BERLIN — The pioneering lander Philae completed its primary mission of exploring the comet’s surface and returned plenty of data before depleted batteries forced it to go silent, the European Space Agency said Saturday.

“All of our instruments could be operated and now it’s time to see what we got,” ESA’s blog quoted lander manager Stephan Ulamec as saying.

Since landing Wednesday on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko some 311 million miles away, the lander has performed a series of scientific tests and sent reams of data, including photos, back to Earth.

In addition, the lander was lifted on Friday by about 1.5 inches and rotated about 35 degrees in an effort to pull it out of a shadow so that solar panels could recharge the depleted batteries, ESA’s blog said.

ESA spokesman Bernard von Weyhe on Saturday confirmed the lander’s difficult rotation operation. It’s still unclear whether it succeeded in putting the solar panels out of the shade. Even if the lander was rotated successfully and is able to recharge its batteries with sunlight, it may take weeks or months until it will send out new signals. Regular checks for signals will continue.

The agency did not schedule any media briefings on Saturday.

ESA’s mission control center in Darmstadt, Germany, received the last signals from Philae at 7:36 p.m. EST Friday. Before the signal died, the lander returned all of its housekeeping data as well as scientific data of its experiments on the surface – which means it completed the measures as planned, the ESA blog said.

During a scheduled listening effort on Saturday, ESA received no signals from Philae, ESA’s mission chief Paolo Ferri told The Associated Press.

“We don’t know if the charge will ever be high enough to operate the lander again,” Ferri had told The AP ahead of the 5 a.m. EST listening time. “It is highly unlikely that we will establish any kind of communication any time soon.”

Now it’s up to ESA’s team of scientists to evaluate the data and find out whether the experiments were successful.One of the things scientists are most excited about is the possibility that the mission might help confirm that comets brought the building blocks of life – organic matter and water – to Earth. They already know that comets contain amino acids, a key component of cells. Finding the right kind of amino acids and water would be an important hint that life on Earth did come from space.