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Table 1. Some significant Space Events in 2003
Designation Date Country Event
ICESat January 12 United States Successful launch of NASA's Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite into a 600 km retrograde near-polar orbit for Earth features observation.
CHIPSat January 12 United States Successful launch of NASA's Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer Satellite for all-sky spectroscopy into a 600 km retrograde near-polar orbit..
STS-107 (Columbia) January 16 United States 28th and last flight of Shuttle Columbia. Lost on 2/1 during reentry with its seven crew- members, Husband, McCool, Brown, Chawla, Anderson, Clark and Ramon.
SORCE January 25 United States Successful launch of NASA's Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment Satellite for radiation measurements into a 645 km, 40-deg orbit, by a Pegasus XL.
Progress M-47/10P February 2 Russia Uncrewed logistics cargo/resupply mission to the International Space Station ISS, on a Soyuz-U rocket.
Soyuz TMA-2/ISS-6S April 26 Russia Launch of the first ISS crew rotation flight on a Soyuz, bringing the Expedition 6 "caretaker" crew of Yuri Malenchenko and Edward Lu. Returned on TMA-2 in October.
GALEX April 28 United States Successful launch of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer telescope platform for UV- observation of galaxies, into a 694 x 700 km, 28.99 deg orbit, by a Pegasus XL.
Hayabusa (Muses-C) May 9 Japan Asteroid sample return mission, launched on an M5 solid-propellant rocket towards the Asteroid 25143 Itokawa/1998 SF36.
Mars Express June 2 Europe Successful launch of first ESA mission to Mars, on a Soyuz/Fregat. Lander Beagle 2 was lost on entry into Mars atmosphere, but Mars Express entered nominal orbit on 12/25.
Progress M1-10/11P June 8 Russia Uncrewed logistics cargo/resupply mission to the International Space Station ISS, on a Soyuz-U rocket.
MER-A/Spirit June 10 United States Successful launch of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover-A, named Spirit, toward the Red Planet, on a Delta 2 rocket. The six-wheeled rover had a mass of ~180 kg.
MER-B/Opportunity July 7 United States Successful launch of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover-B, named Opportunity, toward the Red Planet, on a Delta 2 rocket. The six-wheeled rover had a mass of ~180 kg.
SST (SIRTF) August 25 United States Successful launch of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly: Space Infrared Telescope Facility) into an Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun (first time).
Progress M-48/12P August 28 Russia Uncrewed logistics cargo/resupply mission to the International Space Station ISS, on a Soyuz-U rocket.
Shenzhou 5 October 15 P.R. of China Successful launch of 1st Chinese astronaut, "Taikonaut" Lt. Col. Yang Liwei , in "Divine Vessel 5", with safe recovery after circling Earth 14 times in 21 hr. 23 min.
Soyuz TMA-3/ISS-7S October 18 Russia Launch of the second ISS crew rotation flight on a Soyuz, bringing the Expedition 7 crew of Michael Foale & Alex Kaleri, plus 10-day visitor Pedro Duque from ESA.
H-2A November 29 Japan Launch of sixth H-2A heavy lifter, failed shortly after liftoff, with two reconnaissance satellites.