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What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

A study of Ganymede's aurorae using the Hubble Space Telecope has provided the best evidence yet for a subsurface saltwater ocean on Jupiter's largest moon, possibly as thick as 100 km, below a 150 km thick crust. More...

The Dawn spacecraft successfully entered orbit around the largest asteroid, Ceres, at 12:29 UT (7:39 a.m. EST) Friday, 06 March. It has already returned many new images of Ceres including one showing two bright spots in one crater. More...

The Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 sample return mission to asteroid 1999 JU3 was launched successfully on 03 Dec. 2014 at 04:22:04 UT (11:22 p.m. 02 Dec. 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 PROCYON asteroid flyby small satellite.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

March 29

1807
Third largest asteroid, 4 Vesta, discovered by Heinrich Olbers, fourth asteroid discovered.
1974
Mariner 10 flies by Mercury, becoming the first spacecraft to visit the planet closest to the Sun.

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