National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lunar and Planetary Science

What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

The Parker Solar Probe launched successfully on 12 August. The mission to explore the Sun will make 7 flybys of Venus. For more, see the NASA press release.

The Japanese Hayabusa 2 spacecraft reached asteroid Ryugu and entered a stationkeeping position 20 km away on 27 June 2018. It then lowered its altitude to return images from 6 km above the surface. More....

12 new moons have been discovered orbiting Jupiter, bringing the total number of Jovian natural satellites to 79. For more on the discoveries, see the Carnegie Science press release.

The ESA Bepi-Colombo mission is set to launch to Mercury on 19 October 2018 from Kourou, French Guiana. For more, see the 26 July ESA announcement.

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.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

August 18

1976
The Luna 24 sample return mission lands on the Moon in southern Mare Crisium.
1985
Launch of Suisei mission to rendezvous with Comet Halley.
1999
Cassini flies by Earth as part of its trajectory to Saturn.

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