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July 6, 2020 - Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab  A wide expanse of New Mexico desert became a missile test bed 75 years ago this week when the White Sands Proving Ground was established. Renamed White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in 1958, its 8,300 square km (3,200 sq mi) of open space give experimental rockets ample room to fly in safety and secrecy. Nearly 50,000 missile firings have taken place for the Army, Navy, Air Force and NASA, including the Bumper-WAC launch of 24 February 1949 shown here. A captured German V-2 rocket with a WAC Corporal upper stage achieved an altitude of 400 km (250 mi)—the first time that an artificial object reached outer space. Bad weather forced the space shuttle Columbia (STS-3) to land here in 1982. Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945, is also part of WSMR.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

July 6 - 12, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 6

Saturn 2° north of Moon

1687: Isaac Newton publishes his Principia

Moon phase Tuesday 7

1995: Final test flight of DC-X rocket
1998: First satellite launch from a submarine
2003: Mars rover Opportunity launched
2016Soyuz MS-01 launched carrying ISS Expedition 48/49 crew

Moon phase Wednesday 8

1994: STS-65 Columbia launched
2009: First flight test of Max Launch Abort System
2011: STS-135 Atlantis launched, final shuttle mission

Moon phase Thursday 9

1945: White Sands Missile Range opens
1979: Voyager 2 flies past Jupiter

Moon phase Friday 10

Neptune 4° north of Moon
Venus greatest illuminated extent

1962: Telstar 1 launched, allowing transatlantic transmission of TV signals
1992: Giotto spacecraft flies past comet Grigg-Skjellerup

Moon phase Saturday 11

Mars 2° north of Moon

1962: NASA selects lunar orbit rendezvous method for lunar landings
1969: X-24A lifting body rolled out for first time
1979: Skylab reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Sunday 12

Venus 1° north of Aldebaran
Moon at apogee
Last Qtr Moon 7:29 PM ET

1966: First glide test of M2-F2 lifting body
2000: Zvezda Service Module launched to ISS
2001: STS-104 Atlantis launched

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