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July 27, 2020 - Orbital Cola Wars

Orbital Cola Wars  The STS-51F mission, which lifted off 35 years ago this week, saw seven astronauts spending eight days on the space shuttle Challenger. The main task was using Spacelab 2, a reusable modular scientific laboratory housed in the shuttle’s cargo bay, to conduct experiments in life sciences and physical sciences, including astronomy. One of the instruments connected to Spacelab 2 was an infrared telescope, seen here, which was used to make observations of 60% of the galactic plane. The crew also tested two competing designs of soda cans (one made by Coke, the other by Pepsi) to address the difficulty of drinking carbonated beverages in zero-gravity. Both designs worked, but the astronauts preferred Tang because it could be served cold, and the soda cans could not be refrigerated.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

July 27 - August 2, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 27

First Qtr Moon 8:32 AM ET

Moon phase Tuesday 28

Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1851: First photo of total solar eclipse
1964: Ranger 7 lunar probe launched
1973: Skylab 3 crew launched on 59-day mission
2017: Soyuz MS-05 launched carrying ISS Expedition 52/53 crew

Moon phase Wednesday 29

Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1985: STS-51F Challenger launched

Moon phase Thursday 30

1965: SA-10 launched, last Saturn 1 vehicle
1971: Apollo 15 lands on Moon

Moon phase Friday 31

1969: Mariner 6 flies by Mars
1971: First vehicle driven on Moon by Apollo 15 astronauts Scott & Irwin
1992: STS-46 Atlantis launched
1999: Lunar Prospector mission ends

Moon phase Saturday 1

Jupiter 1.5° north of Moon

1818: Maria Mitchell born
1967: Lunar Orbiter V launched
1968: Saturn V production ends
1973: First X-24B lifting body glide test

Moon phase Sunday 2

Mercury 7° south of Pollux
Pluto 1.1° north of Moon
Saturn 2° north of Moon

1971: Apollo 15 lunar module Falcon leaves Moon in first televised lunar liftoff
1991: STS-43 Atlantis launched

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