The Philae lander on comet 67/P has sent back another burst of data back to the Rosetta mission in Germany before switching itself on standby.
The device, which is about the size of a washing machine, has run low on battery after settling against a cliff. Although the robot hit the centre of its intended landing zone on Wednesday, it then bounced twice before coming to a stop.
The deep shadows from the comet’s rocky formation mean the solar panels designed to recharge Philae’s batteries cannot get enough light.
This means the most recent data may well be the last, at least for a while.
— Philae Lander (@Philae2014) November 15, 2014
The BBC reported that only 1.5 hours of sunshine fell on the robot – insufficient to charge the batteries.
Stephan Ulamec, the landers manager, said “Prior to falling silent, the lander was able to transmit all science data gathered during the First Science Sequence.