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Space agency releases 1st picture from comet

  • Rosettaís lander Philae was seen as it sat safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in this combination photo of different images taken with the CIVA camera system and released Thursday. (AP Photo/Esa/Rosetta/Philae)

BERLIN » The European Space Agency has released the first picture taken by its Philae probe on the surface of a comet.

Philae became the first spacecraft to land on a comet when it touched down Wednesday on the comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The photo released Thursday shows a rocky surface with one of the lander’s three feet.

Harpoons meant to anchor the lander to the surface failed to work properly, causing Philae to bounce twice.

But ESA says the lander is stable. Gerhard Schwehm, a scientist on the Rosetta mission, told The Associated Press on Thursday that it may still be possible to fire the harpoons but in any case the lander is "very healthy."

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