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January 22, 2018 - Legless Spider Flies in Space

Legless Spider Flies in Space  Fifty years ago this week, the uncrewed Apollo 5 mission carried a legless version of the Lunar Module (LM) into Earth orbit to test its on-board systems and main engines. The larger descent engine, designed to slow the LM so it could land on the lunar surface, tested well, as did the smaller ascent engine, which was designed to launch the top half of the LM back into lunar orbit when the Moon walks were completed. Although the mission lasted less than eight hours, Apollo 5 proved the feasibility of the Lunar Module concept. In the spring of 1969, the crews of Apollo 9 and 10 tested more intact versions of the LM and gave it the go-ahead for a real lunar landing just four months later. The Apollo 5 LM is seen here being mounted in the adapter section of its Saturn launch vehicle.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 22-28, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 22

1968: Apollo 5 launched
1978: First automatic resupply ship docking (Progress 1)
1992: STS-42 Discovery launched
1998: STS-89 Endeavour launched
2003: Pioneer 10’s last signal to Earth

Moon phase Tuesday 23

Uranus 5° north of Moon

Moon phase Wednesday 24

First Qtr Moon 5:20 PM ET

1978: Cosmos 954 satellite reenters atmosphere over Canada
1985: STS-51C Discovery launched
1986: Voyager 2 flies past Uranus
1992: Magellan begins third mapping cycle of Venus

Moon phase Thursday 25

1736: Joseph Lagrange born
1962: NASA authorizes Saturn V rocket
1983: IRAS launched
1994: Clementine spacecraft launched
2004: Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity lands

Moon phase Friday 26

Moon phase Saturday 27

Aldebaran 0.7° south of Moon

1829: Isaac Roberts born, pioneer astrophotographer
1967: Apollo 1 astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee die in cockpit fire on launch pad during test

Moon phase Sunday 28

1611: Johannes Hevelius born
1986: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, 7 astronauts die

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