What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science
The Xinhua news agency has reported that China has successfully launched its lunar orbiter
and return test spacecraft. Latest reports had the spacecraft scheduled to
launch at 17:59 UT (1:59 p.m. EDT) on October 23. The spacecraft will orbit the Moon for
about a week and then return to Earth and release a re-entry capsule to land in China.
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.
The European Space Agency has announced November 12 as the target date for the
to be released from the
spacecraft and land on comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
For more information, see the
ESA Press Release.
- Giovanni Cassini discovers Saturn's moon Iapetus.
- Venera 10 lands on Venus, returns pictures of the surface.
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