Aug. 20


The first Redstone missile, which later became the launch system for several missions in NASA’s Mercury program, is test fired. The rocket missed its target by 240 kilometers.


Viking 1

, the first successful martianlander, launches aboard a Titan 3 rocket


Aug. 21


Gemini 5 launches astronauts Pete Conrad and Leroy Cooper for an eight-day mission in

Earth orbit on a Titan 2 rocket.


Echostar 8, a geostationary telecommunications satellite for the satellite-broadcasting company Echostar, launches from BaikonurCosmodrome aboard a Russian Proton rocket.


Koreasat 5, a dual-use telecommunications satellite, launches from Kiritmati aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket.

Aug. 22


While on the launch pad at Alcntra, in Brazil, the third prototype for the VLS-1 launch vehicle explodes

when its fuel ignited too soon, killing 21 people and severely damaging the launch facility.

Aug. 25


NASA launches the Spitzer Space Telescope from a Delta rocket.

Aug. 27


Mariner 2 launches on an Atlas rocket for Venus. The probe beco

mes the first to successfully perform an interplanetary flyby

as it passes

by Venus on Dec. 14, 1962.


Symphonie 2, a telecommunications satellite owned jointly by France and West Germany

launches aboard a Delta 2 rocket.

Aug 29


Japan successfully launches its two-stage H-2A rocket, which has become its workhorse launch system.