September 7, 2009 - A SAFER Kind of Spacewalk

A SAFER Kind of Spacewalk Seen here against a backdrop of clouds some 130 nautical miles below him, astronaut Mark Lee floats, completely untethered, away from the safety of the space shuttle Discovery. The STS-64 mission, launched fifteen years ago this week, saw Lee testing the new Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) system. SAFER was designed to be used in the event that a crew member inadvertantly becomes untethered while conducting an extravehicular activity. The small, self-contained propulsive backpack, which is still in use today, provides enough free-flying mobility for a spacewalker to return to the shuttle in an emergency if he or she cannot be retrieved by any other means. The STS-64 crew also deployed and later retrieved the SPARTAN-201 astronomy satellite.

Image credit: NASA


Weekly Calendar

September 7-13, 2009

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 7

Labor Day

1995: STS-69 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Tuesday 8

1966: “Star Trek” premieres
1967: Surveyor 5 launched
2000: STS-106 Atlantis launched
2004: Genesis spacecraft crash-lands on return to Earth

Moon phase Wednesday 9

1789: William Bond born
1892: E. E. Barnard discovers Amalthea
1975: Viking 2 launched
1982: Conestoga 1 launched
1994: STS-64 Discovery launched
2006: STS-115 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Thursday 10

1857: James Keeler born
1967: Surveyor 5 lands on Moon
1978: Venera 11 launched

Moon phase Friday 11

Last Quarter Moon 10:16 pm
Pluto appears stationary

1877: James Jeans born
1985: International Cometary Explorer satellite probes Comet Giacobini-Zinner (first comet flyby)
1997: Mars Global Surveyor arrives at Mars

Moon phase Saturday 12

Pallas in conjunction with Sun

1959: Luna 2 launched
1966: Gemini XI launched
1970: Luna 16 launched
1991: STS-48 Discovery launched
1992: STS-47 Endeavour launched
1993: STS-51 Discovery launched

Moon phase Sunday 13

Mars 1.1° south of Moon

1977: Second glide test of Space Shuttle Enterprise
1978: Venera 12 launched

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