This Day In Astro History

STS-118 Mission Patch
STS-118 Mission Patch

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Gemini 5 Mission Patch
Gemini 5 Mission Patch

August 21

2007 - STS 118, Shuttle Endeavour Returns to Earth. Touchdown at 12:32:16 p.m. wrapped up a 5.2-million-mile voyage spanning 12 days 17 hours 55 minutes and 34 second over 201 complete orbits.

1995 - Death of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, one of the greatest astrophysicists of modern times and Nobel Laureate 1983. The term "Chandrasekhar's limit" refers to those stars which retain an end of life mass above a certain limit undergo further collapse. This discovery was contrary to thinking at the time which assumed that all stars ended their lives as white dwarfs.

1993 - NASA loses contact with Mars Observer three days before its planned entry into Mars atmosphere. The Coffey Board determined the most likely (of five scenarios) cause of the failure was a rupture of the fuel (monomethyl hydrazine (MMH)) pressurization side of the spacecraft's propulsion system. 

1972 - HEASARC  Copernicus satellite launched into a nearly circular 7123 km radius orbit, inclined at 35 degrees. The main experiment was an ultraviolet telescope. It also contained a cosmic X-ray experiment provided by University College London/MSSL. It operated till February 1981.

1965 Gemini 5 Launch.  Evaluate rendezvous Guidance and Navigation system and demonstrate 8-day capability of spacecraft and crew.
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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