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April 18, 2011 - This is Only a Test

This Is Only a Test During the commissioning phase of its mission, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter underwent three months of testing in mid-2009 to ensure that all of its systems were functioning. During this time, LRO imaged deep space, stars, the nighttime Moon, and vertical views of the lunar surface. Some of the optical tests measuring stray or “scattered” light in the optics required extremely oblique views of the Moon to capture both the bright lunar surface and the dark of space simultaneously. The results were both encouraging—LRO’s narrow angle cameras had hardly any scattered light—and spectacular. This image of an unnamed area of lunar highlands includes smooth plains in the distance that were formed when material ejected from massive impacts elsewhere on the Moon landed there.

Image Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

Weekly Calendar

April 18-24, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 18

Passover begins at sunset

Tuesday 19

Mercury 0.8° north of Mars

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

Wednesday 20

1972: Apollo 16 lands on Moon

Thursday 21

Lyrid meteor shower

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

Friday 22

Good Friday

Lyrid meteor shower
Venus 0.9° south of Uranus

2010: X-37B spacecraft launched

Saturday 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

Sunday 24

Easter Sunday

Last Quarter Moon 10:47 PM ET

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


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