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October 11, 2010 - Shuttle Century

Shuttle Century When it was originally conceived in the early 1970s, the space shuttle program was expected to launch a spacecraft into orbit once a week. In reality, the actual number of shuttle flights per year has averaged less than five since 1981, owing mainly to the complexity of the shuttle system and to the Challenger and Columbia accidents, which grounded the fleet for several years. It was not until October 11, 2000, more than nineteen years after the first shuttle flew, that the 100th space shuttle mission took place. STS-92, launched ten years ago this week, was an assembly mission to the International Space Station which saw the delivery of the Z1 truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter-3. Seen here, astronaut Michael Lopez works outside the ISS to prepare it for permanent occupancy.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

October 11-17, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 11

Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Columbus Day

1968: Apollo 7 launched
1969: Soyuz 6, 7 & 8 in space at once
1994
: Magellan mission ends
2000: STS-92 Discovery launched
2005: Shenzhou 6 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 12

1964: Voskhod 1 launched, first three-person space flight
1977: Shuttle Enterprise’s first glide test without aerodynamic tailcone
2008: ISS Expedition 18 crew launched

Moon phase Wednesday 13

1773: Charles Messier observes M-51
1933: British Interplanetary Society founded
1968: Apollo 7 first live TV broadcast from space
2004: ISS Expedition 10 crew launched

Moon phase Thursday 14

First Quarter Moon 5:27 PM ET

1947: World’s first supersonic flight
1957: USAF announces X-20 Dyna-Soar project
1983: Venera 16 arrives in orbit around Venus

Moon phase Friday 15

1829: Asaph Hall born
1997: Cassini-Huygens launched
2003: Shenzhou 5 launched, Yang Liwei becomes first Chinese astronaut

Moon phase Saturday 16

Astronomy Day (Fall)

Mercury in superior conjunction

Moon phase Sunday 17

Neptune 5° south of Moon

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