Voyager 1 reaches Jupiter (1979)

posted Wednesday, 5 March 2014 00:00

The Voyager 1 space probe made its closest approach to Jupiter on 5 March 1979. The image below was taken on 5 February 1979 when Voyager 1 was still 28.4 million kilometers (17.5 million miles) away. The volcanic moon Io is in front of Jupiter just right of center on this image, ice and water covered Europa is visible to the right, and totally ice covered Callisto can be seen near the bottom.

Jupiter and Three Galilean Satellites

Pioneer 10 launched (1972)

posted Monday, 3 March 2014 00:00

nighttime launch of Pioneer 10

On 2 March 1972, NASA launched Pioneer 10 from Cape Canaveral. Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, the first spacecraft to make direct observations of Jupiter, and the first man-made object to travel on a flight path out of the solar system into interstellar space. Until February 1998 when it was passed by Voyager 1, Pioneer 10 was the most remote object ever made by humans.


date pioneer 10 pioneer 11 voyager 1 voyager 2 new horizons
1972 03‑03 launch        
1973 04‑06 launch      
" 12‑03 jupiter      
1974 12‑04 jupiter      
1977 08‑20   launch  
" 09‑05 launch  
1979 03‑05 jupiter  
" 07‑09 jupiter  
" 09‑01 saturn  
1980 11‑12 saturn  
1981 08‑25 saturn  
1986 01‑24 uranus  
1989 08‑25 neptune  
1995 11‑30 last signal detected  
1998 02‑17 passes pioneer 10  
2002 04‑27 last message received  
2003 01‑23 last signal detected  
" 02‑07 contact attempt  
2004   termination shock (94 AU)  
2006 03‑04 last contact attempt  
2006 01‑19     launch
2007 02‑28     jupiter
"       termination shock (84 AU)
2015 07‑14     ? ? pluto
Timeline of Interstellar Space Probes NASA Mission Websites: Pioneer, Voyager, New Horizons

Voyager 1 passes Pioneer 10 (1998)

posted Monday, 17 February 2014 00:05

Voyager 1 passed Pioneer 10 on 17 February 1998 to become the most distant human-made object in space. Voyager 1 is currently 113 times further from the sun than the earth (113 astronomical units) followed by Pioneer 10 at 100 AU, Voyager 2 at 91 AU, and Pioneer 11 at 80 AU.

Position of Pioneer 10 in 2010

Columbus reaches the Azores (1493)

posted Saturday, 15 February 2014 08:20

Columbus and crew arrived at the Portuguese controlled Azores Islands 15 February 1493 on the return leg of his first American voyage. This was the first land they had seen since leaving America 30 days earlier. They would arrive at their home port of Palos de la Frontera, Spain on 15 March 1493.

I think, Sebastian, therefore I am

posted Friday, 14 February 2014 00:00

N6FAB61216 Pris
Replicant (F) Des: PRIS
NEXUS 6 N6FAB21416
Incept Date: 14 FEB., 2016
Func: Military / Leisure
Phys: LEV. A Ment: LEV. B
Batty: Why are you staring at us Sebastian?
Sebastian: Because. You’re so different. You’re so perfect.
Batty: Yes.
Sebastian: What generation are you?
Batty: Nexus 6.
Sebastian: Ah, I knew it. Because I do genetic design work for the Tyrell Corporation. There’s some of me in you.
Sebastian: Show me something.
Batty: Like what?
Sebastian: Like anything.
Batty: We’re not computers Sebastian. We’re physical.
Pris: I think, Sebastian, therefore I am.

Third North Korean nuclear weapon test (2013)

posted Tuesday, 11 February 2014 21:57

Date: 12 February 2013 (11:57 AM Korea Standard Time)
Code name: unknown
Type: plutonium fission
Yield: more than one thousand tons of TNT
Location: Kilchu-ŭp, North Hamgyŏng
Earthquake magnitude: 5.1

A sampling of official announcements from the North Korean government regarding the 2013 test.

Source: Korea News Service Stock Photos

Explorer I launched (1958)

posted Friday, 31 January 2014 00:01

31 January 1958: Explorer 1 became the first artificial satellite launched into space by the United States. Onboard was a cosmic ray detector designed to measure the radiation environment in Earth orbit. Explorer I subsequently discovered the Van Allen Radiation Belts.

Simulated Van Allen Belts

Apollo 1 Disaster (1967)

posted Monday, 27 January 2014 00:01

27 January 1967: Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee died in the Apollo 1 command module during testing after a fire started. The command module was pressured with pure oxygen to 2 atmospheres making it an obvious fire hazard. Since the door was designed to open inward and the interior pressure was 1 atmosphere greater than the exterior, the door was held firmly shut. Toxic smoke asphyxiated the astronauts and the intense oxygen-fueled flames roasted them.

In memory
those who made the ultimate sacrifice
so others could reach for the stars

Ad astra per aspera
(A rough road leads to the stars)

God speed to the crew
Apollo 1

Launch Complex 34 Launch Complex 34 Launch Complex 34
Launch Complex 34 In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars - Ad astra per aspera (A rough road leads to the stars) - God speed to the crew of Apollo 1 Abandon In Place
12/1/60 Graffito Launch Complex 34 Saturn III Blast Deflectors

Thomas Edison receives patent for light bulb (1880)

posted Monday, 27 January 2014 00:00

Thomas Edison received US Patent 223,898 for the "Electric Lamp" on this day in 1880.

Edison’s device is an incandescent light source — an object so hot that it emits visible light. It also emits copious amounts of infrared (often called "heat rays"). Only 10% of the electric energy put into an Edison-style "Electric Lamp" comes out as useful illumination. The rest is invisible, wasteful heat.

The traditional light bulb is destined to fade away in popularity as newer, more efficient technologies take over. What will we use as the icon for a brilliant idea in the future?

Incandescent Light Bulb

Voyager 2 reaches Uranus (1986)

posted Friday, 24 January 2014 00:01

Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus on 24 January 1986. It is the only space probe to have visited this planet so far. Voyager 2 is one of five space probes currently on a solar system escape trajectory.

departing crescent view of uranus