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October 7, 2013 - Back on Track

Back on Track A devastating fire in the Apollo 1 capsule during a ground test in January 1967 claimed the lives of the entire crew—Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. The fire derailed the Apollo program and caused many new safety features to be incorporated into the spacecraft, but twenty-one months later the first Apollo crew flew in space. The Apollo 7 Earth-orbital mission of astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walt Cunningham lifted off forty-five years ago this week. The main objective of this 10-day shakedown flight was to confirm that the Apollo spacecraft could support a crew for the duration of a lunar mission. Here, the circular object in the expended upper stage of the Saturn IB booster provided a docking target similar to the one that would be on lunar modules in future missions.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

October 7-13, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 7

Saturn 1.9° north of Moon

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

Venus 5° south of Moon

1873: Ejnar Hertzsprung born

Moon phase Wednesday 9

Mercury at greatest elongation (25° E)

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

Moon phase Thursday 10

Mercury 5° south of Saturn
Moon at perigee

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

First Quarter Moon 7:02 PM ET

1968: Apollo 7 launched
1969: Soyuz 6, 7 & 8 in space at once
: Magellan mission ends
2000: STS-92 Discovery launched
2005: Shenzhou 6 launched

Moon phase Saturday 12

Juno 0.9° north of Moon

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

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

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