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Try Not to Smile Along With This Professor Witnessing a Decade of Her Work Vindicated With Successful Comet Landing

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"I've waited years for this."

Image source: YouTube

Even if you had no personal stake or interest in the successful first landing of a probe on a comet Wednesday, watching one of the key professors who worked on the project for years is sure to have you cracking a smile along with her.

"Fantastic!" Open University Professor Monica Grady shouted and waved her arms when the robotic Philae was dropped from the European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe onto a comet billions of miles from Earth.

Image source: YouTube Image source: YouTube

Image source: YouTube Image source: YouTube

Image source: YouTube Image source: YouTube

"It's landed — I've waited years for this," Grady said.

Watch her infectious reaction:

After traveling 4 billion miles, the European spacecraft landed on the icy comet after a decade of preparations.

Indications were that the spacecraft touched down almost perfectly, save for an unplanned bounce, said Stephan Ulamec, head of the lander operation.

"Today we didn't just land once. We maybe even landed twice," he said with a chuckle.

ESA released the first picture taken by its Philae probe on the surface of a comet Thursday.

The combination photo of different images  taken with the CIVA camera system  released by the European Space Agency ESA on Thursday Nov. 13, 2014 shows  Rosetta�s lander Philae as it  is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko,  as  these first  CIVA images confirm. One of the lander�s three feet can be seen in the foreground. hilae became the first spacecraft to land on a comet when it touched down Wednesday on the comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. (AP/Esa/Rosetta/Philae) The combination photo of different images taken with the CIVA camera system released by the European Space Agency ESA on Thursday Nov. 13, 2014 shows Rosetta�s lander Philae as it is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as these first CIVA images confirm. One of the lander�s three feet can be seen in the foreground. hilae became the first spacecraft to land on a comet when it touched down Wednesday on the comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. (AP/Esa/Rosetta/Philae)

The photo shows a rocky surface with one of the lander's three feet.

Ulamec said thrusters that were meant to push the lander, called Philae, onto the surface, and harpoons that would have anchored it to the comet failed to deploy properly. Initial data from the spacecraft indicated that it lifted off again, turned and then came to rest.

Scientists were still trying to fully understand what happened and whether those failures would affect the lander's ability to remain on the come.

The day after the landing, researchers were reviewing images to see if a "cliff" was impeding the probe's ability to use solar panels for energy.

(H/T: Mashable)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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