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June 15, 2015 - The “G” Stands for “Geostationary”

The “G” Stands for “Geostationary” In 1984, NASA began using an arcane and mercifully short-lived numbering system for space shuttle missions, which until then had simply been numbered sequentially. The new system, used only for two years, consisted of two numbers and a letter. The first number was the last digit of the fiscal year in which the launch occurred, the second digit designated the launch site (1 for Kennedy Space Center, 2 for Vandenburg Air Force Base), and the letter indicated the order of launch during that fiscal year. So the seventh scheduled flight from KSC in fiscal year 1985 bore the designation “51-G”. Launched thirty years ago this week, the STS 51-G mission deployed three communication satellites into geostationary orbit, giving added meaning to the “G” in 51-G.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

June 15-21, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 15

Aldebaran 1° south of Moon

1971: First Titan III-D rocket launch
2010: Soyuz TMA-19 launched carrying ISS Expedition 24/25 crew

Moon phase Tuesday 16

New Moon 10:05 AM ET

1963: Vostok 6 launched; Valentina Tereshkova first woman in space, still the only solo spaceflight by a woman
2012: Shenzhou 9 launched, fourth Chinese human space flight

Moon phase Wednesday 17

1985: STS-51G Discovery launched

Moon phase Thursday 18

1799: William Lassell born
1983: STS-7 Challenger launched; Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space
2009: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched

Moon phase Friday 19

1999: QuikSCAT launched

Moon phase Saturday 20

Venus 6° north of Moon
Jupiter 5° north of Moon

1985: NASA announces cola wars will take place on shuttle mission STS-51F
1996: STS-78 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 21

Father's Day

Solstice 12:38 PM ET

1993: STS-57 Endeavour launched
2004: SpaceShipOne launched, first privately-funded human space flight

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