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March 27th in Astronomy and Space Science
Death1968Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is killed when the MiG-15 aircraft he is test piloting crashes. He was the first human in space, and the first to orbit the earth.
Unmanned Spaceflight1969US launches the Mariner 7 spacecraft. It flies by Mars on 5 August 1969 passing within 3,551 km (2,206 miles) of the surface. It sends back 200 photographs and measures Mars' temperature and atmosphere.
Unmanned Spaceflight1972USSR launches the Venera 8 spacecraft to Venus. It lands on 22 July 1972, conducts a soil analysis and transmits data for 50 minutes before failing under Venus' extreme pressure and temperature.
Unmanned Spaceflight1989USSR looses contact with the Phobos 2 spacecraft. It had arrived at Mars on 29 January 1989, measured the Martian atmosphere and photographed both Mars and its satellite Phobos. Loss of contact prevents the planned deployment of a Phobos lander the following month.
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