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May 13, 2013 - Recycled Moon Rocket

Recycled Moon Rocket At the end of the Apollo program, with three Saturn V Moon rockets left in its inventory, NASA converted the third stage of one of them into Skylab, America’s first space station. During its launch, forty years ago this week, the unmanned Skylab was severely damaged when turbulence caused a sun shield and a solar panel to tear loose. Another solar panel was unable to deploy. A week later, the first Skylab crew was launched, and over the course of several days they were able to deploy the remaining solar panel and install a makeshift sunshade, thus ensuring a useful life for the station, which was as large as a three-bedroom house. Astronauts Charles Conrad, Joseph Kerwin and Paul Weitz spent twenty-eight days onboard Skylab, doubling Gemini 7’s 1965 space endurance record.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

May 13-19, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 13

Moon at apogee

1964: Apollo A-001 launched (Little Joe II test flight)

Tuesday 14

1973: Skylab launched
2009: Herschel and Planck space observatories launched
2010: STS-132 Atlantis launched

Wednesday 15

1958: Sputnik 3 launched
1963: Faith 7 launched, last Mercury program flight
1997: STS-84 Atlantis launched, sixth Mir docking mission
2012: Soyuz TMA-04M launched carrying ISS Expedition 31/32 crew

Thursday 16

2011: STS-134 Endeavour launched, final shuttle mission

Friday 17

1836: Norman Lockyer born

Saturday 18

First Quarter Moon 12:35 AM ET
Venus 6° north of Aldebaran

1969: Apollo 10 launched
1984: Viking 1 lander given to National Air & Space Museum
1996: First test flight of DC-XA rocket
2009
: 23rd and final spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope

Sunday 19

Whit Sunday - Pentecost

1965: Apollo A-003 launched
1996: STS-77 Endeavour launched
2000: STS-101 Atlantis launched

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