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March 16, 2015 - Saluting Jim Irwin

Saluting Jim Irwin  James Irwin, born eighty-five years ago today, flew in space only once, but that one flight was to the Moon. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 1966, Irwin was the Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 15 and the eighth person to walk on the Moon. In July 1971, Irwin and mission Commander Dave Scott landed on the Moon at the base of the Apennine Mountains and Hadley Rille. They were the first astronauts to drive a Lunar Roving Vehicle to travel greater distances from the Lunar Module. Irwin left NASA in 1972, and in subsequent years he achieved notoriety by leading several expeditions to Mount Ararat in Turkey, where he believed he would find the remains of Noah’s Ark. Irwin had a fatal heart attack in 1991; he was the first Apollo moonwalker to die and, at sixty-one, the youngest.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

March 16-22, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 16

1750: Caroline Herschel born
1926: Robert Goddard launches first liquid fuel rocket
1966: Gemini VIII launched
1975: Mariner 10’s 3rd Mercury flyby

Moon phase Tuesday 17

St. Patrick’s Day

1930: Jim Irwin born
1958: Vanguard 1 launched, first solar-powered satellite
1972: NASA issues request for proposals for Space Shuttle
2011: MESSENGER becomes first spacecraft to orbit Mercury

Moon phase Wednesday 18

Neptune 4° south of Moon

1965: Voskhod 2 launched, Alexei Leonov takes world’s first spacewalk
1980: Soviet rocket explosion kills 50 workers at Plesetsk launch pad

Moon phase Thursday 19

Mercury 5° south of Moon
Moon at perigee

1970: First powered flight of X-24A lifting body

Moon phase Friday 20

New Moon 5:36 AM ET
Total solar eclipse (North Atlantic)
Equinox 6:45 PM ET

Moon phase Saturday 21

Uranus 0.1° south of Moon
Mars 1° north of Moon

1965: Ranger 9 launched

Moon phase Sunday 22

Venus 3° north of Moon

1982: STS-3 Columbia launched
1996: STS-76 Atlantis launched
1997: Comet Hale-Bopp closest approach to Earth

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