The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex just published the latest edition of their regular feature known as "This Week in Space." Let's take a look back together:
- July 16, 1969: Apollo 11, the first mission to land men on the moon, lifted off from launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins
- July 18, 1921: John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth was born. Glenn piloted the Mercury Capsule, Friendship 7 in 1962, successfully orbiting Earth three times. His last flight was aboard STS-95 Discovery which he piloted at the age of 67. He also served as one of Ohio’s United States Senators.
- July 19, 1985: NASA selected Christa McAuliffe lead candidate for The Teacher in Space program. This was created to spark interest in the space program as NASA chose educators to go to space. Christa McAuliffe was a history, law, and economics teacher from Concord High School in New Hampshire and unfortunately passed away in the STS-51L Challenger accident.
- July 20, 1969: Today is the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s statement, “We shall go to the moon in this decade.” Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to ever walk on the moon, cementing America’s lead in the 1960s space race.
- July 21, 1961: MRLV-8 capsule Liberty Bell 7, manned by Gus Grissom, was the second US manned suborbital flight. During splashdown, the hatch cover unexpectedly blew, and after Grissom was safely retrieved, the capsule sunk into the Atlantic Ocean. It was recovered 38 years later in 1999.
- July 23, 1999: Eileen Collins became the first female Space Shuttle Commander when STS-93 Columbia launched 15 years ago. During this five-day mission the Chandra X-ray Observatory was successfully deployed.
- July 24, 1950: On this day the first successful launch from Cape Canaveral took place. Under the direction of General Electric, the Bumper 2 rocket was used to test rocket systems and experiment with the upper atmosphere. The rocket reached a 1950 distance record of 400 kilometer the upper stage.
- July 28, 1851: The first photograph of a total solar eclipse was taken by Berkowski, a local photographer in Prussia.
- July 29, 1958: Spurred as a competitive reaction to the Soviet Union launching Sputnik, Congress passed legislation and President Eisenhower signed the
- July 30, 1610: Galileo reports seeing odd extremities around Saturn. They would become known as Saturn’s rings.
- July 31, 1971: Apollo 15 Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin became the first to use the Lunar Roving Vehicle, traveling 17.5 miles on the moon. They collected over 170 pounds of lunar samples to bring back to Earth.
For more information, feel free to visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.