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This Week in Astronomy History: March 1-7

5 Mar 2021, 23:14 UTC
This Week in Astronomy History: March 1-7
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Photo: Local residents of Tombstone, AZ standing with the 6″ Alvan Clark & Sons telescope Andrew Douglass used to test the viewing conditions in potential observatory locations.
March 1, 1966: Venera 3 impacts Venus
The Venera 3 space probe | NASA
On March 1, 1966, Soviet space probe Venera 3 successfully landed on the surface of Venus. Not only was it the first the first craft to land on another planet, it was also the first man-made object to make contact with an extraterrestrial surface other than the Moon. The probe was intended to land on Venus, transmitting information back to Earth as it descended toward the planet’s surface. On February 16, 1966, ground control lost contact with the probe just before it entered the atmosphere. Though it was unable to gather the information scientists had hoped for, it still became the first man-made craft to touch an extraterrestrial surface when it landed on the Venusian surface on March 1.
The Pioneer 4 Space Probe | NASA
March 3, 1959: Pioneer 4 is launched
Pioneer 4 was an American space probe launched on March 3, 1959, with the mission of photographing the Moon. It was the first craft to ...

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