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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 14

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Died, John Hadley, English mathematician, inventor (precision aspheric and parabolic objective mirrors for reflecting telescopes)

James Bradley published his discovery of the Earth's nutation motion (wobble) after he had tested its reality by minute observations during an entire revolution (18.6 years) of the moon's nodes.

Born, Christopher Sholes, typewriter inventor

Died, Henry Maudslay, British machine tool-maker and inventor (first screw-cutting lathe)

Born, Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, Scottish physicist (Wilson cloud chamber, Nobel 1927 "for his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapour")

J Palisa discovered asteroid #304 Olga.

Venus was both a morning star and an evening star.

Born, Fritz Zwicky, physicist and astronomer

Fritz Zwicky (14 February 1898 - 8 February 1974) was a Swiss astronomer, famous for having called his colleagues "spherical bastards" because they were bastards no matter which direction one watches them from.

He was the first to use the virial theorem to deduce the existence of dark matter. He proposed the use of gravitational lenses. With Walter Baade, he came up with the idea that supernovae could create neutron stars and produce cosmic rays. He also pioneered and promoted the use of Schmidt telescopes. In his later career, he compiled a Catalogue of Galaxies and of Clusters of Galaxies (CGCG).

He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1972.

J Helffrich discovered asteroid #697 Galilea.

United Parcel Service started operations in Oakland, California, expanding from Seattle, Washington where it was founded as American Messenger Company in 1907.

Thomas Watson submitted an application to list International Business Machines on the New York Stock Exchange, using the initials IBM, dropping the previous Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R) name.

K Reinmuth discovered asteroids #2290, #2560 and #2879 Shimizu.

L Boyer discovered asteroid #1377 Roberbauxa.

ENIAC (for "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer"), the first general-purpose electronic computer, was unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania.

Born, Pham Tuan (at Quoc Tuan, Vietnam), USSR cosmonaut (Soyuz 37/36)

Died, Karl G. Jansky, American physicist and radio engineer, discovered cosmic radio emissions in 1931

1955 07:05:00 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
Born, Fred Koschara, entrepreneur, founder of The L5 Development Group
(0/0/0 00:00:00 on the Fredian calendar)

Fred Koschara (14 February 1955 - ), founder of The L5 Development Group, is a busy entrepreneur, an avid photographer, an ambitious explorer, and a practicing philosopher. Currently residing in Medford, Massachusetts, Mr. Koschara owns several hundred domain names, many related to pursuing his life-long ambition of becoming an astronaut and establishing an off-world civilization. He believes those goals can only be achieved through private enterprise, outside any of the government run space programs.

Fred Koschara, Space Travel/Exploration/Development Entrepreneur

1963 05:16:00 GMT
NASA launched Syncom 1, the first test of a communication satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

1972 03:27:59 GMT
USSR launched Luna 20 on a Lunar sample return mission.

Luna 20 was placed in an intermediate Earth parking orbit from its launch on 14 February 1972, and from that orbit was sent towards the Moon where it entered orbit on 18 February 1972. On 21 February 1972, Luna 20 made a soft landing in the Apollonius highlands near Mare Foecunditatis (Sea of Fertility), 120 km from where Luna 16 had impacted. While on the Lunar surface, the panoramic television system was operated, and Lunar samples were obtained using an extendable drilling apparatus. Luna 20's ascent stage of was launched from the Lunar surface on 22 February 1972 carrying 30 grams of collected Lunar samples in a sealed capsule. It landed in the Soviet Union on 25 February 1972; the Lunar samples were recovered the following day.

Harvard College discovered asteroid #2039 Payne-Gaposchkin.

1980 15:57:00 GMT
NASA launched the Solar Maximum Mission Observatory to provide coordinated observations of solar activity, in particular solar flares, during a period of maximum solar activity.

L Brozek discovered asteroid #3424.

1989 18:29:00 GMT
Navstar 2-01 (USA 35), the first of 21 satellites of the Global Positioning System, was placed into orbit.

NASA's Voyager 1 looked back from whence it came to take the first "family portrait" of the Solar system, a mosaic of 60 frames of the Sun and six of the planets (Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) as seen from "outside" the Solar system.

