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October 30, 2017 - Addition to the Family

Addition to the Family  Europe’s most powerful launch vehicle, the Ariane 5, made its first successful flight twenty years ago this week. This latest member of the Ariane family of launch vehicles, which date back to 1979, is operated by Arianespace and launched from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guiana. The Ariane 5 features two solid rocket boosters and a central liquid propellant rocket core. The latest variant of the Ariane 5, the ECA, can deliver 10,500 kg (23,100 lbs) of payload to geosynchronous orbit (35,700 km or 22,300 mi above the Earth). The Ariane 5 was used to launch the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, numerous telecommunication satellites, all five of the International Space Station ATV resupply ships, as well as the Herschel Space Observatory, seen here.

Image credit: European Space Agency

Weekly Calendar

October 30 - November 5, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 30

Neptune 0.9° north of Moon

1981: Venera 13 launched
1985: STS-61A Challenger launched
1997: First successful Ariane 5 rocket launched

Moon phase Tuesday 31

Halloween

2005: Hubble Space Telescope discovers two new moons orbiting Pluto
2006: NASA announces SM4, the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission
2014: SpaceShipTwo crashes during atmospheric test flight, one pilot killed

Moon phase Wednesday 1

Venus 4° north of Spica

1962: Mars 1 launched
1999: Area Code 321 goes into effect for areas near Kennedy Space Center

Moon phase Thursday 2

Uranus 4° north of Moon

1885: Harlow Shapley born
1917: First light for Mount Wilson Observatory 100-inch Hooker telescope

Moon phase Friday 3

Taurid meteor shower

1957: Sputnik 2 carries dog Laika, first living creature to orbit Earth
1966: Test flight of Manned Orbital Laboratory components
1973: Mariner 10 launched
1994: STS-66 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Saturday 4

Full Moon 12:23 AM ET
Taurid meteor shower

Moon phase Sunday 5

Daylight Saving Time ends 2:00 AM

Moon at perigee
Aldebaran 0.8° south of Moon

2013: Mars Orbiter Mission launched, India's first interplanetary mission

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