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What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

The European Space Agency Philae Lander has gone into hibernation on comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after its last communication session on 15 November. The lander completed its main scientific mission despite ending up in a shadowed area which did not provide the planned solar power. For more, see the ESA Release and http://rosetta.esa.int/

China's 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).

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.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

November 24

1639
First planned observation of the transit of Venus across the Sun, by J. Horrocks.
1966
Lunar Orbiter 2 takes oblique picture of Copernicus crater, dubbed "one of the pictures of the century".

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