May 21, 2012 - Cassini Booster

Cassini Booster Three years after its 1997 launch, the Cassini spacecraft flew past Jupiter and picked up a gravity boost that sped it on its way to its ultimate target, Saturn. In exchange for that favor, Cassini captured around 26,000 images of photogenic Jupiter as it flew past. This color map of Jupiter’s south polar region was constructed from images taken by the narrow-angle camera onboard Cassini as it approached Jupiter in December 2000. It is part of the most detailed global color maps of Jupiter ever produced; the smallest visible features are about 120 kilometers (75 miles) across. The maps show a variety of colorful cloud features, including parallel reddish-brown and white bands, the Great Red Spot, multi-lobed chaotic regions, white ovals and many small vortices. Cassini arrived at Saturn in July 2004.

Image credit: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute

Weekly Calendar

May 21-27, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 21

Victoria Day (Canada)

2010: IKAROS spacecraft launched; first successful solar-sail propulsion

Tuesday 22

Venus 5° north of Moon

1969: Apollo 10 lunar module descends to within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface
2012: Dragon C2+ spacecraft launched, first commercial mission to dock with ISS

Wednesday 23

1984: NASA selects 10th astronaut group

Thursday 24

1962: Aurora 7 launched

Moon phase Friday 25

1961: JFK challenges nation to Moon landing before end of decade
1965: Saturn SA-8 launched
1966: Roll-out of first full-scale Saturn V
1973: Skylab 2 begins 28-day mission
2008: Phoenix lander lands on Mars

Moon phase Saturday 26

1951Sally Ride born

Moon phase Sunday 27

Whit Sunday—Pentecost

Mercury in superior conjunction

2009Soyuz TMA-15 launched carrying ISS Expedition 20/21 crew

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