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Space History Photo: Sequence of Assembly of OAO Shroud at SPC

space history, Lewis Research Center, space probes
The Orbiting Astronomical Observatory satellite allowed astronomers to view the universe from outside Earth's atmosphere. (Image credit: NASA/Martin Brown, Paul Riedel, William Bowles, Chris Cohen)

In this historic photo from the U.S. space agency, the assembly of the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO) for shroud jettison tests seen in the Space Power Chamber (SPC) at Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio on June 24, 1965. Lewis is now known as the John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.

The SPC consisted of two vacuum tanks that were created in 1962 inside the former Altitude Wind Tunnel. The OAO satellites, launched on Atlas-Centaur and Atlas Angena rockets, were the first to allow astronomers to view the universe from above the Earths obscuring and distorting atmosphere.

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: