January 18, 2011

Today in Astronomy History

Today we decided to take a look back at notable events in the history of science, space and astronomy. On this day in 1986, the 24th Space Shuttle Mission, Columbia 7 (STS-61C), returned to Earth. Seeing as this is the 25th anniversary of that date, we wanted to take a deeper look at the mission and see what came out of it. Here are some quick facts about this Columbia mission:

  • The mission was originally scheduled to launch on December 18, 1985 but was delayed a day due to orbiter issues.
  • The launch on December 19 was scratched at T- 14 seconds due to concerns that the right rocket booster hydraulic power unit was exceeding redline limits for RPM. This delayed the launch to January 6, 1986.
  • After bad weather and errors with launch, the mission launched on January 12, 1986 with no delays.
  • On this mission, the SATCOM KU-I satellite was deployed.
  • A 35mm camera set to photograph Comet Halley, known as the Comet Halley Active Monitoring Program (CHAMP), did not work due to batter problems with the camera.
  • The shuttle was scheduled to land January 17 but was forced to extend by one revolution and land at Edwards due to inclement weather at Kennedy Space Center.

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