This Day In Astro History

Opportunity Launch Patch
Opportunity's Launch Patch
featuring Daffy Duck

Phobos at Mars
Artist's conception of Phobos at Mars

July 7

2015 - New Horizons snaps a picture of Pluto at 8 million miles and finds it's heart.
I heart Pluto

2003 - Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" is launched at 03:18 UTC. The spacecraft lands on Mars on January 25, 2004 and remains active to exceed its operating plan by 11 years (@ 2015). On March 24, 2015 Opportunity's marathon (26.219 miles) was celebrated as it became the Mars rover with the most distance traveled.

1988 - Phobos 1 (USSR) launched. Orbiter and lander were lost enroute to Mars due an error in  software uploaded on 29/30 August. Controllers failed to regain contact with the spacecraft during a communications session on September 2. The error resulted in a loss of lock on the Sun and the batteries were depleted when the solar arrays failed to remain turned to the Sun. 

1960 - Birthday, Kevin A. Ford, American Astronaut and Colonel, US Air Force, born in Portland, Indiana.  NASA Group 2000.  Missions: STS-128, Soyuz TMA-06M, Expedition 33, Expedition 34
8 million miles from Pluto flyby
8 million miles from Pluto

Kevin Ford
Happy Birthday, Kevin Ford
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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