FacebookTwitter

November 25, 2013 - Spacelab Spectacle

Spacelab Spectacle Enveloping the launch complex in a cloud of exhaust and a pillar of flame, the space shuttle Columbia lifts off on STS-9, its sixth mission, thirty years ago this week. It was the first launch of the European Space Agency’s Spacelab module, a laboratory mounted in the shuttle’s cargo bay in which up to six astronauts could work at one time. During STS-9, astronauts conducted seventy-one experiments in Spacelab spanning a wide range of disciplines, including astronomy, materials processing, atmospheric studies, and many other fields. This flight marked the first American launch of a non-American citizen astronaut, Ulf Merbold of Germany. It was also the largest crew (six) ever launched at that time, and the longest shuttle mission at that time, over ten days and 166 orbits.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

November 25 - December 1, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 25

Last Quarter Moon 2:28 PM ET
Mercury 0.3° south of Saturn

1970: First powered flight of M2-F3 lifting body

Moon phase Tuesday 26

1965: France becomes third nation to launch a satellite
1975: Final X-24B lifting body flight
1985: STS-61B Atlantis launched
1989: Kvant 2 module launched
2011: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity launched

Moon phase Wednesday 27

Hanukkah begins at sunset

Mars 6° north of Moon

1885: First photo of a meteor shower
1971
: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars
1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched

Moon phase Thursday 28

Thanksgiving Day

1964: Mariner 4 launched
1983: STS-9 Columbia launched

Moon phase Friday 29

Spica 0.9° south of Moon

1967: First Australian satellite launched

Moon phase Saturday 30

1954: Elizabeth Hodges bruised by a ten-pound meteorite in Alabama
2000: STS-97 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Sunday 1

First Sunday in Advent

Saturn 1.3° north of Moon

1957: Ballistic shape of Mercury spacecraft proposed by Max Faget
2013: Chang'e-3 spacecraft launched to Moon

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