The Rosetta mission, which will attempt to land a probe on a comet this week, will be a groundbreaking scientific discovery if it all goes to plan, and the engineer behind the project is an Irishman. 

Laurence O'Rourke is the engineer behind the European Space Agency's lander system, which will hopefully see a probe land on a comet (specifically Comet 67P) and send back some vital information about what they are made up of and how they react when they get closer to the sun. 

Philae is the craft that will attempt to embark on the mission, separating from the mother ship Rosetta, and it is expected to make a landing at around 16:00 (UTC) today, if all works out. Of course, we have no reason to doubt that it will, as Laurence O'Rourke from Mullingar has been running the calculations on it.

Speaking to CNN, he said that once Philae detaches it won't be able to be steered or piloted, so it was a complex task in making sure that the free fall occurred in the right way for a safe landing: "Philae's on-board batteries are prepared and a fly wheel is started to give the probe stability on its journey to the comet surface. Without the gyroscopic effect of the fly wheel there's a danger that the lander could turn end over end".

They will continue to monitor the comet for the best part of a year as it heads towards the sun in the summer of 2015, and will be able to send back interesting data as it begins to shed debris and material on its approach.

You can keep up with all the developments on the mission by visiting the Rosetta website, where there's a livestream of events and, hopefully, we'll get to see pictures of the surface of a comet at some stage soon.