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July 25, 2011 - Loneliest Guy in Space

Loneliest Guy in Space During the Apollo 15 mission, which was launched forty years ago this week, Command Module Pilot Al Worden spent almost three full days alone orbiting the Moon while crew mates David Scott and Jim Irwin explored the lunar surface. During each hour-long pass behind the Moon’s far side, Worden was out of communication both with Earth and the astronauts on the Moon. During this quiet time Worden operated three different photographic systems: a hand-held Hasselblad medium format camera, a panoramic camera, and a mapping camera. The latter two were mounted in the service module’s Scientific Instrument Module bay, the open area behind the conical command module, which is visible in this image taken from the lunar module just before the two spacecraft were reunited in lunar orbit.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

July 25 - 31, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 25

1978: Viking 2 orbiter ceases operation
1984: Svetlana Savitskaya becomes first woman to walk in space
2000: Zvezda Service Module docks with International Space Station

Moon phase Tuesday 26

1958: Explorer IV launched
1971: Apollo 15 launched, fourth lunar landing mission, first mission to use lunar rover
2005: STS-114 Discovery launched

Moon phase Wednesday 27

Mars 0.5° north of Moon

Moon phase Thursday 28

Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1851: First photo of total solar eclipse
1964: Ranger 7 lunar probe launched
1973: Skylab 3 crew launched on 59-day mission

Moon phase Friday 29

Pallas at opposition
Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1985: STS-51F Challenger launched

Moon phase Saturday 30

New Moon 2:40 PM ET

1965: SA-10 launched, last Saturn 1 vehicle
1971: Apollo 15 lands on Moon

Moon phase Sunday 31

Ceres appears stationary

1969: Mariner 6 flies by Mars
1971: First vehicle driven on Moon by Apollo 15 astronauts Scott & Irwin
1992: STS-46 Atlantis launched
1999: Lunar Prospector mission ends

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