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Pioneer 10 was the 1st spacecraft to fly past Mars and the asteroid belt, photograph Jupiter up-close, and cross Neptune's orbit, as it did OTD in 1983. What better name than "pioneer" for this historic spacecraft? 🥇 Read about its 30-year mission:This TBT we're looking back at the Apollo Mission Control Center, which is reopening after extensive renovations. This National Historic Landmark, seen in this recent photo, has been restored to appear as it did in 1969. Find out more here:As the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11 and the first director of @airandspace, Michael Collins inspired generations of space lovers. His appreciation of beauty and his legacy of spaceflight advocacy will live on in those he inspired. Godspeed, Mike. You will be missed."You'll be flying along some nights with a full moon...You look up there and just say to yourself: I've got to get up there." -Roger Chaffee (New York Times) Today we remember Roger Chaffee on his birthday. He tragically died in the Apollo 1 fire, prior to his first spaceflight.Here's today's #TriviaTuesday! The photo below shows a famous aircraft, known for setting records with NASA's predecessor, the NACA. What is the name of this aircraft and what did it accomplish on October 14, 1947?The SR-71 aircraft, nicknamed “Blackbird,” flew for the first time OTD in 1964. Learn more about the SR-71:The Mars Pathfinder spacecraft, which was launched in 1996, returned 2.3 billion bits of information and over 17,000 pictures to the Earth. The spacecraft found dust devils and water ice clouds, and data that suggested that Mars was once warm and wet.Remembering astronaut Don Williams on his #birthday. A naval aviator selected by NASA in 1978, he was the pilot on STS-51D and commanded STS-34 (the mission that deployed the Galileo probe to Jupiter.)OTD in 1998, STS-88 began the final stages of rendezvous between the US-built Unity node and the Russian-built Zarya. The first of three spacewalks to connect the two began the following day. More about Station:OTD in 2012, the Voyager 1 spacecraft ventured out of the solar system & into interstellar space! It was the 1st human-made object to cross the heliosphere, the bubble of particles from the sun that surrounds the solar system. Learn more about Voyager:Happy Birthday to TK (Ken) Mattingly! TK was selected as an astronaut in 1966. He flew on Apollo 16, STS-4, and STS-51c, logging over 500 hours in space. Fun Fact: @GarySinise , who played Mattingly in the Apollo 13 movie, shares his birthday. Happy Birthday to Gary Sinise!Pioneer 11 made its closest approach to Jupiter's cloud tops OTD in 1974 at a distance of only 42,000 km (26,000 mi). The spacecraft took detailed images of the Great Red Spot and mapped Jupiter’s polar regions and went on to be the first probe to fly-by Saturn.Apollo13NOW Apollo 13 was historic in more than one way. The crew also set the record for the furthest humans have ever been from the Earth. Like the infographics? See more of the collection here:Gimme some space! February 1976: The spacecraft Pioneer 10 crossed Saturn’s orbit, recording data that indicated that Jupiter’s enormous magnetic tail, almost 800 million kilometers long (~500 million miles), covered the whole distance between the two planets.OTD in 2002: @NASA announced that the Mars Odyssey spacecraft had discovered huge amounts of water ice under the surface of Mars. With more than 20 years in orbit, Mars Odyssey has been collecting data on Mars' climate and geology longer than any other spacecraft in history.Today in 1917, NACA (NASA's predecessor) established the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory as the first national civilian aeronautics lab. The facility has grown to occupy almost 800 acres in Hampton, VA and became the @NASA_Langley we know and love today.Did you know that Neptune was the first planet located through mathematical calculations? Astronomer Johann Galle discovered Neptune OTD in 1846. In August 1989, Voyager 2 captured this image, recording approximately 2.5 rotations of the planet.Hidden Figures no more. OTD in 2017, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were inducted to the NASA Langley Hall of Honors for their exemplary careers at NASA. Read about the induction here:✨Feeling rejuvenated!