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April 21st in Astronomy and Space Science
Unmanned Spaceflight1998The US-European-Italian Cassini-Huygens spacecraft makes the first of two gravity assist loops around Venus. It will also swing around the Earth and Jupiter to gain enough velocity to propel it to Saturn, its final destination.
Unmanned Spaceflight2002Powerful solar flares damage the onboard communications and power systems on the Japanese Nozomi Mars mission. Efforts to orient the spacecraft for an orbital insertion burn failed and the mission was abandoned on December 9th, 2003. The spacecraft flew by Mars on December 14th and went into a roughly 2-year heliocentric orbit.
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