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On this day in 1930 – September 17th – NASA astronaut Edgar Dean "Ed" Mitchell was born in Hereford, Texas.

Mitchell was the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 14 mission and the sixth man to walk on the Moon.


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On this day in 1977 – September 18th – NASA's Voyager 1 took the first ever photo of both the Earth and the Moon together in space.

The crescent Moon is very faint in the upper left of the photo.


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On this day in 1977 – September 18th – Anousheh Ansari was the first self-funded woman to travel to the International Space Station.

Ansari is an Iranian American engineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems.


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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 – English writer H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent.

Wells is considered to be one of the fathers of science fiction. His best known novel is The War of the Worlds.


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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 – a Danish noblewoman and horticulturalist, Sophia Brahe was born in Knudstrop, Denmark (now part of Sweden).

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 around 132 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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