This Day In Astro History

1995 - Galileo Probe descends
into Jovian atmosphere

Apollo 17 Mission Patch

December 7

1995 - Galileo Probe successfully descends into Jupiter's atmosphere and directly measures the atmosphere of a Giant Planet for the first time.

1972 - Apollo 17 launched becoming the last Apollo mission. It is also the last time humans landed on the Moon. The mission lasted for 301 hours, 51 minutes, and 59 seconds and returned the greatest amount of lunar samples to Earth. Apollo 17's commander was Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans was the command module pilot and Harrison H. Schmitt was the lunar module pilot. Schmitt was also the only professional geologist to go to the Moon. The picture we know as "The Blue Marble" was taken during this mission.

- Birthday, Gerard Kuiper's, Dutch-born American planetary scientist who discovered moons of both Uranus (see Feb 16) and Neptune (May 1), and  Saturn's moon Titan's atmosphere, and studied the origins of comets and the solar system.
The Big Blue Marble
The Big Blue Marble
Earth as seen from Apollo 17
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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