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Ariane 5 launches two satellites on 7-year voyage to Mercury

21 October 2018 William Harwood

A powerful European Ariane 5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana late Friday and boosted a pair of satellites into space for a seven-year plunge into the inner solar system, a voyage requiring seven planetary flybys to slow down enough in the sun’s gravitational clutches to slip into orbit around hellish Mercury.

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Voyager 2 launched today in 1977

20 August 2016 Astronomy Now

On this day in 1977, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, the first Voyager spacecraft to launch, departed on a journey that would take it to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and beyond.

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Black hole observatory launched from Japan

17 February 2016 Stephen Clark

Japan launched a pioneering observatory with X-ray vision Wednesday to peer into the mysterious, light-starved neighbourhoods around black holes and study the genesis of galaxies and other cosmic mega-structures billions of light-years from Earth.