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November 26, 2018 - Another Lunar Nation

Another Lunar Nation  Five years ago this week, China became the third nation (after the United States and the former Soviet Union) to launch a spacecraft that would land successfully on the Moon.  The Chang’e 3 spacecraft (named after the goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology), and the Yutu (“Jade Rabbit”) rover, landed on the Moon two weeks after launch. The Yutu rover, which took this picture of the lander, was deployed on the lunar surface a few hours after landing and traveled for three months covering some 100 meters (328 ft). The lander used an ultraviolet telescope to perform astronomical observations, an extreme ultraviolet camera to study Earth’s plasmasphere, a ground-penetrating radar, and a robotic arm outfitted with an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer.

Image credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences / China National Space Administration

Weekly Calendar

November 26 - December 2, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 26

Jupiter in conjunction with Sun
Moon at perigee

1965: France becomes third nation to launch a satellite
1975: Final X-24B lifting body flight
1985: STS-61B Atlantis launched
1989: Kvant 2 module launched
2011: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity launched

Moon phase Tuesday 27

Mercury in inferior conjunction

1885: First photo of a meteor shower
1971
: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars
1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched

Moon phase Wednesday 28

1964: Mariner 4 launched
1983: STS-9 Columbia launched
2017: Voyager 1 fired backup thruster for first time in 37 years

Moon phase Thursday 29

Last Qtr Moon 7:19 PM ET

1967: First Australian satellite launched

Moon phase Friday 30

1954: Elizabeth Hodges bruised by a ten-pound meteorite in Alabama
2000: STS-97 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Saturday 1

Venus at greatest illuminated extent

1957: Ballistic shape of Mercury spacecraft proposed by Max Faget
2013: Chang'e-3 spacecraft launched to Moon

Moon phase Sunday 2

Hanukkah begins at sunset

1974: Pioneer 11 closest approach to Jupiter during flyby
1988: STS-27 Atlantis launched
1990: STS-35 Columbia launched on Astro-1 mission
1992: STS-53 Discovery launched
1993: STS-61 Endeavour launched
1995: SOHO launched

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