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January 20, 2020 - Birthday Buzz

Birthday Buzz  Born ninety years ago this week, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin graduated from West Point and became a jet fighter pilot during the Korean War, later earning a doctorate in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His thesis was about orbital rendezvous techniques, a subject relevant to the nascent American space program’s goal of landing astronauts on the Moon before the end of the decade. Selected as a NASA astronaut in October 1963, Aldrin flew on the Gemini XII mission in 1966, during which he performed three spacewalks. He was Lunar Module Pilot for the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, following crewmate Neil Armstrong onto the surface to become the second astronaut to walk on the Moon. Aldrin, seen here during Apollo 11, continues to be an advocate for space exploration.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

January 20 - 26, 2020

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 20

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Mars 2° south of Moon

1573: Simon Marius born
1930: Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin born
1966: Apollo A-004 launched, first flight test of CSM hardware
1978: Progress 1 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 21

2018: First orbital launch from New Zealand

Moon phase Wednesday 22

Jupiter 0.4° north of Moon

1592: Pierre Gassendi born
1968
: Apollo 5 launched
1978: First automatic resupply ship docking (Progress 1)
1992: STS-42 Discovery launched
1998: STS-89 Endeavour launched
2003: Pioneer 10’s last signal to Earth

Moon phase Thursday 23

Moon phase Friday 24

New Moon 4:42 PM ET

1978: Cosmos 954 satellite reenters atmosphere over Canada
1985: STS-51C Discovery launched
1986: Voyager 2 flies past Uranus
1992: Magellan begins third mapping cycle of Venus

Moon phase Saturday 25

Chinese New Year

1736: Joseph Lagrange born
1962: NASA authorizes Saturn V rocket
1983: Infrared Astronomical Satellite launched
1994: Clementine spacecraft launched
2004: Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity lands

Moon phase Sunday 26

1978: International Ultraviolet Explorer launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.