This Week In Space History

by












  Space News Business

This Week In Space History

posted: 16 November 2007
02:31 pm ET











Nov. 12



1965:

The Soviet Union launches its Venera 2 probe from BaikonurCosmodrome, Kazakhstan,




aboard an SS-6 rocket on a planned flyby of Venus.




The probe ceased




functioning before reaching the planet and no data is returned.


1981:

The NASA Space Shuttle Columbia launches from Kennedy Space Center, Fla. On the STS-2 mission, astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly tested the shuttle’s robotic arm. The planned five-day mission returned after only two days due to a




fuel cell failure




.




Nov. 13



1971:

The U.S. Mariner 9, launched in May, becomes the first spacecraft to orbit Mars and provides the first complete map of the red planet’s surface.


2006:

Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, tests an unpiloted version of its New Shepard suborbital passenger-carrying vehicle




. The vehicle, dubbed Goddard, successfully performed a vertical take-off and landing from Blue Origin’s private West Texas launch site.




Nov. 14



1969:

Apollo 12 launches aboard a Saturn 5 rocket from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Charles Conrad, Richard Gordon




and Alan Bean. The mission marks




the second successful Moon landing and return to Earth.




Nov. 16



1965:

The Soviet Union’s Venera 3 launches on a journey to Venus on an SS-6 rocket from BaikonurCosmodrome, Kazakhstan




. During the planned landing attempt, the lander accidentally crashes into the planet’s surface and fails to return data. However, it becomes the first man-made object to hit the surface of another planet.




Nov. 17



1961:

NASA selects Chrysler Corp.




to develop and launch 20 1st-stage Saturn 1 rocket boosters




under a $200 million five-year contract.




Nov. 18



1989:

NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer launches for Earth orbit




aboard a Delta rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The space telescope detected infrared and microwave background radiation from the beginning of the universe.