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On this day in 1987 - October 15th - the NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens mission was launched to study the Saturnian system.

The spacecraft arrived at Saturn in January 2005 and studied the system for nearly twenty years.

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On this day in 2003 - October 15th - China launched Shenzhou 5.

Shenzhou 5 was the China's first manned spaceflight, with Yang Liwei as the first Chinese astronaut in space.

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On this day in 1785 - October 15th - English astronomer James South was born in London.

South was an active observer and best remembered for his observation of double stars. He and John Herschel compiled a catalog of double stars originally observed by William Herschel, and South went on to observe 458 further double stars. He was awarded both the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and the prestigious Copley Medal of the Royal Society.

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On this day in 1956 - October 17th - former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison was born.

Jemison - engineer, doctor, university professor and businesswoman - became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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On this day in 2002 - October 17th - the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL).

For six years it was the most sensitive gamma ray observatory ever, and it continues its operations in detecting some of the most energetic radiation coming from space.

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On this day in 1967 - October 18th - Venera 4 made the first direct studies of Venus's atmosphere.

The Soviet probe was the first probe to perform a successful in-place analysis of the environment of another planet.


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On this day in 1910 - October 19th - Indian-American astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born.

He's known for his work in stellar evolution including black holes. The Chandrasekhar Limitt is the dividing line between the mass of a star that has spent its nuclear fuel and will collapse into a white dwarf and one massive enough to go out with a bang - a supernova. It's about 1.4 times the Sun's mass.


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On this day in 2016 - October 19th - the European Space Agency's ExoMars mission arrived at Mars.

There were two parts to the mission. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) was successfully inserted into orbit and is working as expected. However due to a systems malfunction, the experimental lander Schiaparelli crash landed on Mars.


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On this day in 2008 - October 21st - India's space agency, ISRO, launched the Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe.

It was India's first satellite to leave Earth orbit, and the mission also included the first Indian deep space radio communications antenna.

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On this day in 1923 - October 21st - the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany presented the world's first public planetarium show.

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