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12 B.C.
Halley's Comet passed perihelion in its fourth known passage, as determined from records by Chinese astronomers.

In 2000 years of observations since 240 BCE, Chinese records have never missed a return of Halley's Comet. From those records, Cowell and Crommelin computed the dates of perihelion passage as:

 1. 15 May 240 BCE
 2. 20 May 163 BCE
 3. 15 August 87 BCE
 4. 8 October 12 BCE
 5. 26 January 66 CE
 6. 25 March 141 CE
 7. 6 April 218 CE
 8. 7 April 295 CE
 9. 13 February 374 CE
10. 3 July 451 CE
11. 15 November 530 CE
12. 26 March 607 CE
13. 26 November 684 CE
14. 10 June 760 CE
15. 25 February 837 CE
16. 17 July 912 CE
17. 2 September 989 CE
18. 25 March 1066 CE
19. 19 April 1145 CE
20. 10 September 1222 CE
21. 22.7 October 1301 CE
22. 8.8 November 1378 CE
23. 8.2 January 1456 CE
24. 25.8 August 1531 CE
25. 26.9 October 1607 CE
26. 14.8 September 1682 CE
27. 12.6 March 1758 CE
28. 15.9 November 1835 CE
29. 19.7 April 1910 CE
30. 9 February 1986 CE

Note that the precision of the dates from passage 21 onward could be computed with increased accuracy because of additional observations. However, at the time of their computation, the 1986 passage was still a future event. (The actual date was found from other sources.)

On 19 April 607, Comet 1P/607 H1 (Halley) approached within 0.0898 AU (13.5 million km, 8.4 million miles) of Earth. On 374-April-1.9, it had approached closer, having come within 0.0884 AU (13.2 million km, 8.2 million miles), and on 837-April-10.5, it became the third closest approach in history prior to 1900, passing within 0.0334 AU (5 million km, 3.1 million miles).

On 16 October 1982, astronomers David Jewitt and G. Edward Danielson using a CCD camera with the 5.1 m Hale telescope at Mt. Palomar Observatory were the first to detect Halley's Comet on its thirtieth recorded return.

See also The past orbit of Halley's Comet (SAO/NASA ADS)

See also Comet Close Approaches prior to 1900 (CNEOS)

See also History of Halley's Comet (Wikipedia)

See also Halley's Comet (CQ Press)

See also Comet 1P/Halley (Halley's Comet) (Smithsonian NASM)
ref: adsabs.harvard.edu

Died, Christian Sorensen Longomontanus, Danish astronomer, developed Tycho's geoheliocentric model empirically
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Ejnar Hertzsprung, Danish astronomer (Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram relating stellar type, development stage and luminosity)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #204 Kallisto.

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #270 Anahita.

A. Charlois discovered asteroid #319 Leona.

G. Witt discovered asteroid #422 Berolina.

A. Kopff discovered asteroid #612 Veronika.

Born, Robert R. Gilruth, American aviation and space pioneer, first director of NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center

Robert Rowe Gilruth (8 October 1913 - 17 August 2000) was an American aviation and space pioneer, a long-time NACA engineer working at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory from 1937-1946, then as chief of the pilotless aircraft research division at Wallops Island from 1946-1952. He explored the possibility of human spaceflight before the creation of NASA, served as assistant director at Langley from 1952-1959, and as assistant director (manned satellites) and head of Project Mercury from 1959-1961, technically assigned to the Goddard Spaceflight Center but physically located at Langley. In early 1961 Glennan established an independent Space Task Group (already the group's name as an independent subdivision of the Goddard center) under Gilruth at Langley to supervise the Mercury program. This group moved to the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas, in 1962. Gilruth was then director of the Houston operation from 1962-1972.

In the beginning of his career he was involved with early research into supersonic flight and rocket-powered aircraft and then with the manned space program, including the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects. He worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics from 1937 to 1958 and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), until retirement in 1972.

Gilruth was born in Nashwauk, Minnesota. He attended and completed high school in Duluth, Minnesota. Gilruth received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering at the University of Minnesota, and received his master's degree in 1936.

When NASA was created, Gilruth became head of the Space Task Group, tasked with putting a man in space before the Soviet Union. When that didn't happen, Gilruth suggested to President John F. Kennedy that the United States should announce a bigger goal, such as going to the Moon. Soon the Apollo program was born, and Gilruth was made head of the NASA center which ran it, the new Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) (now the Johnson Space Center). Gilruth served as director of the MSC until his retirement in 1972 and oversaw a total of 25 manned spaceflights, from Mercury-Redstone 3 to Apollo 15.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Frank Herbert, American science fiction author (Dune)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

P. Shajn discovered asteroid #1654 Bojeva.

Died, Robert Emden, Swiss astrophysicist (developed a theory of expansion and compression of gas spheres and applied it to stellar structure)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

S. Arend discovered asteroid #2666 Gramme.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroids #1762 Russell, #2496 Fernandus and #2528 Mohler.

Born, Janice Elaine Voss PhD (at South Bend, Indiana, USA), NASA astronaut (STS 57, STS 63, STS 83, STS 94, STS 99; over 49d 3.75h total time in spaceflight) (deceased)
Astronaut Janice Voss PhD, STS-99 mission specialist, NASA photo Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021) 384px-Janice_Voss.jpg
Astronaut Janice Voss PhD, STS-99 mission specialist, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021)
ref: www.nasa.gov

Born, Carlos Ismael Noriega (at Lima, Peru), Lt Colonel USMC, NASA mission specialist astronaut (STS 84, STS 97; over 20d 1.25h total time in spaceflight)
Astronaut Carlos I. Noriega, STS-97 mission specialist, NASA photo S99 (2 Nov1999) Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021) 384px-Carlos_Noriega_%2829320023123%29.jpg
Astronaut Carlos I. Noriega, STS-97 mission specialist, NASA photo S99 (2 Nov1999)
Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021)
ref: www.nasa.gov

Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroids #2045 Peking, #2514 Taiyuan, #2539 Ningxia, #2899, #3048 and #3746.

