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2137 B.C.
The earliest known solar eclipse was recorded in the Chinese book Classic of History by "Ho and Hi, the Drunk Astronomers."
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Halley's Comet passed perihelion in its twenty-first known passage, as computed 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

Born, Erasmus Reinhold, German mathematician, astronomer (calculated planetary tables)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

The College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) received its first charter from King George II, under the seal of John Hamilton, Acting Governor of the Royal Province of New Jersey. The physical document was subsequently lost.
ref: archive.org

3,200 feet above Paris, Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the first recorded parachute jump.

Andre-Jacques Garnerin was the first person to use parachutes regularly and successfully. The parachute was originally designed to enable people to escape from the early balloons during an emergency and to land safely. On 22 October 1797, he gave the first public demonstration of the parachute when he jumped from a balloon to show how the device worked. The semi-rigid parachute consisted of a white canvas canopy 23 feet in diameter with 36 ribs and lines, and looked like a very large umbrella. After ascending to an altitude of 3,200 feet (975 meters) in a hydrogen balloon, he jumped from the basket. Since Garnerin failed to include an air vent at the top of his parachute, he oscillated wildly in his descent. However, he landed unhurt half a mile from the balloon's takeoff site. Garnerin therefore demonstrated that a parachute was capable of slowing a man's fall from a high altitude.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #209 Dido.

The International Meridian Conference voted to adopt Greenwich as the Prime Meridian and proposed to established 24 global time zones of one hour each.

Prior to the International Meridian Conference held in October, 1884, many different "standard" times were in use, kept variously by private firms (e.g., rail and shipping lines), local authorities, and national governments. Paris' official clock, for example, was nine minutes, twenty-one seconds ahead of London's, while halfway through the ninteenth century, one count found as many as 144 different official times being used in the United States. As ninteenth century "globalization" accelerated, brought on by submarine cables, telegraphy, interconnecting rail lines, and rapidly rising volumes of shipping, the lack of a unified time system meant confusion, missed connections (often in railway stations), and the risk of accidents when trains or boats using different "standard" times arrived simultaneously in ports and terminals.

President Chester A. Arthur's called for an international conference in Washington to remedy the situation, to agree on what time it was and when the day began. The resulting International Meridian Conference met from October 13-22, 1884, and gathered 25 countries: Austria-Hungary, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Haiti (San Domingo), Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Hawaii, Liberia, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, Russia, Salvador, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey (Ottoman Empire), United States, and Venezuela. Its result was the modern global time system: 24 world time zones an hour apart were proposed, and an international agreement that the international day would begin at midnight at the Greenwich Naval Observatory near London was accepted. Greenwich, the basis of British national time since the seventeenth century, was chosen for commercial and administrative convenience: Three-quarters of all international shipping used it already, and the United States had adopted it as well a year earlier. France, supported by Brazil and San Domingo (now the Dominican Republic), argued for a "neutral" Prime Meridian somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, and refused to adopt Greenwich time until 1911. When the final vote on the resolution was taken on October 22, 1884, France and Brazil abstained, San Domingo voted against it, and the twenty-two remaining countries attending all voted in its favor.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

M. Wolf discovered asteroids #459 Signe, #460 Scania, #461 Saskia and #462 Eriphyla.

Born, Karl Jansky, American physicist and radio engineer, discovered cosmic radio emissions in 1931
ref: public.nrao.edu

A. Kopff discovered asteroid #619 Triberga.

Born, Donald H. Peterson (at Winona, Mississippi, USA), Colonel USAF, NASA astronaut (STS 6; nearly 5d 0.5h in spaceflight) (deceased)
Astronaut Don Peterson, NASA photo Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable October 2019) 380px-Donald_Peterson-NASA-file-photo.jpg
Astronaut Don Peterson, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable October 2019)
ref: www.nasa.gov

E. Delporte discovered asteroid #1294 Antwerpia.

E. Delporte discovered asteroids #1375 Alfreda and #1401 Lavonne.

Chester Carlson performed the first successful experiment of the basic principles underlying the Xerox copying machine, transfer of an image using electrostatic charge.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Y. Vaisala discovered asteroids #1473 Ounas, #1520 Imatra, #1521 Seinajoki and #2715 Mielikki.

