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23-Jun-2017 06:52

Whitson, and NASA's second female shuttle commander Pamela Melroy, will command a joint space station construction mission in late October. 4, 2007: The Space Age turns 50, five decades after the historic launch of Sputnik 1.

On this date, Soviets and Americans accomplished the first joint space docking between two nations in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

May 4, 1989: The Space Shuttle Atlantis launches the Magellan space probe to use radar to map the surface of Venus. 18, 1989: Shuttle Atlantis launches with Jupiter-bound Galileo space probe on board. Galileo spacecraft, on its way to Jupiter, successfully encounters the asteroid Gaspra, obtaining images and other data during its flyby. June 21, 1993: Shuttle Endeavour launches carrying Spacehab, a privately owned laboratory that sits in the shuttle cargo bay. 2, 1993: Endeavour launches on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. 17, 1993: Direc TV launches its first satellite, Direc TV 1, aboard an Ariane 4 rocket. 7, 1994: The first Milstar secure communications satellite launches. July 13, 1995: Galileo releases its space probe, which is bound for Jupiter and its moons. 7, 1996: NASA and Stanford University researchers announce a paper contending that a 4-billion-year-old Martian meteorite, called ALH 84001, found in Antarctica in 1984, contains fossilized traces of carbonate materials that suggest primitive life might once have existed on Mars. May 5, 1997: Satellite mobile phone company Iridium launches its first five satellites on a Delta 2 rocket. July 23, 1999: The Chandra X-ray observatory, NASA's flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, launches aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. 13, 1999: Iridium files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after being unable to pay its creditors. March 23, 2001: After being mothballed in 1999, Mir descends into the Earth's atmosphere and breaks up over the Pacific Ocean. The company emerged from bankruptcy April 14, 2004. 1, 2003: The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates as it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere, killing the crew. July 26, 2005: Discovery becomes the first shuttle to launch since the Columbia disaster more than two years before.

June 15, 1988: Pan Am Sat launches its first satellite, Pan Am Sat 1, on an Ariane 4 rocket, giving Intelsat its first taste of competition. 19, 1988: Israel launches its first satellite, the Ofeq 1 reconnaissance probe, aboard an Israeli Shavit rocket. 15, 1988: The Soviet Union launches its Buran space shuttle on its only flight, an unpiloted test. Cosmic Background Explorer spacecraft detects the first evidence of structure in the residual radiation left over from the Big Bang that created the Universe. 28, 1992: Lockheed and Khrunichev Enterprise announce plans to form Lockheed-Khrunichev-Energia International, a new company to market Proton rockets. The payload had an estimated value of about 0 million. 20, 1998: Russia's Zarya control module, the first segment of the International Space Station, launches into space and unfurls its solar arrays. launches a demonstration satellite, successfully completing its first launch. March 18, 2001: After launch delays with XM-1, XM Satellite Radio's XM-2 satellite becomes the company's first satellite in orbit when it is launched by Sea Launch Co. entrepreneur Dennis Tito returns to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to become the world's first paying tourist to visit the International Space Station. 29, 2001: Japan's workhorse launch system, the two-stage H-2A rocket, launches for the first time. 15, 2002: After having trouble selling its satellite mobile phone service, Globalstar voluntarily files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from escalating creditor debt. Bush advocates space exploration missions to the moon and Mars for NASA in his Vision for Space Exploration speech. 20, 2004: India launches its three-stage Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle for the first time. 4, 2004: Scaled Composites' Space Ship One piloted craft wins the X Prize by flying over 100 kilometers above Earth twice within two weeks.

It marked the cooling of a long era of tense relations between the two world superpowers.

Russian Soyuz and American Apollo flights launched within seven-and-a-half hours of each other on July 15, and docked on July 17. Leonov make their historic handshake in space on July 17, 1975 during the joint U.

The shuttle crew includes teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan, NASA's first educator spaceflyer, who originally served backup for the first Teacher-in-Space Christa Mc Auliffe who was lost with six crewmates during the 1986 Challenger accident. 27, 2007: Dawn, the first ion-powered probe to visit two celestial bodies in one go, launches on an eight-year mission to the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, the two largest space rocks in the solar system. 1, 2007: NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, prepares for an Oct.

10 launch with her Expedition 16 crewmate Yuri Malenchenko and Malaysia's first astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.The mission also featured the first live TV broadcast of humans in space. 21, 1968: Apollo 8 launches on a Saturn V and becomes the first manned mission to orbit the moon. 16, 1969: Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 rendezvous and dock and perform the first in-orbit crew transfer. During the mission, tests of the lunar module are conducted in Earth orbit. April 13, 1970: An explosion ruptures thecommand module of Apollo 13, days after launch and within reach of the moon.