Humanity Just Touched Its First Comet

While you were sleeping, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander made human history upon making physical contact with the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, anchoring its harpoons to the comet’s icy surface at speeds of up to 135,000 km/h. 

It’s the culmination of the Rosetta data collecting mission, which has been ten years in the making and is expected to be carried out using ten instruments over the next 64 hours of battery life, after which time solar panels will allow for intermittent updates.
According to the New York Times, the operation proceeded “despite a few small glitches and one potential showstopper problem”; which is kind of great when you think about it, because without the failure of a thruster that was supposed to fire right after touchdown to press the lander against the comet’s surface, the eventual movie would’ve been kind of a dud. 
You can relive the events leading up to the historic moment on the ESA’s various anthropomorphic social media platforms, highlights from which are embedded below. 
Interstellar work all around really – a timely reminder that we should be thankful for all the investments in science that our country is committed to making. 
Congratulations, everyone.