It's Showtime For Historic Comet-Landing Mission, And Here's How To Watch

The countdown is on for the European Space Agency's historic bid to land on a comet.

The agency's Rosetta spacecraft is set to place its Philae robotic lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko no later than 11:02 a.m. EST on Wednesday.

Both vehicles remain in good shape for the mission, the BBC reported.

How to watch: HuffPost Science will live-blog the comet landing on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST. You can tweet your comments with the ESA's official hashtag #CometLanding. The blog will also include live video from the European Space Agency's coverage of the event.

Philae is expected to take about seven hours to travel 14 miles from the Rosetta spacecraft to its landing site, named Agilkia. Plans call for Philae to explore the comet's surface and collect samples--just check out this European Space Agency animation (above) showing how the mission will unfold.

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rosetta comet landing tomorrow
How big is the comet? Here are Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's dimensions, as shown by images taken by Rosetta's OSIRIS camera on Aug. 19.

“The Philae lander is the first attempt to land a spacecraft on the surface of a comet nucleus," Dr. Stanley Cowley, a University of Leicester planetary scientist who was involved in the early stages of the Rosetta mission, said in a written statement. "Comets, like 67P/C-G, represent bodies which were 'left over,' essentially unprocessed, from the formation of the solar system some 4.5 billion years ago. It is therefore an interesting relic from that otherwise inaccessible epoch."

Rosetta was launched in March 2004 and spent more than 10 years traveling to the comet.



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