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On this day: April 19

POSTED: 12:37 PM PDT Apr 17, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Apr 18, 2013 

The American Revolutionary War breaks out, the Soviet Union launches the first space station, the Waco siege ends in a deadly blaze, and homegrown terrorists strike Oklahoma City, all on this day.

OTD April 19 - Salyut 1
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Russian Federal Space Agency

1971: The Soviet Union launches Salyut 1, the first space station of any kind. The station was launched by unmanned rocket and received its first crew on June 7, 1971, with the arrival of the Soyuz 11 mission. After the three-man crew of the Soyuz 11 died when the crew capsule depressurized during preparations for re-entry, the Soviet Union suspended Soyuz missions until the spacecraft could be redesigned. Salyut 1 ran out of fuel before a redesigned Soyuz spacecraft could be launched to it and was intentionally destroyed by de-orbiting it after six months in orbit. Pictured is an extremely rare view Salyut 1, as seen from the departing Soyuz 11.

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