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On this day in 2000 – November 2nd – Expedition 1 arrived at the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS has been continuously occupied ever since then. According to a NASA report in July 2020, a total of 242 individuals from 19 countries had travelled to the ISS.


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On this day in 1957 – November 3rd – Sputnik 2 carried the dog Laika into space.

Laika was the first living creature to orbit the Earth.


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On this day in 1971 – November 4th – American astronomer William Hammond Wright was born in San Francisco, California.

Among his accomplishments was the research carried out into the radial velocity of stars in the southern sky. This was mainly done at the Chile station of California's Lick Observatory. He later became the director of Lick Observatory, a post he held from 1935-1942.


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On this day in 2013 – November 5th – the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).

MOM - also called Mangalyaan ("Mars-craft" in Sanskrit) was India's first interplanetary mission. In September 2021 it completed its seventh year in orbit.


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On this day in 2018 – November 5th – Voyager 2 entered interstellar space.

It was the second spacecraft to cross the heliopause. This is where the tenuous, hot solar wind meets the cold, dense interstellar medium. Voyager 1 crossed this boundary in 2012.


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On this day in 1572 – November 6th – Tycho Brahe recorded his observation of a bright new star (now listed as supernova SN 1572) in the constellation Cassiopeia.

The understanding of the time was that the stars were part of a sphere which was perfect and unchangeable, so the new object was assumed to be a local phenomenon. However, Tycho's study showed that it was a distant object.


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On this day in 1631 – November 7th – French priest and astronomer Pierre Gassendi observed a transit of Mercury.

Johannes Kepler had predicted transits of Mercury and Venus, but when Gassendi witnessed a transit of Mercury, he was the first person to see such a transit. The last transit of Mercury was in November 2019, but the next one won't occur until November 13, 2032.


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How amazing that people have studied the stars and with such early tools.

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On this day in 1656 – November 8th – English astronomer (and master of several other sciences) Edmond Halley was born in Haggerston which is now part of the London Borough of Hackney.

Halley was one of the greatest minds of his era. He is still known today for Halley's Comet, which bears his name after he correctly predicted its return.


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On this day in 1934 – November 9th – American astronomer Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Sagan was also noted as a science writer and communicator, and is still remembered for his television series Cosmos. In 2009 Carl Sagan Day was initiated as an annual celebration of astronomy and of Sagan's ideals.


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