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Space History for February 2

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French astronomer Pablo Cottenot discovered asteroid #181 Eucharis from Marseille Observatory. This object is the namesake of a family of asteroids that share similar spectral properties and orbital elements.

Born, Ayn Rand, writer (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead)

Born, Shen Qizhen, Chinese engineer, Chairman of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, one of three senior scientists who laid out plans for the first Chinese manned spacecraft in April 1966

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #330 Adalberta.

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #815 Coppelia.

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #888 Parysatis.

Friedrich Schmiedl sent his first "real" rocket mail, down Austria's Schockel Mountain to the town of Radegund at the mountain's base.

For the first time in over 400 years, Neptune and Pluto aligned, as seen from Earth.

The US Ranger 6 probe impacted the Moon but returned no pictures since its cameras failed to operate.

Ranger 6 was launched 30 January 1963 on a Lunar impact trajectory. It was planned the probe would transmit high-resolution photographs of the Lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. The spacecraft carried six television vidicon cameras, 2 wide angle (channel F, cameras A and B) and 4 narrow angle (channel P) to accomplish the photography objective. The cameras were arranged in two separate chains, or channels, each self-contained with separate power supplies, timers, and transmitters so as to afford the greatest reliability and probability of obtaining high-quality video pictures. No other experiments were carried on the spacecraft. Due to a failure of both camera systems no images were returned.

Harvard College discovered asteroid #1940 Whipple.

2007 16:28:00 GMT
China launched the Beidou 2A navigation technology satellite from Xichang on a Long March 3-A.

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