CLICK ON THE MONTH OF INTEREST

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC


FEBRUARY11

* Japan became the fourth nation to put a satellite in orbit, joining Russia, America, and France as space satellite launching nations. The Japanese satellite was called Ohsumi and used a modified U.S. Delta with a Japanese upper stage to reach orbit. It was launched from the Kagoshima Space Center (1970).

* Lockheed P-38 Lightning first flown across the Nation from California, to a crack-up landing at Mitchel Field, Long Island, Lt. Ben Kelsey as pilot (1939).

* Army announced that a weather balloon, launched at the Signal Research and Development Laboratory, Fort Monmouth, N.J., had established a world altitude record of 146,000 feet (1959).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 12

* Siberian meteor fall produced more than 100 craters (1947).

* First flight test of a high-energy fuel made by NACA Lewis Laboratory in an air-launched test vehicle (1954).

(Which of the two craters is on the Moon and which is on Earth? Click on each photo for the hidden information to your answer.It will appear at the top of this page.)

This is a very famous meteorite crater located on Earth. It is the Barringer Crater in Arizona. Its dimensions are 3900 feet wide by 600 feet deep.

This photo, taken by the Apollo 12 Command Module, is of the Moon's surface beneath the Apollo 12 Lunar Module as it prepared to land on the Moon in an area called the Moon's Ocean of Storms. The large crater is called Herschel.

* Navy dirigible Macon crashed at sea off the California coast (1935).

* Sputnik VIII launched into Earth orbit by U.S.S.R., from which it placed 1,419-pound Venus probe on its course (1961).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 13

* Announcement of the return of the first Wright flyer to the U.S. from England (1948).

* Voyager 1 imaged entire solar system for first time from outside the solar system (1990).

* Aircraft Manufacturers Association formed, Frank H. Russell as president (1917).

* First full guidance flight of Navy Sparrow III missile at Naval Air Missile Test Center (1953).

* USAF Gam-83B, modification of Navy Bullpup, a solid-propellent air-to-surface missile, was successfully launched at supersonic speed by an F-100 Supersabre (1961).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 14

* Archeology team set out for Belize and Guatemala to confirm NASA JPL Mayan canals discovered by NASA Synthetic Aperture Radar (1980).

* USAF launch of first satellite of the Global Positioning System Block 2 series (1989).

* Republic F-84F with Wright J-65 Sapphire engine made first flight at Edwards AFB (1951).

* Killian Committee (Technological Capabilities Panel) recommended concurrent development of IRBM of 1,500-mile range with ICBM effort (1955).

* NACA established "Round Three" Steering Committee to study feasiblity of a hypersonic boost-glide research airplane. "Round Three" was considered as the third major flight research program which started with the X-series of rocket-propelled supersonic research airplanes, and which considered the X-15 research airplane as the second major program. The boost-glide program eventually became known as DynaSoar (1957).

* "Basic Objectives of a Continuing Program of Scientific Research in Outer Space," a report by the Technical Panel on the Earth Satellite Program of the National Academy of Sciences IGY Committee, was published. It proposed a program of space research extending beyond the International Geophysical Year (1958).

* NASA Nike-Cajun rocket launched from Wallops Station, carrying 60-pound payload ejecting explosive charges, which fired at intervals from 20- to 80-mile altitude to provide data on density of the atmosphere (1961).

* Last of second series of static firings of Saturn completed at Marshall Space Flight Center for 110 seconds, approximately full duration (1961).

* President Kennedy congratulated Premier Khrushchev on the Soviet Union's "impressive scientific achievement" in launching a space probe toward the planet Venus (1961).

* NASA selected Flight Propulsion Department, General Electric, for negotiation of 18-month contract to study heatflow characteristics of fluids in nuclear powerplants (1961).

* NASA and United Kingdom agreed to establish joint program to test communications satellites to be launched by NASA in 1962 and 1963 in Projects Relay and Rebound (1961).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 15

* Apollo 1 astronaut Roger Chaffee born (1935).

* Galileo born (1564).

* 9 in. of snow fell on New Orleans (1895).

* Ernest Shackleton explorer, born (1874).

* Voyager 1 takes "family portrait" of the Solar system (1990).

* Naval Aircraft Factory authorized to begin construction of working models of retractable landing gears because of design progress (1930).

* U.S.S.R. reportedly made first photos of solar eclipse from a vehicle in space, in report later released on May 28 (1961).

* James E. Webb was sworn in as NASA Administrator (1961).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 16

* Miranda (moon of Uranus) first photographed (1948).

* Star Trek tribbles (props) donated to National Air and Space Museum (1973).

* Plant for assembly of American-made airplanes began operations at Romorantin, France (1918).

* NASA Explorer IX placed in orbit by four-stage Scout booster from Wallops Station, the first satellite launching from Wallops, and the first satellite boosted by a solid-fuel rocket. Explorer IX was a 12-foot diameter sphere after inflation at orbital altitude (1961).

