In this photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) and taken Saturday, March 22, 2014, the European Ariane 5 ECA rocket is launched in Kourou, French Guiana. (AP Photo/ ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE, Optique Video du CSG)
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A fridge-sized robot lab hurtling through the Solar System aboard a European probe is about to wake from hibernation and prepare for the first-ever landing by a spacecraft on a comet.Dubbed Philae, the 100-kilo (220-pound) lander carried by the Rosetta spacecraft is the scientific star in a mission that has already taken 10 years and a seven-billion-kilometre (4.3-billion-miles) trek around the inner Solar System.In August, the satellite will be inserted into an orbit 25 kilometres above Comet "C-G", which travels at speeds up to 135,000 kilometres per hour, to start scanning the surface for a suitable landing site for Philae.The US Stardust probe brought home dusty grains snatched from a comet's wake, while Europe's Giotto ventured to within 200 km of a comet's surface.
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