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Race To Space
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               ... but at what cost?
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The French law 19 Frimaire An VIII (10 December 1799) defined the metre as 443.296 lignes (by survey) and the kilogramme as being 18827.15 grains, mertric system standards for the next 90 years.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Ada Lovelace, generally regarded as the first computer programmer

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 - 27 November 1852) is mainly known for having written a description of Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine.

Ada was introduced to Charles Babbage on 5 June 1833 by Mary Somerville, a noted researcher and scientific author of the 19th century. During a nine-month period in 1842-1843, Ada translated for Babbage the memoirs written by Italian mathematician Louis Menebrea on Babbage's newest proposed machine, the Analytical Engine. With the article, she appended a set of Notes which specified in complete detail a method for calculating Bernoulli numbers with the Engine, recognized by historians as the world's first computer program. Her prose acknowledged some possibilities of the machine which Babbage never published, such as speculating that "the Engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent."
ref: www.sdsc.edu
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Congress appropriated $30,000 "to test the practicability of establishing a system of electro-magnetic telegraphs" by the US.
ref: history.house.gov

Pneumatic tires were patented in England by Scottish civil engineer Robert Thompson, a US patent was obtained in 1847.
ref: books.google.com

Born, Melvil Dewey, librarian, creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification system
ref: en.wikipedia.org

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #211 Isolda.

Died, Alfred Nobel, chemist, invented dynamite, founder of the Nobel Prize
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Calbraith Rodgers symbolically taxied his airplane into the Pacific Ocean to complete the first crossing of the US by airplane (84 days, including stops and crash repairs).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

US Air Force Lt Colonel John Stapp accelerated from zero to 632 mph and back in under 6 seconds on the Sonic Wind rocket sled, experiencing 46.2 Gs during the deceleration.
ref: www.ejectionsite.com

1974 07:11:01 GMT
NASA launched Helios-A, a mission in cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany to explore space between the orbits of Earth and Mercury.

Helios-A, launched 10 December 1974, was one of a pair of deep space probes developed by the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in a cooperative program with NASA. Experiments were provided by scientists from both FRG and the U.S., while NASA supplied the Titan/Centaur launch vehicle. The spacecraft was equipped with two booms and a 32m electric dipole. The payload consisted of a fluxgate magnetometer; electric and magnetic wave experiments, which covered various bands in the frequency range 6 Hz to 3 MHz; charged-particle experiments, which covered various energy ranges starting with solar wind thermal energies and extending to 1 GeV; a zodiacal-light experiment; and a micrometeoroid experiment. The purpose of the mission was to make pioneering measurements of the interplanetary medium from the vicinity of Earth's orbit to 0.3 AU (Mercury's orbit). Deployment problems with the antenna system and interactions with the spacecraft's sheathing affected the outcome of some of the experiments, but useful data was returned by the mission.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1977 01:19:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz 26 carried cosmonauts Yuri Romanenko and Georgi Grechko to the Salyut 6 space station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1980 09:26:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz T-3 landed with cosmonauts Leonid Kizim (Commander), Oleg Makarov (Flight Engineer), and Gennady Strekalov (Flight Engineer) aboard, returning from the Salyut 6 space station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1982 19:03:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz-T 7 returned Anatoli Berezovoi and Valentin Lebedev to Earth 118 km E of Dzhezkazgan, the crew of Soyuz T-5 launched 211 days earler to the Salyut 7 space station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Discovery of the first "planet" outside our solar system was announced, a giant ball of hot gas orbiting the star Van Biesbroeck 8, which is 21 light years from Earth.
ref: www.upi.com

1990 06:08:12 GMT
USSR Soyuz TM-10 landed 69 km (43 mi) NW of Arkalyk, returning cosmonauts Gennadi Manakov and Gennady Strekalov, and Japanese reporter Toyohiro Akiyama, from the Mir space station.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1990 21:54:09 PST (GMT -8:00:00)
NASA's STS 35 (Columbia 10, 38th shuttle mission) landed at Edwards AFB after flying the ASTRO-1 Ultraviolet and X-ray Astronomy experiment package.

STS 35 was launched 2 December 1990 after being originally scheduled to lift off on 16 May 1990. The launch was delayed half a dozen times because of coolant and fuel leaks, and by tropical storm Klaus. (See the NASA site for further details.) Even when it did finally lift off, the mission was delayed yet another 21 minutes to allow the Air Force range time to observe low-level clouds that might have impeded tracking of the Shuttle ascent. STS 35 was then cut short one day due to impending bad weather at the primary landing site, Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The primary objectives of the mission were around-the-clock observations of the celestial sphere in ultraviolet and X-ray astronomy with the ASTRO-1 observatory consisting of four telescopes: Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT); Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE); Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT); and Broad Band X-ray Telescope (BBXRT). Ultraviolet telescopes mounted on Spacelab elements in the cargo bay were to be operated in shifts by the flight crew. Loss of both of the data display units (used for pointing telescopes and operating experiments) during the mission impacted the crew-aiming procedures, and forced ground teams at Marshall Space Flight Center to aim the ultraviolet telescopes with fine-tuning by the flight crew. BBXRT, also mounted in cargo bay, was directed from the outset by ground-based operators at Goddard Space Flight Center and was not affected.

Other experiments: Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-2 (SAREX-2); ground-based experiment to calibrate electro-optical sensors at Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) in Hawaii; and crew-conducted Space Classroom Program: "Assignment: The Stars," to spark student interest in science, math and technology. Science teams at Marshall and Goddard Space Flight Centers estimated 70 percent of the planned science data was achieved.

The crew also experienced trouble dumping waste water due to a clogged drain, but managed using spare containers.

STS 35 ended with Columbia landing 10 December 1990 on revolution 144 on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 10,566 feet. Rollout time: 58 seconds. Launch weight: 256,385 pounds. Landing weight: 225,329 pounds. Orbit altitude: 190 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: eight days, 23 hours, five minutes, eight seconds. Miles traveled: 3.7 million. Columbia was returned to KSC on 20 December 1990.

The STS 35 crew was: Vance D. Brand, Commander; Guy S. Gardner, Pilot; Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Mission Specialist 1; John M. Lounge, Mission Specialist 2; Robert A. Parker, Mission Specialist 3; Samuel T. Durrance, Payload Specialist 1; Ronald A. Parise, Payload Specialist 2.
ref: www.nasa.gov

NASA scientists announced the OSIRIS-REx probe had found strong evidence of water on the asteroid Bennu during its approach phase.
Presentation slide identifying key results already achieved by OSIRIS-REx approaching asteroid Bennu Source: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard Media Studios Slide38.jpeg
Presentation slide identifying key results already achieved by OSIRIS-REx approaching asteroid Bennu
Source: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Goddard Media Studios
ref: svs.gsfc.nasa.gov

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