✨ OTD in 2002, the Space Shuttle Columbia redeployed @NASAHubble after the crew of STS-109 performed a series of five spacewalks to service the telescope. They installed new and improved equipment including a new camera and an experimental cooling system.OTD in 1970, NASA's Nimbus 4 satellite launched into orbit. The data collected from Nimbus 4 helped scientists to realize that the ozone layer was thinning over Antarctica!Some heroes don't wear spacesuits! Alan Shepard's flight wouldn't have been possible without mathematician Katherine Johnson! Best known for her work on John Glenn's orbital flight in 1962, Johnson also did trajectory analysis for Freedom 7.Lifeguard on duty? Not quite. In this photo a @USNavy diver leaps out of a helicopter to recover Gemini V astronauts Pete Conrad and Gordon Cooper. After a record-setting eight days, Gemini V completed its mission and splashed down now in 1965.Today we're putting on our fanciest vest to celebrate the birthday of the iconic Gene Kranz. Best known for his work in Mission Control during Apollo 13, Kranz's career with NASA began in 1960 during the Project Mercury missions and continued into the Shuttle era.OTD in 2015, NASA announced the four astronauts who would fly the first commercial crewed U.S. spaceflights: Doug Hurley, Eric Boe, Bob Behnken and Suni Williams. Recognize anyone? You might remember that Bob and Doug on DM-2 on an @SpaceX Dragon in late May!The first core module of the Mir space station was launched today in 1986. For 15 years, Mir hosted a wide array of international visitors.It is 2:13 pm Eastern Daylight Time - were you expecting an Apollo 13 launch tweet? In 1970 the US went to Daylight Time on April 26. So, to keep in synch with the timeline around the world we'll be tweeting Apollo13Now in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC). Launch is T minus 1 hour.On Fridaythe13th we honor Apollo 13, our most successful failure. Although the crew didn't reach the moon due to a mechanical failure, mission control worked day & night to bring them home. The safe return of Apollo 13 was one of @NASA's finest hours.Chugga-chugga, choo-choo! To entertain themselves on the long trip back from the moon, the Apollo 11 crew played a prank on Mission Control #now. Listen for the sound of a train in the Command Module here:🎵 Beep-beep, beep-beep, yeah! 🎵 10 years ago, the @MarsCuriosity rover struck out from its landing site (dubbed "Bradbury Landing" for the late Ray Bradbury who would be 102 today) and made its first tire-tracks on Mars. More on Curiosity's 1st drive:OTD in 2017, astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to Earth and set the U.S. record for the most cumulative days living and working in space. During her career, she spent 665 days in space, a still unbroken record.That looks a bit heavy 😅 Hitching a ride on a NASA's Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier (NASA 905), Space Shuttle Challenger was first delivered to Kennedy Space Center 40YearsAgo today. More about NASA's two shuttle carriers:Happy 90th birthday to NASA astronaut David R. Scott, the first person to drive on the Moon. Scott flew on Gemini 8, Apollo 9, and was Spacecraft Commander on Apollo 15. Check out NASA's collection of photos from Dr. Scott's missions:Shuttle Endeavour approaches touchdown as night falls @NASAKennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility on March 26, 2008. Wheel stop at 8:40 pm Eastern Time brought mission STS-123 to a close - a 16-day mission that delivered @JAXA_en's Kibo lab and @csa_asc's Dextre to the Space Station.OTD in 1998 at 2:19 p.m., Space Shuttle Discovery launched with the crew of STS-95! It was the first shuttle launch viewed by a sitting US President, and it marked Mercury Astronaut/U.S. Senator John Glenn's return to space 36 years after becoming the first American in orbit.Apollo13NOW Mission Control worked around the clock to solve problems happening thousands of miles away. Their communications were caught on tape, lots of tape. You can listen to all of it here:The era of human spaceflight began today in 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. The 108-minute flight ended with a parachute jump from his Vostok 1 capsule during descent, as was done back then.Ever wonder how space shuttles were connected/disconnected from those iconic orange stacks? Very carefully, with big cranes. This 1996 photo shows Atlantis from the 34th floor of the Vehicle Assembly Building as it is lifted away from its External Tank and solid rocket boosters.20 years ago today, the X-45A Uncrewed Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) made its first flight at @NASA_Armstrong. You can see this aircraft on display at the National Air and Space Museum (@airandspace). Watch the first flight:In 1963 the Lunar Landing Research Facility was built at @NASA_Langley to prepare Apollo astronauts for landing on the Moon. In 1974 it became the Impact Dynamics Research Facility, used to conduct tests to make aviation and spaceflight safer. Read more:HappyBirthday to actor Tom Hanks. Pictured here @NASAKennedy in 1994 filming scenes for his role as astronaut Jim Lovell in the movie "Apollo 13"NOW in 2011, Space Shuttle Discovery landed! The crew of STS-133 delivered supplies to the @Space_Station and performed for two spacewalks. The successful landing marked Discovery's 39th and final shuttle mission!Space Shuttle Discovery launched OTD 2010 on mission STS-131 to the @Space_Station. Led by the late Alan Poindexter, it was the last Shuttle mission to be flown with a crew of 7 (pictured here in the Cupola at the ISS).Remembering engineer and NACA pilot Scott