Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. – Carl Sandburg
1896 – Guglielmo Marconi applies for a patent for his newest invention, the radio.
…The apparatus that Marconi possessed at that time was similar to that of one in 1882 by A. E. Dolbear, of Tufts College, which used a spark coil generator and a carbon granular rectifier for reception. A plaque on the outside of BT Centre commemorates Marconi’s first public transmission of wireless signals from that site. A series of demonstrations for the British government followed—by March 1897, Marconi had transmitted Morse code signals over a distance of about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) across Salisbury Plain. On 13 May 1897, Marconi sent the world’s first ever wireless communication over open sea. The experiment, based in Wales, witnessed a message transversed over the Bristol Channel from Flat Holm Island to Lavernock Point in Penarth, a distance of 6 kilometres (3.7 mi). The message read “Are you ready”. The transmitting equipment was almost immediately relocated to Brean Down Fort on the Somerset coast, stretching the range to 16 kilometres (9.9 mi).
1966 – Surveyor program: Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on another world.
Surveyor 1 was the first lunar soft-lander in the unmanned Surveyor program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, United States). This lunar soft-lander gathered data about the lunar surface that would be needed for the manned Apollo Moon landings that began in 1969. The successful soft landing of Surveyor 1 on the Ocean of Storms was the first one by an American space probe onto any extraterrestrial body, and it occurred just four months after the first Moon landing by the Soviet Union’s Luna 9 probe. This was also a success on NASA’s first attempt at a soft landing on any astronomical object.
Surveyor 1 was launched May 30, 1966, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and it landed on the Moon on June 2, 1966. Surveyor 1 transmitted 11,237 still photos of the lunar surface to the Earth by using a television camera and a sophisticated radio-telemetry system.
The Surveyor program was managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Los Angeles County, but the entire Surveyor space probe was designed and built by the Hughes Aircraft Company in El Segundo, California.
2003 – Europe launches its first voyage to another planet, Mars. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe launches from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.
Mars Express is a space exploration mission being conducted by the European Space Agency (ESA). The Mars Express mission is exploring the planet Mars, and is the first planetary mission attempted by the agency. “Express” originally referred to the speed and efficiency with which the spacecraft was designed and built. However “Express” also describes the spacecraft’s relatively short interplanetary voyage, a result of being launched when the orbits of Earth and Mars brought them closer than they had been in about 60,000 years.
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