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Space Shuttle Endeavour lands after her maiden flight

Endeavour was the fifth and final operational space shuttle. Built as a replacement for Challenger, the primary goal of her first mission was to catch a broken Intelsat VI satellite. Success was reached on the fourth attempt when, for the first time in history, three people from the same spacecraft walked in space at the same time.

The Venera 5 Soviet space probe lands on Venus

Venera 5 was a space probe in the Soviet space program, Venera, used to explore Venus. It was launched into a parking orbit around Earth in January 1969, and then boosted towards Venus by a Tyazheliy Sputnik launch platform. Following a mid-course maneuver in March 1969, the probe was released from the bus at a distance of 23,000 mi from Venus.

Laser operated for the first time

American physicist Ted Maiman successfully tested his laser. Its core was made of synthetic ruby which other scientists seeking to make a laser felt would not work. Maiman patented the laser. However, Columbia University graduate student Gordon Gould had simultaneously completedhis own laser design, and it is not clear who was first.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous