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On this day in 1984 – February 7th – NASA's Stardust during space shuttle mission STS-41B, NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless became the first person to make an untethered spacewalk.


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On this day in 1826 – February 8th – Jules Verne was born in Nantes, France.

The French author was a major European literary figure, best known in the English-speaking world for his exciting and influential adventure stories, many of which are considered early science fiction. Ray Bradbury said "We are all, in one way or another, the children of Jules Verne."


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On this day in 1974 – February 8th – the last crew to occupy NASA's Skylab returned to Earth.

Skylab, the first US space station, was launched in May 1973.


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On this day in 1960 – February 9th – biochemist and NASA astronaut, Peggy Whitson, was born in Mount Ayr, Iowa, USA.

Whitson was the first woman to command the International Space Station, and she did it twice. She was also NASA's Chief Astronaut and although now retired, still has the record for the most time in space of any NASA astronaut.


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On this day in 2021 – February 9th – the Hope orbiter of the United Arab Emirates was inserted into Mars orbit.

The mission was designed to study the Martian atmosphere and climate.


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On this day in 2021 – February 10th – the Chinese Tienwen-1 orbiter was inserted into Martian orbit.

In addition to an orbiter, the mission included a lander and a rover.


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On this day in 2010 – February 11th – NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched.[

The SDO observes the Sun in order to understand the ways in which it affects the Earth, such as space weather.


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On this day in 2001 – February 12th – NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft landed on the asteroid 433 Eros.

NEAR Shoemaker was the first spacecraft ever to make a soft landing on an asteroid.


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On this day in 1852 – February 13th – Johan Dreyer was born in Copenhagen.

Dreyer was a prominent astronomer and writer. He was born in Denmark, but became a British citizen. Dreyer is best remembered for his New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (based on the Herschel catalogues of nebulae). The catalogue numbers are still in use, prefixed by NGC.


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On this day in 1898 – February 14th – Swiss astronomer and physicist Fritz Zwicky was born in Varna, Bulgaria.

Zwicky studied physics and mathematics at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich. In 1925 he immigrated to the United States to work with Robert Andrews Millikan at Caltech, but remained a Swiss citizen all his life. Zwicky was quite eccentric in many ways, but made important contributions in several areas of astronomy, carrying out research at both Mt Wilson and Palomar observatories.


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