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August 6, 2018 - Just Dropping In

Just Dropping In  The Pioneer Venus Multiprobe was one of two spacecraft that comprised NASA’s 1978 Pioneer Venus mission.  Launched 40 years ago this week, the Multiprobe was a spacecraft bus that ferried one large and three small atmospheric probes to Venus. Released from the mother ship three weeks before their arrival at Venus, all four probes entered the atmosphere on December 9, 1978. All the probes had aerodynamic shells to protect them during their descent through the atmosphere, but only the large probe, illustrated above, was equipped with a parachute. During their brief working lives, the four probes returned important data about the temperature, pressure and composition of the atmosphere of Venus. Surprisingly, one of the small probes survived impact and functioned on the surface for an hour.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

August 6 - 12, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 6

Aldebaran 1.1° south of Moon

1961: Vostok 2 launched, first full-day human space mission, Gherman Titov first person to sleep in space
2012: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity lands on Mars

Moon phase Tuesday 7

Pallas in conjunction with Sun
Uranus appears stationary

1959: Explorer 6 launched
1969: Zond 7 launched
1980: Viking 1 orbiter ceases operation
1997: STS-85 Discovery launched

Moon phase Wednesday 8

Mercury in inferior conjunction

1978: Pioneer-Venus 2 launched
1989: Hipparcos observatory launched
1989: STS-28 Columbia launched
2001: Genesis spacecraft launched
2007: STS-118 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Thursday 9

1965: First static test of SIV-B stage
1976: Luna 24 launched

Moon phase Friday 10

Moon at perigee

1966: Lunar Orbiter I launched
1990: Magellan enters orbit around Venus
2001: STS-105 Discovery launched

Moon phase Saturday 11

New Moon 5:58 AM ET
Partial Solar Eclipse (visible from high latitudes of northern North America, northern Europe, Greenland, Asia)

1960: Discoverer 13 capsule becomes first object recovered from orbit
: Vostok 3 launched

Moon phase Sunday 12

Perseid meteor shower

1877: Asaph Hall discovers Deimos, moon of Mars
1960: Echo 1 satellite launched on first successful Delta rocket
1962: Vostok 4 launched
1977: HEAO-1 launched
1977: Space shuttle Enterprise’s first glide test
2005: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launched

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