Oct 15, 2014 9:57 AM
European Space Agency confirms comet landing site
The Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) The European Space Agency has confirmed the time and place it will attempt to land the first spacecraft on a comet.
The agency said Wednesday its unmanned probe Rosetta will release the 100-kilogram (220-pound) lander at 0835 GMT (3:35 EST) on Nov. 12.
The aim is to drop its lander Philae at a location dubbed 'Site J' on the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) wide comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The maneuver will take about seven hours. Because radio signals have to travel more than 400 million kilometers (250 million miles) back to Earth, confirmation of a successful landing won't arrive until about 1600 GMT (11:00 a.m. EST).
Scientists hope the mission will help them learn more about the origins and evolution of objects in the universe.