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What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

The New Horizons spacecraft will reach Pluto on July 14, closest approach during the flyby will occur at 11:50 UT (7:50 a.m. EDT).

The Philae lander reestablished contact on 13 June after 7 months of silence on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The lander has had a couple of short communications sessions with the Rosetta orbiter and appears to be in good condition. More details are available in the 15 June ESA Bulletin.

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft ended its mission as planned with an impact on the surface of Mercury April 30 at 19:26 UT (3:26 p.m. EDT). The estimated impact position was 54.4 N, 210.1 E. A last image was returned shortly before the impact. For more details on the end of the mission, see the MESSENGER News Release.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

July 07

1978
Official announcement of the discovery of Pluto's moon, Charon, by Christy and Harrington.
1988
Launch of Phobos 1 Orbiter/Lander mission to Mars and its moon Phobos.
2003
Launch of Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity".

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