Rodolfo Neri Vela becomes the first Mexican citizen to reach
space during the STS-61B mission. Launched aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis
from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the
released three communications satellites during their seven-day mission.
NASA launches the Mariner 4 probe to Mars from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., aboard an Atlas Agena rocket. The probe performed the first successful flyby of the red planet.
The Space Shuttle Columbia launches from Kennedy Space, Center, Fla., carrying the first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, Ulf Merbold of Germany. The STS-9 mission released the ESA-NASA
Spacelab-1 orbital laboratory
NASA launches the
from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying Enos, a chimpanzee, into orbit for nearly 90 minutes. The capsule was recovered successfully with Enos in excellent condition.
Australia launches its first satellite, Wresat 1, from Woomera, Australia, on a Sparta rocket – a modified U.S. Redstone
rocket. The 45-kilogram satellite
was built by the Australian Weapons Research Establishment.
Japan launches a pair of reconnaissance satellites for its Information Gathering Satellites program from Tanegashima Launch Center. Both were
destroyed by the control team when the H-2a rocket carrying them failed
The Soviet Union launches the Sputnik 6 – also known as Korabl Sputnik 3 – spacecraft from BaikonurCosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on an SS-6 rocket. Carrying two dogs, Pchelka and Mushka, the 90-minute mission
to study the effects of space on organisms.
The mission failed when the cabin burned up on re-entry,
killing the dogs
The U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavourlaunches from Kennedy Space Center, Fla. STS-61 performs a servicing mission on the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory launches on an Atlas 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. The joint NASA-
European Space Agency mission was designed to study the sun.