January 4, 2004Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.
Spirit, MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover – A), is a robotic rover on Mars, active from 2004 to 2010. It was one of two rovers of NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. It landed successfully on Mars at 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004, three weeks before its twin, Opportunity (MER-B), landed on the other side of the planet. Its name was chosen through a NASA-sponsored student essay competition. The rover became stuck in late 2009, and its last communication with Earth was sent on March 22, 2010.
Queen Mary 2
January 12, 2004The world's largest ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, makes its maiden voyage.
The ship was named by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 after the first RMS Queen Mary, completed in 1936. Queen Mary was in turn named after Mary of Teck, consort of King George V. With the retirement of Queen Elizabeth 2 from active duty in 2008, Queen Mary 2 is currently the only transatlantic ocean liner in operation as a liner (in scheduled service between Southampton and New York ), although the ship is often used for cruising, including an annual world cruise.
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January 25, 2004Opportunity rover lands on surface of Mars.
Opportunity, MER-B (Mars Exploration Rover – B), is a robotic rover on the planet Mars, active since 2004. It is the remaining rover in NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Launched from Earth on 7 July 2003, it landed on the Martian Meridiani Planum on 25 January 2004 at 05:05 Ground UTC (about 13:15 local time), three weeks after its twin Spirit (MER-A) touched down on the other side of the planet.
December 14, 2004The Millau viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world, near Millau, France is officially opened.
The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau in southern France. Designed by the British architect Norman Foster and French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux, it is the tallest bridge in the world, with one mast's summit at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft). It is the 12th highest bridge in the world, at 270 metres (890 ft)high below the road deck. The viaduct is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Montpellier. Construction cost was approximately €400 million. It was formally dedicated on 14 December 2004, inaugurated the day after and opened to traffic two days later. The bridge received the 2006 IABSE Outstanding Structure Award.
December 20, 2004A gang of thieves steal £26.5 million worth of currency from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast,
Northern Ireland, one of the largest bank robberies in UK history. The Northern Bank robbery was a large robbery of cash from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Carried out by a large, proficient group on 20 December 2004, the gang seized the equivalent of £26.5 million in pounds sterling and small amounts of other currencies, largely euros and U.S. dollars. This made it the largest bank robbery in UK and Irish history. Although the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the British and Irish governments claimed the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) was responsible (or had permitted others to undertake the raid), this is denied by the Provisional IRA and the political party Sinn Féin. Although one person has been convicted of money laundering, the investigation is still ongoing and the case remains unsolved.
December 26, 2004A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka.
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. The resulting tsunami is given various names, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, South Asian Tsunami, Indonesian Tsunami, and Boxing Day Tsunami. The earthquake was caused by subduction and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (98 ft) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.
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July 1, 2004
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
, Brando was one of only three professional actors, along with Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, named by Time magazine as one of its 100 Persons of the Century in 1999.
August 30, 2004
Fred Lawrence Whipple was an American astronomer, who worked at the Harvard College Observatory for over 70 years. Amongst his achievements, he discovered some asteroids and comets, came up with the "dirty snowball" cometary hypothesis, and designed the Whipple shield.
December 28, 2004
Jerome Bernard "Jerry" Orbach was an American actor and singer.