It'll be a busy week in science history. This week sees the 75th anniversary of one of the most talked-about aviation mysteries ever--and that's just the beginning.

This week also commemorates the first transatlantic hot air balloon flight—spearheaded by a certain ambitious Brit whose name you may know. And then there's the story of a famous chemist who developed the first vaccine for a deadly disease--and the remarkable engineering feat that enabled a beloved U.S. president to send Independence Day greetings to U.S. territories around the world.

What else in science history happened this week? Check out the slideshow for all the landmark events.

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  • Roswell UFO

    After a "flying disk" crashed on a ranch in the New Mexico town of Roswell, rumors began to circle about possible extraterrestrial origins and a government cover-up. The Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) public information officer in Roswell, New Mexico, issued a press release on July 8, 1947 about the event.

  • A Man And His Motorwagon

    German engine designer Karl Benz (1844-1929) unveiled the first automobile on July 3, 1886 in Mannheim, Germany. The Benz Patent Motorwagon could reach a then-astonishing speed of 10 mph.

  • Newton's Laws

    Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) published <em>Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica</em> on July 5, 1687. Translated as "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy," this work became one of the most important texts in the history of science, in which Newton explained his laws of motion and universal gravitation.

  • Hot Air

    Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand made aviation history on July 3, 1987 when they crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon. Their transatlantic flight took about 37 hours from Maine to Ireland--a distance of 3,075 miles.

  • Cable Across The Pacific

    On July 3, 1903, the first telegraph cable across the Pacific was completed. The Commercial Pacific Cable Company connected Hawaii, Midway, Guam and Manila. President Theodore Roosevelt was the first to send a message across the cable, beginning a new era in international communication. He wished "a happy Independence Day to the U.S., its territories and properties . . ."

  • Boom!

    On July 3, 1969, the Soviet N1 rocket exploded after stalling for 23 seconds on the launch pad, creating the biggest man-made non-nuclear explosion in history. The destruction was photographed by U.S. satellites.

  • Mars Arrival

    NASA's Mars <em>Pathfinder</em> spacecraft landed on July 4, 1997 after a seven-month journey to the Red Planet. It dispatched the first remote-control interplanetary rover, which brought back photographs and data about the composition of Mars' surface. The lander was renamed the Carl Sagan Memorial Station.

  • Comet Collision

    A NASA space probe collided with a comet on July 4, 2005. The probe, ejected by a larger spacecraft known as Deep Impact, was sent intentionally to crash into the comet 9P/Tempel. This allowed scientists to study the composition and surface of the comet close-up.

  • Happy Birthday, Dolly!

    Dolly, the first cloned sheep, was born on July 5, 1996 at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. Dolly sparked a heated debate about cloning ethics, and led the way for larger animals like horses to be cloned. She was euthanized in 2003 after developing lung cancer. Her taxidermied remains are now on display at the National Museum of Scotland.

  • Rabies Vaccine

    On July 6, 1885, French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur tested his rabies vaccine on Joseph Meister, a young man who was in danger of contracting rabies after being bitten by a rabid dog. Meister recovered, and became the first of many to receive the groundbreaking vaccination.

  • Mysterious Disappearance

    On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean along with her navigator Frederick Noonan. Their attempted trip around the world was tragically cut short somewhere en route to its destination at Howland Island. Searches never turned up a conclusive trace of the two aviators.

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