This Day In Astro History

Soyuz 11 Commemorative Stamp
Soyuz 11 Commemorative Stamp

WMAP describes cosmic origins
WMAP describes cosmic origins

Tunguska damage
Trees knocked over by the Tunguska blast. Photograph from the Soviet Academy of Science 1927 expedition led by Leonid Kulik

June 30 - Happy Asteroid Day!

2001 - WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) is launched from Kennedy Space center to a destination at L2, (Lagrange point) 1 million miles (1.5 million kms) from Earth. Once there it will map the background radiation which describes the early universe. Since 2000, the three most highly cited papers in all of physics and astronomy are WMAP scientific papers.

1971 - Three cosmonaut heroes found dead in their Soyuz 11 return vehicle after a troublesome mission to Salyut 1. Georgi Timofeyevich Dobrovolsky, Viktor Ivanovich Patsayev, and Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov perished due to a loss of cabin atmosphere they were not wearing spacesuits. Thereafter Soyuz crew numbered two with spacesuits instead of three without spacesuits. The fault was traced to a breathing ventilation valve, located between the orbital module and the descent module, that had been jolted open as the descent module separated from the service module, 723 seconds after retrofire.

1908 - Tunguska explosion 8 km over Siberia. A comet or an asteroid? The research continues.

1905 - Albert Einstein publishes the article "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", in which he introduces special relativity.
1860 - Darwin's theory of evolution is attacked at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
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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