Spacecraft Galileo releases Jupiter probe
On this day in 1995 the spacecraft Galileo, the first spacecraft to orbit an outer planet, released a probe that was sent deep into the atmosphere of Jupiter. It took readings for almost an hour before the probe was crushed by atmospheric pressure. The probe was the first man-made object to penetrate the atmosphere of any of the outer gas giants.
The spacecraft itself orbited Jupiter for almost eight years and made close passes by all its major moons. Without the fuel to return to Earth, it was deliberately crashed into Jupiter to prevent the potential contamination of possible life on Jupiter’s moon, Europa.
AI: the Dartmouth Summer Research Project
The Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence was a workshop held on 13 July, 1956, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire in the US. It is widely considered to be the event that founded artificial intelligence as a field of research.
Caspar Bartholin the Elder
We remember Danish physician and theologian Caspar Bartholin the Elder who died 13 July 1629. He is remembered for his work Anatomicae Institutiones Corporis Humani (1611) which was the most widely read Renaissance manual of anatomy. He was also the first to describe the olfactory nerve and associated it with the sense of smell.
We remember British experimental physicist Patrick Blackett (later Baron Blackett) who died 13 July 1974, and is best known for his work researching cloud chambers, cosmic rays and paleomagnetism. In 1948 Baron Blackett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.
Blackett also played a key role during World War II working, with the Royal Air Force in particular, on the performance of the mechanical predictors which helped aim and fire anti-aircraft guns at enemy bombers.
Originally published by Cosmos as July 13: Galileo NASA mission probes Jupiter; Dartmouth AI project; Bartholin and Blackett
Chuck Smeeton is Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Institution of Australia.
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