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1765
Charles Messier cataloged M41 (open (galactic) cluster (NGC 2287), type 'e', in Canis Major).
http://messier.seds.org/m/m041.html

1881
Born, Sir Arthur Percy Morris Fleming, radio pioneer, a major figure in developing techniques for manufacturing RADAR components
http://www.britannica.com/biography/Arthur-Percy-Morris-Fleming

1893
M Wolf discovered asteroid #353 Ruperto-Carola.

1896
A Charlois discovered asteroid #414 Liriope.

1903
M Wolf discovered asteroid #500 Selinur.

1909
P Melotte discovered asteroid #676 Melitta.

1912
H E Wood discovered asteroid #790 Pretoria.

1938
Died, William Henry Pickering, US astronomer (Saturn's ninth moon)
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1938PASP...50..122C

1946
Born, Michael L. Coats, (at Sacramento, California, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (STS 41-D, STS 29, STS 39)
Astronaut Michael Coats, NASA photo coats-m.jpg
Astronaut Michael Coats, NASA photo
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/coats-ml.html

1948
Born, Anatoli Yakovlevich Soloviyov (at Riga, Latvian SSR), Soviet Colonel, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-5/Soyuz TM-4, Mir 6, Mir 12, Mir 19, Mir 24)
http://www.spacefacts.de/bios/cosmonauts/english/soloviyov_anatoli.htm

1952
Born, Lloyd Blaine Hammond Jr. (at Savannah, Georgia, USA), Colonel USAF, NASA astronaut (STS 39, STS 64)
Astronaut L. Blaine Hammond, Jr., NASA photo hammond.jpg
Astronaut L. Blaine Hammond, Jr., NASA photo
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/hammond.html

1955
Born, Jerry M. Linenger (at Mt. Clemens, Michigan, USA), Commander USN, NASA astronaut (STS 64, Mir 22/23, over 143 total days in space)
Astronaut Jerry Linenger, NASA photo linenger.jpg
Astronaut Jerry Linenger, NASA photo
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/linenger.html

1957 13:00:00 PST (GMT -8:00:00)
Five US B-52s took off from Castle Air Force Base in California for the first non-stop round world flight by jet aircraft, three completed the mission on 18 January.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Power_Flite

1967
Died, Robert Van de Graaff, physicist, inventor

Robert Jemison Van de Graaff, (20 December 1901 - 16 January 1967) was an American physicist and instrument maker. He was the designer of the Van de Graaff generator, a device which produces high voltages. In 1929, Van de Graaff developed his first generator at Princeton University, producing 80,000 volts. During the 1950s, Van de Graaff invented the insulating core transformer, which produces high voltage direct current. He also developed tandem generator technology.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Van_de_Graaff

1969 14:20:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz 4 and 5 docked in space and (quoting the TASS news agency) "the world's first experimental cosmic station with four compartments for the crew was assembled and began functioning."

On 16 January 1969, the USSR Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 spacecraft docked, the first docking of two crewed spacecraft, with an EVA transfer of astronauts from one to the other. Soyuz 4 had launched first, on 14 January, followed by Soyuz 5 on 15 January. Soyuz 4 was the active vehicle in docking. Automatic rendezvous began on 16 January at 13:37 GMT on the 34th revolution of Soyuz 4 and the 18th revolution of Soyuz 5. At 100 m distance Shatalov (in Soyuz 4) took over manual control and guided the spacecraft to an accurate docking on the first attempt, at 14:20 GMT. The TASS news agency stated "... there was a mutual mechanical coupling of the ships... and their electrical circuits were connected. Thus, the world's first experimental cosmic station with four compartments for the crew was assembled and began functioning..." Following docking, Khrunov and Yeliseyev, in Soyuz 5, immediately began preparing for an EVA as Volynov filmed them donning their Yastreb space suits. On the 35th revolution of the Earth, Khrunov and Yeliseyev left Soyuz 5 and spent 37 minutes spacewalking to Soyuz 4. The spacewalkers delivered newspapers, letters, and telegrams printed after Shatalov lifted off to help prove that the transfer took place since they returned to Earth a day earlier than Soyuz 5. Soyuz 4 and 5 separated after being docked 4 hours 35 minutes.
http://www.spacefacts.de/mission/english/soyuz-4.htm

1973
The Lunokhod 2 rover rolled onto the Lunar surface to start its 4 month, 37 km journey.

The Luna 21 spacecraft, launched 8 January 1973, landed on the Moon on 15 January, and deployed the second Soviet Lunar rover (Lunokhod 2) on 16 January, which traversed 37 km across the Lunar surface over four months. The primary objectives of the mission were to collect images of the Lunar surface, examine ambient light levels to determine the feasibility of astronomical observations from the Moon, perform laser ranging experiments from Earth, observe solar X-rays, measure local magnetic fields, and study mechanical properties of the Lunar surface material.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1973-001A

