USSR

  • The only bits of the Moon available for private sale sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York today for US$855,000. The three small shards of lunar rock were a gift to the widow of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the “Chief Designer” and director of the Soviet space program.
  • Jodrell Bank Observatory has released an audio recording from a 1968 Soviet mission that could have seen the United States losing the race to the Moon. The audio recording intercepted by the radio telescope is from the unmanned Zond 6 mission that might have put the Soviet Union on the Moon first.
  • Sixty years ago this month, the Space Age was born. It's a story about a metal beach ball that stunned the world, and pivots on the rivalry of two superpowers and of two men. This is the story of Soviet Union's Sputnik 1, the first manmade object to orbit the Earth.
  • On March 18, 1965, Soviet cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev lifted off in Voskhod (Sunrise) 2, during the flight of which Leonov would become the first person to step into the vacuum of space.