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On this day in 1789 – August 28th – William Herschel discovered Enceladus, moon of Saturn.

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On this day in 1993 – August 28th – NASA's Galileo spacecraft did a flyby of asteroid Ida.

Galileo was an unmanned spacecraft that probed the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as some other Solar System objects on its way to the Jovian system.

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On this day in 1745 – August 30th – German astronomer Johann Hieronymus Schröter was born in Erfurt, Germany.

He built his own observatory and devoted himself primarily to solar and planetary astronomy. His two volumes on lunar topography reached levels of detail that were to remain unsurpassed for many years.

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On this day in 1913 – August 31st – English radio astronomer Bernard Lovell was born.

Lovell was a pioneer of radio astronomy and founded the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, England in 1945. When the telescope was built there - later named the Lovell Telescope - it was for many years the largest steerable radio telescope in the world.

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On this day in 1979 – September 1st – NASA's probe Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft to fly past Saturn.

Pioneer 11 is now over 107 times farther away from the Sun than Earth is - its final signal was received in 2003.

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In 1913???

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Angie, thanks for catching this oopsy! 1913 was, of course, a leftover from Bernard Lovell in the previous post.

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On this day in 1970 – September 3rd – NASA cancelled the last two planned lunar landings.

Apollos 18 and 19 were officially cancelled following cuts to NASA's budget for 1971. The Cold War political point had been made and the public had also lost interest after the excitement of Apollo 11.

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It's amazing how exciting space adventures were and now we are so blase about the entire venture. Between computer advancements, gaming, and what not, we're not keeping up with space.

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On this day in 2006 – September 3rd – ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft ended its mission when it was deliberately crashed into the Moon's surface.

SMART-1 spent 16 months testing testing innovative and miniaturised space technologies. It also produced detailed maps of the Moon's chemical make-up, to help refine theories about its birth.

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