The comet’s composition reflects the composition of the pre-solar nebula out of which the Sun and the planets of the Solar System formed more than 4.6 billion years ago. Therefore, an in-depth analysis of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta and its lander will provide essential information to understand how the Solar System formed.