This Day In Astro History

sts 121 launch
STS 121 launch

Giovanni Schiaparelli
Giovanni Schiaparelli

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Henrietta Swan Leavitt

July 4

2006 - STS 121 launches at 18:37:55 UTC to test new repair and safety techniques and gear. It is the only shuttle to ever launch on Independence Day.

2005 - The Deep Impact collider hits the comet Tempel 1.

1997 - Mars PathFinder lands in Valles Marinaris on Mars. Using new airbag landing technology, Pathfinder uses solar arrays for its power. Aboard is the Soujourner Rover, a bread box size robot that travels the immediate area doing research on rock and soil samples. This mission captured the hearts of Earth bound armchair space travelers. The mission was not only a technological success, it was a public relations success!

1910 - Death of Giovanni Schiaparelli. Born in 1835, he is known for his studies of Mars. His awards include the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1872) and the Bruce Medal (1902). Named after him: Asteroid 4062 Schiaparelli; the crater Schiaparelli on the Moon; the crater Schiaparelli on Mars.

she.png 1868 - Birthday of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, an American Astronomer who discovered the relationship between the luminosity and the period of Cephied variable stars allowing astronomers to measure the distance between Earth and faraway galaxies. Using her discovery Edwin Hubble determined the universe was expanding.
Deep Impact
The head-on collision of comet 9P/Tempel and the Deep Impact

Carl Sagan Memorial Station
Carl Sagan Memorial Station
Valles Marinaris, Mars

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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