May 11, 1967: Lunar Orbiter 4 begins photographing the Moon
Image taken by Lunar Orbiter 4, showing the Moon with Earth in the background | NASA/LOIRP
Lunar Orbiter 4 was robotic craft launched as part of NASA’s Lunar Orbiter Program. The orbiter was the fourth in a series of crafts designed to orbit the Moon, after the three previous orbiters had gathered the needed mapping and site selection for the Apollo Moon Mission. Lunar Orbiter 4 was launched from Cape Canaveral on May 4, 1967 aboard the Atlas-Agena rocket, which was also used to launch the first four probes of the Mariner program. The orbiter entered lunar orbit six days later on May 11, 1967, and began taking photographs of the lunar surface and sending them back to mission control. A total of 419 high-resolution and 127 medium-resolution photos were acquired, covering 99% of the Moon’s nearest side to Earth.
An overhead view of the Skylab Orbital Workshop, taken from the Skylab 4 Command and Service Modules (CSM) | NASA
May 14, 1973: Skylab launched
Skylab was the first space station launched by NASA, and continues to be the only space station operated solely by the United States. It was ...