July 7

1914: rocket pioneer Robert Goddard acquires a patent for the multistage rocket.

1972: NASA awards North American Rockwell a $2.6 billion contract to build the space shuttle.

July 8

1976: ‘s first communications satellite, the Boeing-built Palapa A1, launches on a Delta rocket from ,

2001: The Mars Exploration Rover-B, which was later named Cape Canaveral, , aboard a Delta 2 rocket.

July 10

2005: launches the Suzaku X-ray space observatory, initially called Astro-E2, from on an M-5 rocket.

July 11

1960: NASA selects four companies – North American, Hughes, McDonnell and Space Technology Laboratory – to study designs for spacecraft capable of performing soft- landings on the Moon.

1979: Due to atmospheric expansion from unexpectedly high solar activity, NASA’s Skylab space station re-enters Earth’s atmosphere, crashing into the and a sparsely inhabited region of

1990: Gamma, the Soviet-French science spacecraft, launches from BaikonurCosmodrome on a modified Soyuz to study gamma and X-ray energy.

July 12

1988: The launches the Phobos 2 Mars orbiter on a Proton rocket from BaikonurCosmodrome. Two months after reaching orbit, contact was lost due to a computer failure.

July 13

1969: The launches Luna 15 on a Proton rocket from BaikonurCosmodrome to extract and return lunar soil samples. The spacecraft failed during descent and crashed onto the Moon’s surface.