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the 60ths

timeline of the space exploration
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1957 - First Earth orbiter, Soviet Sputnik 1, 370 mile high orbit, 184-lb.
- October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union stunned the world by placing the first satellite, Sputnik, into space. The Russian spacecraft orbited around the earth in great, amorphous loops. Americans reacted to the Russian Sputnik with amazement and awe.  Many doubted that it was really in space, some top minds reported it as unimportant and useless. Some saw it as an object to blown out of the sky, in truth it was nothing more than a dummy space ship.
- Sputnik 2 was launched on November 3 with the dog, Laika, the first animal in space
- Unsuccessful Vanguard firing in the USA
1958 - First successful American satellite: USAF 31-lb Explorer First successful Vanguard launching
- Discovery of the Van Allen Zone Tests with Pioneer rockets (pre- lunar probes)
- US Congress Space Act Established - NASA (National Aeronautical Space Agency)
1959 - Russians launch Luna 1 (first probe to go near the Moon)
- 358-lb. Soviet Luna 2 made first crash-landing on the Moon
- Far side of the Moon photographed with the probe 614 - lb. Soviet Luna 3
1960      - First television weather satellite Tiros 1
- First communications satellite 124-lb. Echo 1
- Two dogs (Strelka and Belka) in Sputnik 5 became the first animals to be successfully returned to Earth in August
1961 - First Venus probe launched by the Russians Venera 1, but contact soon lost
- First manned space-flight by Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin for 60 min in Vostok 1, USSR
- Gherman Titov spends more than a day in space (25 hours) in the second Vostok manned flight in August
- First   manned American space-flight by astronaut Shepard, sub-orbital
1962 - First American orbital flight by NASA, John Glenn for 5-hrs in Mercury 6
- First British-built satellite (Ariel) launched from the USA
- NASA 730 - lb. Ranger 4 got TV close-up pictures of the Moon
- Transatlantic television programs relayed by the 171 - lb. Telstar satellite
- First active geodetic satellite (Anna 1 B)
- Russians launch the first Mars probe, but contact lost
- Venus probe Mariner 2 sends back close-range information about Venus
1963 - First maneuverable satellite (Polyot 1, USSR)
- NASA 80 - lb. Syncom II, geosynchronous communications satellite
- Two spacecraft in orbit at the same time (Nikolayev and Popovich, USSR)
- First space-woman (Valentina Tereshkova-Nikolayeva, USSR)
- September 1, the first operational A-4, named the V2, is launched against London, the first of over a thousand to be launched
- Arthur C Clarke proposes the concept of the geo-stationary orbit for global , communications in an article in the October issue of Wireless World
- On 5 May, Peenemunde is captured by the Red Army but most facilities have ready been destroyed by the personnel on Braun and Dornberger. Objects were relocated to White Sands Proving Ground 1, New Mexico under 'Operation paperclip'
  When the war was over, a team of one hundred twenty German rocket scientists, headed by Dr Wernher von Braun, was brought to the United States under a project code-named Operation Paperclip.  Three-hundred train carloads of V-2's were dismantled and shipped to America for test launching.  In 1949, a V-2 rocket with solid upper stages launched a payload to the unprecedented altitude of 250 miles. At its apex of flight it had no velocity and fell back to earth
1964 - ESRO established in Europe with 10 member nations
- Close-range photographs of the Moon obtained from 806-lb Ranger 7 before impact (USA)
- NASA 830-lb Nimbus 1 in polar orbit got complete world cloud cover each day
- NASA 575-lb Mariner 4  got TV pictures of Mars on 6100-mi fly-by
- First three-crew space-craft in Voskhod 1, USSR
1965 - First 'space-walk' by Cosmonaut Leonov, USSR
- First American 'space-walk' by astronaut White
- NASA launched first commercial communications satellite, 87-lb Intelsat 1, in geosynchronous orbit over 27' W longitude
- First cosmic-ray measurements outside the atmosphere by Soviet 25,000-lb Proton 1 I
- First impact on Venus' surface by Soviet 2ioo-11)Venera 3-
- Close-range photographs of Mars obtained from Mariner 4 (USA)
- Improved photographs of the Moon's far side obtained from Zond 3 (USSR)
- Successful space-docking operation (Gemini 6 and 7, USA)
1966 - First soft landing on the Moon, by Luna 9 (USSR)
- Russian probe Venus 3 lands on Venus, though contact had been lost
- First circum-lunar probe, 3600-lb Lunar 10 (USSR)
- First American soft-landing on the Moon (Surveyor 1) Improved close-range photographs of the Moon from  846-lb Orbiter 1 NASA
1967  - Disaster at Cape Kennedy, resulting in the deaths of three astronauts
- Death of Colonel Komarov in Soyuz 1 due to parachute failure
- First soft-landing on Venus by  (USSR)
- First chemical analysis of lunar soil by NASA 619-lb Surveyor 5
1968 - Testing of the American Saturn 5 rocket (Project Apollo)
- First recovery of circum-lunar probe, Zond 5 which had animals aboard, (USSR)
- First manned Apollo flight: Apollo 7 (Schirra, Cunningham, Eisele)
- First flight round the Moon: Apollo 8 (Borman, Lovell, Anders)
- NASA OAO 2 orbiting astronomical observatory (4436-lb)
1969 - First Russian manned docking maneuver (Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5)
- First space testing of the Lunar Module: Apollo 9 (McDivitt, Scott, Schweickart)
- Further soft-landings of unmanned probes on Venus: Venus 5 and Venus 6 (USSR)(Stafford, Cernan, Young)
- July 21 First men on the moon in Apollo 11 (Armstrong and Aldrin: Collins in orbit) returning 48-lbs of lunar samples from Mare Tranquillitatis
- Further probes sent past Mars: Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 (USA)

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