List of missions to comets

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As of 2013, the United States, Soviet Union, Japan and the European Space Agency have conducted missions to comets.

Spacecraft Launch Date[1] Operator Comet Mission Outcome Remarks Carrier rocket[2]
ICE
(ISEE-3)
12 August 1978 NASA
United States / ESA
21P/Giacobini–Zinner Flyby Successful Extended mission; Closest approach of 7,862 kilometres (4,885 mi) at 11:02 UTC on 11 September 1985. Also made distant observations of 1P/Halley in May 1986.[3] Delta 2914
Vega 1
(5VK No.901)
15 December 1984 Soviet Union 1P/Halley Flyby Successful Flew past Halley after visiting Venus; closest approach 8,889 kilometres (5,523 mi) at 07:20:06 UTC on 6 March 1986.[4] Proton-K/D-1
Vega 2
(5VK No.902)
21 December 1984 Soviet Union 1P/Halley Flyby Successful Flew past Halley after visiting Venus; closest approach at 07:20 UTC on 9 March 1986.[5] Proton-K/D-1
Sakigake
(MS-T5)
7 January 1985 ISAS
Japan
1P/Halley Flyby Successful Closest approach of 6.99 million kilometres (4.34 million miles) at 04:18 UTC on 11 March 1986.[6] Mu-3S-II
Giotto 2 July 1985 ESA 1P/Halley Flyby Successful Closest approach of 605 kilometres (376 mi) at 00:03:02 UTC on 14 March 1986.[7] Ariane 1
2 July 1985 ESA 26P/Grigg–Skjellerup Flyby Successful Extended mission. Closest approach of 200 kilometres (120 mi) at 15:30 UTC on 10 July 1992.[7]
Suisei
(PLANET-A)
19 August 1985 ISAS
Japan
1P/Halley Flyby Successful Closest approach of 152,400 kilometres (94,700 mi) at 13:06 UTC on 8 March 1986[8] Mu-3S-II
19 August 1985 ISAS
Japan
21P/Giacobini–Zinner Flyby Spacecraft failure
(Extended mission)
Extended mission, spacecraft ran out of fuel en route; flyby had been scheduled for 24 November 1998[8]
Deep Space 1 24 October 1998 NASA
United States
107P/Wilson–Harrington[9] Flyby Spacecraft failure Spacecraft was unable to reach Wilson–Harrington due to ion engine operation being suspended while a problem with the probe's star tracker was investigated.[10] Delta II 7326
24 October 1998 NASA
United States
19P/Borrelly Flyby Successful Extended mission
Stardust
(Discovery 4)
7 February 1999 NASA
United States
81P/Wild Flyby
Sample return
Successful Delta II 7426
7 February 1999 NASA
United States
9P/Tempel Flyby Successful Extended mission, Stardust-NExT, to survey crater caused by Deep Impact
CONTOUR
(Discovery 6)
3 July 2002 NASA
United States
2P/Encke Flyby Spacecraft failure Delta II 7425
3 July 2002 NASA
United States
73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann Flyby Spacecraft failure
3 July 2002 NASA
United States
6P/d'Arrest Flyby Spacecraft failure Flyby provisionally scheduled at time of spacecraft's failure
Rosetta 2 March 2004 ESA 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Orbiter Successful Entered orbit around 67P at 09:06 UTC on 6 August 2014. On 30 September 2016 mission ended in an attempt to slow land on the comet's surface near a 130 m (425 ft) wide pit called Deir el-Medina. Ariane 5G+
Philae 2 March 2004 ESA / DLR
Germany
67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Lander Mostly successful Carried by Rosetta. Came to rest on the surface of 67P at 17:32 UTC on 12 November 2014. Communications ceased with the loss of battery power at 00:36 UTC on 15 November 2014 and the lander began hibernating. Reactivated on solar power and briefly established contact with ground control again at 20:28 UTC on 13 June 2015, and sporadically until 9 July 2015 when the last communication was received.[11][12] Ariane 5G+
Deep Impact
(Discovery 7)
12 January 2005 NASA
United States
9P/Tempel Flyby/Impactor Successful Impact occurred at 05:52 UTC on 4 July 2005. Delta II 7925
12 January 2005 NASA
United States
103P/Hartley Flyby Successful Extended mission (EPOXI)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Interplanetary Probes". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Solar System Exploration - ISEE-3/ICE". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Vega 1". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Vega 2". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Sakigake". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Solar System Exploration - Giotto". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Solar System Exploration - Suisei". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Wilson-Harrington is catalogued as both a comet and an asteroid
  10. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Deep Space 1". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Rosetta's lander Philae wakes up from hibernation". European Space Agency, Rosetta Blog. 14 June 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Baldwin, Emily (20 July 2015). "Rosetta and Philae status update". European Space Agency. Retrieved 11 August 2015.