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January 27, 2020 - Enduring Partnership

Enduring Partnership  In the mid-1980s, the United States sought international partners to help with the mammoth undertaking of a proposed space station named Freedom, which was considered the “next logical step” after the space shuttle program. Thirty-five years ago this week, the European Space Agency approved the ambitious Columbus program, which would have contributed a module to Freedom and ultimately led to a full-fledged European space station. Economic constraints forced both Freedom and Columbus to be downsized, but the partnership endured and now the Columbus laboratory has become ESA’s main contribution to the International Space Station. In this image, astronaut Rex Walheim installs handrails outside the newly-delivered Columbus laboratory in February 2008.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 27 - February 2, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 27

Venus 0.08° south of Neptune

1829: Isaac Roberts born, pioneer astrophotographer
1951: Beatrice Tinsley born
1967: Apollo 1 astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee die in cockpit fire on launch pad during test

Moon phase Tuesday 28

Neptune 4° north of Moon
Venus 4° north of Moon

1611: Johannes Hevelius born
1986: Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, 7 astronauts die

Moon phase Wednesday 29

Moon at apogee

1964: SA-5 launched, first Saturn I Block 2 rocket
1989: Phobos 2 enters orbit around Mars

Moon phase Thursday 30

1964: Ranger 6 launched

Moon phase Friday 31

Uranus 5° north of Moon

1958: Explorer 1 launched
1961: Mercury Redstone 2 suborbital flight with chimpanzee Ham
1966: Luna 9 launched
1971: Apollo 14 launched
1985: ESA approves the Columbus program

Moon phase Saturday 1

First Qtr Moon 8:42 PM ET

1956: Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) established
1959: First Titan I launch
2003: Space shuttle Columbia destroyed during reentry; 7 astronauts die

Moon phase Sunday 2

Groundhog Day

Vesta 0.5° south of Moon

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