Before entering into an eternal slumber however, the probe did manage to upload all the data it had gathered to the Rosetta mothership. The data was then relayed to Earth.
The European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed that Philae has entered ‘idle mode’ after three days of continuous scientific work.
Philae had a bumpy landing on the speeding 67P comet on Wednesday afternoon. The anchoring harpoons failed to fire, and the probe bounced off the comet’s low-gravity surface twice before coming to a rest in a crevice. The dark and awkward location prevented the probe’s solar arrays to deploy properly and thus the batteries could not recharge as planned.
Philae now has gone to sleep, perhaps forever, though mission controllers hope to reestablish contact at some point in the future as the comet’s long and lonely orbit takes it nearer to the sun.
Rosetta has been a 10-year long and pioneering mission that has seen a spacecraft travel on a four billion miles journey through deep space to rendezvous with a celestial body hurtling along at 11 miles per second.
Though the eventual landing did not go according to plan, the mission as a whole has been a remarkable example of human ingenuity and endeavor.
But for now, it’s good night for Philae.