C. A. Wirtanen discovered asteroid #1600 Vyssotsky.

M. B. Protitch discovered asteroid #2244 Tesla.

H. L. Giclas discovered asteroid #2061 Anza.

1966 08:38:00 GMT
USSR launched Luna 12 on its mission to orbit the Moon.
USSR's Luna 12 space probe, illustration courtesy of NASA Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog luna_11_12.jpg
USSR's Luna 12 space probe, illustration courtesy of NASA
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

Luna 12 was a Soviet Lunar orbiter, launched towards the Moon from Biakonur via an Earth orbiting platform on 22 October 1966, which achieved Lunar orbit on 25 October. Its purpose was further development of artificial Lunar satellite systems, and conducting scientific experiments in circumlunar space. The spacecraft was equipped with a television system that obtained and transmitted photographs of the Lunar surface. The photographs contained 1100 scan lines with a maximum resolution of 14.9-19.8 meters. Pictures of the Lunar surface were returned starting on 27 October, and radio transmissions from Luna 12 ceased on 19 January 1967, after 602 Lunar orbits and 302 radio transmissions.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

T. Smirnova discovered asteroids #1774 Kulikov, #1854 Skvortsov, #2009 Voloshina, #2046 Leningrad, #2342 Lebedev and #2574 Ladoga.

1968 11:11:48 GMT
Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times during its 11 day flight.

Apollo 7 (AS-205), launched 11 October 1968, was the first crewed flight of the Apollo spacecraft, with astronauts Walter Schirra Jr, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham on board. The primary objectives of the Earth orbiting mission were to demonstrate Command and Service Module (CSM), crew, launch vehicle, and mission support facilities performance, and to demonstrate CSM rendezvous capability. Two photographic experiments and three medical experiments were planned.

The Command Module (CM), a cone-shaped craft about 390 cm in diameter at the large end, served as a command, control, and communications center. Supplemented by the Service Module (SM), it provided all life support elements for the crew. The CM was capable of attitude control about three axes and some lateral lift translation. It also served as a buoyant vessel at sea. The SM provided the main propulsion and maneuvering capability. It was jettisoned just before CM reentry. The SM was a cylinder 390 cm in diameter and 670 cm long. The spacecraft mass of 14,781 kg is the mass of the CSM including propellants and expendables. There was no Lunar Module or boilerplate unit on this flight.

The countdown had proceeded smoothly, with only a slight delay because of additional time required to chill the hydrogen system in the S-IVB stage of the Saturn launch vehicle. After lifting off from Launch Complex 34 at Cape Kennedy, Florida, the S-IVB/CSM was put into a 228 x 282 km Earth orbit. Venting of the S-IVB propellants raised the orbit to 232 x 309 km over the next three hours, at which time the S-IVB stage was separated from the CSM. Although spacecraft separation was normal, the crew reported that one adapter panel had not fully deployed. The S-IVB stage was then used for rendezvous maneuvers over the next two days, as Schirra and his crew performed simulated dockings with the S-IVB stage, maneuvering to within 1.2 meters of the rocket.

Shortly after liftoff, the commander (Schirra) reported he was developing a bad head cold. The next day, the other two crew members also reported symptoms. The zero-gravity environment exacerbated their ailments, since normal fluid drainage from the head did not occur. The crew took medication, but the colds caused them extreme discomfort throughout the mission, hampering performance of some of the scheduled duties. During re-entry, the astronauts also did not wear their helmets, to make it possible to properly clear their throats and ears.

Many tests were performed over the course of the 11 day mission, including tests of sextant calibration, attitude control, evaporator, navigation, rendezvous radar, thermal control system, and Service Module propulsion systems. During eight burns of the service propulsion system over the course of the flight, the engine functioned normally. The seven television transmissions made from Apollo 7, commencing on 14 October, were the first live TV transmissions from a piloted US spacecraft. The S-IVB orbit decayed on 18 October, and it impacted the Indian Ocean at 9:30 UT. At 10:46 UT on 22 October, the SM was jettisoned, and re-entry of the CM and crew started 10 minutes later.

