February 8, 2010 - Sideways Mission

Sideways Mission This dramatic side view of the space shuttle Endeavour shows the start of the eleven-day STS-99 mission that began ten years ago this week. During this Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, Endeavour’s crew used a unique side-looking radar to digitally map the surface of Earth with unprecedented accuracy. STS-99 featured a radar mapper positioned at the end of a mast that extended 200 feet from Endeavour’s cargo bay. The topography of the entire land surface of Earth between latitudes 60° N and 54° S was mapped to an accuracy of between fifty and one hundred feet during 220 hours of non-stop mapping. The mapping collected enough data to fill 20,000 CDs, and the information was used to create the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of Earth.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

February 8-14, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 8

1828: Jules Verne born
1974: 84-day Skylab 4 mission ends, last crew to occupy Skylab
2010: STS-130 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Tuesday 9

1971: Apollo 14 returns from Moon; last post-mission quarantine


Moon phase Wednesday 10

1990: Galileo spacecraft passes by Venus on its way to Jupiter
1992: First Atlas II launch

Moon phase Thursday 11

1970: First Japanese satellite launched
1984: STS-41B Challenger makes first shuttle landing at KSC
1997: STS-82 Discovery launched
2000: STS-99 Endeavour launched
2010: Solar Dynamics Observatory launched

Moon phase Friday 12

Mercury 2° south of Moon
Moon at apogee

1963: NASA selects contractor to build the Crawler Transporter
1974: Mars 5 enters orbit around Mars
2001: NEAR-Shoemaker lands on asteroid Eros

Moon phase Saturday 13

New Moon 9:51 PM ET

1852: Johan Dreyer born
1937Sigmund Jähn born, first German to fly in space

Moon phase Sunday 14

Valentine’s Day

Neptune in conjunction with Sun

1972: Luna 20 launched
1980: Solar Max launched
1990: Voyager 1 takes solar system "family portrait"
2000: NEAR-Shoemaker orbits asteroid Eros

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