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On this day in 1943 - July 15th - Northern Irish astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell was born.

As a graduate student she first noted what turned out to be rotating neutron stars. Until then neutron stars were only theoretically an endpoint of the evolution of massive stars.


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On this day in 1975 - July 15th - the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome and the Kennedy Space Center.

This was the first joint U.S.-Soviet space flight, a symbol of detente between the superpowers - it involved the docking of an Apollo Command/Service Module with the Soviet Soyuz.


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On this day in 1969 - July 16th - Apollo 11 was launched.

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins set off for the Moon. They weren't the first to visit our satellite, but Armstrong and Aldrin would be the first to land on it.


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On this day in 2011 - July 16th - NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta.

The spacecraft later moved on to dwarf planet Ceres where it was active until November 2018.


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On this day in 2000 - July 16th - the first pair of the ESA Cluster satellite fleet lifted off on a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Cluster is a set of four spacecraft flying in formation around Earth, relaying in three dimensions the most detailed-ever information about the effects of the solar wind on our planet.


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On this day in 1894 - July 17th - Belgian priest, astronomer and physicist Georges LemaƮtre was born.

LemaƮtre made the first definitive formulation of the idea of an expanding universe, and what was to become known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.


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On this day in 1850 - July 17th - John Adams Whipple took the first stellar photograph.

The photo was of the star Vega, taken at the Harvard College Observatory in the USA.


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On this day in 1921 - July 18th - NASA astronaut John Glenn was born.

Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. He had a distinguished military career before becoming an astronaut, and was a US senator afterwards. In 1998 he took part in a space shuttle mission, making him oldest person ever to go into space.


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On this day in 1846 - July 19th - Edward Pickering was born.

Pickering was the director of Harvard College Observatory who hired women assistants (computers), and who modernized the observatory's work in astronomy by the use of photography.


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On this day in 1969 - July 20th - Apollo 11 astronauts became the first humans to set foot on another world.

Neil Armstrong, followed by Buzz Aldrin, stepped out of their lander and walked on the Moon, taking photographs, collecting rocks and setting up experiments.


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