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On this day in 1985 – June 11th – the descent module of the Soviet craft Vega 1 arrived on Venus.

After releasing the descent module, the probe Vega 1 got a gravitational assist from Venus and continued its journey to intercept Comet Halley.


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Amazing. I didn't recall anything going to Venus.

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On this day in 1967 – June 12th – the Soviet Union launched the Venera 4 mission to Venus.

Venera 4 was the first probe to successfully perform in-place analysis of the environment of another planet. It may also have been the first probe to land safely on another planet, since the fate of its predecessor Venera 3 was uncertain.


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On this day in 1922 – June 12th – Italian astrophysicist and populariser of science Margherita Hack was born in Florence.

She became a full professor of astronomy at the University of Trieste and the administrator of the Trieste Astronomical Observatory, the first woman in Italy to hold either of such positions. Hack received national and international recognition for her innovations at the observatory and her promotion of astronomy to the public.


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On this day in 1831 – June 13th – Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell was born in Edinburgh.

Maxwell showed that electricity, magnetism, and light are all aspects of the same phenomenon, electromagnetism. His discoveries helped usher in the era of modern physics, laying the foundation for such fields as special relativity and quantum mechanics.


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On this day in 1611 – June 13th – the first documented report in Europe on the phenomenon of sunspots was published.

Narration on Spots Observed on the Sun and their Apparent Rotation with the Sun was the work of Frisian/German astronomer Johannes Fabricius.


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On this day in 2010 – June 13th – the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa ("Peregrine Falcon") returned the first ever samples from an asteroid.

Hayabusa had studied asteroid 25143 Itokawa from orbit and then landed on the asteroid to collect small grains of material.


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On this day in 1983– June 13th – Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Neptune, our outermost planet.

Pioneer 10 was the first human-made object to leave the proximity of the major planets of the Solar System.


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On this day in 1963– June 16th – Valentina Tereshkova in Vostok 6 became the first woman in space.

With a single flight, she logged more flight time than the combined times of all American astronauts who had flown before that date. She's the only woman ever to make a solo space flight.


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1963 seems like a different age -

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