April 5, 2010 - View From The Far Side

View from the Far Side Forty years ago this week a mission began that held the world’s attention as no other before or since. Halfway to the Moon, an oxygen tank in Apollo 13’s service module ruptured, destroying three fuel cells that generated power for the crew. To conserve what little power and oxygen was left, all but the most essential systems were shut down, and astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise had to rely on their lunar module, Aquarius, as a lifeboat. It was only designed to support two astronauts for two days on the lunar surface, but Aquarius kept all three astronauts alive in space for almost four days. Although their lunar landing was aborted, the crew returned safely to Earth and managed to obtain some fine images of the lunar far side during their one swing behind the Moon.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

April 5-11, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 5

Easter Monday (Canada)

1973: Pioneer 11 launched
1975: Soyuz 18-1, first in-flight abort
1990: Pegsat launched
1991: STS-37 Atlantis launched

Tuesday 6

Last Quarter Moon 5:37 AM ET
Pluto appears stationary

1965: Early Bird (Intelsat 1) launched
1984: STS-41C Challenger launched

Wednesday 7

Vesta appears stationary

1991: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory deployed
2001: Mars Odyssey Orbiter launched
2007: ISS Expedition 15 crew launched

Thursday 8

Mercury at greatest elongation (19° E)
Moon at apogee

1964: Gemini I launched
1966: OAO-1 launched
1993: STS-56 Discovery launched
2002: STS-110 Atlantis launched
2008: ISS Expedition 17 crew launched

Friday 9

Neptune 4° south of Moon

1959: NASA selects original seven Mercury astronauts
1994: STS-59 Endeavour launched

Saturday 10

1919: John C. Houbolt born

Sunday 11

Jupiter 6° south of Moon

1960: Project Ozma started
1970: Apollo 13 launched
1980: Viking 2 lander mission ends
1984: Challenger retrieves Solar Max
1986: Halley’s Comet closest to Earth

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