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10 Things for the Week of August 4 - 10
Columnist: Autumn Burdick
10 Things for the Week of August 4 - 10
2 August 2013
Black and white image of the moon with Earth in the background.
Ten years ago this week: Lunar Orbiter 1 lifts off for the moon.

Your weekly look at upcoming events and stories from around our solar system.

1. GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Monday: Mars was still a fuzzy mystery in 1969 when Mariner 7 flew past, snapping 126 images that revealed more of the battered Martian surface - and the odd shape of the moon Phobos. Details: http://1.usa.gov/chaKVA

2. MARS IS HARD

Monday: Soviet mission controllers were optimistic when Mars 6 lifted off for the Red Planet on this day in 1973. But the lander met the unfortunate fate of many Mars missions when contact was lost shortly before landing. Details: http://1.usa.gov/1b0yg2U

3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CURIOSITY

Tuesday: It's hard to believe, but it's been a whole year since Mars Science Laboratory used the unique sky crane approach to deliver the Curiosity rover to the surface. Details: http://1.usa.gov/14lzDu1

4. VIKING ARRIVAL

Wednesday: Thirty-seven years ago today (1976), Viking 2 arrived at Mars, beginning an orbital mission and preparing the drop the second Viking lander to the surface. It was the beginning of an epic mission that changed the way we look at Mars. Details: http://1.usa.gov/14Lfp63

5. VIKING FUNERAL

Wednesday: Thirty-three years ago (1980), mission controllers moved the Viking 1 orbiter to a higher orbit to keep it from crashing into Mars after a successful four-year mission. Details: http://1.usa.gov/144GIfv

6. GO FOR VENUS

Thursday: Mars can't steal all the limelight this week. On this day in 1978, Pioneer Venus 2 launched for our sister planet on a mission to deliver a trio of probes to study Venus's hostile atmosphere. Details: http://1.usa.gov/13GKaIY

7. MAPPING VENUS

Saturday: Twenty-three years ago, Venus got a little less mysterious with the arrival in orbit of the Magellan spacecraft. During a four year mission, Magellan's powerful radar penetrated the planet's perpetual cloud cover and mapped most of its surface. Details: http://1.usa.gov/11yYars

8. STAR PARTIES

Friday and Saturday: Two great American parks are hosting star parties this week. Stars over Yellowstone in Wyoming starts Friday and continues Saturday. Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico starts Saturday - with bonus bats at sunset. Details: http://1.usa.gov/14Lk7R6 and http://1.usa.gov/RoyXrT.

9. TORTOISES TO THE MOON

Wednesday - Sunday: Forty-four years ago, the Soviet Zond 7 spacecraft approached the moon carrying a cargo of various animals, including four steppe tortoises. All returned safely to Earth. Details: http://1.usa.gov/15jndlA.

10. LOOKING BACK

Saturday: We're used to seeing Earth from space, but that wasn't the case in 1966 when Lunar Orbiter 1 launched for the moon (pictured). The spacecraft later sent back the first image of the Earth from space (http://1.usa.gov/9QAxFi). Mission details: http://1.usa.gov/18R9uBv

For the whole story of solar system exploration, visit http://1.usa.gov/cbmjIJ


Read More by Autumn Burdick

About: Autumn Burdick
Photo of Autumn Burdick
Autumn is the science writer who enjoys bringing this weekly look at upcoming events and stories from around our solar system to you. Follow SSE on Twitter: @NASASolarSystem
Read More by Autumn Burdick
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Last Updated: 9 Aug 2013