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Engineers from LV223 tried returning to Earth in their spacecraft only to be wiped out by a release of their bio-weapons, killing all except for a lone Engineer, who entered a stasis unit in the Derelict's Orrery.
There are 4 Engineers in the film;
and one named as 'Elder' who was in a larger group that appeared on Earth with the Sacrifice when he gave up his life so life could begin on planet Earth.
In 2089 archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway interpret a Star Map as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners. Peter Weyland - the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation - funds the creation of the scientific vessel USCSS Prometheus to follow the map to the distant LV223. The ship's crew travels in stasis while the android David monitors their voyage. Arriving in 2093, they are informed of their mission to find the Engineers.
The Engineers are among the oldest extraterrestrial life, they have no clear origin but possess among the most advanced technology in the galaxy. This technology has made them masters of genetic engineering, seeding many primordial celestial bodies with life. The Engineers are equipped Bio-spacesuits and Bio-masks. These give them the ability to perform FTL and space travel as well as cgiving them increased life spans. They don't defend them from their biological weapons which end up killing all but the Last Engineer on LV223.
The Engineers are found to have created human life, but planned to destroy Earth, before they were attacked by their own biological weapons. David woke up the last Engineer on the planet from stasis, which caused him to begin to pilot the ship to Earth, which was stopped in a collision with Prometheus.