Today in History - 1960s
Moments in aviation and space history from the 1960s.
This 10 kW Klystron Tube was used at a ground radar astronomy station to obtain signals from the planet Venus. The first successful detection of a return echo from Venus came on March 10, 1961. Originally used for NASA's Project Echo, this Klystron Tube was also used on a ground receiver to help develop the ranging system used during the Lunar Orbiter and Apollo programs.
Apollo 9, launched on March 3, 1969, was the first crewed flight of the lunar module in Earth orbit. Here the lunar module "Spider," viewed from command module "Gumdrop," awaits extraction from the third stage of the Saturn V rocket (S-IVB). | Photo credit: NASA/Project Apollo Archive, Scan by Ed Hengeveld
On March 3, 1969, Apollo 9 launched carrying astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart. The mission was the first crewed flight of all Apollo lunar hardware in Earth orbit and the first test of the lunar module in space. | Photo credit: NASA
On January 17, 1963, NASA research pilot Joe Walker flew the X-15 rocket plane to an altitude of 271,000 feet, or 51 miles high, becoming the first civilian test pilot to exceed 50 miles altitude. In August that year, he rocketed the X-15 to an unofficial world altitude record of 354,200 feet or 67 miles, a record that stood for more than 40 years until broken by Space Ship One in 2004. Photo credit: NASA
This 3 1/2 min exposure photo was taken at the height of the Leonid Meteor Shower on November 17, 1966. The Leonid Meteor Shower of 1966 was one of most active in history, with up to 40 meteors visible in a second. | Photo courtesy of Dennis Milon.
October 30, 1964: The Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) was first flown by research pilot Joe Walker. The LLRV was the precursor to the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle, which was developed and used to train Apollo Program astronauts for moon landings aboard the Apollo Lunar Module. | Photo credit: NASA
This model of the Starship Enterprise encased in plastic was featured on the Star Trek original series episode "Catspaw," which first aired October 27, 1967. An alien named Korob placed a miniature model of the Enterprise in crystal, whereby the real Enterprise found itself surrounded by a force field. Do you know how the episode ended?
October 27, 1961: The first Saturn I vehicle, SA-1, lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Saturn I Block I was 162 feet tall, weighed 460 tons, and was powered by eight H-1 engines in the S-I stage with a dummy second stage (S-IV). | Photo credit: NASA