Home > Astronomical History, Ephemeris Program, NASA > 05/26/2014 – Ephemeris – In memory of the fallen Space Shuttle Astronauts

05/26/2014 – Ephemeris – In memory of the fallen Space Shuttle Astronauts

May 26, 2014

Ephemeris for Memorial Day, Monday, May 26th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 9:15.   The moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:29 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 6:03.

Memorial day is a day of remembrance for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  When astronomers name craters or other features on planets or moons, they are names of those who have gone before.  For instance craters near the moon’s north and south poles are named for explorers of the corresponding earthly pole.  The Challenger astronauts have craters named for them in the moon system of Uranus, from discovery pictures relayed to the earth by Voyager 2 a few days before the Challenger accident.  The Mars Rover Spirit is a memorial and located in the Columbia Hills, its features named for the astronauts who died 11 months before Spirit landed.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


Challenger crew

The Challenger crew. From the left: Ellison Onizuka, Michael Smith, Christa McAuliffe, Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnick, and Ronald McNair. Credit: NASA

Columbia Crew

The Columbia crew. From the left: Mission Specialist David Brown, Commander Rick Husband, Mission Specialists Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla and Michael Anderson, Pilot William McCool and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon. Credit: NASA.

I was remiss in my program to omit the Apollo 1 crew.

Apollo 1 crew

The Apollo 1 crew. From the left: Ed White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee. Credit: NASA

Apollo 1 never flew.  A spark and the faulty design of the spacecraft doomed the men during a test on the pad.  Roger Chaffee, from my home town of Grand Rapids, MI was the rookie and had never flown in space.  They are immortalized with craters on the far side of the moon.

For more  information check out Amy Shira Teitel’s excellent article in Universe Today.

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