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June 3, 2019 - Nuts and Bolts

Nuts and Bolts  Years of theoretical design and planning gave way to actual fabrication 45 years ago this week when construction began on the first space shuttle, Enterprise. In less than two years construction was completed, and by early 1977 Enterprise, which was never intended to fly in space, began nine months of approach and landing tests to prove that it could fly in the atmosphere and land like a glider. Carried aloft by a modified 747, Enterprise completed a series of increasingly challenging flights, ranging from taxi tests, to captive flights with an aerodynamic tail cone (above), to free-flights. Enterprise was also used in vibration ground tests and launch pad fit checks, and in the early 1980s it appeared at many air shows around the world. Since 2012 it has been on display in New York City.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

June 3 - 9, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 3

New Moon 6:02 AM ET

1948: 200-inch Hale telescope dedicated
: Gemini IV launched; Ed White takes America’s first space walk
: Gemini IX launched
2017: SpaceX CRS-10 launched, first flight to ISS of previously flown Dragon capsule

Moon phase Tuesday 4

Mercury 4° north of Moon

1971: Last X-24A lifting body flight
1974: Construction begins on space shuttle Enterprise
2000: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Wednesday 5

Mars 1.6° north of Moon

1819: John Couch Adams born
1989: Voyager 2 begins regular observations of Neptune
1991: STS-40 Columbia launched
2002: STS-111 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Thursday 6

1932: Dave Scott born
1971: Soyuz 11 launched, first crew to occupy Salyut 1 space station
1983: Venera 16 launched
2018: Soyuz MS-09 launched carrying ISS Expedition 56/57 crew

Moon phase Friday 7

Moon at perigee

1992: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer launched
2011Soyuz TMA-02M launched carrying ISS Expedition 28/29 crew

Moon phase Saturday 8

1625: Giovanni Cassini born
1959: First X-15 unpowered glide test
1975: Venera 9 launched
2007: STS-117 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Sunday 9

1812: Johann Gottfried Galle born

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