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September 3, 2012 - Volcano Voyeur

Volcano Voyeur Trailing the Voyager 2 spacecraft off the launch pad by two weeks, Voyager 1’s faster flight path brought it to its targets (Jupiter and Saturn) months ahead of Voyager 2. The mission, which began thirty-five years ago this week, was only the third time a spacecraft had visited Jupiter. Pioneer 10 and 11 had blazed the trail to the gas giant in 1973 and 1974, and the images and other data they returned set the stage for the more sophisticated Voyager 1 flyby in 1979. Among Voyager 1’s most startling discoveries was the first observation of extraterrestrial volcanos. In this Voyager 1 image of Io, one of Jupiter’s four largest moons, the volcanic plume from the Pele volcano rises 300 kilometers (190 miles) above the surface, and the plume fallout covers an area the size of Alaska.

Image credit: NASA / JPL / USGS

Weekly Calendar

September 3-9, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 3

Labor Day

1970: NASA cancels last two planned lunar landings
1976: Viking 2 lands on Mars
2006: SMART-1 spacecraft intentionally crashed into Moon

Moon phase Tuesday 4

Moon phase Wednesday 5

1964: OGO-1 launched
1977: Voyager 1 launched

Moon phase Thursday 6

1947: First rocket launch (V-2) from an aircraft carrier
1983: STS-8 Challenger makes first shuttle night landing

Moon phase Friday 7

Moon at apogee

1995: STS-69 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Saturday 8

Last Quarter Moon 9:15 AM ET
Jupiter 0.6° north of Moon

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

Moon phase Sunday 9

Ceres 0.6° South of Moon

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

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