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November 26, 2012 - Military Mission Milestone

26 Nov 2012, 05:00 UTC
November 26, 2012 - Military Mission Milestone
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The Week in SpaceNovember 26 - December 2, 2012 Military Mission Milestone When the space shuttle was conceived and developed, the U.S. military was eager to utilize a launch vehicle that promised inexpensive and frequent access to space. Construction of a dedicated Department of Defense shuttle launch complex at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California began in 1979 and continued through 1986, but the Challenger accident that year placed the effort on indefinite hold without a single shuttle ever lifting off from the West Coast. The Department of Defense did utilize the shuttle on ten occasions, the final time being the STS-53 mission of Discovery, which was launched twenty years ago this week from the Kennedy Space Center. STS-53 carried a classified payload, believed to be a Satellite Data Systems 2 communications satellite.Image credit: NASA Weekly CalendarNovember 26 - December 2, 2012Holidays - Sky Events - Space History Monday 26Mercury appears stationary 1965: France becomes third nation to launch a satellite1975: Final X-24B lifting body flight1985: STS-61B Atlantis launched1989: Kvant 2 module launched Tuesday 27Venus 0.6° south of Saturn 1885: First photo of a meteor shower1971: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission ...

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