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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 15

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Race To Space
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Born, Galileo Galilei, Tuscan astronomer, father of the scientific method

Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 - 8 January 1642), was a Tuscan astronomer, philosopher, and physicist who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. His achievements include improving the telescope, a variety of astronomical observations (including discovery of Jupiter's largest moons), the first law of motion, and supporting Copernicanism effectively. He has been referred to as the "father of modern astronomy", as the "father of modern physics", and as the "father of science." His experimental work is widely considered complementary to the writings of Francis Bacon in establishing the modern scientific method. Galileo's career coincided with that of Johannes Kepler. His work is considered to be a significant break from that of Aristotle, and his conflict with the Roman Catholic Church is taken as a major early example of the conflict of religion and freedom of thought, particularly with science, in Western society.

William Parsons, Earl of Rosse, first used his 72" (183 cm) reflector telescope, colloquially known as the "Leviathan of Parsonstown," for astronomical observation.

Born, William Henry Pickering (at Boston, Massachusetts, USA), astronomer (Saturn's ninth moon)

Born, Alfred Carlton Gilbert, Erector Set inventor, 1908 Summer Olympics gold medal winner (pole vault). Kits such as Erector sets are sometimes used to construct models similar to space colonies.

M. Wolf and A. Schwassmann discovered asteroid #442 Eichsfeldia.

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #865 Zubaida.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #926 Imhilde.

Contract air mail service began in the US, providing a tremendous boost to the fledgling air travel business.

Born, Niklaus Wirth, Swiss computer scientist and inventor (PASCAL)

Born, Roger Chaffee (at Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA), Lt Commander USN, NASA astronaut candidate (deceased, Apollo 1 fire)

Roger Bruce Chaffee (15 February 1935 - 27 January 1967) was chosen in NASA's third group of astronauts in 1963. He had been selected as Lunar Module pilot for the first Apollo flight when the capsule burned on the pad, killing its crew of three: Chaffee, Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Edward White II. The mission would have been his first flight to space.

Apollo 1 astronaut candidate Roger B. Chaffee, NASA photo (10 September 1964)
Source: Wikipedia ( site unavailable January 2019)

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroids #1561 Fricke and #1785 Wurm.

Born, Aleksandr A. Serebrov (at Moscow, Russian SFSR), Soviet cosmonaut (Salyut 7 EO 1, Soyuz T-8, Mir 5, Mir 14; nearly 372d 23h total time in spaceflight) (deceased)

Cosmonaut Aleksandr Serebrov photo by Albert Pushkarev (1982)
Source: Wikipedia

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #2417 McVittie and #3717.

NASA's Lunar Orbiter 3 started acquiring pictures of the Lunar surface.

The Lunar Orbiter 3 spacecraft was designed primarily to photograph areas of the Lunar surface for confirmation of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. It was also equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, and micrometeoroid impact data. The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near-equatorial (210.2 km x 1801.9 km with an inclination of 20.9 degrees) Lunar orbit on 8 February at 21:54 UT. After four days (25 orbits) of tracking the orbit was changed to 55 km x 1847 km. The spacecraft acquired photographic data from 15 February to 23 February 1967, and readout occurred through 2 March 1967. The film advance mechanism started showing erratic behavior, resulting in a decision to begin readout of the frames earlier than planned. The frames were read out successfully until 4 March when the film advance motor burned out, leaving about 25% of the frames on the takeup reel, unable to be read.

149 medium resolution and 477 high resolution frames were returned from the Moon. The frames were of excellent quality, with resolution down to 1 meter. One of the frames included the Surveyor 1 landing site, with sufficient detail to permit identification of the spacecraft's location on the surface. Accurate data were acquired from all of the other experiments throughout the mission. The spacecraft was used for tracking purposes until it impacted the Lunar surface on command at 14.3 degrees N latitude, 97.7 degrees W longitude (selenographic coordinates) on 9 October 1967.

1973 01:12:00 GMT
USSR launched Prognoz 3 into a 589 by 200,300 km orbit to measure solar X rays and gamma rays, plasma, and energetic particles.

W. Sebok discovered asteroid #2491.

Z. Vavrova discovered asteroid #3592.

Died, Richard Feynman, physicist (quantum electrodynamics, Nobel 1965 with Tomonaga and Schwinger "for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles")

1993 13:33:00 GMT
Japan's Hiten spacecraft went into Lunar orbit.

2013 03:20:00 GMT
The Chelyabinsk meteor superbolide was caused by a near-Earth asteroid entering Earth's atmosphere over the southern Ural region of Russia, it exploded in an air burst over Chelyabinsk Oblast, at a height of around 29.7 km (18.4 miles, 97,400 feet).

2013 19:25:00 GMT
Asteroid 367943 Duende passed 27,743 kilometers (17,239 mi) above Earth's surface, closer than satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

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