Update (11:05am): The probe has landed safely on the comet.
In 2004, a spacecraft known as the Rosetta orbiter was launched by the European Space Agency with with the ambitious goal of landing on a comet. Now, a decade later, that goal is just hours away.
The Philae lander detached from the Rosetta orbiter a few hours ago and is expected to land on the surface of Comet 67P/CHuryumov-Gerasimenko, which is 300 million miles away from earth, at 4pm GMT, or 11 am EST. You can watch the scene from ESA mission control here:
NASA, the American space agency, contributed sensors to the mission. Its live stream of the landing is below. (Some of the footage overlaps with the ESA, but you can never have too much space.)
And of course, in this day and age, what’s a space landing without a live Twitter feed? Fortunately, both Rosetta and Philae have charmingly anthropomorphic social media presences to make us feel like we’re right there with them, 300 million miles away.