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May 15th in Astronomy and Space Science
Astronomical Event1034Jupiter occults the star β Scorpii, as observed and recorded by Chinese astronomers.
Birth1713French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille born. During the four years he spent observing the southern skies from the Cape of Good Hope he charted the position of 10,000 stars, established a list of 42 nebular objects, and named 15 constellations. His catalog numbers for southern stars are still in common use.
Unmanned Spaceflight1958USSR launches Sputnik 3, the first satellite powered by solar panels.
Manned Spaceflight1960USSR conducts the first unmanned test of the Vostok capsule. The capsule disintegrates and fragments come down near Manitowoc, Wisconsin on September 5, 1962.
Manned Spaceflight1963US astronaut Gordon Cooper makes an Earth-orbit flight in the Mercury 9 spacecraft.
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