This Day In Astro History

Edwin Aldrin during EVA
Buzz Aldrin, EVA success!

Explorer II 1935
Explorer II 1935

Tycho Brahe's map showing a New Star

November 11

1966 - NASA launches Gemini 12 with Jim Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. It was the 10th and final flight of Project Gemini. This flight finally demonstrated that astronauts could work outside the spacecraft.

1935 - American Explorer II was a manned high-altitude balloon that reached a record altitude of 22,066 m (72,395 ft). Launched at 8:00 am from the Stratobowl in South Dakota, the helium balloon carried a two-man crew consisting of U. S. Army Air Corps Captains Albert W. Stevens and Orvil A. Anderson. The crew landed near White Lake, South Dakota at 4:13 pm. Scientific instruments carried on the gondola returned useful information about the stratosphere. The mission was funded by the membership of the National Geographic Society.

1911 - Birthday, Luigi Broglio, "the Italian von Braun". Under his guide Italy built and operated a satellite in orbit around the Earth and became the first country to deploy an equatorial launching pad, the San Marco.

1875 - Vesto Slipher born, pioneer American observer; with mainly the 60" and 100" telescopes on Mt. Wilson he was the first to photograph galaxy spectra and measure their redshifts, which led to the discovery of the expansion of the universe by Edwin Hubble. 1935 Bruce Medalist.

1572 - Tycho Brahe sees a "Stella Nova" in the sky in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This is evidence against Aristolian theory that the heavens are unchanging. He wrote of the occasion

"That it is neither in the orbit of the Saturn nor in that of Jupiter, nor in that of Mars, nor in that of any one of the other planets, is hence evident, since after the lapse of several months it has not advanced by its own motion a single minute from that place in which I first saw it; which it must have done if it were in some planetary orbit Hence this new star is located neither below the Moon, nor in the orbits of the seven wandering stars but in the eighth sphere, among the other fixed stars."

Gemini 12 insignia
Gemini 12 Mission Patch

Luigi Broglio
Luigi Broglio

Vesto Silpher
(Photo courtesy  Lowell Observatory)
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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