1969 in spaceflight
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Humanity's first manned lunar landing
1969 saw humanity step onto another world for the first time. On July 21, 1969, the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Eagle, landed on the moon's surface with two astronauts aboard. Days later the crew of three returned safely to Earth, satisfying U.S. President John F. Kennedy's 1962 challenge of May 25, 1961, that “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
There were four Apollo missions in total in 1969, three of which traveled to the moon, with Apollo 12 also landing on the surface. The success of the Apollo program was a testament to the efforts of over 500,000 American engineers, scientists and technicians.
In 1969, the Soviet Union's space program had success with the docking of two manned spacecraft as well as the success of their Venus and Lunar probes. The Soviets, however, suffered severe blows to their manned Lunar aspirations when their N1 rocket failed twice during two 1969 launches.
This is a list of spaceflights launched in 1969.
|Soyuz (R-7/A-2)||LC-31 Baikonur||RVSN||Soyuz 4, 1 Cosmonaut (Vladimir Shatalov)||RVSN||LEO||Manned Orbital Flight||January 17, 1969||Successful||First docking between two manned spacecraft (with Soyuz 5)|
|Soyuz (R-7/A-2)||LC-1/5 Baikonur||RVSN||Soyuz 5, 2 Cosmonauts||RVSN||LEO||Manned Orbital Flight||January 18, 1969||Successful||First docking between two manned spacecraft (with Soyuz 4)|
|Saturn V (C-5)||LC-39A Kennedy||NASA||Apollo 9 CSM Gumdrop
|NASA||LEO||Manned Orbital Flight||March 13, 1969||Successful|
|Apollo 9 LM Spider||NASA||LEO||Test spacecraft||March 13, 1969||Successful||First manned test of Lunar Module|
|Saturn V (C-5)||LC-39B Kennedy||NASA||Apollo 10 CSM Charlie Brown
|NASA||Lunar orbit||Manned Lunar Orbital Flight||May 26, 1969||Successful||"Dress rehearsal" of Apollo Moon Landings|
|Apollo 10 LM Snoopy||NASA||Lunar orbit, then Heliocentric orbit||Test spacecraft||N/A||Successful||First manned test of Lunar Module in lunar orbit|
|Black Arrow||Woomera||RAE||(none)||N/A||N/A||Test launch vehicle||N/A||Failure||Self-destruct activated by RSO after loss of control|
|July 3||N-1||Soviet Union||Soviet space program||(unknown)||N/A||N/A||Test launch vehicle||N/A||Failure||Exploded due to faulty engines and a bolt that was sucked into a fuel pump.|
|Saturn V (C-5)||LC-39A Kennedy||NASA||Apollo 11 CSM Columbia
|NASA||Lunar orbit||Manned Lunar Orbital Flight||July 24, 1969||Successful|
|Apollo 11 LM Eagle||NASA||Lunar orbit||Manned Lunar Landing||July 20, 1969||Successful||First manned Moon landing|
|Apollo LM Ascent Stage||Apollo 11 LM Descent Stage
|NASA||Apollo 11 LM Ascent Stage Eagle
|NASA||Lunar Orbit||Return Apollo 11 astronauts to CSM for journey back to Earth||Successful||First spacecraft to launch from the Moon|
|Soyuz (R-7/A-2)||LC-31/6, Baikonur||RVSN||Soyuz 6, 2 Cosmonauts||RVSN||LEO||Manned Orbital Flight||October 16, 1969||Partial Failure||Rendezvous with Soyuz 7 and 8 unsuccessful due to electronic failure.|
|Soyuz (R-7/A-2)||LC-1/5, Baikonur||RVSN||Soyuz 7, 3 Cosmonauts||RVSN||LEO||Manned Orbital Flight||October 16, 1969||Partial Failure||Rendezvous with Soyuz 6 and 8 unsuccessful due to electronic failure.|
|Soyuz (R-7/A-2)||LC-31/6, Baikonur||RVSN||Soyuz 8, 2 Cosmonauts||RVSN||LEO||Manned Orbital Flight||October 16, 1969||Partial Failure||Rendezvous with Soyuz 6 and 7 unsuccessful due to electronic failure.|
|Saturn V (C-5)||LC-39A Kennedy||NASA||Apollo 12 CSM Yankee Clipper
|NASA||Lunar orbit||Manned Lunar Orbital Flight||November 24, 1969||Successful|
|Apollo 12 LM Intrepid||NASA||Lunar orbit||Manned Lunar Landing||November 18, 1969
|Successful||Recovered parts of Surveyor 3|
|Apollo LM Ascent Stage||Apollo 12 LM Descent Stage
|NASA||Apollo 12 LM Ascent Stage Intrepid
|NASA||Lunar Orbit||Return Apollo 12 astronauts to CSM for journey back to Earth||November 20, 1969
12:17 GMT at Moon
Deep Space Rendez-vous in 1969
- May 16 — Venera 5 atmospheric probe worked for 53 min in the Venerian atmosphere
- May 17 — Venera 6 atmospheric probe worked for 51 min in the Venerian atmosphere
- May 21 — Apollo 10 completed 31 lunar orbits (15,4 km)
- July 20 — Apollo 11, 22 kg from Mare Tranquillitatis (sample return mission)
- July 21 — Luna 15 impacted at Mare Crisium (sample return mission)
- August 5 — Mariner 6 flyby of Mars, 25 close-up pictures (3,412 km)
- August 5 — Mariner 7 flyby of Mars, 33 close-up pictures (3,543 km)
- August 11 — Zond 7 circumlunar flight (1,984 km)
- November 19 — Apollo 12, 34 kg from Oceanus Procellarum (sample return mission)
- Howard E. McCurdy, et al. "Helpful Lessons From The Space Race." Issues In Science & Technology 27.4 (2011): 19-22. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
- "Excerpt from the 'Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs'" NASA. 24 May 2004. 24 May 2015. <https://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/features/jfk_speech_text.html#.VWIGJ0_tmkp>.
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