This Day In History : September 27

2003 Russian Federation

The SMART-1 satellite is launched

The SMART-1 satellite was launched on September 27, 2003. It was a European Space Agency (ESA) mission aimed at testing solar-electric propulsion and conducting lunar science. SMART-1 orbited the Moon and provided valuable data on its composition and surface features before its mission concluded in September 2006.

Also on This Day in History September 27

Discover what happened on September 27 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, September 27
  • 1722 Samuel Adams

    American philosopher and politician who was the 4th Governor of Massachusetts

  • 1507 Guillaume Rondelet

    French naturalist famous for his study of marine animals

  • 1918 Martin Ryle

    English radio astronomer (Astronomer Royal 1972-82, Nobel Prize for Physics 1974)

  • 1932 Oliver Williamson

    American economist (Nobel Prize for Economics 2009)

  • 1827 Hiram R. Revels

    American clergyman, politician,1st African American in Congress (US Senator from Mississippi, 1870-71), and college president (Alcorn, 1871-82)

Deaths on This Day, September 27
  • 2016 David Hahn

    American Boy Scout who was famous for attempting to build a nuclear reactor in a shed in his backyard

  • 1940 Julius Wagner-Jauregg

    Austrian psychiatrist (1st psychiatrist to win Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine 1927 for malaria inoculation for dementia paralytica)

  • 1838 Bernard Courtois

    French chemist who discovered the element iodine

  • 2017 Hugh Hefner

    American magazine publisher and businessman

  • 2011 Wilson Greatbatch

    American engineer and inventor (cardiac pacemaker)


The SS Patrick Henry launched

The SS Patrick Henry, the first Liberty ship built during World War II, was launched on September 27, 1941, from the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. This event marked a significant milestone in the mass production of cargo ships to support the Allied war effort during World War II.

NASA launches the Dawn probe to the asteroid belt

NASA launched the Dawn probe to the asteroid belt on September 27, 2007. The mission aimed to study two of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres, to provide insights into the early Solar System's formation. Dawn used ion propulsion to reach and orbit Vesta in 2011 and then Ceres in 2015, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit two extraterrestrial bodies.


The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein's paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?" on September 27, 1905. This paper introduced the famous equation E=mc2, which describes the equivalence of mass and energy, a fundamental concept in physics and the theory of relativity.

Nazi Germany, Italy & Japan sign 10 year formal alliance (Axis)

Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan signed a 10-year formal alliance known as the Tripartite Pact on September 27, 1940. This agreement solidified their Axis alliance during World War II, shaping their military and political cooperation against the Allied powers.
Special day
Discover invention