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 . Space History News - People and events in development of space travel Space History News - People and events in development of space travel Space History News - People and events in development of space travel  

Space History for January 10

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Born, Simon Marius, German astronomer

Simon Marius (10 January 1573 (Julian calendar then in effect, 20 January Gregorian) - 5 January 1625 (Gregorian calendar then in effect, 26 December 1624 Julian)) was a German astronomer. In 1614, Marius published his work Mundus Iovialis describing the planet Jupiter and its moons in which he claimed to have discovered the planet's four major moons some days before Galileo. This led to a dispute with Galileo, who accused Marius, not only of being a liar, but also of having copied his own work so that his Mundus Iovialis was nothing but plagiarism. It is considered possible that Marius discovered the moons independently, but at least some days later than Galileo. Regardless of priority, the mythological names by which the satellites are known (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) are those given them by Marius. Simon Marius also claimed to be the discoverer of the Andromeda Galaxy, which was already known to Arab astronomers of the Middle Ages.

Died, Adrien-Marie Legendre, French mathematician, worked on elliptic integrals

The first underground railway opened, the Metropolitan Railway in London, England, using steam engine locomotives to haul the passenger cars.

J Perrotin discovered asteroid #170 Maria.

A Charlois discovered asteroid #381 Myrrha.

M Wolf discovered asteroid #522 Helga; and R S Dugan discovered asteroid #521 Brixia.

J H Metcalf discovered asteroid #696 Leonora.

The first international air meet in the US was held in Los Angeles, California.

Major Jimmie Erickson took the first photo from an airplane while flying over San Diego, California.

The world's first successful flying boat made its maiden flight (Glenn Curtiss' Model E on Keuka Lake, New York).

J Comas Sola discovered asteroid #1626 Sadeya.

Born, Robert Wilson, American physicist, radio astronomer (Nobel 1978 with Arno Allan Penzias "for their discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation")

Robert Woodrow Wilson (10 January 1936 - ) is an American physicist. He won the 1978 Nobel Prize in physics, together with Arno Allan Penzias, for their 1964 accidental discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation or CMB. While working on a new type of antenna at Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, they found a source of noise in the atmosphere that they could not explain. After clearing the antenna of pigeon droppings, the noise was finally identified as CMB, which is interpreted as an important confirmation of the Big Bang theory.

(The 1978 Nobel Prize in physics was also shared by Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa for unrelated work.)

See also

Born, Donald Knuth, American mathematician, computer scientist

Donald Ervin Knuth (10 January 1938 - ) is a renowned computer scientist and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. Knuth is best known as the author of the multi-volume The Art of Computer Programming, one of the most highly respected references in the computer science field. He practically created the field of rigorous analysis of algorithms, and made many seminal contributions to several branches of theoretical computer science. He is the creator of the TEX typesetting system and of the METAFONT font design system, and pioneered the concept of literate programming.

M B Protitch discovered asteroid #2348 Michkovitch.

The first mobile electric power plant was delivered by General Electric, to the U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1946 11:58:00 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
The US Army established the first RADAR contact with the Moon, from Belmar, New Jersey.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #1578 Kirkwood; and S Arend discovered asteroid #2973 Paola.

The first jet passenger trip was made, an Avro Jetliner four-engine turbojet piloted by Donald Howard Rogers that flew from Chicago to New York in 1 hour 42 minutes, setting a new speed record of 442 miles per hour.

1968 01:05:36 GMT
NASA's Surveyor 7 landed on the Moon and returned pictures of the surface.

Surveyor 7, launched 6 January 1968, was the fifth and final spacecraft of the Surveyor series to achieve a Lunar soft landing. The mission objectives were to: (1) perform a Lunar soft landing in an area well removed from the maria to provide a type of terrain photography and Lunar sample significantly different from those of other Surveyor missions; (2) obtain postlanding television pictures; (3) determine the relative abundances of chemical elements; (4) manipulate the Lunar material; (5) obtain touchdown dynamics data; and, (6) obtain thermal and radar reflectivity data. This spacecraft was similar in design to the previous Surveyors, but it carried more scientific equipment including a television camera with polarizing filters, an alpha-scattering instrument, a surface sampler, bar magnets on two footpads, two horseshoe magnets on the surface scoop, and auxiliary mirrors. Of the auxiliary mirrors, three were used to observe areas below the spacecraft, one to provide stereoscopic views of the surface sampler area, and seven to show Lunar material deposited on the spacecraft. The spacecraft landed on the Lunar surface on 10 January 1968, on the outer rim of the crater Tycho. Operations of the spacecraft began shortly after the soft landing and were terminated on 26 January 1968, 80 hours after sunset. Operations on the second Lunar day occurred from 12-21 February 1968. The mission objectives were fully satisfied by the spacecraft operations.

Lunar surface imaged by Surveyor 7, NASA photo mosaic

1969 05:52:00 GMT
USSR launched the Venera 6 atmospheric probe to Venus.

Venera 6 was launched 10 January 1969 towards Venus to obtain atmospheric data. The spacecraft was very similar to Venera 4 although it was of a stronger design. When the atmosphere of Venus was approached, a capsule containing scientific instruments and weighing 405 kg was jettisoned from the main spacecraft. During descent towards the surface of Venus, a parachute opened to slow the entry rate. For 51 min on 17 May 1969, while the capsule was suspended from the parachute, data from the Venusian atmosphere were returned. The spacecraft also carried a medallion bearing the coat of arms of the USSR and a bas-relief of V.I. Lenin to the night side of Venus.

Kamanin noted in his diary that the twin Venus missions (Venera 5 and 6, which arrived at Venus a day apart) marked a new triumph of the USSR in space, but paled in comparison with the American launch of Apollo 10. Kamanin also noted there was not one word about the Apollo 10 mission in Pravda.

Died (complications from stomach ulcer), Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev, Russian cosmonaut (Voskhod 2)

Pavel Ivanovich Belyayev (26 June 1925 - 10 January 1970) was a Russian cosmonaut who flew on the Voskhod 2 mission. Belyayev was selected for the space program in 1960 after nearly fifteen years experience in the Soviet air force and navy. He was also selected to fly the Vostok 8 mission into Earth's van Allen radiation belt, but the mission was cancelled.

P Wild discovered asteroid #2218 Wotho.

1978 12:26:00 GMT
Soyuz 27, carrying cosmonauts Oleg Makarov and Vladimir Dzhanibekov to the Salyut 6 space station, was launched by the USSR.

N G Thomas discovered asteroids #2366 Aaryn, #2683 Brian and #2895 Memnon.

K Herkenhoff discovered asteroids #3489 Lottie and #3532 Tracie; and R Kirk and D Rudy discovered asteroid #3412 Kafka.

Died, Valentin Petrovich Glushko, Soviet rocketry pioneer, Chief/General Designer OKB-456 1946-1974, preeminent Soviet rocket engine designer, Head of NPO Energia 1974-1989, directed Energia booster, Buran spaceplane development

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