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June 13, 2011 - Long Time No See

Long Time No See In 1975, when it completed its third and final flyby of Mercury, Mariner 10 had the distinction of being the only spacecraft ever to explore the closest planet to the Sun. More than three decades would pass before another emissary from Earth encountered this cratered and sun-baked world. In early 2008, the MESSENGER spacecraft flew within 120 miles of Mercury, examining regions of the planet that had not been visible to Mariner 10. This spectacular color mosaic shows the eastern limb of Mercury as seen by MESSENGER on the departing leg of its 2008 flyby. The false colors in this image convey information about the distribution of different rock types on the planet’s surface. Two subsequent flybys put MESSENGER on a course to begin orbiting Mercury in March, 2011.

Image credit:NASA / JHU APL / Carnegie Institution of Washington

Weekly Calendar

June 13-19, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 13

1831: James Clerk Maxwell born
1974: National Space Society founded
1983: Pioneer 10 leaves solar system, begins traveling in interstellar space
2010: Hayabusa spacecraft returns first asteroid samples to Earth

Moon phase Tuesday 14

Flag Day

Saturn appears stationary

1967: Mariner 5 launched
1975: Venera 10 launched
1985: Vega 2 deploys lander and balloon on Venus

Moon phase Wednesday 15

Full Moon 4:14 PM ET
Lunar Eclipse visible in Eastern Hemisphere

1971: First Titan III-D rocket launch
2010: Soyuz TMA-19 launched carrying ISS Expedition 24/25 crew

Moon phase Thursday 16

1963: Vostok 6 launched; Valentina Tereshkova first woman in space, still the only solo spaceflight by a woman

Moon phase Friday 17

1985: STS-51G Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 18

Venus 5° north of Aldebaran

1799: William Lassell born
1983: STS-7 Challenger launched; Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space
2009: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched

Moon phase Sunday 19

Father's Day
Trinity Sunday

1999: QuikSCAT launched

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