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April 6, 2020 - The Aid of Aquarius

The Aid of Aquarius  Fifty years ago this week, the Apollo 13 spacecraft, en route to the Moon for the third human landing, suffered an explosion that crippled the command module, Odyssey. The three astronauts (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert) sought refuge in the small lunar module, Aquarius, while the damaged spacecraft looped around the Moon to return to Earth. Although it was designed to support two astronauts for just two days on the lunar surface, Aquarius ended up keeping all three astronauts alive for nearly five days. Lovell, who had orbited the Moon on Apollo 8, is the only astronaut to have traveled to the Moon twice without landing on it. Shown here at the Kennedy Space Center in January 1970, Haise (right) tries out a motorized core sampler while Lovell (left) looks on.

Image Credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

April 6 - 12, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Monday 6

1965: Early Bird (Intelsat 1) launched
1984: STS-41C Challenger launched

Tuesday 7

Moon at perigee
Full Moon 10:35 PM ET

1991: Compton Gamma Ray Observatory deployed
2001: Mars Odyssey Orbiter launched
2007: ISS Expedition 15 crew launched

Moon phase Wednesday 8

Passover begins at sunset

1964: Gemini I launched
1966: OAO-1 launched
1993: STS-56 Discovery launched
2002: STS-110 Atlantis launched
2008: ISS Expedition 17 crew launched

Thursday 9

1959: NASA selects original seven Mercury astronauts
1994: STS-59 Endeavour launched

Friday 10

Good Friday

1919: John C. Houbolt born
2019: Astronomers reveal first image of a black hole

Saturday 11

1960: Project Ozma started
1970: Apollo 13 launched
1980: Viking 2 lander mission ends
1984: Challenger retrieves Solar Max
1986: Halley’s Comet closest to Earth

Sunday 12

Yuri's Night World Space Party
Easter Sunday

1961: Yuri Gagarin first human in space
1981: STS-1 Columbia launched
1985: STS-51D Discovery launched

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