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October 4, 2010 - Alternate Escape Route

Alternate Escape Route NASA’s Constellation Program is developing an astronaut escape system for its Orion spacecraft, which will eventually carry astronauts to the ISS and the Moon. In the event of an emergency early in the flight, the Orion capsule will be pulled away from its Ares launch vehicle by a single solid-fuel rocket mounted above it on a tower, similar to the launch escape systems of Mercury and Apollo spacecraft. In a parallel effort, however, another NASA team has demonstrated an alternate method of achieving the same type of rescue. The Max Launch Abort System (named after Max Faget, who designed Mercury’s escape tower) pushes the capsule to safety by firing four solid-fuel rockets that are built into the fairing that contains the capsule. MLAS was tested successfully in July 2009.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

October 4-10, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 4

World Space Week begins

1957: Sputnik 1 launched
1959
: Luna 3 launched
2004: SpaceShipOne wins X Prize

Moon phase Tuesday 5

1882: Robert Goddard born
1923: Edwin Hubble finds Cepheid variable stars in galaxy M-31
1962: European Southern Observatory founded
1984: STS-41G Challenger launched

Moon phase Wednesday 6

Moon at perigee

1990: STS-41 Discovery launched
1992: NASA and RASA sign Human Spaceflight Agreement to share astronauts and cosmonauts
2008: MESSENGER spacecraft makes its second flyby of Mercury

Moon phase Thursday 7

New Moon 2:44 PM ET
Venus appears stationary

1885: Niels Bohr born
1959: Luna 3 returns first images of the lunar far side
2002: STS-112 Atlantis launched
2010: Soyuz TMA-01M launched carrying ISS Expedition 25/26 crew

Moon phase Friday 8

1873: Ejnar Hertzsprung born

Moon phase Saturday 9

Venus 3° south of Moon
Mars 4° north of Moon

1604: Kepler’s Supernova observed
2009: LCROSS detects water on the Moon

Moon phase Sunday 10

1846: William Lassell discovers Triton, moon of Neptune
1980: Very Large Array dedicated
1983: Venera 15 orbits Venus
2007: ISS Expedition 16 crew launched

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