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On this day in 2003 – October 15th – China launched Shenzhou 5.

Shenzhou 5 was the China's first manned spaceflight, with Yang Liwei as the first Chinese astronaut in space.


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On this day in 1956 – October 17th – former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama.

Jemison - engineer, doctor, university professor and businesswoman - became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.


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On this day in 2006 – October 17th – the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL).

For six years it was the most sensitive gamma ray observatory ever, and it continues its operations in detecting some of the most energetic radiation coming from space.


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On this day in 1967 – October 18th – the Soviet probe Venera 4 was the first to send measurements from the atmosphere of another planet.

They hoped that the probe would make a soft landing on Venus, but contact was lost when it was about 25 km above the surface.


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On this day in 1910 – October 19th – Indian-American astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born in Lahore [now part of Pakistan].

He's known for his work in stellar evolution including black holes. The Chandrasekhar Limit is the dividing line between the mass of a star that has spent its nuclear fuel and will collapse into a white dwarf and one massive enough to go out with a bang - a supernova. It's about 1.4 times the Sun's mass.


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On this day in 2016 – October 19th – the European Space Agency's ExoMars mission arrived at Mars.

There were two parts to the mission. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) was successfully inserted into orbit and is working as expected. However due to a systems malfunction, the experimental lander Schiaparelli crashlanded on Mars.


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On this day in 1923 – October 21st – the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany presented the world's first public planetarium show.


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On this day in 2008 – October 21st – India's space agency, ISRO, launched the Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe.

It was India's first satellite to leave Earth orbit, and the mission also included the first Indian deep space radio communications antenna.


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On this day in 1905 – October 22nd – American physicist and radio engineer Karl Jansky was born in Norman, Oklahoma Territory.

In August 1931 Jansky was the first to discover radio waves of extraterrestrial origin. He's considered one of the founding figures of radio astronomy.


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On this day in 1975 – October 22nd – the Soviet Union's Venera 9 probe went into orbit around Venus.

The mission included an orbiter - the first to orbit another planet - and a lander, which was the first to return images from the surface of another planet.


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