Comet landing timeline

NOTE: All times in GMT (EST-5hrs; CET+1hr) and Earth Receive Time, when confirmation of the events is received on the ground. Events actually occur approximately 28 minutes, 20 seconds, earlier.

Nov. 12 at 0403 GMT:

Start of Philae's Separation, Descent and Landing activities. This sequence includes heating of the lander batteries to separation temperature and activation of science instruments.

Nov. 12 at 0630 GMT

Rosetta conducts a "pre-delivery" maneuver to put the spacecraft in the correct position to release Philae.

Nov. 12 at ~0700 GMT:

The fourth and final Go/No Go decision point comes after confirmation of a satisfactory pre-delivery maneuver by Rosetta.

Nov. 12 at 0903 GMT:

Artist's concept of the Philae comet lander ejecting from Rosetta to begin its seven-hour descent. Credit: NASA

Nov. 12 from 0904-0947 GMT:


Nov. 12 at 0943 GMT:


Nov. 12 at 1053 GMT:


Nov. 12 at 1458-1517 GMT


Nov. 12 at 1602 GMT (possible variability)

At the moment of touchdown on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, landing gear will absorb the forces of landing while ice screws in each of the probe’s feet and a harpoon system will lock Philae to the surface. At the same time, a thruster on top of the lander will push it down to counteract the impulse of the harpoon imparted in the opposite direction. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Nov. 12 at 1607 GMT (possible variability)

The lander begins an automated series of science observations, including panoramic imaging.


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