Apollo 7 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on 22 October 1968 at 11:11:48 UT (7:11:48 a.m. EDT) after a mission elapsed time of 260 hours, 9 minutes, 3 seconds. The splashdown occurred at 27 deg 32 min N, 64 deg 04 min W, 200 nautical miles SSW of Bermuda and 13 km (8 mi) north of the recovery ship USS Essex.

For nearly 30 years the Apollo 7 Command Module was on loan (renewable every two years) to the National Museum of Science and Technology of Canada, in Ottawa, along with the space suit worn by Wally Schirra. In November 2003, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, requested them back for display at their new annex at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

The Apollo program included a large number of uncrewed test missions and 12 crewed missions: three Earth orbiting missions (Apollo 7, 9 and Apollo-Soyuz), two Lunar orbiting missions (Apollo 8 and 10), a Lunar swingby (Apollo 13), and six Moon landing missions (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). Two astronauts from each of the six landing missions walked on the Moon (Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, Charles Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke, Gene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt), the only humans to have set foot on another solar system body (through 2014).
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

C. Torres discovered asteroid #2013 Tucapel.

1974 18:00:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 690 (Bion 2, Biocosmos 2) from Plesetsk for biomedical research.

Cosmos 690 (Bion 2, Biocosmos 2), launched on 22 October 1974, carried albino rats for biomedical research. Soviet, Czech, and Romanian investigators subjected the rats to daily radiation doses from a gamma source by ground command. When they were recovered 20.5 days later, many rats had developed lung problems and their blood and bone marrow had changed more than those of control specimens.

The Bion spacecraft was based on the Zenit reconnaissance satellite, and launches began in 1973 with the primary research emphasis on the problems of radiation effects on human beings. Launches in the program included Cosmos 110, 605, 670, 782, plus Nauka modules flown on Zenit-2M reconnaissance satellites. 90 kg of equipment could be contained in the external Nauka module.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1975 05:13:00 GMT
The Soviet spacecraft Venera 9 lander made a soft landing on Venus and transmitted data for 53 minutes, while the bus component of the probe went into orbit and became humanity's first Venus orbiter.
USSR Venera 9 photos from the surface of Venus venera9_mitchell_1.jpg
USSR Venera 9 photos from the surface of Venus

USSR launched Venera 9 from Baikonur on 8 June 1975. The orbiter entered Venus orbit and was separated from the lander on 20 October 1975. The orbiter's mission was to act as a communications relay for the lander, and to explore cloud layers and atmospheric parameters with instruments including a French 3500 angstrom UV photometer, a 4000-7000 angstrom photo-polarimeter, a 1.5 to 3 micron infrared spectrometer, and an 8 - 30 micron infrared radiometer. The orbiter also carried a magnetometer and charged particle traps. Some reports indicated a camera system was also aboard. The orbiter consisted of a cylinder with two solar panel wings and a high gain parabolic antenna attached to the curved surface. A bell-shaped unit holding propulsion systems was attached to the bottom of the cylinder, and mounted on top was a 2.4 meter sphere which held the lander.

Venera 9 landed on Venus with the Sun near zenith at 05:13 UT on 22 October 1975. A system of circulating fluid used to distribute the heat load, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 53 minutes after landing. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by protective hemispheric shells, three parachutes, a disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion. The landing was about 2,200 km from the Venera 10 landing site. Preliminary results indicated:

   1. clouds 30-40 km thick with bases at 30-35 km altitude
   2. atmospheric constituents including HCl, HF, Br, and I
   3. surface pressure about 90 (Earth) atmospheres
   4. surface temperature 485 degrees C
   5. light levels comparable to Earth mid-latitudes on a cloudy summer day
   6. successful TV photography showing shadows, no apparent dust in the air, and a variety of 30-40 cm rocks which were not eroded

Venera 9 and 10 were the first probes to send back black and white pictures from the Venusian surface. They were supposed to make 360 degree panoramic shots, but on both landers one of two camera covers failed to come off, restricting their field of view to 180 degrees.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

C. Kowal discovered asteroid #2340 Hathor; H. Kosai and K. Hurukawa discovered asteroids #2271 Kiso and #2470 Agematsu; P. Wild discovered asteroids #2337 and #2989.

