Chronology of the space probes for comets and asteroids

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This list shows, in chronological order after their launch from Earth, all space probes that were launched with the aim of reaching an asteroid or comet .

The degree of success is marked in the following colors:

failure Partial success Successfully constantly
Contents: 1970s1980s1990s2000s2010sPlanned
No. mission image Start date Organization / country Results
1970s - 78
1. ISEE-3 / ICE Mariner 8-9 August 12, 1978 NASA (USA) Was first brought into a halo orbit around the Lagrange point L 1 in order to research the interaction of the earth's magnetic field with the sun. The probe then left the Earth's gravity field under the new name "International Cometary Explorer" and on September 11, 1985 flew past the comet Giacobini-Zinner at a distance of 7,800 km and approached Halley's comet in March 1986 to 31 million km.
1980s - 84 - 85 - 89
2. Vega 1 Model of the Vega-1 probe 15th December 1984 Soviet Union Vega 1 first flew past Venus on June 11, 1985 and past Comet Halley at a distance of 8,890 km on March 6, 1986.
3. Vega 2 December 21, 1984 Soviet Union Vega 2 first flew past Venus on June 14, 1985 and past Comet Halley at a distance of 8,030 km on March 9, 1986.
4th Sakigake Sakigake January 8, 1985 Japan Passed Comet Halley at a distance of 7 million km on March 11, 1986. Further fly-bys of the comets Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova and Giacobini-Zinner could no longer be realized because of the exhausted fuel reserves.
5. Giotto Giotto 2nd July 1985 ESA On March 14, 1986, flew past Halley comet just 596 km away and surprisingly survived the narrow passage. On July 10, 1992, the probe passed Comet Grigg-Skjellerup at a distance of 200 km.
6th Suisei Suisei August 18, 1985 Japan Passed Comet Halley at a distance of 151,000 km on March 8, 1986. Further fly-bys of the Tempel-Tuttle and Giacobini-Zinner comets could not be carried out because of the exhausted fuel reserves.
7th Galileo Galileo October 18, 1989 NASA (USA) Jupiter probe ; October 29, 1991: Flyby at the asteroid Gaspra at a distance of 1,601 km; August 28, 1993: Flyby at the asteroid Ida at a distance of 2,400 km.
1990s - 94 - 96 - 98 - 99
8th. Clementine Clementine January 25, 1994 NASA (USA) Lunar probe, should later be catapulted out of the earth's gravity field and explore the asteroid Geographos . Due to a computer breakdown on May 7, immediately before the departure for the asteroid, the engine fired incorrectly, which caused the probe to rotate at 80 revolutions per minute and used up all fuel reserves.
9. NEAR Shoemaker NEAR Shoemaker February 17, 1996 NASA (USA) October 27, 1997 Flyby of the asteroid (253) Mathilde , February 14, 2000 orbit around Eros , February 12, 2001 Landing on Eros. This is the first orbit around an asteroid and the first landing on an asteroid.
10. Deep Space 1 Deep Space 1 October 24, 1998 NASA (USA) Passed the asteroid (9969) Braille on July 29, 1999 at a distance of 26 km. A lot of data could be obtained, but only a few images from a great distance due to incorrect camera alignment. Fly by comet 19P / Borrelly at a distance of about 2200 km. The main task of the probe was to test the NSTAR ion thrusters and other technology tests .
11. Stardust Stardust February 7, 1999 NASA (USA) In preparation for the actual mission goal, Stardust flew past the asteroid Annefrank at a distance of 3,300 km on November 2, 2002 . On January 2, 2004, Stardust flew past the comet 81P / Wild 2 at a distance of 240 km , took several images and collected cometary material. On January 15, 2006, Stardust dropped a landing capsule that was immersed in the earth's atmosphere and then hung on a parachute to land on the earth's surface. In an extended mission, Comet 9P / Temple 1 was   passed on February 14, 2011 to photograph the crater created by the impact of the Deep Impact impactor.
2000s - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07
12. CONTOUR CONTOUR July 3, 2002 NASA (USA) Should fly past Comet Encke , Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 and 6P / d'Arrest . The probe crashed shortly after takeoff in earth orbit and broke into several parts.
13. Hayabusa Hayabusa May 9, 2003 JAXA (Japan) Reached the asteroid (25143) Itokawa on September 12, 2005 and took soil samples there . A small lander called Minerva failed. After a return flight that was delayed by three years due to various technical problems, Hayabusa entered the earth's atmosphere on June 13, 2010. The separated return capsule with the sample landed in Australia. It was the first sample returned from the surface of an asteroid by spacecraft.
14th Rosetta Rosetta March 2, 2004 ESA The first comet - orbiter waved in September 2014 in an orbit around 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko and sat on 12 November 2014 Lander Philae from. Due to the failure of the landing nozzle and the harpoons, the lander bounced off the surface of the comet twice and missed the planned landing site. It was not until the unplanned third contact with the ground that the lander stopped on the ground and then transmitted data until the primary battery was exhausted.
