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On this day in 2013 - February 15th - a meteor explosion occurred over Chelyabinsk in Russia causing around 1500 injuries.

The meteoroid was about 20 meters across with a mass of 12,000–13,000 metric tonnes. Fortunately, the explosion occurred high in the atmosphere and the atmosphere absorbed much of the energy. However the shock waves caused a lot of damage, and many of the injuries were from flying glass.



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On this day in 1973 - February 15th - Pioneer 10 became the first ever spacecraft to cross the asteroid belt.

Pioneer 10 was launched in 1972, and is is now over three times as far away from the Sun as Pluto.

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On this day in 1948 - February 16th - Gerard Kuiper discovered Miranda, a moon of Uranus.


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On this day in 1996 - February 17th - NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft was launched.

The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) did a fly-by of asteroid Mathilde and then went on to study asteroid Eros from orbit.

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On this day in 2018 - February 17th - it was the 5000th sol for NASA's Mars rover Opportunity on the red planet.

Opportunity's mission was originally planned for 90 sols. A sol is a Martian day, and it's just over 39.5 minutes longer than an Earth day. A severe planet-wide dust storm in the summer would finally end Opportunity's amazing mission.

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On this day in 1930 - February 18th - Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.

Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet for many years, but is now classified as a dwarf planet.

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On this day in 1677 - February 18th - Jacques Cassini was born at the Paris Observatory.

He was the son of the director of the observatory Jean Dominique Cassini, with whom he made numerous astronomical observations. Eventually, he took over his father's duties as head of the Paris Observatory and continued the astronomical work.

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On this day in 1473 - February 19th - Nicolaus Copernicus was born.

His work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) set out his arguments for a heliocentric (sun-centered) system instead of a geocentric (Earth-centered) system.


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On this day in 1986 - February 19th - Mir was launched by the Soviet Union.

Mir was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit. It was first continuously inhabited long-term research station in orbit. The failing station was deorbited in March 2001.

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On this day in 1965 - February 20th - John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Glenn's space capsule Friendship 7 took him around the Earth three times before its splashdown.

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