National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lunar and Planetary Science

What's New in Lunar & Planetary Science

On 11 August the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission made its "matchpoint rehearsal", bringing it to within 40 m of the surface of the asteroid Bennu at roughly 22:50 UT (6:50 p.m. EDT). This was its final test run before it performs its touch-and-go maneuver to retrieve a sample on 20 October.

Three countries have launched spacecraft to Mars which will arrive in February 2021. The United Arab Emirates Hope Mars mission launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on 19 July at 21:58:14 UT (1:58 a.m. 20 July UAE time). The Chinese Tianwen 1 Mars orbiter and lander/rover launched on 23 July at 04:41 UT from Wenchang Space Launch Center. The NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission launched successfully on 30 July at 11:50 UT (7:50 a.m. EDT).

This Day in Planetary and Lunar Exploration History

1968
Zond 5 splashes down in Indian Ocean, first spacecraft to circle Moon and return to Earth.
2003
Galileo spacecraft plunges into Jupiter to end its 14 year mission.
2014
The NASA MAVEN mission goes into orbit around Mars.
2018
Two MINERVA-II rovers dropped onto the surface of asteroid Ryugu by the JAXA Hayabusa2 mission.

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