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June 4, 2018 - Spirit Self-Portrait

Spirit Self-Portrait  This bird’s-eye view combines a self-portrait of the spacecraft deck and a panoramic mosaic of the Martian surface as viewed from the top of Husband Hill by the Mars rover Spirit, which was launched 15 years ago this week. Originally designed to operate for just three months on the Martian surface, Spirit, like its sibling rover, Opportunity, far exceeded its warranty. Spirit worked for over five years, about 20 times longer than planned, and traveled 7.73 kilometers (4.8 mi) before getting mired in an unnavigable mix of sand and rock in early 2009. Unable to orient its solar panels, Spirit eventually lost power and stopped communicating in 2010. Despite its unfortunate end, Spirit was a prolific explorer, uncovering minerals that indicate Mars once had abundant liquid water..

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell

Weekly Calendar

June 4 - 10, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 4

1971: Last X-24A lifting body flight
1974: Construction begins on space shuttle Enterprise
2000: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Tuesday 5

Mercury in superior conjunction

1819: John Couch Adams born
1989: Voyager 2 begins regular observations of Neptune
1991: STS-40 Columbia launched
2002: STS-111 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Wednesday 6

Neptune 2° north of Moon
Last Qtr Moon 2:32 PM ET

1932: Dave Scott born
1971: Soyuz 11 launched, first crew to occupy Salyut 1 space station
1983: Venera 16 launched

Moon phase Thursday 7

1992: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer launched
2011Soyuz TMA-02M launched carrying ISS Expedition 28/29 crew

Moon phase Friday 8

Venus 5° south of Pollux

1625: Giovanni Cassini born
1959: First X-15 unpowered glide test
1975: Venera 9 launched
2007: STS-117 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Saturday 9

Uranus 5° north of Moon

1812: Johann Gottfried Galle born

Moon phase Sunday 10

1985: Vega 1 deploys lander and balloon on Venus
2003: Mars rover Spirit launched

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