APRIL 5, 1991: STS-37 Atlantis Space Shuttle Launches From Florida’s Space Coast

By  //  April 5, 2018

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carried the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory

ABOVE VIDEO: STS-37 – Launch of the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory on April 5, 1991.

APRIL 5, 1991– On this day in 1991, STS-37 (Atlantis) launched carrying the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.

The Gamma-Ray Observatory was the second of the “Great Observatory” Series to be launched.

The series also included the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Compton kept watch for Gamma Ray Bursts for nearly 9 years. After losing a critical gyroscope, the mission was ended and the 17-ton Compton Observatory was intentionally de-orbited in June 2000.

This was the first time that NASA had intentionally made a controlled de-orbit of a satellite.

It burned up over the Pacific Ocean.

APRIL 5, 1991– On this day (#OTD) in 1991 STS-37 (Atlantis) launched carrying the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. (NASA Image)

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