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What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

Images and data from Pluto and its moons continue to trickle in from the New Horizons spacecraft. Images of atmospheric haze and evidence of flowing ice were discussed at a press conference on July 24. For recent images and information, see the NASA and APL New Horizons pages.

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 28

1964
Launch of Ranger 7 lunar impact mission.
1976
The Viking 1 Lander collects the first-ever samples from Mars with its robot arm.

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