Credit: DLR

Credit: DLR

What’s it sound like when you land on a comet?

Well, as you would guess, it’s a “thud.”

That’s the report from Martin Knapmeyer, a planetary scientist at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR)

A short but significant “thud” was heard by the Cometary Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment (CASSE) as Europe’s Philae lander made its first touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The two-second recording from space is the very first of the contact between a human-made object with a comet upon landing.

The CASSE sensors are located in the feet at the base of all three legs of the lander and were active on November 12, 2014 during the descent to the comet.

“The contact with the surface was short, but we can evaluate the scientific data,” said Knapmeyer, scientific leader of the CASSE Team.

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