1951: Azerbaijani cosmonaut Musa Manarov was born. He flew on Mir Expeditions 3 and 8. Spaceflight achievement was spending 541 total days in space.
1981: Soyuz 39 and its crew of 2 launched into orbit on a mission to the Salyut 6.
1982: STS-3 and its crew of 2 launched into orbit on an 8-day mission. It carried onboard experiments with it as a test flight of the shuttle.
1995: Soyuz TM-20 and its crew of 3 landed back at Earth.
1996: STS-76 and its crew of 6 launched into orbit on a 9-day mission to the Mir. It was the third Shuttle-Mir mission. It docked with the station on March 24. Shannon Lucid was transferred to the station for an extended stay.
1912: Wernher von Braun was born. He was the chief pedant rocket scientist during World War II, designing the V2 missile. After the war, he was transferred to the United States where he worked on early US missiles including the Redstone and Jupiter missiles. He was transferred to the NASA team to help design the Saturn rockets to take the US to the Moon.
1961: Cosmonaut Valentin Bondarenko died. It was the tenth day of a 15-day endurance test in a pure-oxygen pressure chamber when a fire broke out, killing him.
1965: Gemini 3 and its crew of veteran astronaut Virgil Grissom and rookie astronaut John Young was launched on a three-orbit mission around the Earth. It was the first manned flight of the Gemini spacecraft. After three orbits, the crew made the first manual reentry. As a prank, Young took a corned beef sandwich on the spacecraft with him.
1983: President Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars." It was an orbital system that would shoot down incoming missiles to the US.
2001: The Mir space station was deorbited, reentering over Fiji.