Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 Will Bring Bittersweet Mix of U.S. Manned Space Mission Anniversaries

By Carmelo Turdo
2012 will be a year of U.S. Space Flight anniversaries - a bittersweet mix of triumph and tragedy that marks any of mankind's most difficult endeavors.  The nation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's first orbital Mercury flight in Friendship 7, launched February 20, 1962.  Also in 2012, the 40th anniversary of Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 manned lunar missions will be observed.  It will also be the 30th anniversary of three Space Shuttle launches - STS-3, STS-4 and STS-5 - as well as the arrival of Challenger for preparation for its inaugural mission the following year.  The 20th anniversary of eight Space Shuttle missions and the 10th anniversary of five Space Shuttle missions will also be celebrated. 

America will also come together to remember more somber moments in the U.S. manned space program:

45th Anniversary of the Apollo 1 Fire - January 27,1967 (NASA Graphic)

26th Anniversary of the Challenger Mission STS-51L Tragedy Jan. 28, 1986 (NASA Graphic)
9th Anniversary of the Columbia STS-107 Tragedy February 1, 2003 (NASA Graphic)

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