The European probe Philae has made the first-ever landing on a comet, a crowning phase in a quest to explore the origins of the solar system, the European Space Agency (ESA) said Wednesday.
The robot lab landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko around seven hours after separating from its mother ship Rosetta more than 510 million kilometers (320 million miles) from home, it said.
“We are on the comet,” the agency announced.
Scientists hope the lander, equipped with 10 instruments, will unlock the secrets of comets — primordial clusters of ice and dust that may have helped sow life on Earth.
PREVIOUSLY: How We Got Here