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October 13, 2014 - A New Spacecraft, by Jove

A New Spacecraft, By Jove On its third launch attempt in a week, the space shuttle Atlantis took to the sky on mission STS-34. The launch, which occurred twenty-five years ago this week, heralded a new era in planetary exploration because nestled inside the shuttle’s cargo bay was Galileo, the first spacecraft designed to orbit Jupiter. After being deployed from Atlantis, Galileo followed an energy-saving path through the inner solar system, looping past Venus, Earth (twice), and two asteroids before finally arriving at Jupiter six years later. Galileo then spent eight years studying the Jovian system. Other equipment aboard Atlantis during its five-day mission included a solar backscatter ultraviolet experiment for measuring the height and distribution of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

October 13-19, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 13

Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Columbus Day

1773: Charles Messier observes M-51
1933: British Interplanetary Society founded
1968: Apollo 7 first live TV broadcast from space
2004: ISS Expedition 10 crew launched

Moon phase Tuesday 14

1947: World’s first supersonic flight
1957: USAF announces X-20 Dyna-Soar project
1983: Venera 16 arrives in orbit around Venus

Moon phase Wednesday 15

Last Qtr Moon 3:12 PM ET

1829: Asaph Hall born
1997: Cassini-Huygens launched
2003: Shenzhou 5 launched, Yang Liwei becomes first Chinese astronaut

Moon phase Thursday 16

Mercury in inferior conjunction

Moon phase Friday 17

Moon phase Saturday 18

Jupiter 5° north of Moon
Moon at apogee

1967: Venera 4 makes first direct studies of Venus’s atmosphere
1989: STS-34 Atlantis launched
1993: STS-58 Columbia launched
2003: ISS Expedition 8 crew launched

Moon phase Sunday 19

1910: Subramanyan Chandrasekhar born
1967: Mariner 5 flies past Venus
2005: Final Titan IV rocket launched

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