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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…
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…
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…
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…
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 investigaing the physiological aspects of what he called the “vertical frontier” in Germany. He served as chief of Aeromedical Research for the German Luftwaffe throughout…
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…
A life is like a garden – Leonard Nimoy

A life is like a garden – Leonard Nimoy

This is not one of our usual daily history in science posts. Today, we want to pay tribute to an actor who played an extraordinary character that has become an icon: Leonard Nimoy and his alter ego Spock, the scientific officer aboard the starship USS Enterprise. I was shocked yesterday evening by the news of Leonard Nimoy’s passing. As Spock, he was one of my childhood’s heroes. And not only one…
The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon – Luna 2

The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon – Luna 2

Luna 2 On September 12, 1959, Soviet spaceprobe Luna 2 was launched. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon and was also the first man-made object to land on another celestial body. On September 14, 1959 it successfully impacted with the lunar surface east of Mare Imbrium near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus. Actually, already Lunar 1 was intended as an impactor and was…
The First American to walk in Space – Edward White

The First American to walk in Space – Edward White

Edward White during Gemini 4 performing EVA On June, 3, 1965, Edward Higgins White becomes the first American to “walk” in space in the course of the Gemini 4 space mission. White is one of the three U.S. astronauts, who died along with his fellow astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Roger B. Chaffee during prelaunch testing for the first manned Apollo mission at Cape Canaveral. Edward White earned his Bachelor degree…
The First US Space Station Skylab

The First US Space Station Skylab

On May 25, 1973, the first crew of astronauts reached the US space station Skylab. Skylab was the first US space station and orbited Earth from 1973 to 1979. Already in the 1950s it was expected by space scientists, that a space station would be a necessary step in space exploration. Wernher von Braun envisioned a very large space station with room for about 80 people including astronomers, meteorologists and soldiers to…
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