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What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is winding up its 6+ year mission to Mercury. It is now almost out of propellant and will crash into the planet on about April 30. For more details on the results of the mission, see the NASA News Release.

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. For more, see the NASA Press Release.

The Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around the largest asteroid, Ceres, at 12:29 UT (7:39 a.m. EST) Friday, March 6. It will achieve its 13,500 km circular first science orbit on April 23, and then work its way down to the nominal 380 km science orbit.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

April 18

Apollo 13 astronauts first set foot on solid ground in Samoa and are then taken to Hawaii.
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) impacts the far side of the Moon.

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