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January 7, 2019 - Pistol Packin’ Astronauts

Pistol Packin’ Astronauts  The first power tool designed for use in space was demonstrated 55 years ago this week by Black & Decker. The power drill was similar to a regular home drill, with modifications to minimize reactive torque. This is essential in the weightless environment of space, where an unanchored astronaut would tend to rotate in the opposite direction of the spinning chuck while the drill bit remained motionless. Specially modified power tools, such as the pistol grip tool shown here, have become essential components of space repair missions. In this image from January 2007, astronaut Sunita Williams uses a pistol grip tool during the first of three assembly spacewalks that occurred over a nine-day period during the Expedition 14 mission to the International Space Station.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 7 - 13, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 7

1610: Galileo discovers Callisto, Europa, & Io
1964: First power tool for space demonstrated
1968: Surveyor 7 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 8

Moon at apogee

1587: Johann Fabricius born
1942: Stephen Hawking born
1973: Luna 21 & Lunokhod 2 launched
1987: Challenger debris buried

Moon phase Wednesday 9

1839: Thomas Henderson publishes distance to Alpha Centauri
1968: Surveyor 7 lands on Moon
1990: STS-32 Columbia launched

Moon phase Thursday 10

Neptune 3° north of Moon

1946: U.S. Army bounces radar signal off the Moon
1969: Venera 6 launched

Moon phase Friday 11

Pluto in conjunction with Sun

1787: William Herschel discovers Uranian moons Oberon and Titania
1978: First triple docking: Soyuz 26, Soyuz 27, Salyut 6
1996: STS-72 Endeavour launched
1998: Lunar Prospector arrives at Moon

Moon phase Saturday 12

Mars 5° north of Moon

1907: Sergei Korolev born
1986
: STS-61C Columbia launched
1997: STS-81 Atlantis launched
2005: Deep Impact spacecraft launched

Moon phase Sunday 13

1610: Galileo discovers Ganymede, moon of Jupiter
1978: NASA selects first women astronauts
1993: STS-54 Endeavour launched

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