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October 14, 2019 - Galileo Gets a Lift

Galileo Gets a Lift  On its third launch attempt in a week, the space shuttle Atlantis took to the sky on mission STS-34. The launch, which occurred 30 years ago this week, heralded a new era in planetary exploration because nestled inside the shuttle’s cargo bay was Galileo, the first spacecraft designed to orbit Jupiter. After being deployed from Atlantis, Galileo followed an energy-saving path through the inner solar system, looping past Venus, Earth (twice), and two asteroids before finally arriving at Jupiter six years later. Galileo spent eight years studying the Jovian system, exponentially increasing our knowledge of Jupiter. Also aboard Atlantis during its five-day mission was a solar backscatter ultraviolet experiment for measuring the height and distribution of ozone in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

October 14 - 20, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 14

Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Columbus Day

Uranus 4° north of Moon

1947: World’s first supersonic flight
1957: USAF announces X-20 Dyna-Soar project
1983: Venera 16 arrives in orbit around Venus

Moon phase Tuesday 15

1829: Asaph Hall born
1997: Cassini-Huygens launched
2003: Shenzhou 5 launched, Yang Liwei becomes first Chinese astronaut

Moon phase Wednesday 16

Moon phase Thursday 17

1956: Mae Jemison born
2016: Shenzhou-11 launched

Moon phase Friday 18

1967: Venera 4 makes first direct studies of Venus’s atmosphere
1989: STS-34 Atlantis launched
1993: STS-58 Columbia launched
2003: ISS Expedition 8 crew launched

Moon phase Saturday 19

1910: Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar born
1967: Mariner 5 flies past Venus
2005: Final Titan IV rocket launched
2016: ExoMars arrives at Mars
2016: Soyuz MS-02 launched carrying ISS Expedition 49/50 crew
2018: BepiColombo spacecraft launched

Moon phase Sunday 20

Mercury at greatest elongation (25° E)

1970: Zond 8 launched
1995: STS-73 Columbia launched

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