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December 14th in Astronomy and Space Science
Birth1546Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe born. He established Uraniborg observatory on the island of Hveen in Copenhagen Sound from which he made the most precise stellar and planetary position measurements then known. These measurements were all made with open sighted instruments, as telescopes did not become common until the early 1600s. He later moved to Prague where Johannes Kepler was his student and assistant.
Unmanned Spaceflight1962The U.S. Mariner 2 spacecraft is launched on a Venus fly-by mission. It passes Venus at a distance of 34,300 km (21,250 miles) marking the first successful U.S. planetary fly-by.
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