Mariner 4 space craft was launched by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on 28th November 1964. Communications with the craft were lost after it got bombarded by micrometeoroids.
The first commercial spam was posted on Usenet by Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel. They used a Perl script to post their message, "Green Card Lottery - Final One?", to about 5,500 discussion groups. [more...]