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On this day in 1970 – September 20th – Luna 16 landed on the Moon.

The Soviet craft was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth.

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On this day in 1886 – September 21st – H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent.

This English writer is considered to be one of the fathers of science fiction.

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On this day in 1969 – September 21st – during a comet-hunting expedition, Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko discovered the object subsequently named Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

This was the comet that would later be orbited and studied by ESA's Rosetta Mission.

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On this day in 2003 – September 21st – NASA's Galileo mission was ended by having the spacecraft plunge into Jupiter.

Galileo was the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, the first to achieve an asteroid flyby (951 Gaspra), and it discovered the first asteroid moon - Dactyl, orbiting asteroid 243 Ida.

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On this day in 1556 – September 22nd – Danish noblewoman and horticuturalist Sophia Brahe was born.

She was also knowledgable in astronomy, chemistry and medicine. The younger sister of Tycho Brahe, she often assisted him with his astronomical observations.

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On this day in 1999 – September 22nd – NASA's Pioneer 10 reached the distance of 50 AU from the Sun.

The spacecraft was the first one to cross the Asteroid Belt, and it carried out the first mission to Jupiter. It was also the first to reach escape velocity from the Solar System. At 50 AU from the Sun, it was 50 times farther away from the Sun than Earth is, about 7.5 billion km (4.7 billion miles). It's now over 129 AU away.

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On this day in 2006 – September 22nd – the solar mission Hinode was launched.

Hinode [Sunrise] is a Japanese solar mission with USA and UK collaboration. It was planned as a three-year mission to explore the magnetic fields of the Sun, but is still collecting data.

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On this day in 2014 – September 22nd – NASA's MAVEN mission went into orbit around Mars.

MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) is studying the Martian atmosphere.

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On this day in 1783 – September 23rd – Caroline Herschel discovered NGC 253 The Sculptor Galaxy.

Also known as the Silver Coin or Silver Dollar Galaxy, NGC 253 is a starburst spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor.

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On this day in 1846 – September 23rd – Neptune was discovered by Johann Galle and his colleague Heinrich Louis d’Arrest at the Berlin Observatory.

Galle had received calculations from Urbain LeVerrier which showed where there might be a new planet, and they found the planet that very night. Eventually, it was named Neptune after the Roman sea god.

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