M. K. Tikhonravov in New York Times said U.S.S.R. science made feasible space flight and creation of artificial earth satellite; reported U.S.S.R. rocket advance equaled or exceeded West. References: 17 .
First artificial satellite; transmitted signals for 21 days. Launching of first ever artificial satellite of the Earth; physical study of the atmosphere; remained in orbit until January 4, 1958. This event began the space race by galvanizing interest and action on the part of the American public to support an active role in space research, technology, and exploration. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 177 .
Cooke AFB redesignated Vandenberg AFB, honoring the late General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the Air Force's second Chief of Staff. Vandenberg AFB, first operational ICBM base in free world, was dedicated. References: 88 .
A Little Joe launch vehicle carrying a boilerplate spacecraft (LJ-6) was successfully launched from Wallops Island. Objectives of the flight were to check the integrity of the launch vehicle airframe and motor system, check the operations of the launcher, to check the validity of the calculated wind corrections, to obtain performance and drag data, and to check the operation of the destruct system. The flight, lasting 5 minutes 10 seconds, gained a peak altitude of 37.12 statute miles, and a range of 79.4 statute miles. The destruct packages carried on board the Little Joe launch vehicles were successfully initiated well after the flight had reached its apex. There was a slight malfunction in the Little Joe launch vehicle when ignition of the two second-stage Pollux motors fired before the exact time planned. Actually, the planned trajectory was little affected and the structural test of the vehicle, really greater than planned, was benefited. References: 483 .
NASA Little Joe launch vehicle carrying a boilerplate Mercury capsule with a dummy escape system successfully launched from Wallops Station, Va. References: 17 .
Luna 3 was the third spacecraft successfully launched to the Moon and the first to return images of the lunar far side. It was launched on a figure-eight trajectory which brought it over the Moon (closest approach to the Moon was 6200 km) and around the far side, which was sunlit at the time. It was stabilized while in optical view of the far side of the Moon. On October 7, 1959, the television system obtained a series of 29 photographs over 40 minutes, covering 70% of the surface, that were developed on-board the spacecraft. The photographs were scanned and 17 were radio transmitted to ground stations in facsimile form on October 18, 1959, as the spacecraft, in a barycentric orbit, returned near the Earth. The photographs were to be retransmitted at another point close to Earth but were not received. The spacecraft returned very indistinct pictures, but, through computer enhancement, a tentative atlas of the lunar farside was produced. These first views of the lunar far side showed mountainous terrain, very different from the near side, and two dark regions which were named Mare Moscovrae (Sea of Moscow) and Mare Desiderii (Sea of Dreams). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 175 , 296 .
COURIER I-B active communications satellite successfully placed into orbit by Thor-Able-Star launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral. After completing one orbit it received and recorded a transcribed message to the United Nations by President Eisenhower transmitted from Fort Monmouth, N.J., and retransmitted it to another earth station in Puerto Rico. This marked the 100th launch of the Douglas Thor, military and scientific combined, and a Thor record of 60 percent of the U.S. satellites boosted into orbit. References: 17 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Rocketdyne Division successfully completed the first full-duration (250-seconds) static firing of the J-2 engine. References: 16 .
After a receiving inspection (October 7) and Voltage Standing Wave Ratio Test (October 8), its instrument pallets were removed for laboratory test and checkout (October 9) while the spacecraft was being checked out, weighed, and balanced. Instrument pallets were reinstalled November 26. Individual and integrated communications, instrumentation, and environmental control systems were then performed. Final industrial area testing of the spacecraft concluded with a confidence level test on February 12, 1964.
Tereshkova announces in Havana that Gagarin head of lunar cosmonaut team. References: 72 .
Lunar soft landing attempt. The Luna 7 spacecraft was intended to achieve a soft landing on the Moon. However, due to premature retrofire and cutoff of the retrorockets, the spacecraft impacted the lunar surface in the Sea of Storms. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 64 , 296 .
A dummy 8K82K/Block D rocket was mounted at the launch site. The dummy was loaded with imitation propellants (kerosene as fuel and water/ethyl alcohol as oxidiser). The nitrogen tetroxide oxidiser had to be kept above -11 degrees C, and it was originally planned for a thermostatically-controlled electrical heating of the tank walls to achieve this. It was ultimately decided that the risk of explosion of such a system was too great, and the system was abandoned. References: 273 .
Unmanned supply vessel to Salyut 6. Delivery of fuel, consumable materials and equipment to the Salyut 6 station. Docked with Salyut 6 on 6 Oct 1978 01:00:15 GMT. Undocked on 24 Oct 1978 13:01:52 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 26 Oct 1978 16:28:13 GMT. Total free-flight time 4.22 days. Total docked time 18.50 days. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 275 .