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Rosetta Comet Scientist Matt Taylor Apologizes for His Shirt

Physicist Matt Taylor apologized for wearing a bowling shirt festooned with pinup girls during a briefing on the Philae lander's descent to a comet.
/ Source: Associated Press

British physicist Matt Taylor was brimming with excitement when the European Space Agency's Philae lander successfully separated from the Rosetta probe on Wednesday. He showed off a colorful tattoo on his thigh of both spacecraft, while proclaiming "we're making history." But it was his garish bowling shirt that attracted more attention than the unconventional Rosetta project scientist's words or ink — a collage of pinup girls in various states of undress, holding guns. The controversy over the attire became known as #shirtgate or #shirtstorm on Twitter. On Friday, Taylor — wearing a nondescript navy-blue ESA hoodie — offered an unsolicited apology. "I made a big mistake and I offended many people," he said during a Google+ Hangout. "And I'm very sorry about this."

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— The Associated Press and NBC News Staff