1900 – Charles Francis Richter, American seismologist and physicist is born.
Charles Francis Richter was an American seismologist and physicist.
Richter is most famous as the creator of the Richter magnitude scale, which, until the development of the moment magnitude scale in 1979, quantified the size of earthquakes. Inspired by Kiyoo Wadati’s 1928 paper on shallow and deep earthquakes, Richter first used the scale in 1935 after developing it in collaboration with Beno Gutenberg; both worked at the California Institute of Technology.
The quote “logarithmic plots are a device of the devil” is attributed to Richter.
1956 – SS Ideal X, the world’s first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas.
SS Ideal X, a converted World War II T-2 oil tanker, was the first commercially successful container ship.
Built by The Marinship Corporation in 1948 as Potrero Hills, she was later purchased by Malcom McLean’s Pan-Atlantic Steamship Company. In 1955, the ship was modified to carry shipping containers and rechristened Ideal X. During her first voyage in her new configuration, on April 26, 1956 the Ideal X carried 58 containers from Port Newark, New Jersey, to Port of Houston, Texas, where 58 trucks were waiting to be loaded with the containers. It was not the first container ship, however. The Clifford J. Rodgers, operated by the White Pass and Yukon Route, made its debut in 1955.
1962 – NASA’s Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.
Ranger 4 was a spacecraft of the Ranger program designed to transmit pictures of the lunar surface to Earth stations during a period of 10 minutes of flight prior to crashing upon the Moon, to rough-land a seismometer capsule on the Moon, to collect gamma-ray data in flight, to study radar reflectivity of the lunar surface, and to continue testing of the Ranger program for development of lunar and interplanetary spacecraft. An onboard computer failure caused failure of the deployment of the solar panels and navigation systems; as a result the spacecraft crashed on the far side of the Moon without returning any scientific data. It was the first U.S. spacecraft to reach another celestial body.
1977 – Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian astronaut is born.
Samantha Cristoforetti is an Italian European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Air Force pilot and engineer. She holds the records for longest single space flight by a woman (199 days 16 hours) and for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight of a European astronaut. She is also the first Italian woman in space. Samantha Cristoforetti is also known as the first person who brewed an espresso coffee in space.