The Spitzer Space Telescope: 10 years of viewing the Universe’s dark side

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Premier of the J-series mission changed the game for Apollo 15 Four hundred miles (640 km) to the north of the Moon’s equator lies a place called Hadley: a small patch of Mare Imbrium at the base of the Apennine Mountains, some of which rise to 4,000 feet (1,200 meters), and a 25-mile (40 km) …

More than ten years have now passed since NASA’s fourth “Great Observatory” – the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRFT) – was boosted into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., atop a Delta II rocket. It was intended to complement is three older siblings, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory and …

The launch of any new spacecraft cannot be regarded as ‘routine’; nor, indeed, can its inaugural checkout in orbit. The Skylab orbital workshop was an entirely new concept for the United States and a totally different spacecraft, larger, more spacious and in many ways far more complex, than any that had gone before. Shortly after launch, telemetry data indicated a premature deployment of the protective micrometeoroid shield and the No. 2 workshop solar array. The very future of the space station was hanging by a thread.

An overview of each Skylab mission, from launch of the orbiting space station through the once planned Space Shuttle rescue mission.

Forty years ago, humanity left its last footprints on the surface of another celestial body. Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt guided their lunar module Challenger down into a beautiful, mountain-ringed valley in the Taurus Mountains, on the edge of the Moon’s Serenitatis basin, just south of the ancient crater Littrow. The spectacular …