April 27, 2009 - Goodbye, Columbus

Goodbye, Columbus As viewed from the departing space shuttle Atlantis in February 2008, the International Space Station (ISS) floats above the blue and white Earth 240 miles below. The ISS Expedition 16 and STS-122 crews concluded almost nine days of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Their primary task was delivering and installing the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory module.  Seen right of center in this image, hanging vertically from the starboard side of the Harmony module, Columbus is fifteen feet in diameter and twenty-three feet long, not including several racks for external experiments. Prominent in this image are the station’s imposing solar arrays, spanning some 240 feet from end to end.  When complete, the ISS will be about as large as a football field.

Image Credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

April 27 - May 3, 2009

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 27

Tuesday 28

Moon at perigee

1900: Jan Oort born
1906: Bart Bok born
Eugene Shoemaker born
STS-39 Discovery launched
Soyuz TM-32 launched; Dennis Tito becomes first space tourist
GALEX launched
CloudSat and CALIPSO launched

Wednesday 29

1985: STS-51B Challenger launched

Thursday 30

Friday 1

First Quarter Moon 4:44 pm

1949: Gerard Kuiper discovers Nereid, moon of Neptune
1996: Comet Hyakutake closest approach to Sun

Saturday 2

Astronomy Day

Venus at greatest illuminated extent

Sunday 3

2003: ISS Expedition Six crew returns to Earth after 161 days in orbit

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