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January 13, 2020 - A Satellite by Any Other Name

A Satellite by Any Other Name  NASA’s Earth Resources Technology Satellite, launched in 1972, was the first in a series of orbiting spacecraft designed to monitor Earth’s land masses. Forty-five years ago this week, the satellite was renamed Landsat 1. Seven more Landsats have provided uninterrupted coverage of the Earth for nearly half a century. Landsat 7 and 8 are still active, and the latest generation, Landsat 9, is slated for launch in late 2020. In this Landsat 8 image of the Western Desert in central Egypt, highly eroded plateaus rise from the desert floor. The bright speckles are ancient dry lakes, the salt deposits reflecting brightly. Long ago, water flowed off the plateau, forming the breaches seen on the plateaus’ edges. This desolate land between oases is surrounded by extensive sand dunes.

Image credit: NASA / USGS

Weekly Calendar

January 13 - 19, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 13

Saturn in conjunction with Sun
Ceres in conjunction with Sun
Moon at perigee

1610: Galileo discovers Ganymede, moon of Jupiter
1978: NASA selects first women astronauts
1993: STS-54 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Tuesday 14

1916: Royal Astronomical Society admits first women members
: Earth Resources Technology Satellite is renamed Landsat
2005: Huygens probe lands on Titan
2008: MESSENGER spacecraft makes its first flyby of Mercury

Moon phase Wednesday 15

1973: Luna 21 lander and Lunokhod 2 rover land on Moon
1976: Helios 2 launched
2006: Stardust spacecraft returns samples of comet dust

Moon phase Thursday 16

Mars 5° north of Antares

1969: First docking of two human spacecraft (Soyuz 5 and Soyuz 4)
2003: STS-107 Columbia launched

Moon phase Friday 17

Last Qtr Moon 7:58 AM ET

1647: Elizabeth Hevelius born
: 1,037th and final Aerobee sounding rocket launched

Moon phase Saturday 18

2002: Gemini South Observatory dedicated

Moon phase Sunday 19

1747: Johann Bode born
1851: Jacobus Kapteyn born
1965: Gemini II launched
2006: New Horizons launched

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