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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 18

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Died, Thabit ibn Qurra, Arab astronomer and mathematician

Born, Jacques Cassini, French astronomer (rings of Saturn)

Born, Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Italian physicist known especially for the development of the electric battery, eponym for the unit of the electric potential

Born, Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist and philosopher (supersonic flow)

Born, Harry Brearley, inventor of stainless steel

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #135 Hertha.

Dr. Lee De Forest received a patent for the 3-element vacuum tube (Audion, "thermionic valve").

The first official airplane flight with air mail took place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivered 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 km away.

Elm Farm's Ollie became the first cow to fly in an airplane, and the first cow to be milked in an airplane (the milk was sealed in paper containers and parachuted to the ground). A similar event is bound to happen at some future time in a spacecraft.

The ninth planet of our solar system, Pluto, was discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh, while he was studying photographs taken in January.

L. Oterma discovered asteroids #1758 Naantali, #2828 Iku-Turso and #2912.

S. Arend discovered asteroid #2277 Moreau.

Died, Henry Norris Russell, astronomer (Hertzsprung-Russell temperature-luminosity diagram)

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #2753 Duncan.

Died, J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist, head of the Manhattan Project which developed the US atomic bomb

USSR's Luna 20 entered Lunar orbit.

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.

1974 10:05:00 GMT
NASA launched the Italian satellite San Marco C-2 from the San Marco platform in Kenya into a 232x905 km orbit.

H. Kosai and K. Hurukawa discovered asteroids #2330 Ontake, #2960 Ohtaki, #2924 Mitake-mura, #3249 Musashino, #3391 Sinon and #3607 Naniwa.

NASA's Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle went on its maiden "flight" while sitting on top of a Boeing 747.

1979 18:59:00 GMT
NASA launched the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) spacecraft into orbit from Wallops Island, Virginia on a Scout booster.

1979 21:50:00 GMT
Cosmos 1077, a Soviet ELINT (Electronic and Signals Intelligence) satellite, was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.

Harvard College discovered asteroid #3085.

Died, John Knudsen "Jack" Northrop, aircraft designer

C. Shoemaker and S. J. Bus discovered asteroid #3270 Dudley.

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