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January 11, 2016 - An Orbital Endeavour Over Down Under

An Orbital Endeavour Over Down Under  Astronaut Leroy Chiao conducts an extravehicular activity (EVA, or spacewalk) in the open payload bay of the orbiter Endeavour during STS-72, which launched from Kennedy Space Center twenty years ago this week. During STS-72, Japan’s Space Flyer Unit experimental spacecraft was retrieved after ten months in orbit and NASA’s OAST Flyer was deployed and retrieved, both using the Remote Manipulator System Arm—aka Canadarm—operated by Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Koichi Wakata. Both spacecraft can be seen berthed in Endeavour’s payload bay, wrapped in their metallic multi-layer insulation. The turquoise waters of Shark Bay off the western coast of Australia are visible in the background.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 11-17, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 11

1787: William Herschel discovers Uranian moons Oberon and Titania
1978: First triple docking: Soyuz 26, Soyuz 27, Salyut 6
1996: STS-72 Endeavour launched
1998: Lunar Prospector arrives at Moon

Moon phase Tuesday 12

1907: Sergei Korolev born
1986
: STS-61C Columbia launched
1997: STS-81 Atlantis launched
2005: Deep Impact spacecraft launched

Moon phase Wednesday 13

Neptune 2° south of Moon

1610: Galileo discovers Ganymede, moon of Jupiter
1978: NASA selects first women astronauts
1993: STS-54 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Thursday 14

Mercury in inferior conjunction
Moon at perigee

1975: Earth Resources Technology Satellite is renamed Landsat
2005: Huygens probe lands on Titan
2008: MESSENGER spacecraft makes its first flyby of Mercury

Moon phase Friday 15

Uranus 1.5° north of Moon

1973: Luna 21 lander and Lunokhod 2 rover land on Moon
1976: Helios 2 launched
2006: Stardust spacecraft returns samples of comet dust

Moon phase Saturday 16

First Qtr Moon 6:26 PM ET

1969: First docking of two human spacecraft (Soyuz 5 and Soyuz 4)
2003: STS-107 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 17

1985: 1,037th and final Aerobee sounding rocket launched

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