NASA History Office

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#OTD last year, we stopped communicating with all @NASAMars spacecrafts for 2 weeks as we began a period of solar conjunction. Solar conjunction, a time when Mars and Earth are on opposite sides of the Sun, happens roughly every two years. More:
A starfish damaged a satellite? #OTD in 1962, Explorer 14 was launched. Explorer 14 satellite measured cosmic-ray particles, trapped particles, solar wind protons, and magnetic fields. 📖 More on how a high-altitude nuclear test caused it to…Nk
2 years after receiving his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and materials science from @RiceUniversity, Danny Olivas was selected in the 1998 class of @NASA_Astronauts and went on to fly on STS-117 & -128. #HispanicHeritageMonth An interview with Olivas:
Does better coffee fuel better science? In May 2015, astronauts on the @Space_Station tested the idea with their first "ISSpresso" in a cup designed for microgravity sipping! ☕ Happy #InternationalCoffeeDay! Does space espresso have crema? Find out:
Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm 64? 🎶 #HappyBirthdayy to us! 🎂 On Oct. 1, 1958, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics signs came down as we becam@NASASA22
We need a little space 😭 #OTDD in 1958, the world said goodbye to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) after 40 years of aeronautical research. Be sure to check our feed tomorrow. We heard it will be a special day. Read…6i
Tune in online to today's sessions at the History of NASA and the Environment Symposium #NASAEnv22 for panels on weather, photography, culture, education, our distant past, and our future! ▶️ @NASA @Georgetown @NJIT
Our last close views of Jupiter's moon Europa were from the Galileo mission, more than 20 years ago! 🤩…8
For 8 years, the flying infrared observatory SOFIA studied an impressive array of cosmic events and objects that are invisible to most other telescopes. Marking its final flight today, it's only fitting to reflect on SOFIA’s achievements. #SOFIAFinalFlight…
A BIG #HappyBirthday to NASA's Administrator @SenBillNelson! To celebrate, let's throw it back to January 1986 when Bill Nelson flew to space as a payload specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on STS-61-C.
113 years ago today at 10:20am, Wilbur Wright flew around the Statue of Liberty. At an altitude of 200 feet, he passed in front of the statue, the wingtips only a few hundred feet from her waist. Check out this newspaper clipping published a little over a week later in Oct. 1909!
The History of NASA and the Environment Symposium #NASAEnv22 starts today with panels on pollution, climate change, Earth observation, and astrobiology! ▶️ Tune in online: @NASA @NASAClimate @NASAEarth @NASAEarthData @Georgetown @NJIT
#60YearsAgo today, Neil Armstrong took his last flight at what is now @NASAArmstrong in a Douglas F5D Skylancer to test the Dyna-Soar abort procedure. Armstrong was selected as an astronaut for the Dyna-Soar spaceplane program, but left in 1962 as he became a NASA Astronaut.
A Falcon soars to new heights 🚀 #OTDD in 2008@SpaceXX's Falcon 1 successfully reached Earth's orbit making it the first privately developed and funded liquid fuel rocket to do so.b
The Dawn spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral 15 years ago today on its way to two massive objects in our asteroid belt, dwarf planet Ceres and proto-planet Vesta. Read about Dawn's discoveries that provided clues to how the solar system formed:
#OTD 25 years ago, we received the last data from the Mars Pathfinder, ending our first rover mission on the Red Planet. What will the legacy of our first robotic Moon rover be? Learn more about VIPER’s mission here:
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George Cooper made a career out of defying death, flying 81 missions in WWII unscathed, and then in 1945 becoming a test pilot for the NACA for 28 years. In this photo taken #OTD in 1951, he stands with @NASAAmes director Smith DeFrance and an F-86. More:
Make way for the incredible shrinking Mercury! #OTD in 2016, NASA announced that Mercury is indeed a tectonically active planet after images from the MESSENGER spacecraft found younger fault scarps. Read more about the 2016 discovery:
Today we remember Astronaut Clifton C. “C.C.” Williams on his birthday. Selected in NASA’s Group 3 Astronaut Class in 1963, Williams trained as backup pilot for Gemini X. He was killed in a T-38 jet trainer crash in October 1967 at the age of 35. More:
The Skylab 3 crew, Jack Lousma, Owen Garriott and Alan Bean soaked up some rays #OTD in 1973 after spending a record 59 days in space conducting scientific experiments while orbiting the Earth. 📖
Getting to Mars is hard. #30YearsAgo today, the @NASAMars Observer mission launched. The mission didn't quite go as planned though: On Aug. 22, 1993 contact was lost with the spacecraft shortly before orbital insertion at Mars. #MarsMystery
10 years ago #today, @NASAHubble's eXtreme Deep Field (XDF, shown below) was released, compiling 10 years' worth of photos representing more than 550 hours of exposure time. @NASAWebb's deep field image released in July took just 12.5 hours. 🤯p
We’re circling back to Europa! Juno will be flying by Europa on the 29th for the 1st close look since the Galileo mission 22 years ago! Galileo found evidence of a liquid water ocean under Europa's icy surface. More on Europa and NASA's upcoming mission:
🚀 Shuttle 🚀 In a new age of spaceflight, John Young served as commander of both the 1st shuttle flight (STS-1) in 1981 and STS-9 (carrying the 1st Spacelab) in 1983. John's legacy of service inspires us today. Read more about his incredible career 👨‍
🌑 Apollo 🌑 Young served on the Apollo 10 mission, piloting the command module "Charlie Brown." He went on to land on the lunar surface, serving as Commander of the Apollo 16 mission, collecting over 200 pounds of lunar rock samples with Charlie DukesK
✨ Gemini✨ Young flew on Gemini III along with Gus Grissom on the first crewed Gemini flight. This was the flight were John Young carried along his famed corned beef sandwich. 🥪 Young also served as Commander Pilot on the Gemini X mission.b
Today we remember astronaut John Young on his #birthday. Young was the longest-serving astronaut in NASA's history serving from 1962-2004, and the only person to go to space as part of the Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs.
