This Day In Astro History

Cassini captures a storm on Saturn.

Polar Spacecraft

February 24

2011 - The last mission of Space Shuttle Discovery. Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Michael Barratt, Nicole Stott and Steve Bowen lifted off aboard Discovery STS-133, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

2005 - Dr. Don Gurnett, the RPWS Cassini principal investigator at the University of Iowa, said, "The radio signals from Saturn lightning are incredibly intense, almost one million times the intensity of terrestrial lightning. An important question we need to answer is why Saturn's lightning is so intense.

1996 - The Polar spacecraft was launched to study the region over the poles of Earth.

- Solwind P78-1 Launch 

- Mariner 6 (USA) was launched. On July 31, 1969 Mariner 6 flew to 3330 km of Mars and returned 74 images. 

- The first pulsar was discovered, by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, in a radio search survey. Hewish and Ryle, co-directors of the project, got the `74 Physics Nobel for matching the observations to a model of a rotating neutron star. This had first been explored theoretically thirty years earlier by J. Robert Oppenheimer.

- White Sands, New Mexico, a captured and modified German V-2 rocket was launched up to a record height of 250 miles. The "step-rocket" envisioned years earlier by Dr. Robert Goddard had become a reality.

Crew of Discovery's last flight.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell 
(1943 - )

Listen to the sound of
PSR 0329+54, it is among the strongest known pulsars,
and was one of the first discovered.
It has a pulse period of about 0.715 seconds.

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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