* NASA and France agreed to establish joint program to test communications satellites to be launched by NASA in 1962 and 1963 in Projects Relay and Rebound (1961).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 17

* "Ollie" became the first cow to be flown and milked in an airplane (1930).

* Bruce McCandless became first human satellite (1984).

* First National Conference on Aeronautical Education held at St. Louis, Missouri (1930).

* German A-4 (V-2) rocket traveled 121.8 miles after launch from Peenemünde (1943).

* V-2 reached an altitude of 92 miles in launch from WSPG* (1950).

*(White Sands Proving Ground)

* American Astronautical Society (AAS) incorporated in the State of New York (1954).

* In a letter to Soviet Premier Nikolai A. Bulganin, President Eisenhower repeated his plea for the dedication of outer space to peaceful uses. Denying that this proposal was intended "to gain strategic advantages for the United States," he stressed the urgency of dealing with outer space before its use for military purposes had, like nuclear weapons, advanced to the point where complete international control was almost impossible (1958).

* VANGUARD II (SLV-4), the fifth U.S.-IGY satellite, successfully launched payload containing photocells designed to produce cloud cover images for 2 weeks; processing or wobbling prevented significant interpretation of data (1959).

* USAF Committee presided over by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Associate Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Cambridge, Mass., recommended that the USAF continue to take a positive approach to UFO's, investigate reported sightings by all scientific means, and keep the public fully informed of existing policy. Of the unknown objects sighted, it reported, no scientific evidence supports the conclusion that the objects were spacecraft (1959).

* "Polka dot" Explorer IX found in orbit by visual and photographic means after failure of radio beacon delayed confirmation of orbit (1961).

* USAF Discoverer XX placed in polar orbit with 300-pound recovery capsule from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

* NASA negotiated $400,000 contract with G. T. Schjeldahl Co. to design, develop, fabricate, and test rigidized inflatable spheres for Project Echo, the passive communications satellite program (1961).

* The last successful communication with the U.S.S.R. Venus probe was made (1961).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 18

* Astronaut Theodore "Ted" Freeman born (1930). Captain Freeman was the first active duty astronaut to lose his life. As of 1992, 20 former astronauts were deceased as a result of accidents or natural causes.

* Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto (1930).

* Navy Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd) continued wartime experimental work begun by Sperry Gyroscope in 1917 on the unmanned "Flying Bomb (1919)."

* "Standard Altimeter Calibration" worked out by Bureau of Standards, and approved by all intersted agencies, was approved by the NACA (1925).

* Guggenheim Foundation granted $250,000 to Harvard University's Aviation Health and Safety Center (1957).

* USAF revealed that an airflow speed of 32,400 mph had been attained for one-tenth of a second in a wind tunnel test at the Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tullahoma, Tenn., on an undisclosed date (1958).

* USAF Discoverer XXI fired into polar orbit, and Agena B restarted in flight after first orbit (1961).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 19

* Apollo 14 splashdown (1971).

* Grant signed law that created Federal Meteorological Service (1870).

* "Mir" was launched (1986).

* Edwin Hubble wrote to Shapley that he has found cepheid variables in M31! (1924).

* Mikolei Kopernik (Copernicus) born (1473).

* The NACA recommendations on regulating air commerce, the licensing of pilots, the inspection of aircraft, and the use of landing fields were transmitted to Congress through the Secretary of the Treasury (1919).

* Under Presidential order the Army Air Corps started flying domestic airmail (1934).

* S. Paul Johnston appointed Director of the IAS to replace Lester D. Gardner, retiring after 15 years of service (1946).

* Beginning of six Moby Dick balloon flights to study high-altitude winds flown from Vernalles NAS, Calif., by USAF Cambridge Research Center, each capsule also containing fruit flies (1953).

* Monorail two-stage rocket-research sled attained 3,090 mph, or roughly Mach 4.1, at Holloman AFB (1959).

Click here to return to the calendar page.


FEBRUARY 20

* John Glenn orbited the Earth three times (1962).

* First antartic aurora seen by Cook (1773).

* The Secretary of War approved Ordnance plans for the establishment of the White Sands Proving Ground (WSPG) (1945).

* First of a series of V-2 firings (No. 20) known as Blossom Project, tested ejection of canister and its recovery by parachute, containing fruit flies and various types of seeds exposed to cosmic rays (1947).

* U.S. National Committee for the IGY submitted report of its Technical Panel on the Earth Satellite Program to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, which outlined a post-IGY space research program (1957).

* NASA awarded $105 million in contracts for 1959 projects (15 satellites) (1959).

* Navy told the House Committee on Science and Astronautics that Polaris could be used as a mobile satellite launch vehicle (1961).


FEBRUARY21


Return to the top of this page


Click here to return to the SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK HOME PAGE.