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August 26, 2013 - Our Place in Space

Our Place in Space In 1961, NASA took on the challenge of landing an astronaut on the Moon before the end of the decade. While plans for lunar flight had long been on the minds of scientists and engineers, President Kennedy’s 1961 imperative turned these dreams into something concrete: the most complex technological feat in human history. NASA quickly set about developing powerful launch vehicles, designing lunar spacecraft, training astronauts, and deciding where they should land. Fifty years ago this week, NASA announced the Lunar Orbiter program, a series of spacecraft that would circle the Moon and return high-resolution images of potential landing sites. One unexpected result of the first Lunar Orbiter mission was this 1966 image, the first ever view of Earth as seen from the Moon.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

August 26 - September 1, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 26

Neptune at opposition

Moon phase Tuesday 27

1962: Mariner 2 launched
1984: Teacher In Space program announced
1985: STS-51I Discovery launched

Moon phase Wednesday 28

Last Quarter Moon 5:35 AM ET

1789: William Herschel discovers Enceladus, moon of Saturn
1993: Galileo spacecraft flies by asteroid Ida
2009: STS-128 Discovery launched

Moon phase Thursday 29

Moon phase Friday 30

Moon at apogee

1963: Lunar Orbiter program approved by NASA
1983: STS-8 Challenger launched
1984: STS-41D Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 31

Jupiter 4° north of Moon

Moon phase Sunday 1

1964: First Titan IIIA launched
1979: Pioneer 11 becomes first spacecraft to fly past Saturn

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