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Yury Usachev
Wally Schirra
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Obi-Wan


2004 World Events



January 3: NASA Martian rover named Spirit successfully lands on Mars.

January 25: NASA Martian rover named Opportunity successfully lands on Mars.

February 1: The New England Patriots defeat the Carolina Panthers, 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII.  During the televised half-time program Janet Jackson shocks the viewing audience by exposing her right breast.

March 9: John Allen Mohammed is sentenced to death for his role in the sniper attacks that terrified Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia in 2002.


March 14: Vladimir Putin is re-elected President of Russia.

May 30: Buddy Rice wins the Indianapolis 500.

April 19: Russia launches Soyuz TMA-4 on a mission to the International Space Station with a crew of Gennadi Padalka, Michael Fincke, and Andre Kuipers.

April 30: Soyuz spacecraft TMA-3 returns to Earth with a crew of Aleksandr Kaleri, Michael Foale, and Andre Kuipers.

May 21: Mary and I have a VIP Tour of the Kennedy Space Center with Cosmonaut Yuri Usachev.  For my account of this tour, follow the Yury Usachev link.

June 8: The planet Venus makes its first solar transit since the year 1882.

June 11: NASA's Cassini-Huygens probe makes its closest approach to Saturn's moon Phoebe.

June 21: Scaled Composites Pilot Mike Melvill becomes the first man in a commercial enterprise to earn astronaut wings.  Melvill piloted SpaceShipOne to an altitude of 328,491 feet.

June 28: The US led coalition that liberated Iraq turns over control to the interim Iraqi government.

July 1: NASA's Cassini-Huygens probe is successful inserted into the orbit of Saturn.

July 30: Mary, Lexie, and I tour the San Diego Aerospace Museum with Astronaut Wally Schirra.  For my account of this tour, follow the Wally Schirra link.

September 29: Scaled Composites Pilot Mike Melvill pilots SpaceShipOne to an altitude of 337,700 feet.  This was the first flight of two in an attempt to capture the $10 million Ansari X-Prize.

October 4: Mercury Astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. passes away at the age of 77. Follow the Gordon Cooper link.

October 4: Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne wins the Ansari X-Prize.  Pilot Brian Binne flew the vehicle to over 328,000 feet for the second time within a 14 day time period.  Binne piloted the craft to 367,442 feet which broke the altitude recorde set by Joe Walker with the X-15 on August 22, 1963. A passenger on this X-Prize winning flight was a Star Wars poseable figure of Obi Wan Kenobi.  This flown figure was later acquired by the Earth To The Moon space musuem.  To see this artifact follow the Obi-Wan link.

October 4: Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne wins the Ansari X-Prize.  Pilot Brian Binnie flew the vehicle to over 328,000 feet for the second time within a 14 day time period. Binnie piloted the craft to 367,442 feet which broke the altitude record set be Joe Walker with the X-15 on August 22, 1963.

October 14: Russia launches Soyuz TMA-5 on a mission to the International Space Station with a crew of Salizan Sharipov, Leroy Chiao, and Yuri Shargin.

October 24: Soyuz spacecraft TMA-4 returns to Earth with a crew of Gennadi Padalka, Michael Fincke, and Yuri Shargin.

November 2: In the largest voter turnout in US history, President George W. Bush wins reelection to the Presidency of the United States.

December 26:
The Sumatran-Andaman earthquake in the Indian Ocean generates a tsunami that kills between 170,000 and 240,000 people.  The magnitude of this earthquake was around 9.15 on the Richter scale.

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UPDATED : August 11, 2009
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