On this day in 1971 - October 30th - SA-1, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched its first successful Ariane 5 rocket.
The Ariane 5, Europe's most powerful launch vehicle, has been used to launch the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, numerous telecom satellites, all of the International Space Station ATV resupply ships, the Herschel Space Observatory, and the Rosetta mission.
On this day in 1919 - November 1st - Anglo-Austrian mathematician and cosmologist Hermann Bondi was born.
Bondi was a distinguished academic and Fellow of the Royal Society. Among many positions outside academia, from 1967-1971, he served as Director-General of the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) which later became the European Space Agency, (ESA).
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