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August 5, 2013 - This is Why We Explore

This is Why We Explore The remarkable Cassini spacecraft, orbiting Saturn since 2004, sent back this breathtaking image of Titan, Dione, Saturn’s rings, and the planet itself in May 2011. Dione, Saturn’s fourth-largest moon, can be seen through the atmospheric haze of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. From this vantage point almost exactly in the ring plane, the rings appear to bisect Titan. Shadows of the thin, complex rings fall across Saturn’s southern hemisphere. Modern journeys of exploration like Cassini do much more than inform the scientific community; they allow us to experience the excitement of discovery, they help us understand our unique place in the universe, and they inspire new generations of humans to do great things. Space exploration is the ultimate expression of what makes us human.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

Weekly Calendar

August 5-11, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 5

Mercury 4° north of Moon

1930: Neil Armstrong born
1966: Final M2-F1 lifting body glide test
1969: Mariner 7 flies by Mars
: Juno spacecraft launched to Jupiter

Moon phase Tuesday 6

Vesta in conjunction with Sun
New Moon 5:51 PM ET

1961: Vostok 2 launched, first full-day human space mission, Gherman Titov first person to sleep in space
2012: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity lands on Mars

Moon phase Wednesday 7

1959: Explorer 6 launched
1969: Zond 7 launched
1980: Viking 1 orbiter ceases operation
1997: STS-85 Discovery launched

Moon phase Thursday 8

1978: Pioneer-Venus 2 launched
1989: Hipparcos observatory launched
1989: STS-28 Columbia launched
2001: Genesis spacecraft launched
2007: STS-118 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Friday 9

Venus 5° north of Moon

1965: First static test of SIV-B stage
1976: Luna 24 launched

Moon phase Saturday 10

1966: Lunar Orbiter I launched
1990: Magellan enters orbit around Venus
2001: STS-105 Discovery launched

Moon phase Sunday 11

1960: Discoverer 13 capsule becomes first object recovered from orbit
: Vostok 3 launched

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