This Week In Space History

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  Space News Business

This Week In Space History

posted: 27 December 2007
02:43 pm ET











Dec. 3





1965:

The Soviet Union launches Luna 8 to the Moon from BaikonurCosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The attempted soft landing fails, however, and the lander crashes onto the Moon’s surface.






Dec. 4





1965:

Edward White and Michael Collins launch in the Gemini 7 capsule atop a Titan rocket from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on a 14-day mission. The primary mission was to evaluate the effect of such a prolonged period in Earth orbit.




1998:

NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour




launches




from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., carrying the STS-88 mission and the Unity module, which is used to begin assembly of the international space station.






Dec. 6





1957:

In response to the successful Soviet Sputnik satellite, the United States attempts to launch a




Vanguard TV-3 satellite. However, the attempt fails when the




grapefruit-sized satellite explodes at launch




.




1958:

Pioneer 3 launches from the Atlantic Missile Range at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a Juno 2 rocket. Although it failed to reach lunar orbit,




the spacecraft helped elucidate the outer band of radiation surrounding the Earth, now




known as the Van Allen




Belt
.






Dec. 7





2001:

A Delta 2 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carrying two payloads: Jason 1, an oceanographic satellite by the French space agency, CNES, and NASA;




and




NASA’s Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics and Dynamics, or




TIMED,




satellite.






Dec. 8





2006:

Arianespace launches the WildBlue Communications’ WildBlue-1 and SES Americom’s AMC-18, both telecommunications satellites, from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket.