Watch Shatner’s Message to the ESA Rosetta Mission and Its Away Team + Live Stream of Tomorrow’s Comet Landing


Watch William Shatner’s video send-off to the ESA Rosetta probe and it’s lander, Philae, who is scheduled to complete the first ever landing on a comet tomorrow (Wednesday, November 12th) morning. And we’ve got the link to the live stream so you can watch history happen!

ESA’s Rosetta Mission First to Land on Comet
To date, we humans have touched down spacecraft on six extraterrestrial bodies: the Moon, Mars, Venus, Titan, and asteroids Eros and Itokawa. Tomorrow, we will up that number to seven, adding Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko to the list.

If the Philae lander, scheduled to detach from the Rosetta probe in about 12 hours, is successful, it will touch down and “land” on Comet 67P early tomorrow morning, although some describe the maneuver as more of a “docking” due to the extremely low gravity from the small body (with a mass of only 1013 kg, 67P is about 10,000,000,000 times lighter than our moon).

To help with the landing procedure, Philae has screws in each of its feet meant to anchor it to the surface plus two harpoons. BBC News explains how this will work and what challenges the little lander will face tomorrow:

Learn more about Rosetta and Philae

Rosetta – The Story So Far

Preparing for #CometLanding

Watch the Live Stream!
You won’t want to miss this history in action. ESA will be live streaming all the excitement (they’ve already started streaming!) on their website. Watch below!

Watch here or at ESA



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Very cool stuff.
Go Shat!!

Real science! Yeah…

Thanks, Kayla…

One more for the Shatictionary.

Philae rhymes with “smiley,” according to Mirriam-Webster. So Figh’-lee. (or Figh’-lie.)

It’s all good, as long as no one sabotaaaahhhj-es the probe.

Tune in to PBS on 11/19 for To Catch A Comet – to get the whole amazing story! (I’m biased, it’s my show!)


I am going to say this ONCE.

Perhaps twice, now, because this site is refreshing half the time unexpectedly.

For all of you I-Phone users….



This is all very exciting!!!
I will be secretly watching as my students work tomorrow.
I know the odds are microscopically small, but lets hope the landing doesn’t nudge the comet our way for a direct collision with Earth…that would suck.
We are after all looking at the very foundation of every scifi movie playing out before us…sort of like the Ebola epidemic or Zombie apocalypse.

It’s Rockin’ Ebola-Comet-alypse-nado 2014!

Starring Molly Ringwold, #3 in last season’s The Voice, any Coreys who are still alive… and Michael Caine, because we can.

Was nice to hear that they used “The Cage” first pilot version of the Star Trek Theme in the opener!

These ESA guys are funny….
Go Rosetta!!

Atta boy, Shat! Away mission tweet!!

congrats on a what looks like a successful landing!

ESA Rosetta Mission‏@ESA_Rosetta

“@WilliamShatner touchdown confirmed for away team @philae2014, captain!”

Way to go,ESA

So very cool! Congratulations to the European Space Agency!

To boldly go where no man has gone before. Congrats ESA.

ESA confirmation to Captain Kirk:

Way to go, ESA! Touchdown!


Hooray for Team Rosetta!!!

An impressive accomplishment indeed! I’m looking forward to the hi-res pics of the comet.

The ESA must all be very proud.

This is the future of space exploration. Listening to the sky, and probes. In terms of stepping into the cosmos, we have barely got our first foot out the front door yet…and it’s exciting.

Does anyone know if there’s a clip available for viewing of the actual landing? Every clip I’m finding is live coverage and the landing has obviously already taken place. Is the ESA keeping the actual landing video private for licensing purposes?

P.S. Love the Shatman’s support!

Cmdr’s Rant, Supplemental: OK, so now I’ve heard newscasters and officials pronounce Philae in ways that are all over the cosmos. So, Shat’s off the spacehook.

Anyway — Congrats on a Bold Mission!

gonna land on… [oops, that’s a complicated name] …I am so excited… XD

Hey, look at Shat’s face.

Have him lose a bit more weight, tie the ol’ piano wire under the neckline and pull back gently, CGI the hell out of what’s left and……voila! Cameo in the next Trek movie.

There, that was easy, no?

One more thing. Never mind Shatner’s “look”, the more pressing concern is that Nimoy is constantly on an oxygen tank to breathe.

Get these guys to a movie set, in front of a camera, and no heavy lifting for Nimoy, STAT!

20. CmdrR – November 12, 2014

OK, so now I’ve heard newscasters and officials pronounce Philae in ways that are all over the cosmos.

Right, now I’m cutting loose.

Shatner’s pronunciation doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that every professional cosmologist and astrophysicist that I’ve seen on TV mispronounces “supernovae” in the exact same way. For some reason, they all pronounce it, “super-no-vee” which isn’t even close to being right, though apparently it has become acceptable. If they all were to mispronounce it with an “ay” sound at the end, like Shatner did, that’d be understandable. But, they all—every, single professional astrophysicist and cosmologist that I’ve seen and heard—mispronounce it in the exact, same way. I guess it must be attributable to groupthink.

The correct way to pronounce the Latin plural ending, which is a diphthong, is similar to how we say, “eye”, in English, but stopping just short of raising the ending to a full “ee”. In other words, just pronounce both halves of the diphthong in the order that they are written, [a] (as in “father”) followed by [e] (as in “bet”) = [a][e]. “Super-no-vah-eh”, appropriately slurring the diphthong and the ending will sound more or less like “eye.” Hence, “super-no-v(ah)(eh)”. Is that so friggin hard? The bracket symbols etc. aren’t academic, but then I’m not officially a cunning linguist.

Why ignore the first half of the diphthong—the [a] in æ? Because you feel like it? You can’t just go around ignoring the parts of words that you don’t feel like pronouncing and expect people to understand what you’re saying or take you seriously. And the correct way to pronounce “Cæsar” is like the Germans do in “Kaiser.” I don’t expect that one to suddenly revert back to its correct Latin pronunciation, but all of these æ endings being butchered hurts my friggin ears.

Boy, if anyone should be able to get the “eh” at the end of a sentence right, it should be a good ol’ Canadian like Shatner, eh?

Personally, I think there are a few too many diphthongs hanging around this site!


Right on Harry!!

A few months til filming. Where is our State of next movie update/interview from Bob??

Here’s something to ponder. I tried to make the morning news rounds to see what the big four networks were reporting on this.

Missed NBC and FOX but caught ABC and CBS but here’s what I found odd:

ABC/Disney played up Shatner big time in their coverage. Showed scenes from TWOK and even mentioned the comet probe had gone were Captain Kirk had never gone before. Showed Shat’s skypes.

CBS, the owner of Trek, didn’t play any sort of Trek angle to the reporting at all. No Shatner. No Enterprise. No anything Trek.

Kudos to Rosetta regardless but I wonder what’s up with CBS? Disney found it easier to get Paramount footage and CBS didn’t make their own library easily accessible to their own in house people? Maybe there’s no there there, but something seems off, especially given how tightly wound the news divisions are around entertainment division promotions these days?

29. Despite my bona fides as a Trekkie I find it refreshing that CBS did not milk this to flog their entertainment properties. One thing I don’t miss after a decade out of the States is the wh*red*m of U.S. media. None dare call it news. Truly hyperbolic infotainment. Just awful. Guess that is the blessing of the Internet: foreign media and access to a wide variety of newspapers and other sources.

Gripe aside, congrats to the ESA. Nice to hear some good space news.

26 Harry, We had some dipthongs, but they got banned.

31: Yeah Marja all 8 in 1. ;^)


Marja, maybe the dipthongs are gone, but the dipsticks remain!

At least that’s my dip-theory-ah!

#31. Marja – November 12, 2014

And here I thought thong bands were all the range. Maybe this place use some some band aides.?

@23 Harry — Where did you hear that Mr. Nimoy is “constantly” on an oxygen tank? I saw him at Symphony Hall in Boston in May, and he walked on and off of the stage at a reasonable pace for an elderly man, gave his lines with flair, and joked with the conductor — all without an oxygen tank.

Not only did he NOT have an oxygen tank on stage with him, but he didn’t cough or clear his throat at all, and he sat calmly, occasionally bobbing his head in time with the music. Heck, he fidgeted less than *I* did, and I’m 27 years his junior.

I’m not saying that the man is in excellent health, but he looked WAY more healthy and vigorous than those pictures of him in a wheelchair at the airport had led us all to believe.

He’s scheduled to give a talk at UCLA on April 10th, and I hope someone reliable will give us a report on his condition then.

Just watched the video, and that is f*cking awesome.Coordinating the trajectory of the exploratory craft over so many years to get there! Wow. And I’m wondering what-all we will learn from Philae!

As a side note, the accents of the people speaking in the 5:40 video are the sort I’d love to hear on the Enterprise. We have a Scot and a Brit, how about a French person or German person or Aussie? And definitely someone Chinese and someone Indian. Both are also very scientifically advanced cultures.

@35. Nimoy himself has said that his medical condition pretty much prohibits him from the rigors of movie making. That certainly doesn’t preclude him from going out, but he has been spotted on O2 from time to time. He sounds like he’s Stage 3 at this point, which would be consistent with Mr. Nimoys stated assessments of his health, and physical limitations. He may not be on O2 all the time, but he’s probably not far away from it, either.

