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Exploration

1927 – The Lockheed Vega

4 July

On this day in 1927 the Lockheed Vega had its first flight.

Continue reading “1927 – The Lockheed Vega”

2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched

7 April

2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin, with an expected cost for the entire mission of US$297 million. Its mission is to use spectrometers and a thermal imager to detect evidence of past or present water and ice, as well as study the planet’s geology and radiation environment. Continue reading “2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched”

1968 – NASA launches Apollo 6

4 April

Apollo 6, launched on this day in 1968, was the second A type mission of the United States Apollo program, an unmanned test of the Saturn V launch vehicle. It was also the final unmanned Apollo test mission. Continue reading “1968 – NASA launches Apollo 6”

1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole

16 January

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Continue reading “1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole”

Titan (the moon)

Titan (or Saturn VI) is the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. Continue reading “Titan (the moon)”

2005 – The Huygens probe lands on Saturn’s moon Titan

14 January

Huygens was an atmospheric entry probe that landed successfully on Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005. Built and operated by the European Space Agency(ESA), it was part of the Cassini–Huygens mission and became the first spacecraft ever to land on Titan. The probe was named after the Dutch 17th-century astronomer Christiaan Huygens, who discovered Titan in 1655. Continue reading “2005 – The Huygens probe lands on Saturn’s moon Titan”

1962 – Apollo program: NASA announces plans to build the C-5 launch vehicle, better known as the Saturn V

10 January

On this day in 1962, NASA announced plans to build the C-5. The three-stage rocket would consist of: the S-IC first stage, with five F-1 engines; the S-II second stage, with five J-2 engines; and the S-IVB third stage, with a single J-2 engine. The C-5 was designed for a 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) payload capacity to the Moon. Continue reading “1962 – Apollo program: NASA announces plans to build the C-5 launch vehicle, better known as the Saturn V”

1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France

Vulcan is a small hypothetical planet that was proposed to exist in an orbit between Mercury and the Sun. Attempting to explain peculiarities of Mercury’s orbit, the 19th-century French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier hypothesized that they were the result of another planet, which he named “Vulcan”. Continue reading “1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France”

1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker

18 December

Epimetheus is an inner satellite of Saturn. It is also known as Saturn XI. It is named after the mythological Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus. Continue reading “1966 – Saturn’s moon Epimetheus is discovered by Richard L. Walker”

1642 – Abel Tasman reaches New Zealand

13 December

Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603 – 10 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands. Continue reading “1642 – Abel Tasman reaches New Zealand”

2001 – the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet

27 November

HD 209458 b (unofficially named Osiris) is an extrasolar planet that orbits the solar analogue HD 209458 in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light-years from the Solar System. Continue reading “2001 – the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet”

1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon enter the tomb of Tutankhamun

26 November

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years. Continue reading “1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon enter the tomb of Tutankhamun”

1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica

12 November

Captain Robert Falcon Scott, CVO, RN (6 June 1868 – 29 March 1912) was an English Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions. During the second venture, Scott led a party of five which reached the South Pole on 17 January 1912, only to find that they had been preceded by Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian expedition. On their return journey, Scott’s party discovered plant fossils, proving Antarctica was once forested and joined to other continents. At a distance of 150 miles from their base camp and 11 miles from the next depot, Scott and his companions died from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold. Continue reading “1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica”

1835 – HMS Beagle arrives at the Galápagos Islands.

15 September – On this day

HMS Beagle reaches the Galápagos Islands. The ship lands at Chatham or San Cristobal, the easternmost of the archipelago. Continue reading “1835 – HMS Beagle arrives at the Galápagos Islands.”

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