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October 26, 2015 - Eight Is Enough

Eight is Enough  When the Space Shuttle Challenger began its ninth flight into space thirty years ago this week, it set records from the moment it left the ground. Mission STS-61A carried Spacelab, the European Space Agency’s laboratory in space. This fourth flight of Spacelab was also the first time that the scientific portion of a mission was funded and controlled primarily by another country: Challenger was controlled from the Johnson Space Center, but scientific operations aboard Spacelab were controlled from the German Space Operations Center at Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich. The crew split into two teams and worked around the clock to conduct Spacelab’s seventy-six experiments. The STS-61A mission also marked the first—and still only—time eight astronauts were sent into space at one time.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

October 26 - November 1, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 26

Venus at greatest elongation (46° W)
Venus 1.1° south of Jupiter

1977: Fifth and final glide test of Space Shuttle Enterprise
2004: Cassini spacecraft completes first flyby of Titan

Moon phase Tuesday 27

Full Moon 8:05 AM ET

1961: SA-1 launched, first Saturn rocket
2003: ISS Expedition 7 crew returns to Earth after 184 days in orbit

Moon phase Wednesday 28

Mercury 4° north of Spica

1971: Britain launches its first satellite
1974: Luna 23 launched
2009: Ares I-X test flight

Moon phase Thursday 29

Aldebaran 0.6° south of Moon

1964: First flight of Lunar Landing Research Vehicle
1987: Cosmos 1894 becomes 2,000th satellite
1991: Galileo flies past Gaspra
1998: STS-95 Discovery launched

Moon phase Friday 30

1981: Venera 13 launched
1985: STS-61A Challenger launched
1997: First successful Ariane 5 rocket launched

Moon phase Saturday 31

Halloween

2005: Hubble Space Telescope discovers two new moons orbiting Pluto
2006: NASA announces SM4, the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission
2014: SpaceShipTwo crashes during atmospheric test flight, one pilot killed

Moon phase Sunday 1

Daylight Saving Time ends 2:00 AM

1962: Mars 1 launched
1999: Area Code 321 goes into effect for areas near Kennedy Space Center

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