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1988 Australian sailor Kay Cottee sailed her 11-meter sloop First Lady into Sydney Harbour, thereby becoming the first female sailor to perform a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the world. 1883 The first ‘Express d’Orient’ left Paris for Vienna. The train was officially renamed Orient Express in 1891, and would eventually include service all the way [...]
1971 Russia launched the Mars 3 unmanned lander and orbiter. The primary scientific objectives of the orbiter were to image the Martian surface and clouds, determine the temperature on Mars, study the topography, composition and physical properties of the surface, measure properties of the atmosphere, monitor the solar wind and the interplanetary and Martian magnetic [...]
1986 The The Voyager 2 spacecraft, an unmanned interplanetary space probe launched in 1977, made its closest approach to the planet Uranus, when it came within 81,500 kilometers (50,600 miles) of the planet’s cloud tops. 1679 German philosopher Christian Wolff was born in Breslau, Silesia. His main achievement was a complete oeuvre on almost every [...]
1944 American biochemist Kary Mullis was born in Lenoir, North Carolina. He invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 1983, for which he shared the 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (with Michael Smith). The PCR technique is simple, and within a few hours can make billions of copies of a specific stretch of DNA. It [...]