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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 February 4

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Race To Space
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Johannes Kepler met Tycho Brahe for the first time, near Prague. After initial problems were resolved, Kepler started working for Brahe in June.

Born, Clement Ader, French inventor (first to fly a heavier-than-air craft)

Clement Ader (4 February 1841 - 5 March 1926) was an early aviation enthusiast who constructed a balloon at his own expense during the Franco-German War of 1870-71. In 1876, he quit his job in the Administration of Bridges and Highways to make more money to support his hobby. His early inventions in electrical communications included a microphone and a public address device.

He then focused on the problem of heavier-than-air flying machines, and in 1890 built a steam-powered, bat-winged monoplane. On 9 October 1890, he flew it a distance of 50 m (160 feet) on a friend's estate near Paris. The steam engine was unsuitable for sustained and controlled flight. Nevertheless, Ader's short hop was the first demonstration that a manned heavier-than-air machine could take off from level ground under its own power.

H. Goldschmidt discovered asteroid #52 Europa, the seventh largest [known] asteroid.

Born, Ludwig Prandtl, German physicist (rigorous systematic mathematical analyses in the science of aerodynamics, father of aeronautical engineering)

Born, Reinhold Rudenberg, inventor (electric power systems, electrostatic-lens electron microscope)

A. Charlois discovered asteroid #272 Antonia.

Born, Charles Lindbergh (at Detroit, Michigan, USA), American aviator, first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean

Charles Augustus Lindbergh II (4 February 1902 - 26 August 1974) was a pioneering United States aviator most famous for the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Born, Clyde Tombaugh, astronomer (discovered Pluto, 1930)

J. H. Metcalf discovered asteroid #1345 Potomac.

B. Jekhovsky discovered asteroid #1017 Jacqueline.

Died, Hendrik A. Lorentz, physicist (Lorentz transformation, Nobel 1902 with Zeeman "in recognition of the extraordinary service they rendered by their researches into the influence of magnetism upon radiation phenomena")

E. Delporte discovered asteroid #1664 Felix.

Eugene Joseph Delporte discovered asteroid #1239 Queteleta; and L. Volta discovered asteroid #1238 Predappia.

Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth discovered asteroids #2824 Franke, #3219 Komaki, #3370 Kohsai and #3404.

Radium E became the first radioactive substance produced synthetically.

1961 09:36:00 GMT
USSR launched Sputnik 7, the first Soviet attempt at a Venus probe, which did not leave Earth orbit.

Sputnik 7 was the first Soviet attempt at a Venus probe, successfully launched into Earth orbit on 4 February 1961. The launch payload consisted of an Earth orbiting launch platform (Tyazheliy Sputnik 4) and the Venera probe. The fourth stage (a Zond rocket) was supposed to launch the Venera probe towards a landing on Venus after one Earth orbit but ignition failed, probably due to a faulty timer, and the spacecraft remained in Earth orbit. Because of its large size (6483 kg), the mission was originally thought by non-Soviet observers to be a failed manned mission. It later was described as a test of an Earth orbiting platform from which an interplanetary probe could be launched.

The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were within 16 degrees of each other, when viewed from Earth.

Died, Anatoli Arkadyevich Blagonravov, Russian scientist, President of the Academy of Artillery Sciences 1946-1950, lead Soviet upper atmosphere exploration using sounding rockets, USSR member of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

A. Mrkos discovered asteroid #3324.

The Russian space agency tested a 20 meter wide space mirror.

Died, Fitzhugh L. Fulton Jr, NASA project pilot on all early tests of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) used to air launch the Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise in the Approach and Landing Tests (ALT) at Dryden in 1977

Died (natural causes), Edgar Dean Mitchell (at West Palm Beach, Florida, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (Apollo 14; just over 9d in spaceflight), sixth person to walk on the Moon

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