January 17, 1996
Paul Butler and Geoffrey Marcy announced to the American Astronomical Society that they had discovered two new planets using an unconventional computer technique to analyze the movement of stars. Since that time, thanks in part to their use of computer technology, Butler and Marcy have become known as “the world’s most successful planet hunters”.
January 16, 2003
Famous for being the first Space Shuttle ever to be launched (mission STS-1), the Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107. This mission would prove to be its final one as Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
January 16, 1969
Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.
January 14, 2005
The European Space Agency’s Huygens probe lands on Saturn‘s moon Titan. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer solar system.
January 11, 1997
Telstar 401, a satellite owned by AT&T that transmitted computer data, phone calls, and television programming, suddenly fails for no apparent reason. AT&T attempts for over a week to reestablish contact, but ultimately fails. While AT&T never officially acknowledges the possibility, many scientists believe that a major solar storm may have contributed to the failure of the satellite.
January 11, 1978
Soyuz 27 links with Salyut 6 & Soyuz 26, marking the first time that three spacecraft are docked together.
January 10, 1962
NASA announces plans to build the C-5 rocket booster. It became better known as the Saturn V moon rocket, which launched every Apollo moon mission.
January 8, 1994
Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 leaves for Mir. He would stay on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.
January 8, 1973
Soviet space mission Luna 21 is launched. Luna 21 successfully landed on the moon and deployed the second Soviet lunar rover, Lunokhod 2.