The Live-Sketched Philae Landing

The wholly remarkable Randall Munroe, creator of XKCD, created his own “live-streamed” version of Philae’s landing on Comet 67P. There are 146 sketches, some silly, some very funny and some quite moving. Munroe keeps setting new benchmarks for what can be done in a web comic.

Spolier ahead:

Randall Munroe's Live-Sketched Report on Philae's Landing - Final Panel

Randall Munroe’s Live-Sketched Report on Philae’s Landing – Final Panel

Congratulations to the European Space Agency’s on its successful decade-long effort.

There was a time when it was the United States that accomplished the “firsts” in space. Not any more. Now our remaining astronauts ride up to the International Space Station on Russian rockets. NASA is a sadly diminished agency. Privatization of the space program has, quite literally, catastrophically failed on take-off.

WC would like to think that the ESA’s success with Rosetta and Philae might inspire Congress to restore the U.S. Space Program to its former prominence. But the hope is slim. We have must elected a slash and burn Congress. The United States is obsessed with land wars in Asia, destroying the middle class and conferring more tax breaks on the economic top 1% of its citizens. Those obsessions don’t leave much time or money for satellite landings on comets.

WC doesn’t want to sound like an old fart, but things were different when he was a kid.