For all his efforts, Nicolaus Copernicus is at the centre of the space-exploration universe. The astronomer, born 540 years ago today, has a crater on the moon and aNASA trajectory system. In 1972, scientists in the U.S. and Britain launched a Copernicus observatory (OAO-3) into orbit.
The Kopernik Space Education Center, perched at the top of a 524 metre foothill in New York, has played host to hundreds of thousands of students eager to learn about astronomy. And, most importantly of all, Captain Kirk and Spock got a lift on the Copernicus shuttle in Star Trek: The Final Frontier.
Tuesday, he added another tribute to his name as Google created a solar system-themed doodle to mark his 540th birthday.