This Day In Astro History

First image of Asteroid Eros
from NEAR/Shoemaker
first orbit

February 14

2002 - Mars Odyssey turns on its science instruments;  a camera system, a gamma ray spectrometer and a radiation environment monitor.  During subsequent testing the radiation monitor was found to have a computer failure but the Earth bound team solved the problem.

2000 - NEAR achieves orbit around asteroid 433 Eros and becomes the first spacecraft to successfully lock into orbit around an asteroid

1990 - The cameras of Voyager 1 pointed back toward the sun and took a series of pictures of the sun and the planets, making the first ever " portrait" of our solar system as seen from the outside.

1898 - Fritz Zwicky's birthday, who 1st identified supernovae as a separate class of objects and suggested the possibility of neutron stars; Zwicky also catalogued galaxies in clusters and designed jet engines.
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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