This Week In Space History

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  Space News Business

This Week In Space History

posted: 18 August 2008
03:04 pm ET





Aug. 11


1877:

U.S. astronomer Asaph Hall discovers Mars’ moon Deimos. Six days later, he discovered Mars’ other moon, Phobos.


2005:

Thailand’s Ipstar communications satellite launches on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

Aug. 12


1946:

U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs Public Law 722 to establish the National Air Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum was renamed the National Air and Space Museum in 1966.


1960:

NASA’s balloon-like Echo 1, the first passive communications satellite according to the U.S. space agency, launches on a Thor-Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla.


1977:

NASA’s High-Energy Astronomy Observatory 1, the first of three satellites designed to study gamma and X-rays, launches on an Atlas-Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

2005: NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launches on an Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to study Mars’ climate and terrain.

Aug. 13


1959:

The Discoverer 5 satellite, a joint effort of the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, launches on a Thor-Agena rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The satellite tested operational parameters including an unsuccessful attempt to recover the spacecraft’s re-entry capsule.


2003:

Canada’s Scisat 1 atmospheric research satellite is launched by a Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Aug. 15


1958:

The U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency authorizes the Army Ballistic Missile Agency to begin development on what became the Saturn rocket.

Aug. 16


1955:

In the first successful execution of the Rockair technique, a team from the Office of Naval Research and the University of Maryland launches a Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket from a Navy F2H-2 aircraft to an altitude of about 137 kilometers.

Aug. 17


1933:

The Soviet Union successfully launches its first liquid-fueled rocket.


1970:

The Soviet Union launches Venera 7 to Venus on a modified SS-6 rocket from BaikonurCosmodrome. The lander transmitted data for 23 minutes after landing on the venusian surface, becoming the first man-made object successfully to return data from the surface of another planet, according to NASA.


1996:

Japan’s Advanced Earth Observing Satellite, dubbed Midori, launches on an H-2 rocket from the Tanegashima launch center.