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OTD in Space – July 2: Space Probe Launches to Halley’s Comet

On July 2, 1985, the European Space Agency launched the Giotto space probe to get a close-up look at Halley's Comet. [‘On This Day in Space’ Video Series on Space.com](https://www.space.com/39251-on-this-day-in-space.html) Nearly nine months later on March 14, 1986, Giotto became the first spacecraft to observe of a comet up close when it flew by Halley's Comet. It came within 370 miles of the comet's surface. Giotto was named after the early Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone, who had depicted Halley's Comet as the star of Bethlehem in his painting, "Adoration of the Magi."
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