Sept. 24


The first Minuteman 2 ICBM, built by Boeing, launches from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Sept. 25


The Space Shuttle Atlantis, S

TS-86, launches from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

During the mission, Atlantis

docks with the Soviet Union’s Mir space station, allowing U.S.

astronaut David Wolf

to replace

fellow astronaut Michael Foale

aboard the station.

Sept. 26


Soviet cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov avert

a launch pad explosion as their Soyuz T-10A sits atop an A-2 rocket.

Just before the A-2 rocket explodes, Titov and Strekalov escape by activating the escape rocket on their Soyuz T-10A.

Sept. 27


After being released from a B-50 bomber, the

X-2 rocket plane, a joint project of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, U.S. Air Force and Bell Aircraft Corp., reaches a then record-breaking speed of Mach 3.2. The flight, however, ended tragically with the destruction of the plane and the death of the pilot, Air Force

Capt. Milburn “Mel” Apt



Three Disaster Monitoring Constellation

satellites launch aboard a Russian Cosmos-3M rocket. Bilsat 1, NigeriaSat 1 and BNSCSat 1 were built for Turkey, Nigeria and the United Kingdom, respectively

, by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. of Guildford, England.

Sept. 29


U.S. Army Ordinance

awards the Redstone rocket contract to Chrysler Corp. A later version of the Redstone rocket would serve as the first launch vehicle for NASA’s Mercury orbiter.


The U.S. Air Force awards contracts to Boeing Co., Radio Corp. of America and Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co. for the development of the X-20 Dyna-Soar. Although a complete Dyna-Soar never was built, the planned experimental orbital glider led to the development of many hypersonic and NASA technologies, including the space shuttle.


The Soviet Union’s Salyut 6 reaches orbit. It is the first space station equipped with docking stations on either end, which allow for two vehicles to dock at once, including the Progress supply ship.


The Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-26, launches from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., becoming the first shuttle to return to flight after the Challenger exploded 975 days earlier.

Sept. 30


North American Aviation receives the contract to develop the X-15, a hypersonic plane sponsored by NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.


The Space Shuttle Endeavour

launches the STS-68 mission with Space Radar Laboratory-2 on board.