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On this day in 2001 - August 8th - NASA's Genesis spacecraft was launched.

Genesis was a sample-return probe designed to collect a sample of solar wind and return it to Earth for analysis.

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On this day in 1576 - August 8th - Tycho Brahe laid the cornerstone for Uraniborg.

Uraniborg, built on the island of Hven between Denmark and Sweden, was a custom-built observatory and research center, the most advanced that had ever been seen at that time.

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On this day in 1948 - August 8th - Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya was born.

She was the second woman in space and the first to carry out a spacewalk.

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On this day in 2000 - August 9th - the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the second pair of Cluster satellites.

They completed the four-satellite constellation of the Cluster II mission, which is still making the most detailed investigation yet of how the Sun and Earth interact.

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On this day in 1675 - August 10th - the first Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed laid the cornerstone for the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

By the end of the 19th century most of the world's shipping was using navigation charts based on the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.



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On this day in 1966 - August 10th - NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1 was launched.

It was the first American spacecraft to orbit the Moon.

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On this day in 1990 - August 10th - NASA's Magellan spacecraft entered orbit around Venus to begin radar mapping of the surface.

It had been launched on May 4, 1989, the first interplanetary mission to be launched from the Space Shuttle.

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On this day in 1919 - August 12th - Anglo-American astronomer Margaret Burbidge (nee Peachey) was born in Cheshire, England.

She made notable contributions to the theory of quasars, to measurements of the rotation and masses of galaxies, an was the lead author on a groundbreaking paper describing how chemical elements are formed in the depths of stars through nuclear fusion. She was the first woman director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the first woman to be president of the American Astronomical Society.



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On this day in 1877 - August 12th - American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Deimos, moon of Mars.

Moons had long since been found for all the other planets beyond Earth, so Hall's discoveries were quite a sensation.

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On this day in 2005 - August 12th - NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was launched.

Since 2006, MRO has been conducting reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit.

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