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Recent News in...

Astrophysics

ESA's Gaia mission launched successfully on a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Kourour, French Guiana at 09:12 UT on 19 December 2013. The mission is designed to measure the positions and velocity of roughly 1,000,000,000 stars as well as determine their temperature, composition, and other properties. More...

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite has released data from the first 57% of the sky surveyed during the mission. The satellite went into hibernation in early February 2011, but its discoveries include 20 comets, more than 33,000 asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and 133 near-Earth objects. More...

Heliophysics

NASA's launch of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft took place at 7:27 p.m. on 27 June 2013 (02:27 UT, 28 June) about 100 miles from Vandenberg AFB. More...

Voyager 1 has encountered a region of spacecraft at the edge of our solar system that scientists believe is the last region the spacecraft will have to cross prior to entering interstellar space. More...

Lunar and Planetary Science

The Xinhua news agency has reported that China has successfully launched its lunar orbiter and return test spacecraft. Latest reports had the spacecraft scheduled to launch at 17:59 UT (1:59 p.m. EDT) on October 23. The spacecraft will orbit the Moon for about a week and then return to Earth and release a re-entry capsule to land in China.

Comet Siding Spring flew by Mars at a distance of about 139,500 km (87,000 miles) on Sunday, 19 October at 18:27 UT (2:27 p.m. EDT). Many of the spacecraft currently operating at Mars observed the comet, all were in good health following the comet's passage. For more information, see the NASA Siding Spring Comet page.

The European Space Agency has announced November 12 as the target date for the Philae Lander to be released from the Rosetta spacecraft and land on comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For more information, see the ESA Press Release.

 
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