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May 28, 2018 - Europe Goes to Mars

Europe Goes to Mars  The first 40 years of Mars exploration saw the United States and Russia launch over 30 missions to the Red Planet, only about a dozen of which were successful. Against these odds, it was an even more remarkable achievement that the European Space Agency’s first mission to another planet was so successful. Launched 15 years ago this week, Mars Express has given scientists an entirely new view of Mars, and is answering fundamental questions about the geology, atmosphere, surface environment, history of water, and potential for life on the planet. This Mars Express color-coded topographic view shows relative heights and depths of terrain in the Margaritifer Terra /Erythraeum Chaos region. Whites and reds represent the highest terrain, while blue/purple is the lowest.

Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Weekly Calendar

May 28 - June 3, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 28

Memorial Day

1959: First primates in space, Able and Baker (monkeys), complete suborbital flight
1964: SA-6 launched, second Saturn I Block 2
2013Soyuz TMA-09M launched carrying ISS Expedition 36/37 crew
2014Soyuz TMA-13M launched carrying ISS Expedition 40/41 crew

Moon phase Tuesday 29

Full Moon 10:20 AM ET

1919: Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity tested during total solar eclipse
2009: ISS Expedition 20 begins

Moon phase Wednesday 30

1934: Alexi Leonov born
1966: Surveyor 1 launched
1971: Mariner 9 probe launched

Moon phase Thursday 31

Saturn 1.6° south of Moon

1975: European Space Agency formed
1990: Kristall module launched to Mir space station
2008: STS-124 Discovery launched

Moon phase Friday 1

Moon phase Saturday 2

Moon at apogee

1930: Charles “Pete” Conrad born
1966: Surveyor 1 lands on Moon
1970: First glide test of M2-F3 lifting body
1998: STS-91 Discovery launched
2003: Mars Express / Beagle 2 launched

Moon phase Sunday 3

Mars 3° south of Moon

1948: 200-inch Hale telescope dedicated
1965
: Gemini IV launched; Ed White takes America’s first space walk
1966
: Gemini IX launched
2017: SpaceX CRS-10 launched, first flight to ISS of previously flown Dragon capsule

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