This Week In Space History

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  Space News Business

This Week In Space History

posted: 09 January 2008
12:06 pm ET











Jan. 7



1610:

Seventeenth century Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei discovers three of Jupiter’s moons: Io, Europa and Callisto. Six days later he discovered the Jovian moon Ganymede.


1985:

Japan’s Sakigake spacecraft launches from Kagoshima Space Center on a mission to research the interaction between Halley’s Comet and




solar wind. The probe discovered the comet affected solar wind as far away as 7 million kilometers.




Jan. 8



1973:

The Soviet Union launches Luna 21 on a Proton rocket from the BaikonurCosmodrome




to




the Moon. Upon reaching lunar orbit, Luna 21




sent a lander equipped with the Soviet Union’s second lunar rover, the 840-kilogram Lunokhod 2




, which analyzed lunar soil samples until it stopped functioning in May of that year.




Jan. 9



2001:

The People’s Republic of China launches the unmanned Shenzhou 2, its second unmanned Earth-orbiting capsule, on a Long March 2 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The capsule carried several animals to test its life support systems.




Jan. 11





1787:

18th century German-born




British astronomer William Herschel discovers Uranus’ moons Titania and Oberon.


2007:

The People’s Republic of China downs an aged weather satellite, Fengyun-1C, with a ground-based missile. In doing so, China joins Russia and the United States as the only nations to have successfully tested an anti-satellite weapon.




Jan. 12





1986:

The Space Shuttle Columbia launches from Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The STS-61C flight carried an RCA Americom communications satellite. It also was the first spaceflight for a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Bill Nelson (




D-Fla.), and for a U.S. Hispanic man, Franklin Chang-Diaz




.




2005:

NASA’s Deep Impact launches on a Delta 2 rocket from Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The spacecraft’s mothership propelled a probe into Comet Tempel 1 July 4, 2005. The Deep Impact team later reported observing water ice released from the comet as a results of the impact.




Jan. 13



2003:

Ice, Cloud and land Elevation (ICE) Satellite launches on a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The primary mission for the Earth science satellite was to measure changes in the Earth’s polar ice sheets.