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October 7, 2019 - A Sacrifice for Science

A Sacrifice for Science  Launched in May 1989, the Magellan spacecraft arrived at Venus in August 1990. During its four years in orbit, Magellan used radar to see through the clouds that perpetually veil Venus. Ninety-eight percent of the planet was thus mapped, providing global, three-dimensional views of unprecedented clarity. In this computer-generated image, lava flows spread across the fractured plains in the foreground for hundreds of kilometers, from the base of Maat Mons, a nine-kilometer-high (5 mi) equatorial volcano. At mission’s end and low on power, Magellan gathered some final scientific data by intentionally dipping into Venus’s atmosphere. Twenty-five years ago this week, contact was lost with the daring spacecraft when Magellan, as planned, burned up in the atmosphere.

Image credit: NASA / JPL

Weekly Calendar

October 7 - 13, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 7

1885: Niels Bohr born
1959: Luna 3 returns first images of the lunar far side
2002: STS-112 Atlantis launched
2010: Soyuz TMA-01M launched carrying ISS Expedition 25/26 crew

Moon phase Tuesday 8

Yom Kippur begins at sunset

Draconid meteor shower

1873: Ejnar Hertzsprung born

Moon phase Wednesday 9

Draconid meteor shower

1604: Kepler’s Supernova observed
2009: LCROSS detects water on the Moon

Moon phase Thursday 10

Moon at apogee
Neptune 4° north of Moon

1846: William Lassell discovers Triton, moon of Neptune
1980: Very Large Array dedicated
1983: Venera 15 orbits Venus
2007: ISS Expedition 16 crew launched

Moon phase Friday 11

1968: Apollo 7 launched
1969: Soyuz 6, 7 & 8 in space at once
1994
: Magellan mission ends
2000: STS-92 Discovery launched
2005: Shenzhou 6 launched
2018: Soyuz MS-10 launched carrying ISS Expedition 57/58, in-flight launch abort

Moon phase Saturday 12

1964: Voskhod 1 launched, first three-person space flight
1977: Shuttle Enterprise’s first glide test without aerodynamic tailcone
2008: ISS Expedition 18 crew launched

Moon phase Sunday 13

Full Moon 5:08 PM ET

1773: Charles Messier observes M-51
1933: British Interplanetary Society founded
1968: Apollo 7 first live TV broadcast from space
2004: ISS Expedition 10 crew launched

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