This Day In Astro History

April 10

2013 - NASA's FY2014 budget proposal includes a plan to robotically capture a small near-Earth asteroid and redirect it safely to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system where astronauts can visit and explore it.

 2002 - Yuji Hyakutake, an amateur Japanese astronomer who discovered "Comet Hyakutake" in 1996, dies at 51.  Hyakutake, a native of Nagasaki Prefecture, won international acclaim after he found the new comet, using a powerful pair of binoculars on Jan 30, 1996, in the town of Hayato in Kagoshima. 

1981 - First attempt to launch STS-1. Launch failed at last moment when computers shut down due to timing skew in orbiter's general purpose computer system. Backup flight software failed to synchronize with primary avionics software system.  Solution: control-alt-delete. Crippen and Young in STS-1 successfully launched on April 12. Around the world an estimated 100 million people are watching.

837 - Halley's Comet and Earth experienced their closest approach to one another when their separating distance equaled 0.0342 AU (3.2 million miles).
Credit: Photograph  1996 Tenmon Guide, by Akira Otawara
Yuji Hyakutake
1951 - 2002
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It is my conclusion that human evolution and the motions of matter in space are intrinsically linked. The observation and understanding of the complexity of biological history on Earth cannot be complete without the tandem observation and understanding of a dynamic greater cosmos. - SpaceGene