Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars was launched on May 30, 1971

On May 30, 1971, Mariner 9 robotic spacecraft was launched from LC-36B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on top of an Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D rocket. It reached Mars on November 14 of the same year and became the first spacecraft to orbit Mars, and in general, another planet.

European Space Agency (ESA) was founded on May 30, 1975

The European Space Agency (ESA), an international organization dedicated to the exploration of space was founded on May 30, 1975. Shortly after its formation, on August 9, 1975, the space agency ESA launched its first major scientific mission, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO …

Discovery performed the first Space Shuttle docking to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 29, 1999

On May 29, 1999, the STS-96 crew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery became the first to dock with the International Space Station. Using the Integrated Cargo Carrier, Discovery delivered the Russian cargo crane, STRELA, the SPACEHAB Oceaneering Space System Box, and the American crane, ORU Transfer Device, to the space station.

A door on Mars? Here’s how do we see things in space that aren’t there

Enthusiasts lit up social media recently with images of what appeared to be a “doorway” into a hillside on Mars. Was it, some wondered, evidence that the red planet could be, or have been, inhabited by aliens? The “door on Mars” was imaged by Nasa’s Curiosity rover on May 7 on the slopes of Mount …

John F. Kennedy announced Moon landing goal on May 25, 1961

In an address to Congress on “Urgent National Needs” on May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States called for America to send astronauts to the moon and return him safely to Earth before the end of the decade.

Space Shuttle Endeavour completed its maiden voyage on May 16, 1992

On May 16, 1992, Space Shuttle Endeavour completed its maiden voyage and landed safely on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert. It was the first use of a drag-chute for a Space Shuttle landing.

The first U.S. human spaceflight was performed on May 5, 1961

On May 5, 1961, American astronaut Alan Shepard (November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998) performed the first United States human spaceflight. It was also the first human-piloted spaceflight in the history of space exploration. Yuri Gagarin, the first human to fly into space on April 12, 1961, wasn’t controlling the Vostok 1 spacecraft, it …