Posted at 08.25 UT:Rosetta mission update 08.25 UT Wed 12 Nov: separation of the lander Philae is due in 10 mins. Because of the distance of Rosetta from Earth, confirmation signal will be take 28 mins to get to Earth, so earliest we'll know about the separation is 09.03 UT. It is planned for Philae to take a farewell picture of Rosetta, so hopefully I can post that sometime today. Decision to go for landing was taken despite a problem on the lander. There is an upward facing cold gas thruster (i.e. small rocket engine) designed to fire on contact with the surface to stop the lander bouncing in the very low gravity. This could not be activated. However there are backup systems - ice screws and harpoons - so fingers crossed - it's going to be a long day.
Posted at 09.05 UT:
Rosetta mission update 09.05 UT: telemetry has confirmed that the Philae lander has separated from the Rosetta spacecraft, and is on its way down to a landing on the icy surface of Comet 67P in about 7 hours time. From here on everything is automated, and governed by Isaac Newton (i.e gravity).