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September 8, 2014 - Look, Ma—No Tethers!

Look, Ma—No Tethers! Launched twenty years ago this week, the STS-64 mission saw the return of the untethered spacewalk. A decade earlier, during the STS-41B shuttle mission, astronauts tested the Manned Maneuvering Unit. Although dozens of traditional spacewalks had been conducted since then, STS-64 astronaut Mark Lee became the first spacewalker in ten years to venture out into space completely untethered. He tested the new SAFER backpack (Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue), designed for use in the event a crew member becomes untethered while conducting a spacewalk. Also visible in Discovery’s cargo bay is the LITE (Lidar-In-Space Technology Experiment) payload, which employed an optical radar using laser pulses instead of radio waves to study Earth’s atmosphere.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

September 8-14, 2014

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 8

Full Moon 9:38 PM ET
Moon at perigee
Neptune 5° south of Moon

1966: “Star Trek” premieres
1967: Surveyor 5 launched
2000: STS-106 Atlantis launched
2004: Genesis spacecraft crash-lands on return to Earth

Moon phase Tuesday 9

1789: William Bond born
1892: E. E. Barnard discovers Amalthea
1975: Viking 2 launched
1982: Conestoga 1 launched
1994: STS-64 Discovery launched
2006: STS-115 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Wednesday 10

Uranus 1.1° south of Moon

1857: James Keeler born
1967: Surveyor 5 lands on Moon
1978: Venera 11 launched
2011: GRAIL spacecraft launched

Moon phase Thursday 11

1877: James Jeans born
1985: International Cometary Explorer satellite probes Comet Giacobini-Zinner (first comet flyby)
1997: Mars Global Surveyor arrives at Mars

Moon phase Friday 12

1959: Luna 2 launched
1966: Gemini XI launched
1970: Luna 16 launched
1991: STS-48 Discovery launched
1992: STS-47 Endeavour launched
1993: STS-51 Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 13

1977: Second glide test of Space Shuttle Enterprise
1978: Venera 12 launched

Moon phase Sunday 14

1966: Gemini XI, docked with Agena booster rocket, reaches 850-mile-high orbit

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