Philae's Landing: Two Relatively Small Bounces for a Spacecraft, One Giant Leap for Humankind

The first-ever soft landing by a spacecraft on a comet was even more dramatic than originally thought. As it turned out, the Philae lander bounced not once but twice before coming to rest on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko yesterday — on its side.

You can see a part of one of the lander’s legs in front of a cliff on the surface of the comet in the mosaic of two images above. Controllers believe only two of Philae’s three legs are in contact with the surface.

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