After travelling for 10 years and covering 4 billion miles,the probe named Philae has landed on comet 67P some 316 million miles away. (BBC report here.) What a fantastic achievement. It is quite beyond me to comprehend the detailed planning that had to go into that.
Space: the last frontier - or something like that. but without wanting to inject any negative thoughts or to detract from this achievement - far from it! - it must be said that this exploration has nothing in it to compare with the courage of men like Columbus, Magellan or Frobisher. So it took 25 years to plan, but from the safety of offices.
Understandably, there are plenty of people who will say that the money spent on this project - £1.1 billion - could have been better spent. Just think how many cataract operations that would pay for in developing countries or how many children could have been inoculated against measles or what could have been achieved in researching a cure for cancer is what the critics will argue.
But on the other hand, who knows what will come of this? Could it lead to the discovery of a new source of energy so that we no longer have to rely on fossil fuels? Or some matter that could be the basis of a new wonder-drug?
Either way, it is a magnificent achievement.