List of comets visited by spacecraft

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The following table lists comets that have been visited by spacecraft.

Comet Year of discovery Spacecraft Year of visit Closest approach (km) Notes
Giacobini–Zinner 1900 ICE 1985 7800 Flyby
Halley Known since antiquity Vega 1 1986 8889 Flyby
Halley Vega 2 1986 8030 Flyby
Halley Suisei 1986 151000 Distant flyby
Halley Giotto 1986 596 Flyby
Grigg–Skjellerup 1902 Giotto 1992 200 Flyby
Borrelly 1904 Deep Space 1 2001  ? Flyby
Wild 2 1978 Stardust 2004 240 Flyby; returned samples to Earth
Tempel 1 1867 Deep Impact 2005 Impacted Flyby; blasted a crater using an impactor
Hartley 2 1986 EPOXI
(was Deep Impact)
2010 700 Flyby; smallest comet visited
Tempel 1 1867 Stardust 2011 181 Flyby; imaged the crater created by Deep Impact
Churyumov–Gerasimenko 1969 Rosetta 2014  ? Orbit and landing planned

Spacecraft visited by comets[edit]

Comet Siding Spring will encounter Mars on 19 October 2014.

It was determined that Comet C/2013 A1 will pass close by Mars in October 2014, closer than the Moon is to Earth. [1] As of early 2014 it was calculated to pass as close as 0.00087 AU (130,000 km; 81,000 mi).[1] This is so close that the event may threaten spacecraft in orbit around Mars.[2] Spacecraft that may be active at that time include 2001 Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, MAVEN, Mars Orbiter Mission, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in Mars orbit – and two on the surface – Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "JPL Close-Approach Data: C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)". 2014-02-09 last obs (arc=493 days w/619 obs). Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  2. ^ Grossman, Lisa (6 December 2013). "Fiercest meteor shower on record to hit Mars via comet". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 2013-12-12.