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May 18, 2015 - Spektr Spectacle

Spektr Spectacle  Launched twenty years ago this week, the Spektr module, seen with its two pairs of solar panels at the bottom of this image of the Mir space station, provided power, scientific equipment for Earth observation, and living quarters for U.S. astronauts visiting Mir. Spektr was badly damaged on June 25, 1997, when Progress M-34, a remote-controlled resupply vessel, crashed into the module during tests of a new guidance system. The module lost pressure and electricity so it had to be shut down and sealed off from the remainder of Mir. In September 1998, two cosmonauts donned space suits to search for leaks and perform repairs inside the unpressurized Spektr. They restored Spektr’s power-generating capabilities, but the module remained sealed and uninhabited until Mir’s deorbiting in 2001.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

May 18-24, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Monday 18

Victoria Day (Canada)

New Moon 12:13 AM ET

1969: Apollo 10 launched
1984: Viking 1 lander given to National Air & Space Museum
1996: First test flight of DC-XA rocket
: 23rd and final spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope

Tuesday 19

Mercury 6° north of Moon
Mercury appears stationary

1965: Apollo A-003 launched
1996: STS-77 Endeavour launched
2000: STS-101 Atlantis launched

Wednesday 20

1978: Pioneer-Venus 1 launched
1995: Spektr module launched to Mir space station

Thursday 21

Venus 8° north of Moon

2010: IKAROS spacecraft launched; first successful solar-sail propulsion

Friday 22

Saturn at opposition

1969: Apollo 10 lunar module descends to within 50,000 feet of the lunar surface
2012: Dragon C2+ spacecraft launched, first commercial mission to dock with ISS

Saturday 23

1984: NASA selects 10th astronaut group

Sunday 24

Whit Sunday—Pentecost

Jupiter 5° north of Moon

1962: Aurora 7 launched

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