Lunar and Planetary Missions

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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1957
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Sputnik 1 (USSR)
4 Oct 1957: Earth Orbiter
Sputnik 2 (USSR)
3 November 1957: Earth Orbiter
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1958
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Explorer 1 (USA)
1 Feb 1958: Earth Orbiter
Vanguard 1 (USA)
17 Mar 1958: Earth Orbiter
Pioneer 0 (USA)
17 Aug 1958: Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
Luna 1958A (USSR)
23 Sep 1958: Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Pioneer 1 (USA)
11 Oct 1958: Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure).
Luna 1958B (USSR)
12 Oct 1958: Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Pioneer 2 (USA)
8 Nov 1958: Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
Luna 1958C (USSR)
4 Dec 1958: Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Pioneer 3 (USA)
6 Dec 1958: Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
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1959
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Luna 1 (USSR)
2 Jan 1959: Lunar Flyby (Attempted Lunar Impact?)
Pioneer 4 (USA)
3 Mar 1959: Lunar Flyby
Luna 1959A (USSR)
16 Jun 1959: Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
Luna 2 (USSR)
12 Sep 1959: Lunar Impact: first contact with another celestial body.
Luna 3 (USSR)
4 Oct 1959: Lunar Flyby 10 October: first photos of lunar far side.
Pioneer P-3 (USA)
26 Nov 1959: Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
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1960
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Luna 1960A (USSR)
15 Apr 1960: Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
Luna 1960B (USSR)
18 Apr 1960: Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
Pioneer P-30 (USA)
25 Sept 1960: Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Marsnik 1 (Mars 1960A) (USSR)
10 Oct 1960 (USA): Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
Marsnik 2 (Mars 1960B) (USSR)
14 Oct 1960: Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
Pioneer P-31 (USA)
15 Dec 1960: Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
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1961
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Sputnik 7 (USSR)
4 Feb 1961: Attempted Venus Impact
Venera 1 (USSR)
12 Feb 1961: Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
Ranger 1 (USA)
23 Aug 1961: Attempted Lunar Test Flight
Ranger 2 (USA)
18 Nov 1961: Attempted Lunar Test Flight
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1962
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Ranger 3 (USA)
26 Jan 1962: Attempted Lunar Impact
Ranger 4 (USA)
23 Apr 1962: Lunar Impact
Mariner 1 (USA)
22 Jul 1962: Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Sputnik 23 (USSR)
25 Aug 1962: Attempted Venus Flyby
Mariner 2 (USA)
27 Aug 1962: Venus Flyby. Passed within 34,833 km on December 14. Contact lost January 3, 1963 at 87 million km.
Sputnik 24 (USSR)
1 Sep 1962: Attempted Venus Flyby
Sputnik 25 (USSR)
12 Sep 1962: Attempted Venus Flyby
Ranger 5 (USA)
18 Oct 1962: Attempted Lunar Impact
Sputnik 29 (USSR)
24 Oct 1962: Attempted Mars Flyby
Mars 1 (USSR)
1 Nov 1962: Mars Flyby (Contact Lost)
Sputnik 31 (USSR)
4 Nov 1962: Attempted Mars Flyby
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1963
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Sputnik 33 (USSR)
4 Jan 1963: Attempted Lunar Lander
Luna 1963B (USSR)
2 Feb 1963: Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Luna 4 (USSR)
2 Apr 1963: Attempted Lunar Lander
Cosmos 21 (USSR)
11 Nov 1963: Attempted Venera Test Flight?
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1964
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Ranger 6 (USA)
30 Jan 1964: Lunar Impact: Cameras failed shortly before arrival.
Venera 1964A (USSR)
19 Feb 1964: Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Venera 1964B (USSR)
1 Mar 1964: Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Luna 1964A (USSR)
21 Mar 1964: Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Cosmos 27 (USSR)
27 Mar 1964: Attempted Venus Flyby
Zond 1 (USSR)
2 Apr 1964: Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