#36 – I agree with you – both paragraphs!

#35 – Bear in mind that people with health conditions like Leonard Nimoy’s can go up and down, which means they may require more medication, oxygen tanks, wheelchairs…depending… I do not know much about COPD, but I do know about being a chronic (low level) asthma sufferer (I was diagnosed at 5 months of age). Most of the time it is kept in control by inhalers, taken only once a day sometimes.

However, if there are nasty ‘flu viruses or chest infections lurking, then someone who is already compromised like Leonard Nimoy or myself, could go down very fast, (Nimoy more so) unless those closest to them recognise various warning signs. I have my better half and Leonard has his…

We can only hope and pray that if Bob has written a part for Leonard Nimoy, that Leonard will be well enough to play his part.

Amazing was that it was designed for 3 systems to work in concert to get it successfully attached and secured to the comet, but two failed. It actually bounced off the surface, once, before it settled down and apparently the ice screws dug in.

“Critical to mission success is the lander’s ability to hold onto the rock, dust and ice at landing. As there was a real risk of the lander bouncing off the comet, harpoons, landing leg ice screws and thrusters needed to work in concert to ensure Philae stayed in place. Apart from the harpoon system failing, another component of the landing system did not operate — the cold gas thrusters. These thrusters were designed to push the lander into the cometary surface on landing.” — Nov 12, 2014 11:04 AM ET // by Ian O’Neill, DISCOVER


Thanks, Phil. That’s what I basically meant, but worded it badly.

Why has my post disappeared? All I wrote was that I agreed with Marja @#36 and spoke about Leonard Nimoy’s condition, relating it to what I know, and hoping that Nimoy will be well enough to play his part if he is given one in the next Star Trek movie.

I do not think I was being rude or controversial.

Also, Hooray to ESA for getting their “old-fashioned washing machine” to land on the comet. Hopefully, they will learn lots!

I am being told to use another email address as I am being tracked…/:

Marja, others…if you read this, before it disappears(?) (Anthony?), if you want to talk to me, you can contact me through the Personal Message on IMDb. It is supposed to be safe and everything is meant to be confidential. So far so good, as far as I am concerned. I’ve been using on and off for nearly five years. Thank you.

Cygnus. Dude, you’re completely wrong. I can’t post from my linguistics books, because they’re like.. not digital, so Wiki will have to do:

“In Classical Latin, Æ denotes the diphthong [ai̯], which had a value similar to the long i in fine as pronounced in most dialects of modern English. Both classical and present practice is to write the letters separately, but the ligature was used in medieval and early modern writings in part because æ was reduced to the simple vowel [ɛ] in the imperial period. In some medieval scripts, the ligature was simplified to ę, small letter e with ogonek, the e caudata. This form further simplified into a plain e, which may have influenced or been influenced by the pronunciation change. However, the ligature is still relatively common in liturgical books and musical scores.”

So there you have it. It was never pronounced as [a]+[e]. It’s analogous to the Greek alpha+iota diphthong. It went from [ai̯] in Republican times to [ɛ] during the Empire. That became [ɛ:], which in Norman French went to [e:] where English picked it up… and after the Great Vowel Shift, [e:] went to [i:].

Like, do you pronounce your handle as [‘ku:ŋnus] “Koong-nus”? Then don’t pronounce Philae as “Pppppee-lah-eh”.

#42. Daoud, The Sinfonian – November 13, 2014

What? No Optical Character Reader in your printer/fax/scanner or its software suite? How 1999.


#24. Cygnus-X1 – November 12, 2014

Michael Douglas just completed principal photography in his starring role as Hank Pym aka ANT-MAN.

#42. Daoud, The Sinfonian – November 13, 2014

Make that: How CMXCIX.

Message to Anthony Pascale –

I want to send in a tip but it does not go through. The tip has to do with perhaps Kayla Lacovino or other doing an article on why some people have audio/visual problems with 3D and other media while others do not. Also, my younger son has mild epilepsy and had a major seizure when he watched the very opening scenes of the first (2009) Star Trek film at the cinema. It did not occur when he saw STID but then he was/is on medication.

There are quite a lot of people who have their kinds of problems who also love the movies, including Star Trek… I just thought it could be covered in a Science Saturday article or similar. What does Kayla think of my suggestion. Could she be able to do the research and speak laymen’s talk for us.

Why are my posts disappearing, Anthony? Please do not delete this as well. Have you permabanned me or something? I am also being tracked or is it stalked – 7 trackers in the last day or so.

Edit: Forgot to put in question marks. I can be a grammar nazi, with myself, mainly…:)

##24. Cygnus-X1 – November 12, 2014

Here’s Douglas and his stunt double bedecked for filming a Pym scene: