Good morning, Whitewater.
It’s the first day of winter in the Whippet City, and this day arrives with a high of forty degrees, morning fog, and afternoon clouds. Sunrise is 7:22 and sunset 4:24 for 9h 01m 43s of daytime.
Nine hours, one minute, and forty-three seconds of daytime isn’t much sunshine, but from the perspective of stargazers it’s an offering of plentiful evening skies.
Anyone thinking carefully about human history has reason to be confident in America and her future. Our best days lie ahead. One small but significant confirmation of that observation is to be found in SpaceX’s successful launch and return upright of an orbital rocket:
The third attempt at a historic reusable-rocket milestone was the charm for SpaceX.
The private spaceflight companybrought the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket back to Earth for a soft touchdown tonight (Dec. 21), pulling off history’s first-ever rocket landing during an orbital launch. (Blue Origin, the company led by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, landed its New Shepard booster successfully last month, but that occurred during a suborbital test.) The Falcon 9 mission also delivered 11 commercial satellites into orbit for SpaceX customer ORBCOMM.
“I do think it’s a revolutionary moment. No one has ever brought an orbital class booster back intact,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk told reporters in a teleconference after the launch and landing success. “We achieved recovery of the rocket in a mission that also deployed 11 satellites. This is a fundamental step change compared to any other rocket that’s ever flown.” [SpaceX’s Epic Falcon 9 Rocket Landing in Pictures]
On this day in 1862, the 17th Wisconsin deploys to protect Union supplies:
1862 – (Civil War) The 17th Wisconsin Infantry protects supplies in Tennessee
The 17th Wisconsin Infantry was ordered to protect Grand Junction, Tennessee, after the loss of Holly Springs, Mississippi.