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January 25, 2010 - Enduring Partnership

Enduring Partnership In the mid-1980s, the United States sought international partners to help with the mammoth undertaking of a proposed space station named Freedom, which was considered the “next logical step” after the space shuttle program. Twenty-five years ago this week, the European Space Agency approved the ambitious Columbus program, which would have contributed a module to Freedom and ultimately led to a full-fledged European space station. Economic constraints forced both Freedom and Columbus to be downsized, but the partnership endured and now the Columbus laboratory has become ESA’s main contribution to the International Space Station. In this image, astronaut Rex Walheim installs handrails outside the newly-delivered Columbus laboratory in February 2008.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 25-31, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 25

1736: Joseph Lagrange born
1962: NASA authorizes Saturn V rocket
1983: IRAS launched
1994: Clementine spacecraft launched
2004: Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity lands

Moon phase Tuesday 26

Moon phase Wednesday 27

Mercury at greatest elongation (25° W)
Mars at closest approach to Earth

1967: Apollo 1 astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee die in cockpit fire on launch pad during test

Moon phase Thursday 28

1611: Johannes Hevelius born
1986: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, 7 astronauts die

Moon phase Friday 29

Mars at opposition

1964: SA-5 launched, first Saturn I Block 2 rocket
1989: Phobos 2 enters orbit around Mars

Moon phase Saturday 30

Full Moon 1:18 AM ET
Mars 7° north of Moon
Moon at perigee

1964: Ranger 6 launched

Moon phase Sunday 31

1958: Explorer 1 launched
1961: Mercury Redstone 2 suborbital flight with chimpanzee Ham
1966: Luna 9 launched
1971: Apollo 14 launched
1985: ESA approves the Columbus program

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