This Day In Astro History

cassini-huygens spaceship

Isaac Newton
(1643 - 1727)

December 25

2016 - Death of Vera Rubin, Astrophysicist and National Medal of Science winner. She confirmed the discovery of  "dark matter", which is predicted to make up 90% of the mass of the universe.

2003 - The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe, released from the Mars Express spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.

2004 - Cassini spacecraft releases the Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, 2005.

1968 - Apollo 8 performs the very first successful Trans-Earth injection (TEI) maneuver, sending the crew and spacecraft on a trajectory back to Earth from Lunar orbit.

1643 - Birthday, Isaac Newton. British "inventor" of calculus and much of modern classical physics, including the simple laws of motion and gravity. Much of the industrial revolution was built upon these basic laws of physics.
Vera Rubin
Vera Rubin
(1928 - 2016)

Huygens view of Titan on descent
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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