European Space Agency craft lands on comet 

click to enlarge The image released by the European Space Agency ESA on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 shows an artist rendering by the ATG medialab depicting lander Philae separating from Rosetta mother spaceship and descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. - AP PHOTO/ESA, ATG MEDIALAB
  • AP Photo/ESA, ATG Medialab
  • The image released by the European Space Agency ESA on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 shows an artist rendering by the ATG medialab depicting lander Philae separating from Rosetta mother spaceship and descending to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

DARMSTADT, Germany — The European Space Agency says it has succeeded in landing a spacecraft on a comet for the first time in history.

The agency says it has received a signal from the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Philae lander after it touched down on the icy surface of the comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Flight director Andrea Accomazzo says "we definitely confirm that the lander is on the surface."

Further checks are needed to ascertain the state of the lander.

The landing on the speeding comet marks the highlight of the decade-long Rosetta mission to study comets and learn more about the origins of these celestial bodies.

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