For all his efforts, Nicolaus Copernicus is at the centre of the space-exploration universe. The astronomer, born 540 years ago today, has a crater on the moon and a NASA trajectory system. In 2009, German scientists honoured Copernicus with his own element on the periodic table: copernicium.
The anniversary to-day has generated a great deal of interest, on Google, for example, and in these two articles from the National Post and The Christian Science Monitor. I am sure there are others as well… these are the best I found.
Enjoy reading them, and then if your curiosity is further piqued, try the very long biography on Wikipedia.