Carnival of Space 377

The Carnival of Space 377 is up at Everyday Spacer

The Meridiani Journal – MESSENGER takes first images of ice near Mercury’s north pole

Nextbigfuture – The HARPS instrument at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has been used to make the most complete census of comets around another star ever created. A French team of astronomers has studied nearly 500 individual comets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris and has discovered that they belong to two distinct families of exocomets: old exocomets that have made multiple passages near the star, and younger exocomets that probably came from the recent breakup of one or more larger objects.

Nextbigfuture – The Chang’e 5-T1 mission is set to blast off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, China, on 23 October. It will fly around the back of the moon and return to Earth on October 31st.

It’s a precursor to a more advanced mission planned for 2017. This future mission will send a lunar orbiter that will release a lander to touch down on the moon’s surface and collect 2 kilograms of soil and rock.

Chang’e 5-T1 will test China’s heat-shield technology

UPDATE – Universe Today confirmed that the China moon mission was launched successfully on October 23 , 2014.