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2006


January 15

The Stardust capsule returns to Earth, bringing back samples of interstellar dust that could offer vital clues about the origins of our solar system.

 

January 19
New Horizons launches, beginning its nine-year trek toward Pluto and the Kuiper belt. New Horizons is the first mission in NASA’s New Frontiers program of medium-class planetary missions.

 

April 11
ESA's Venus Express reaches Venus and goes into orbit.

 

June 19
The University of Arizona Press, in collaboration with LPI, publishes Meteorites and the Early Solar System II, a Space Science Series volume.

 

August 24
The International Astronomical Union votes to demote Pluto from planetary status to dwarf planet status, resulting in the downsizing of the solar system from nine planets to eight.


November 8

LPI launches its new abstract search tool, which allows users to conduct refined searches of abstracts presented at LPI-sponsored meetings since 1997. The searchable database includes annual events such as the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) and Meteoritical Society (MetSoc) meetings, as well as many other topical workshops and conferences.


 

Stephen Mackwell and Julie Moses at the annual summer intern conference 2006 LPI Interns Stardust Capsule New Horizons Venus ExpressMeteorites and the Early Solar System II