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October 31, 2011 - Final Service Call

Final Service Call During the Hubble Space Telescope’s first twelve years in orbit, four different space shuttle crews corrected Hubble’s vision, replaced faulty equipment, upgraded its solar panels, and kept it performing like a champ. After the Columbia disaster in 2003, then-NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe canceled the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission citing safety concerns. The decision, widely debated and criticized for years by astronauts, astronomers, and Hubble supporters around the world, was reversed five years ago this week by O’Keefe’s successor, Michael Griffin. Hubble’s last upgrades took place in 2009 during the STS-125 mission, and they included the installation of the new Wide Field Camera 3, which obtained this amazing image of NGC 6302, the Butterfly Nebula.

Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Weekly Calendar

October 31 - November 6, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 31

Halloween

Saturn 5° north of Spica

2005: Hubble Space Telescope discovers two new moons orbiting Pluto
2006: NASA announces SM4, the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission

Moon phase Tuesday 1

1962: Mars 1 launched
1999: Area Code 321 goes into effect for areas near Kennedy Space Center

Moon phase Wednesday 2

First Quarter Moon 2:38 PM ET

1885: Harlow Shapley born
1917: First light for Mount Wilson Observatory 100-inch Hooker telescope

Moon phase Thursday 3

Taurid meteor shower

1957: Sputnik 2 carries dog Laika, first living creature to orbit Earth
1966: Test flight of Manned Orbital Laboratory components
1973: Mariner 10 launched
1994: STS-66 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Friday 4

Neptune 6° south of Moon
Taurid meteor shower

Moon phase Saturday 5

Moon phase Sunday 6

Daylight Savings Time ends 2:00am

Uranus 6° south of Moon

1572: Tycho Brahe records bright new star (supernova SN 1572) in Cassiopeia
1966: Lunar Orbiter II launched

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