This Week In Space History

      Monday 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.

      Tuesday December 12th:
            1961 Launch of OSCAR 1, the first amateur radio satellite
            1970 Explorer-42 Launch. Small Astro Sat (SAS-1). Map X-ray sources.
            2012 Launch of North Korea's first satellite, Kwangmyongsong-3.

      Wednesday December 13th:
            1962 Relay-1 Launch. First ComSat. 12 simultaneous telephone, 1 TV signal.
            1967 Pioneer-8 Launch. Solar orbit. Monitor Solar activity.
            2012 China's Chang'e-2 makes a 3 km flyby of asteroid Toutatis and returns images.

      Thursday December 14th:
            1962 Mariner-2 Flyby of Venus (21598mi). Now in solar orbit.
            1972 Apollo-17 Liftoff from the Moon, with the last humans to visit in the Apollo program.
            2009 Launch of NASA Wide Field Infrared Explorer astronomy satellite.
            2013 Launding of China's Chang'e 3 lunar rover in Mare Imbrium. First lunar soft landing since 1976.

      Friday December 15th:
            1965 Launch of Gemini 6 - Schirra, Stafford (100 x 162 nm, 28.9 deg, 17 orbits,
came within 1 foot of Gemini 7 in first rendezvous)
            1970 Venera-7 Probe enters atmosphere. Successfully lands and transmits.
            1984 Vega-1 Launched to Venus and Halley's Comet.
            2010 Launch of Soyuz TMA-20. Kondratev, Nespoli, and Coleman to join ISS Expedition 26.
            2015 Launch of Soyuz TMA-19M with Malenchenko, Kopra, and Peake to join ISS Expedition 46/47.

      Saturday December 16th:
            1965 Pioneer-6 Monitor Solar activity. Send data, far side of sun.
            1965 Gemini-6 Splashdown 25 hrs. 51 mins.
            1973 Explorer-51 Launch. Atmoshpere explorers look at pollution.
            1975 China-5 Launch. Purpose undetermined.
            1979 Soyuz-T-1 Launch. Unpiloted.

      Sunday December 17th:
            2001 Return of ISS Expedition 3 crew after 128 days, aboard STS-108.
Culbertson, Dezhurov, and Tyurin.

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