Scientists at the
Once its systems warm up,
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It is due to shoot harpoons into the 2.5-mile dirtball before landing on its surface - a move that has never been attempted before.
The mission has been likened to that of the action film Armageddon, in which
ESA project scientist
"We're not just landing on the Moon, we're dealing with something dynamic, which is kicking off tonnes of dust and gas every minute."
They expect to see a blip on computer monitors between 1730 and
If all goes to plan, it will arrive at Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August, when it will study the plume of gas and water vapour that will boil off and trail behind as the comet nears the Sun.
If the chemical signature of hydrogen matches that found in water on Earth, it will strongly comets filled the oceans when they smashed into the planet billions of years ago.
They may also have delivered some of the key ingredients for life.
Around half of the experiments on board involve British scientists, while the craft itself was designed and built by engineers at Astrium
"It's interesting enough ... to actually design, build and launch a spacecraft, but to then see it travel around the solar system for 10 years to get to where it is now is just something else," he said.
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