This Day In History : December 7

1995 United States

Galileo spacecraft orbits Jupiter

On December 7, 1995, NASA's Galileo spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Jupiter, beginning a mission to study the planet and its moons in detail. Galileo's exploration provided unprecedented insights into Jupiter's atmosphere, magnetic field, and moons, significantly advancing our understanding of the solar system's largest planet.

Also on This Day in History December 7

Discover what happened on December 7 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, December 7
  • 1905 Gerard Peter Kuiper

    Dutch-born American astronomer, who discovered Miranda, a moon of Uranus, and Nereid, a moon of Neptune.

  • 1830 Luigi Cremona

    He was an Italian mathematician who was an originator of graphical statics (the use of graphical methods to study forces in equilibrium) and work in projective geometry.

  • 1879 Charles Lavelle Broley

    Canadian naturalist, ornithologist, bander and banker whose investigations were among the first to implicate DDT in raptor declines and thus pesticides as environmental threats.

  • 1910 Richard Brooke Roberts

    American biophysicist who contributed most to the discovery of "delayed neutrons" - that uranium fission does not release all the neutrons it produces at one time, but some come off at measurably later times.

  • 1823 Leopold Kronecker

    Leopold Kronecker was a German mathematician who worked on number theory, algebra and logic.

Deaths on This Day, December 7
  • 1982 George B. Kistiakowsky

    George Bogdan Kistiakowsky was a Russian chemist who worked on developing the first atomic bomb but later advocated banning nuclear weapons.

  • 1952 Forest Ray Moulton

    American astronomer who collaborated with Thomas Chamberlin in advancing the planetesimal theory of the origin of the solar system (1904).

  • 2020 Chuck Yeager

    Charles Elwood “Chuck” Yeager was an American pilot who returned from WW II as a decorated fighter pilot, and began testing new technology aircraft using jet power and rocker power.

  • 1960 Walter Noddack

    Walter Karl Friedrich Noddack was a German chemist who discovered the element rhenium (Jun 1925) in collaboration with his wife Ida Tacke.

  • 1977 Peter Carl Goldmark

    American engineer (naturalized 1937). While working for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), he developed the first commercial color television system (1936), which used a rotating three-color disk.


Apollo 17 launched

Apollo 17 (December 7–19, 1972) was the eleventh and final mission of NASA's Apollo program, the sixth and most recent time humans have set foot on the Moon or traveled beyond low Earth orbit. Commander Gene Cernan and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt walked on the Moon, while Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans orbited above

Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 Launched into Earth Orbit

On December 7, 1968, NASA launched the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2 (OAO-2) into Earth orbit. This satellite was designed to observe celestial objects in ultraviolet light, providing astronomers with new insights into stars, galaxies, and other cosmic phenomena.

Apollo 17 Blasts Off, Last U.S. Moon Mission

On December 7, 1972, Apollo 17 launched from Cape Canaveral, marking the sixth and final manned mission to the Moon by the United States. Flight Commander Eugene Cernan became the last person to walk on the lunar surface, concluding a series of missions that significantly advanced lunar exploration and scientific understanding.

United States Declares War on Austria-Hungary in World War I

On December 7, 1917, the United States formally declared war on Austria-Hungary, marking its entry into World War I alongside the Allied Powers. This declaration followed earlier entries into the war against Germany and other Central Powers, solidifying the U.S. commitment to the conflict.
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