This Day In Astro History


May 18

she.png2015 - Dava Newman begins her duties as Deputy Administrator at NASA. She resigned the position upon the end of the Obama administration on January 20, 2017.

2005 - A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirms that Pluto has two additional moons later named Nix and Hydra.

2001 - Science Magazine Special on the Breakup of Comet C/ S1999 S4  Linear.  A systematic set of water-production rates was obtained by a team of researchers which indicate that comets may be the source of water on Earth. (Makinen, J. Teemu T., Bertaux, Jean-Loup, Combi, Michael R., Quemerais, Eric Water Production of Comet C/1999 S4 (LINEAR) Observed with the SWAN Instrument Science 2001 292: 1326-1329)
(ed. note: If these "ancients" are likely snowballs of h2o, what kind of predictions can be sought in our astrosystem biologies if we are all sharing the same bathtub? Prebiotic Chemistry in the Outer Solar System)

- Daniel S. Goldin, NASA Administrator announces the opening of the NASA Astrobiology Institute

"Today, we're embarking upon a new era of discovery . . . and by naming the first Director to this facility we open a new multi-disciplinary field of scientific exploration. It will couple experts in astronomy, molecular biology, genomics, geology, ecology, paleontology, physics, chemistry and zoology. This new field of study will bring a new understanding of fundamental life processes on Earth and throughout our Universe, if it exists. It is a revolution that will require its own revolution. In other words, to make these new astrobiological observations and discoveries we need a revolution in communications, networking, information technology, computing and scientific thinking."

1969 - Apollo 10 is launched. It is the "dry run" for Apollo 11 moon landing and came within 15.6kms of the surface of the Moon.

1910 - The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.
Dava Newman
Dava Newman

two more Plutonian Moons
Hubble Telescope discovers two more Plutonian moons.

Comet c/1999
Comet c/1999 S4
Hermann Mikuz (Crni Vrh Observatory, Slovenia) (July 21/99)

Apollo 10 Mission Patch
Apollo 10 Mission Patch
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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