December 5, 2011 - It’s Just Like Folding a Map

It’s Just Like Folding a Map When they lifted off five years ago this week, the crew of the STS-116 mission had an ambitious schedule that included installing the International Space Station’s third port truss segment. The shuttle Discovery also ferried astronaut Sunita Williams to the ISS as she began her record-setting stay at the orbiting outpost. Crew member Christer Fuglesang, Sweden’s first astronaut, is seen here with Robert Curbeam (attached to the ISS Canadarm2 robot arm) as the pair guide one of the station’s collapsible solar array wings into a temporary storage position before another solar array can be deployed to rotate and track the Sun. Curbeam himself set a record during the two-week flight, becoming the first astronaut to make four separate space walks during the same mission.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

December 5-11, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 5

Moon at apogee

2001: STS-108 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Tuesday 6

Jupiter 5° south of Moon

1998: Unity and Zarya modules are connected to form International Space Station core

Moon phase Wednesday 7

1905: Gerard Kuiper born
1972: Apollo 17 launched
1995: Galileo probe enters Jupiter’s atmosphere; orbiter begins prime mission
1997: Galileo Europa Mission begins

Moon phase Thursday 8

1964: Apollo A-002 launched
1990: Galileo makes first Earth flyby on way to Jupiter
1992: Galileo makes second Earth flyby on way to Jupiter
SpaceX Dragon 1 launched; first private spacecraft recovered from orbit

Moon phase Friday 9

1978: Pioneer-Venus 2 probes enter atmosphere of Venus
2006: STS-116 Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 10

Full Moon 9:36 AM ET
Uranus appears stationary

1963: Dyna-Soar project canceled
1999: Newton X-Ray Multi-Mirror Telescope launched

Moon phase Sunday 11

1863: Annie Jump Cannon born
1972: Apollo 17 lands on Moon
1993: Sotheby’s holds first auction of Soviet space hardware & artifacts


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