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June 19, 2017 - A Long Way for a Little Gravity

A Long Way for a Little Gravity  Twenty-five years ago this week, the space shuttle Columbia lifted off on the start of the STS-50 mission. The primary payload aboard Columbia was the United States Microgravity Laboratory-I (USML-1), a manned Spacelab module with a tunnel connecting it to the orbiter crew compartment. USML-1, operated by Columbia’s crew of seven astronauts, was a national effort to advance microgravity research in a broad number of disciplines including fluid dynamics, crystal growth, combustion science, biological science, and technology demonstration. The fourteen-day mission, the first Extended Duration Orbiter flight and the longest space shuttle mission up to that point, also provided new information on the human effects of long-duration spaceflight.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

June 19-25, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 19

Uranus 4° north of Moon

1999: QuikSCAT launched

Moon phase Tuesday 20

Venus 2° north of Moon

1985: NASA announces cola wars will take place on shuttle mission STS-51F
1996: STS-78 Columbia launched

Moon phase Wednesday 21

Solstice 12:24 AM ET
Mercury in superior conjunction

1993: STS-57 Endeavour launched
2004: SpaceShipOne launched, first privately-funded human space flight

Moon phase Thursday 22

Aldebaran 0.5° south of Moon

1675: Royal Greenwich Observatory founded
1973: 28-day Skylab 2 mission ends
2000: NASA announces evidence of present-day liquid water on Mars

Moon phase Friday 23

Moon at perigee
New Moon 10:31 PM ET

Moon phase Saturday 24

St. Jean Baptiste Day (Québec)

1999: FUSE spacecraft launched

Moon phase Sunday 25

1894: Hermann Oberth born
1992: STS-50 Columbia launched
1997: Progress spacecraft collides with Mir Spektr module
1999: Gemini North telescope dedicated

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