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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 A4 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. Cape Canaveral 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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2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

On April 2, 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s seminal film “2001: A Space Odyssey” premiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. Thematically, the film deals with elements of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial life. It is notable for its scientific accuracy, pioneering special effects, ambiguous imagery, sound in place of traditional narrative techniques, and minimal use of dialogue. Despite initially receiving mixed reactions from critics and audiences alike, today 2001: A…
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Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

On March 11, 1957, US-American explorer and aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. passed away. A pioneering American aviator he claimed to be the first man to fly over both of the Earth’s poles. Aircraft flights in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau.  Richard Evelyn Byrd – Early Years Richard Evelyn Byrd was born in 1888 in Winchester, Virginia, USA,…
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The Most Accurate Instruments of Gemma Frisius

The Most Accurate Instruments of Gemma Frisius

On December 9, 1508, physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker Gemma Frisius was born. He created important globes, improved the mathematical instruments of his day and applied mathematics in new ways to surveying and navigation. Gemma Frisius – Youth and Education Gemma Frisius was born Jemma Reinierzoon in Dokkum, Friesland, a coastal province in northern Netherlands, of poor parents who died when he was young. His nom de plume Gemma Frisius is a…
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How the Chernobyl Disaster Started

How the Chernobyl Disaster Started

On Saturday 26 April 1986, at the No. 4 nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster started. It is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history and is one of only two nuclear energy disasters rated at seven — the maximum severity — on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the 2011 Fukushima…
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Harriet Quimby – the First Woman to Fly Across the English Channel

Harriet Quimby – the First Woman to Fly Across the English Channel

On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She was the the first woman to gain a pilot’s license in the United States. Although Quimby lived only to the age of thirty-seven, she had a major influence upon the role of women in aviation. Harriet Quimby Background Harriet Quimby was born into a farmer’s family in Michigan and moved to San Francisco in order…
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Johannes Hevelius and his Selenographia

Johannes Hevelius and his Selenographia

On January 28, 1611, German astronomer Johannes Hevelius was born. From four years’ telescopic study of the Moon, using telescopes of long focal power, Hevelius compiled Selenographia (“Pictures of the Moon“, 1647), an atlas of the Moon with some of the earliest detailed maps. Family Background and Early Years Johannes Hevelius‘ father was a succesful merchant and pushed Johannes to follow his footsteps rather than pursue a scientific career. Hevelius was sent to Poland…
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The Nuremberg Chronicle and the History of the World

The Nuremberg Chronicle and the History of the World

On December 23, 1493, the German version of the Nuremberg Chronicle – in German ‘Schedelsche Weltchronik‘ – was published. It is one of the best-documented early printed books – an incunabulum – and one of the first to successfully integrate illustrations and text. Moreover, it was the most extensively illustrated book of the 15th century. OK, unless you are not a book history afficionado, a bibliophile eccentric or a historian with focus on…
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The Birth of the Internet

The Birth of the Internet

On October 29, 1969, the very first message between two distant computer nodes, from the Network Measurement Center at the UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and SRI International (SRI) was sent. This is to be considered the birth of the ARPANET, which should become the Internet. Origins of the Internet What was the reason for the development of the Internet? Especially in the 1960s, when computers were absolutely not widespread…
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The Fall of Rome and the End of the Roman Empire

The Fall of Rome and the End of the Roman Empire

On September 4, 476 AD, Germanic soldier and military leader Flavius Odoacer, who led the revolt of Herulians, Rugians, and Scirians soldiers entered Rome and deposed the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus. Odoacer proclaimed himself as ruler of Italy and thus, by convention, the Western Roman Empire is deemed to have ended… The Roman Empire Of course, the Roman Empire including all her infrastructure did not disappear on a single day, but…
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