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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Space Travel Anniversaries - July and August

4th July 1998 – Japan launches the Nozomi probe to Mars, and thus joins the United States and Russia as a space exploring nation.

8th July 2011 – Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program.

10th July 1962 – Telstar, the world's first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.

14th July 2000 – A powerful solar flare, later named the Bastille Day event, causes a geomagnetic storm on Earth.

1965 – The Mariner 4 flyby of Mars takes the first close-up photos of another planet.

15th July 1975 – Space Race: Apollo–Soyuz Test Project features the dual launch of an Apollo spacecraft and a Soyuz spacecraft on the first joint Soviet-United States human-crewed flight. It was both the last launch of an Apollo spacecraft, and the Saturn family of rockets.

16th July 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first manned space mission to land on the Moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

17th July 1975 – Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.

18th July 1966 – Human spaceflight: Gemini 10 is launched from Cape Kennedy on a 70-hour mission that includes docking with an orbiting Agena target vehicle.

19th July 1963 – Joe Walker flies a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 metres (347,800 feet) on X-15 Flight 90. Exceeding an altitude of 100 km, this flight qualifies as a human spaceflight under international convention.

20th July 1969 – Apollo Program: Apollo 11 successfully makes the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon almost 7 hours later. (US Time)

1976 – The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.

21st July 1961 – Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission – Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 becomes the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).

1969 – Space Race: Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission (July 20 in North America).

2011 – NASA's Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135.

22nd July 1951 – Dezik (Дезик) and Tsygan (Цыган, "Gypsy") are the first dogs to make a sub-orbital flight.

24th July 1950 – Cape Canaveral Air Force Station begins operations with the launch of a Bumper rocket.

1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11 splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
25thn July 1973 – Soviet Mars 5 space probe launched.

1984 – Salyut 7 cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to perform a space walk.
26th July 1971 – Apollo Program: launch of Apollo 15 on the first Apollo "J-Mission", and first use of a Lunar Roving Vehicle.
27th July 1949 – Initial flight of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner.

29th July 1958 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

30th July 1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 15 Mission – David Scott and James Irwin on the Apollo Lunar Module module Falcon land on the Moon with the first Lunar Rover.

31st July 1971Apollo program: Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.
1999 – Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector – NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.

5th Aug 1963 – The United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union sign a nuclear test ban treaty.

6th Aug 1996 – NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms.

7th Aug 1959 – Explorer program: Explorer 6 launches from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

10th Aug 1990 – The Magellan space probe reaches Venus.

12th Aug 1960 – Echo 1A, NASA's first successful communications satellite, is launched.

1977 – The first free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

17th Aug 1958 – Pioneer 0, America's first attempt at lunar orbit, is launched using the first Thor-Able rocket and fails. Notable as one of the first attempted launches beyond Earth orbit by any country.

19th Aug 1960 – Sputnik program: Sputnik 5 – the Soviet Union launches the satellite with the dogs Belka and Strelka, 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants.
20th Aug 1975 – Viking Program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
1977 – Voyager Program: NASA launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.

23rd Aug 1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.

25th Aug 1981 – Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn

27th Aug 1962 – The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA.

29th A|ug 1965 – The Gemini V spacecraft returns to Earth, landing in the Atlantic ocean.

30th Aug 1984 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage.

  I will, over time, do the full year and link them up. These have been taken from wikipedia. The wiki entries average 17 anniversaries of events since 1960 each day.  Since I have excluded a few minor entries that means that about 4.3% of all the important human events since 1960 involve space travel. I estimate that the total cost of this (the vast majority of which goes, in NASA, to bureacracy not achievement) cannot have been more than 0.05% of humanity's GDP over the time.

   Wiki is written by the public in a relatively random manner (excluding deeply political subjects like catastrophic warming). This is about as good a snapshot of human opinion as you are going to get and suggests populatr interest greatly exceeds the interest of the political classes.

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