1963 in spaceflight
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A North American X-15 made two suborbital flights in July and August, becoming the first reusable spacecraft
|Maiden flights||Atlas LV-3A Agena-D|
Atlas LV-3C Centaur-B
Thor DSV-2A Ablestar
TAT SLV-2A Agena-B
TAT SLV-2A Agena-D
Atlas LV-3C Centaur-B
Deep space rendezvous
|5 April||Luna 4||Flyby of the Moon||Failed lander, closest approach: 8,336 kilometres (5,180 mi)|
|19 June||Mars 1||First flyby of Mars||Closest approach: 193,000 kilometres (120,000 mi), communications system failed before flyby|
Notable creations of orbital debris
|Date/Time (UTC)||Source object||Event type||Pieces tracked||Remarks|
|9 May||Westford-2||Communications experiment||46||As part of an experiment to facilitate international telecommunications, the US Military deployed an artificial space ring consisting of hundreds of millions of tiny copper needles which would act as antennas reflecting radio signals at the target wavelength of 8 GHz. A large proportion of the needles were not dispersed properly and remained stuck in clumps that were discovered and tracked by the SSN between 1966 and 1991. As of October 2013[update], 46 of the 144 detected debris clumps remain in orbit. The needles that were properly dispersed are believed to have decayed.|
Orbital launch summary
|Orbital launch attempts by country in 1963|
|Orbital regime||Launches||Achieved||Not Achieved||Accidentally
|High Earth||5||3||2||0||Including Highly elliptical orbits|
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