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On this day in 1993 - December 2nd - the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission was launched.

The crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour went to the telescope with a new main camera and a corrective optic package to restore the telescope's blurred vision.


Mona Evans
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On this day in 1995 - December 2nd - the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)was launched.

It was originally planned as a two-year mission, but it's still providing essential data about the Sun and space weather.


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On this day in 2014 - December 3rd - the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 was launched.

Hayabusa 2 is an asteroid sample-return mission which rendezvoused with near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu in June 2018.




Mona Evans
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On this day in 2015 - December 3rd - ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission was launched.

LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) Pathfinder tested technology for a future spaceborne observatory for gravitational waves.


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On this day in 1639 - December 4th - Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree in England became the first people ever to observe a transit of Venus.

Horrocks predicted the transit based on his own corrections to Kepler's Rudolphine Tables.


Mona Evans
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On this day in 1997 - December 4th - NASA's Mars Pathfinder was launched.

Mars Pathfinder was a robotic spacecraft that landed a base station (named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station) and Sojourner, the first roving probe on Mars.


Mona Evans
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On this day in 1968 - December 6th - ESRO (a precursor to the European Space Agency) had its Highly Eccentric Orbit Satellite (HEOS-1) launched from Cape Kennedy.

It was the first European satellite to venture beyond near-Earth space. It studied magnetic fields, radiation and the solar wind, which required an orbit stretching two-thirds of the way to the Moon.




Mona Evans
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On this day in 1998 - December 6th - the Unity and Zarya modules were connected to form the core of the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS was first occupied on November 2, 2000 and has been in continuous occupation ever since.


Mona Evans
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On this day in 1676 - December 7th - the first news was published of Danish astronomer Ole Rømer's measurement of the speed of light.

Rømer's work was based on observations of the eclipses of the moons of Jupiter. At that time not everyone was convinced that light even had a finite speed.


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On this day in 1905 - December 7th - Gerard Kuiper was born.

Among the Dutch-American astronomer's discoveries is Neptune's moon Miranda. Kuiper is considered by many to be the father of modern planetary science.


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