. On this day in 1736 – January 25th – French-Italian mathematician Joseph Lagrange was born in Turin, Italy.
Lagrange was one of the great minds of the 18th century, and his work included major contributions to physics and astronomy. He's best known now for his identification of equilibrium points between the gravity of the Earth and that the Sun. NASA's SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) sits at one of these points, and the James Webb Space Telescope at another.
. On this day in 1994 – January 25th – Clementine was launched.
Over a period of nearly four months, the US spacecraft Clementine made scientific observations of the Moon. In addition, the craft was used to test the effects on sensors and components of extended exposure to space.
. On this day in 2004 – January 25th – the Mars rover Opportunity landed on the red planet.
The mission was designed to last 90 Martian days, but it was operational until the summer of 2018 when an exceptionally severe dust storm blanketed Mars for three months. The rover didn't recover from the loss of power, and the mission was officially brought to an end in February 2019.
so, do you think rather than NASA in the limelight with expeditions, it will go private?
Hard to say. But the Space Station - which is an international enterprise - is reaching the end of its operational capacity by the end of this decade. Here is an interesting article about possible private development.
Hard to say about the rest. And we have to remember that NASA isn't the only space agency and it's been collaborating with the agencies of other countries.
. On this day in 1829 – January 27th – pioneering astrophotographer Isaac Roberts was born in Groes Bach, Henllan, Denbighshire, Wales.
Roberts was an amateur astronomer and a fellow of the Royal Geological Society. He developed a photographic technique which made it possible to capture faint objects. Roberts's photograph of the Andromeda Nebula actually showed the spiral structure of M31.
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