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Category Archives: Space History

On This Day, In 1968…

The Northrop M2-F2 lifting body aircraft crash landed in what has, perhaps, become the most watched aircraft disaster thanks to the TV show The Six Million Dollar Man. But Amy Shira Teitel can tell the story much better than I can: Here’s the famous introduction:

On This Day, In 1960

First production model of Project Mercury spacecraft was successfully launched from NASA Wallops Station to test escape, landing, and recovery systems. Known as the “beach abort” shot, the Mercury capsule reached 775 m before parachute landing and pickup by Marine helicopter returned it to Wallops’ hangar 17 minutes after launch.

On This Day, In 1989

After waking up to the Beetle’s A Hard Day’s Night, the STS-30 crew landed the shuttle Atlantis at Edwards AFB in California. Minutes before landing, the runway had to be switched from 17 to 22 due to high crosswinds. The mission lasted a total of 4 days and 56 minutes. The mission included launching the […]

On This Day, In 1959

The US Air Force Aircraft Research and Design Center (ARDC) headquarters issued System Requirement 201, declaring the purpose of the Dyna-Soar vehicle was to determine the military potential of a boost-glide weapon system and provide research data on flight characteristics up to and including global flight. The Air Force disagreed with the position of the […]

On This Date, In 1968

Lunar landing research vehicle (LLRV) No. 1 crashed at Ellington Air Force Base, Tex. The pilot, astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, ejected after losing control of the vehicle, landing by parachute with minor injury (he bit his tongue hard enough to make it bleed). Estimated altitude of the LLRV at the time of ejection was 60 […]

On This Day, in 1961

On this day, in 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., made the first United States manned space flight in a Mercury spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral atop the Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) vehicle. “Freedom 7” completed the suborbital, ballistic flight without incident in this historical first mission of NASA’s Project Mercury.