1978
NASA named 35 astronaut candidates for the space shuttle program, including Sally K. Ride, who became America's first woman in space, and Guion S. Bluford Jr., who became America's first black in space.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Astronaut_Group_8

1978 11:25:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz 26 returned to Earth with cosmonauts Oleg Makarov and Vladimir Dzhanibekov aboard who had launched to the Salyut 6 space station on Soyuz 27.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1977-113A

1983
E Bowell discovered asteroid #3464 Owensby and #3766.

2003 09:39:00 CST (GMT -6:00:00)
NASA launched STS 107 (Columbia) for a 16 day microgravity science mission that would have been successful if the Shuttle had not broken apart during reentry.
NASA photo, STS 107 crew<br />from http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-107/html/sts107-735-032.html sts107-735-032.jpg
NASA photo, STS 107 crew
from http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/shuttle/sts-107/html/sts107-735-032.html

STS 107 began 16 January 2003 when Columbia, NASA's first Shuttle to go into space, was launched from Kennedy Space Center for a microgravity research mission. 15 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes later, the entire seven member crew, Commander Rick Husband, Pilot Willie McCool, Mission Specialists Michael Anderson, Dave Brown, Laurel Clark and Kalpana Chawla and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon of Israel, was killed on 1 February 2003 when the Shuttle disintegrated over Texas during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. This was the second total loss of a Space Shuttle (in flight), the first being Challenger (STS 51-L).

Based on publically available news reports at the time, Fred Koschara, President of The L5 Development Group, published an analysis indicating the disaster was most likely due to insulating foam breaking off the Shuttle's external fuel tank during launch. (The original article incorrectly stated the Shuttle had been docked at the International Space Station during its mission, the error was corrected the next day.) It was not until late June that NASA's Columbia Accident Investigation Board came to the same conclusion; the first volume of their report was released on 26 August 2003.
https://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/archives/sts-107/index.html

2017
Died after a long illness, Eugene Cernan (at Houston, Texas, USA), USN Captain, NASA astronaut (Gemini 9A, Apollo 10, Apollo 17), the last human to leave his footprints on the Moon to date (2017)

Eugene Andrew "Gene" Cernan (14 March 1934 - 16 January 2017) was the second American astronaut to walk in space walk, and the Last Man on the Moon for over 45 years.

Cernan was selected in 1963 as one of 14 in the third group of astronaut candidates. He became the second NASA astronaut to conduct a space walk during the Gemini 9 mission in June 1966, spending two hours and 10 minutes outside the cramped spacecraft. He then flew on the Apollo 10 mission to the Moon in May 1969, approaching to within 47,000 feet during the last test flight before the Apollo 11 landing two months later, in July. On his third and final space mission, Apollo 17, Cernan and geologist-astronaut Harrison Schmitt spent three days exploring the Moon's surface, on foot and in a rover.

Apollo 17 lifted off at 12:33 a.m. EST on 7 December 1972, the only night launch of the giant Saturn V rocket ever conducted. On their way to the Moon, the crew snapped the iconic picture of the full Earth later dubbed "the Blue Marble," which is probably the most widely distributed photograph in history, showing the blue-and-white planet floating serenely in the dark of space.

Leaving Command Module pilot John Young in orbit, Cernan and Schmitt touched down in the hilly Taurus-Littrow valley on 11 December 1972. They conducted three moonwalks, setting up experiments, collecting rock and soil samples, and photographing the barren landscape. Before following Schmitt up the ladder to the crew compartment at the end of the last excursion on 14 December, Cernan paused to read the plaque attached to the descent stage:

"Here man completed his first explorations of the Moon, December 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind."

Cernan then continued: "This is our commemoration that will be here until someone like us, until some of you who are out there, who are the promise of the future, come back to read it again and to further the exploration and meaning of Apollo."

He later continued the message on his Web site: "Too many years have passed for me to still be the last man to have left his footprints on the Moon. I believe with all my heart that somewhere out there is a young boy or girl with indomitable will and courage who will lift that dubious distinction from my shoulders and take us back where we belong. Let us give that dream a chance."

After retiring from the Navy and NASA in 1976, Cernan went into business, and served as a TV commentator for early Shuttle flights. Politically conservative, he wrote a critically acclaimed book about his final Moon mission, appropriately titled The Last Man on the Moon, and starred in an award-winning documentary of the same name. He remained an eloquent and passionate advocate of space exploration long after he retired from NASA, testifying before Congress on many occasions, and frequently cited as an authority in print.

At the time of his death, Cernan was survived by six of the twelve men who had walked on the Moon during the six Apollo landing missions in 1969 through 1972.

The book, on Amazon:        The documentary, on Amazon: 

See also http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gene-cernan-last-astronaut-on-the-moon-dies-at-82/
See also The Official Website of Gene Cernan
http://www.l5development.com/e_store/L5Fashion/LastManTshirt.php


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