Luna 1964B (USSR)
20 Apr 1964: Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Zond 1964A (USSR)
4 Jun 1964: Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
Ranger 7 (USSR)
28 Jul 1964: Lunar Impact on 31 July: first success in Ranger series. 4300 photos returned. Impact area renamed Mare Cognitum (Known Sea) in recognition of first lunar close-up pictures.
Mariner 3 (USA)
5 Nov 1964: Attempted Mars Flyby
Mariner 4 (USA)
28 Nov 1964: Mars Flyby; first closeup photos of Mars. Abundance of craters a surprise.
Zond 2 (USSR)
30 Nov 1964: Mars Flyby (Contact Lost)
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1965
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Ranger 8 (USA)
17 Feb 1965: Lunar Impact on 20 February; 7100 images returned.
Cosmos 60 (USSR)
12 Mar 1965: Attempted Lunar Lander
Ranger 9 (USA)
21 Mar 1965: Lunar Impact on 24 March; 5800 images returned.
Luna 1965A (USSR)
10 Apr 1965: Attempted Lunar Lander? (Launch Failure)
Luna 5 (USSR)
9 May 1965: Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing)
Luna 6 (USSR)
8 Jun 1965: Attempted Lunar Lander
Zond 3 (USSR)
18 Jul 1965: Lunar Flyby and system test; returned 28 photos before entering solar orbit.
Luna 7 (USSR)
4 Oct 1965: Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing)
Venera 2 (USSR)
12 Nov 1965: Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
Venera 3 (USSR)
16 Nov 1965: Venus Lander (Contact Lost)
Cosmos 96 (USSR)
23 Nov 1965: Attempted Venus Lander?
Venera 1965A (USSR)
23 Nov 1965: Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
Luna 8 (USSR)
3 Dec 1965: Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing?)
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1966
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Luna 9 (USSR)
31 Jan 1966: Lunar Lander; soft landing and pictures returned on February 3.
Cosmos 111 (USSR)
1 Mar 1966: Attempted Lunar Orbiter?
Luna 10 (USSR)
31 Mar 1966: First Lunar Orbiter
Luna 1966A (USSR)
30 Apr 1966: Attempted Lunar Orbiter? (Launch Failure)
Surveyor 1 (USA)
30 May 1966: Lunar Lander; soft landing on June 2. 11240 pictures transmitted.
Explorer 33 (USA)
1 Jul 1966: Attempted Lunar Orbiter
Lunar Orbiter 1 (USA)
10 Aug 1966: Lunar Orbiter; obtained 216 images, including 11 of far side.
Luna 11 (USSR)
24 Aug 1966: Lunar Orbiter
Surveyor 2 (USA)
20 Sep 1966: Attempted Lunar Lander
Luna 12 (USSR)
22 Oct 1966: Lunar Orbiter; returned images.
Lunar Orbiter 2 (USA)
6 Nov 1966: Lunar Orbiter; returned 409 images.
Luna 13 (USSR)
21 Dec 1966: Lunar Lander; soft landing on December 24; pictures transmitted.
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1967
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Lunar Orbiter 3 (USA)
4 Feb 1967: Lunar Orbiter; obtained 290 images
Surveyor 3 (USA)
17 Apr 1967: Lunar Lander; soft landing on April 20; returned 6300 images and analyzed lunar surface materials.
Lunar Orbiter 4 (USA)
8 May 1967: Lunar Orbiter obtained 546 images covering virtually all of Moon.
Venera 4 (USSR)
12 Jun 1967: Venus Probe. Dropped hard lander on night side October 18, 1967
Mariner 5 (USA)
14 Jun 1967: Venus Flyby within 4100 km on October 19.
Cosmos 167 (USSR)
17 Jun 1967: Attempted Venus Probe
Surveyor 4 (USA)
14 Jul 1967: Attempted Lunar Lander
Explorer 35 (IMP-E) (USA)
19 Jul 1967: Lunar Orbiter
Lunar Orbiter 5 (USA)
1 Aug 1967: Lunar Orbiter
Surveyor 5 (USA)
8 Sep 1967: Lunar Lander
Zond 1967A (USSR)
28 Sep 1967: Attempted Lunar Test Flight (Launch Failure)
Surveyor 6 (USA)
7 Nov 1967: Lunar Lander
Zond 1967B (USSR)
22 Nov 1967: Attempted Lunar Test Flight (Launch Failure)
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1968
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Surveyor 7 (USA)
7 Jan 1968: Lunar Lander
Luna 1968A (USSR)
7 Feb 1968: Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Zond 4 (USSR)
2 Mar 1968: Attempted Lunar Flyby?
Luna 14 (USSR)
7 Apr 1968: Lunar Orbiter
Zond 1968A (USSR)
23 Apr 1968: Attempted Lunar Test Flight? (Launch Failure)
Zond 5 (USSR)
15 Sep 1968: Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Zond 6 (USSR)
10 Nov 1968: Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Apollo 8 (USA)
21 Dec 1968: Manned Lunar Orbiter
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1969
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Venera 5 (USSR)
