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February 1, 2016 - It’s Always Sunny in Fra Mauro

It’s Always Sunny in Fra Mauro   Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. shields his eyes from the harsh glare of the Sun as he emerges from the shadow of the lunar module Antares during the first EVA of Apollo 14, which landed on the Moon forty-five years ago this week. Apollo 14’s mission was to explore the Fra Mauro region, collecting rock samples left over from the impact that created the vast Mare Imbrium basin. During two EVAs, Shepard and crewmate Edgar Mitchell collected 42.3 kg (93 lbs) of rocks and soil, deployed lunar surface experiments, and covered nearly 3.45 km (2.15 mi) on foot. Shepard also became the first person to tee off on the Moon when he famously hit two golf balls with a six-iron attached to the end of a sampling tool. Shepard claimed the balls went “miles and miles.”

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

February 1-7, 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 1

Mars 3° south of Moon

1956: Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) established
1959: First Titan I launch
2003: Space shuttle Columbia destroyed during reentry; 7 astronauts die

Moon phase Tuesday 2

Groundhog Day

Moon phase Wednesday 3

Saturn 3° south of Moon

1966: Luna 9 lands on Moon
1984: STS-41B Challenger launched
STS-60 Discovery launched
1995: STS-63 Discovery launched; Eileen Collins first woman shuttle pilot
: Astronauts aboard the ISS launch SuitSat satellite

Moon phase Thursday 4

1906: Clyde Tombaugh born

Moon phase Friday 5

1965: First test of Apollo Service Propulsion System engine
1967: Lunar Orbiter III launched
1971: Apollo 14 lands on Moon
1974: Mariner 10 uses gravity of Venus to adjust trajectory toward Mercury

Moon phase Saturday 6

Venus 4° south of Moon
Mercury 4° south of Moon

1971: Alan Shepard hits first golf balls on Moon

Moon phase Sunday 7

Mercury at greatest elongation (26° W)

1984: Bruce McCandless makes first untethered spacewalk during STS-41B
1999: Stardust comet probe launched
2001: STS-98 Atlantis launched
2008: STS-122 Atlantis launched

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