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On this day in 2005 - July 4th - NASA's Deep Impact probe collided with comet Tempel 1.

The Deep Impact mission was designed to study the interior composition of the comet Tempel 1 (9P/Tempel) by releasing an impactor into it.


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On this day in 1054 - July 4th - Chinese astronomers observed the supernova explosion that created the Crab Nebula (Messier 1) in the constellation Taurus.

The supernova would have occurred some 6500 years before it was observed on Earth, since it's around 6500 light years away.


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On this day in 1997 - July 4th - NASA's Mars Pathfinder landed on Mars.

The robotic spacecraft consisted of a lander, renamed the Carl Sagan Memorial Station, and a wheeled robotic Mars rover named Sojourner. It was the first successful Mars rover.


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On this day in 2016 - July 5th - NASA's Juno mission went into polar orbit around Jupiter.

Juno's mission is to explore Jupiter, seeking to unlock secrets of the giant planet and our solar system.


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On this day in 1687 - July 5th - Edmond Halley published the Principia of Isaac Newton.

Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Latin for 'Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy') states Newton's laws of motion and of universal gravitation. It's regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science..


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On this day in 2003 - July 7th - NASA's Mars rover Opportunity was launched for a three-month mission.

Opportunity was still at work on the red planet until last summer when it was unable to recover after the massive planet wide dust storm.


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On this day in 2011 - July 8th - STS-135 Atlantis was launched, the final shuttle mission.

By the end of the final mission, Atlantis had orbited the Earth a total of 4,848 times, traveling nearly 126,000,000 mi (203,000,000 km) or more than 525 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.


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On this day in 1962 - July 10h - Telstar 1 was launched.

It was the beginning of a revolution in global communications.


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On this day in 1992 - July 10h - ESA's Giotto spacecraft flew past comet Grigg-Skjellerup.

Having successfully returned images and data from Halley's Comet in 1986, the flyby of Grigg-Skjellerup was the completion of Giotto's mission.


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On this day in 1732 - July 11th - French astronomer Jérôme Lalande was born.

He held the chair of astronomy in the Collège de France in for nearly half a century and a number of his pupils became distinguished astronomers. As well as being an observer, Lalande also gave popular lectures and wrote about astronomy.


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