Mar 23

Space Rocket History #385 – Copernicus (OAO-3), SAS-2, Venera 8, Luna 20 & 21, and Explorer 49

Once its antennas were deployed, Explorer 49 was the largest human-made object to orbit the Moon as of 2022.

Copernicus (OAO3)


Venera 8

Display of Luna 20

Luna 21

Explorer 49


Mar 09

Space Rocket History #384 – Pioneer 10

Launched in 1972 and weighing 258 kilograms (569 pounds), Pioneer 10 completed the first mission to the planet Jupiter and became the first of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity needed to leave the Solar System.


Feb 23

Space Rocket History #383 – Ariel 4, Prospero X-3, Shinsei, Isis-2, And Our 9th Anniversary

“The UK 4 (United Kingdom Research Satellite 4), a.k.a. Ariel 4, was a small observatory designed to investigate the interactions between electromagnetic waves, plasmas, and energetic particles present in the upper ionosphere.” Wikipedia

Ariel 4

Black Arrow

Prospero X-3







Shinsei M-4s



Feb 09

Space Rocket History #382 – Mars 2 & 3 and Luna 18 & 19

This is how Deputy Chief Designer for OKB-1, Boris Chertok described the launch of Mars 3. “The red disk of the Sun was just touching the horizon and dramatically illuminated the rocket as it lifted off with a roar. Separation of the stages took place like a color animation display against the background of the darkened sky.”

Mars 2 & 3 Orbiter

Mars 3 Lander

Mars PrOPM Rover