xkcd Animates The Philae Comet Landing—And It's Adorable

Today, we celebrated a monumental achievement in human history: For the first time, we landed an object on a comet. And xkcd creator Randall Munroe celebrated by creating this cartoon flipbook starting three hours before Philae's separation from Rosetta and ending with the landing.

"Landing" is a series of 142 frames following the probe's separation and landing on Comet 67P. If you want to go through the frames at your own pace and carefully read all of the thoughts from the anthropomorphized Philae, Rosetta, 67P, and Mission Control, you can flip through the series here. Plus, Munroe has thrown in some whales for good measure. After all, Philae was supposed to harpoon that comet.


This gif comes from Explaining xkcd.

Munroe publishes his comics under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

Landing [xkcd]

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That was almost better than the landing itself.