TIME space

Europe’s Philae Lander Makes Historic Touchdown on Comet

Marking the high point of a $1.3 billion, 10-year mission

After a suspense-packed, seven-hour descent, the European Space Agency’s Philae lander made an unprecedented touchdown on the surface of a comet Wednesday — marking the high point of a $1.3 billion, 10-year mission.

Cheers erupted as the confirming signals were received at from the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany, at 11:03 a.m. ET. The signals took 28 minutes to travel at the speed of light over the 317 million miles (510 million km) between Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Earth.

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

Read next: See Pictures of Philae Detaching From Rosetta

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