space

Jupiter and the Galilean Moons

Jupiter and the Galilean Moons

Montage of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, in a composite image from top to bottom: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto ©NASA On January 7, 1610, physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei turned his new telescope to the nocturnal sky to watch the planet Jupiter and discovered the eponymous four moons of Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganimede, and Callisto.[1,2] Based only on uncertain descriptions of the first practical telescope which the Dutch lens maker Hans Lippershey [3]…
Konstantin Feoktistov, Space Engineer

Konstantin Feoktistov, Space Engineer

On February 7, 1926, Soviet cosmonaut and an eminent space engineer Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov was born. Feoktistov was part of the team that would go on to design the Sputnik, Vostok, Voskhod, and Soyuz spacecraft under the leadership of Sergey Korolev. He trained as a cosmonaut, and eventually launched 12 Oct 1964 for 16 earth orbits as one of the crew of Voskhod 1 (with Vladimir Komarov and Boris Yegorov),…
CoRoT Space Observatory

CoRoT Space Observatory

On December 27, 2006, the European space observatory CoRoT was launched. CoRoT‘s two objectives are to search for extrasolar planets with short orbital periods, particularly those of large terrestrial size, and to perform asteroseismology by measuring solar-like oscillations in stars. CoRoT stands for COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits (French: COnvection ROtation et Transits planétaires) and is a space observatory mission led by the French Space Agency (CNES) in conjunction with…
Valentin Glushko and the Space Race

Valentin Glushko and the Space Race

On January 10, 1989, Soviet engineer Valentin Petrovich Glushko passed away. Gloshko was the principal Soviet designer of rocket engines during the Soviet/American Space Race. He worked with renowned rocket designer Sergey Korolyov. In Aug 1957, they successfully launched the first intercontinental ballistic missile and in October of the same year, sent the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, into orbit. Glushko was born in the Russian Empire in 1908 in…
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…
Robert Goddard – the Man who ushered in the Space Age

Robert Goddard – the Man who ushered in the Space Age

Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945) On October 5, 1882, American professor, physicist, and inventor Robert Hutchins Goddard was born. He is credited with creating and building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully launched on March 16, 1926. Goddard’s work as both theorist and engineer anticipated many of the developments that were to make spaceflight possible. He has been called the man who ushered in the Space Age. Moreover, I’m pretty…
Lyman Spitzer and the Space Telescope

Lyman Spitzer and the Space Telescope

Lyman Spitzer (1914–1997) photo: NASA On June 26, 1914, American theoretical physicist, astronomer and mountaineer Lyman Strong Spitzer was born. Researching in star formation and plasma physics, he is probably best known for being the first to conceive the idea of telescopes operating in outer space. Thus, he is also the namesake of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Well mountaineer and astronomer at the same time, I guess we never had…
Hermann Oberth’s Dream of Space Travel

Hermann Oberth’s Dream of Space Travel

Dr. von Braun and Professor Hermann Oberth are honored by the Berlin Technical University 1963 On June 25, 1894, Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer Hermann Oberth was born. He was the first, who when thinking about the possibility of spaceships grabbed a slide-rule and presented mathematically analyzed concepts and designs. Maybe you have already heard of the ‘Oberth Effect‘. In interplanetary spaceflight, the Oberth effect is used in a powered flyby where the…
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