Gerard K. O'Neill (1927–1992) was an American physicist and space
activist. As a faculty member of Princeton University, he invented a
device called the particle storage ring for high energy physics
experiments. Later he invented a magnetic launcher called the mass
driver. In the 1970s he developed a plan to build human settlements in
outer space, including a space habitat design known as the O'Neill
cylinder. He founded the Space Studies Institute, an organization
devoted to funding research into space manufacturing and colonization.
In 1965 at Stanford University he performed the first colliding beam
physics experiment. While teaching physics at Princeton, O'Neill became
interested in the possibility that humans could live in outer space. He
researched and proposed a futuristic idea for human settlement in
space, the O'Neill cylinder in "The Colonization of Space", his first
paper on the subject. He held a conference on space manufacturing at
Princeton in 1975. Many who became post-Apollo-era space activists
attended. O'Neill built his first mass driver prototype with professor
Henry Kolm in 1976. He considered mass drivers critical for extracting
the mineral resources of the Moon and asteroids. His award-winning book
The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space inspired a generation of
space exploration advocates. He died in 1992 after a seven year fight
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Today's selected anniversaries:
With no living male heirs, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issued the
Pragmatic Sanction to ensure one of his daughters would inherit the
The American Revolutionary War began with the Battles of Lexington and
Concord in the British colony of Massachusetts.
Nazi German troops entered the Warsaw Ghetto to round up the remaining
Jews , sparking the first mass uprising in Poland against the Nazi
occupation during the Holocaust.
The first space station, Salyut 1, was launched from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome near Tyuratam, Kazakh SSR, USSR.
A car bomb was detonated in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal
Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, killing 168 people and
injuring over 800 others.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A cross shaped like a T with a loop at the top; the Egyptian hieroglyph
representing the word "life"
Wikiquote quote of the day:
When you study natural science and the miracles of creation, if you
don't turn into a mystic you are not a natural scientist.