This Week In Space History

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  Space News Business

This Week In Space History

posted: 10 March 2008
10:13 am ET



March 3


1969:

NASA launches Apollo 9 on a Saturn 5 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This first crewed test flight of the lunar module carried
astronauts James McDivitt, David Scott and Russell “Rusty” Schweickart on board.


March 5


1968:

NASA’s Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 5 satellite launches on an Atlas-Agena D rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The satellite conducted a variety of Earth science studies.


1978:

A Delta rocket launches
 NASA’s
Landsat 3, a near-polar-orbiting environmental satellite, from Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Calif
.


1999:

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WIRE) launches on a Pegasus-XL rocket.
The Pegasus-XL was released from a modified L-1011 aircraft flying from Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Calif
.


March 6


1986:

Vega 1 performs a flyby of Halley’s Comet. Its sister spacecraft, Vega 2, performed a flyby of Halley’s Comet
 March 9.



1989:

An Ariane 4 rocket launches
Japan Satellite System’s first Japanese Commercial Communications satellite and Europe’s Meteosat Operational Programme 1 meteorological satellite from Kourou, French Guiana.


March 8


2001:

An Ariane 5 rocket launches Eutelsat‘s Eurobird direct-to-home television satellite and Japan’s
BSAT-2a communications satellite from Kourou, French Guiana
.


2007:

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lofts six military research satellites and four other small spacecraft into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The payload included
 DARPA’s Astro and NextSat satellites, which later performed automated docking experiments.


March 9


1961:

Sputnik 9 launches on a modified SS-6 rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying aboard a dog named Chernushka and a dummy cosmonaut.


1965:

A Thor Agena D rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The launch was the first to carry eight satellites on a single vehicle, including seven for the U.S. military.