Category Archives: space exploration

America’s first attempt to launch a satellite fails 60 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Dec 6 1957)


Video: 'Vanguard TV3 Rocket Launch Explosion'

(Friday, December 6, 1957, 16:44:34 UTC; during the Cold War) — America’s first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit around the Earth failed today as Vanguard TV3 rose about four feet off a Cape Canaveral, Florida, launch pad before crashing down and exploding. Continue reading America’s first attempt to launch a satellite fails 60 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Dec 6 1957)

Saturn V rocket carrying unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasts off 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Nov 9 1967)


Video: ‘Launch of Apollo 4 first Saturn V as seen LIVE on CBS w/ Walter Cronkite’

(Thursday, November 9, 1967, 12:00:01 UTC) — A Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy today in a successful test of the vehicles that would someday take men to the moon. Continue reading Saturn V rocket carrying unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasts off 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Nov 9 1967)

Soviets launch Sputnik 2, sacrifice dog 60 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Nov 3 1957)


Video: 'Laika The Dog & What Happened To Her'

(Saturday, November 3, 1957; 02:30:00 UTC) — The Soviet Union today launched Sputnik 2, the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit and the first to carry a living animal, a Soviet space dog named Laika, who died a few hours after the launch. Continue reading Soviets launch Sputnik 2, sacrifice dog 60 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Nov 3 1957)

Outer Space Treaty enters into force 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Oct 10 1967)


Video: 'The President: October 1967. MP889.' (Oct. 10, 1967, at 12:25)

(Tuesday, October 10, 1967, 11:25 a.m. EDT; during the Cold War) — The Outer Space Treaty, prohibiting the placing of weapons of mass destruction on the moon or elsewhere in space, took effect today at a ratification ceremony held at the East Room of the White House. Continue reading Outer Space Treaty enters into force 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Oct 10 1967)

‘Space Age’ begins as Soviets launch Sputnik 1 60 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Oct 4 1957)


Video: '1957 - First Satellite in Space (Sputnik)'

(Friday, October 4, 1957; 19:28:34 UTC) — The Soviet Union today (Oct. 5, 1957, at the launch site) launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit from Baikonur Cosmodrome, a spaceport located in southern Kazakhstan, inaugurating the Space Age. Continue reading ‘Space Age’ begins as Soviets launch Sputnik 1 60 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Oct 4 1957)

Voyager heads toward outer planets 40 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Aug 20 1977)


Video: 'Voyager 2 Spacecraft Reaches 35 Years Old'

(Saturday, August 20, 1977, 14:29:00 UTC)Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft built to study the outer planets, was launched today at Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature. Continue reading Voyager heads toward outer planets 40 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Aug 20 1977)

First free flight of space shuttle Enterprise 40 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Aug 12 1977)


Video: 'Space Shuttle Enterprise - Free flight Test - ABC News - 8/12/1977'

(Friday, August 12, 1977, 8:48 a.m. PDT) — The space shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test today by taking off atop a Boeing 747, separating and then making a smooth glide landing on a dry lake bed in California’s Mojave Desert. Continue reading First free flight of space shuttle Enterprise 40 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Aug 12 1977)

Mariner 5 flies accurate path toward cloud-covered Venus 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Jun 14 1967)


Video: 'Launch of Mariner 5 Spacecraft to Explore Venus'

(Wednesday, June 14, 1967, 06:01:00 UTC) — The space probe Mariner 5 was launched this morning from Cape Kennedy, Florida, on a flight that would take it past Venus. Continue reading Mariner 5 flies accurate path toward cloud-covered Venus 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Jun 14 1967)

Space Shuttle prototype tested over California desert 40 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Feb 18 1977)


Video: 'Space Shuttle Enterprise Flight Test'

(Friday, February 18, 1977, 8:30 a.m. PST) — The space shuttle prototype Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its debut “flight” today over the Mojave Desert near Edwards Air Force Base in California. Continue reading Space Shuttle prototype tested over California desert 40 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Feb 18 1977)

Three Apollo astronauts die in fire during test 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Jan 27 1967)


Video: 'Apollo 1 tragedy: From the Archives'

(Friday, January 27, 1967, 6:31:04.2 p.m. EST/23:31:04.2 GMT) — The three-man crew of astronauts for the Apollo 1 mission were killed tonight at Cape Kennedy, Florida, in a flash fire during a test aboard the huge spacecraft designed to take man to the moon. Continue reading Three Apollo astronauts die in fire during test 50 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Jan 27 1967)