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July 7, 2014 - Postcards from Earth

Postcards from Earth Thirty-five years ago this week, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter. After a two-year journey from Earth, Voyager 2 completed a successful encounter with the solar system’s largest planet, including detailed observations of the Great Red Spot (above), a high-pressure storm similar to a hurricane but large enough to swallow three Earths. Voyager 2’s trajectory made use of Jupiter’s gravity to speed the spacecraft on toward Saturn (1981), Uranus (1986) and Neptune (1989). Now headed for interstellar space, Voyager 2 and its sister ship, Voyager 1, offer greetings from Earth should they ever be discovered in space by intelligent life: both carry a gold-plated record containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.

Image credit: NASA / JPL

Weekly Calendar

July 7-13, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 7

Saturn 0.4° north of Moon

1995: Final test flight of DC-X rocket
1998: First satellite launch from a submarine
2003: Mars rover Opportunity launched

Moon phase Tuesday 8

1994: STS-65 Columbia launched
2009: First flight test of Max Launch Abort System
2011: STS-135 Atlantis launched, final shuttle mission

Moon phase Wednesday 9

1945: White Sands Missile Range opens
1979: Voyager 2 flies past Jupiter

Moon phase Thursday 10

1962: Telstar 1 launched, allowing transatlantic transmission of TV signals
1992: Giotto spacecraft flies past comet Grigg-Skjellerup

Moon phase Friday 11

1962: NASA selects lunar orbit rendezvous method for lunar landings
1969: X-24A lifting body rolled out for first time
1979: Skylab reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Saturday 12

Full Moon 7:25 AM ET
Mercury at greatest elongation (21° W)
Mars 1.4° N of Spica

1966: First glide test of M2-F2 lifting body
2000: Zvezda Service Module launched to ISS
2001: STS-104 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Sunday 13

Moon at perigee

1995: STS-70 Discovery launched

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