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March 30, 2006 [LINK]

Brazil's first astronaut

Lt. Col. Marcos Pontes became the first Brazilian to go into space today, riding a Russian Soyuz rocket headed toward the International Space Station. He was joined by American astronaut Jeffrey Williams and a Russian on a mission that will last nine days. Brazil's space program suffered a big setback three years ago when one of their rockets exploded on the launch pad. See and Correio do Brasil.

Costa Rican scientist Franklin Chang-Diaz became the first Latin American to go into space in 1986, and ultimately completed seven missions aboard the space shuttles Columbia, Atlantis, Endeavor, and Discovery. He retired as an astronaut in 2002. See

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 30 Mar 2006, 10: 04 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)