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How to watch the Rosetta comet landing

Later this afternoon, the Rosetta spacecraft’s mission to drop a robot by the name of Philae to land on the surface of a comet comes to fruition.

In fact, Philae was sent off on its journey towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (complete with packed lunch, or the robot equivalent) early this morning, but it won’t actually touch down (hopefully successfully, and not be reduced to its component nuts and bolts) until 16:00 GMT. (Actually, to be precise the landing time is given as two minutes past the hour as we write this article).

Do you want to watch this historic event unfold, live? Fortunately, you can, because the whole shebang is being streamed online, with two options for your viewing pleasure (it’s always handy to have an alternative, in case one stream falls over).

The European Space Agency has coverage right here, with pre-landing discussion currently underway.

Or you can head over to NASA’s live coverage – though we found this a fair bit choppier than the aforementioned ESA stream. (Your mileage may of course vary).

The Rosetta spacecraft launched a decade ago, and arrived at the comet (which is pictured above) early August, since when it has been keeping up and preparing for this exploratory landing. The venture is an international partnership, and an ESA mission which has seen contributions from NASA.

Image Credit: European Space Agency - ESA