Cosmonauts Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyov undock their Soyuz T-15 spacecraft from the Salyut 7 space station where they had been since May after making a two-day trip from the brand new Mir space station, which had been launched in February. They redocked with Mir June 26. The two stayed aboard Mir until July 16 before finally returning to Earth.
The U.S. Senate approves an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act legislation that imposes restrictions on the sale of commercial satellite images of Israel. Passage of the amendment is denounced by the three U.S. companies in the commercial satellite imaging business.
The U.S.S.R. successfully launches an unmanned Soyuz spacecraft designated Cosmos 496.
NASA’s Seasat A is launched by an Atlas F rocket to demonstrate techniques for global monitoring of the oceans. The satellite returned data for 106 days, but then contact was lost after a short circuit drained all power from the spacecraft batteries.
Soyuz 30, with cosmonaut Viktor Klimuk and Polish cosmonaut-researcher MiroslawHermaszewski aboard, is launched from the BaikonurCosmodrome to the Salyut 6 space station.
NOAA 6 is launched aboard an Atlas F rocket on a mission to provide global weather data.
Astronauts Ken Mattingly and Henry Hartsfield conduct the fourth and final manned orbital test of the space shuttle, taking Columbia on a mission that ended July 4. During their time in orbit the two-man crew carried the first operational Getaway Special payloads, an experiment for Utah State University and a military payload dubbed DoD 82-1.
Soyuz T-9, with cosmonauts Vladimir Lyakov and AlexandrAlexandrov aboard is launched from Baikonur to the Salyut 7 space station.
C, Comsat’s third communications satellite, is launched aboard an Atlas Centaur.
The U.S. House of Representatives rejects an amendment to cancel the space station program by a margin of 278 to 155 – the largest show of support for the embattled program since the House began debating it annually in 1991.
Proponents of the space station program credit NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and Vice President Al Gore with effective lobbying to preserve the program. Gore was credited with making several behind-the-scenes deals with longstanding space station opponents. The addition of Russia as a participant in the program – something Gore helped orchestrate – also is credited with swinging some votes.
An object entering Earth’s atmosphere levels 2,000 square kilometers of trees in the isolated Tunguska area of Russian Siberia. Scientists now believe the damage was caused by a small meteor 50 to 75 meters in diameter that exploded in midair. Astronomers now believe Tunguska-like events probably occur every 100 years or so.
NASA successfully tests an Atlas-Centaur in a sub
GE Americom communications announces plans to buy rival satcom services supplier GTE Spacenet in a deal valued between $200 million and $300 million.