1977 13:53:00 GMT
International Sun-Earth Explorers 1 and 2 were launched into Earth orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died, Hans F. Gruene, German/American rocket engineer, NASA launch vehicles director
ref: www.findagrave.com

1992 13:09:00 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA launched STS 52 (Columbia 13) into orbit to deploy the Laser Geodynamic Satellite II (LAGEOS-II), operate the US Microgravity Payload-1 (USMP-1), and conduct other secondary experiments.

STS 52 began when Columbia and her crew of six lifted off from Pad 39B at 1:09 PM EDT 22 October 1992, on a ten-day mission.

The primary mission objectives were the deployment of the Laser Geodynamic Satellite II (LAGEOS-II) and operation of the U.S. Microgravity Payload-1 (USMP-1). LAGEOS-II, a joint effort between NASA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), was deployed on day two and boosted into an initial elliptical orbit by ASI's Italian Research Interim Stage (IRIS). The spacecraft's apogee kick motor later circularized LAGEOS orbit at its operational altitude of 3,666 miles. The USMP-1, which was activated on day one, included three experiments mounted on two connected Mission Peculiar Equipment Support Structures (MPESS) mounted in the orbiter's cargo bay. USMP-1 experiments were: Lambda Point Experiment; Materiel Pour L'Etude Des Phenomenes Interessant La Solidification Sur Et En Orbite (MEPHISTO), sponsored by the French agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales; and Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS).

Secondary payloads: Canadian experiment, CANEX-2, located in both the orbiter's cargo bay and middeck consisted of Space Vision System (SVS), Materials Exposure in Low-Earth Orbit (MELEO), Queen's University Experiment in Liquid-Metal Diffusion (QUELD), Phase Partitioning in Liquids (PARLIQ), Sun Photospectrometer Earth Atmosphere Measurement-2 (SPEAM-2), Orbiter Glow-2 (OGLOW-2), and Space Adaptation Tests and Observations (SATO); a small, specially marked satellite, the Canadian Target Assembly, was deployed on day nine, to support SVS experiments; ASP, with three independent sensors mounted on a Hitchhiker plate in the cargo bay: Modular Star Sensor, Yaw Earth Sensor and Low Altitude Conical Earth Sensor, all provided by the European Space Agency.

Other middeck payloads: Commercial Materials Dispersion Apparatus Instrument Technology Associates Experiments; Commercial Protein Crystal Growth experiment; Chemical Vapor Transport Experiment; Heat Pipe Performance Experiment; Physiological Systems Experiment (involving 12 rodents); and Shuttle Plume Impingement Experiment. The orbiter also was used as a reference point for calibrating an Ultraviolet Plume Instrument on an orbiting Strategic Defense Initiative Organization satellite.

The Tank Pressure Control Experiment/Thermal Phenomena (TPCE/TP) was contained in a Getaway Special (GAS) canister in the orbiter's cargo bay.

STS 52 ended on 1 November 1992 when Columbia landed on revolution 159 on Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility. Rollout distance: 10,708 feet. Rollout time: 63 seconds. Launch weight: 250,130 pounds. Landing weight: 215,114 pounds. Orbit altitude: 163 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: 9 days, 20 hours, 56 minutes and 13 seconds. Miles traveled: 4.1 million.

The flight crew for STS 52 was: James D. Wetherbee, Commander; Michael A. Baker, Pilot; Charles L. Veach, Mission Specialist; William M. Shepherd, Mission Specialist; Tamara E. Jernigan, Mission Specialist; Steven A. MacLean, Payload Specialist.
ref: www.nasa.gov

Died (myelodysplastic syndrome), Paul Joseph Weitz (at Flagstaff, Arizona, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (Skylab 2, STS 6; nearly 33d 1.25h total time in spaceflight), member of the first successful US space station mission
ref: en.wikipedia.org

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