National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lunar and Planetary Science

What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

The Mars InSight lander is scheduled to launch on 5 May. The launch window opens 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.

Pluto's largest moon, Charon, has been given is first official feature names, honoring real and fictitious explorers and visionaries. The features were identified in images returned by the New Horizons spacecraft and the names were approved by the IAU. 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. The launch from Satish Dhawan Space Center in India was originally scheduled for April 23. The mission comprises an orbiter, lander, and a six-wheeled solar powered lunar rover.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

April 24

First Earth-orbit crossing asteroid, 1862 Apollo, discovered by Karl Reinmuth.
Soyuz 1 parachute fails, Vladimir Komarov killed on landing, first in-flight space fatality.
China becomes fifth nation to launch its own satellite into orbit, China 1 on a Long March 1 booster.
Apollo 16 subsatellite deployed into lunar orbit from the Service Module.

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