Crossfield on his #birthday. Crossfield made aeronautical history when he reached the aviation milestone of Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound) or more than 1,320 miles per hour in the D-558-II Skyrocket.OTD in 2011, a blizzard hit the morning that Expedition 29 was set to launch to the Space Station from Kazakhstan.We all took a breath of relief on this day in 2005 as STS-114 successfully landed at @NASAArmstrong concluding a historic 14-day mission to the @Space_Station. It was the first flight after nearly 2.5 years following the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy in February 2003.OTD in 1947, pilot Eugene F. May flew the number one Skystreak for the first time. The D-558-I "Skystreaks" were early transonic research airplanes. 3 of the aircraft flew in a joint program involving the NACA, the Navy-Marine Corps & the Douglas Aircraft Co. from 1947 to 1953.NASA has used Schlieren imagery for aeronautics research for decades (as seen in this photo from 1952), but this new method to capture the interaction of shock waves of aircraft in flight was groundbreaking!John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, was born today in 1921. After his historic spaceflight, he served as a U.S. Senator for 25 years, returning to space in 1998 on the space shuttle at age 77. Read more about Glenn's life and legacy:NOW, at 2:54 pm (ET) on 12/11/1972, Apollo17 LM 'Challenger' touched down on the lunar surface, making the last human Moon landing to date. @NASA Astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt would perform 3 EVAs over the 75-hour stay on the surface.STS-135 returned to Earth OTD in 2011, it was the final mission of Space Shuttle Program. In this image from the Expedition 28 crew on the ISS, Atlantis appears “like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights” on its way home. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.OTD in 1995, astronaut @bernardharrisjr became the first African American to complete a spacewalk. During the EVA which lasted 4 hours & 38 min., Harris and Mike Foale tested spacesuit modifications to keep spacewalkers warmer in the extreme cold of space.OTD in 1961 the 1st nuclear-powered spacecraft (Transit 4A) launched. The Transit satellites were the 1st US navigational satellites, used to assist with air and sea travel. The Death Star look-alike pictured below is the Transit 1B satellite. 🛰️ More:It's Neil Armstrong's birthday today! Armstrong is best known as the first person to set foot on the Moon, but he also worked as an administrator, research pilot, and engineer over the course of his long @NASA career. Visit our photo gallery:OTD in 1957, John Glenn set a new speed record flying a Navy F8U-1P Crusader from coast to coast in 3 hours 23 minutes. "Project Bullet" secured his reputation as one of the country’s top test pilots, and he was selected to become a NASA astronaut not long after.Kennedy Space Center has been an important launch zone for @NASA since the mid-1960s. The surrounding waters have become no-fishing zones, and for 20 years scientists have tracked the positive affect this has had on rehabilitating the area's ecosystemOTD 1991, Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavour (built to replace Shuttle Challenger) rolls out of the assembly plant in Palmdale, California. In this picture, NASA Administrator Dick Truly speaks at the rollout ceremony.This one goes out to the WomenInSTEM in the lab this weekend. In this 📷 taken OTD in 1957, one of the few female physicists at NASA's Lewis Research Center (now @NASAGlenn) works on an atomic lab experiment that pushed a gas at low pressure through a high-voltage discharge.“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Happy #NationalMoonDay! Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon OTD in 1969, here are some photos from the world's first moonwalk.Silently Supersonic? In 2003, shaped sonic boom demo flights began with Roy Martin flying a modified F-5E Tiger II. These flights were intended to test the viability of quieting sonic booms produced by supersonic aircraft. Check out @NASAaero's e-book:The Apollo17 prime and backup crews were announced OTD in 1971. Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans, and scientist-astronaut Harrison Schmitt went on to make the Apollo program's last trip to the Moon. Count down with us for NASA's return to the Moon later this month. Artemis IOTD in 1985 at 4:23pm EST, the crew of STS-51-C (Payton, Shriver, Mattingly, Buchli, and Onizuka) landed after 3 days in space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. This mission was the first mission dedicated to the Department of Defense.Dec. 2 holds the record for most Shuttle launches on 1 calendar day! In 1992, the shuttle Discovery (left) launched at 8:24am ET for STS-53. One year later on the same day, the shuttle Endeavour (right) launched at 4:27am ET for STS-61 to service @NASAHubble! (2/2)

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