Bid to land spacecraft on comet

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Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Scientists at the European Space Agency are poised to begin a historic attempt to land a spacecraft on a comet.

It would be the climax of a decade-long mission to study the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The decision on whether to proceed will be made before 0735 GMT on Wednesday.

If all goes to plan, the lander will separate from Rosetta about an hour later and drift down to the comet, where it will latch on using harpoons and screws.

Confirmation of a landing, if successful, should reach Earth – 500 million kilometres (311 million miles) away – by about 1603 GMT.

Scientists hope the mission will help them learn more about the origins of comets and other celestial bodies.

Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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