This Day In Astro History


aurora
Canadian Maple Leaf 2000 Aurora over l'Observatoir Populaire du
Mont-Mégantic, Quebec. Courtesy:  Sébastien Gauthier

Vostok 4
Vostok 4
Mission Patch

August 12

Every Year - Perseids Meteor Shower Peak.

2005 - Launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V rocket.

Canada Maple Leaf 2003 - The launch of the Canadian Space Agency's SCISAT-1 (Scientific Satellite Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment) aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL vehicle occurred on time from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The mission was designed to last two years and would study global ozone.

2000 -  The debris stream  from comet Swift-Tuttle (Perseids Meteor Shower) and the charged particles from a solar flare arrive at Earths atmosphere at the same time. Many observers were treated to a rare sky show of "shooting stars" and a dance of colours in the night sky.

1999 - Chandra X-Ray Observatory  sunshade door, 120 lb 9 foot diameter door that protects the observatory mirrors, opens and Chandra begins its exploration of the high energy universe.

1978 - NASA spacecraft, originally known as ISEE-3 (International Sun-Earth Explorer) launched. It was spacecraft to encounter a comet. After completing its original mission, it was reactivated and diverted to pass through the tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner on 11 September 1985. It also observed Halley's Comet from a distance of 28 million km in March 1986.

1977 - Launch of the first of NASA's High Energy Astrophysics Observatories, HEAO-1 surveyed the X-ray sky almost three times over the 0.2 keV - 10 MeV energy band, provided nearly constant monitoring of X-ray sources near the ecliptic poles. One science highlight was the discovery of the first eclipse seen in a low-mass X-ray binary. HEAO-1's lifetime was from August 12, 1977 to January 9, 1979.

1962 - Launch of Vostok 4. Crewed by Pavel Romanovich Popovich the first Ukrainian Pilot Cosmonaut.  Vostok 3 & 4 were the first simultaneous flight of two spacecraft, launched one day apart and coming within a few kilometres of each other.

1960 - Echo 1A (later known as Echo 1) was launched. Nasa's first experimental communications satellite is used to redirect transcontinental and intercontinental telephone, radio, and television signals.
Illustration by CXC/TWR
Chandra's Door Opens

HEAO-1
HEAO-1

ISEE-3
ISEE-3
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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