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July 20th: An Auspicious Day

July 12, 1999 ::

Chandra & Columbia on Launch Pad
Chandra & Shuttle Columbia on Launch Pad at KSC
Photo: NASA
Astrophysicists have little use for astrology, that wicked step-sister of astronomy. Most would agree with X. R. Photon's observation that "astrology is, at best, a waste of newsprint..."

Neil Armstrong's footprint on the moon
Neil Armstrong's Footprint on the Moon.
Photo: NASA
Viking 1 Lander on Mars
Viking 1 on Mars.
Photo: NASA
However, space history polymath Dr. Jonathan McDowell of the Chandra Center has pointed out that July 20th is an auspicious day for the U. S. space program.

"It was July 20th, 1969, when Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module onto the Sea of Tranquility," McDowell said. "And it was July 20th, 1976, that Viking 1 landed on the surface of Mars."

Like those two epochal missions, NASA officials and scientists expect Chandra to change our view of the cosmos after it is launched on July 20th, 1999.

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