space

Mariner 9 – The first Spacecraft to reach another Planet

Mariner 9 – The first Spacecraft to reach another Planet

On November 14, 1971, U.S. spacecraft Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet – only narrowly beating the Soviets’s Mars 2 and Mars 3, which both arrived within a month. After months of dust storms it managed to send back clear pictures of Mars’ surface. Mariner 9 was designed to continue the atmospheric studies and map over 70% of the Martian surface from the lowest altitude of 1500 kilometers and…
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Gaetano Crocco – Italian Aerospace Pioneer

Gaetano Crocco – Italian Aerospace Pioneer

On October 26, 1877, Italian aviation pioneer Gaetano Arturo Crocco was born. He was the founder of the Italian Rocket Society, and went on to become Italy’s leading space scientist. As head of the School of Aeronautics of the University of Rome, he performed research on flight mechanics, structural design, and high altitude flight in addition to his work in rocket propulsion. Gaetano Crocco was born in Naples in 1877 and served the Italian…
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Asaph Hall’s Achievements in Astronomy

Asaph Hall’s Achievements in Astronomy

On October 15, 1829, American astronomer Asaph Hall III was born, who is most famous for having discovered the moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos, in 1877. He determined the orbits of satellites of other planets and of double stars, the rotation of Saturn, and the mass of Mars. Asaph Hall was born in Goshen, Connecticut and due to the early death of his father, Hall had to leave school at the…
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Luna 3 and the Far Side of the Moon

Luna 3 and the Far Side of the Moon

On October 7, 1959, Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 for the very first time photographed the far side of the Moon. Though it returned rather poor pictures by later standards, the historic, never-before-seen views of the far side of the Moon caused excitement and interest when they were published around the world, and a tentative Atlas of the Far Side of the Moon was created after image processing improved the pictures. Luna 3…
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Viking 1 and the Mission to Mars

Viking 1 and the Mission to Mars

On August 20, 1975, NASA spacecraft Viking 1 was launched and sent to Mars. The Viking program was was the most expensive and ambitious, but also highly successful mission ever sent to Mars. The Viking spacecraft was composed of two main parts: an orbiter designed to photograph the surface of Mars from orbit, and a lander designed to study the planet from the surface. Moreover, I remember the exciting messages in the…
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Allan Hills 84001 and Life on Mars

Allan Hills 84001 and Life on Mars

Allan Hills 84001 (commonly abbreviated ALH84001) is a meteorite that was found in Allan Hills, Antarctica on December 27, 1984 by a team of U.S. meteorite hunters. What makes it so special that it is responsible for worldwide headlines on August 6, 1996, when NASA scientists announced that it might contain evidence for microscopic fossils of Martian bacteria based on carbonate globules observed. A Meteorite from a “Wet” Mars ALH84001 is a meteorite thought to be…
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Neil Armstrong – the First Man of the Moon

Neil Armstrong – the First Man of the Moon

On August 5, 1930, American astronaut Neil Alden Armstrong was born, the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. Armstrong was mission commander of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, in July 1969. Armstrong’s Youth and Education Neil Armstrong was born in Auglaize County, near Wapakoneta, Ohio to Stephen Koenig Armstrong, an an auditor for the Ohio state government and…
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Rocket Launch Site Cape Canaveral

Rocket Launch Site Cape Canaveral

On July 24, 1950, Bumper 8, a modified German World War II V-2 rocket, became the first ever rocket to be launched from Cape Canaveral. Cape Canaveral already became the test site for missiles the year before, and was chosen for rocket launches to take advantage of the Earth’s rotation, because of its southern location. In 1949, U.S. President Harry Truman established the Joint Long Range Proving Grounds at Cape Canaveral to test missiles. The location had…
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Hubertus Strughold – the Father of Space Medicine

Hubertus Strughold – the Father of Space Medicine

On June 15, 1898, German-born physiologist and prominent medical researcher Hubertus Strughold was born. For his role in pioneering the study of the physical and psychological effects of manned spaceflight he became known as “The Father of Space Medicine“. In the late 1920’s, he began investigating the physiological aspects of what he called the “vertical frontier” in Germany. He served as chief of Aeromedical Research for the German Luftwaffe throughout World War…
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Vanguard 1 – the first Solar Powered Satellite

Vanguard 1 – the first Solar Powered Satellite

On March 17, 1958, Vanguard 1, the fourth artificial Earth orbital satellite was launched, which was the first solar-powered satellite. Although communication with it was lost in 1964, it remains the oldest manmade satellite still in orbit. It was designed to test the launch capabilities of a three-stage launch vehicle as a part of Project Vanguard, and the effects of the environment on a satellite and its systems in Earth orbit. It…
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