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On this day in 2006 - September 3rd - ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft ended its mission when it was deliberately crashed into the Moon's surface.

SMART-1 spent 16 months testing testing innovative and miniaturised space technologies. It also produced detailed maps of the Moon's chemical make-up, to help refine theories about its birth.


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On this day in 2008 - September 5th - ESA's Rosetta Mission made its closest approach to asteroid (2867) Steins at a distance of 800 km.

This was Rosetta's first encounter with an asteroid and it produced data about the asteroid that couldn't have been obtained from Earth.


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On this day in 1977 - September 5th - NASA launched the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

Voyager 1 is now over 150 AU from Earth - that's 150 times farther away from us than the distance from the Earth to the Sun. It's in interstellar space.


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On this day in 1908 - September 5th - Edoardo Amaldi, Italian cosmic-ray physicist, was born.

The reconstruction of the Italian scientific environment after World War II was due almost entirely to Amaldi, and he was one of the founding fathers of the European Space Research Organisation which would later become the European Space Agency (ESA)



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On this day in 2013 - September 7th - NASA launched the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE).

The orbiter explored the lunar exosphere and dust in the Moon's vicinity.


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On this day in 2004 - September 8th - NASA's Genesis probe that had collected bits of solar wind, crash-landed when it returned to Earth.

Some samples were salvaged, as some of the contamination could be dealt with. The mission's major science objectives were achieved.


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On this day in 2016 - September 8th - NASA launched OSIRIS-REx, an asteroid study and sample return mission.

The spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu in December 2018, has carried out detailed reconnaissance of the asteroid, and has been preparing for its first sample collection, which is scheduled for October 2020.


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On this day in 1789 - September 9th - American astronomer William Cranch Bond was born.

Bond was the first director of the Harvard College Observatory, and a pioneer of astrophotography.


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On this day in 1975 - September 9th - NASA launched the Viking 2 mission.

It was an orbiter and lander like Viking 1, the other half of the first astrobiology mission to Mars.


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On this day in 1892 - September 9th - American astronomer E.E. Barnard discovered Jupiter's moon Amalthea.


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