Europe’s Rosetta probe has arrived at a comet after a 10-year chase.
In a first for space history, the spacecraft was manoeuvred alongside a speeding body to begin mapping its surface in detail.
The spacecraft fired its thrusters for six and a half minutes to finally catch up with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
“We’re at the comet!” said Sylvain Lodiot of the European Space Agency (Esa) operations centre in Germany.
“After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the Sun five times and clocking up 6.4 billion km, we are delighted to announce finally ‘we are here’,” said Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of Esa.