Three launches connected to three different aspects of the space program took place throughout the years past on May 9th.
May 9th, 1960 – Mercury Beach Abort – This launch took place at Wallops Island in Virginia. Beach Abort was an unmanned test of the escape rocket system that would carry astronauts to safety in case of malfunction. The test was a success.
May 9th, 1965 – Luna 5 – This Soviet Union moon probe was planned to soft-land on Earth’s only natural satellite, but instead a malfunction caused it to crash on the lunar surface instead.
May 9th, 1971 – Mariner 8 – Planned to orbit Mars, the launcher for the NASA Mariner 8 probe malfunctioned, and it didn’t even make it to Earth orbit. It’s sister craft, Mariner 9, would be a success and become the first unmanned probe to orbit another planet.