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On this day in 1966 – February 3rd – the Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 made the first successful soft landing on the Moon.

Luna 9 also sent back the first pictures taken on the Moon's surface.


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On this day in 1995 – February 3rd – the first space shuttle mission with a woman pilot was launched.

Eileen Collins was the first woman to pilot a space shuttle. Four years later she became the first woman commander of a space shuttle.


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On this day in 1906 – February 4th – Clyde Tombaugh was born.

Tombaugh was the American astronomer who discovered Pluto. He died in 1997, and a portion of his ashes were on the New Horizons spacecraft that journeyed to Pluto.


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On this day in 1963 – February 5th – Dutch astronomer Maarten Schmidt had a sudden insight that provided the clue to solving the mystery of quasars.

Schmidt realized that a quasar wasn't an object in our Galaxy, and its strange spectrum wasn't full of unknown elements. It was mostly composed of hydrogen that was redshifted because of its enormous distance away in an expanding Universe.


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On this day in 1974 – February 5th – NASA's Mariner 10 took a historic gravity assist from Venus in order to make its flyby of Mercury.

It was the first spacecraft to turn the theoretical possibility of such a gravity assist into a reality, and it enabled the first visit of a spacecraft to Mercury.


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On this day in 1971 – February 6th – Alan Shepard hit the first golf balls on the Moon.

The Apollo 14 lunar module landed on the Moon on February 5th with lunar module pilot Ed Mitchell and commander Alan Shepard. Shepard hit the golf balls on their second exploration of the Moon.


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Did he leave the golf balls on the moon?

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Yes, Angie, the golf balls are still on the Moon. Even if he'd wanted to, there wouldn't have been time to go looking for them.


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On this day in 1999 – February 7th – NASA's Stardust comet probe was launched.

Stardust was the first sample return mission to collect samples of cosmic dust, and of dust from a comet's coma, then return them to Earth.


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On this day in 1984 – February 7th – NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless made the first untethered spacewalk during space shuttle mission STS-41B.


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