1968 in spaceflight

The United States National Space Science Data Center catalogued 157 spacecraft placed into orbit by launches which occurred in 1968.[1] The first manned Apollo missions occurred in 1968. It was also the year in which Earth lifeforms first left low Earth orbit, during the successful Zond 5 mission, and the year that humans first left low Earth orbit, during the successful Apollo 8 mission.

1968 in spaceflight
The crew of Apollo 8 were the first humans to witness Earthrise, photographed by William Anders on December 24, 1968
Orbital launches
Total6

Launches

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December

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks

January

22 January
23:45
Saturn IB (C-1B) LC-37B, Cape Canaveral NASA
Apollo 5 NASA LEO Test Lunar Module12 February 1968
09:59
successful
Minor malfunction of LM descent stage engine, otherwise successful

April

4 April
12:00:02
Saturn V (C-5) LC-39A, Kennedy NASA
Apollo 6 NASA LEO Test CSM heat shield at Lunar return speeds. Test S-IVB re-ignition in LEO.4 April 1968
21:57:26
Partial failure
Experienced Pogo oscillation during S-IC first stage ascent. S-IVB failed restart test.

October

11 October 1968
15:02
Saturn IB (C-1B) LC-34, Cape Canaveral NASA
Apollo 7 NASA LEO Manned orbital flight22 October 1968
11:11:48
Successful
First manned Apollo flight
25 October 1968
09:00
Soyuz (R-7/A-2) LC-1/5, Baikonur RVSN
Soyuz 2 RVSN LEO Docking target for Soyuz 328 October 1968
07:21
Successful
Soyuz 3 failed to dock
26 October
08:34
Soyuz (R-7/A-2) LC-31/6 Baikonur RVSN
Soyuz 3 RVSN LEO Manned orbital flight30 October 1968
07:25:03
Partial Failure
Failed to dock with Soyuz 2
21 December
12:51
Saturn V (C-5) LC-39A, Kennedy NASA
Apollo 8 NASA Selenocentric Manned lunar orbiter27 December 1968
15:51:42
Successful
First manned mission to the Moon

Deep space rendezvous

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
10 JanuarySurveyor 7Lunar landingin the debris from Tycho crater
31 JanuaryLunar Orbiter 5Lunar impact
10 AprilLuna 14Selenocentric orbit insertion
18 SeptemberZond 5Flyby of the Moon; first return to Earth after flight to Moon; first Earth life forms to travel around the moonClosest approach: 1,950 kilometres (1,210 mi)
14 NovemberZond 6Flyby of the MoonClosest approach: 2,420 kilometres (1,500 mi)
24 DecemberApollo 8Selenocentric orbit insertion; first humans to travel around the moon
25 DecemberApollo 8Leaves selenocentric orbitCompleted 10 orbits

Orbital Launch Summary

See also

References

  • Bergin, Chris. "NASASpaceFlight.com".
  • Clark, Stephen. "Spaceflight Now".
  • Kelso, T.S. "Satellite Catalog (SATCAT)". CelesTrak.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Chronology of Space Launches".
  • Kyle, Ed. "Space Launch Report".
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "Jonathan's Space Report".
  • Pietrobon, Steven. "Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive".
  • Wade, Mark. "Encyclopedia Astronautica".
  • Webb, Brian. "Southwest Space Archive".
  • Zak, Anatoly. "Russian Space Web".
  • "ISS Calendar". Spaceflight 101.
  • "NSSDCA Master Catalog". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • "Space Calendar". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • "Space Information Center". JAXA.
  • "Хроника освоения космоса" [Chronicle of space exploration]. CosmoWorld (in Russian).
Generic references:

Footnotes

  1. "Spacecraft Query Results". Master Catalog Search. NASA NSSDC. Retrieved 30 May 2010.

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