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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.
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.
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.
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
Lunar and Planetary Science
The Japanese Space Agency (JAXA)
sample return mission to asteroid 1999 JU3 was launched successfully on
Dec. 3 at 04:22:04 UT (11:22 p.m. Dec. 2 EST). The spacecraft will reach the asteroid in June 2018 and
the sample will be returned to Earth in December 2020. Also launched with Hayabusa 2 was the
asteroid flyby small satellite.
The European Space Agency
has gone into hibernation on comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after its last communication
session on 15 November.
For more, see the
Chang'e 5 Test Vehicle
capsule successfully landed
near Huofutan in Inner Mongolia after rounding the Moon and
re-entering the atmosphere at roughly 22:00 UT (6:00 p.m. EDT)
on October 31 (6:00 a.m. local Chinese time, Nov. 1). The main
bus maneuvered to the L2 point and will transfer into lunar
orbit in January.