Cheers erupted at the European Space Agency on Friday as the Rosetta spacecraft — which traveled 4 billion miles over the course of a decade — made a crash-landing onto the icy comet it has been orbiting for the past two years.
After catching up to Comet 67P and conducting scientific measurements of the rubber-duck shaped ball — bringing back important data to Earth — the probe fired its thrusters into the comet for the final time to get close-up measurements. It also ended Rosetta's run as an orbiter.
The mission was announced over at around 7:20 am ET.
"Today, we got more out of this mission than we ever thought," said Gerhard Schwehm, who was Rosetta's mission manager until his retirement in 2014. "It's a great day. With all of these happy scientists, we must have done the right thing."
Other scientists joked that Rosetta was now a "Sleeping Beauty," which they hope one day could be awaken in a future space mission.
Rosetta, and its companion Philae lander, have given scientists a trove of information to help shed new light on the beginnings of the solar system. Here's a look at a few memorable moments from the mission.