This Day In Astro History

The Earth and Moon from Gemini 7

Jeremiah Horrocks

December 4

1996 - Mars Pathfinder (USA) launched. Pathfinder was designed as a mission to test new technology. "Faster, better, and cheaper" with three years for development and cost under $150 million dollars." Also, to demonstrate the mobility and usefulness of a microrover on the surface of Mars.

- The US's Pioneer/Venus Orbiter becomes the first spacecraft to orbit Venus.

- Gemini 7 launched. Frank Borman and James A Lovell Jr. completing a 14-day mission (330 hours and 35 minutes) completing 220 orbits. The mission had two goals: to study the long-term effects of space flight and to rendezvous with Gemini 6.

1945 Happy Birthday Roberta Bondar, Canada's first female astronaut and the first neurologist in space.

1639 - The first recorded observation of a transit of Venus was made by Jeremiah Horrocks.

Pathfinder Mission Patch

Roberta Bondar,
Happy Birthday!
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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