When one mission ends, a new world of science begins! NASA's Earth-based simulations of life in space spring from one root: an Apollo-era mock space mission that tested how humans adapt to time in Skylab, the 1st U.S. space station. Learn more:
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Test pilot Bill Dana flew the last X-24B powered flight #OTD in 1975. The last of the lifting bodies, it demonstrated that unpowered reentry landings could be done accurately! You can visit the X-24B now at the @AFmuseum in Ohio. More about lifting bodies:
Identified as a star by Galileo two centuries earlier, Neptune was 1st observed as a PLANET #OTD in 1846 by Johann Galle. But Galle doesn't deserve all the credit! Read about the astronomers who helped make this discovery: 📷 L: Voyager2 R:@NASAWebbbP
Looking to brush up on #PlanetaryDefense before the #DARTMission's impact with non-hazardous asteroid Dimorphos on Monday? 💥 Our latest book, The History of Near-Earth Objects Research, is essential reading on the
Family photo time! #OTD in 2014, the Cassini spacecraft took this rare image of 3 of Saturn’s 82 moons: Tethys (the big guy), Hyperion (the mini-potato left of Tethys) and Prometheus (lower left at the edge of the F ring). Get to know the whole 🪐
Texas native, Ginger Kerrick made history as the first Hispanic woman to be a NASA flight director, serving from 2005–12 at @NASA_Johnson. #HispanicHeritageMonth Read about how her dreams of being a basketball player and an astronaut shaped her journey:
Fred Haise is famous as one of the #Apollo13 astronauts, but he had an exciting career before that as a research pilot at #NASAglenn studying microgravity. #NASAHistory
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Are you ready? The History of NASA and the Environment Symposium starts in just 1 week! Join the event @Georgetown or stream the sessions online. Get all the details:…
Let's celebrate Ronald McNair! Ronald McNair was a NASA Astronaut and Physicist who graduated from North Carolina A&T! #HBCUWEEK #HBCU #AggiePride Read More!
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Space Shuttle Endeavour's retirement party continued #10YearsAgo today, as it took its final flight on the back of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, landing in Los Angeles (later proceeding to the @casciencecenter). Relive Endeavour's final trip 🎦
Sixty years ago, a sounding rocket unexpectedly observed Scorpius X-1, the first cosmic X-ray source detected beyond the Sun, and kickstarted the field of X-ray astronomy. Since then we’ve launched numerous other X-ray telescopes … let’s meet some of them! 🧵a
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After 14 years of striking discoveries, the Galileo mission ended #today in 2003 in a 106,000 mph (170,600 km/h) finale as it entered Jupiter's atmosphere. Designed to orbit Jupiter and study its moons, the mission was more than accomplished. Learn more:
@NASAWebb Neptune’s rings were last clearly imaged by @NASAVoyager in 1989. Voyager had been traveling for 12 years before reaching this distant planet that’s more than 2.8 billion miles from the Sun. More on Neptune:…
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🪐We’re always big fans of Saturn, but Neptune’s rings are giving us all the feels in this new@NASAWebbb image. It’s the clearest view of the rings of the most distant planet in our solar system in more than 30 years.…9w
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X-rays, gamma rays, AND cosmic rays! On Sept. 20, 1979 the 3rd and final High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO-3) was launched with 3 high-energy-#astrophysics instruments that imaged distant supernovas, pulsars, and galaxies at the upper limits of the electromagnetic spectrum.
While Uhuru played a groundbreaking role in x-ray astronomy, electrical engineer Marjorie Townsend, seen here on the left next to the Uhuru spacecraft at @NASAGoddard in 1970, also broke new ground: she was NASA's first female project manager for a spacecraft. #WomenInSTEM 🛰️ �QQ
Uhuru, the Swahili word for "freedom," was the name given to the first x-ray observatory satellite (SAS-1) launched on Dec. 12, 1970 from Kenya. Uhuru produced the first comprehensive all sky x-ray catalog, containing 339 objects. @NASAUniverse
#30YearsAgo today at 8:53 a.m. ET, the Space Shuttle Endeavour landed @NASAKennedy. The successful landing marked the completion of the 50th Space Shuttle mission, STS-47. Details from the mission:
Goodness gracious great balls of fire! This image of @NASASun taken #OTD in 2007 shows a coronal hole, where strong solar winds can escape and reach Earth to create the aurora borealis. Can you spot it? Learn more about SOHO's enduring mission: @esa
Thar be a comely paintin' o th' briny namesake vessel for th' Space Shuttle Endeavarrrrrr. Cap'n Cook an' 'is grog-filled crew sailed HMS Endeavour on a scientific journey to th' South Pacific from 1768 t' 1771. #TalkLikeAPirateDay
From 7.25 million miles away, #OTD in 1977, Voyager 1 took the very first image of our Earth-Moon system in one frame on its way to Jupiter and Saturn. Learn more about how Voyager 1 and 2 are helping humanity make its mark in uncharted territory:
#OTD in 2006, Soyuz TMA-9 lifted off on its way to the ISS. Astronaut Michael E. López-Alegría served as commander. Born in Spain, he also served on 3 Shuttle missions and has spent over 275 days in space. Read his oral history: #HispanicHeritageMonth
Happy 75th birthday to the @usairforce! Thanks for all the high-achieving airmen who have gone on to become @NASA_Astronauts and test pilots. (This photo just shows a small fraction of them!)
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