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January 7, 2013 - Orbital Parking Lot

Orbital Parking Lot Thirty-five years ago this week, the Russian space program made history when the Soyuz 27 mission was launched. The two cosmonauts on board docked with the orbiting Salyut 6 space station, which was already being occupied by the two crew members of Soyuz 26. It was the first time three spacecraft had been joined together in orbit, and it was an important milestone on the road to a permanent presence in space. Earlier space stations could only be inhabited by one crew at a time, but this mission paved the way for several spacecraft to visit an orbiting space station simultaneously. Numerous space vehicles are docked at the International Space Station in this 2011 image, including the shuttle Endeavour, a Soyuz spaceship, a Progress resupply ship, and an Automated Transfer Vehicle.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 7-13, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 7

1610: Galileo discovers Callisto, Europa, & Io
1964: First power tool for space demonstrated
1968: Surveyor 7 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 8

1587: Johann Fabricius born
1942: Stephen Hawking born
1973: Luna 21 & Lunokhod 2 launched
1987: Challenger debris buried

Moon phase Wednesday 9

1839: Thomas Henderson publishes distance to Alpha Centauri
1968: Surveyor 7 lands on Moon
1990: STS-32 Columbia launched

Moon phase Thursday 10

Moon at perigee
Venus 3° south of Moon

1946: U.S. Army bounces radar signal off the Moon
1969: Venera 6 launched

Moon phase Friday 11

New Moon 2:44 PM ET

1978: First triple docking: Soyuz 26, Soyuz 27, Salyut 6
1996: STS-72 Endeavour launched
1998: Lunar Prospector arrives at Moon

Moon phase Saturday 12

1986: STS-61C Columbia launched
1997: STS-81 Atlantis launched
2005: Deep Impact spacecraft launched

Moon phase Sunday 13

Mars 6° south of Moon

1610: Galileo discovers Ganymede, moon of Jupiter
1978: NASA selects first women astronauts
1993: STS-54 Endeavour launched

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