Spacecraft Lands on a Comet for the 1st Time

Philae probe detaches from Rosetta spacecraft and lands on Comet 67P, 300 million miles away.
10:29 | 11/12/14

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Transcript for Spacecraft Lands on a Comet for the 1st Time
Here is just a short time ago at the European Space Agency. All the workers there cheering a historic day in space exploration for the first time ever mankind landed face throw. On the comet yup that's right the decade long mission could reveal Newt back. About the origins about life on earth. Hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York it was at a spacecraft. Craft took top ten years ago to travel 300 million miles away. Towards comet 6070. And today the feeling Lander detached from I was at a and made cats down. He lay actually took this image as of the detached from Rosetta the Lander touched down less than an hour ago for sure until a few minutes. When the signal traveled back to earth of course I want to bring in Gina since Terry from the Johnson Space Center in Houston Gina. Give us an idea about the fears that we just saw a little bit ago that that's. Good morning Michelle this is a remarkably successful mission. I mean the cheers in the mission control in Darmstadt Germany this is a mission literally Walt then broke you know while it's taken ten years to get there from launch. It's twenty years ago that Isa started planning this mission started thinking what we do where can we go that would really make sense that no one's done before. And they came up with the idea of land and not comment. Now initially they thought well we'll go lamb on comet and we'll bring a sample back but didn't have enough money to do that. So what feel they will do it'll it'll literally lamp not it's hot food in the back com. And grasping the comment you're free fell from Rosetta. And it's going to be they think live for a year on that comment and Rosetta will travel with the comet as it orbits are solar system. It's remarkable what will learn from the com it's amaze. Scene that we have this landing give us the challenges that they face not only with the two rain. But also with the feeling Lander in some of the laugh it's challenges that face this last. Hall before it got there. Well the challenge initially was providing enough power froze that whom live in space. For ten years and then before the Lander has been asleep sent and you know the feelings and sleep for ten years. And so my main woken up this morning they weren't really sure what wake up and all its systems war and the systems and war. You know where's that actually arrived at this comet. Months ago but they've spent many many. Months trying to figure not find just the right landing place they need the space not to. Rocky without slopes because. You know feeling has no propulsion it just fell from rose added down to come 67. Don't let its tweets when one runs I woke up last January tweeting about Hello World so I'm glad to hear that he lay has an address. There is an idea how big is the slander and how big is comet 67. Well. Well common 57 he's got one half mild but real is the sizable washing machine. Soak the powerful little spacecraft but it's not gotten bid. You know go look in your laundry closet and home and that's how big the slanderous. And it's just been wrestling with all kinds of instruments will give us information about the comet which will tell us how old that is what made. And people hope maybe this will give us some ideas will learn more about the formation of our universe. From his comments are right Jeanne so as you mentioned there hoping to learn more and we're just now at this. First phase OK it landed but that doesn't necessarily mean it's challenges are over what's going on that comment I hear there's gases poppy capital times. And how can that outlander rough day on the well it's not a harpoon attachment so hopefully that harpoon is digging in. To that comment so it's got a good grasp and we'll stay where this could all the instruments that are on on board. Can go to work and send back data Isa is already getting data from the sea leg it's gonna take. Months before they can processes that. And we actually find out what that comets made of what can talents should give us an idea what scientists hope that they can learn about the origin of life on earth because of this mission. Well comets are the initial building blocks you know when the Big Bang happened. These comets were spewed out and these comments have the raw material what our universe is made up. And we've never been able to study one before that's what makes this mission so remarkable it's not just the technical challenges of launching that little space craft them and then harpoon in this Lander onto the comet it's what this comment won't tell us. What it's seen. You know and then the kind of hopes flew to replicate this. They've got a plan can go to take annual Ryan spacecraft which will launch next month. And eventually send it to an asteroid and literally get a big next. And grabbed bad acts like and then what they want to do is drag it into orbit around the moon. And that will allow US astronauts to land mass ask Florida and study yet it's it would be different from having feeling land on the comet because. He lake can't really feel it touch it and tell us that much about it which is something aftershocks could do if this asteroid mission really. Gets off the ground ever Whipple Gina I think we're gonna learn a little bit more information let's listen into the European Space Agency as they tell us what. I would not cure these guides to to repeat what you say after each success. Because problem of success heed that he'd Duke's easy. And I especially. Fall on us well know anything. Seoul are and what you know older assault of expertise. To solve multi education. Who saw multiple team walking. Between. Twenties nationality it is over mambo states so bureau goes corporation wiese. In that much and I'm off those. What you ignore duct. You won't cut these type of success he's not go beamed from. Disguise. He goes home Caldwell. And for all expo Jesus. Because the only way to a weeklong citing that risk. Antiques and success. Is the expertise. DC easily analyzed to date we have them and try to. That they're you'll be an expertise. Bedecked he's up. Beating the industry he notion that space substances. In Greece helped some tells. Everywhere these she's the best expertise of the world because we also thought to have done that and that relief state fought and thank you re much. Again listening there to the Director General of the European Space Agency Gina a lot of happy folks there and as we're watching it earlier and people who may have been streaming in this at home they solve attention on their faces what does this mean. For in this space frontier not only for ESA but also from NAFTA. What this means is that I think there's a new energy and Facebook's exploration. No space station really doesn't make much news anymore besides another cute photos and videos that the crew sends down. This means that there are new frontiers and can still explore. Hey Michelle did you notice on freeways tweets that it weeded out and about twenty different languages. What's interesting about this missions this is an international mission. The European Space Agency is made up of so many countries from Europe. Hungry this morning just voted to join the European Space Agency so it's it's really more of a global effort these days in kind of space expiration. And feel it just proved that the war. All right so talk to us just a little bit. More about what exactly the next steps are now that the key lake. Has touched down. Well now the feeling has touched down its instruments are going to go to work and analyze. The gases. The surface of the comet. It will be riding along on comments to seven. Rosetta will ride along with that as well you know Roseanne and Phil have already traveled a hundred million miles from within the next year they can really. Clock of the mileage as they tag along with comments 67 he isn't orbits are solar system. They need some space mileage programs that's Kuwait can we expect some photos you come back from our little Lander. I think are little Lander will show us photos close up photos of the surface of the photos are seeing are taken from fourteen miles away. From the new photos themselves close ups and hopefully feel like can take some pictures and show us its mother ship Rosanna orbiting about that. It's not like the comet is friendly territory either right so they've got to look there's much that they probably still don't know that they're going to learn it through this whole process. Terrorism if so much that they don't know that I can't even begin to guess what they will find out are eighteen and from there it thank you for joining us. You can continue your why downing. All the excitement. Live streaming from. The European space station and of course you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news app and star in this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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