NASA test pilot Joseph Walker flew an Apollo Lunar Landing Research Vehicle to an altitude of 300 feet.
Joe Walker in the cockpit of a Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, NASA photo Source: NASA LLRV Fact Sheet 110452main_llrv1_330.jpg
Joe Walker in the cockpit of a Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, NASA photo
Source: NASA LLRV Fact Sheet

A test model of the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, designed to simulate Lunar landings, was flown by former NASA X-15 pilot Joseph Walker to an altitude of 91 meters (300 ft). Built by Bell Aerosystems Company under contract to NASA, the research craft had a jet engine that supported five-sixths of its weight. The pilot manipulated solid-fuel lift rockets that supported the remaining one-sixth, the amount of weight it would have on the Moon, and the craft's attitude was controlled with jets of hydrogen peroxide.
ref: www.nasa.gov

L. Chernykh discovered asteroids #1855 Korolev, #1856 Ruzena, #1956 Artek, #2030 Belyaev, #2031 BAM, #2468, #2561 Margolin, #2877 Likhachev, #2948 Amosov, #3126 Davydov, #3441 and #3659.

1970 12:43:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 368 from Baikonur, a Bion precursor mission which conducted biological investigations and studies of the physical characteristics of outer space.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

L. Zhuravleva discovered asteroids #1910 Mikhailov and #2475 Semenov.

S. J. Bus and J. Huchra discovered asteroid #2174 Asmodeus.

E. F. Helin discovered asteroid #2860 Pasacentennium.

L. Zhuravleva discovered asteroid #2760 Kacha.

L. Chernykh discovered asteroid #3588.

Communication with the NASA Pioneer Venus Orbiter ended after its propellant ran out and it dipped into the atmosphere.

The Pioneer Venus Orbiter (Pioneer 12), launched 20 May 1978, was the first of a two-spacecraft orbiter-probe combination designed to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the atmosphere of Venus. Its instruments were mounted on a shelf within the spacecraft except for a magnetometer mounted at the end of a boom to reduce magnetic interference from the spacecraft. Pioneer Venus Orbiter measured the detailed structure of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Venus, investigated the interaction of the solar wind with the ionosphere and the magnetic field in the vicinity of Venus, determined the characteristics of the atmosphere and surface of Venus on a planetary scale, determined the planet's gravitational field harmonics from perturbations of the spacecraft orbit, and detected gamma-ray bursts. UV observations of comets were also made. From Venus orbit insertion on 4 December 1978 to July 1980, periapsis was held between 142 and 253 km to facilitate radar and ionospheric measurements. Thereafter, the periapsis was allowed to rise (to 2290 km at maximum) and then fall, to conserve fuel. In 1991 the Radar Mapper was reactivated to investigate previously inaccessible southern portions of the planet. In May 1992 Pioneer Venus began the final phase of its mission, in which the periapsis was held between 150 and 250 km until the fuel ran out and atmospheric entry destroyed the spacecraft. Although it had a planned primary mission duration of only eight months, Pioneer Venus Orbiter remained in operation from orbit insertion on 4 December 1978 until it burned up in the Venusian atmosphere on 8 October 1992.

See also Pioneer Venus Orbiter in the NSSDCA Master Catalog.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1992 19:00:00 GMT
Russia launched Foton 8 from Plesetsk on a Soyuz booster for a space materials microgravity research mission conducted jointly with Germany that lasted 250 orbits, with the capsule returning to Earth on 24 October 1992.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1993 08:00:00 GMT
China launched Jianbing 93 (FSW-1 No. 5?) from Jiuquan on a Chang Zheng 2C (Long March) booster, whose capsule was not returned in a timely manner because of orientation errors during the re-entry burn.

China launched Jianbing 93 (FSW-1 No. 5?) on 8 October 1993 into a 209 x 300 km orbit at 57.0 degrees inclination. In addition to an Earth observation payload, FSW-1 5 carried microgravity research equipment and a diamond-studded medallion commemorating the 100th anniversary of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung's birth. The spacecraft operated normally until 16 October when an attempt to recover the satellite failed: An attitude control system failure aligned the spacecraft 90 degrees from its desired position, causing the re-entry capsule to be pushed into a higher elliptical orbit (179 km by 3031 km) instead of returning to Earth. Natural decay did not bring the capsule back until 12 March 1996.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1994 01:07:00 GMT
An Ariane 44L launched from Kourou carried Mexico's Solidaridad 2 and Thailand's Thaicom 2 communications satellites into space, which were positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 113 deg W and 78 deg E, respectively.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1995 18:51:00 GMT
Russia launched the Progress M-29 unmanned resupply vessel from Baikonur to Mir.

Russia launched the Progress M-29 unmanned resupply vessel to Mir on 8 October 1995, initially into a 194 x 242 km x 51.7 deg orbit. It docked with the rear port of Mir's Kvant module on 10 Oct 1995 20:32:40 GMT, because Soyuz TM-22 was docked to the front port. Progress M-29 undocked from Mir on 19 Dec 1995 09:15:05 GMT,and was destroyed in reentry on 19 Dec 1995 16:15:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.36 days. Total docked time 69.53 days.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

2001 14:20:00 GMT
During the 4h 58m ISS EO-3-1 EVA, ISS cosmonauts Dezhurov and Tyurin made a spacewalk from the Pirs module to install the Strela crane on the outside of Pirs, and jettison some thermal covers. There was some difficulty closing the Pirs hatch.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

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