This Month in Exploration - June
Visit "This Month in Exploration" every month to find out how aviation and space exploration have changed throughout the years, improving life for humans on Earth and in space. While reflecting on the events that led to NASA's formation and its rich history of accomplishments, "This Month in Exploration" will also reveal where the agency is leading us -- to the moon, Mars and beyond.
100 Years Ago
June 22: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, aviator and wife of Charles Lindbergh, was born in Englewood, N.J. Anne flew her first solo flight in 1929 and became the first American woman to earn a first-class glider pilot's license in 1930. She also frequently flew with her husband and authored two books. She died on February 7, 2001.
Image right: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Aviator. Credit: Smithsonian Institution #80-438
75 Years Ago
June 23: Aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty flew their single-engine plane, the Winnie Mae, with the goal of successfully completing the first round-the-world flight. They took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y. and set the new record after landing nearly nine days later.
50 Years Ago
June 29: Aerobee Hi NRL-50, a sounding rocket with ionosphere research instruments, was launched by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The payload reached an approximate altitude of 164 miles.
30 Years Ago
June 19: The Viking 1 orbiter arrived in Mars orbit. The primary mission objectives were to obtain high resolution images of the Martian surface, characterize the structure and composition of the atmosphere and surface, and search for evidence of life.
25 Years Ago
June 8: The Soviet space program launched the Molniya 3-16 in support of its long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system. This communications satellite also enabled the transmission of television programs in the USSR and replaced the Molniya 3-14.
Image left: Aerobee 150A in shop assembly area. Credit: NASA
20 Years Ago
June 2: Randy Haney set the record for hang-glide distance by traveling 199.75 miles in his unpowered glider in British Columbia.
10 Years Ago
June 20: Space Shuttle Columbia began its 17-day STS-78 mission that carried a Spacelab module for the first Life and Microgravity Sciences (LMS-1) payload. The Spacelab module is pressurized and enables various experiments onboard the shuttle.
Five Years Ago
June 30: The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) was launched by a Delta 2 rocket to measure the temperature of cosmic background radiation, which is leftover heat remaining from the Big Bang.
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The Vision for Space Exploration Experience exhibit is touring the United States this year, treating its visitors to a simulated trip to the moon, Mars and beyond. Some of the young students touring this exhibit may become the future astronauts that will travel to Mars in 20 or 30 years.
Discovery is on the launch pad ready for a summer launch. The July mission will continue to build the world's largest orbiting laboratory, paving the way to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Image left: STS-78 Mission Patch. Credit: NASA
10 Years From Now
Twenty-eight months before launch, the astronauts selected for the Return to the Moon mission may begin to assemble their specialized spacesuits from standard-size components. The suits will be tailored to each crewmember's size. Each crewmember will need a different suit during the various phases of the lunar mission (launch and re-entry, transfer between Earth and the moon and exploring the lunar surface).
20 Years From Now
After intense scrutiny, the data from the Martian Crew Exploration Vehicle launch simulation tests show a "go for launch" in September 2026. This launch will follow a long series of other successful launch programs, such as Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, shuttle, space station and the lunar return programs in the past.
Emily Groh (Analex Corporation)
NASA's Glenn Research Center
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