This Week In Space History

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

      Tuesday December 18th:
            1965 Gemini-7 Splashdown 13 days 18 hrs 35 mins.
            1973 Soyuz-13 Launch. Klimuk, Levedev. First time US and Soviets are in space simultaneously.

      Wednesday December 19th:
            1960 Mercruy-1 Launch. unpiloted mission flew to 130.7 miles.
            1963 Explorer-19 Launch. 2nd in series of air density experiments.
            1972 Apollo-17 Splashdown 12 days 13 hrs.
Last piloted visit to the Moon in the Twentieth Century.
            1979 Soyuz-T-1 After 3 days of maneuvers, docks with Salyut-6.
            2012 Launch of Soyuz TMA-07M. Romanenko, Hadfield (first Candadian to command ISS), and Marshburn to join ISS Expedition 34/35.
            2013 Launch of ESA's Gaia stellar distance measuring satellite.

      Thursday December 20th:
            1999 Launch of STS-103 - C. Brown, S. Kelly, Clervoy, Smith, Foale, Grunsfeld, Nicollier.
HST Servicing Mission 3A.
            2009 Launch of Soyuz TMA-17. Kotov, Creamer and Noguchi to join ISS Expedition 22.

      Friday December 21st:
            1966 Luna-13 Launched to Moon. 2nd Soviet soft lander.
            1968 Launch of Apollo 8 - Borman, Lovell, Anders 10 Lunar orbits, 147 hours. First piloted circumlunar flight.
            1978 Venera-12 Probe decends to surface.
            1984 Vega-2 Launched to Venus and Halley's Comet.
            1987 Soyuz TM-4 Launch. Titov, Levchenko, Manarov. Dock with Mir.
            1988 Soyuz TM-6 lands. Titov (365 d), Manarov (365 d), Chretien (French)
            2011 Launch of Soyuz TMA-03M. Kononenko, Kuipers, Pettit to join ISS Expedition 30/31.
            2013 ISS crew Mastraccio and Hopkins perform the first of 2 EVAs to replace a failed thermal control system.

      Saturday December 22nd:
            2006 Landing of Discovery, after mission STS-116, on KSC runway 15 with Reiter from Expedition 13.
            2015 Succesful vertical landing of Falcon 9 first stage, from an altitude of 200 km, at CCAFS LC-13 (now LZ-1).

      Sunday December 23rd:

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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