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On this day in 1972 – July 23rd – the USA launched Landsat 1.

The near-polar orbiting spacecraft served as a stabilized, Earth-oriented platform for obtaining information on Earth resources of all kinds, meteorology, pollution, etc. Over the lifetime of the satellite it provided around 300,000 images.


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On this day in 1950 – July 24th – the first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Cape Canaveral - which for a time was called Cape Kennedy - became the launch site for the manned space program. After the last space shuttle retired, the USA could only put astronauts into space via Russian launches. Then on November 15, 2020, a SpaceX Dragon was launched from Cape Canaveral with four astronauts.


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On this day in 1969 – July 24th – the crew of Apollo 11 returned safely to Earth.

President John F. Kennedy's goal "of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth" had been achieved "before this decade is out", though he didn't live to see it.


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On this day in 1975 – July 24th – the last Apollo crew returned to Earth after docking and working with a Russian Soyuz crew.

The end of the Apollo Soyuz mission was the final flight of the Apollo program and the last US splashdown.


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On this day in 2009 – July 24th – the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GranTeCan or GTC) was dedicated.

Located on La Palma in the Canary Islands of Spain, it's the world's largest single-aperture optical telescope.


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On this day in 1982 – July 25th – Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space.

The Soviet cosmonaut was the first woman to go into space after Valentina Tereshkova's initial flight nineteen years earlier.


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On this day in 2000 – July 25th – the Zvezda Service Module docked with International Space Station.

It was the first fully Russian contribution to the International Space Station and served as the early cornerstone for the first human habitation of the station.


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On this day in 1609 – July 26th – English astronomer and mathematician Thomas Harriot looked at the Moon through a telescope, and made a dated sketch of what he saw.

It's the oldest known drawing of a telescopic body - it was made nearly four months before Galileo's first drawing.


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On this day in 1971 – July 26th – Apollo 15 was launched.

This would be the first mission to use the lunar rover to explore the Moon.


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On this day in 1801 – July 27th – English mathematician and Astronomer Royal Sir George Biddell Airy was born in Alnwick, Northumberland.

He's known for his work on planetary orbits, measuring the mean density of the Earth and, in his role as Astronomer Royal, for establishing the meridian in Greenwich in London that became the prime meridian of the world.


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