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December 21st in Astronomy and Space Science
Manned Spaceflight1968US launches Apollo 8 on a mission to orbit the moon and return to Earth. This marks the first manned launch on a Saturn V vehicle, the first manned mission to leave the Earth's gravity, and the first manned journey around the moon.
Unmanned Spaceflight1978USSR Venera 12 spacecraft lands on Venus and transmits data for 95 minutes.
Unmanned Spaceflight1984USSR launches the Vega 2 spacecraft. It included a Comet Halley fly-by package as well as a Venus lander, which touched down on 15 June 1985.
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