5 Jan 1969: Venus Probe: dropped hard lander on night side May 16.
Venera 6 (USSR)
10 Jan 1969: Venus Probe: dropped hard lander on night side May 17.
Zond 1969A (USSR)
20 Jan 1969: Attempted Lunar Flyby and Return (Launch Failure)
Luna 1969A (USSR)
19 Feb 1969: Attempted Lunar Rover? (Launch Failure)
Zond L1S-1 (USSR)
21 Feb 1969: Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Mariner 6 (USA)
25 Feb 1969: Mars Flyby
Mariner 7 (USA)
27 Mar 1969: Mars Flyby
Mars 1969A (USSR)
27 Mar 1969: Attempted Mars Lander? (Launch Failure)
Mars 1969B (USSR)
2 Apr 1969: Attempted Mars Lander? (Launch Failure)
Luna 1969B (USSR)
15 Apr 1969: Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
Apollo 10 (USA)
18 May 1969: Manned Lunar Orbiter
Luna 1969C (USSR)
14 Jun 1969: Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
Zond L1S-2 (USSR)
3 Jul 1969: Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Luna 15 (USSR)
13 Jul 1969: Lunar Orbiter (Attempted Lunar Lander?)
Apollo 11 (USA)
16 Jul 1969: Manned Lunar Landing
Zond 7 (USSR)
7 Aug 1969: Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Cosmos 300 (USSR)
23 Sep 1969: Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
Cosmos 305 (USSR)
22 Oct 1969: Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
Apollo 12 (USA)
14 Nov 1969: Manned Lunar Landing
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1970
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Luna 1970A (USSR)
6 Feb 1970: Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
Luna 1970B (USSR)
19 Feb 1970: Attempted Lunar Orbiter? (Launch Failure)
Apollo 13 (USA)
11 Apr 1970: Manned Lunar Mission (Landing Aborted)
Venera 7 (USSR)
17 Aug 1970: Venus Lander: dropped soft lander on night side December 15.
Cosmos 359 (USSR)
22 Aug 1970: Attempted Venus Probe
Luna 16 (USSR)
12 Sep 1970: Lunar Sample Return
Zond 8 (USSR)
20 Oct 1970: Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
Luna 17/Lunokhod 1 (USSR)
10 Nov 1970: Lunar Rover
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1971
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Apollo 14 (USA)
31 Jan 1971: Manned Lunar Landing
Mariner 8 (USA)
8 May 1971: Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
Cosmos 419 (USSR)
10 May 1971: Attempted Mars Orbiter/Lander
Mars 2 (USSR)
19 May 1971: Mars Orbiter/ Attempted Lander
Mars 3 (USSR)
28 May 1971: Mars Orbiter/ Attempted Lander
Mariner 9 (USA)
30 May 1971: Mars Orbiter
Apollo 15 (USA)
26 Jul 1971: Manned Lunar Landing
Luna 18 (USSR)
2 Sep 1971: Attempted Lunar Sample Return
Luna 19 (USSR)
28 Sep 1971: Lunar Orbiter
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1972
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Luna 20 (USSR)
14 Feb 1972: Lunar Sample Return
Pioneer 10 (USA)
3 Mar 1972: Jupiter Flyby
Venera 8 (USSR)
27 Mar 1972: Venus Lander: dropped soft lander on day side July 22.
Cosmos 482 (USSR)
31 Mar 1972: Attempted Venus Probe
Apollo 16 (USA)
16 Apr 1972: Lunar Manned Landing
Soyuz L3 (USSR)
23 Nov 1972: Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
Apollo 17 (USA)
7 Dec 1972: Lunar Manned Landing
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1973
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Luna 21/Lunokhod 2 (USSR)
8 Jan 1973: Lunar Rover
Pioneer 11 (USA)
5 Apr 1973: Jupiter/Saturn Flyby
Explorer 49 (RAE-B) (USA)
10 Jun 1973: Lunar Orbiter/Radio Astronomy
Mars 4 (USSR)
21 Jul 1973: Mars Flyby (Attempted Mars Orbiter)
Mars 5 (USSR)
25 Jul 1973: Mars Orbiter
Mars 6 (USSR)
5 Aug 1973: Mars Lander (Contact Lost)
Mars 7 (USSR)
9 Aug 1973: Mars Flyby (Attempted Mars Lander)
Mariner 10 (USA)
4 Nov 1973: Venus/Mercury Flybys
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1974
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Luna 22 (USSR)
2 Jun 1974: Lunar Orbiter
Luna 23 (USSR)
28 Oct 1974: Attempted Lunar Sample Return
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1975
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Venera 9 (USSR)
8 Jun 1975: Venus Orbiter and Lander
Venera 10 (USSR)
14 Jun 1975: Venus Orbiter and Lander
Viking 1 (USA)
20 Aug 1975: Mars Orbiter and Lander
Viking 2 (USA)
9 Sep 1975: Mars Orbiter and Lander
Luna 1975A (USSR)
16 Oct 1975: Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
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1976
