_ July 17-19, 1975: U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts participate in Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, docking together in space for two days.
_ April 12, 1981: Shuttle Columbia becomes first winged spaceship to orbit Earth and return to airport landing.
_ June 18, 1983: Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space.
_ Feb. 7, 1984: Astronaut Bruce McCandless performs man’s first untethered spacewalk with a Manned Maneuvering Unit off the Challenger space shuttle.
_ Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger shuttle explodes 73 seconds after launch, killing its crew of seven.
_ Nov. 15, 1988 - Soviets launch their first space shuttle. The 3-hour, 20- minute flight of the shuttle Buran is unmanned.
_ Dec. 21, 1988 - Cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Musa Manarov return to Earth from Soviet space station Mir after man’s longest space flight - 365 days, 22 hours, 39 minutes.
_ March 14, 1995: Norman Thagard becomes first American to be launched on a Russian rocket. Two days later, he becomes first American to visit the Russian space station Mir.
_ June 29, 1995: Atlantis docks with Mir in first shuttle-station hookup.
_ Sept. 26, 1996: Shannon Lucid returns to Earth after 188-day Mir mission, a U.S. space endurance record and a world record for women.
_ Oct. 29, 1998: Glenn, now 77, returns to space aboard shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest person ever to fly in space.
_ May 29, 1999: Discovery becomes first shuttle to dock with the international space station, a multinational, permanent, orbiting research laboratory.
_ Nov. 2, 2000: An American and Russian crew begins living aboard the international space station.
_ Feb. 1, 2003: Shuttle Columbia breaks apart over Texas, 16 minutes before it was supposed to land in Florida.
_ July 21, 2011 _ Final space shuttle mission ends when Atlantis arrives at Kennedy Space Center.
By Mark Mix
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