This Day In Astro History


Asteroidal 
Water

Asteroidal Water! STS 51-I Crew
STS 51-I Crew
Back row L-R: van Hoften, Lounge, Fisher Front row L-R: Engle, Covey

Mariner 2
Mariner 2 to Venus!

August 27

2003 - Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.  This event spawned the Mars Hoax, where outrageous claims were made that Mars would look as big as the full moon. The hoax continues to circulate every August.

1999 - Extraterrestrial Water found in meteorite. Using several forms of analysis, JSC scientists find water in the halite crystals contained in a meteorite which fell to Earth (Texas) on March 22, 1998.  The water trapped in the crystals may predate the sun and the planets. The results of the study appeared as an article entitled Asteroidal Water Within Fluid Inclusion-Bearing Halite in an H5 Chondrite, Monahans (1998) in the Journal, Science's edition of August 27, 1999. The authors are Michael E. Zolensky (JSC), Robert J. Bodnar (Department of Geological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA), Everett K. Gibson Jr. (JSC), Laurence E. Nyquist (JSC), Young Reese (Lockheed Martin Space Operations Company, Houston, TX), Chi-Yu Shih (Lockheed Martin Space Operations Company, Houston, TX), and Henry Wiesmann (Lockheed Martin Space Operations Company, Houston, TX)

STS-51I Mission Patch1985 - Launch of STS-51_I, Discovery. The mission lasted seven days and included 2 spacewalks.

1962 - Mariner 2 was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral on a projected 15-week trajectory toward the planet Venus. On December 14, 1962  it became the first successful planetary spacecraft to fly past Venus, its closest approach was 34,833 km. Mariner 2 remains in solar orbit.
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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