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Kullat Nunu
2006-Mar-10, 06:17 PM
On the night between 13 and 14 March, 1986, the European Giotto probe flew past the comet Halley returning the first close-up images of a comet's nucleus.

See ESA press release (http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMSZ0NVGJE_index_0.html).

Launch window
2006-Mar-13, 06:09 PM
nice mission,
others missions like Vega, Suisei and ICE also studied the comet but I think Giotto got closest to Halley and obtained a lot of info on the nucleus

Kullat Nunu
2006-Mar-13, 07:08 PM
Yes, but it didn't survive unscratched. A particle from the nucleus hit the probe near the closest approach destroying its camera. What a pity, since Giotto was later rerouted to another comet.