12 Nov

Philae

It’s funny how much we need to touch a thing, even through an electromechanical surrogate, to feel deeply about it. Most of space exploration involves travel out, in, and around, and the photos, sounds, and other data bring ooohs and aaaahs, but not till “we” land do we gather round the screen and feel like we’re part of something larger. Yes, it’s a huge technical challenge to land, especially on a hurtling chunk of whistling badlands, but that’s not why the swell of emotion. It’s the difference between we saw it and we made it.