April 19, 2010 - Two Decades of Discovery

Two Decades of Discovery Envisioned as long ago as 1923 by rocket scientist Herman Oberth, the large orbiting observatory we know as the Hubble Space Telescope was the culmination of more than two decades of planning and hard work. The 96-inch telescope was launched twenty years ago this week and it has remained in nearly constant operation thanks to five servicing missions by astronauts over the years. Among its many discoveries, Hubble has helped pinpoint the age of the universe, found evidence for enigmatic dark matter, detected organic molecules in planets outside our solar system, and has shed new light on the evolution of stars. Hubble’s 1995 image of the Eagle Nebula, arguably one of its most famous, shows newborn stars emerging from the evaporating gaseous globules in which they formed.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI / J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State University)

Weekly Calendar

April 19-25, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 19

1967: Surveyor 3 lands on Moon
1971: Salyut 1 launched, first space station.
1982: Salyut 7 launched
1993: 200th Soviet / Russian spacewalk
2001: STS-100 Endeavour launched

Tuesday 20

1972: Apollo 16 lands on Moon

Wednesday 21

First Quarter Moon 2:20 PM
Lyrid meteor shower

1997: Cremated remains of 24 people launched into orbit aboard Pegasus rocket in first space funeral

Thursday 22

Mars 5° north of Moon
Lyrid meteor shower

Friday 23

1858: Max Planck born
1962: Ranger 4 launched
1963: M2-F1 lifting body first free flight
1996: Priroda module launched to Mir space station

Saturday 24

Moon at perigee

1970: China becomes fifth nation to launch its own satellite
1990: STS-31 Discovery launched

Sunday 25

Saturn 8° north of Moon

1962: Second Block I Saturn C-1 (SA-2) launched
1990: Hubble Space Telescope deployed
2003: ISS Expedition Seven crew launched on Soyuz TMA-2

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