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The European Space Agency's first space probe, launched to Halley's Comet in 1985 July. It flew within 600 km of the sunward side of Halley's nucleus on 1986 March 14, taking close-up images and analysing the comet's dust and gas. Although battered by dust from the comet, Giotto survived and in 1990 July became the first spacecraft to use the Earth in a gravity-assist manoeuvre, when it was retargeted to Comet Grigg–Skjellerup; it passed 200 km from that comet's nucleus in 1992 July.

http://giotto.esa.int/ ESA mission website.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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