Technology & Science

European Space Agency says final farewell to Philae comet lander

The European Space Agency says it is switching off its radio link to the probe that landed on a comet, after receiving no signal from the lander for a year.

Rosetta spacecraft will use remaining power for science before it crash-lands on the comet Sept. 30

The European Space Agency has received no signal from the Philae lander, seen in an artist's conception, for a year. (ESA/ATG medialab)

The European Space Agency says it is switching off its radio link to the probe that landed on a comet, after receiving no signal from the lander for a year.

The agency says the decision to shut down a communications instrument on the Rosetta spacecraft Wednesday was taken to conserve energy. Rosetta had used the instrument to communicate with its lander, Philae, which touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014.

During the next two months, Rosetta will use its remaining power to conduct scientific measurements before it crash-lands on the comet Sept. 30.

Data collected by Rosetta and Philae have improved scientists' understanding of comets and the role they played in the early universe.

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