This Day In Astro History


July 20

2009 - Scientists found evidence of another object bombarding Jupiter, exactly 15 years after the first impacts by the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Following up on a tip by an amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley of Australia, that a new dark "scar" had suddenly appeared on Jupiter, in the morning between 3 and 9 a.m. PDT (6 a.m. and noon EDT) scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, gathered evidence indicating an impact.

Restored Liberty Bell 1999 - Recovery of Liberty Bell 7 (Mercury 4, pilot Gus Grissom).  A team led by Curt Newport and financed by the Discovery Channel, Oceaneering International, Inc. lifted the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft off the floor of the Atlantic ocean and onto the deck of a recovery ship. The spacecraft was found after a 14-year effort and today is a part of the permanent exhibit at The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

1976 - Viking 1 lands on Mars and the first images taken from that planet's surface are returned.

1969 - First humans on the Moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11. Neil Armstrong piloted the Eagle lander to a soft landing at 4:18 pm EDT at Tranquility Base. Armstrong reported "The Eagle Has Landed." And at 10:56 p.m., Armstrong, descending from Eagle's ladder and touching one foot to the Moon's surface, announced:Karsh Portrait of Apollo 11 Crew 
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." The event was the outcome of a decade of dedicated team work for the thousands of Americans involved with NASA. Arguably this event was and is still, the most exciting adventure in human history. "A small step for man. A giant leap for mankind."  See Heroic Stories or "The First Lunar Landing, as told by the Astronauts."

2009 Jupiter Impacts
Credit: NASA/JPL/Infrared Telescope Facility

View of Mars from Viking lander
View of Mars from Viking 1

man on moon
Neil Armstrong
First Human on the Moon
first footstep on Moon
Neil Armstrong's 
footprint on the Moon
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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