Rosetta mission: Philae comet lander pictures its target

Philae is due to make its historic landing attempt on 12 November.

It is currently riding piggyback on its “mothership”, the Rosetta probe.

You can just see the corner of this spacecraft on the left of the image, with one of its 14m-long solar wings dominating the foreground.

The plan is for Rosetta to eject Philae towards 67P just after 0830 GMT on the 12th.

The small gravitational tug from the 4km-wide comet should be enough to pull the robot on to its surface in a descent that is likely to take about seven hours to complete.

If the lander survives this fall, it will be a first. Never before in the history of space exploration has a soft touchdown been made on one of these “ice mountains”.

More on the Rosetta mission can be found here.

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