National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lunar and Planetary Science

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NASA announced the cancellation of the VIPER rover, part of the Griffin Mission 1 mission to the Moon, on 17 July. NASA stated cost increases, delays to the launch date, and the risks of future cost growth made it necessary to discontinue development of the rover. Griffin Mission 1 is scheduled to launch no earlier than fall 2025. For more, see the NASA Press Release.

The CNSA (China) Chang'e 6 return vehicle landed in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on 25 June at 06:07 UT (2:07 a.m. EDT, 2:07 p.m. Beijing time). The capsule brought back over 1.9 kg of the first samples ever collected from the Moon's far side.

On 29 May, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) announced that contact had been lost with the Venus orbiter, Akatsuki. The spacecraft has been operating in orbit around Venus since 2015. Ground controllers are trying to re-establish contact.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

Launch of the Mars 5 orbiter.
Svetlana Savitskaya, aboard Soyuz T-12, becomes first woman to walk in space.

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