OTD: First U.S. woman in space deploys Canadian satellite

On today’s date in 1983, NASA astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, deployed Canada’s Anik C2 satellite into Earth’s orbit from the Challenger space shuttle.

The Anik (which means “little brothers” in Inuktitut) was retired in Jan. 7, 1998. While it was a geostationary communications satellite, another satellite—this one launched nearly two decades before the Anik C2— was the the Alouette 2 research satellite. It was launched in California in November 1965 in an attempt to explore the ionosphere. With updated support systems from the earlier model, the Alouette 2 lasted 10 years before it was terminated in August 1975.

In 1966, Canada Post featured the Alouette 2 on a five-cent commemorative stamp (Scott #445) printed by Canadian Bank Note Company with a print run of 26,370,000.

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