Lunar and Planetary Science at the NSSDCA

Lunar and Planetary Science

What’s New in Lunar & Planetary Science

mission made its first sampling test run (the “checkpoint rehearsal) on April 14, drifting down
within 65-75 meters of asteroid Bennu before backing off to its 100 km orbit.

The ESA BepiColombo
Mercury mission made a flyby of Earth on 10 April. It used this opportunity to make observations of the
Earth-facing side of the Moon. Closest approach was at 04:25 UT at an altitude of about 12,700 km.

The European Space Agency has announced that, in part due to effects of the COVID19 pandemic,
the launch of the ExoMars 2020 mission – now designated
ExoMars 2022 –
will be delayed until the next Mars launch opportunity in 2022.

Four proposals have been selected as finalists for the next one, or possibly two, Discovery missions:
DAVINCI+, a Venus atmospheric probe; IVO, the Io Volcano Observer; TRIDENT, a Triton flyby; and
VERITAS, a Venus radar mapper.
For more, see the

NASA Press Release.

Launch of Ranger 4, first U.S. spacecraft to impact the Moon.
Launch of Soyuz 1 with Vladimir Komarov, ended in first in-flight space fatality.

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