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A month after snapping this selfie with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Rosetta spacecraft achieved a historic first: Its Philae lander touched down on the comet’s surface. Philae confirmed the presence of organic molecules—possible building blocks of life—before its sun-starved batteries died. Rosetta will continue to orbit 67P as it hurtles toward our home star, providing an unprecedented look into comet anatomy as dust and frozen gas heat up, escape the nucleus, and stream into space.

This article was originally published in the February 2015 issue of Popular Science.

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