Voyager 1 spacecraft is an unmanned probe of the outer solar system, launched by NASA aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket on 5 September 1977 from Cape Canaveral. Its trajectory took Voyager 1 past Jupiter, and Saturn. It is now (2015) the most distant man-made object, and is expected to keep transmitting valuable data at least into the 2020s. Communications will be maintained until the Voyagers' power sources can no longer supply enough electrical energy to power critical subsystems. Voyager 1 is leaving the solar system, rising above the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 35 degrees, traveling at a rate of about 520 million kilometers (about 320 million miles) a year, and entered interstellar space on 25 August 2012.

Originally scheduled to launch twelve days after Voyager 2, Voyager 1's launch was delayed twice to prevent occurrence of problems which Voyager 2 experienced after launch. When Voyager 1's launch finally happened, it was termed "flawless and accurate." Although launched sixteen days after Voyager 2, Voyager 1's trajectory was the quicker one to Jupiter. On 15 December 1977, while both spacecraft were in the asteroid belt, Voyager 1 surpassed Voyager 2's distance from the Sun. Both prior to and after planetary encounters observations were made of the interplanetary medium. Some 18,000 images of Jupiter and its satellites were taken by Voyager 1. In addition, roughly 16,000 images of Saturn, its rings and satellites were obtained.

Voyager 1 began photographing Jupiter in January 1979, and made its closest approach to on 5 March 1979, at a distance of 349,000 kilometers (217,000 miles) from the center of the planet. It finished photographing the planet in April. Voyager 1's Saturn flyby occurred in November 1980, with the closest approach on 12 November when it came within 124,000 kilometers (77,000 miles) of the planet's cloud-tops. The craft detected complex structures in Saturn's rings, and studied the atmospheres of Saturn and Titan. Its trajectory, designed to allow close study of Titan, took it out of the plane of the ecliptic, thus ending its planetary science mission.

After its encounter with Saturn, Voyager 1 remained relatively quiescent, continuing to make in situ observations of the interplanetary environment and UV observations of stars. After nearly nine years of dormancy, Voyager 1's cameras were once again turned on to take a series of pictures. On 14 February 1990, Voyager 1 looked back from whence it came and took the first "family portrait" of the solar system, a mosaic of 60 frames of the Sun and six of the planets (Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) as seen from "outside" the solar system. After this final look back, the cameras on Voyager 1 were once again turned off.

Voyager has mounted to one of the sides of the bus a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk. The disk has recorded on it sounds and images of Earth designed to portray the diversity of life and culture on the planet. Each disk is encased in a protective aluminum jacket along with a cartridge and a needle. Instructions explaining from where the spacecraft originated and how to play the disk are engraved onto the jacket. Electroplated onto a 2 cm area on the cover is also an ultra-pure source of uranium-238 (with a radioactivity of about 0.26 nanocuries and a half-life of 4.51 billion years), allowing the determination of the elapsed time since launch by measuring the amount of daughter elements to remaining U238. The 115 images on the disk were encoded in analog form. The sound selections (including greetings in 55 languages, 35 sounds, natural and man-made, and portions of 27 musical pieces) are designed for playback at 1000 rpm. The Voyagers were not the first spacecraft designed with such messages to the future. Pioneers 10 and 11, LAGEOS, and the Apollo landers also included plaques with a similar intent, though not quite so ambitious.

All of the experiments have produced useful data, except for the photopolarimeter which failed to operate.

The 60 frame "family portrait" of the Solar System taken by Voyager 1
Author: NASA, Voyager 1

2000 15:33:00 GMT
NASA's NEAR-Shoemaker probe went into orbit about asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid.

Died, Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal

The sheep named Dolly (5 July 1996 - 14 February 2003) was the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell, whose birth was announced 22 February 1997. She was created at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and lived there until her death nearly seven years later. The name "Dolly" came from a suggestion by the stockmen who helped in the process, in honour of Dolly Parton, because the cloned cell was a mammary cell.

Dolly was cloned from a cell taken from a 6 year old ewe, using the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer, in which the nucleus from one of the donor's non-reproductive cells is placed into a de-nucleated embryonic cell, which is then coaxed into developing into a fetus.

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