This Week In Space History

      Monday December 5th:
            2001 Launch of STS-108 - Gorie, M. Kelly, Godwin, Tani,
Onufrienko, Walz, Bursch (ISS Expedition 4)
            2014 First test flight of Orion Crew Module, aboard a Delta IV Heavy.
            2020 Japan's Hayabusa-2 asteroid mining mission returns sample from minor planet Ryugu, landing in South Australia.

      Tuesday December 6th:
            1957 First Project Vanguard launch failure.
            1958 Pioneer-3 Fails moon approach, but discovers outer Van Allen belt.
            1988 STS-27 Lands at Edwards Air Force Base.

      Wednesday December 7th:
            1968 OAO-2 Launch. 2nd Orbiting Astronomical Observatory.
            1972 Launch of Apollo 17 - Cernan, Evans, Schmitt
            1976 China-7 Launch. 2nd recovery of de-orbited sat.
            2002 Return of ISS Expedition 5 crew after 184 days, aboard STS-113.
Korzun, Whitson, Treschev.
            2018 Launch of China's Chang'e-4 lunar farside lander.

      Thursday December 8th:
            1983 STS-9 Lands at Edwards Air Force Base.
            2010 Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 with first Dragon spacecraft, with sucessful Dragon splash-down after 2 orbits.
            2021 Launch of Misurkin and tourists Yusaku and Yozo aboard Soyuz MS-20 to ISS.

      Friday December 9th:
            1978 Pioneer Venus-2 Arrives Venus. Four probes study the atmosphere on entry.
            2021 Launch of Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE).

      Saturday December 10th:
            1977 Soyuz-26 Launch. Romanenko, Grechko. Docks with Salyut-6.
            1980 Soyuz-T-3 Lands.
            1982 Soyuz-T-5/T-7 Lands. 211 days in space.
            1990 Soyuz TM-10 lands. Manakov (130 d), Strekalov (130 d), Akiyama (Japanese TV reporter).
            2006 Launch of STS-116, Discovery to ISS with P5 truss.
Polansky, Oefelein, Curbeam, Higginbotham, Patrick, Fuglesang (ESA), and S. Williams (joining Expedition 14).

      Sunday December 11th:
            1972 Apollo-17 Touchdown Moon. Cernan and Schimtt. 22 mile drive with lunar rover.
            1998 Mars Climate Orbiter launch.
            2015 Return of Kononeko, Yui, and Lindgren aboard Soyuz TMA-17M after 142 days.

Space history data compiled by Jay Apt.   Thanks to the following good sources:
TRW Space Log, NASA Glenn Research Center Space Calendar,
Rick von Glahn's CompuServe SpaceForum archive,
Jonathan's Space Report, and

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Space History