The US space shuttle Discovery with five-man crew lifts off from launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1988 - The rebuilt space shuttle Discovery and its five-man crew rocketed into orbit, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of Challenger in the historic rebirth of America’s space programme. Discovery’s two redesigned solid fuel rocket boosters ignited with a rush of fire and thunder, and appeared to work perfectly, carrying the $2 billion (Dh7.35 billion) spaceship and its crew towards space in the first American manned spaceflight in more than two-and-a-half years.

Other major events

1885 - The first practical electric public tramway in the world is opened in Blackpool, England.

1923 - Britain begins ruling Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.

1944 - Soviet troops invade Yugoslavia.

1978 - Pope John Paul I is found dead just over a month after becoming head of the Roman Catholic Church.

1988 - United Nations peacekeeping forces win the 1988 Nobel peace prize.

1992 - Brazilian lawmakers impeach President Fernando Collor de Mello.

2006 - A Brazilian jetliner clips a smaller jet in midair and crashes into the Amazon jungle, killing all 155 on board.

2014 - Afghanistan inaugurates its first new president in a decade, Ashraf Gani swearing in as president.