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On this day in 1970 - September 12th - The Soviet spacecraft Luna 16 was launched.

It was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth.


Mona Evans
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On this day in 2017 - September 15th - the NASA/ESA Cassini mission ended with planned entry into Saturn’s atmosphere.

The Cassini spacecraft had spent over 13 years studying Saturn and its moons and rings.


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On this day in 1968 - September 15th - the Soviet Zond 5 spacecraft was launched.

It was the first spacecraft to travel to the Moon, circle it and return safely to Earth with living creatures - including two tortoises - on board.


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On this day in 1848 - September 16th - Saturn's moon Hyperion was discovered.

American astronomers William and George Bond, and English astronomer William Lassell independently discovered the moon.


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On this day in 1857 - September 17th - Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was born.

Tsiolkovsky is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics. Long before the Wright brothers' first plane flew 120 feet, he was thinking space travel. And when it was still science fiction to most people, he was developing the theory, and doing the math, for multistage rockets.


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On this day in 1930 - September 17th - Edgar Dean "Ed" Mitchell was born.

Mitchell was the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 14 mission and the sixth man to walk on the Moon.


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On this day in 1789 - September 17th - William Herschel discovered Saturn's moon Mimas.

The huge crater in the leading hemisphere of Mimas is named Herschel in honor of the moon's discoverer.


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On this day in 1977 - September 18th - Voyager 1 took the first ever photo of both the Earth and the Moon together in space.

The Moon is very faint in the upper left of the photo.


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On this day in 2006 - September 18th - Anousheh Ansari was the first woman to become a space tourist.

Ansari is an Iranian-American engineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI). The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize.


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On this day in 1970 - September 20th - Luna 16 landed on the Moon.

The Soviet craft was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth.


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