This Day In Astro History

Mars Polar Lander landing ellipse

December 3

2015 - The European Space Agency successfully launched the LISA Pathfinder, a spacecraft designed to demonstrate technology for observing gravitational waves in space.

2014 - The Japanese space agency, JAXA, launches the space explorer Hayabusa 2 from the Tanegashima Space Center on a six-year round trip mission to an asteroid to collect rock samples.

1999 - Mars Polar Lander/Deep Space 2  LOST! Mission controllers never established communications with any of the three spacecraft after orbital insertion.

1974 - Pioneer 11 Flyby Of Jupiter

1973 - Pioneer 10 is the first spacecraft to flyby Jupiter

1971 -The USSR's Mars 3 becomes the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the red planet Mars.

1958 - JPL (Jet Propulsion Labratory) transferred from the control of the army to the control of NASA. 

1934 - Birthday, Viktor Vasilyevich Gorbatko was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on the Soyuz 7, Soyuz 24, and Soyuz 37 missions. Time in space: 30d 12h 47m.
mission patch
Pioneer Mission Patch

Mars 3 image
Mars 3 - first ever image transmitted from Mars.
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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