Celebrating the landing of Rosetta’s Philae lander on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko at ESA’s technical heart. Along with the main Rosetta landing event taking place at ESA's ESOC control centre, many other events took place all across Europe. More than a quarter of a century in the making, the Rosetta comet-chaser had been designed, planned and finally tested at ESTEC - ESA's largest establishment, based in Noordwijk, the Netherlands - in advance of its 2004 launch.
More than 450 external guests, media representatives and Agency personnel gathered together at SpaceExpo, ESTEC’s visitor centre, to follow the nail-biting Philae landing during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 12 November 2014. ESTEC Director Franco Ongaro presided over the gathering, which was also attended by ESA astronaut André Kuipers, Rob van Hassel of Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands – who detailed the Dutch contributions to Rosetta – as well as comet expert Inge Loes ten Kate from Utrecht University.