This Day In Astro History


Amundsen and Scott, lost. Deep Space 2 
Amundsen and Scott, lost.

STS-38 Mission Patch
STS-38 Mission Patch

November 15

1999 - A gyroscope fails and Hubble Space Telescope is placed into safe hold. With only two remaining gyros the space telescope suspended operations until a scheduled servicing mission by Shuttle Discovery on December 6, 1999.

1999 -  Mercury grazing transit. At approximately 2115 UT Mercury crosses the visible disk of the Sun for the first time since 1993.  SOHO snaps the picture. The next grazing transit like this one won't happen until the year 2314! 
 

1999 -  NASA's Deep Space 2 microprobes named Amundsen and Scott in honor of the first explorers to reach the South Pole of Earth. Paul Withers, a graduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, wrote the winning essay, among a NASA-record 17,000 entries submitted in a public contest to name the space mission which planned to detach from the Mars Polar Lander and smash into Mars and then return data. However, after entering the martian atmosphere on December 3rd, 1999, contact with the probes was lost.

1990 - Space Shuttle Atlantis flight STS-38 launches as a US Department of Defense mission.

1738 - Birthday, William Herschel. He was the first astronomer to make systematic observations of space beyond our solar system. British astronomer and musician, he discovered Uranus (1781), the motion of the Sun in the Milky Way (1785), Castor's binary companion (1804, and in accordance with Kepler's Laws), and infrared radiation. Herschel also discovered many clusters, nebulae, and galaxies in the course of surveying the night sky and compiled catalogues whose basic data is still in use today.

Happy Birthday, William Herschel.
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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