Sci-Tech

Rosetta watch: Follow history's first comet landing live

On November 12, the Philae lander will detach from the Rosetta spacecraft and attempt a tricky landing on a comet. Here's how to follow the historic happenings.

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The first robot-comet rodeo happens here this week. European Space Agency

It's going to be history's first cosmic rodeo. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft is set on Wednesday to deploy its Philae lander, which will attempt a difficult landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The whole maneuver will last much more than 8 seconds and you can follow it all live via the video at the bottom of the post, and chat with us about it on Twitter @crave and @EricCMack.

Philae is currently scheduled to separate from Rosetta at 1:03 a.m. PT time on Wednesday, and touch down on the comet should happen just under seven hours later at 8:02 a.m.

Philae and Rosetta have already ticked off the first box on their "Go/No go" checklist for attempting the landing -- mission control has confirmed that Rosetta is on a correct trajectory. We're still awaiting confirmation that the separation commands are ready for upload, which will be followed by other final preparations for separation and a required pre-separation maneuver. If all this goes as planned, the final "Go" for separation will be given.

At this point, the video feed from mission control in Germany is already live below, but the real action isn't likely to start until separation draws closer Tuesday evening here in the United States. While you're waiting for history to be made, get caught up on our coverage of just how hard the landing will be, and what a comet sounds and smells like up close.


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