Unlike Philae, which touched down on 67P to run experiments on the surface, Rosetta was not designed for landing.
"Farewell Rosetta, you've done the job," Patrick Martin, Rosetta mission manager, said during a mission webcast. "This was a tremendous scientific and technical success."
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The last image was taken with Rosetta about 167 feet (51 meters) above the comet. It then shut itself down and crashed, joining the long-dormant Philae lander as 67P barrels out toward Jupiter.
Scientists will spend decades analyzing Rosetta's data and images to learn more about how comets formed and what role they played in the development of life on Earth, and perhaps elsewhere in the solar system.
Already, scientists have discovered that the comet's water has a different chemical composition that that in Earth's oceans, spurring theories that it was mostly water-rich asteroids, rather than comets, that crashed into the developing planet, setting the stage for life.
Rosetta also discovered 67P contains glycine, an amino acid commonly found in proteins, as well as phosphorus, which is found in DNA and cell membranes.
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Data from the mission indicate that comets are leftover bodies from the solar system's formation 4.5 billion years ago, rather than fragments created by larger, more primitive bodies.
"Just as the Rosetta Stone after which this mission was named was pivotal in understanding ancient language and history, the vast treasure trove of Rosetta spacecraft data is changing our view on how comets and the solar system formed," project scientist Matt Taylor said in a statement.
"The comet hasn't given up all of its secrets yet," he added. "We're only just beginning."
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