SJAA Ephemeris March 2012 | SJAA Home | Contents | Previous | Next

Current Status of Planetary Missions



Messenger is in orbit around Mercury as of March 2011. It was scheduled to end in March 2012 but it has been extended for at least one more year of operations.


The Japanese spacecraft AKATSUKI, aka the Venus Climate Orbiter, is expected to enter orbit around Venus in 2015 or 2016. It was launched in May 2010.


The Mars Science Laboratory rover, called Curiosity, was launched November 2011 and will land on Mars on August 6, 2012.


The DAWN spacecraft is currently in orbit around Vesta and it will leave July 2012. It will head to Ceres and start orbiting that asteroid February 2015.


The NASA spacecraft Juno will arrive at Jupiter in July 2016. It will then orbit the Jupiter for at least a year.


Cassini continues in orbit around Saturn. It is on its second mission extension which will go until at least 2017. At the time, Cassini will have been in space for 20 years and around the ringed planet for 13 years.


Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Uranus when it flew by that planet on 1986. ESA is studying a proposal called Uranus Pathfinder. It would launch in 2021 and take at least 8 years to get there.


Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Neptune when it flew by that planet in 1989. There are no current plans to return.


The New Horizons spacecraft will fly by Pluto in July 2015. It passed the orbit of Uranus last year and passes the orbit of Neptune in August of 2014. It was launched in 2006.


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