15th Deep impact Deep impact January 12, 2005 NASA (USA) Deep Impact flew to Comet 9P / Temple 1 and launched a 372 kg projectile (impactor) there in 2005, which hit the comet and left a crater. The ejected material was examined with the instruments of the probe as well as with other telescopes on earth and in space. In the extended mission EPOXI, the probe reached comet 103P / Hartley and passed it in 2010 at a distance of only 700 km. 2013 last contact with the probe and termination.
16. New Horizons New Horizons January 19, 2006 NASA (USA) New Horizons flew past the dwarf planet Pluto on July 14, 2015 and on January 1, 2019 to (486958) Arrokoth (then unofficially Ultima Thule ) in a short distance. The probe observes other objects in the Kuiper Belt from a distance and measures the heliosphere.
17th Dawn Dawn September 27, 2007 NASA (USA) Orbited and examined the asteroid Vesta from June 2011 to the beginning of September 2012 , discovered, among other things, a layer structure similar to that of a planet. The probe left Vesta on September 5, 2012 and entered orbit on March 6, 2015 to explore the dwarf planet Ceres .
2010s - 10 - 14 - 16
18th Chang'e-2 Chang'e-2 October 1, 2010 China On December 13, 2012, the probe flew past the near-Earth asteroid (4179) Toutatis at a distance of at least 3.2 kilometers and took several images of the asteroid from a distance of 93 to 240 kilometers. Before that, it circled the moon for about eight months and then stayed for about ten months at Lagrangian point L2 of the sun-earth system.
19th Hayabusa 2 Hayabusa 2 3rd December 2014 JAXA (Japan) Follow-up mission from Hayabusa 1. Started on December 3, 2014 and reached the target asteroid (162173) Ryugu in mid-2018. Has examined it for more than a year, including a lander built by DLR and named MASCOT , taken soil samples and has been taking soil samples since 13 Nov. 2019 on the return flight to earth.
PROCYON 3rd December 2014 Japan Mini-asteroid explorer, piggyback payload from Hayabusa 2, was supposed to fly past the near-earth asteroid (185851) 2000 DP107 . Surrendered due to ion thruster malfunction.
20th OSIRIS-REx OSIRIS-REx artist September 8, 2016 NASA (USA) The probe flew to the near-earth asteroid (101955) Bennu . You should take a soil sample there and bring it back to earth.
Planned - 21-22
DART DART July 2021 NASA (USA) Using the example of the double asteroid Didymos , DART is to test whether the orbit of an asteroid can be changed by the impact of a space probe.
Lucy Lucy October 2021 NASA (USA) As part of the Discovery program, Lucy is scheduled to launch in October 2021, pass the asteroid (52246) Donaldjohanson in the main belt in 2025 and then research the Trojans of Jupiter. In doing so, she is to collect four smaller L 4 Trojans, including (3548) Eurybates , in the years 2027 and 2028 and, in addition, in 2033 knowledge about the more massive L 5 double system from (617) Patroclus and Menoetius .
Near-Earth Asteroid Scout Near-Earth Asteroid Scout 2021 NASA (USA) A CubeSat , which is being launched with the Artemis 1 mission , is supposed to approach a near-Earth asteroid with the help of a solar sail, fly by at a distance of less than 10 km and take photos.
psyche psyche Summer 2022Template: future / in 2 years NASA (USA) Psyche is scheduled to start in summer 2022, swing-by Earth in 2024 and fly past Mars in 2025. The arrival at the target asteroid psyche is planned for 2026.
Janus Summer 2022Template: future / in 2 years NASA (USA) Janus is supposed to start together with Psyche and investigate a binary pair of asteroids
DESTINY + 2022Template: future / in 2 years JAXA (Japan) DESTINY + is supposed to start in a low earth orbit. In the following months, the orbit is to be steadily expanded with the help of the ion thrusters. A flyby of the moon will then accelerate the probe into an orbit that enables a flyby of the asteroid (3200) Phaethon .
Hera October 2023Template: future / in 3 years ESA Hera should reach the double asteroid Didymos in 2024 and deploy several Cubesats there. The probes should jointly investigate the effects of the DART impact probe on Didymos.
Comet Interceptor 2028Template: future / in 5 years ESA
JAXA (Japan)
The Comet Interceptor is to be parked at the L 2 point of the earth-moon system. As soon as an opportunity arises, he should visit a new comet or an interstellar object from there.
Zheng He 2022Template: future / in 2 years CNSA (China) Sample return mission to the asteroid (469219) Kamoʻoalewa

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. NASA Selects Two Missions to Explore the Early Solar System NASA. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  2. Van Kane: Lucy and Psyche Asteroid Missions. The Planetary Society, January 9, 2017, accessed January 15, 2017 .
  3. Near-Earth Asteroid Scout. Retrieved February 3, 2016 .
  4. a b NASA Moves Up Launch of Psyche Mission to a Metal Asteroid NASA. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  5. ^ NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for the Psyche Mission . NASA, February 28, 2020.
  6. a b JAXA . Retrieved March 3, 201i.
  7. ^ A b Mike Wall: China to Launch Ambitious Asteroid-Comet Mission in 2022. In: April 18, 2019, accessed April 29, 2019 .
  8. Zhenghe - A mission to a near-Earth asteroid and a comet Main Belt. (PDF) 2019, accessed April 29, 2019 .