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June 1, 2015 - Catching Up

Catching Up  By mid-1965, the former Soviet Union was leading the space race. In 1963, the Soviets set a space endurance record of five days. In late 1964, a year in which NASA had no human space flights at all, the Soviets launched a three-cosmonaut crew. The following March, cosmonaut Alexei Leonov made the world’s first space walk. The Soviet lead in space was increasing, but the Gemini IV mission, launched fifty years ago this week, closed the gap. Four hours into the mission, astronaut Ed White opened the hatch of the capsule and made America’s first spacewalk, floating in space for twenty minutes. This was NASA’s second two-astronaut flight, and White and crew mate Jim McDivitt spent just over four days in space, nearly three times as long as the previous American record set in 1963.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

June 1-7, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 1

Saturn 1.9° south of Moon

Moon phase Tuesday 2

Full Moon 12:19 PM ET

1930: Charles “Pete” Conrad born
1966: Surveyor 1 lands on Moon
1970: First glide test of M2-F3 lifting body
1998: STS-91 Discovery launched
2003: Mars Express / Beagle 2 launched

Moon phase Wednesday 3

1948: 200-inch Hale telescope dedicated
: Gemini IV launched; Ed White takes America’s first space walk
: Gemini IX launched

Moon phase Thursday 4

1971: Last X-24A lifting body flight
1974: Construction begins on space shuttle Enterprise
2000: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Friday 5

1819: John Couch Adams born
1989: Voyager 2 begins regular observations of Neptune
1991: STS-40 Columbia launched
2002: STS-111 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Saturday 6

Venus at greatest elongation (45° E)
Ceres appears stationary

1932: Dave Scott born
1971: Soyuz 11 launched, first crew to occupy Salyut 1 space station
1983: Venera 16 launched

Moon phase Sunday 7

1992: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer launched
2011Soyuz TMA-02M launched carrying ISS Expedition 28/29 crew

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