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Astro-H, also known as Hitomi or "Eye", an X-ray astronomy collaboration between JAXA and NASA, was launched from the Tanegashima launch facility in Japan on 17 February 2016 at 5:45 p.m. Japan Standard Time (08:45 UTC). More...

ESA's Gaia mission launched successfully on a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Kourour, French Guiana at 09:12 UT on 19 December 2013. The mission is designed to measure the positions and velocity of roughly 1,000,000,000 stars as well as determine their temperature, composition, and other properties. More...


On 20 January 2018, the IMAGE spacecraft was re-discovered by an amateur astronomer, and its identity was subsequently confirmed on 30 January. The data from the IMAGE signal will be analyzed over the next few weeks to determine the state of the spacecraft. More...

NASA's launch of the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft took place at 7:27 p.m. on 27 June 2013 (02:27 UT, 28 June) about 100 miles from Vandenberg AFB. More...

Voyager 1 has encountered a region of spacecraft at the edge of our solar system that scientists believe is the last region the spacecraft will have to cross prior to entering interstellar space. More...

Lunar and Planetary Science

China's launch of the Queqiao lunar relay satellite and two microsatellites is scheduled for 5:00 a.m. on May 21 local China Standard Time (May 20, 21:00 UTC, 5:00 p.m. EDT). Queqiao will go into a halo orbit around the L2 Earth-Moon Lagrange point and act as a relay for the Chang'e 4 lunar farside lander.

The Mars InSight lander launched on 5 May at 11:05 UT (7:05 a.m. EDT, 4:05 a.m. PDT). InSight will land on Mars on 26 November 2018 and make surface measurements for one martian year. For more, see the 5 May 2018 NASA Press Release.

Pluto's largest moon, Charon, has been given is first official IAU feature names, honoring real and fictitious explorers and visionaries. The features were identified in images returned by the New Horizons spacecraft. For more, see the 11 April New Horizons news release.

Launch of the Chandrayaan 2 mission to the Moon has been delayed until the first week of October to allow time to complete mission tests. Launch of the orbiter, lander, and a six-wheeled lunar rover from Satish Dhawan Space Center in India was originally scheduled for April 23.

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