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November 16, 2009 - An Encore Performance

An Encore Performance After the history-making Apollo 11 mission, the first to land astronauts on the Moon, NASA raised the bar. The Apollo 12 mission, launched forty years ago this week, proved that astronauts could achieve lunar landings with almost pinpoint accuracy. Astronauts Alan Bean (above) and Charles “Pete” Conrad (reflected in helmet visor) landed their Lunar Module Intrepid about 600 feet from the robotic Surveyor 3 spacecraft, which had landed on the Moon in April 1967. The two astronauts walked to Surveyor 3 and brought parts of it back to Earth. In the image above, Bean is standing next to the Hand Tool Carrier. Mounted on his chest is a 70mm Hasselblad camera, and strapped to his left wrist is a spiral-bound checklist which helped guide him through surface activities.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

November 16-22, 2009

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 16

New Moon 2:14 pm

1962: Saturn SA-3 launched
1973: Skylab 4 crew launched on 84-day mission
1974: Interstellar message broadcast from Arecibo radio telescope
2009: STS-129 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Tuesday 17

Leonid meteor shower

1970: Luna 17 lands on Moon; Lunokhod 1 rover becomes first wheeled vehicle on Moon

Moon phase Wednesday 18

Leonid meteor shower

1923: Alan Shepard born
1989: Cosmic Background Explorer launched

Moon phase Thursday 19

1969: Apollo 12 makes second lunar landing
1996: STS-80 Columbia launched
1997: STS-87 Columbia launched
2005: Hayabusa spacecraft makes first liftoff from an asteroid

Moon phase Friday 20

1889: Edwin Hubble born
1998: Zarya module launched, first element of International Space Station
2002: First Delta IV launched
2004: Swift spacecraft launched

Moon phase Saturday 21

Moon phase Sunday 22

Moon at apogee

1989: STS-33 Discovery launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.