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On this day in 1983 – June 13th – Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Neptune, our outermost planet.

Pioneer 10 was the first human-made object to leave the proximity of the major planets of the Solar System.


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On this day in 2012 – June 13th – NASA's X-ray telescope NuSTAR was launched.

One of its primary scientific goals is to conduct a deep survey for black holes a billion times more massive than the Sun.


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On this day in 1962 – June 14th – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed the Convention creating the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO).

The Convention was ratified on 20 March 1964, this date now celebrated as the birth of ESRO. The long process of establishing European space cooperation ultimately led, in 1975, to the birth of the European Space Agency.




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On this day in 1963 – June 16th – Valentina Tereshkova in Vostok 6 became the first woman in space.

With a single flight, she logged more flight time than the combined times of all American astronauts who had flown before that date. She's the only woman ever to make a solo space flight.


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On this day in 1714 – June 17th – French astronomer and cartographer César-François Cassini de Thury was born.

He was the grandson of Giovanni Domenico Cassini and the third Cassini to be the director of the Paris Observatory.


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On this day in 2013 – June 17th – ESA deactivated the Herschel Space Telescope that had run out of coolant.

The spacecraft is now in an orbit around the Sun that will ensure it doesn't impact the Earth in the foreseeable future.




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On this day in 1799 – June 18th – English merchant and astronomer William Lassell was born.

Lassell was known for his improvements to the reflecting telescope and his discoveries, e.g., two of the moons of Neptune.




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On this day in 1983 – June 18th – physicist and astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

Ride was a crew member of STS-7 Challenger which was launched 2 days after the 20th anniversary of Valentina Tereshkova's space flight.




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On this day in 2009 – June 18th – NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) were launched.

The LCROSS mission confirmed the presence of water in a shadowed crater on the Moon. LRO is still mapping the Moon.


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On this day in 2004 – June 21st – SpaceShipOne was launched.

It was the first privately-funded human space flight.


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