THE European Space Agency has published the first image taken from the surface of a comet, and said that its Philae lander is still “stable” despite a failure to latch on properly to the rocky terrain. The lander scored a historic first on Wednesday, when it touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a decade-long journey through space on its mother ship Rosetta.

Scientists’ jubilation was slightly dampened because the harpoons which were meant to anchor the lander to the surface failed to deploy, causing it to bounce twice before it came to rest on the comet’s body, or nucleus. “Philae is stable, sitting on the nucleus and is producing data,” said Gerhard Schwehm, a scientist on the Rosetta mission… see more