This Day In Astro History

March 20

1969 - The inaugural message was sent over the first Internet, then called Arpanet. The first message 'login', was typed in l...o... the autocomplete (a term from the distant future) was supposed to fill in the rest, but a memory buffer overflowed, crashing the system. A increase to the buffer size, and the first connection was successfully made. A contract let by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) which connected four major computers at universities in the southwestern United States (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and the University of Utah) after being turned down by AT&T and IBM as being "impossible" was awarded to Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) of Cambridge, MA. They had $1 million and less than a year to turn theory into a working system. The system went operational in December, 1969.

1964 The precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) is established per an agreement signed on June 14, 1962.

1727 - English physicist/astronomer Sir Isaac Newton died in London at age 84.

Isaac Newton death mask"I don't know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." -- Sir Isaac Newton
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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