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November 23, 2015 - EASE of ACCESS

EASE of ACCESS  The space shuttle Atlantis rocketed into orbit thirty years ago this week, carrying a crew of seven and a cargo bay filled with satellites and building materials. Early in the STS-61B mission, three communications satellites (Morelos-B, AUSSAT-2, and Satcom K-2) were deployed, and all three later reached geostationary orbit. Two spacewalks also took place during the flight. Astronauts Jerry Ross and Woody Spring spent two days evaluating ACCESS (Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) and EASE (Experimental Assembly of Structures in EVA). The 14-meter tall (45-foot) ACCESS tower, shown above next to astronaut Ross, was assembled twice as part of an exercise to gain experience doing construction in space as a prelude to the International Space Station.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

November 23-29, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 23

Moon at perigee

1977: Meteosat 1 launched
1983: 149-day Salyut 7 mission ends
2002: STS-113 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Tuesday 24

1947: First Aerobee rocket launch
: STS-44 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Wednesday 25

Full Moon 5:44 PM ET

1970: First powered flight of M2-F3 lifting body

Moon phase Thursday 26

Thanksgiving Day

Aldebaran 0.7° south of Moon

1965: France becomes third nation to launch a satellite
1975: Final X-24B lifting body flight
1985: STS-61B Atlantis launched
1989: Kvant 2 module launched
2011: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity launched

Moon phase Friday 27

1885: First photo of a meteor shower
: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars
1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched

Moon phase Saturday 28

Venus 4° north of Spica

1964: Mariner 4 launched
1983: STS-9 Columbia launched

Moon phase Sunday 29

First Sunday in Advent

Saturn in conjunction with Sun

1967: First Australian satellite launched

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