1969 in science
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Astronomy and space exploration
- January 15 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.
- March 3 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.
- March 13 – Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
- May 16 – Venera program: Venera 5, a Soviet spaceprobe, lands on Venus.
- May 17 – Venera program: Soviet Venera 6 begins to descend into Venus', atmosphere sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.
- May 18 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 launches.
- May 22 – Apollo program: Apollo 10's lunar module flies within 15,400 m of the Moon's surface.
- May 26 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the upcoming first manned Moon landing.
- July 20 – Apollo program: The human race, represented by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, lands on the Moon. Apollo 11 lifted off for the Moon on July 16 and returned safely on July 24.
- August 5 – Mariner program: Mariner 7 makes its closest fly-by of Mars (3,524 kilometers).
- November 14 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon (landed on the Moon on November 19).
- November 19 – Apollo program: Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.
- Thomas D. Brock and Hudson Freeze of Indiana University publish their findings on hyperthermophilic bacteria, most notably Thermus aquaticus, a thermophilic bacterium species living at a temperature of 60-80°C in a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park. T. aquaticus (Taq) later becomes a standard source of enzymes able to withstand higher temperatures than those from E. Coli and is significant in the history of polymerase chain reaction.
- Last Przewalski's Horse sighted in the wild, in Mongolia.
- April 7 – RFC 1, the first Request for Comments document from the Internet Engineering Task Force, is published.
- October 29 – The first ARPANET message is sent, between computers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute.
- November 21 – The first permanent ARPANET link is established, between Interface Message Processors at UCLA and Stanford.
- The laser printer is invented at Xerox by Gary Starkweather.
- April 4 – Surgeons Denton Cooley and Domingo Liotta implant the first temporary artificial heart.
- Reported as being the year the first strain of the AIDS virus (HIV) migrates to the United States via Haiti.
- The condition diffuse panbronchiolitis is named, in Japan.
- International adoption of the diagnostic term 'Sudden infant death syndrome'.
- Late January – Eugene, Oregon, has a record snowfall of 3 feet in 3 days: a pineapple express moves into the region with a shot of cold air, followed by some snow showers.
- Herbert Saffir and Bob Simpson develop the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
- John Ostrom publishes his findings on the dinosaur Deinonychus, describing it as being a small, agile species closely related to the birds.
- Yoichiro Nambu and Leonard Susskind make the first presentations of string theory.
- Spain withdraws from CERN.
- Nobel Prizes
- Turing Award – Marvin Minsky
- October 7 – Karen L. Nyberg, American space engineer and astronaut.
- December 16 – Adam Riess, American astrophysicist, Nobel laureate in Physics in 2011.
- December 28 – Linus Torvalds, Finnish computer programmer.
- Thomas Reardon, American computer programmer.
- March 3 – Elizabeth Laird (born 1874), Canadian physicist.
- May 14 – Walter Pitts (born 1923), American logician and cognitive psychologist.
- June 24 – Willy Ley (born 1906), German American scientific populariser.
- August 8 – Otmar von Verschuer (born 1896), German eugenicist.
- August 17 – Otto Stern (born 1888), German physicist, Nobel laureate in Physics in 1943.
- September 16 – Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (born 1887), American conservationist.
- September 24 – Warren Sturgis McCulloch (born 1898), American neurophysiologist and cybernetician.
- October 21 – Wacław Sierpiński (born 1882), Polish mathematician.
- November 12 – William F. Friedman (born 1891), Russian American cryptanalyst.
- Brock, Thomas D.; Freeze, Hudson (August 1969). "Thermus aquaticus gen. n. and sp. n., a nonsporulating extreme thermophile". Journal of Bacteriology (American Society for Microbiology) 98 (1): 289–297. PMC 249935. PMID 5781580. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- Adams, M. J. et al. (1969-11-01). "Structure of Rhombohedral 2 Zinc Insulin Crystals" (PDF). Nature 224: 491–495. Bibcode:1969Natur.224..491A. doi:10.1038/224491a0. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- Savio, Jessica (2011-04-01). "Browsing history: A heritage site is being set up in Boelter Hall 3420, the room the first Internet message originated in". Daily Bruin (UCLA).
- Sutton, Chris (2004-09-02). "Internet Began 35 Years Ago at UCLA with First Message Ever Sent Between Two Computers". UCLA. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008.
- Reilly, Edwin D. (2003). Milestones in Computer Science and Information Technology. Greenwood Press. ISBN 1-57356-521-0.
- Allan, Roy A. (2001). A History of the Personal Computer: the People and the Technology. Allan Publishing. ISBN 0-9689108-0-7.
- "AIDS Virus Came to US Via Haiti". Voice of America. 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2011-10-22.
- Yamanaka, A.; Saiki, S.; Tamura, S.; Saito, K. (Mar 1969). "Problems in chronic obstructive bronchial diseases, with special reference to diffuse panbronchiolitis". Naika (in Japanese) 23 (3): 442–451. PMID 5783341.
- Carolan, Patrick L. "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome". Medscape. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- Ostrom, J. H. (1969). "Osteology of Deinonychus antirrhopus, an unusual theropod from the Lower Cretaceous of Montana". Peabody Museum of Natural History Bulletin 30: 1–165.
- Fastovsky, D.E.; Weishampel, D.B. (2005). "Theropoda I: Nature Red in Tooth and Claw". In Fastovsky, D.E.; Weishampel, D.B. The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 265–299. ISBN 978-0-521-81172-9.
- Schwarz, John H. (2000). "String Theory: The Early Years". arXiv:hep-th/0007118.