In early January, President Richard M. Nixon approves NASA's space shuttle program. This decision shapes the major portion of NASA's program for the next three decades.

On March 2, an Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle successfully sends NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft from Cape Canaveral on its historic mission. This far-traveling robot spacecraft becomes the first to transit the main-belt asteroids, the first to encounter Jupiter (December 3, 1973) and by crossing the orbit of Neptune on June 13, 1983 (which at the time was the farthest planet from the Sun) the first human-made object ever to leave the planetary boundaries of the solar system. On an interstellar trajectory, Pioneer 10 (and its twin, Pioneer 11) carries a special plaque, greeting any intelligent alien civilization that might find it drifting through interstellar space millions of years from now.

On December 7, NASA's Apollo 17 mission, the last expedition to the Moon in the 20th century, departs from the Kennedy Space Center, propelled by a mighty Saturn V rocket. While astronaut Ronald E. Evans remains in lunar orbit, fellow astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison H. Schmitt become the 11th and 12th members of the exclusive Moon walkers club. Using a lunar rover, they explore the Taurus-Littrow region. Their safe return to Earth on December 19 brings to a close one of the epic periods of human exploration

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know all about the telescopes that can provide a fun and rewarding hobby for you and your family!

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment