This Week In Space History


      Friday December 3rd:
            1965 Luna-8 Launch. Retros fire late. Impact, Ocean of Storms.
            1974 Pioneer-11 Flyby of Jupiter (26,683 miles). Enroute interstellar.
            1985 STS 61-B Lands at Edwards Air Force Base.
            1999 Mars Polar Lander contact lost during Mars entry.
            2010 Landing of DARPA/US Air Force X-37B orbital spaceplane OTV-1 after 226 days.
Second automated runway landing following orbital re-entry (first was Buran in 1988).
            2018 Launch of Kononenko, Saint-Jacques, and McClain aboard Soyuz MS-11 to join ISS Expedition 57/58.
            2018 OSIRIS-REx arrives at asteroid Bennu.
            2020 Chang'e-5 lunar robotic sample return mission launches from moon with retrieved samples.

      Saturday December 4th:
            1965 Launch of Gemini 7 - Borman, Lovell (100 x 162, 28.9 deg, 220 orbits).
            1973 Pioneer-10 Flyby of Jupiter (80,968 miles). Enroute interstellar.
            1978 Pioneer Venus-1 Arrives Venus orbit.
            1996 Mars Pathfinder launch.
            1998 Launch of STS-88 - Cabana, Sturcow, Ross, Newman, Curie, Krikalev.
Attached Unity, PMA-1, PMA-2 to Zarya.

      Sunday 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.

      Monday 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.

      Tuesday 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.

      Wednesday 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.

      Thursday December 9th:
            1978 Pioneer Venus-2 Arrives Venus. Four probes study the atmosphere on entry.




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 astronautix.com


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