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Once in a lifetime jump. ESA-J

Timeline: Rosetta mission, from inception to landing bid

The Philae lander is due to break away from the Rosetta spacecraft, which is currently in orbit around a comet 30 light minutes (600 million km) from Earth. It is planned that Philae will touch down on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and harpoons will anchor it to the icy rock. If successful, it will mark the end of a ten-year flight from Earth, a total journey of 6 billion km, taking in visits to Earth, Mars, and asteroids, along with fuel leaks, and a case of mistaken identity.

Below is a timeline of everything that’s happened on the Rosetta mission so far – click to the right to scroll through the years. And follow our the rest of live coverage of the historic landing bid.

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