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2 B.C.
A Venus-Jupiter conjunction occurred which some postulate may have been the "star of Bethlehem."
ref: science.nasa.gov

Born, Cesar F. Cassini de Thury, French astronomer, cartographer (Earth radius greater at the equator than the poles)
ref: mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk

Born, William Parsons, Earl of Rosse, at one time owned the world's largest telescope as a hobby
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Sir William Crookes, English chemist and physicist (spectroscopy, vacuum tubes, Crookes radiometer)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Thomas G. Cowling, British mathematician, astronomer, first to compute a stellar model (the "Cowling model") with a convective core and a radiative envelope, Bruce Medal 1985
ref: www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu

A. Kopff discovered asteroid #682 Hagar.

Southwest Bell inaugurated mobile telephone commercial service, in St. Louis.
ref: ethw.org

Died, John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons), rocket propulsion researcher at CalTech, cofounder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Aerojet Corporation, "the father of the American space program" according to von Braun
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1965 17:40:00 GMT
NASA and the US Air Force launched X-15A IR Scanner, INS Test mission # 136 in which Milt Thompson reached a maximum speed of 3541 mph (5699 kph, Mach 5.14) and a maximum altitude of 108,500 ft (33.071 km, 20.549 mi).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1967 02:36:38 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 167, an attempted Venus lander, but the spacecraft failed to leave Earth orbit.

USSR Cosmos 167 was launched 17 June 1967, intended to be a Venus lander. However, the stage 4 11D33 engine failed to ignite to propel the probe out of Earth orbit because the turbopump had not been cooled before ignition. Suggestions for the cause of the failure included incorrect soldering of wires in multiple pin plugs, wrong attachment of the plugs to the pyrotechnic connectors, or a mix-up of the pyrotechnic connectors during assembly. Its orbit decayed and it re-entered Earth's atmosphere 8 days after launch.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

C. U. Cesco discovered asteroid #2399 Terradas.

1973 06:01:00 GMT
USSR recovered Cosmos 573 following a successful test flight to verify safety modifications to the Soyuz 7K-T breathing ventilation valve.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Felix Aguilar Observatory discovered asteroids #2997 and #3083

C. Shoemaker discovered asteroid #2586 Matson.

1985 07:33:00 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA launched STS 51-G (Discovery 5, 18th Shuttle mission) carrying the MORELOS-A, ARABSAT-A and TELSTAR-3D communications satellites to orbit.

The STS 51-G launch on 17 June 1985 proceeded as scheduled with no delays.

Three communications satellites, all attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) motors, were deployed: MORELOS-A, for Mexico; ARABSAT-A, for Arab Satellite Communications Organization; and TELSTAR-3D, for AT&T. Also flown were: the deployable/retrievable Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN-1); six Get Away Special (GAS) canisters; a Strategic Defense Initiative experiment called the High Precision Tracking Experiment (HPTE); a materials processing furnace called the Automated Directional Solidification Furnace (ADSF); and two French biomedical experiments.

STS 51-G ended on 24 June 1985 when Discovery landed on revolution 112 on Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 7,433 feet. Rollout time: 42 seconds. Launch weight: 256,524 pounds. Landing weight: 204,169 pounds. Orbit altitude: 209 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: seven days, one hour, 38 minutes, 52 seconds. Miles traveled: 2.9 million. The orbiter was returned to the Kennedy Space Center on 28 June 1985.

The flight crew for STS 51-G was: Daniel C. Brandenstein, Commander; John O. Creighton, Pilot; Shannon W. Lucid, Mission Specialist 1; Steven R. Nagel, Mission Specialist 2; John M. Fabian, Mission Specialist 3; Patrick Baudry, Payload Specialist 1; Sultan Salman Al-Saud, Payload Specialist 2.
ref: www.nasa.gov

1988 10:13:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz TM-4 landed 202 km from Dzehezkazgan, with the crew of Aleksandrov Aleksandr, Savinykh and Solovyov aboard, returning from the Mir space station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died (WWII era trainer crash), S. David Griggs, Rear Admiral USNR, NASA astronaut (STS 51-D; nearly 7 days in spaceflight)
ref: www.nasa.gov

1994 07:07:19 GMT
An Ariane 44LP launched from Kourou carried the Intelsat 702 communications satellite, and the British STRV-1A and STRV-1B technology satellites to orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

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