National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lunar and Planetary Science

What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

The CNSA (China) Chang'e 6 ascent vehicle rendezvoused with the orbiter-return vehicle at 06:48 UT on 06 June and transferred its samples to the return capsule over the next 40 minutes. The samples will be headed back to Earth soon, and should land around 25 June.

Contact has been lost with Akatsuki, the JAXA Venus orbiter. The spacecraft has been operating in orbit around Venus since 2015. Ground controllers are trying to reestablish contact.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft successfully started transmitting engineering data on 20 April for the first time since 14 November 2023. A software fix circumvented a chip failure that had prevented useful data from being sent. For more, see the JPL news release.

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

Transtage 5 launch, first use of strap-on solid fuel boosters and largest mass put in orbit to that date.
Launch of Shuttle Challenger STS-7 carrying Sally Ride, first U.S. woman in space.
Launch of NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS missions to the Moon.

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