This Day In Astro History

March 16

2011 - Expedition 26 ISS crew land in Kazakhstan.

2005 - Cassini spacecraft discovers Enceladus atmosphere.

1999 - Lunar Prospector Team at NASA Ames Research Center announce findings that confirm the Moon's mass to be mostly material ejected from the earth at at time when a Mars sized object impacted  our planet.  "This impact occurred after the Earth's iron core had formed, ejecting rocky, iron-poor material from the outer shell into orbit," Binder explained.  "It was this material that collected to form the Moon." Dr. Alan Binder of the Lunar Research Institute, Tucson, AZ, principal investigator for Lunar Prospector.

1966 - Launch of Gemini 8 - First docking (with Agena) of one space vehicle with another.  Using the fertilized eggs of a bullfrog the life science payload studied the effects of microgravity on development in a gravity-oriented biological system. A stuck thruster on the spacecraft necessitated an emergency return to Earth a little more than 10 hours after launch. First Pacific landing. Commander Neil Armstrong, Pilot David Scott.

1926 -  The rocket launched by physicist Robert H. Goddard is the first liquid-fuel rocket; it demonstrates the practicality of rockets and convinces Goddard that rockets will one day land men on the moon. Goddard sends his device on a 2.5-second flight from a field on his Aunt Effie's farm near Auburn, Mass. It travels 184 feet at a speed of only 60 miles per hour and reaches a height of only 41 feet, but Goddard writes in his diary, "It looked almost magical as it rose, without any appreciably greater noise or flame." He continued his research, and beginning in 1930 gets financial support from copper heir Harry Guggenheim.

1750 - Caroline Lucretia Herschel was a German British astronomer and the sister of astronomer Sir William Herschel with whom she worked throughout both of their careers. (d. 9 January 1848)
Caroline Herschel
Caroline Herschel
Kazakhstan landing of ISS Exp 26
Kazakhstan landing of ISS crew from Expedition 26.

Enceladus has an atmosphere
Enceladus has an atmosphere.

the moon's core
The moon's small core

Gemini 8 mission patch
Gemini 8 patch

the first liquid-fuel rocket
the first liquid-fuel rocket

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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