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On this day in 1967 – November 29th – Australia became the 4th nation to launch a satellite from its own territory.

The satellite (Wresat) was a joint venture of the Weapons Research Establishment and the University of Adelaide's Physics Department. It collected and sent back data about the composition of the upper atmosphere for 73 orbits.


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On this day in 1609 – November 30th – Galileo Galilei made his first detailed observations of the Moon using a telescope.

Using a telescope with 20x magnification, he examined and drew the Moon from 30 November to 18 December.


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On this day in 2013 – December 1st – China's Chang'e-3 spacecraft was launched to Moon.

It was made up of a lander and the rover Yutu which would be deployed for a time on the lunar surface.


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On this day in 1993 – December 2nd – the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission was launched.

The crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour went to the telescope with a new main camera and a corrective optic package to restore the telescope's blurred vision.


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On this day in 1995 – December 2nd – the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) was launched.

It was originally planned as a two-year mission, but it's still providing essential data about the Sun and space weather.


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On this day in 2014 – December 3rd – the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 was launched.

Hayabusa 2 is an asteroid sample-return mission which rendezvoused with near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu in June 2018.


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On this day in 2014– December 3rd – ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission was launched.

LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) Pathfinder tested technology for a future spaceborne observatory for gravitational waves.


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On this day in 1639– December 4th – Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree in England became the first people ever to observe a transit of Venus.

Horrocks predicted the transit based on his own corrections to Kepler's Rudolphine Tables.


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On this day in 1997 – December 4th – NASA's Mars Pathfinder was launched.

Mars Pathfinder was a robotic spacecraft that landed a base station (named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station) and Sojourner, the first roving probe on Mars.


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On this day in 1968 – December 6th – ESRO (a precursor to the European Space Agency) had its Highly Eccentric Orbit Satellite (HEOS-1) launched from Cape Kennedy.

It was the first European satellite to venture beyond near-Earth space. It studied magnetic fields, radiation and the solar wind, which required an orbit stretching two-thirds of the way to the Moon.


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