This Month in Space - JANUARY 2015

This evening we are happy to share with you the January 2015 edition of the special "This Month in Space" series, brought to you by the Kennedy Space Center, which help us to remember the rich past of space exploration. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering fun and educational activities, so it is no surprise that they would be the ones gathering all these pieces of information. Enjoy!:

January 1, 1907: More than 100 years ago, Glenn Curtiss broke a record and became the fastest man on Earth when he reached speeds of 136 miles per hour on a motorcycle. His motorcycle was faster than airplanes at that time. Curtiss eventually became a pilot.

January 2, 1920: Isaac Asimov was born. Asimov was a Russian-born scientist and author known as a human writing machine. Asimov is known for introducing the term robotics, a familiar word in today’s society. In 1950, Asimov published the book “I, Robot” which discussed three laws of robotics.

January 3, 2000: NASA’s Galileo probe made a flyby of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Galileo found evidence of sub-surface saltwater on Europa and a possible ocean beneath the moon’s icy shell.

January 4, 2013: NASA’s newest rocket Space Launch System (SLS) passed its first technical review at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The SLS will be the most powerful rocket in history, even more powerful than the Saturn V rocket which launched men to the moon. Its first launch is scheduled for 2018. Learn more and see a scale model of the SLS in Exploration Space®: Explorers Wanted at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

January 7, 1785: Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries became the first international mail carriers when they transported mail across the English Channel from England to France on a hot air balloon.

January 8, 1942: The famous physicist and author, Stephen Hawking was born. Despite being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease at the age of 21, against all odds Hawking went on to research theoretical physics and write numerous books about our universe. Currently, Hawking is a father, husband and grandfather while still traveling to give public lectures. He maintains a dream of one day going into space.

January 9, 1990: STS-32 Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. During the mission, astronauts deployed the Syncom IV-5 satellite, the last in a series of five communications satellites for the U.S. Navy. Learn more about NASA’s 30 year shuttle program and see space shuttle Atlantis, one of the five orbiters launched into space, at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

January 11, 2002: NASA’s Stardust spacecraft reached its farthest distance from Earth. As part of the fourth Discovery Program mission, Stardust was the first mission to focus on a comet and the first to return matter from somewhere other than the moon.

January 12, 2005: The Deep Impact spacecraft launched atop a Delta II rocket on a mission to Comet Tempel 1. Later that year, Deep Impact became the first spacecraft to examine below the surface of a comet sending vital information about the comet’s interior.

January 14, 1960: NASA began overseeing the Army Ballistic Missile Agency’s Development Operations Division after President Eisenhower authorized the transfer.

January 16, 1987: Progress 27, an unmanned Russian spacecraft, launched to the Russian Mir Space Station to deliver supplies.

January 17, 1980: NASA launched the Fleetsatcom 3, a military communications satellite, atop an Atlas-Centaur rocket. These satellites provided worldwide communication between various U.S. military operations.

January 18, 1957: The first nonstop jet flight around the world was completed by three of Boeing’s B-52 bomber jets. In total, the planes covered 25,000 miles in less than 2 days.

January 19, 1965: Today is the 50th anniversary of an unmanned test of the Titan 2 rocket and Gemini spacecraft. The Gemini spacecraft launched atop the Titan 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Come see a Titan rocket up-close in the Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

January 20, 1930: Today is astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s 85th birthday. Buzz piloted the lunar landing module for Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the moon.

January 21, 1960: Tests of launching and abort systems on the Mercury spacecraft began as Little Joe 1B launched from Wallops Island, VA. Miss Sam, a rhesus monkey, was on board during the mission.

January 22, 2010: The first live tweet was sent from space by NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer aboard the International Space Station.

January 23, 1970: The OSCAR 5 launched via a Delta rocket. OSCAR 5, also known as the Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio, was built mostly by students from the University of Melbourne in Australia and became the first amateur satellite to be remotely controlled.

January 24, 1990: Hiten, a Japanese spacecraft launched from Uchinoura-Cho, Kagoshima, Japan. Hiten was the first Japanese lunar spacecraft making Japan the third country to orbit the moon.

January 25, 2004: NASA’s Opportunity rover landed in Eagle Crater on Mars after a six month journey from Earth. Inside of this crater, Opportunity found evidence of ancient water.

January 27, 1967: Today marks the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy which took the lives of astronauts Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Edward White when a fire caused by an electrical spark spread in the oxygen-filled capsule.

January 28, 1986: Today is the 29th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. The shuttle exploded only one minute after takeoff which was said to have been caused by a leak in one of the solid rocket boosters

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