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Flashback calendar

Space Shuttle Endeavour lands after her maiden flight

Endeavour was the fifth and final operational space shuttle. Built as a replacement for Challenger, the primary goal of her first mission was to catch a broken Intelsat VI satellite. Success was reached on the fourth attempt when, for the first time in history, three people from the same spacecraft walked in space at the same time.

The Venera 5 Soviet space probe lands on Venus

Venera 5 was a space probe in the Soviet space program, Venera, used to explore Venus. It was launched into a parking orbit around Earth in January 1969, and then boosted towards Venus by a Tyazheliy Sputnik launch platform. Following a mid-course maneuver in March 1969, the probe was released from the bus at a distance of 23,000 mi from Venus.

Laser operated for the first time

American physicist Ted Maiman successfully tested his laser. Its core was made of synthetic ruby which other scientists seeking to make a laser felt would not work. Maiman patented the laser. However, Columbia University graduate student Gordon Gould had simultaneously completedhis own laser design, and it is not clear who was first.

J. Georg Bednorz is born

Georg Bednorz is a German physicist who, together with K. Alex Müller, discovered high-temperature superconductivity in ceramics, for which they shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physics. Bednorz was born in Neuenkirchen, Germany. Bednorz obtained his master's degree from Münster in 1977 and his Ph.D. from ETH Zurich in 1982.

American structural engineer Joseph Strauss dies

Joseph Strauss was an American structural engineer who revolutionized the design of bascule bridges. His greatest achievement was the Golden Gate Bridge. Strauss began his career as a draftsman and within a few years, had worked his way up to principal assistant engineer. By 1904 he had established his own Strauss Bascule Bridge Company which constructed hundreds of drawbridges around the U.S.

Russian immunologist Élie Metchnikoff is born

Élie Metchnikoff was a Russian zoologist best known for his pioneering research in immunology. In particular, he is credited with the discovery of phagocytes. In 1882 he studied strange freely moving cells in the larvae of starfishes. He started to believe that they were important to the animals' immune defenses. To test his idea, Metchnikoff inserted small thorns from a tangerine tree into the larvae. After a few hours he noticed that the motile cells had surrounded the thorns.

Anniversaries of famous