This Day In Astro History

March 4

2005 - Rosetta completes first Earth flyby.

1999 -  NASA's WIRE (Wide-field Infrared Explorer) launches from Vandenberg AFB aboard a Pegasus Rocket. But shortly after reaching orbit an anomaly occurred which sent the spacecraft into an uncontrolled spin. Venting hydrogen, which is used to cool the optic systems, is suspect. Solar energy and communication systems are functionally nominally.  Mission controllers have stabilized the spin (@mar7/99) and continue to rescue the spacecraft. (@mar8/99) All hydrogen was vented into space effectively ending any science on this mission. WIRE was on a four-month mission to assemble a history of star and galaxy formation in the universe. (see press release here

1999 - Asteroid 1998 VD35 Near-Earth Flyby (0.169 AU)

1979 - Jupiter's rings discovered by Voyager 1.

1835 - Giovanni Schiaparelli's birthday, director of the Milan Obs. and popularizer of the Martian "canals" (1877c). Shiaparelli's also established the connection between the orbits of meteor streams and the orbits of comets (1866).

1675 John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.
Jupiter's Rings
Voyager discovers Jupiter's rings
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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