Here’s Lofty Ambitions giving you an excuse to party on Friday!
June 10, 1929: Gemini 4 and Apollo 9 astronaut Jim McDivitt was born in Chicago. He commanded his first spaceflight, something only a handful of astronauts have done. (As an aside, The Cure are playing in Chicago on Friday–just saying.)
June 10, 1929: Biologist and author E.O. Wilson was also born on this date. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice, for On Human Nature and The Ants.
June 10, 2003: The Mars rover Spirit launched from Kennedy Space Center. It landed on January 4, 2004, performed admirably even after it got stuck in soil in 2009, and sent its last signal back to Earth on March 22, 2010.
June 11, 2008: The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was launched into low-Earth orbit to perform astronomical observation. In September, it observed the most energetic gamma-ray burst that humans have recorded, and that’s just one of its numerous discoveries. It may have recorded the same black hole collision that LIGO observed last year and which was announced this February.
June 12, 1967: Venera 4 was launched toward Venus by the Soviet Union. It became the first probe to send data back to Earth from another planet’s atmosphere, and it confirmed that Venus was indeed very hot and surprised scientists by reporting a denser atmosphere than expected.