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On this day in 1998 – November 20th – the Zarya module of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

Zarya was the first module of the ISS. A much expanded space station is still operating with crews made up of astronauts from many nations.


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On this day in 2004 - November 20th - NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory (previously called the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission) was launched.

The mission, with international participation, was to help solve the mystery of gamma-ray bursts.


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On this day in 1977 - November 23rd - Meteosat-1. was launched by EUMETSAT (a European intergovernmental agency).

Meteosat-1 was the first of the first generation of Meteosat satellites, which have provided continuous and reliable meteorological observations from space to a large user community.


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On this day in 2011 - November 26th - the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity was launched.

Curiosity is still exploring Mars.



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On this day in 1965 - November 26th - France became the third nation to launch its own satellite.

Astérix was launched from a launch site in French Algeria.



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On this day in 1885 - November 27th - the first known photograph of a meteor was taken during the Andromedid meteor shower.

Austro-Hungarian astronomer Ladislaus Weinek caught a 7mm-long trail at his Prague observing station. (Since the 19th century the Andromedids have faded so much that they're no longer generally visible to the naked eye.)




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On this day in 1971 - November 27th - the Soviet Mars 2 probe became the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.

However it wasn't the first successful mission, because the landing system failed and the lander was lost.





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On this day in 1964 - November 28th - NASA's Mariner 4 was launched.

The spacecraft made the first successful flyby of the planet Mars, returning the first pictures of the Martian surface. They were the first images of another planet ever returned from deep space.





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On this day in 2017 - November 28th - the Voyager team completed a successful test of Voyager 1's trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) thrusters.

The last time these backup thrusters were fired up was in November 1980. The team anticipates that successful use of the TCM thrusters will extend the mission by an additional two to three years.



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On this day in 1967 - November 28th - the first pulsar was observed by Dr Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Dr Antony Hewish at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge, England.

A pulsar is a rapidly rotating neutron star, but at the time no one knew this. A neutron star was still a theoretical construct whose existence wasn't accepted by many astronomers.



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