This Day In Astro History

chandra image
chandra space telescope
Chandra X-Ray Observatory
STS-93 Mission Patch
STS 93 Mission Patch

July 23

2009 - Observations of the July 19, 2009 Jupiter impact of a comet or asteroid were made with Hubble's new camera, the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).  Read the Full Story.

1999 - STS-93  launched at 11:31 pm CDT. The main mission was the deployment of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which will enable scientists to more thoroughly study high energy sources in the universe, such as Supernovae & Supernova Remnants; Neutron Stars; Black Holes; Normal Galaxies; Quasars; Galaxy Clusters; and GRBs. Program Manager: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Prime Contractor: TRW  Key  subcontractors include Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Inc., Eastman  Kodak Company, and Raytheon Optical Systems, Inc. The scientific instruments were built by teams from MIT, Pennsylvania State University, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Laboratory for Space  Research in the Netherlands, and the Max Planck Institute in Germany. The Smithsonian's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and flight operations from Cambridge, MA. Eileen Collins
she.pngAlso on this day in 1999, Eileen M. Collins becomes the first woman ever to command a shuttle mission. The launch was scrubbed twice, first for a faulty data reading regarding hydrogen in the aft engine compartment and the second time due to lightening storms in area.

she.png1928 - Vera Cooper Rubin, 2003 Bruce Medalist, was born in Pennsylvania. Since 1965 she has been at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. There she joined with W. Kent Ford, Jr., inventor of an image tube spectrograph, to measure rotation curves of spiral galaxies (and later, ellipticals as well). This work, which she has extended considerably as CCDs have replaced image tubes, led to the surprising discovery that most of the mass in galaxies is dark and that it resides in the outer parts, or haloes.

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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