1972 in spaceflight

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1972 saw the final flight of the Saturn V rocket and humanity's last moonshot of the 20th century.

Launches[edit]

This is a list of spaceflights launched in 1972.


Launch Date/Time Rocket Launch
Site
Launch Contractor Payload Operator Orbit Mission/
Function
Re-Entry/
Destruction
Outcome Remarks
January 23
00:12 GMT
Atlas SLV-3C Centaur LC-36B, Cape Canaveral Intelsat 4 F-4 Intelsat Geosynchronous Comsat Still in orbit Successful
January 31
17:20 GMT
Thor Delta L SLC-2E, Vandenberg AFB HEOS 2 ESRO High eccentricity LEO/HEO Particle and field research August 2, 1974 Successful Final flight of Thor Delta L
February 14
03:27 GMT
Proton 8K82K LC-81, Baikonur RVSN Luna 20 RVSN Lunar Lunar sample return February 21, 1972 (at Moon) Successful
February 22 Luna 20 ascent stage Luna 20
Apollonius highlands
The Moon
RVSN Luna 20 RVSN Lunar Lunar sample return February 25, 1972 (Earth) Successful
March 3
01:49 GMT
Atlas SLV-3C Centaur LC-36A, Cape Canaveral Pioneer 10 NASA Escape Jupiter flyby N/A Successful First spacecraft to cross asteroid belt
First flyby of Jupiter
First probe to leave Solar System
March 12
01:55 GMT
Thor Delta N SLC-2E, Vandenberg AFB TD-1A ESRO LEO Technology research January 9, 1980 Successful Final flight of Thor Delta N
March 24
08:46 GMT
Thor Burner II SLC-10W, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force DMSP 5B F2 US Air Force LEO Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful
April 16
17:45 GMT
Saturn V LC-39A, Kennedy NASA Apollo 16 CSM "Casper"
3 astronauts
NASA Lunar Manned Lunar orbiter April 27, 1972 Successful Penultimate Moonshot
Apollo 16 Lunar Module "Orion" NASA Lunar Manned Lunar landing April 20, 1972
14:23 GMT
(at Moon)
Successful
Apollo 16 Subsatellite NASA Lunar Study lunar particles May 29, 1972 (at Moon) Partial Failure Deployed on April 24
Placed in wrong orbit, shorter lifespan than planned
April 19
21:43 GMT
Thorad Agena-D SLV-2H SLC-3W, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force KH-4B 1116 US Air Force LEO Surveillance satellite May 12, 1972
April 23
23:26 GMT
Apollo 16 Lunar Module "Orion" ascent stage Apollo 16 Lunar Module "Orion" descent stage
Descartes
The Moon
NASA Apollo 16, 2 astronauts NASA Lunar Return Apollo 16 astronauts to CSM in orbit. Unknown Successful
May 25
18:41 GMT
Thorad Agena-D SLV-2H SLC-3W, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force KH-4B 1117 US Air Force LEO Surveillance satellite June 4, 1972 Successful Final flight of Thorad Agena-D SLV-2H
June 13
21:53 GMT
Atlas SLV-3C Centaur LC-36B, Cape Canaveral Intelsat 4 F-5 Intelsat Geosynchronous Comsat Still in orbit Successful
June 26
14:53 GMT
R-7 11A511 (Soyuz/A-2) LC-1/5, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 496 (Soyuz 7K-T) RVSN LEO Test redesigned Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft July 2, 1972 Successful
July 23
18:41 GMT
Delta 0100 (0900) SLC-2W, Vandenberg AFB Landsat 1 NASA LEO Earth resources satellite Still in orbit Successful Maiden flight of Delta 0100
August 21
10:28 GMT
Atlas SLV-3C Centaur LC-36B, Cape Canaveral OAO 3 NASA LEO Ultraviolet astronomy Still in orbit Successful Final flight of Atlas SLV-3C Centaur
September 23
01:20 GMT
Delta 1000 (1604) LC-17B, Cape Canaveral Explorer 47 NASA HEO Magnetosphere research satellite Still in orbit Successful Maiden flight of Delta 1000
October 2
20:09 GMT
Atlas F BMRS-A1, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force OPS 8180 (RADCAT) US Air Force LEO Technology research 2 August 2012 Successful
Radsat US Air Force LEO Technology research Still in orbit Successful
October 15
17:19 GMT
Delta 0100 (0300) SLC-2W, Vandenberg AFB NOAA 2 (ITOS-B) NOAA LEO Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful
Amsat-Oscar 6 Amsat LEO Amateur comsat Still in orbit Successful
November 9
03:23 GMT
Thor Burner II SLC-10W, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force DMSP 5B F3 US Air Force LEO Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful
November 10
01:14 GMT
Delta 1000 (1914) LC-17B, Cape Canaveral Anik A1 Telesat Geosynchronous Comsat Still in orbit Successful
December 7
05:33 GMT
Saturn V LC-39A, Kennedy NASA Apollo 17 CSM "America"
3 astronauts
NASA Lunar Manned Lunar orbiter December 19, 1971 Successful Final Moonshot
Final flight of Saturn V
Apollo 17 Lunar Module "Challenger" NASA Lunar Manned Lunar landing December 14, 1971
GMT
(at Moon)
Successful
December 11
07:56 GMT
Delta 0100 (0900) SLC-2W, Vandenberg AFB Nimbus 5 NASA LEO Environmental research satellite Still in orbit Successful
December 14
22:55 GMT
Apollo 17 Lunar Module "Challenger" ascent stage Apollo 17 Lunar Module "Challenger" descent stage
Taurus-Littrow
The Moon
NASA Apollo 17, 2 astronauts NASA Lunar Return Apollo 17 astronauts to CSM in orbit. December 15, 1972 Successful
December 20
22:20 GMT
Atlas-Agena SLV-3A LC-13, Cape Canaveral US Air Force OPS 9390 Canyon 5 US Air Force Geosynchronous Military Comsat Still in orbit Successful

Deep Space Rendez-vous in 1972[edit]

References[edit]

Generic references:

Footnotes[edit]