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September 3, 2018 - First Flight at Night

First Flight at Night  Lifting off into a pitch-black Florida sky, the STS-8 mission was unlike any previous shuttle mission. Not only was it the first shuttle to launch at night, but among Challenger’s five-person crew was Mission Specialist Guion Bluford, the first African-American in space. Thirty-five years ago this week, at the end of its six-day mission, Challenger entered the history books yet again as the first shuttle to make a night landing, an event that occurred only 26 times in the program’s history. Since that first time at Edwards Air Force Base in California, five missions made night landings at Edwards, the last being STS-114 in 2005. The rest have landed at the Kennedy Space Center, including   the shuttle Discovery, seen here rolling to a stop at KSC at the end of the STS-96 mission in June 1999.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

September 3 - 9, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 3

Labor Day

1970: NASA cancels last two planned lunar landings
1976: Viking 2 lands on Mars
2006: SMART-1 spacecraft intentionally crashed into Moon

Moon phase Tuesday 4

Moon phase Wednesday 5

Mercury 1° north of Regulus

1964: OGO-1 launched
1977: Voyager 1 launched

Moon phase Thursday 6

Saturn appears stationary

1947: First rocket launch (V-2) from an aircraft carrier
1983: STS-8 Challenger makes first shuttle night landing
2013: LADEE lunar orbiter launched

Moon phase Friday 7

Neptune at opposition
Moon at perigee

1995: STS-69 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Saturday 8

Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset

1966: “Star Trek” premieres
1967: Surveyor 5 launched
2000: STS-106 Atlantis launched
2004: Genesis spacecraft crash-lands on return to Earth
2016: OSIRIS-REx launched

Moon phase Sunday 9

New Moon 2:01 PM ET

1789: William Bond born
1892: E. E. Barnard discovers Amalthea
1975: Viking 2 launched
1982: Conestoga 1 launched
1994: STS-64 Discovery launched
2006: STS-115 Atlantis launched

Labor Day

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