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December 3, 2012 - Last Lap of the Lunar Rover

Last Lap of the Lunar Rover The last three Apollo lunar missions were unique in that they featured the Lunar Rover, a battery-powered off-road vehicle that allowed the crew to explore areas that would have been unreachable by foot. First flown on Apollo 15, the Lunar Rover saw increasing use on two subsequent missions. The crew of Apollo 17, launched forty years ago this week, logged thirty-five kilometers (twenty-two miles) with their rover, the last one to leave tracks on the lunar surface. Seen here, Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan makes a short checkout of the Lunar Roving Vehicle during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. The Lunar Module Challenger is in the background in this photo by lunar module pilot Harrison Schmitt.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

December 3-9 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 3

1973: Pioneer 10 closest approach to Jupiter during flyby

Moon phase Tuesday 4

Mercury at greatest elongation (21° W)

1965: Gemini VII launched
1978: Pioneer-Venus 1 orbiter arrives in orbit around Venus
1996: Mars Pathfinder launched
1998: STS-88 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Wednesday 5

2001: STS-108 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Thursday 6

Last Quarter Moon 10:31 AM ET

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

Moon phase Friday 7

Jupiter 5° north of Aldebaran

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 Saturday 8

Hanukkah begins at sunset

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 Sunday 9

Vesta at opposition
Spica 0.8° north of Moon

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

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