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Space History for October 19

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Wilhelm Tempel discovered a diffuse nebula around the Pleides star Merope.

Born, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Indian-American physicist, astrophysicist and mathematician, Nobel 1983 (shared with Fowler) "for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars"

J. Comas Sola discovered asteroid #986 Amelia.

Died, Ernest Rutherford, physicist (Nobel 1908 "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances")

Ernest Rutherford, the first Baron Rutherford of Nelson, OM, FRS, (30 August 1871 - 19 October 1937), received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances" in 1908. He is called the "father" of nuclear physics, and pioneered the orbital theory of the atom, notably in his discovery of Rutherford scattering with his Gold Foil experiment.

See also Rutherford - A Brief Biography

The first scheduled eastbound nonstop transcontinental jet service in the US was inaugurated by TWA. At that time, westbound service continued to stop in Chicago to refuel because of prevailing head winds.

Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroid #2790.

NASA's Mariner 5 made a fly-by of Venus, passing at a distance of 3,990 km and returning scientific data.

The Mariner 5 spacecraft, launched 14 June 1967 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, was the fifth in a series of spacecraft used for planetary exploration in the flyby mode. Mariner 5 was a refurbished backup spacecraft for the Mariner 4 mission, and was converted from a Mars mission to a Venus mission. The spacecraft was fully attitude stabilized, using the Sun and Canopus as references. A central computer and sequencer subsystem supplied timing sequences and computing services for other spacecraft subsystems. With more sensitive instruments than its predecessor, Mariner 2, Mariner 5 was able to shed new light on the hot, cloud-covered planet, and on conditions in interplanetary space. The spacecraft passed 3,990 km from Venus on 19 October 1967. The spacecraft instruments measured both interplanetary and Venusian magnetic fields, charged particles, and plasmas, as well as the radio refractivity and UV emissions of the Venusian atmosphere. The mission was termed a success, and Mariner 5 operations ended in November 1967.

Mariner 5 space probe sent to Venus in 1967, NASA illustration
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

G. Soulie discovered asteroid #1918 Aiguillon.

L. Brozek discovered asteroid #2288 Karolinum.

Died (heart attack), Nikolai Rukavishnikov (at Moscow, Russian Federation), Soviet civilian cosmonaut (Soyuz 10, Soyuz 16, Soyuz 33; over 9d 21h total time in spaceflight)

Nikolai Nikolayevich Rukavishnikov (18 September 1932, Tomsk - 19 October 2002) was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew three space missions of the Soyuz program: Soyuz 10, Soyuz 16, and Soyuz 33. Two of these missions, Soyuz 10 and Soyuz 33 were intended to dock with Salyut space stations, but failed to do so.

Rukavishnikov studied at the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute and after graduation worked for Sergey Korolev's design bureau. He was selected for cosmonaut training in 1967.

He resigned from the space program in 1987 and returned to work for the same bureau he started with, by then known as Energia.

He died of a heart attack on 19 October 2002.

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