Talk about important space anniversaries for Q3 of 2022, these aren’t every anniversary, but a look at some major events and a quick look at why they are important. These events can be sorted into birth anniversaries, firsts, launches, and some unique aspects, which will be presented in chronological order by month.
65 Years Ago – 1957 July 1: The beginning of the International Geophysical Year.
60 Years Ago – 1962 July 1: NASA officially opened the Launch Operations Center at Cape Canaveral, later to be named the Kennedy Space Center.
60 Years Ago – 1962 July 10: Telstar 1 launched by Delta, Cape Canaveral, Fla., 4:35 a.m., EDT. Sends first live TV broadcast between the U.S. and Europe. First privately built satellite for communications.
50 Years Ago – 1972 July 22: Venera 8 Venus Landing.
50 Years Ago – 1972 July 23: Landsat 1, formerly ERTS 1, launched by Delta, Cape Canaveral, Fla., 2:06 p.m., EDT. First demonstration of global remote-sensing of Earth’s surface.
40 Years Ago – 1982 July 4: STS-4 landed at EAFB, CA., 12:09 pm., EDT
10 Years Ago – 2012 July 11: High Resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C), a sub-orbital telescope designed to take high-resolution images of the Sun’s corona launched by a Black Brant sounding rocket from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The images taken during the ten minute long mission were the highest resolution photos ever of the Sun’s corona.
15 Years Ago – 2007 July 20: Johnson Space Center hosted the grand opening of a restored Saturn V rocket, 38 years to the day after humans first walked on the moon. The 30 story tall rocket, which rests at the JSC front gate, is part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection and one of only three such rockets in existence.
30 Yards Ago – 1992 July 31: STS-46 (Space Shuttle Atlantis) launched 9:56 a.m.
60 Years Ago – 1962 August 27: Mariner 2 launched by Atlas Agena, Cape Canaveral, Fla., 2:53 a.m., EDT. First successful planetary flyby – Passed Venus December 14, 1962. Spacecraft subsequently entered solar orbit.
60 Years Ago – 1962 August 31: Communications Satellite Act signed by President Kennedy, Washington, DC
25 Years Ago – 1997 August 7: STS-85 (Space Shuttle Discovery) launched 10:41 a.m. EDT
20 Years Ago – 2002 August 12: Frederick D. Gregory was sworn in as the first African-American Deputy Administrator of NASA that evening in a small private ceremony on the 9th floor of NASA Headquarters.
15 Years Ago – 2007 August 4: Phoenix Mars Lander was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 5:36 EDT, carrying science instruments to analyze soil samples of the Martian northern polar region. It will dig into an icy layer just below the surface to determine if the subsurface environment in the far northern plains of Mars has ever been favorable for sustaining microbial life. It will also monitor the polar weather. Phoenix landed successfully on Mars at 7:53 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 25, 2008.
15 Years Ago – 2007 August 8: STS-118 (Space Shuttle Endeavour) launched 6:36 p.m. EDT, KSC
10 Years Ago – 2012 August 5: The Mars Science Laboratory carrying the Curiosity rover touched down on Mars at Gale Crater.
10 Years Ago – 2012 August 25: Neil Armstrong dies at age 82.
60 Years Ago – 1962 September 12: President John F. Kennedy’s address at Rice University on the nation’s space effort. In this well-known speech, Kennedy stated that we explore space not because it is easy but because it is difficult
45 Years Ago – 1977 September 5: Voyager 1 launched at 8:56 a.m., EDT from Cape Canaveral on a Titan IIIE-Centaur launch vehicle.
30 Years Ago – 1992 September 12: STS-47 (Space Shuttle Endeavour) lifted off, 10:23 a.m., EDT, KSC
25 Years Ago – 1997 September 25: STS-86 (Space Shuttle Atlantis) launched from KSC at 10:34 p.m. EDT. C
5 Years Ago – 2017 September 15: Cassini spacecraft plunged into the atmosphere of Saturn, ending its 13-year tour of the ringed planet.