Sept. 17


NASA’s X-15 hypersonic research plane, capable of speeds up to Mach 6.7, makes its first powered flight.

Sept. 18


The Soviet Union’s Zond 5 completes its circumnavigation of the Moon with a payload of various life forms on board. Launched Sept. 15,

it was recovered Sept. 21

from the Indian Ocean.

Sept. 19


Israel launches Ofeq 1, its first remote sensing satellite, aboard an Israeli Shavit rocket.

Sept. 20


The U.S. Air Force Thor Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile successfully launches for the first time from Cape Canaveral, Fla.


The Space Shuttle Endeavour lands at Kennedy Space Center. During its STS-47


the crew delivered the Japanese Spacelab-J, a joint NASA and National Space Development Agency of Japan project that conducted 24 materials sciences and 20 biology microgravity experiments. The mission also marked several firsts: the first African-American woman in space, Mae Jemison; the first Japanese astronaut, Mamoru Mohri; and the first married couple in space, Jan Davis and Mark Lee.


The Indian Space Research Organisation launches Edus

on the premier flight of India’s three-stage Geostationary Space Launch Vehicle. Edusat enables classrooms in different schools and colleges to link together within India


Sept. 21


The Soviet Union’s Luna 16 lifts off from the Moon for its return to Earth after scooping a soil sample,

becoming the first successful automated lunar sample

retrieval mission.

Sept. 22


Hinode launches into polar Earth orbit aboard a Japanese M-V launch vehicle. Also known as Solar-B, the collaboration between the Japanese, European and U.S. space agencies was designed to capture 3-D profiles of solar activity.