Farewell to little Philae, the intrepid robot that made history by landing on a comet in fall 2014. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, which dropped Philae onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is still operating and making observations. But Philae has had a rough time of it: The lander failed just days after a bumpy trip to the surface left it in an area too shady for its solar-powered batteries to hold a charge.

The mission team has been trying to get Philae back ever since. The hope was that comet 67P's journey towards its closest encounter with the sun would shed some light on Philae's resting place and revive it. In January, the team even tried to get Philae to jostle itself into a better position. But they knew it was unlikely that the commands would even reach the robot, let alone that they would plop it into a spot with enough sunlight to have it sending messages back home.

Now it's officially time to throw in the towel. The German Aerospace Center DLR announced Friday that it wouldn't send any more commands to the lander.

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Rosetta will keep listening to the rover for another month or two, but scientists have given up. Temperatures on the comet, which is 138 million miles away from Earth, now dip below minus 292 Fahrenheit during the comet's night. That's too cold for the robot, even if it managed to get enough sunlight to power up.

"We still have the receivers on the orbiter on, we did not switch anything off," Philae project manager Stephan Ulamec told the AFP. "It's just, to be honest and to be realistic — it's really not likely that we will hear anything any more."

RIP, Philae. We'll always remember the good times.

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