This Week in Space History

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  Space News Business

This Week in Space History

posted: 17 July 2008
12:30 pm ET






July 14

1914: rocket pioneer Robert Goddard is awarded a patent for his liquid-fueled rocket.

1965: NASA’s Mariner 4 performs the first flyby of Mars. The spacecraft, launched , on an Atlas-Agena rocket from Cape Canaveral, , captured the first upclose photographs of the red planet.

1978: The European Space Agency’s ESA-GEOS 2, which NASA called the first solely science-dedicated geostationary-orbiting spacecraft, launches on a Delta rocket from ,

July 16

1965: The launches the first Proton rocket from BaikonurCosmodrome. The Proton lofted a science satellite, called Proton 1, to study extremely high-energy cosmic particles.

July 17

1917: The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, NASA’s predecessor, begins building its first research laboratory, the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory in

July 18

1966: NASA’s Gemini 10 launches from , on a Titan 2 rocket. During the mission astronauts John Young and Michael Collins successfully docked with the Gemini Agena target vehicle, which launched the same day from

1980: lofts the Rohini 1-B on a Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 rocket from Sriharikota Space Centre, becoming�� the seventh nation to launch a satellite using its own facilities.

1984: Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to perform a spacewalk. She executed the maneuver outside her Soyuz T-12, which launched from the BaikonurCosmodrome July 17.

1998: successfully launches its Sinosat-1 communications satellite on a Long March 3B rocket from the

July 20

1959: NASA awards Western Electric Co. a contract to build a global network of tracking and ground stations for the Project Mercury missions.

1976: NASA’s Viking 1 lander makes the first successful soft-landing on Mars. The Viking lander and orbiter launched together Aug. 20, 1975, on a Titan 3E- Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral,

1999: NASA’s Mercury Liberty Bell 7 is retrieved from the bottom of the coast. The capsule sank , after returning astronaut Gus Grissom from a suborbital mission.