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Luna 24 (USSR)
9 Aug 1976: Lunar Sample Return
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1977
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Voyager 2 (USA)
20 Aug 1977: Jupiter/Saturn/Uranus/Neptune Flyby
Voyager 1 (USA)
5 Sep 1977: Jupiter/Saturn Flyby
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1978
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Pioneer Venus 1 (USA)
20 May 1978: Venus Orbiter
ISEE-3/ICE (USA)
12 Aug 1978: Comet Giacobini-Zinner and Halley Flybys
Venera 11 (USSR)
9 Sep 1978: Venus Orbiter and Lander
Venera 12 (USSR)
14 Sep 1978: Venus Orbiter and Lander
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1979-80
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1981
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Venera 13 (USSR)
30 Oct 1981: Venus Orbiter and Lander
Venera 14 (USSR)
4 Nov 1981: Venus Orbiter and Lander
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1982
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1983
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Venera 15 (USSR)
2 Jun 1983: Venus Orbiter
Venera 16 (USSR)
7 Jun 1983: Venus Orbiter
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1984
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Vega 1 (USSR)
15 Dec 1984: Venus Lander and Balloon/Comet Halley Flyby
Vega 2 (USSR)
21 Dec 1984: Venus Lander and Balloon/Comet Halley Flyby
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1985
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Sakigake (Japan)
7 Jan 1985: Comet Halley Flyby
Giotto (European Space Agency)
2 Jul 1985: Comet Halley Flyby
Suisei (Planet-A) (Japan)
18 Aug 1985: Comet Halley Flyby
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1986-87
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1988
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Phobos 1 (USSR)
7 Jul 1988: Attempted Mars Orbiter/Phobos Landers
Phobos 2 (USSR)
12 Jul 1988: Mars Orbiter/Attempted Phobos Landers
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1989
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Magellan (USA)
4 May 1989: Venus Orbiter
Galileo (USA)
18 Oct 1989: Jupiter Orbiter/Probe
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1990
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Hiten (Japan)
24 Jan 1990: Lunar Flyby and Orbiter
Ulysses (USA)
06 Oct 1990: Jupiter Flyby and Solar Polar Orbiter
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1991
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1992
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Mars Observer (USA)
25 Sep 1992: Attempted Mars Orbiter (Contact Lost)
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1993
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1994
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Clementine (USA)
25 Jan 1994: Lunar Orbiter/Attempted Asteroid Flyby
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1995
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1996
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NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) (USA)
17 Feb 1996: Asteroid Eros Orbiter
Mars Global Surveyor (USA)
07 Nov 1996: Mars Orbiter
Mars 96 (USSR)
16 Nov 1996: Attempted Mars Orbiter/Landers
Mars Pathfinder (USA)
04 Dec 1996: Mars Lander and Rover
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1997
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Cassini (USA)
15 Oct 1997: Saturn Orbiter
Huygens (USA)
15 Oct 1997: Titan Probe
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1998
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Lunar Prospector (USA)
7 Jan 1998: Lunar Orbiter

Future Missions


Proposed Future Missions


References

Chronology simplified from:

National Space Sciences Data Center Chronology of Lunar and Planetary Missions.
Visit the site for the original chronology plus links to mission profiles.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nss dc/whats_new.html#chron

Additional Sources for Notes:

R. Greeley
Planetary Landscapes, Allen and Unwin, 1985

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Created 18 March 1998, Last Update 2 April 1998

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