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On this day in 1983 – June 18th – physicist and astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

Ride was a crew member of STS-7 Challenger which was launched 2 days after the 20th anniversary of Valentina Tereshkova's space flight.


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On this day in 2009 – June 18th – NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) were launched.

The LCROSS mission confirmed the presence of water in a shadowed crater on the Moon. LRO is still mapping the Moon.


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On this day in 1667 – June 21st – the meridian line of the Paris Observatory was engraved.

It was decided that the observatory should be built so that the Paris meridian passed through the center of the building, dividing it into two symmetrical parts. Built by order of King Louis XIV, the Paris Observatory was the first national observatory.


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On this day in 1675 – June 24th – the Royal Observatory Greenwich was founded.

The world's Prime Meridian (0 degrees of longitude) now goes through Greenwich.


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On this day in 1915 – June 24th – English mathematician, astronomer and author, Sir Fred Hoyle, was born in Gilstead, Bingley.

Hoyle was the first to formulate a theory that explained the creation of chemical elements by nuclear fusion reactions in stars.


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On this day in 1999 – June 24th – NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) was launched.

Operated by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, for eight years it detected light in a part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is mostly unobservable by other telescopes.


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On this day in 1894 – June 25th – Hermann Oberth was born in Sibiu, Romania (originally called Hermannstadt, Transylvania).

A German physicist and mathematician, Oberth is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, along with Tsiolkovsky and Goddard.


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On this day in 1817 – June 26th – French astronomer Charles Messier was born in Badonviller in the Lorraine region of France..

Messier published an astronomical catalogue consisting of 110 nebulae and faint star clusters, which came to be known as the Messier objects. The purpose of the catalogue was to help astronomical observers distinguish between permanent and transient visually diffuse objects, like comets, in the sky.


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On this day in 1914 – June 26th – American theoretical physicist and astronomer Lyman Spitzer Jr. was born in Toledo, Ohio..

He was known for his research contributions to understanding star formation and plasma physics, and for his promotion of space telescopes. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is named in his honor.


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On this day in 2013 – June 27th – NASA's IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) was launched..

IRIS was designed to investigate the physical conditions of the solar limb, particularly the chromosphere of the Sun.


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