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Comet 1P/837 F1 (Halley) made its closest approach to Earth, coming within 0.0334 AUs (5 million km, 3.1 million miles), the third closest approach of any comet in recorded history.
ref: solarsystem.nasa.gov

Died, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, mathematician, astronomer (mean value theorem, Lagrangian mechanics)
ref: www.L5Development.com

Died, Giovanni B. Amici, Italian astronomer, physicist, botanist
ref: en.wikipedia.org

A. Borrelly discovered asteroid #120 Lachesis.

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #216 Kleopatra.

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #730 Athanasia.

The freight car carrying the 200 inch mirror blank for the Hale Telescope at the Mount Palomar Observatory arrived at the rail yard in East Pasadena.
ref: www.astro.caltech.edu

E. L. Johnson discovered asteroid #1760 Sandra.

1968 19:25:00 GMT
The USSR's Luna 14 went into orbit around the Moon.

Luna 14 was launched 7 April 1968. The spacecraft entered a 160 x 870 km Lunar orbit with an inclination of 42 degrees at 19:25 UT on 10 April 1968. The spacecraft is believed to have been similar to Luna 12, and the instrumentation was similar to that carried by Luna 10. It provided data for studies of the interaction of the Earth and Lunar masses, the Lunar gravitational field, the propagation and stability of radio communications to the spacecraft at different orbital positions, Solar charged particles and cosmic rays, and the motion of the Moon. This flight was the final flight of the second generation of the Luna series.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1979 17:34:00 GMT
USSR launched Soyuz 33 with cosmonauts N. N. Rukavishnikov (USSR) and G. I. Ivanov (Bulgaria) aboard, an unsuccessful mission that failed to dock with the Salyut 6 space station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

The damaged Solar Max satellite was snared and repaired by astronauts aboard the shuttle Challenger during the STS 41-C mission.

STS 41-C was launched into the first direct ascent trajectory for the Space Shuttle on 6 April 1984 after a countdown that proceeded without delays. Using manned maneuvering units, the astronauts replaced the altitude control system and coronagraph/polarimeter electronics box in the Solar Maximum satellite while it remained in orbit on 10 April 1984. The Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) was deployed, carrying 57 experiments and left on orbit with intention of retrieving it during a later mission. Other payloads carried on STS 41-C were: the IMAX camera; Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME); Cinema 360; and the Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiment.

STS 41-C ended 13 April 1984 when Challenger landed on revolution 108 on Runway 17, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 8,716 feet. Rollout time: 49 seconds. Launch weight: 254,254 pounds. Landing weight: 196,975 pounds. Orbit altitude: 313 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.5 degrees. Mission duration: six days, 23 hours, 40 minutes, seven seconds. Miles traveled: 2.9 million. The mission was extended one day when astronauts were initially unable to grapple the Solar Maximum Mission spacecraft. The originally planned landing at KSC was scrubbed, and the mission was extended one revolution to facilitate landing at Edwards. The orbiter was returned to Kennedy Space Center 18 April 1984.

The flight crew for STS 41-C was: Robert L. Crippen, Commander; Francis R. Scobee, Pilot; George D. Nelson, Mission Specialist; James D. A. van Hoften, Mission Specialist; Terry J. Hart, Mission Specialist.
ref: www.nasa.gov

The Japanese Hiten spacecraft was intentionally hard-landed on the Moon after 10 Lunar swingbys in its orbit around the Earth and more than a year and a half orbiting the Moon.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Died, Martin Schwarzschild, German-born American astrophysicist (stellar structure and evolution, Bruce Medal 1965)
ref: phys-astro.sonoma.edu

2002 11:05:00 CDT (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA's STS 110 (Atlantis 25) flight docked at the International Space Station (ISS), carrying the the 43 foot long S0 (S-Zero) Truss for assembly onto the Station.

STS 110 lifted off on 8 April 2002 on a mission to install the 43 foot long S0 (S-Zero) Truss, the backbone for future station expansion, to the International Space Station (ISS). While in orbit, the STS-110 crewmembers performed four spacewalks and used the shuttle and station robotic arms to install and outfit the S0. They prepared the station for future spacewalks and spent a week in joint operations with the station's Expedition Four crew. They also prepared the first railroad in space, the Mobile Transporter, for use.

The S0 (S-Zero) Truss is the first of nine pieces that will make up the station's external framework that will eventually span 109 meters (356 feet).

STS 110 Mission Specialist Jerry Ross became the first human to be launched into space seven times. With the two spacewalks that he performed, he tightened his grip on the most US spacewalks (nine) and spacewalking time - 58 hours, 18 minutes. Second on the list for both spacewalking milestones is Ross' crewmate Mission Specialist Steve Smith, who also conducted two spacewalks during STS 110 to give him a total of 49 hours, 48 minutes during seven spacewalks.

The mission had other spacewalk milestones. This was the first time that the station's robotic arm was used to maneuver spacewalkers around the station, and it was the first time that all of a shuttle crew's spacewalks were based out the station's Quest Airlock.

The flight crew for STS 110 was: Michael J.Bloomfield, Commander; Stephen N. Frick, Pilot; Jerry L. Ross, Mission Specialist; Steven L. Smith, Mission Specialist; Ellen Ochoa, Mission Specialist; Lee M.E. Morin, Mission Specialist; Rex J. Walheim, Mission Specialist.
ref: www.nasa.gov

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