12 November 2014 – a remarkable day for humankind. For the first time ever, we landed a robot on the surface of a comet. The robot lander Philae touched down on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 17:09 CET, having travelled 6.4 billion kilometres in 10 years as a passenger aboard ESA’s Rosetta comet chaser. Yesterday, on 27 July 2016, the Electrical Support System (ESS) on the European Rosetta spacecraft, which is used to communicate with Philae, was switched off to save energy until 30 September, the day the Rosetta mission will come to an end.
The robot lander Philae didn’t just land on a comet, he also told the world about it as he did it – another first! With a little help from EJR-Quartz for DLR, he reported the landing, step by step, in real time as @Philae2014, making the world a part of his mission. His landing tweet “Touchdown! My new address: 67P” reached millions of people.
This little robot made his way into the hearts of many – but the time has come to say #GoodbyePhilae.
We are supporting the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in a campaign that invites the world to say farewell to the lander. Participating is very easy! You can find out how to say goodbye to the first ever robot to land on a comet here.
Follow along on social media: