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An American Chronology
of Science and Technology in the
Exploration of Space

by Eugene M. Emme, NASA Historian

Foreword by Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Administrator


W. ^'- ^-

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington 25, D.C. - Price $1.75

Congress with the responsibility for conducting the U.S. civilian

program for the exploration and scientific investigation of space, as
well as for the peaceful utilization of space for the benefit of all man-
kind. It also is responsible for the conduct of aeronautical research.
NASA is scarcely two years old, having come into being on October 1,


SPACE EXPLORATION is an exciting and an important part of the total

challenge presented to mankind in these last decades of the 20th cen-
tury. With its brief history, NASA is quite aware that man's effort
to navigate in space has considerable background. NASA's organiza-
was the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
tional nucleus
which spearheaded aeronautic research and development for 43 years.
Many of NASA's programs, facilities, and personnel have come from
activities long associated with pioneering developments in rocketry
and the space sciences.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT in the couquest of space in the United

States has involved scientists, engineers, civil and military activities in
Government, universities, and industry. Liquid-fuel rocket propul-
sion, as is well known, was first demonstrated in the laboratory and in
flight by Prof. Eobert H. Goddard of Clark University. Eocket
propulsion then came to worldwide notice in the German V-2, while
subsequent ballistic missile development provided the propulsion mak-
ing possible earth satellites and space probes. NASA's mission is one
of joining all governmental agencies, the academic community, and
industry in a national program for the peaceful conquest of space for
the benefit of all mankind.

man's EXPLORATION of threc-dimensional space above the surface of

the earth, first in and now beyond the life-giving atmosphere, has
been a dramatic experience. In the scientific era in which we live,
fundamental knowledge will determine our destiny more than ever
before in human history. Exploration of space has provided im-
portant tools and new impetus in our scientific quest for knowledge
concerning the true nature of matter, time, motion, and even life
processes. Weare learning hard data about many extraterrestrial
realities for the first time. Unpredictable benefits for men on earth

seem inevitably to result from developing the technology to explore
and to learn on the newly available frontier of space. Technological
progress spurts on.

SPECTACULAR and exciting events in aerospace affairs have generally

been rather well publicized and widely noted, at least after the achieve-
ment of the Wright brothers became known. Behind the well-known
milestones of practical flight, however, have been less publicized
achievements in scientific research and engineering development mak-
ing such progress possible. This volume helps to provide a fuller
appreciation of events and activities already behind us. Perspective
on the ever-quickening pace of events, provided by this chronology,
helps provide some insight into the meaning of the events of tomorrow.
The inevitability and swift pace of technical change, for example,
can be more clearly appreciated.

FREE PEOPLES everywhere must retain a reliable perspective from which

to discern better the future scientific, social, economic, political, and
strategic consequences of dynamic advances now underway. Obviously
the manner of the impact of technology upon society in the future will
partly result from the broadest possible appreciation of its full

Htjgh L. Dryden, Deputy AdTninistrator,

National Aeronautics aTidjSpace Administration.

December 16, 1960

Foreword by Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Administrator . . iii

Abbreviations vi

Preface ix

From the Founding of NACA to the Dawn of the
Space Age, January 1915-October 1957 1


The First Three Years of the Space Age, October 1957-

December 1960 89

Appendices :

A. Chronicle of Earth Satellites and Space Probes ... 139

B. Chronicle of World Airplane Records 153

C. Chronicle of Select Balloon Flights, 1927-60 .... 161

D. Select Awards and Honors in Aeronautics and Astro-

nautics 167

E. Membership of the NACA, 1915-58 201

Select Bibliography 207

Subject and Name Index 213

AA—Antiaircraft FNRS —F^d^ration Nationale Researche
AAC—Army Air Corps (USA) Scientifique (Belgian)
AACB —Aeronautics and Astronautics FRC— Flight Research Center (NASA)
Coordinating Board (NASA-DOD) FY— Fiscal Year

AAF Army Air Forces (USA)
ABMA—Army Ballistic Missile Agency GPO — Government Printing Office
AEC—Atomic Energy Commission GSF(3—Goddard Space Flight Center
AF—U.S. Air Force (NASA)
AFA—Air Force Association
AFB— Air Force Base lAF—International Astronautical Fed-
AFBMD— Ballistic Missile Division eration
(USAF) IAS— Institute of the Aeronautical (now
AFMTC—Missile Test Center (USAF) Aerospace) Sciences
AMAL—Aviation Medical Acceleration ICAO —International Civil Aviation Or-
Laboratory (USN) ganization
AM C— Air Materiel Command (USAF) ICBM—Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
AMR—Atlantic Missile Range (Cape (DOD)
Canaveral, Florida) IGY— International Geophysical Year
ANP—Aircraft, nuclear powered IRBM— Intermediate Range Ballistic
ARC—Ames Research Center (NASA) Missile (DOD)
ARDC—Air Research and Development
Command (USAF) JANTAB —Joint Army and Navy Techni-
ARPA—Advanced Research Projects
cal Aeronautical Board
Agency (DOD) JATO— Jet-assisted takeoff

ARS—American Rocket Society

JCS—Joint Chiefs of Staff (DOD)
JNW— Joint Committee on New Weapons
and Equipment (OSRD)
BMEWS—Ballistic Missile Early Warn-
JPL— Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA-
ing System
Cal Tech)
BuAer —Bureau of Aeronautics (USN) JRDB — Joint Research and Development
BuOrd—Bureau of Ordnance (USN) Board (USA-USN)
CAA— Civil Aeronautics Authority (or —
LaRC Langley Research Center
Administration) (NASA)

Cal Tech California Institute of Tech- LMAL—Langley Memorial Aeronautical
nology Laboratory (NACA, pre-1948)

CNET French Telecommunications Es- LOD — Launch Operations Directorate
tablishment (NASA)

CO SPAR Committee on Space Research LRC—Lewis Research Center (NASA)
(International Council of Scientific
Unions) MC— Medical Corps (USN, USAF)
C/S— Chief of Staff MIT—Massachusetts Institute of Tech-

CSAGI International Special Commit- nology
tee for the IGT MSFC— Marshall Space Flight Center
DEW—Distant Early Warning Line
(DOD) NAA —National Aeronautic Association
DOD—Department of Defense NACA— National Advisory Committee for
FAA— Federal Aviation Agency NAS—Naval Air Station

FAI F6d6ration A6ronautique Inter- —
NASA National Aeronautics and Space
nationale Administration

NATO—North Atlantic Treaty Organi- SAM— School of Aviation Medicine
zation (AAF, USAF, USN)
NDRC— National Defense Research Com- SER— SNAP Experimental Reactor
mittee (AEC)
NERV—Nuclear Emulsion Recovery- SPACETRACK—National Space Surveil-
Vehicle lance Control Center (USAF)

NIH National Institutes of Health —
SPASUR Space Surveillance Detection
NOL—Naval Ordnance Laboratory Net (USN)
(USN) STG— Space Task Group (NASA)
NRL—Naval Research Laboratory —
STOL Short takeoff and landing air-
(USN) craft
NSF—National Science Foundation SUI — State University of low^a (Iowa

OSD— Office of the Secretary of Defense

UN— United Nations Organization
OSRD— Office of Scientific Research and
USA— United States Army
US AAF— U.S. Army Air Forces
USAF— U.S. Air Force
PARD —Pilotless Aircraft Research Divi- USAS— U.S. Air Service (USA)
sion, Langley Aeronautical Labora-

USIA U.S. Information Agency
tory U SMC— U.S. Marine Corps
PMR—Pacific Missile Range (Point USN— U.S. Navy
Mugu, Calif.) USNC— U.S. National Committee (IGY)

RAF—Royal Air Force (Britain) VfR—German Society for Space Travel

RCA—Radio Corp. of America (Verein fuer Raumschiffahrt
RCAF—Royal Canadian Air Force VTOL— Vertical takeoff and landing
R&D —Research and Development (aircraft)

RDB —Research and Development Board

(DOD) WADC—Wright Air Development Center
RFC—Royal Flying Corps. (Britain)
WDD—Western Development Division
SAC— Strategic Air Command (USAF) WOO — Western Operations Office
SAGE — Semiautomatic Ground Environ- (NASA)
ment System (USAF) WSPG—White Sands Proving Ground

FOR CENTURIES flight was demonstrated in nature by birds, winged
insects, bats, and some squirrels. Men remained earthbound. The
20th century witnessed the birth of practical aviation and the pro-
found impact which flight increasingly imposed upon the ways of
mankind. The world has been shrunk in time-distance relationships
by the ever-increasing speed, range, and utility of aircraft. States-
men, scientists, artists, businessmen, and tourists acquired global
wings. The art and science of war was revolutionized by airpower
and military missilry. While aeronautical progress provided atmos-
pheric stepping-stones, developments in rocket propulsion provided
the means of placing manmade objects in space beyond the earth's
atmosphere and effective gravitational force.
In the past three years, artificial satellites have been placed into or-
bit around the Earth and the Sun, Man is destined to follow his in-
strumented vehicles into space. By means of space vehicles, satellites,
rocket-powered aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, the cataract of
the earth's atmosphere has been removed for the first time from the
eyes of scientists studying the universe. Kevolutionary insight into
physical and life science disciplines is afforded by investigation and
study of the unearthly environment of space. This is the basic promise
implicit in the potentialities of the scientific frontier in our time.
Unforeseeable as well as predictable benefits for society on earth
seem inevitable as a consequence of space exploration. Man's conquest
of space presents a dramatic challenge. But we should be mindful of
its historical evolution and its broadest implications.


This volume is largely a response to repeated requests for basic his-
torical information. It is intended to serve as a ready informational
reference, one from whence more detailed historical analysis should
Perspective on the dynamic pace of science and technology in aero-
nautics and astronauticsis also served by a chronicle of events over
the years. Behind the major milestones in man's conquest of space
are many not- well-known events. Much more historical analysis and

detail seems required to document and to assess the full history of re-
search and development in aviation, rocketry, space flight, and their
related fields. Spectacular events are but the final manifestation of
the ideas, concern, and labor of many persons and institutions involved
in scientific research, engineering development, finance, organization,
management, and operations. With regard to space vehicles, the
reader need not be reminded that the development of military missiles
was a major factor in advancing the teclmology of rocket propulsion,
a historical parallel to the first major application of aeronautics to
hmnan affairs during World War I. Yet the broad-based scientific
conquest of space inherently possesses great consequences for society.
Military applications of space technology in the United States are
clearly the responsibility of the Department of Defense and the mili-
tary services and not that of NASA. It seemed pertinent to include
major developmental aspects of military technological efforts in this
The scope of this chronology is defined in accordance vrith the fol-
lowing criteria

• Emphasize scientific research and engineering development in aero-

nautics and astronautics as well as their related fields.

• Demonstrate historic use of aircraft, rockets, balloons, and space-

craft as tools of scientific research.

• Specialize upon U.S. efforts with inclusion of sufficient items on gen-

eral historical events and foreign progress to retain an undistorted
historical context.

• Illustrate practical exploitation of technological progress in aero-

nautics and astronautics.
• Exploit generally available source materials to insure widest and
early utilization of the material compiled.

Some readers may criticize the selection of events. They may also be
unappreciative of the fact that calendar-located events are not all of
equal historical significance and do not necessarily appear in sequential
order. Brevity and other necessary limitations also imposed certain
format requirements. A detailed index has been prepared to enhance
reference utility as well as topical integration ; while a select bibliog-
raphy serves as a launching pad for the stimulated reader.


Debts were accumulated in the preparation of this volume. It is not
feasible to list all indispensable contributors in NASA's Headquarters
and Centers, in other governmental agencies, or in the academic and
historical community. The following, however, must be named for
their particularly helpful counsel and assistance Mr. Harold Andrews

(USN) Mr. David S. Akens (Marshall Space Flight Center) Mr.

; ;

Joseph W. Angell (USAF) Miss Grace Bogart (NASA Technical


Library) Mr. Walter T. Bonney (Aerospace Corp.) Dr. Paul Davis

; ;

( AFAMC) Mr. Paul E. Garber (National Air Museum) Dr. Murray

; ;

Green (USAF) Dr. Richard G. Hewlett ( AEC) Mr. Milton Lehman

; ;

(Goddard biographer) Prof. W. Ross Livingston (State University


of Iowa) Mr. Marvin W. McFarland (Science and Technology, Li-


brary of Congress) Mr. Donald R. McVeigh (ARDC) Mr. Robert

; ;

W. Mulac (LaRC) Mr. Lee Pearson (USN) Mr. Robert L. Perry

; ;

(AFWADD) Dr. Nathan Reingold (Yale University) Dr. Alfred

; ;

Rockefeller ( AFBMD) Cdr. Malcolm D. Ross (USNR) Dr. Charles

; ;

Sheldon (House Committee on Science and Astronautics) Dr. Wil- ;

fred J. Smith (Office for U.N. Conference, NASA) Mr. Raymond ;

Snodgrass (Army Ordnance) Mr. John C. Truesdale (National


Academy of Sciences) Prof. James A. Van Allen (State University


of Iowa) and Dr. John F. Victory (formerly Executive Secretary


of the NACA) Mrs. Anna Shade ably managed the varied and diffi-

cult chores of preparing the manuscript with able assistance of dedi-

cated NASA typists. The responsibility for the organization and
contents of this volume, however, remains solely that of the compiler.
Additional suggestions and comments will be gratefully received
from any reader at any time. The depth of the historical process must
inevitably be extended. Comments should be directed to the NASA

E. M. E.

January 13, 1961.


From the Founding of NACA to

the Dawn of the Space Age


THE FULL HISTORY of mail's exploratioii of space might logically begin

with the legend of Icarus, or with the flight of the Wright brothers
in 1903, or more appropriately with their wind tunnel experiments
conducted at Dayton between September and December 1901. Or, it
could begin with the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, the laws of
Johannes Kepler, not to mention the contributions of the Montgolfier
brothers, Sir George Cayley, Otto Lilienthal, Octave Chanute, or
Count von Zeppelin.
Regarding the early interest of governments, as such, in the promo-
tion and exploitation of aeronautics, a chronology could start with the
specifications laid down by the U.S. War Department for a military
"flying machine" in 1907. Two years later, the United States became
the first nation in the world to possess a military airplane, the "Wright
Flyer." When the international conflict erupted in the 1914-18 war
in Europe, however, the relative plight of U.S. aviation as compared
to war-stimulated technical progress abroad, was clearly self-evident.
This U.S. chronology begins with the year in which the National
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics was created. There was also
geometric buildup of U.S. military and naval aviation as involve-
ment in military conflict approached. Wartime progress in aero-
nautics was subsequently applied to the pursuits of peace. Rocket
development was also to be stimulated in parallel fashion at a later
date when military missile development created the propulsion neces-
sary for the scientific exploration of space.
As is clearly self-evident, events in the history of scientific research
and technical development are not isolated from organizational, po-
litical, military, or other general events, which are occasionally cited
to remind the reader of the broader historical context. A chronology
is, after but a mere recital of known calendar-located events and

equal significance cannot be accorded all events listed in sequence.

January 15: New oflacial American one- April 16: Navy AB-2 flying boat success-
man duration record of 8 hours 53 min- fully catapulted from a barge, Lt. P. N.
utes set by Lt. B. Q. Jones in a Martin Bellinger as pilot.
tractor biplane at San Diego, Calif.
April 23: The Secretary of War called
:First transcontinental telephone the first meeting of the NACA in his
conversation, New York to San Francisco, ofllce. Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven,
by Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Chief Signal Oflaicer, was elected tem-
A. Watson. porary Chairman, and Dr. Charles D.
Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian
January 19-20: First German aerial Institution,was elected first Chairman
bombing of Britain, by two Zeppelins, of the important NACA
Executive Com-
thereby opening up a new era in the ex- mittee. (See Appendix E.)
ploitation of aeronautics. During World
War I, a total of 56 tons of aerial bombs American altitude record of 10,000

was dropped on London and 214 tons on feet seaplanes was established in
the rest of Britain. Burgess-Dunne AH-10 by Lt. P. N. Bel-
linger over Pensacola, Fla.
During January: First air-to-air combat,
German airman killed by rifle fire from May 31: First German Zeppelin raid on
Allied aircraft. In February a machine- London. British employed rockets in
gun mounted on a French aircraft. Lieu- their defenses around London.
tenant Garros as pilot, first shot down a
German aircraft. June 1 : Navy let first contract for lighter-
than-air craft in ordering one nonrigid
February 24: Macy automatic pilot tests airship from Connecticut Aircraft (later
were begun at San Diego, Calif. theDN-1).

During February-March: Anthony H. G. June 8: U.S. Patent Office granted patent

Fokker i)erfected synchronizing gear to (No. 1142754) to Glenn H. Curtiss cover-
allow machinegun to be fired through ro- ing the arrangement of a step or ridge
tating propeller. incori>orated in the hull of flying boats.

March S: The Advisory Committee for During June: First year of formal gradu-
Aeronautics (later the National Advisory ate study in aeronautical engineering was
Committee for Aeronautics or NACA) completed at Massachusetts Institute of
was established by a rider to the Naval Technology, and one master of science
Appropriations Act, ". . to supervise
. degree was awarded.
and direct the scientific study of the prob-
July 7; Secretary of the Navy, Josephus
lems of flight, with a view of their prac-
Daniels, in a letter to Thomas A. Edison
tical solution." The sum of $5,000 a
said that the Navy required "machinery
year was appropriated for 5 years. The
total appropriation for naval aeronautics
and facilities for utilizing the natural
inventive genius of Americans to meet
was $1 million.
the new conditions of warfare." This
March letter prompted creation of Naval Con-
4: Congress passed an appropria-
tion bill of $300,000 for Army aeronautics sulting Board of civilian advisers which
for flscal year 1916. functioned throughout World War I,
and which included in its organization a
"Committee on Aeronautics, including
April 2: President Wilson appointed the
Aero Motors."
first 12 members of the National Advisory
Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). July 10: Naval Aeronautic Station, Pen-
Throughout the entire history of the sacola, tested sextant equipped vnth a
NACA until October 1958, members served pendulum-type artificial horizon and re-
without compensation. ported that pendulum type was unsatis-
1915 —Continued AH-14, an American altitude record for
factory for aircraft use, but that a
sextant with a gyroscopically stabilized December 9: NACA
Report No. 1 was
artificial horizon might be acceptable. issued, a two-part "Report on Behavior
of Aeroplanes in Gusts," by Jerome C.
August 11: Naval Observatory requested Hunsaker and E. B. Wilson of MIT,
Eastman Kodak to develop an aerial
camera with high-speed lens suitable for December 12: An all-steel frame, fabric-
photography at 1,000 or 2,000 yards' covered combat plane successfully flown,
altitude. one designed by Grover C. Loening and
built by Sturtevant Aeroplane Co.
September 1: Congress supplemented ap-
propriation of Army aeronautics to During December: All-metal fully canti-
$13,281,666 from $300,000 of previous lever-wing monoplane produced by Hugo
fiscal year. Junkers in Germany, the J-1 powered by
a 120-hp Mercedes, made its first success-
October 15: Secretary of the NACA was ful flights.
instructed by the committee to communi-
During 1915: Elmer A. Sperry developed
cate with the Government departments,
the result of investigation with regard
and demonstrated his drift indicator for
to aeronautical activity, and to recom-
which he received the Robert J. Collier
mend or advise the Secretaries of the Trophy for 1916. (See Collier Trophy,
separate departments of the Government
Appendix D.)
to continue and foster experimental
: General Vehicle Co., Long Island
City, contracted with French Govern-
ment to buildGnome engines, the first
November 6: First catapult launching
radial engine produced in the United
from a ship underway, made from the
U.S.S. North Carolina in Pensacola Bay,
by Lt. Cmdr. H. C. Mustin. Robert H. Goddard proved validity

of rocket propulsion principles in a vac-

December 3: Lt. R. C. Saufley reached uum, at Clark University, Worcester,
11,975 feet over Pensacola in a Curtiss Mass.

March 15: First U.S. tactical air unit in May 22: French airmen successfully de-
the the 1st Aero Squadron com-
field, stroyed five of six German balloons using
manded by Capt. B. D. Foulois, began Le Prieur rockets on their Nieuport
operations with General Pershing's ex- fighters.
pedition into Mexico.
June 8: The NACA called the first meet-
April 2: American altitude record of ing of representatives of the aircraft
16,072 feet set by Lt. R. O. Saufley in a industry and of interested Government
Curtiss hydroaeroplane. agencies.

During April: French employed first air- July 19: Navy Gallauder 59A, an air-
to-air combat rockets, four Le Prieur plane with propeller mounted amidships
rockets attached to each strut of Nieu- in the fuselage, made preliminary flights
port fighter, credited with downing of at Norwich, Conn., Lt. (jg) G. D. Mur-
German hydrogen-inflated Zeppelin LC- ray as pilot.
77. The Belgian, Willy Coppens and
Briton, Albert Ball, reportedly used rock- July 22: Navy requested Aluminum Oo.
ets effectively against German balloons of America to develop a suitable alloy for
until incendiary bullets were developed. fabrication into Zeppelin-type girders.

August 22: President Wilson signed Navy- October 9: Subcommittee of the NACA
appropriation bill, which included appointed to consider the needs of the
$3,500,000 for naval aviation. committee as to a site for experimental
work, with authority to visit and inspect
August 29: The NAG A requested $85,000 sites, and to secure the cooperation of the

and received $82,515.70 for fiscal year War and Navy Departments and the
1917 as a part of the naval appropriation Weather Bureau.
bill. $68,957.35 later went toward lab-
oratory construction at Langley Field. November 23: The NACA recommended
purchase of land north of Hampton, Va.,
U.S. Army appropriations ap-
for use as an aircraft proving ground
proved, which included $14,281,766 to the by the Army and Navy. This site be-
Signal Corps for military aeronautics. came known as Langley Field, and the
location of the first NACA laboratory.
September 2: Plane-to-plane radio dem-
onstrated over North Island, Calif., at November 28: First airplane raid on
a distance of about 2 miles. London, by a German seaplane.

September 2-3: First German Zeppelin During November: "Design Require-

shot down by RFC aircraft over Britain ments for Airplanes" (A.P. 970), a basic
five Zeppelins were brought down over six-page pamphlet, was issued by the
Britain during 1916. British Royal Aircraft Factory at Farn-
September 12: Piloted hydroaeroplane
equipped with automatic stabilization December 20: Army Balloon School
and direction gear developed by the established at Fort Omaha, Nebr.
Sperry Go. and P. O. Hewitt was dem-
onstrated by Amityville, Long Island, During 1916: Radio-controlled pilotless
before naval observers. monoplane, the "Aerial Target," designed
by H. P. Folland with radio gear by
September 21: The National Research A. M. Low, flown at the British Royal
Council, formed at the request of Presi- Aircraft Establishment at Famborough.
dent Wilson by the National Academy of
Sciences, held its first meeting in New : Development work on air cooling
York. of aircraft engines by means of spacing,
depth and thickness of fins, and the
During September: Wright-Martin Air- effects of airflow, were conducted by Pro-
craft Corp. contracted with French com- fessor Givson at Royal Aircraft Factory
pany to manufacture the Hispano-Suiza at famborough.
engine in the United States.
: Nine U.S. aircraft companies de-
October 5: The NACA first recommended livered only 64 out of 336 aircraft
inauguration of airmail service, and ordered by the Army, the performance
William F. Durand was elected Chair- of which compared unfavorably with
man of the NACA. European aircraft.

January 10: Comptroller of the Treasury and Navy, recommended creation of
Department ruled that the NACA was an Manufacturers Aircraft Association to
independent agency and was not an ap- effect cross-licensing of aeronautic pat-
pendage of the Navy Department in spite ents. This was a milestone in preventing
of the fact it was originally funded under a virtual deadlock in aircraft construc-
the naval appropriations bill. tion because of patent infringement suits.

During January: The NACA, after con- February 2: The NACA recommended to
sidering high-cost complaints of Army the President, for transmittal to Con-
1916 —Continued June 4-' Aircraft Production Board and

the Joint Technical Board on Aircraft

gress for approval, that the Government authorized the construction of five proto-
acquire basic aeronautical patents. type models of 8- and 12-cylinder Liberty
motors. Engine designs had been worked
February 13: Aircraft Manufacturers out in a Washington hotel room by J. G.
Association formed, Frank H. Russell as Vincent of Packard Motor Car Co. and
president. E. J. Hall of the Hall- Scott Motor Car
Co. during the previous week, applying
March 8: Naval Act carried appropria- current engineering practices to mass pro-
tion of $1 million for purchase of basic duction techniques.
aeronautical patents by the Federal
Government. July 4: First 8-cylinder Liberty aircraft
engine arrived in Washington, D.C., for
March 29: The NACA recommended test by the National Bureau of Standards.
preparation of 3-year programs for air- Design, manufacture, and assembly of
craft production to the Secretaries of this motor had required less than 6 weeks.
War and the Navy.
July 24: Manufacturers Aircraft Associa-
April 6: The United States declared war tion formed to handle cross-licensing pat-
on the Central Powers. The Aviation ents between all manufacturers.
Section of the Signal Corps consisted of
35 pilots, 1,987 enlisted men, and 55 $640 million aviation bill became

training airplanes. Navy Aviation and law, the largest U.S. appropriation for
Marine Corps combined had 48 oflBcer- aviation to date.
pilots, 239 men, 54 airplanes, 1 airship,
3 balloons, and 1 air station. July 27: Secretary of the Navy author-
ized a naval aircraft factory in Philadel-
April 10: The NACA recommended the phia.
organization of an Aircraft Production
Board, to be appointed by the Council : First British DH^ arrived in
of National Defense. Such was created United States and became model for the
first combat aircraft produced in volume
on May 16.
in the United States.
April 14: Naval Consulting Board rec-
August 11: Field Marshal Jan Christian
ommended to the Secretary that $50,000
Smuts, Chairman of a Sub-committee on
be granted to carry on experimental
Imperial Defence, submitted classic pro-
work on aerial torpedoes in the form of
posal for creation of an autonomous air
automatically controlled aeroplanes or
force in the British military structure.
aerial machines carrying high explosives.
This was origin of the Navy N-9 "flying
August 21: First airplane powered by
bomb," later considered the Navy's first
Liberty engine successfully flown, the
guided-missile effort.
L. W. F. Engineering Co.'s "Model F"
May 7; First aerial bombing of London
by German bombers at night. August 25: Navy "NC" flying boat devel-
opment was initiated by Chief Construc-
May 12: Capt. W. A. Robertson estab- tor of the Navy, D. W. Taylor, in a memo
lished new American altitude record of outlining general requirements of such an
17,230 feet over North Island Flying aircraft to combat the submarine menace
School, San Diego, Calif. and "to fly across the Atlantic to avoid
difficulties of delivery, etc." Acting Sec-
May 20: First aircraft sinking of a sub- retary of the Navy, F. D. Roosevelt, au-
marine, the German U-36, in the North thorized development of "NC" flying boats
Sea by a British flying boat. capable of flying the Atlantic.

June 2: Aviation Section became the Air- 12-cylinder Liberty motor passed a

plane Division of the Army Signal Corps, 50-hour test with power output of over
and Maj. B. D. Foulois was appointed 300 hp prior to being ordered into mass
oflBcer-in-charge on July 23. production.
During August: The NACA recommended October 29: First DH-^ completed, flown
funds be given Weather Bureau to pro- at Dayton, Ohio.
mote safety in aerial navigation.
November 15: Committee on Light Alloys
September 3: Brig. Gen. W. L. Kenly ap- established within NACA to intensify ef-
pointed Chief of the Air Service, AEF, forts to develop new metals for aero-
the first time control of Army air activi- nautical use. Constructor Jerome C.
ties was placed under a single head. Hunsaker was Navy member.

September 1: Radio signals sent from a November21 : A modifled Navy N-9 "Fly-
Navy R-6 seaplane flying from NAS Pen- ingBomb" was demonstrated to Army,
sacola, were received by Naval Radio Navy and civilian observers at Amity-
Station New Orleans, 140 miles distant, ville. Long Island.
in tests.
December 15: U.S. Navy airplane design
placed under LCdr. W. Starling Burgess,
October 1: Congress created the Aircraft
Bureau of Construction and Repair.
December 26: First test-run of altitude
October 16: Final tests of Army's air- laboratory constructed at the Bureau of
plane radiotelephone at Langley Field, Standards for the NACA, one capable of
Va., achieved 25 miles for plane-to-plane testing engine performance up to one-
communication and 45 miles airplane-to- third an atmosphere.
During 1917: U.S. Weather Bureau aero-
October 18: McCook
Field, Dayton, Ohio, logical specialist, William R. Blair, pre-
was established as an aeronautical ex- pared NACA Report No. 13, "Meteorology
perimental station by the Signal Corps. and Aeronautics," which was widely cir-
culated as a basic handbook.
British De Havilland DH-4 or-
: of War Department, a
At request
dered into series production in the
United States 6 months after U.S. entry
member of NACA
technical staff assigned
to supervise altitude performance tests
into World War I. By the end of the
of the flrst Liberty engines at Detroit,
war, about 4,500 had been built, and of
Mich., and Pikes Peak, Colo.
the total of 1,216 American-built planes
to reach the Western Front, all but three Development work at the British

(two Le Peres and one experimental Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough

DH-9) were DH-4's. included a measured-injection carburetor,
prototype design of 14-cylinder, double-
The Aviation Medical Research
row, static-radial, air-cooled engine
Board was established by the Signal (RAF-8), and design and construction of
Corps. the SE-5 fighter.

October 21 : First flight test of 12-cylinder Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" became basic

Liberty engine in Curtiss HS-1 flying training airplane for thousands of Amer-
boat at Buffalo, N.Y. ican pilots.

Jarmary 19: U.S. School of Aviation January 23: First American military bal-
Medicine began operations under Maj. loon ascension in the AEF took place at
Williams H. Wilmer, Signal Corps, Ha- Cuperly, Marne, France.
zelhurst Field, Mineola, N.Y. A low-
pressure tank was constructed to simu- During January: The NACA established
late altitudes up to 30,000 feet, and some OflBce ofAeronautical Intelligence at the
studies were conducted at Pik^ Peak. suggestion of the Aircraft Board to col-
of Paimboeuf, France, longest flight on
1918— Continued record for airship of this type.
lect and distribute scientific and techni-
cal data on aeronautics. April 29: Plans approved for construc-
tion of first wind (5-foot) tunnel at
February 7: Tlie Joint Army and Navy Langley Memorial Aeronautical Labora-
Technical Aeronautical Board (JAN- tory of NACA.
TAB) passed resolution on Instrument
Standardization in Army and Navy May 11: First American-made DH-4,
planes for incorporation in general with Liberty engine, received in the AEF.
May 15: Navy Bureau of Steam Engi-
February 16: Plant for assembly of neering reported that Marconi SE-IIOO
American-made airplanes began opera- radio transmitter designed for use on
tions at Bomorantin, France. H-16 flying boat, had proven capable of
reliable voice communications from plane
March 6: Navy unmanned "flying bomb"
to shore up to 50 nautical miles and code
successfully launched by catapult and communications up to 120 nautical miles.
flown for 1,000 yards at Sperry Flying
Field, Long Island. The Post Ofiice's flrst regular air-

mail route, Washington to New York,

March 8: Majs. E. C. Schneider and J. L. was inaugurated by Army pilots.
Whitney (USA) reached an artificial al-
titude of 34,000 feet in 24 minutes, at
May 17: First flight made in France of
Signal Corps Laboratory, Mineola, N.Y.
an American-built military aircraft, a
DH-4, built by Dayton Wright Co.
March 21 : "Dunkirk fighter" or Navy HA
adapted from English design.
seaplane made its first flight at Port
Washington, Long Island, with Ctirtiss
pilot Roland Rohlfs as pilot.
May 20: Army Aeronautics was divorced
from the Signal Corps and two air de-
March 27: First aircraft built at the partments were created Bureau of Mili-

Naval Aircraft Factory, the H-16 sea- tary Aeronautics and Bureau of Aircraft
plane, was flown for the first time, and Production.
was later used for the antisubmarine pa-
trol from United States and European May 24: First consignment of American-
stations. built flying boats, six HS-l's, arrived at
Pauillac, France.
March 29: Curtiss 18-T or "Kirkham"
triplane fighter ordered by Navy from During May: At instigation of Dr. W. F.
Curtiss Engineering. Durand, Chairman of the NACA, Gen-
eral Electric assembled an experimental
April 6: Night aerial photographs taken turbo supercharger on a Liberty engine
with use of magnesium flares by Lt. J. O. at Dayton.
McKinney (USA) and civilian pilot Nor-
bert Oarolin. June 19: Naval Air Station Pensacola be-
gan taking upper atmosphere weather
April 15: First Marine Aviation Force
soundings to provide wind velocity and
formed at NAS Miami, commanded by
direction. Recording instruments were
Capt. A. A. Cunningham.
carried aloft by a kite balloon, a tech-
April 23: First oversea shipment of Lib-
nique developed by the station meteoro-
logical officer Lt. W. F. Reed.
erty motors arrived at assembly and
repair station at Pauillac, France.
During July: Standard Aircraft Corp. re-
April 25: Loening M-3 first flown, quested to build Italian Caproni and
equipped with Lawrence three-cylinder, English Handley-Page bombers.
air-cooled engine.
August 17: American-designed bomber,
April 27: French-built airship AT-1, Army Martin MB-1, made its first flight
commanded by Lt. F. P. Culbert (USN), with T. E. Springer as pilot. It became
completed a 25-hour 23-minute flight out the first standard bomber of the Air

Service but did not enter combat, wliile November 11: With the signing of the
were used by tlie
later modifications of it Armistice, the Army Air Service had a
Post OflSce Department. total of 195,024 personnel, of which
20,568 were officers, and the AEF had
September 18: Altitude world record of 3,538 airplanes while 4,865 were in serv-
28,899 feet established by Maj. R. W. ice in the United States. Naval aviation
Schroeder (USA) at Dayton, Ohio. consisted of 6,716 officers and 30,693 men,
with 282 officers and 2,189 men in Marine
September 23: Flywheel catapult used Corps units with a total of 2,107 air-
successfully to launch Navy "flying planes, of which 1,172 were flying boats.
bomb" at Copiague, Long Island, a de-
velopment undertaken by Sperry Co. November 17: NAS Hampton Roads re-
ported that H-16 flying boat equipped
September 28: One JN4 aircraft maneu- with radio direction finder using British
vered another JN4 in flight solely by six-stage amplifier had received signals
means of radio at Langley Field, Va. from Arlington, Va., a distance of 150
October 1 : First bombing using electrical
November 25: NC-1 flying boat estab-
releases. Allied bombers in an attack on
lished new world record by taking off
German infantry counterattack.
from Rockaway Beach, N.Y., with 51 per-
sons aboard.
October 2: First successful flights of
Army's Kettering pilotless aircraft with During November: The NACA first rec-
preset controls, "The Bug," at Dayton, ommended enactment of Federal legisla-
Ohio; often called a "guided missile" in tion for civil aviation, enforcement to be
later years. under the Department of Commerce.

October 3: Flight refueling demonstrated December 4' First Army transcontinen-

in a seaplane by Lt. Godfrey L. Cabot tal flightby four Curtiss JN4's began
(USNR), by snatching 155 pounds of at San Diego, reaching Jacksonville, Fla.,
weight from a moving sea sled. on December 22.

October 4-' Navy NC-1 flying boat, de-

December 31: Altitude laboratory at Bu-
signed by Hunsaker, Richardson & West-
reau of Standards completed a full year
of detailed analysis of various engine
ervelt, was successfully test flown.
performances up to 30,000-foot altitudes,
which yielded many results of basic
October 19: Pilotless Navy N-9 training
plane, converted to automatic flying ma-
chine, flew prescribed course although During 1918: Medical Research Labora-
distance gear failed to land the airplane tory of the Signal Corps published a
at preset range of 14,500 yards. manual on aviation medicine.

November 6-1: Robert H. Goddard fired : Ballistic Branch of the Army Ord-
several rocket devices before representa- nance Corps, in conjunction with the Na-
tives of the Signal Corps, Air Service, tional Bureau of Standards, conducted
Army Ordnance, and others at Aberdeen wind tunnel tests to determine optimum
Proving Ground, Md. shapes for artillery projectiles.

January 21-31: Second Army transcon- February 5: Firstcivil airline with pas-
tinental flight by Maj. T. C. Macauley senger service, Germany's Deutsche
in DH-4 Liberty, Fort Worth-San Diego- Luftreederei which operated between
Miami-Fort Worth, which he repeated in Berlin, Leipzig, and Weimar.
1919 —Continued June lff-15: First nonstop Atlantic flight
from Newfoundland to Ireland, 1,936
February 18: Navy Bureau of Ordnance miles, was accomplished by Capt. John
(BuOrd) continued wartime experimen- Alcock and Lt. A. W. Brown of England
tal work begun by Sperry Gyroscope in in a Vickers-Vimy-2 Rolls 400, in 15 hours
1917 on the unmanned "Flying Bomb." 57 minutes.

February 19: The NACA recommenda- June 25: NAS Anacostia reported on
tions on regulating air commerce, the measurements of temperature and hu-
licensing of pilots, the inspection of air- midity at altitudes made by si)ecial in-
craft, and the use of landing fields were struments on aircraft.
transmitted to Congress through the Sec-
retary of the Treasury. June 28: Signing of Treaty of Versailles
disarmed Germany of a military air
force but did not include rockets as po-
During February: First flights of
tential weapons, thus leaving Germany
Thomas-Morse MB-3, first U.S.-designed
procured in quantity, which free under international law to develop
reached speed of 164 mph in early flights them.
exceeding that of contemporary Euro-
During June: Paris office of the NACA
pean aircraft.
opened with William Knight in charge to
collect and disseminate aeronautical in-
March 19: The Aircraft Board was abol-
formation in Britain, France, and Italy.
ished by Presidential Executive Order.
July 2-6: First airship crossing of the
March 21: First recorded flight test of Atlantic, by British R-34.
gyrocompass, a Sperry instrument, by the
Navy, which was unsuccessful. July 24-November 9: "Around the rim"
circuit flight of the United States, cover-
April 26: World duration unoflBcial rec- ing 9,823 miles, completed by Lt. Col.
ord attained by Navy F5L flying boat R. L. Hartz and Lt. E. E. Harmon in a
of 20 hours 19 minutes, with Lt. H. B. Martin bomber.
Grow as pilot.
July 28: First aerial observations of
April 28: Naval Observatory requested schools of fish made by U.S. Bureau of
by LCdr. Richard E. Byrd to supply bub- Fisheries with cooperation of naval air-
ble levels for attachment to navigational craft, at Cape May, N.J.
sextants, thereby providing an artificial
horizon for astronomical observations August l-September 14: First Interna-
from aircraft. tional Aircraft Exposition since Armi-
stice, at Amsterdam, Holland.

; Unofficial seaplane record made August H: First airmail delivered at sea,

by Navy F5L piloted by Lt. H. B. Grow by Aeromarine flying boat to the White
out of Hampton Roads, which completed liner Adriatic (Br.).
a flight of 20 hours and 19 minutes, a
distance of 1,250 nautical miles. August 25: First daily commercial air
service,London to Paris, begun by Brit-
During April: Curtiss 18-T two-place ish Airco DH-4a.
fighterpowered by a Curtiss-Kirkham
K-12-350, made first flights, reached
September 6: New unofficial world alti-
tude two-man record of 28,250 feet was
speed of 162 mph.
set by Maj. R. W. Schroeder and Lt.
G. A. Elfrey in a Le Pere Liberty 400 at
May 8-29: First transatlantic flight by
Dayton, Ohio. On October 4, Schroeder
LCdr. Albert C. Read and crew in Navy
reached new record of 31,796 feet in same
plane NC-4.

May 26: Date of Dr. Robert H. Goddard's September 12: The NACA coordinated
progress report to the Smithsonian Insti- the replies of the executive departments
tution entitled "A Method of Reaching regarding provisions of the International
Extreme Altitudes." It was published by Convention on Air Navigation meeting in
the Smithsonian in January 1920. Paris.

September 18: World altitude oflacial December 29: American Meteorological
record of 31,420 feet flown by Roland Society founded at St. Louis, Mo., for the
Rohlfs in Curtiss triplane-Curtiss-Kirk- development and dissemination of knowl-
ham K12-350. edge of meteorology in all its phases and
October 8-Sl: Army transcontinental re-
liability and endurance flight from New-
December 31: Notable technical achieve-
York to San Francisco and return 44 :
ments of the year according to McCook
aircraft completed westbound 15 east-
Field were development of leakproof

bound; and 10 planes made round trip. tanks reversible- and variable-pitch pro-

pellers a siphon gasoline pump fins and

; ;

October 9: Charles D. Walcott, Secretary

floats for emergency water landings and
of the Smithsonian, elected Chairman of

the turbocompressor or supercharger

the NACA Joseph S. Ames was elected
developed by Sanford A. Moss of General
Chairman of the Executive Committee, a
post he held until October 7, 1939.

October IS: International Convention on During 1919: Adolph Rohrbach of Ger-

Air Navigation signed in Paris, which re- many developed smooth-surface, metal-
affirmed the principle of national sover- surfaced wings, combined with metal box-
eignty in airspace and established a spar internal construction, the beginning
Commission for Aerial Navigation under of the stressed-skin concept.
the League of Nations to regulate inter-
national air commerce.
: Weather Bureau expended $100,-
October 30: Reversible-pitch propeller 000 to improve meteorological observa-
tested at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio. tions to support increasing aviation re-
quirements, an appropriation granted by
November 12-December 10: Ross Mc- Congress in 1917 upon the recommenda-
Pherson Smith completed 11,500-mile tion of the NACA.
intercontinental flight in a Vickers-Vimy
from Heston, London, to Port Darwin,
Junkers of Germany produced J-13
low-set, cantilever-wing transport,
December 8: The Aeronautical Engineer- carried a crew of two and four
ing Society was organized at MIT. passengers.

January 20: Navy Bureau of Steam En- to stimulate new designs, increasing
gineering was allocated $100,000 to con- Army and Navy air appropriations, ex-
tract for the development and purchase panding the Air Mail Service, and ex-
of 200-hp radial aircooled engines from panding research at the Langley Me-
the Lawrance Aero Engine Corp. morial Aeronautical Laboratory.

February 5: Navy-sponsored project of March 27: Successful test of Sperry gyro-

developing radio-loop antennas for navi- stabilized automatic pilot system in an
gational purposes. F5L was completed at NASHampton
February 27: World altitude record of
33,113 feet set by Maj. R. W. Schroeder April 1: The NACA approved the publi-
(USA) in a LePere-Liberty 400, at Mc- cation of Technical Report No. 91, "No-
Cook Field, Dayton, Ohio. menclature for Aeronautics," to assist
use of uniform technical terms and
March 1 : The NACA proposed a national symbols.
aviation policy establishing a Bureau of
Aeronautics in the Commerce Depart- Apr«7 2: Successful altitude soundings of
ment, authorizing airplane competition wind direction and velocity at night,

1920 —Continued During July-September: Inaccessible
parts of Alaska mapped from the air by
using candle-lighted free balloons at Army Air Service pilots, headed by Capt.
Hampton Roads in flights since January, St. Clair Streett (USA).
announced by the Navy.
November 1: First U.S. international
June 4: Army Air Service (AAS) was passenger service started by Aeromarine
created in the Army reorganization bill West Indies Airways between Key West,
signed by President Wilson. AAS con- Fla., and Havana, Cuba.
sisted of 1,516 officers and 16,000 en-
listed men.
November won by
25: First Pulitzer race
H. Wilson (USA) made Lt. C. C. Mosely in a Verville-Packard
June 8: Lt. J.
600 at Mitchel Field, N.Y., flying a dis-
a series of high-altitude jumps, para-
tance of 182 miles at a speed of 156.54
chuting from a record altitude of 19,861
feet over San Antonio, Tex.

During 1920: NACA Report No. 84, en-

June 11: The NACA's own program of
titled "Data on the Design of Plywood
aeronautics research, conducted by its
for Aircraft," by Armin Elmendorf of the
own staff in its own facilities, was begun
NACA Forest Service, provided basic guidance
with the first operation of the first
for aircraft design as well as broader
5-foot wind tunnel at Langley Labora-

June 21: Because development of mili- : New

aircraft engine laboratory, the
tary rigid airships by the Navy was con- second, was completed at the National
sidered proper, and one logically leading Bureau of Standards capable of testing
to the development of commercial types, 800-hp engines. Work carried out under
the NACA urged adequate funding of the direction of L. J. Briggs provided new
the Navy program in spite of recent air- data on the viscosity of air.
ship disasters.
Wind tunnel at Leland Stanford

: Navy approved installation of J. V. Aerodynamic Laboratory devoted entirely

Martin retractable landing gear on VE-7 to propeller tests under direction of W. F.
Vought airplane, but no evidence indi- Durand, while NACA's George De-
cates it was done. First U.S. retractable Bothezat carried on aerodynamic studies
landing gear was used by J. V. Martin at McCook Field.
K-III in 191&-19 period.
Secretaries of War and Navy ap-

June 28: The NACA formally encouraged pointed joint Aeronautical Board to con-
the Army and Navy to detail officers to sider military questions regarding use of
the Massachusetts Institute of JTech- aeronautics by both services. Having
nology for aeronautical engineering study no connection with the NACA, the Aero-
and offered use of its facilities and per- nautical Board replaced the Joint Army
sonnel to further research and experi- and Navy Technical Aircraft Board es-
mental work outside of Government. tablished during the war to expedite mili-
tary procurement and exploitation of
July 1: Wright Aeronautical produced aviation.
a French Hisso "cannon engine" which
fired 37-mm shells through the propeller The NACA formulated and recom-

shaft. mended reservations regarding the Con-

vention on International Air Navigation
July 7: Navy F5L seaplane flown by (1919) to the State Department prior to
means of radiocompass from Hampton U.S. ratification.
Roads to U.S.S. Ohio at sea.
New aircraft engines of this year

July 13: Cdr. J. Hunsaker (USN)

C. included the French Hisso-design 180-
elected Honorary Fellow of Royal Aero- and 300-hp engines by Wright the Aero- ;

nautical Society of England, the first time marine 120 and 180; the Packard 300-
this distinction was conferred on one not and 600-hp types; and the Lawrance 60-
a British subject. and 200-hp air-cooled engines.

: Moon eclipse observed by Lts. J. H. University. He concluded that although
Tilton and W. H. Gushing from lieiglit of oxygen and hydrogen possessed the great-
3 miles at NAS Rockaway, N.Y. est heat energy per unit mass, that liquid
oxygen and liquid methane offered great-
During 1920-22: Robert H. Goddard ex- est heat value of combinations which
perimented with liquid oxygen and vari- could be used without considerable diffi-
ous liquid hydrocarbons, including gaso- culty. But, he said, "the most practical
line and liquid propane as well as ether, combination appears to be liquid oxygen
as rocket fuel, under a grant by Clark and gasoline."

January 10: 700-hp aircraft engine hav- Aviation within the Department of Com-
ing 18 cylinders arranged in three banks merce, in his address to Congress.
of six, tested at Engineering Division,
McCook Field. April 18: John J. Ide appointed as tech-
nical assistant in charge of the Paris of-
January 25: Committee on Law of Avia- fice of the NACA, a post he held until
tion, American Bar Association, filed in- 1940 and resumed after the end of World
itial report on the necessity of aerial law. War II.
On August 25, the ABA recommended
Federal aerial legislation. April 23: Aerial photo survey of Domin-
ican Republic coastline completed by
January 26: Post Office Department op- First Air Squadron of the USMC; and
erated regular daily airmail routes over in June, it completed aerial survey of
a distance of 3,460 miles. Haitian coastline.

February 21 : First transcontinental flight June an Army Air Serv-

8: First flight of
within 24 hours, made by Lt. W. D. Coney was made,
ice pressurized cabin airplane
in a DH-4B from San Diego, Calif., to a D-9-A aircraft piloted by Lt. Harold
Jacksonville, Fla., in 22 hours and 27 R. Harris.
June 9: The NACA authorized construc-
School for Flight Surgeons at
: tion of compressed-air wind tunnel (20
Mitchell Field recognized as a Special atmospheres) with a 5-foot test section
Service School in War Department Gen- at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory.
eral Order No. 7.
July 9-11: Aerial study of San Andreas
March 16: U.S. Public Health Service rift,the line of earthquakes of 1857 and
initiated aerial survey of the Mississippi 1906 in California Coast Range, made by
Valley watershed. Prof. Bailey Willis of the Seismological
Society of America.
Ma/rch 23: Parachute jump from 23,700
feet made by Lt. A. G. Hamilton (USA) July 13-21: In a series of Army-Navy
at Chanute Field, 111. bombing tests off the Virginia Capes, air-
planes sank the captured German de-
stroyer G—102, light cruiser Frankfort,
April 1: President Harding directed
NACA and battleship Ostfriesland.
to organize an inter-departmental
subcommittee to recommend Federal reg- July 29: Brig. Gen. William Mitchell led
ulation of air navigation. After a series 17 bombers in "raid" over New York.
of meetings this committee's report was
approved by the Executive Committee of August 1: World War I high-altitude
NACA on April 9, and transmitted to the bombsight mounted on a gyrostabilized
President. base tested by Navy Torpedo Squadron
at TorktoviTi, Va., marking completion of
April 12: President Harding recom- first phase of Carl L. Norden's develop-
mended establishment of a Bureau of ment of a bombsight for BuOrd.

1921— Continued November 15: Initial U.S. flight of air-
ship Romu was made at Langley Field,
August If: 5,000 catalpa trees successfully Va.
sprayed from an airplane in 15 minutes,
at Troy, Ohio. November 28: NACA Report 116, "Appli-
cations of Modern Hydrodynamics to
August 10: The Navy Bureau of Aero- Aeronautics," by Ludwig Prandtl of Got-
nauticswas established with Rear Adm. tingen University in Germany, a major
William A. MofEett as first chief. contribution to the basis of the theory
governing fundamental aerodynamical
September 18: Lt. J. A. Macready (USA) applications, was
published. His famous
broke world altitude record in a Packard- 1904 paper on boundary layers was trans-
LePere fighter plane by reaching 34,508 lated and issued in NACA Technical
Memorandum No. 452 in 1928.
September 28: Day and night bombard- December 1: Nonrigid Navy dirigible
ment test flights by the U.S. Air Service
C-7, first to use nonflammable helium,
were begun, which resulted in the sink-
made flight from Hampton Roads, Va.,
ing of the battleship Alabama in the
to Washington, D.O.
Chesapeake Bay by a 2,000-pound bomb.
December 7: In its annual report, the
September 30: During forest fire season,
47 Air Service aircraft discovered 832
NACA recommended establishment of a
Federal airways system to include pro-
forest fires in 396 patrols from Pacific
vision of extended weather service "in-
coast bases, flying 148,113 miles over
dispensable to the success and safety of
national parks.
air navigation." It also recommended
that Government policy be formulated "to
Pointing out the virtual U.S. mo-
sustain and stabilize the aeronautical
nopoly of known sources of helium, the
NACA passed a special resolution ad-
dressed to the President and the Secre- December 29: World endurance record of
taries of War and Navy urging the 26 hours 18 minutes 35 seconds set at
continuance of the U.S. airship develop- Roosevelt Field, N.Y., by Edward Stinson
ment program. and Lloyd Bertaud in a Junkers-Larsen
October 18: A world speed record of
BMW 185 (imported German Junkers
222.96 mph for 1 kilometer was set by
Brig. Gen. "William Mitchell in a Curtiss During December: The NACA cooper-
R6 Curtiss D12 375, at Mount Clemens, ated with private organizations in the
Mich. formulation of an air safety code.

November 12: First air-to-air refueling During 1921: The NACA's Office of Aero-
made when Wesley May stepped from nautical Intelligence distributed 13,080
wing of one aircraft to that of another copies of technical reports and 7,108
with a 5-gallon can of gasoline strapped copies of technical notes to governmental,
to his back. industrial, and educational institutions.

February 7; Completion of a 50-hour test March 20: Navy's first aircraft carrier,
of the Lawrance J-1, 200-hp radial air- U.S.S. Langley, was commissioned at
cooled engine, by the Aeronautical En- Norfolk, Va., a converted collier, Jupiter.
gine Laboratory, Washington Navy Yard,
foreshadowed the successful use of radial March 23: NACA Report No. 159 on "Jet
engines in naval aircraft. Propulsion for Airplanes," by Edgar

Buckingham of the Bureau of Standards, ability tests from 50 to 300 hours' en-
pointed out that jet fuel consumption durance.
would be four times that of propeller en-
gine at 250 mph, but that eflaeiency of jet July 1: Eight naval medical officers were
increased at higher speeds. fixst to report for flight training, at NAS
Pensacola, having previously completed
April 25: Stout ST-1 successfully test flight surgeon's course at the Army Tech-
flown by Eddie Stinson, first all-metal air- nical School of Aviation Medicine.
plane designed for the Navy.
July 16: Berliner helicopter rose 12 feet
May SI: First use of helium in a free and hovered before military observers
balloon in Navy balloon flovm by Lt. at College Park, Md.
Comdr. J. P. Norfieet in National Elimina-
tion Balloon Race at Milwaukee, which July 17: Aerial photos taken from naval
did not place in the race. aircraft to aid in location of reefs at
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.
June 10: Guglielmo Marconi of Italy
August 2: An unofficial three-man alti-
stated that an apparatus could be de-
signed to transmit radio waves from one tude record of 23,350 feet was set at Mc-
ship in any desired direction and pick Cook Field, Dayton, Ohio, by Lt. L. Wade,
Capt. A. W. Stevens, and Sergeant Long-
up reflections from another ship in a
receiver, a device which would "thereby
ham in a supercharged Air Service
immediately reveal the presence and bomber.
bearing of the other ship in fog or thick
August 18: AGA beacon (American Gas
weather." Christian Huelsmeyer of
Accumulator) began operations at NAS
Germany received a patent in 1904 on
Hampton Roads, with 6,000 candlepower,
boat equipment which used reflected
18 flashes per minute, and an optical
radio waves for navigational use on the
range of 20 miles horizontally.
Rhine River.
August 21: Lawrence Sperry dropped
June 12: Capt. A. W. Stevens (USAS)
landing wheels from plane in flight and
made record parachute jump from 24,200 landed it on a skid device at Farming-
from a supercharged Martin bomber over dale, Long Island.
McCook Field.
September 4-' First transcontinental flight
:Smithsonian Institution scientists
within a single day, by Lt. J. H. Doolittle
utilized Navy seaplanes in mollusk re-
(USAS) in a modified DH-4B Liberty
search in Florida waters, completing in
400, from Pablo Beach, Fla., to Rockwell
days what would otherwise have required
Field, San Diego, a distance of 2,163
a year.
miles in 21 hours 20 minutes.

June 16: Helicopter flight made by Henry September 21: Observations on overflying
Berliner at College Park, Md. aircraft made by Navy scientists ulti-
mately aiding development of radar, by
:Lt. C. L. Bissell (USAS) began a Albert Hoyt Taylor and Leo C. Young
series of night cross-country flights be- of the Naval Aircraft Radio Laboratory,
tween Boiling Field, D.C., and Langley Anacostia, D.C.
Field, Va.
October 11: First USN carrier takeoflE by
June 26: ZR-3 rigid airship ordered from Lt. V. C. Griffin in Vought VE-7SF, from
the Zeppelin Co., Friedrichshafen, Ger- U.S.S. Langley.
many, as part of World War I repara-
tions under terms approved by the Allied October 19: Variable-density wind tun-
Conference of Ambassadors on December nel placed into operation at Langley
16, 1921. Laboratory, although lack of adequate
electric power prevented concurrent
During June: Wright E-2 engine oper- operation of both wind tunnels this year.
ated continuously for 250 hours at wide-
open throttle, demonstrating improved October 23: Reversible propeller demon-
durability of intake and exhaust valves strated at Boiling Field, D.C, by Ameri-
Navy BuAer later increased engine suit- can Propeller Co.

1922— Continued fully testflown for 1 minute 42 seconds
by Maj. F. H. Bane.
October 26: First USN carrier landing
made by Comdr. G. Cbevalier
Lt. in During 1922: Two wind tunnels (4 by 4
Aeromarine 39B on U.S.S. Langley off foot, and 8 by 8 foot) at the Washington
Cape Henry. Navy Yard, under the direction of A. F.
Zahm, made tests on naval designs, the
November 1: First engineer-in-cliarge ap- important results of which were usually
pointed for NACA Langley Aeronautical published by NACA as technical reports.
Laboratory, Leigh M. GriflSth.
:As a result of Army-Navy confer-
November Service Medical Re-
8: Air
ence, policy established that manufac-
search Laboratory and School for Flight turers and designers should be invited,
Surgeons was designated School of Avia- to compete in the design and construc-
tion Medicine. tion of military aircraft, with engineers
given a free hand. The only require-
November 18: First catapult launching
ment was that the airplane have mili-
from carrier U.S.S. Langley (GV-1) by
tary utility and have a speed of more
Comdr. Kenneth Whiting flying a PT
than 190 mph.

December 4- President Harding re-

: National Aeronautic Association
quested the recommendations of the was formed with Howard E. Coffin
elected president.
NACA as to the most promising pro-
gram for the Air Mail Service in the
expenditure of its limited funds. The : U.S. Weather Bureau first pre-
NACA, on December 20, recommended pared a "standard atmosphere" showing
that $2,300,000 be appropriated to demon- the relationship between pressure and
strate feasibility of night flying on the temperature based on average conditions
mail service and to establish regular New over the United States at 40° N. latitude.
York-San Francisco mail service in 36
hours or less. 1920-22: Goddard developed and unsuc-
cessfully tested first liquid propellant
December 18: DeBothezat helicopter, engine, using liquid oxygen, and devised
builtby the Engineering Division of the small high-pressure pumps to force fuel
Air Service at MeCook Field, success- into the combustion chamber.

January 5: Cloud seeding over McCook Selfridge Field, Mich., increased flying
Field, Dayton, accomplished by Prof. radius to about 400 miles.
W. D. Bancroft of Cornell University,
from Air Service aircraft. March 8: Lunar radiation observations
at an altitude of 19,000 feet made by
February 6: Aeronautical Engine Lab- Russell M. Otis in DH-4B over San Diego,
oratory transferred from Washington Lt. F. W. Seifert as pilot.
Navy Yard to the Naval Aircraft Factory,
establishing the Naval Aircraft Factory March 29: Lt. R. L. Maitland attained
as the center of naval aeronautical de- world speed record of 289.95 mph in
velopment. Curtiss R-6 at Dayton, Ohio.

February 21: DeBothezat helicopter April 2: First flight of all-metal pursuit

achieved sustained altitude of 15 feet monoplane, Wright H-3, 400-hp engine,
for 2 minutes and 45 seconds in flight at Curtiss Field.
tests at McCook Field.
April 15: Naval Research Laboratory
March 5: Auxiliary jettisonable belly (NRL) reported equipment for radio con-
tank fitted to bomb rack of MB3A at trol of an F5L was satisfactory to a

range of 10 miles, and that radio control September 5: Army bombers sank two ob-
of aircraft during landing and takeoff solete battleships, the U.S.S. Virginia and
was feasible. the U.S.S. New Jersey, off Cape Hatteras.

April 20 : First aerial refueling with hose, September 28: Navy aircraft won first
at Rockwell Field, San Diego, between and second places in Schneider Cup in-
two DH-4B aircraft, under the direction ternational seaplane races at Cowes, Eng-
of Henry H. Arnold (USAS). land, and established -Tiew worfd record
for seaplanes with a speed of 169.89 mph
May 2-3: First nonstop transcontinental for 200 kilometers. Flying CR-3's pow-
flight of 2,520 miles from New York to ered by Curtiss D-12 engines, Lt. David
San Diego flown by Lts. O. G. Kelly and Rittenhouse achieved 177.38 mph in the
J. A. Macready, in a Fokker T2-Liberty race, while Lt. Rutledge Irvine placed
375 in 26 hours 50 minutes. second with 173.46 mph.

May 26: Chief of Navy BuAer agreed October 1: Goodyear Tire & Rubber ac-
with Chief of Army Air Service that quired Zeppelin rights for manufacture
identical aeronautic specifications would of rigid airships.
be advantageous to both the aviation in-
dustry and the military services. Lt.
October 6: Lt. A. J. WiUiams (USN) set
new world speed records of 243.8 mph for
R. S. Barnaby was ordered to McCook
100 kilometers, and 243.7 mph for 200
Field as BuAer representative on inter-
kilometers over a closed circuit, flying a
service committee on standardization in
Curtiss R2C-1 Racer in the Pulitzer Tro-
December, the first of a series of annual
meetings held until 1937.
phy Race, at St. Louis, Mo.

November 1: Robert H. Goddard suc-

June 9: Juan de la Cierva made first suc-
cessfully operated a liquid oxygen and
cessful autogiro flights in a rotary wing
gasoline rocket motor on a testing frame,
aircraft, at Madrid, Spain.
both fuel components being supplied by
pumps installed on the rocket.
June 20: Initial flight of all-metal air-
plane (Gallaudet) designed by Engineer- November 2: Flexural fatigue machine
ing Division at Wright Field. for testing sheet duralumin stopped after
200 million alterations, on a 389-day non-
June 25: First International Air Con- stop run at the' Bureau of Standards.
gress, London, England, 450 delegates Check calibration gave same reading as
from 17 nations attended. the original calibration on October 5,
June 26: First complete midair pipeline
refueling between two airplanes, made by November 4-' Lt. Alford J. Williams
Lts. L. H. Smith and J. P. Richter (USA) (USN) established world speed record of
at San Diego. 266.59 mph in Navy-Curtiss Racer over
Mitchel Field, Long Island, which re-
August 22: World's largest airplane, the mained U.S. record until 1930.
six-engine Barling bomber, underwent
first tests at McCook Field, Lt. H. R. November 5: Series of tests demonstrat-
Harris as pilot. ing feasibility of stowing, assembling,
and launching a seaplane from a sub-
August 27-28: Capt. L. H. Smith and Lt. marine were completed, which involved
J, P. Richter flew a DH-4B-Liberty 400 assembling a Martin MS-1 and launch-
to a world refueled duration record of ing it by submerging the submarine.
37 hours and 15 minutes, as well as a
distance record of 3,293 miles at Rock- November 23: Concluding sentence of the
well Field, San Diego, Calif. annual report of the NACA for 1923 was
"Progress in aeronautics is being made
September 4* Navy airship Shenandoah at so rapid a rate that the only way to
(ZR-1) made its first flight at NAS keep abreast of other nations is actually
Lakehurst, the first of the Zeppelin type to keep abreast, year by year, never fall-
to use helium gas. ing behind." [Italic in original.]

1923 —Continued sis for considerable discussion of rocket
November 2S: Aeromarine all-metal fly-

ing boat laiinched at Keyport, N. J. During 1923: Turbine-type supercharger

with a gear drive under development at
McCook Field.
December 18: Christmas aileron patent
claim was settled when U.S. Government : Navy Bureau of Aeronautics aban-
bought the patent rights for $100,000. doned water-cooled engines of less than
300 hp with the development of the Law-
End of 1923: Die Rakete zu den Plane- rance direct air-cooled J-1, 200-hp engine.
tenrdumen (The Rocket Into Interplan- Weight of water-cooling system was usu-
etary Space) by Hermann Oberth was ally in excess of 25 percent of the total
published in Germany, and was the gene- weight of the engine.

January 16: President Coolidge canceled 19: Lt. J. A. Macready (USAS)
all preparations for Navy Arctic exi)edi- established new American altitude rec-
tion in which it was intended to use air- ord of 35,239 feet at Dayton, in Le Pere
planes and the dirigible Shenandoah. Liberty 400.

February 27; Corp. C. E. Conrad (USAS) June 2: Dr. C. L. Meisinger of the

successfully parachuted from 21,500 feet, Weather Bureau and Lt. James T. Neely
from DH-4B over Kelly Field, Tex. were killed by lightning in storm-riding
balloon flight, near Monticello, 111.

March 4: Two
Martin bombers and two
DH—i's broke up an icejam on the Platte June 23: First "dawn-to-dusk" flight
River at North Bend, Nebr., by bombing. from New York to San Francisco, by Lt.
R. L. Maugham in Curtiss Pursuit.
March 7: Lt. E. H. Barksdale and B. (PW-8), with five stops en route.
Jones (USAS) flew DH-4B Liberty 400
July 1: Dr. George W. Lewis appointed
on instruments from McCook Field, Day-
Director of Aeronautical Research of
ton, Ohio, to Mitchel Field, N.Y.
NACA, a post he held until 1947.
During March: Apparatus developed at First
: continuous night-and-day
Wright Field for scattering insecticide transcontinental airmail service initiated
from the air, for use in checking spread between New York and San Francisco by
of gypsy moth in New England.
Post OflSce Department pilots, a service
which was first instituted on September
April 6-8epteinber 28: The first round-
8, 1920, but had stopped.
the-world flight, the first transpacific
flight, and the first westbound Atlantic September 14: French helicopter flown by
crossing, from and returning to Seattle, its designer, Oehmichen, established
by two Army Douglas "World Cruiser" world helicopter altitude record of 3.28
biplanes, flying 26,345 miles in 363 hours' feet carrying 440.92-pound useful load.
flying time, with an elapsed time of 175
days. September 15: Unmanned N-9 seaplane
equipped with radio control successfully
During April: Central Committee for the flown on 40-minute flight from Naval
Study of Rocket Propulsion established Proving Grounds, Dahlgren, and sank
in the Soviet Union. from damage sustained on landing.

May 2: UnoflScial two-man altitude rec- October 15: ZR-3 (later renamed Los
ord of 31,540 feet set by Lts. John A. Angeles), a German dirigible constructed
Macready and A. W. Stevens (USAS) on for the U.S. Navy under a reparations
a flight during which an aerial photo- agreement, arrived at Lakehurst, N.J.,
graph covering the greatest area of the after flying the Atlantic, by German crew
earth's surface to date was obtained. under Dr. Hugo Eckener.

October 24: When all foreign entrants of the properties of sheet metal which
withdrew from Schneider Cup Race to has been undertaken in this country," by
be held at Bayshore Park, Md., the the Bureau of Standards.
United States agreed to cancel race rath-
er than win by a flyaway. Instead, Navy December 2: "Standard Atmosphere,"
scheduled contestants and other naval after careful coordination, approved by
aircraft placed 17 world records in the Executive Committee of NACA, later
book for class C seaplanes. adopted for use in aeronautical calcula-
tions by the War and Navy Departments,
October 25: Lt. R. A. Ofstie (USN) estab- the Weather Bureau, and the Bureau of
lished new world seaplane speed record of Standards; described by Lt. Walter S.
178.25 mph for 100 km.
Diehl of BuAer in NACA Technical Re-
port No. 218. It gave pressures and
densities for altitudes up to 20,000 meters
October 28: Cloud formations at 13,000
and to 65,000 feet.
feet were broken up over Boiling Field,
D.C., by "blasting" with electrified silica
December 9: The Civil Aeronautics Act,
in a fog-dispersal demonstration by Army
proposing to establish a Bureau of Civil
Aeronautics in the Department of Com-
merce, was reintroduced in Congress.
November 24: NACA Committee on
Aerodynamics summarized in its annual During 1924: High-speed wind tunnel
report that it had direct control of aero- (5 foot, 1,000 hp, 260 mph) at McCook
dynamic research conducted at Langley, Field used continuously, handling 150
the propeller research conducted at Stan- tests of 17 airfoil, 24 model, and 15 fuse-
ford University under W. F. Durand, and lage tests.
some special investigation at the Bureau
of Standards and at a number of Univer- :High-speed photography of sprays
sities. Investigation undertaken at the produced by fuel injection valves suc-
Washington Navy Yard Aerodynamic cessfully developed, and flight study of
Laboratory, the Engineering Division of Roots-type supercharger with DH-4 and
the Army Air Service, the Bureau of DT-2 aircraft conducted, at Langley
Standards, and the Massachusetts Insti- Laboratory. Supercharging increased
tute of Technology were reported to this practical ceiling of DH-4 from 14,500 feet
Committee. Thus, it was "in close con- to 31,000 feet, and of the DT-2 from
tact with all aerodynamical work being 18,500 feet to 28,000 feet.
carried out in the United States."
: NACA Report No. 207 by L. J.
: NACA Subcommittee on metals con- Briggs, G. F. Hull, and H. L. Dryden of
cluded that duralumin girders which the National Bureau of Standards, "Aero-
formed framework of the Shenandoah dynamic Characteristics of Airfoils at
"will not fail by 'fatigue' in less than 40 High Speeds," was major contribution
years under service conditions" as a re- reporting on tests of airfoils at near
sult of the "most extensive investigation supersonic speeds.

January 24-25: Twenty-five aircraft car- February 18: "Standard Altimeter Cali-
ried scientists and other observers above bration" worked out by Bureau of Stand-
clouds in Connecticut to view total eclipse ards, and approved by all interested
of the sun, while airship Los Angeles car- agencies, was approved by the NACA.
ried Naval Observatory scientists over
Block Island, R.I. April IS: Henry Ford started an air-
freight line between Detroit and Chi-
February 2: President Coolldge signed cago, the first such commercial flights on
the Kelly bill authorizing contract air a regular schedule.
transport of mail.

1925 —Continued September 12: Morrow Board was ap-
pointed by President Coolidge to recom-
April 15: Daily flights to an altitude of mend U.S. air policy.
10,000 feet to obtain weather data and to
test upper-air-sounding equipment begun October 7: Post Office Department
at NAS Anacostia. In the following Feb- awarded first contracts under the

ruary, the schedule was extended by the Kelly Air Mail Act for the flying of mail
Navy to include weekends and holidays, to private contractors on a bid basis.
with the altitude being increased to 15,000
October 26: Lt. James H. Doolittle, U.S.
Air Service, won Schneider Cup Race
April 27: First trial flight of new Wright flying Curtiss-R3 C-2 seaplane Racer, and
Cyclone 450-hp air-cooled engine in DT-6 also broke speed record for seaplanes at-
torpedo plane, at Muchio's Field, N.J. taining 245.7 mph, at Baltimore, Md.

During April: Oleo landing gear tested November 20: Night photographs using
by Navy on NB-1 at Seattle. 50-pound magnesium flares taken from
Army Martin bomber by Lt. George W.
May 20: Air Service Technical School at Goddard, over Rochester, N.Y.
Rantoul, 111., carried on radio conver-

sations from planes in the air, reaching November 30: The President's Aircraft
Chicago 115 miles distant. Board, better known for its senior mem-
ber as the Morrow Board, submitted its
June 12: Daniel Guggenheim donated report to President Coolidge. Recom-
$500,000 toward establishment of a School mendations of the NACA to the Morrow
of Aeronautics at New York University. Board were important in decisions lead-
ing to the passage of the Air Commerce
June 25: Construction of full-scale pro- Act of 1926 and the appropriation of
peller research wind tunnel at Langley funds for the long-range development of
Aeronautical Laboratory was initiated, Army and Navy aviation. With its rec-
which was completed in 1927. ommendations inaugurated, NACA there-
after a policy of avoiding
During July: First radiobeacon, one de- entanglement in matters not related to
veloped at McCook Field, installed in air- research.
mail plane for the Department of Com-
merce. December 17: Col. William Mitchell found
guilty by Army General Court-Martial, in
Small car moving on ground con-
session since October 28.
trolledby radio from an airplane at 2,000
feet, by Air Service at Wright Field, December 27: Daniel Guggenheim created
Dayton. the $2,500,000 Daniel Guggenheim Fund
for the Promotion of Aeronautics to speed
August 1: Naval Air Detail, under Lt. development of civil aviation in the
Comdr. R. E. Byrd, began aerial explora- United States.
tion of 30,000-square-mile area near Etah,
North Greenland, with three Loening During 1925: School of Aviation Medi-
amphibians, as part of the MacMillan cine began study on an objective aptitude
expedition. test for flyers.

Curtiss Condor, first of new series

: During 1925: Goeffrey de Havilland of
of night bombers, made first flight at Britain first produced two-seat biplane,
Garden City, Long Island. the Moth, a small popular light airplane.
War-surplus Curtiss JN4D airplanes had
September 3: Navy dirigible Shenandoah earlier been popular in the United States,
crashed near Ava, Ohio, killing 14 of 43 while Taylor Cub monoplane appeared
persons aboard. in 1931.

January 1: Henry J. E. Reid appointed dirigible Norge, commanded by Roald
Engineer-in-Charge of NACA Langley Amundsen.
Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, a post
he held until July 1960, when he retired May 20: President Coolidge signed the
as Director of NASA's Langley Research Air Commerce Act, the first Federal legis-
Center, lation regulating civil aeronautics.

January 16: Daniel Guggenheim Fund May 24: First annual inspection and con-
for the Promotion of Aeronautics for- ference for industrial and other gov-
mally established. ernmental aeronautical persons held at
NACA's Langley Laboratory. These an-
January 29 : An American altitude record nual events were of high importance in
of 38,704 feet was set by Lt. J. A. Mac- promoting aeronautical research in the
ready (USAS) in an XC05-A Liberty 400 United States.
at Dayton, Ohio.
June 6: Last elements of Navy Alaskan
February 6: Pratt & Whitney produced Aerial Survey Expedition departed Se-
firstWasp engine, a nine-cylinder radial attle for Alaska. Three Loening amphib-
air-cooled engine of about 400 hp at 1,800 ians operating from tender U.S.S.
rpm. Gannet made aerial mapping of Alaska
throughout the summer and into Septem-
March 16: Robert H. Goddard launched ber with the cooperation of the Depart-
the world's first liquid-fueled rocket at ment of the Interior.
Auburn, Mass., which traveled 184 feet
in 2y2 seconds. This event was the June 25: Largest wind tunnel in the
"Kitty Hawk" of rocketry. world (20-foot throat), the Propeller
Research Tunnel, constructed at Langley.
March 23: Inventor of sodium-filled
valves for internal combustion engines, July 1: Edward P. Warner, professor of
S. D. Heron, granted exclusive license for aeronautics at MIT, nominated by Presi-
manufacture to Rich Tool Co., later part dent Coolidge to become Assistant Sec-
of Eaton Manufacturing Co. retary of Navy in Charge of Aviation.
Dr. Warner served on the NACA, 1929-46.
April 16: The Department of Agriculture
purchased its first cotton-dusting plane. July 2: First known reforesting by air-
plane was carried out in Hawaii.
During April: The NACA analysis of
basic aeronautical legislation was ac- The Army Air Corps Act became

cepted by Joint Senate-House conferees, law and the Air Service was redesignated
leading to the Air Commerce Act of May the Air Corps. It also made provision
20, 1926. This freed NACA of respon- for an Assistant Secretary of War for
sibility for regulation of civil aviation Air and for a 5-year Air Corps expansion
and permitted it to concentrate upon the program.
conduct of aeronautical research.
By act of Congress, the NACA was

May 5: Robert H. Goddard communicated required to review aeronautical inven-

the results of his successful liquid-propel- tions and designs submitted to any
lant rocket flight of March 16 to the branch of Government and submit re-
Smithsonian Institution. ports to the Aeronautics Patents and De-
sign Board.
May 9: First flight over the North Pole,
by Richard Byrd, navigator, and Floyd July 28: Submarine S-1 surfaced and
Bennett, pilot, in a Fokker Monoplane, launched a Cox-Klemin XS-2 seaplane
from Spitsbergen. piloted by Lt. D. C. Allen. It later re-
covered airplane and submerged, thus
May 12: Lincoln Ellsworth, American ex- carrying out first complete cycle in this
plorer, flew across the North Pole in the series of feasibility experiments.

1926 —Continued December 10-11: Financed by the Daniel
Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of
August 25: JN training plane with large Aeronautics, a conference of representa-
parachute floated deadstick down to a tives of MIT, New York University, Stan-
rough landing and some damage, at San ford University, California Institute of
Diego Naval Air Station. Technology, University of Michigan, and
University of Washington was held at

During August: Air CJorps School of Avia-

NACA to interchange ideas on educa-
tional methods, coordinating research
tion Medicinemoved from Mitchel Field
work, and developing si)ecial courses in
to Brooks Field, Tex., and was subse-
aeronautical education.
quently moved to Randolph Field in
October 1931. During 1926: Dr. Louis H. Bauer, former
Commandant of the School of Aviation
October 1: Daniel Guggenheim Fund for Medicine (1919-25), established a medi-
the Promotion of Aeronautics made a cal section in the Bureau of Air Com-
grant to the University of Michigan for merce, Department of Commerce.
the completion of a wind tunnel and a :Lt. Col. D. A. Myers at the School
Chair of Aeronautics. of Aviation Medicine develoi)ed basic
physiological principles necessary to the
November 13: Lt. 0. F. Schilt (USMC) development and use of blind-flying in-
took second place in the Schneider Cup struments, work done in conjunction with
Race at Hampton Roads, Va., flying an research by Lt. Col. W. A. Ocker. This
R3C-2 with an average speed of 231 mph. study was regarded as one of the greatest
This was last U.S. Navy participation in contributions of medicine to the technical
international racing competition. advancement of aviation.

During February: Army Air Corps com- May 20-21: The first solo nonstop trans-
pleted aerial photographic survey of east atlantic flight, New York to Paris, was
and west coasts of Florida ( 1,284 square completed by Charles A. Lindbergh. This
miles) for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic was a major milestone in awakening the
Survey. Nation to the full potentialities of
March 9: Capt. H. C. Gray (AAC) as-
cended to 28,910 feet in a free balloon May 25: Lt. James H. Doolittle (AAC)
for an American altitude record. (World flew the first successful outside loop.
record held by Suring and Berson of
Germany who ascended to 35,433 feet on June 4: Daniel Guggenheim School of
June 30, 1901.) Aeronautics officially opened at New
York University. Daniel Guggenheim
April 4: Regular commercial airline pas- Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics
senger service initiated by Colonial Air also made gifts to MIT, University of
Transport between New York and Boston. Michigan, Stanford University, and the
California Institute of Technology in this
April 21: Dr. Joseph S. Ames was elected time period.
Chairman of the NACA, to replace Dr.
Charles Walcott, one of the original 12 June Jt-5: Clarence D. Chamberlain and
members, who died in February. Charles A. Levine fiew nonstop from New
York to Eisleben, Germany, in Bellanca
May If: Record balloon flight by Capt. monoplane Columbia.
H. C. Gray (AAC) reached 42,470 feet
over Scott Field, 111., but he was forced June 5: Society for Space Travel (Verein
to bail out successfully so that record fuer Raumschiffahrt) known as "VfR,"

was not official. formed in Breslau, Germany.

June 8: Astronautics Committee of the November 16: U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-3)
Soci6t6 Astronomique Frangaise estab- was placed in commission by the Navy.
lished in France.
December I4: U.S.S. Lexington (OV-2)
was placed in commission.
June 22: John F. Victory, the first em-
ployee of NACA in 1915, and who had During 1927: Air Corps sponsored devel-
served as Assistant Secretary since 1917, opment of Allison "X" type engine of 24
was appointed Secretary of the NACA. cylinders expected to develop 1,400 hp;
while Navy flight tested radial air-cooled
June 29-30: Cdr. Richard Byrd, Acosta, Wright R-1750, and used Pratt & Whit-
Noville, and B. Balchen flew Fokker ney Wasp in a number of service aircraft.
monoplane America from New York to a
crash landing in the sea off the French : Coordination between NACA and
coast. British Aeronautical Research Commit-
tee included exchange of views at joint

July 25: A world airplane altitude rec- meetings and a program of comparative
research for standarization of wind tun-
ord of 38,484 feet was established by Lt.
nel data.
C. C. Champion (USN) in a Wright
Apache P&W 425. : Operationof Materiel Division
wind tunnels at McCook Field handi-
August 1: Fire damaged interior of vari- capped by move to the new Wright Field.
able-density wind tunnel at Langley Lab- During the year, the new full-scale Pro-
oratory, which when reconstructed was peller-Research Tunnel at Langley Lab-
used in conjunction with jet-type wind oratory became operational, while the
tunnel produced airflow in 12-inch cham- Bureau of Standards tested 24 airfoil sec-
ber in excess of 800 mph. tions at various speeds up to 1.08 times
the speed of sound.
Octoier 12: Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio,
was formally dedicated.
: Superchargers passed from experi-
mental development stage to active serv-
ice use on radial air-cooled engines, while
November 4: Capt. H. C. Gray (AAC)
both Roots-type and centrifugal-type su-
ascended to 42,470 feet, the identical alti-
perchargers were being tested on water-
tude of his May 4 flight, but he did not
cooled engines.
survive the flight and thereby failed
again to achieve official world record. :Appearance of Lockheed Vega set
pace for general-purpose aircraft, a high
November 6: Lt. "Al" Williams (USN) cantilever wing and wooden stressed-
flew Kirkham racing plane powered with skin fuselage which permitted large
1,250-hp 24-cylinder Packard engine at interior structure for passengers as well
unofficial speed of 322.6 mph. as reducing weight and drag.

February S: At Wright Field, Lt. H. A. tion which evolved into the PBY
Sutton began a series of tests to study Catalina.
the spinning characteristics of planes, for
which he was awarded the Mackay March 10: $900,000 authorized for com-
Trophy. (See Appendix D) pletion of the Wright Field Experimental
February 28: Navy issued contract for
XPY-1 flying boat to Consolidated Air- March 28: Assistant Secretary of Com-
craft, the first large monoplane flying merce for Aeronautics called conference
boat procured and the initial configura- of representatives of Army, Navy,

1928 —Continued factured by Packard Motor Car Co.,
flight tested at Utica, Mich.

Weather Bureau, Bureau of Standards,

NACA, and Commerce Department to September 23: Lt. James H. Doolittle ac-
study cause and prevention of ice for- companied by Capt. A. Stevens made
mation on aircraft. altitude flight of 37,200 feet to obtain
aerial photograph covering 33 square
April 11: First manned rocket automo- miles.
bile tested by Fritz von Opel, Max Va-
lier, and others, at Berlin, Germany. October 4-5: First Aeronautical Safety
Conference held in New York under
April 12-13: German pilots Kochl and auspices of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund
Huenefeld, and J. Fitzmaurice made first for the Promotion of Aeronautics.
westbound transatlantic airplane flight
in Junkers Bremen. October 10: Capts. St. Clair Streett and
A. W. Stevens (USA) flew to 37,854 feet,
May 5: Lt. C. C. Champion flew a Wright less than 1,000 feet short of the official
Apache equipped with P&W Wasp en- world record for single-occupant flight.
gine and NACA supercharger to new
world altitude record for seaplanes of During October: At the request of the
33,455 feet. Air Coordination Committee, NACA pre-
pared a report on "Aircraft Accident
May 15: NACA held third annual En- Analysis" for use by the War, Navy, and
gineering Research Conference at Lang- Commerce Departments.
ley Field, Va.
: Air Corps developed 84-foot-in-
May 22: First patent on sodium-filled diameter parachute of sufficient strength
valves for combustion engines issued to to support weight of an airplane and its
S. D. Heron, engineer of the Materiel passengers.
Division at Wright Field.
December 17: International pilgrimage
During May: Aeronautics Branch of De- made to Kitty Hawk, N.C., to commemo-
partment of Commerce created Board to rate the 25th anniversary of the first air-
determine original causes of aircraft plane flight.
December 19: First autogiro flight in the
June 11: Friedrich Stamer made first
United States was made by Harold F.
manned rocket-powered fiight in a tail-
Pitcairn, Willow Grove, Pa.
less gliderfrom the Wasserkuppe in the
Rhon Mountains of Germany. TakeofE During December: Air Medical Associa-
was made by elastic launching rope as- tion formed at International Aeronautics
sisted by 44-pound thrust rocket, another Conference.
rocket was fired while airborne, and a
flight of about 1 mile was achieved. During 1928: NACA developed cowling
This flight was a part of experimentation for radial air-cooled engines which in-
directed by A. Lippisch. creased speed of Curtiss AT-5A airplane
from 118 to 137 mph with no increase in
June 16: Successful tests were made of
engine horsepower, Fred E. Weick and
superchargers designed to give sea level associates contributing to this develop-
pressure at 30,000 feet and a new liquid- ment.
oxygen system for high-altitude flying,
at Wright Field. Lt. William H. Bleak-
NACA's Langley Memorial Aero-

ley in XCO-5 made flight to 36,509 feet

nautical Laboratory demonstrated high
and remained there 18 minutes.
lift by boundary-layer control by meana

During September: The NACA undertook of pressure or suction slots in an airfoil

in the atmospheric wind tunnel.
coordination of research programs in uni-
versities to promote the study of aero-
nautics and meteorology. First refrigerated wind tunnel for

research on prevention of icing of wings

September 19: First diesel engine to and propellers placed in operation at
power heavier-than-air aircraft, manu- Langley Laboratory.

First of nine volumes of an en-
: Soviet Union, the final volume of which
cyclopedia on interplanetary travel by appeared in 1932.
Prof. Nikolai A. Rynin published in the

January 1-7: An unoflBcial endurance August 8-29: Round-the-world flight of
record for refueled airplane flight was the German rigid airship Oraf Zeppelin.
set by Maj. Carl Spaatz, Capt. Ira C.
Eaker, and Lt. Elwood Quesada in the August 23-October 31: Russian plane,
Question Mark, Fokker C2-3 Wright 220, Land of the Soviets, flown on good-will
over Los Angeles Airport, with flying tour of the United States from Moscow to
time of 150 hours 40 minutes 15 seconds. Seattle, thence to New York, having cov-
ered 13,300 miles in 142 flying-hours.
January 23-27: Modern aircraft carriers
Lexington and Saratoga participated in During August: Use of a battery of solid-
fleet exercises for the first time. propellant rockets on Junkers-33 sea-
plane, the flrst recorded jet-assisted take-
February J^-S: Capt. Frank Hawks and off of an airplane, made in tests near
O. E. Grubb established new nonstop Dessau, Germany.
transcontinental West-East record of 18
September 22: Second Alaska Aerial Sur-
hours 22 minutes, in a single-engine
vey completed by Navy, mapping 13,000
Lockheed Air Express, the practical
square miles in southeastern Alaska.
application of NACA cowling for radial
air-cooled engines.
September 24: Lt. James H. Doolittle
made the first public all-blind flight at
February 23: Successful development of
Mitchel Field, Long Island, accompanied
special goggles, heated gloves, and a de-
by a check pilot.
vice for warming oxygen before use an-
nounced by Wright Field. September 30: Opel Sander Rak. 1, a
glider powered with 16 rockets of 50
March 2: Membership of the NACA in- pounds of thrust each, made successful
creased from 12 to 15 members by act of flight of 75 seconds, covering almost 2
Congress. miles near Frankfort-am-Main, Germany,
Von Opel as pilot.
May 8: Lt. A. Soucek (USN) established
world's altitude record of 39,140 feet, October 7: Aero Medical Association of
flying the Wright Apache over Anacostia, the United States founded by Louis H.
D.C. Bauer, and the first issue of the Journal
of Aviation Medicine was published in
June 21: NACA special subcommittee March 1930.
held initial meeting at Langley on aero-
nautical research in universities. October 15: Premier of German movie
film,Frau im Mond (The Girl in the
June 27-29: Capt. Frank Hawks broke Moon) directed by Fritz Lange, which
transcontinental speed records from East assisted popular awareness of rocket po-
to West and West to East flying the tentialities in Germany.
Lockheed Air Express.
October 21: German Dornier DO-X fly-
July 17: A liquid-fueled, 11-foot rocket, ing boat carried 169 passengers in hour
fired by Robert Goddard at Auburn, flight over Lake Constance, Switzerland,
Mass., carried a small camera, thermom- the largest number of individuals ever
eter, and a barometer which were re- carried in a single aircraft.
covered intact after the flight. Much
"moon rocket" publicity made of this November 28-29: First flight over South
flight. Pole, by Comdr. Richard E. Byrd, in a

1929—Continued December 31: Daniel Guggenheim Fund
for the Promotion of Aeronautics ended
Ford trimotor piloted by Bernt Balchen, its activities.
from Little America.
During 1929: J. Jongbloed experimentally
'November 29: First pursuit aircraft recognized the occurrence of a disease
powered with high-temperature, liquid- like the bends, or caisson disease, at pres-
cooling system designed by the Materiel sures of less than 1 atmosphere.
Division, was completed by Curtiss and
flown to Wright Field for flight testing. U.S. Bureau of Standards devel-

oped the radio-echo altimeter.

December 12: Langley Medals were pre-
sented to Adm. Richard B. Byrd for his NACA Annual Report indicated

flights over both poles and posthumously that aerodynamic efficiency may be in-
to Charles M. Manly for his pioneer de- creased by applying the principle of
velopment of airplane engines. (See boundary-layer control to the wings and
Appendix D.) possibly other parts of an airplane.

January 3: President Hoover made the mentation toward interplanetary expedi-
presentation of the Collier Trophy for tions and travel."
1929 to Dr. Joseph S. Ames, Chairman
of the NACA. (See Appendix D.) April 8: Orville Wright received first
Daniel Guggenheim Medal. (See Ap-
January 6: Guggenheim Safe Aircraft pendix D.)
Competition prize was awarded to Cur-
tiss Tanager, which featured practical
April 12: Air Corps set world record for
wing flaps and leading-edge Handley- altitude formation flying when 19 planes
Page slots.
reached a height of 30,000 feet (old rec-
ord 17,000 feet).
During January: The world's first full-
scale wind tunnel under construction at May 9: Dr. Ludwig Prandtl of Germany
Langley Memorial Aeronautical Labora- received second Daniel Guggenheim
tory (30 feet high, 60 feet wide). Medal.

February 15: Naval Aircraft Factory au-

May IS: Fifth Annual Aircraft Engineer-
ing Research Conference held at Lang-
thorized to begin construction of work-
ley Laboratory.
ing models of retractable landing gears
because of design progress.
Jt0ie 4' Lt.Apollo Soucek flew Navy
Wright Apache landplane equipped with
February 17-19: First National Confer- P&W 450-hp engine to height of 43,166
ence on Aeronautical Education held at feet overNAS Anacostia, regaining world
St. Louis, Mo. record he held briefly in 1929.

March 21: First Navy dive bomber de- July 21 :Capt. A. H. Page (USMC) piloted
signed to deliver 1,000-pound bomb, the an 02U from a sealed hooded cockpit on
Martin XT5M-1, met strength and per- an instrument flight of near 1,000 miles
formance requirements in diving tests. from Omaha, Nebr., to Anacostia, via
Chicago and Cleveland, with safety pilot
April 4: The American Interplanetary So- Lt. V. M. Guymon landing the airplane.
ciety, later theAmerican Rocket Society
(ARS), founded in New York City by July 23: Hermann Oberth and VfR suc-
David Lasser, G. Edward Pendray, cessfully tested liquid oxygen and gaso-
Fletcher Pratt, and nine others, for the line-fueled rocket motor for 90 seconds in
"promotion of interest in and experi- Germany, a demonstration made before

the Director of the Chemisch-Technische ing edges of the wing, a report based on
Reichsanstalt to secure financial support. 1928 research of Donald H. Wood and
others which influenced design of all
September 8: German sounding balloon multiengine aircraft thereafter.
released near Hamburg attained an alti-
tude of 117,750 feet (22.4 miles). : Sound-locator acoustic system for
detection of aircraft in flight was
During September: Raketenflugplatze developed.
Berlin established by VfR in Germany.
: Sperry Gyroscope developed the
December 17: German Army Ordnance "Gyro Horizon."
OflSce, after reviewing work of Goddard
and others, decided to establish rocket :An increase of 300 percent in paid
program and to equip artillery proving passengers on commercial airlines was
ground at Kummersdorff to develop mili- recorded this year.
tary missiles.
: Frank Whittle, RAF officer and en-
December 30: Robert H. Goddard fired 11- gineer, obtained British patents for turbo-
foot liquid fuel rocket to a height of 2,000 jet engine.
feet and a speed or near 500 mph near
RosweU, N. Mex. :Allison Division of General Motors
began development of V-1710 12-cylinder
December 31: "Airworthiness Require- liquid-cooled engine, the only liquid-
ments for Aircraft Components and Ac- cooled engine of U.S. design to be pro-
cessories" of the Department of Com- duced throughout World War II, which
merce became effective. was increased in 17 years from 750 hp to
2,000 hp.
During December: John J. Ide, NACA
technical assistant in Europe, served as :First vertical wind tunnel for study
U.S. delegate to the First International of airplane spinning was placed in oper-
Congress on Aerial Safety in Paris. ation at NACA's Langley Laboratory.

During 1930: NACA made confidential :Robert Esnault-Pelterie of France

recommendations to industry and mili- published his classic work on L'Astro-
tary services for best location of engine nautique; he had begun his mathematical
nacelles, with engines faired into lead- work on astronautics in 1907.

January 4-' William G. Swan stayed aloft April 2: First Navy aircraft with re-
for 30 minutes over Atlantic City, N.J., in tractable landing gear, the XFF-1 two-
a glider powered with 10 small rockets. seat fighter, ordered from Grumman
January 22: Navy ordered its first rotary-
wing aircraft, the XOP-1, from Pitcairn April 8: Amelia Earhart established a
Aircraft. woman's autogiro altitude record of
18,415 feet in a Whirlwind-powered Pit-
March 4- More than $100 million was ap- cairn at Willow Grove, Pa.
propriated by Congress for military,
naval, and commercial aviation for the April 10: Airship subcloud observation
coming year. car demonstrated by Lt. Wilfred J. Paul
at Langley Field, Va.
March 14: First liquid-fuel rocket suc-
cessfully fired in Europe, a methane- During April: Raktenflugplatz in Ger-
liquid oxygen rocket constructed by many was visited by Mr. and Mrs. G. Ed-
Johannes Winkler and flown from Des- ward Pendray as official representatives
sau,Germany. of the American Interplanetary Society,

1931 —Continued July 28: First nonstop flight across the
Pacific, begun by Clyde Pangbom and
who upon their return organized the ex- Hugh Herndon in a single-engined Bel-
perimental program of the society. lanca, who completed fiight around the
world in October.
May 27; First full-scale wind tunnel for
testing airplanes was dedicated at the July 29-Auffust 26: Colonel and Mrs.
Langley Memorial Aeronautical Labora- Lindbergh made survey flight to Japan
tory of the NACA, engineer-in-charge of in Sirius seaplane, via Alaska and Si-
construction and operation, Smith J. beria.
De France, explained details to the an-
nual Aircraft Engineering Research September 4- Maj. James H. Doolittle
Conference. established a new
transcontinental rec-
ord from Burbank to Newark of 11
The NACA tank to provide data on
hours and 16 minutes elapsed time in-
water performance of seaplanes was cluding three stops, flying Laird Super-
demonstrated by Starr Truscott. Its Solution.
channel length was enlarged from 2,020
September 9: Start of oflScial rocket-mail
feet to 2,900 feet in October 1937.
service between two Austrian towns by
Friedrich Schmiedl test flights began in

Auguste Piccard, Swiss physicist,

February 1931, while rocket-mail service
and Charles Knipfer made first balloon continued until March 16, 1933.
flight into stratosphere, reaching a height
of 51,777 feet in a 17-hour flight from October 30: School of Aviation Medicine
Augsburg, Germany, to a glacier near moved from Brooks Field to Randolph
Innsbruck, Austria. Field, Tex.

May 28: Lt. W. Lees and Ens. F. A. During 1931: NACA Report 385 pre-
Brossy established world's endurance sented results showing that maximum
flight record without refueling of 84 lift coeflScient of a wing could be in-
hours 33 minutes, in diesel-powered Bel- creased as much as 96 percent by use
lanca at Jacksonville, Fla. of boundary-layer control.

May 31: A
pilotless airplane was suc- Robert Esnault-Pelterie of France

cessfully flown by radio control from demonstrated liquid-fuel rocket propul-

another plane at Houston, Tex. sion with a rocket motor operated on
gasoUne and liquid oxygen.
June 4'' Dornier DO-X, 12-engined
: Bureau of Standards made a num-
German flying boat (which carried 169
ber of experiments to determine whether
passengers on its trial flight), arrived
thrust reaction of a jet could be in-
.in New York after flying the south
creased, and tested combinations of jets.
: Alexander Lippisch of Germany
June 23-July Wiley Post and Harold
1: first produced and demonstrated a prac-
Gatty lowered world circling record to tical delta-wing aircraft.
8 days 15 hours 51 minutes in the Lock-
heed Winnie Mae. During 1931-32: Taylor Cub Model A, a
two-seat, high-wing light airplane, first
July 24-31 : Graf Zeppelin carried 12 sci- produced, and helped popularize sports
entists on Arctic flight. flying in the United States.

March 26: Navy Consolidated P2Y sea- August 31: Capt. A. W. Stevens and Lt.
plane made first test flight. C. D.McAllister (AAC) flew 5 miles
above earth's surface at Fryeburg, Maine,
April 19: First flight of Goddard rocket to photograph eclipse of the sun.
with gyroscopically controlled vanes for
automatically stabilized flight, near Ros- During August: Experimental transmis-
well, N. Mex. sion of weather maps by teletype initi-
ated by Weather Bureau on a si)ecial
4: Daniel Guggenheim Gold Medal circuit between Cleveland and Wash-
for 1932 awarded to Juan de la Oierva ington.
for development of the autogiro. (See
Appendix D.) September 3: Maj. James H. Doolittle set
a new world speed record for landplanes
May 9: First blind solo flight (without by averaging 294 mph over 3-km course
a check pilot aboard) solely on instru- at Cleveland, Ohio, in Granville Brothers
ments was made by Capt. A. F. Hegen- Gee Bee monoplane with P&W Wasp
berger (AAG) at Dayton, Ohio. engine.

June 30: Los Angeles (ZR-3) decommis- September 16: Altitude record of 43,976
sioned by the Navy for economy reasons feet for landplanes established by Cyril
after 8 years of service and over 5,(K)0 F. Unwins in Vickers Vespa at Bristol,
hours in the air. England.

July 28: Navy BuAer initiated research September 21: Dr. Robert A. Millikan of
program on physiological effects of high California Institute of Technology com-
acceleration and deceleration encoun- pleted series of tests on the intensity of
tered in dive-bombing and other violent cosmic rays at various altitudes with
maneuvers in allocation to Bureau of cooperation of 11th Bombardment Squad-
Medicine and Surgery. Pioneer research ron, in a Condor Bomber from March
pointing to need for anti-g or anti- Field, Calif.
blackout equipment was subsequently
performed at Harvard University School October 1: Wernher von Braun joined the
Qt Public Health under the direction of
German Army Ordnance OflBee rocket
Dr. C. K. Drinker by Lt. Comdr. John R. program at Kummersdorf.
Poppen (MO USN). October 15: Institute of Aeronautical Sci-
ences was incorporated in New York.
During July-August: VfR successfully
fired Mirak II rocket to height of 200 Novem,ber 12: American Interplanetary
feet, afterwhich German Army Ordnance Society performed static tests of rocket
OflSce formalized rocket development pro- based on VfR design at Stockton, N.J.
gram by placing Captain-Doctor Walter
Dornberger in charge of Research Station December 1: Teletypewriter Weather
West at Kummersdorf Map Service was inaugurated by Aero-
nautics Branch, Department of Com-
August 18: Auguste Piccard and Max merce.
Oosyns attained an altitude of 53,152 feet
on second stratosphere balloon flight, During 1932: German engineer, Paul
landing on a glacier in the Alps. Schmidt, working from design of Lorin

1932 —Continued an inflatable abdominal corset be devel-
oped for use by fighter pilots.
tube, developed and patented a ramjet
Junkers Ju-52, German trimotor
engine later modified and used in the
transport of great success, first produced.
V-1 Flying Bomb.
Control mechanism for variable-

During 1932: Robert H. Goddard devel- pitch propellers developed under the di-
oped component of modern ramjet engine rection of Frank Caldwell.
with construction of a rocket fuel pump
at Clark University.
: NACA published derivation and
characteristics of the first systematic
family of NACA airfoils.
: Capt. John R. Poppen (MO USN),
began experimentation with animals on : JATO-type rockets first used in the
physiological effects of high acceleration, Soviet Union, according to Moscow
proposing as a result of his studies that historians.

January 21: Institute of Aeronautical July O-December 19: Col. and Mrs.
Sciences (IAS) held its Founders Meet- Charles A. Lindbergh made 29,000-mile
ing at Columbia University under Jerome survey fiight in their Cyclone-powered
C. Hunsaker, president, and Lester D. Sirius seaplane from New York to Lab-
Gardner. rador, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Rus-
sia, the Azores, Africa, Brazil, and
February 25: Aircraft carrier U.S.S. return.
Ranger (CV-4) launched at Newport
News. July 15-22: Lockheed Vega, Winnie Mae,
piloted in first round-the-world solo
During February: Boeing 247, first flight by Wiley Post, 15,596 miles in 7
"modern-type" airliner, first fiew. days 18 hours 49 ^^ minutes. Airplane
contained new type of radiocompass de-
March 11: Macon dirigible christened at veloped by Wright Field engineers.
Akron, Ohio, and made first fiight on
April 21 with 105 persons aboard. During July: Douglas DC-1 first flew,
forerunner of the famed DC-3.
March 28: Aircraft engine manufacturers
granted permission by the Aeronautics August IT: First Soviet liquid-propellant
Branch, Department of Commerce, to rocket successfully fired.
conduct endurance tests on their own
equipment. Septem'ber SO: Russian stratosphere flight
in Army balloon USSR attained a re-
April 4: Rear Adm. W. A. Mofifett, Chief ported altitude of 60,695 feet, G. Proko-
of Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, killed fiev, K. Godunov, and E. Birnbaum as
along with 72 others in crash of the balloonists.
Akron at sea off the coast of
New Jersey. He was replaced by Rear November 20-21: Lt. Comdr. T. G. W.
Adm. E.J.King (USN). Settle (USN) and Maj. Chester L. Ford-
ney (USMC) set official world balloon
May 14: American Interplanetary So- altitude record of 61,237 feet over Akron,
ciety Rocket No. 2 successfully fired, at- Ohio.
taining 250-foot altitude in 2 seconds, at
Marine Park, Staten Island, N.Y. During 19SS: Collier Trophy for 1933
awarded to Hamilton Standard Propeller
July 1-August 12: Gen. Italo Balbo of Co., with particular credit to Frank W.

Italian Air Force led fiight of 25 Savoia- Caldwell, chief engineer, for development
Marchetti S-55X seaplanes in mass fiight of a controllable-pitch propeller now In
from Rome to Chicago and return. general use. (See Appendix D.)

: NACA assisted Army, Navy, and which incorporated such novel features
industry in the development of reliable as tricycle landing gear, pusher propeller,
retractable landing gears, controllable and interconnected ailerons and rudder
pitch propellers, more efficient wing sec- for simpler and safer flying.
tions, and wing flaps.
: Eugen Sanger of Germany pub-
: Harry W. Bull
of Syracuse, N.Y.,
lished his classic Rakatenflugtechnik,
developed small liquid-propellant rocket which dealt with rocket motor design
engine. and high-speed flight in the atmosphere.
Fred E. Weick and his associates

atNACA's Langley Laboratory designed British Interplanetary Society or-


and constructed the Weick W-1 airplane ganized.

January 10-11: Six Navy Consolidated During June: Baker Board recommended
P2Y-l's flew nonstop from San Francisco purchase of War Department aircraft
to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 2,399 miles, in from private manufacturers, instead of
24 hours 56 minutes. building them in Government factories,
by means of negotiated contract, by com-
January 30: Russian balloon reached 73,- petitive bids, or by purchase after design
000 but aeronauts Felosienko, Was-
feet, competition.
ienko, and Vsyskin perished in free fall
of gondola. July 1: Name of the Aeronautics Branch
changed to the Bureau of Air Commerce
February 19: Under Presidential order in the Department of Commerce.
theArmy Air Corps started flying domes-
tic airmail. July 24: Air Corps began aerial photo-
graphic survey of Alaska under Lt. Col.
During February: Lockheed Electra first H. H. Arnold.
flew, featuring introduction of twin flns
and rudders. July 28: A 60,613-foot altitude was
reached in Air Corps-National Geographic
April 6: American Interplanetary Society Society balloon, Explorer I, by Maj. W. E.
renamed the American Rocket Society Kepner and Capts. A. W. Stevens and
(ARS). Orvil A. Anderson.

April 11: Comdr. Renato Donati estab- August 18: Jeanette and Jean Piccard
lished altitude record of 47,352 feet in flew Century of Progress balloon from
Caproni aircraft, at Rome, Italy. Dearborn, Mich., to an altitude of 57,579
April 18: Baker Board, appointed by the
Secretary of War to investigate the Army During August: Langley Memorial Aero-
Air Corps, held its first meeting. nautical Laboratory expanded with com-
pletion of engine research laboratory, a
May 1: Lt. Frank Akers (USN) made vertical tunnel for testing spinning char-
hooded blind landing in an OJ-2 at Col- acteristics, and a 24-inch high-speed tun-
lege Park, Md., in demonstration of sys- nel (700 mph).
tem intended for aircraft carrier use. In
subsequent flights, he made takeoffs and September 9: ARS Rocket No. 4 launched
landings between Anacostia and College to 400 feet altitude, at Marine Island,
Park under a hood without assistance. Staten Island, N.T.

June 12: Air Mail Act of J934 signed by September 15: Aeromedical Laboratory
the President. founded at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.

1934—Continued land of Borkum in the North Sea, before
the C-in-0 of the Army.
November 18: Navy issued contract to
Northrop for the XBT-1, a two-seat : British War Office considered de-
scout and 1,000-pound bomb dive bomber, velopment of high-velocity rockets, and
initialprototype of sequence that led to
the Research Department at Woolwich
the SBD Dauntless series of dive bomb-
Arsenal was requested to submit a pro-
ers introduced to the fleet in 1938 and
gram in April 1935. This led to antiair-
used throughout World War II. craft rocket development, and some 2,500
test firings were made in Jamaica, 1988-
December 23: Endowment given IAS by 39.
Sylvanus Albert Reed for annual award
to be given "for notable contribution to
the aeronautical sciences resulting from
During 1934: Douglas began development
of the twin-engined commercial trans-
experimental or theoretical investiga-
port, the famed DC-3.
tions, the beneficial influence of which on
the development of practical aeronautics
is apparent." (See Appendix D.) H. G. Armstrong began studies on

decompression sickness and showed that

During December: German Ordance gas bubbles may form in the body from
group launch two A-2 rockets success- a drop of pressure below one atmosphere,
fully to a height of 1.4 miles, on the Is- at Aero Medical Laboratory.

January 5: First assignment of a flight March 9: Hermann Goering announced
surgeon to Naval Aircraft Factory, Lt. the existence of the German Air Force
Comdr. J. R. Poppen (USN), was di- to Ward Price, correspondent of the
rected to observe pilots, conduct physical Daily Mail (London), an event of con-
examinations, and work on hygienic and siderable importance in international
physiological aspects of research and de- power politics for it implied unilateral
velopment projects. breaking of the Treaty of Versailles pro-
hibiting Germany possession of an air
January 22: Federal Aviation Commis- force.
sion, appointed by the President as pro-
vided in the Air Mail Act of June 12, March 28: Robert Goddard launched the
1934, submitted its report and set forth first rocket equipped with gyroscopic
broad policy on all phases of aviation and controls, which attained a height of 4,800
the relation of Government thereto. It feet, a horizontal distance of 13,000 feet,
recommended strengthening of commer- and a speed of 550 mph, near Roswell,
cial and civil aviation, expansion of air- N. Mex.
port facilities, and establishment of
more realistic procurement practices April 2: British Government disclosed
from industry. It recommended contin- that Adolf Hitler of Germany had de-
ued study of air organization toward clared that the German Air Force had
more effective utilization and closer reached parity vdth the Royal Air Force
interagency relationships, to include ex- at a recent conference with British rep-
pansion of experimental and development resentatives in Germany. While untrue,
work and its close coordination with the Hitler's statement had a profound im-
NACA. pact upon British aeronautical and de-
fense efforts.
February 12: Navy dirigible Macon
crashed at sea off the California coast. April 16-23: Pan American Airways'
Clipper flew from California to Honolulu
March 1: GHQ Air Force established by and returned in preliminary survey flight
the Army Air Corps. for transpacific air route to the Orient.

May 18: World's largest airplane, the November 11 : A 72,395-foot world altitude
Russian Maxim Gorky, crashed near record for manned balloons made by
Moscow, killing all aboard. Capts. A. W. Stevens and Orvil A. Ander-
son, in the helium-inflated Explorer II,
May 31 Goddard rocket attained altitude
: over Rapid City, S. Dak., in cooperation
of 7,500 feet in New Mexico. with National Geographic Society, a rec-
ord which stood for 20 years.
July 2: Historic report on radio direction
finding (radar) was presented to the
British Air Defense Research Committee. November 22-29: Transpacific airmail
fiight by Pan American Airways Martin
: First Interdepartmental Commit- China Clipper, from San Francisco to
tee appointed by President Roosevelt to Honolulu, Midway, Wake, Guam, and
study international air transportation Manila, E. C. Musick as pilot.
During December: Douglas DC-3, one of
July 26: Russian balloon USSR success-
the most successful airliners in history,
fully reached 52,000 feet, crew including
Warigo, Ghristofil, and Prelucki.
first flew.By 1938, it carried the bulk of
American air traffic. When production
July 28: Boeing Model 299, the XB-17 of the DC-3 and its derivatives ended in
four-engine bomber prototype, made first 1945, some 13,000 had been built.


During 1935: Russian liquid-propellant

Summer 1935:
First static tests of meteorological rocket, designed by M. K.
Heinkel He-112 with rocket engines i)er- Tikhonravov, successfully flown.
formed in Germany.

August 28: Automatic radio-navigation H. G. Armstrong published Air


equipment a Sperry automatic pilot Corps Technical Report on physiologic
mechanically linked to a standard radio- requirements of sealed high-altitude air-

compass tested by the Equipment Labo- craft compartments (including effects of
ratory at Wright Field. sudden decompressions), findings which
were incorporated in the XC-35 sub-
October 30: First B-17 prototype crashed stratosphere plane, the first successful
on takeoff during flight testing at Wright pressure-cabin aircraft.

November 6: Prototype Hawker Hurri- Konstantin E. Ziolkovsky, Russian


cane first flown, the later models of which mathematician and pioneer space sci-
destroyed more German aircraft in the entist, died at 78 years of age. The
Battle of Britain than all other British U.S.S.R. later acclaimed him as the
defenses, air and ground, combined. "father of space travel."

January 20: Acting in response to a re- February 23: F. W. Kessler, W. Ley, and
quest from BuAer, the Navy Bureau of N. Carver launched two mail-carrying
Engineering endorsed support for the "rocket airplanes" at Greenwood Lake,
National Bureau of Standards for the N.Y., which traveled about 1,000 feet.
development of radio meteorographs.
Later renamed radiosondes, these instru- During February: Germans tested A-3
ments were sent aloft on free balloons to rocket with 3,300-pound thrust which
measure pressure, temperature, and hu- served as basis for military weapon
midity of the upper atmosphere, and specifications.
transmitted these data to ground stations
for use in weather forecasting and flight March 5: Spitfire prototype with arma-
planning. ment and Merlin engine first flown, pro-

1936 —Continued July 18: Spanish Civil
was to involve German,
War began, which
Italian, and Rus-
duction of the Spitfire Mark I beginning^ sian units as well as aircraft of
at Supermarine factory in early 1937. France and the United States.
Spitfire's classic design was work of R. J.
Mitchell, responsible for the Supermarine July 21: Lt. Comdr. D. S. Fahmey
racing seaplanes which first won the (USN) ordered to implement recom-
Schneider Trophy for Great Britain in mendation made to Chief of Naval Oper-
1931. 18,298 Merlin-engined Spitfires of ations to develop radio-controlled air-
all Marks were built by 1945. craft for use as aerial targets. Reporting
to BuAer and NRL, Fahmey subse-
March 16: Robert H. Goddard's classic re- quently reported on procedure to obtain
port on "Liquid Propellant Rocket De- drone target planes, but also recognized
velopment," reviewing his liquid-fuel the feasibility of using such aircraft as
rocket research and flight testing since guided missiles.
1919, was published by the Smithsonian
Institution. July 23: Navy awarded contract for
XPB2Y-1 boat to ConsoUdated,
April 29: Orville Wright was elected a which became the prototype for four-
member of the National Academy of engined flying boats used throughout
Sciences. World War II.

May what
6: Construction authorized for September 2: Maj. Alexander P. de Sever-
later was named the David W. Taylor sky was refused permission by Army Air
Model Basin, to provide a facility for use Corps to enter his pursuit plane in Ben-
by the Navy Bureau of Construction and dix Trophy Race to Los Angeles "due to
Repair in investigating and determining features considered a military secret."
shapes and forms to be adopted for U.S.
naval vessels, and including aircraft. October IS: Lt. John Sessums (AAC)
visited Robert H. Goddard to oflacially
May 9: George W. Lewis, Director of assess military value of Goddard's work.
NACA Aeronautical Research, received He reported that there was little military
Daniel Guggenheim Medal for 1936 for value, but that rockets would appear
direction of aeronautical research and for useful to drive turbines.
the development of original equipment
and methods. October 24: First transpacific passenger
service completed by Pan American Air-
May 12: World's largest high-speed wind ways, with Martin four-engined China
tunnel (8-foot throat) placed in operation Clipper in a round trip to Manila.
at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, un-
der Russell G. Robinson. November 7: Robert Goddard flew gyro-
controlled rocket to 7,500-foot altitude,
near Roswell, N. Mex.
May 22: Herrick Vertiplane, embodying
characteristics of both airplanes and au- December 19: New world speed record
togiros, underwent tests at Floyd Ben- for amphibians of 209.4 mph over a closed
nett Field. course set by Maj. Alexander P.
de Seversky.
June 6: Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., Inc., at
Paulsboro, N.J., began production of During 19S6: Theodore von KS.rman, Di-
aviation gasoline (100 octane) by the rector of the Guggenheim Aeronautical
catalytic cracking method. Laboratory at the California Institute of
Technology at Pasadena, founded group
June 7: Maj. Ira C. Eaker (AAC) made which began experiments in design fun-
first transcontinental blind flight, from damentals of high-altitude sounding
New York to Los Angeles. rocket. The group, named the Cal Tech
Rocket Research Project, consisted of
June 15: Vickers Wellington prototype Frank J. Malina, Hsue-Shen Tsien,
RAF bomber made its first flight, while A. M. O. Smith, John W. Parsons, Edward
flight of first production model was made Forman, and Weld Arnold. This was the
on December 23, 1937. origin of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

: First practical helicopter flight, following year it made first helicopter
German Focke-Achgelis, FA-61; in the flight of over 1 hour.

January 1: First physiological research Atlantic prior to establishment of trans-
laboratory completed at Wright Field by atlantic service. Both flights were suc-
Air Corps to investigate and devise means cessful, marking the 11th and 12th
to alleviate distressing symptoms occur- successful nonstop transatlantic flights
ring in flight. completed out of 85 attempts.

March 1: First operational Boeing B-17 July 15: Three Soviet fliers established
delivered to the GHQ
Air Force at Lang- world distance nonstop record, flying
ley Field, Va. across the North Pole from Moscow to
San Jacinto, Calif., in 62 hours.
During Spring: Single-engine Heinkel
(He-112) with Junker 650-pound thrust, July 27: Japanese began aerial bombing
liquid-fuel rocket motor successfully of Chinese cities.
flown at Neuhardenberg, Germany, Capt.
Erich Warsitz as pilot.
August 5: First experimental pressurized-
cabin airplane, a Lockheed XO-35, made
April 12: Frank Whittle's first gas turbine first flight at Wright Field.
engine, the U-type, was static tested.
August 2S: The flrst wholly automatic
May 6: German Eindenburg de-
dirigible landings in history were made at Wright
stroyed at Lakehurst, N.J., an event Field by Capt. Carl J. Crane, inventor
which ordained the death of the large of the system Capt. George Holloman,

dirigibles. pilot; and Raymond K. Stout, project

May H. F. Pierce launched liquid pro-
pellant rocket to 250-foot altitude at Old October 15: Boeing XB-15 made first
Ferris Point, N.Y. flight

During May: Joint German Army-Air During November: Low turbulence wind
Force rocket research station opened at tunnel for investigation of laminar flow
Peenemiinde on Baltic Sea Army Ord- ; airfoil constructed at NACA's Langley
nance rocket program under Capt. Walter Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.
Dornberger moved his stafC from Kum-
mersdorf. : Navy Grumman F4F made first test
flight, standard carrier-based flghter In
Jtme SO: Navy issued contract to Martin early World War II operations.
for XPBM-1 two-engine flying boat, the
initial prototype for the PBM Mariner
December 23: Successful unmanned radio-
controlled flight made by Navy JH-1
series used during and after World War
drone, at Coast Guard Air Station, Cape
May, N.J.
July 1: Weather Service of the Signal
During December: Initial rocket thrust
Corps was transferred to the Army Air
chamber tests by R. C. Truax at Annap-
olis, Md., using compressed air and gaso-
line as fuels.
July 2: Amelia Earhart Putnam and co-
pilot lost near Rowland Island in the During 1937: World's scheduled airlines
Paciflc, carried 2,500,000 passengers in 1937, with
average number of 5.3 passengers per air-
July 4- FA-61 helicopter flown in fully craft, according to the International Civil
controlled, free flight by Hanna Reitsch, Aviation Organization.
at Bremen, Germany.
:U.S.S.R. established rocket test
July 5-6: PAA and Imperial Airways centers at Kazan, Moscow, and Lenin-
make joint survey flights across the North grad.

January 16: Spanish rebel planes began tary aviation under the Civil Aeronautics
daily bombing of Barcelona from Ma- Authority.
August 2Jf: First American use of drone
February 10: British Hurricane fighter target aircraft in antiaircraft exercises,
flown from Edinburgh to Northolt, near the Ranger fired upon a radio-controlled
London, at an average speed of 408.75 JH-1 making simulated horizontal bomb-
mph, J. W. Gillan as pilot. ing attack on the fleet.

February 26: Secretary of Interior Ickes August 29: Maj. Alexander de Seversky
approved purchase by the Federal Gov- set east-west transcontinental speed
ernment of helium plants at Dexter, record of 10 hours 2 minutes 55.7 seconds
Kans., thus giving the Government a vir- in a 2,457-mile flight.
tual monopoly. On May 11, his refusal
to sell helium to Germany was upheld by September 12: Wind tunnel capable of
the President. simulating altitudes to 37,000 feet dedi-
cated atMIT as a memoral to the Wright
February 21: The good-will flight to brothers.
Buenos Aires of six B-17's under Lt. Col.
Robert D. Olds, which had left Miami on September IJ^: Radio-controlled Navy
February 17, returned to Langley Field,
N2C-2 target drone made simulated dive-
Va. bombing attack on battleship Vtah in
XF2A-1 test firing of anticraf t battery.
April 21: Navy delivered to
Langley Memorial Aeronautical Labora-
tory of NACA, which marked initiation September 29: Brig. Gen. Henry H.
of full-scale wind tunnel tests, which re- Arnold named Chief of the Army Air
sulted in increasing sipeed of the XF2A-1 Corps to replace Maj. Gen. O. Westover,
by 31 mph and led to utilization of NAOA killed in crash on September 21.
testing of other high performance aircraft
by both the Army and the Navy. Data September SO: Agreement signed at Mu-
thus obtained were also directly appli- nich, Germany, between Germany, Brit-
cable to the design of new aircraft. ain, France, and Italy, allowing Germany
to occupy the Sudetenland of Czecho-
June 1: Routine use of radiosondes ini- slovakia, an event in which the relative
tiated at NAS Anacostia, Washington, air strength of the major nations was a
D.C. By the end of the year the balloon- prominent factor.
carried radio meteorographs were also
used in Navy fleet operations. October 19: Curtiss XP-40 Tomahawk
made first flight.
June 6: The Daniel Guggenheim Medal
for 1938 awarded to A. H. R. Fedden for During October: British Purchasing Com-
"contributions to the development of air- mission ordered 200 Lockheed Hudsons
craft engine design and for the specific (military version of Super Electra air-
design of the sleeve valve aircraft liner), the first American-built aircraft
engine." to see operational service with the RAF
in World War II.
June 9: British Government announced
intention to purchase U.S. Lockheed Hud-
:All-wood British de Havilland
sons and North American Harvards for
Mosquito twin-engine bomber conceived,
aerial reconnaissance and training pur-
official order for 50 received on March 1,
June 2S: President Roosevelt signed the
Civil Air Authority Act. December 10: First static test of James
Wyld's regeneratively cooled rocket
August 22: The Civil Aeronautics Act be- thrust chambers, which achieved 90-
came effective, coordinating all nonmili- pound thrust.

ARS tested R. O. Truax's rocket
: During 1938: Jack Parsons of Cal Tech
thrust chamber at New Rochelle, N.Y., conceived value of slow-burning rocket
which achieved 20-pound thrust before propellant of constant thrust for JATO
burning through. use, active development of which was un-
dertaken by Cal Tech in 1940.
December 16: First successful test of
NACA high-speed motion-picture camera :Vital importance of the factor of
developed by C. D. Miller, conducted at duration in pilot's exposure to hypoxia
Langley Laboratory, later used exten- demonstrated in animal experiments by
sively in photographic analysis of com- H. G. Armstrong and J. W. Heim.
bustion and operated up to rates of 40,000
photographs per second.
: Heinz von Diringshofen, German
: airship delivered to NAS
Navy K-2 scientist,conducted research on human
Lakehurst for trials, the prototype for tolerance to multiple g-loads; exposed
World War II K
Class patrol airships, test subjects to a few seconds of sub-
of which 135 were procured. gravity by putting an aircraft through
a vertical dive.
December 17: Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Na-
tional Bureau of Standards, delivered
1938-39: NACA developed airfoils pro-
second Wright Brothers Lecture at
Columbia University. viding laminar flow to a degree far
greater than previously obtainable (based
December 30: Special Committee on in part upon Ludwig Prandtl's boundary
"Future Research Facilities of NACA" layer theory in NACA Report 116 pub-
recomended creation of another labora- lished in 1921) Eastman N. Jacobs de-

tory resulted in Ames Aeronautical

; veloped low-drag wing sections worthy
Laboratory at Moffett Field. of special mention.

January 16: Maj. Gen. Frank M, An- March 26: Capt. John H. Towers named
drews, Chief of Army General Head- Chief of Bureau of Aeronautics with
quarters Air Force, in an address to the rank of Rear Admiral.
annual convention of the National Aero-
nautic Association at St. Louis, said that April 3: President Roosevelt signed the
the United States was a fifth- or sixth- National Defense Act of 1940, authorizing
rate air power. 6,000 airplanes and increasing personnel,
of Army Air Corps to 3,203 oflBcers and
January 21 : Dr. George W. Lewis, NACA 45,000 enlisted men, and appropriating
Director of Aeronautical Research, $300 million for the Air Corps.
elected president of the IAS.
April 7; Amphibian version of PBY fly-
January 31: Dr. Edward P. Warner ap- ing boat ordered by the Navy from Con-
I)ointed economic and technical adviser
of the CAA.
April 20: The free-flight tunnel placed
February 11: Lockheed P-38 Lightning
into operation at Langley Aeronautical
first flown across the Nation from Cali-
fornia, to a crack-up landing at Mitchel
Field, Long Island, Lt. Ben Kelsey as
April 20-21: Experiments with four-
bladed controllable propeller on Curtiss
During February: Airflow Research Staff P-36 begun at Wright Field.
at Langley Laboratory initiated reeval-
uation of jet propulsion for aircraft at April 28: Flying a Messerschmitt BF-
speeds higher than considered by Buck- 109R, Fritz Wendel achieved record
ingham in NACA Report No. 159 pub- speed of 468.9 mph in level flight, at
lished in 1923. Augsburg, Germany.

1939— Continued He S-3B jet engine, piloted by Erich
May 5: Kilner- Lindbergh Board was es-
tablished by Gen. H. H. Arnold to revise September 1: German blitzkrieg launched
military characteristics of all U.S. mili- on Poland. President Roosevelt appealed
tary aircraft, including the B-29 design to the European nations not to bomb
in the AAF 5-year program. The Board civilian populations or unfortified cities.
was composed of Gen. W. C. Kilner,
Charles A. Lindbergh, Cols. Carl Spaatz September S-4: RAF Bomber Command
and Naiden, and Major Lyon. carried out first night propaganda raid,
dropping leaflets over Hamburg, Bremen,
May 15: Navy issued contract to Curtiss and the Ruhr. On September 27, British
Wright for the SXB2C-1 dive bomber, Air Ministry announced that the RAF
which despite prolonged operational de- had dropped 18 million leaflets over
velopment became the principal carrier Germany since the beginning of the war.
dive bomber in the last year of World When leaflet bombing was suspended on
War II known as the Helldiver. April 6, 1940, Bomber Command had
dropped 65 million leaflets.
During June: First transatlantic passen-
ger service, by Pan American Airways During September: Igor I. Sikorsky made
with a Boeing four-engined Yankee Clip- initial flights with the

per. single-main-rotor helicopter, precursor of

the R-4 two-place design procured in
July 1: National Academy of Sciences 1942 by the AAF.
sponsored a $10,000 research program at
Cal Tech Rocket Research Project for World's largest balloon, the Star

development of rockets suitable to assist of Poland, was unable to make strato-

Air Corps planes in takeoffs, the first U.S. spheric flight because of the German in-
rocket program. vasion. The United States had provided
helium gas in August for this Polish
During Summer: Albert Einstein, Enrico effort and several American experts, in-
Fermi, Leo Szilard, and Eugene Wigner cluding A. W. Stevens, provided techni-
interested President Roosevelt, through cal assistance.
Alexander Sachs, in the potential mili-
tary importance of uranium. The Presi- October 1^: Naval Aircraft Factory au-
dent appointed an Advisory Committee thorized to develop radio-control equip-
on Uranium under the chairmanship of ment for use in remote-controlled flight
Dr. Lyman Briggs, Director of the Na- testing of aircraft without risking the
tional Bureau of Standards. life of a test pilot.

:Total complement of NACA

was October 19: Dr. Vannevar Bush was
523 persons, of which only 278 were elected Chairman of the to fill NACA
classified as technical personnel. the post of Dr. Joseph Ames, who re-
signed due to ill health.
August 9: Congress authorized construc-
Second Special Committee on "Fu-
tion of second NACA
research station at

Research Facilities of NACA,"

Moffett Field, Calif., which became the
headed by Charles A. Lindbergh, recom-
Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, named
after Joseph S. Ames, president emeritus
mended that a powerplant research
center be established at once, a recom-
of Johns Hopkins University, member of
mendation resulting in the Aircraft En-
the NACA from its beginning in 1915
gine Research Laboratory at Cleveland,
to 1939, and Chairman of NACA
Ohio, now the Lewis Research Center.
1927 until 1939.

August 24 : Assignment of Navy medical During October: Germans successfully

officer to BuAer was approved for the flred and recovered A-5 development
purpose of establishing an Aviation rockets with gyroscopic controls and
Medical Research Unit. parachutes, attaining altitude of 7%
miles and a range of 11 miles.
August 27: First complete flights of jet-
propelled aircraft made secretly in November 20: Navy established its own
Germany, a Heinkel 178 powered by the School of Aviation Medicine at Pensa-

cola, Fla., having previously detailed offi- During 1939: Basic concepts for NACA's
cers to the Air Corps School of Aviation combined loads testing machine were
Medicine. proposed by E. E. Lundquist and J. N.
Kotanchik of Langley Laboratory. After
November SO: U.S.S.R. invaded Finland,
refinements by others, construction was
Soviet planes bombing Helsinki and
started in 1940 and much testing per-
other Finnish towns.
formed before completion and operation
December 2: Army Air Corps authorized of the fixed-component machine in 1949.
to begin development of a four-engine The combined loads testing machine was
bomber with a 2,000-mile radius of ac- the first capable of applying positive and
tion, which led to the Boeing B-29 negative forces along each of three axes,
Superfortress. and positive and negative moments about
these axes, in any combination of forces
December 29: Consolidated- Vultee B-24 and moments, each applied independently.
Liberator made first flight at San Diego. Still in use in 1960, this machine was used
extensively on combined loads and mo-
During 1939: P^l with R-1830 engine
ments on shell-type structures for all
was provided by NACA's Pinkel, Turner,
types of flight vehicles.
and Voss with separate stacks for each
cylinder, thus providing 14 jet exhausts
which increased speed of aircraft from
During 1939-40: Original design of North
13 to 18 mph between 10,000 and 20,000
American B-25 Mitchell bomber required
feet. Applied to A-20 later, an increase
200,000 engineering man-hours later
of 45 mph was attained.

wartime modification of this airplane

:Curtiss P-40 fighter powered with (9,800 completed by end of 1945) ac-
Allison V-1710-33, with top speed of 357 counted for a total of more than 4,830,000
mph, first ordei-ed in quantity. engineering man-hours.

January 19: Maj. James H. Doolittle March 9: Beechcraft AD-17 biplane flown
elected president of the IAS. to altitude of 21,050 feet over the Ant-
arctic to measure cosmic rays for the
February 1: Capt. G. E. Price flew Bell U.S. Antarctic Expedition, piloted by
Airacobra through flight tests. T. Sgt. T. A. Petras (USMC).

February 2^: BuAer issued contract for March 16: First civilian casualties in
airborne television equipment capable for Britain due to air raids, during Luftwaffe
use in transmitting instrument readings attack on Scapa Flow.
obtained from radio-controlled flight
tests, and for providing target and guid- March 22: Naval Aircraft Factory estab-
ance data should radio-controlled air- lished project for adapting radio controls
craft be converted to guided missiles. to a torpedo-carrying TG-2 airplane.

February 27: Based upon research of March 26: U.S. commercial airlines com-
former NACA engineer, Charles H. Zim- pleted a full year without a fatal acci-
merman, Navy initiated development of dent or serious injury to a passenger or
the Flying Flapjack with award of con- crew member.
tract to Vought-Sikorsky for design of
the VS-173. Design promised high speed During April: British commission gave
with low takeoff speed. North American Aircraft 120 days to pro-
duce fighter prototype to specifications,
February 29 : Navy BuAer initiated steps which resulted in the highly successful
that led to contract with H. O. Croft, P-51 Mustang, the first aircraft to utilize
State University of Iowa, to investigate the NACA low-drag wing based on pro-
the possibilities of a turbojet propulsion longation of laminar flow. Low-turl?u-
unit for aircraft. lence wind tunnel tests (completed in

1940—Continued Britain, which raged until the end of
1938) had led to five different families of
low-drag wings by the end of 1939. During August: Sir Henry Tizard, scien-
tific adviser to the British Ministry of
May H: German Luftwaffe bombed Aircraft Production, headed mission of
Rotterdam. leading British and Canadian scientists
to brief official American representatives
May 15-16: First large-scale RAF raids
on devices under active development for
on German industrial targets when 93
war use and to enlist the support of Amer-
bombers attacked objectives in the Ruhr.
ican scientists. This was the beginning
May 16: President Roosevelt called for of very close cooperation of Anglo-Ameri-
U.S. production of 50,000 planes a year.
can scientists in many fields, including
aeronautics and rocketry, and enabled
May 28: Robert H. Goddard offered all American laboratories to catch up with
his research data, patents, and facilities war-accelerated progress.
for use by the military services at a meet-
ing with representatives of Army Ord- August 20: Smith J. DeFrance appointed

nance, Army Air Corps, and Navy Bureau Engineer-in-Charge of the NACA Ames
of Aeronautics arranged by Harry Gug- Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field,
genheim. Nothing resulted from this ex- Calif.

cept an expression of possible use of

rockets in jet-assisted take-offs of air- August 25- First RAF bombing of

May 29: Chance Vought F4U Corsair During September: Royal Air Force used
Navy fighter with inverted full wing made AA rockets against Luftwaffe planes in
first test flight. the Battle of Britain.

June 8: Paris office of the NACA was : First test firing of NDRC rocket
closed. program, at Naval Proving Ground, Dahl-
gren, Va., a rocket-propelled bomb to
June 26: Congress authorized construc- pierce 14-inch armor requested by
tion of the third NACA laboratory near BuOrd.
Cleveland, Ohio, which became Aircraft
Engine Research Laboratory. In 1948, it November 25: De Havilland all-wood Mos-
was named for George W. Lewis, NACA quito bomber made first flight, large-
Director of Aeronautical Research, 1924- scale production of which began in July
47. 1941.

June 27: National Defense Research Com- During 1940: Committee of the National
mittee (NDRC) created by the Council Academy of Sciences reported that op-
of National Defense. eration of turbine wheels at temperatures
up to 1,500° F might soon be possible be-
July 8: First commercial flight of the cause of U.S. and foreign development
Boeing 307-B Stratoliner, Burbank, of high-temperature alloys.
Calif., to Long
Island, N.Y., the first com-
mercial flight to use a pressurized cabin, Dr. Heinz von Diringshofen of Ber-

in record time of 12 hours 18 minutes. lin,Germany, "discovered" the effect of

weightlessness during flight maneuvers
During July: National Defense Research with high performance aircraft.
Committee established Jet Propulsion Re-
search Committee under Section H of N. W. Thomer and F. H. Lewey

Division A, at Naval Powder Factory, demonstrated destruction of certain brain

Indian Head, Md., to conduct funda- cells in experimental animals by short
mental research on rocket ordnance. C. and severe exposures to hypoxia induced
N. Hickman, who had worked with God- by inhalation of pure nitrogen.
dard during World War I, was named as
head. Graf Zeppelin I and // were inten-

tionally destroyed by the Germans and

August 2: Beginning of the Battle of their metal used for the Reich war effort.

January 11: Army Air Corps announced :British De Havilland Mosquito
the control of robot planes, either by equipped as night fighter (W4052) made
radio from the ground or from another its first flight with AI radar.
plane, had been tested successfully.
May 21 : Army Corps Ferrying Command,
During January: RCA proposed to forerunner of AAF's Air Transport Com-
NDRC design and development of rocket- mand, was created. By V-E Day it pos-
propelled, radio-controlled aerial tori)edo sessed 2,461 transports, of which 798
with TV nose, which was given code were 4 engined.
name "Dragon." The National Bureau
of Standards was assigned the task of : Navy Engineering Experiment Sta-
developing a suitable airframe. tion,Annapolis, Md., directed to under-
take development of liquid-fuel rocket
February 5: Bureau of Standards devel- JATO for large flying boats.
oped photoelectric detector to simplify
measurement of height of clouds. May 29: Naval Powder Factory, Indian
Head, developed and successfully tested
During February: Army Air Corps initi- 4.5-inch AA rocket.
ated development of radio-controlled
aerial gliding torpedoes, gliding bombs, During May: Republic XP-47 Thunder-
and aerial mines. bolt made first flight.

March 24: Classic NACA report prepared May-June: First satisfactory spark plugs
by Robert R. Gilruth which provided (ceramic insulated) for high-perform-
basis for subsequent aircraft develop- ance U.S. aircraft engines such as the
ment (NACA Report No. 755, "Require- P&W R-2800 were ordered in mass
ments for Satisfactory Flying Qualities quantities. Plugs were developed under
of Airplanes"). direction of T. T. Neill, Air Corps igni-
tion engineer at Wright Field.
During March: NACA established Special
Committee on Jet Propulsion to review June 20: Establishment of the U.S. Army
early British reports on the Whittle en- Air Forces (AAF), comprising the Office
gine, which subsequently aided develop- of the Chief of Air Corps and the Air
ment of TG-100 turboprop engine by GE Force Combat Command (formerly
and the 19-B turbojet by Westinghouse. GHQ Air Force), with Maj. Gen. H. H.
Dr. W. F. Durand was called out of Arnold as Chief.
retirement to head this committee.
June 22: U.S.S.R. was attacked by Ger-
April 15: Igor Sikorsky piloted a Vought-
Sikorsky in the first oflBcially recorded
Ceramic-lined rocket thrust cham-

single-rotor helicopter flight longer than

ber designed by Alfred Africano
an hour in the Western Hemisphere;
generated 260-pound thrust.
flying time, 1 hour 5 minutes 14.5 sec-
onds at Stratford, Conn.
June 28: Office of Scientific Research and
Development (OSRD) in the Office of
April 19: Naval Aircraft Factory initi- Emergency Management was created by
ated development of a Glomb (glider President Roosevelt in Executive Order
bomb), to be towed long distances by 8807.
powered aircraft and released over tar-
get and guided by radio control and June 30: Joint Army-Navy project con-
target-viewing television. tract given Northrop for design of an
aircraft gas turbine developing 2,500 hp
May 15: First official flight of British at a weight of less than 3,215 pounds.
turbojet, Gloster E28/39 with Whittle
WIX jet engine, at Cranwell, England, During June: Col. Donald J. Keirn of
flown by Flight Lt. Sayer for about 17 Wright Field sent to England to study
minutes. Gloster jet aircraft and its Whittle-I

1941 —Continued August 19: President Roosevelt an-
nounced that Pan American Airways
engine. AAF decision to produce Whit- would establish a ferry service to fly
tle engine made In September, and the American aircraft to the RAF in the
XP-59 flew a year later. Middle East.

July 1: First commercial television During August: Caproni-Campini jet-

broadcast over WNBT, New York (first propelled plane, conventional engine with
successful demonstration by C. F. Jenkens ducted fan, produced and test flown in
in United States and J. L. Baird in Eng- Italy.
land was made in early 1920's).
During September: Messerschmitt Me-
July 16: Full-scale wind-tunnel tests of 163A powered by "cold" H. Walther
A-1 "power-driven controllable bomb" rocket successfully flown at Augsburg,
conducted at Langley Field. Germany, development of which had be-
gun in 1937, but "cold" engine proved un-
July Dr. Jerome C. Hunsaker was
2Jt: reliable. Flights were also made in Octo-
electedChairman of the NACA and ber which reached speeds of 1,003 km/hr,
Chairman of its Executive Committee. or Mach 0.85.

During July: Navy initiated development During September: Dr. Robert H. God-
of Mousetrap, ship-based 7.2-inch mortar- da rd began work on liquid-propellant
fired bomb which became first USN JATO under contract to USN and AAF,
rocket placed into fleet action in May delivering a device to both agencies on
1942. September 1942.

First successful U.S. jet-assisted

: October 21: Post of Air Surgeon was
takeoff accomplished in an Ercoupe at Army Air Forces.
created within the
March Field by Lt. Homer A. Boushey
(AAF), with pressed-powder propellant During October: Harriman mission made
JATO rockets developed by Cal Tech. globe-circling flight of 24,700 miles from
Washington to Moscow and return in
: Project TED (EES 3401) estab- B-24 bomber.
lished at Naval Engineering Experiment
Station at Annapolis by BuAer. November 7: First flight of the AAF
GB-1 guided glide bomb, containing pre-
August 1 : President Roosevelt prohibited set guidance.
export of aviation fuel outside of the
November 12: First launching of an ex-
Western Hemisphere, except to Britain
perimental GB-8 glide bomb, incorporat-
and countries resisting aggression, an act
ing radio controls.
aimed at Japan which normally imported
large quantities from the United States. November SO: Italian jet-propelled!
Caproni-Campini airplane flown 475 kilo-
NDL was requested to develop ra-
meters in 2 hours 11 minutes from Turin
dar guidance equipment for assault to Rome, by Mario de Barnardini.
drones, both to relay target information
to a control operator and to serve as an November-December: Russians used AA
automatic homing device. rockets against Luftwaffe aircraft in de-
fense of Moscow and air-to-air rockets on
: Three successful tests of J. Wyld their Stormovik 11-2 fighters.
liquid fuel rocket motor were made at
December 7: Japanese naval air units
average thrust of 125 pounds. A
attacked Pearl Harbor.
later, ARS members formed Reaction
Motors, Inc., to continue development of December SO: USAAF requested NRDC to
this design. undertake development of controlled-
trajectory bombs, the beginning of the
August 12: Ercoupe impelled by 12 development of Azon.
powder rockets of 50 pounds thrust each,
piloted by Lt. Homer A. Boushey, first During 1941: Navy Bureau of Aeronau-
flew on rocket power alone after an initial tics created JATO section to accelerate
boost from a towing automobile. USN development.

During 19^1 : Aeromedical Laboratory, in During 1941: Research facilities at
collaboration with Dr. E. A. Hooten of NACA's Langley and Ames Laboratories
Harvard University, initiated anthropo- increased 100 percent over previous years
metric surveys of AAF flyers to facilitate by the construction of new facilities for
design of weapons and flying gear. defense application.

January 13: Sikorsky XR-i, single-rotary May 26: Jet-assisted takeoff of a Brew-
wing, two-man helicopter, made its first ster F2A-3 using five Britishantiaircraft
successful flight. solid-propellant rockets demonstrated at
NAS Anacostia, Comdr. C. Fink Fischer
During January: P-38 first placed under as pilot.
study of NACA Langley Laboratory to
assess flow changes due to compressibil- May 30-31: First 1,000-plane raid by RAF
ity,later transferred to Ames Laboratory. Bomber Command on Cologne, Germany.
Dive-recovery flap developed later applied
to P-47, XP-59, F-80, and FR-1. June IS: First test of the German A-4
(V-2) rocket unsuccessful at Peene-
"Frigitorium" for cold testing air-
: miinde, Germany.
craft equipment for arctic operations be-
came operational at Wright Field. June 17: National Defense Research Com-
mittee initiated development of an anti-
During February: Douglas DC^ Sky- submarine guided missile, the Pelican,
master first flew, becoming prominent in under Navy BuOrd, which was a glide
the generation of four-engined American bomb with radar homing guidance.
transports which revolutionized long-haul
air transportation. June 27: Naval Aircraft Factory was di-
rected to participate in development of
April 7-24: Douglas A-20A completed 44 high-altitude pressure flying suits, thus
successive takeoffs using liquid-propel- joining Army which had sponsored ear-
lant JATO developed by Cal Tech's lier work.
Frank S. Malina.
June 30: Brig. Gen. James H. Doolittle
April Radio-controlled TG-2 Navy
9: awarded the 1942 Guggenheim Medal
drone made torpedo attack on destroyer "for notable achievement in the advance-
Aaron Ward in which television camera ment of aeronautics."
mounted in the drone was utilized, di-
rected by control pilot Lt. M. B. Taylor During June: Joint Committee on New
of Project Fox. Weapons and Equipment (JNW) ap-
pointed subcommittee to review all
April 18: First American raid on Tokyo,
guided-missile programs, out of which
by 16 North American B-25 AAF medium
came the placement of responsibility for
bombers flown off carrier Hornet, led by
all controlled missiles in Division 5, Mis-
Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle.
siles, in the National Defense Research

April 19: Two feasibility tests using Council. Division 5 of NDRC served as
drone aircraft conducted by Navy in principal agency outside the military
Chesapeake Bay, the most successful services involved in U.S. missile develop-
being Project Fox BG-2 drone equipped ment for the remainder of World War II.
with target-viewing TV camera, which
was crash dived into a moving raft while July 3: First airborne test firing of a
under an airborne control pilot 11 miles retrorocket at Goldstone Lake, Calif.,
away. from a PBY-5A piloted by Lt. Comdr.
J. H. Hean (USN).
May 8: Research begun at the NACA Air-
craft Engine Research Laboratory at July 6: 4.5-inch rocket (M8-type) fired
Cleveland. for first time in flight from a P^O.

1942 —Continued Muroc Dry Lake,
Stanley as pilot.
Calif., with Robert

July 18: German Me-262 turbojet fighter

flown on spectacular flight test, con- October 2: Maj. J. G. Kearby reached an
cluding a series begun in May. effective,simulated altitude of 60,200 feet
in Aeromedical Laboratory altitude
During July: First U.S.-designed jet en- chamber at Wright Field, as a part of an
gine successfully demonstrated at Lang- investigation of "full pressure" suits.
ley Laboratory, the NACA Jeep, which
October 3: First successful launch and
was never flown but proved invaluable
flight of 5 1/2 -ton German A-4 rocket ( V-2)
for continued NACA research on gas-
at Peenemiinde, which traveled 120 miles.
turbine jet propulsion.

October 22: Westinghouse Electric au-

9-inch supersonic tunnel providing
thorized to construct two 19A axial-flow
airspeeds up to mach 2.5 put into opera- turbojet powerplants, thereby initiating
tion at Langley Memorial Aeronautical fabrication of first practical jet engine
Laboratory. wholly American in design.

September 21: Boeing XB-29 Superfor- December 2: First nuclear chain reaction
tress made its first flight, an Indispen- successfully accomplished at the Univer-
sible aircraft in the Pacific campaign of sity of Chicago.
World War II.
December 5: Edward R. Sharp was ap-
pointed Manager of the NACA Aircraft
During SeptemJter: After completion of
Engine Research Laboratory at Cleve-
liquid-fuel JATO device for AAP and
Navy, Robert H. Goddard worked on
liquid-fuel engines of variable thnist
During December: AAF conducted first
while Director of Research in Jet Pro- flight tests of a full-pressure altitude
pulsion at Annapolis until his death in Eglin Field, Fla.
flight suit at
August 1945.
During 1942: Aerosol bomb for disinsec-
October 1: First U.S. jet-propelled air- tation of aircraft developed at Aero Med-
an Airacomet Bell XP-
craft flight, by ical Laboratory by Lt. William N.
59A (powered by two 1-16 engines Sullivan, subsequently adapted for use in
developed by General Electric from the foxholes, bomb shelters, barracks, and
British Whittle prototype), ma()ie at other dwellings.

January 8: First aircraft takeoff in lation flrst flown, a successful postwar
United States with permanently installed transport with pressurized cabin.
JATO rocket powerplant, an A-20A at
Muroc Army Air Base, Calif. February 11: 10th German A-4 (V-2)
rocket traveled 121.8 miles after launch
January 2t : First American bomber raid from Peenemiinde.
on Germany by USAAF against Wil-
helmshaven. During February: Navy Engineering Ex-
periment Station Annapolis completed
January 28: Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Chief development of rocket engine for Pelican
of the Mechanics and Sound Division radio-controlled pilotless aircraft (never
of the National Bureau of Standards, used operationally).
elected president of the IAS.
March 5: Fifth prototype of Gloster Me-
During January: Lockheed C-69 Constel- teor, developed from the flrst British jet

aircraft, first flew, powered by Halford July 19: Naval Aircraft Factory author-
H-1 turbojet engines, forerunners of the ized to develop the Gorgon, an aerial
De Havilland Goblin. ram or air-to-air missile powered by a
turbojet engine and equipped with radio
During March: First turbojet engine de- control and a homing device. The
veloped from American design by West- Gorgon was later expanded into a broad
inghouse, the X19A, was completed. It program embracing turbojet, ramjet,
was the precursor of the J30, J34, J40, pulsejet, and rocket propulsion, and a
J46, and J54 engines. variety of structures and guidance
April 2: Research building of the AAF
School of Aviation Medicine opened offi- July 24-August 3: German city of Ham-
cially, housing 27 officers and 35 civilian burg subjected to a series of massive
staff members, and 4 altitude decompres- RAF attacks, totaling 3,000 planes, which
sion chambers. exploited first use of "chaff" or "window"
to saturate radar early warning and re-
April 11 : California Rocket Society tested sulting in a severe "fire storm."
first hybrid rocket design in United
States, using oxygen and carbon, During July: Naval Air Material Center
established at Johnsville, Pa., to include
April 15: Prime Minister Winston
Naval Air Factory, Naval Aircraft Modi-
Churchill of England was informed of
fication Unit, and Naval Air Experimen-
reports on German experiments with
tal Station.
long-range rockets.
Serious training of units for field
May 22: German Messerschmitt Me-262

employment of V-2 begun at Peene-

turbojet fighter prototype flight tested at
miinde. In January 1944, operational
Recblin. Test flights continued during
command of V-2 operations given to Gen.
the year on interceptor type, while series
Richard Metz, leaving Gen. Dornberger
production did not begin until spring of
in charge of V-2 development.

During May: A PBY Catalina, fitted :Jet propulsion static test labora-
with two liquid-propellant JATO rockets tory constructed at NACA Laboratory in
developed at Annapolis, took off with 20 Cleveland, and full studies of jet pro-
percent reduction in run. Liquid-propel- pulsion for the Army and Navy were
lant JATO was abandoned by Navy in underway by the fall.
Summer 1943: Messerschmitt Me-163B
May-June: Germans operationally test rocket interceptor powered by Walther
fired over 100 ¥-2*8 from Blizna, Poland, "hot" engine successfully flown at Bre-
launching 10 on one day, only a small men, Augsburg, and near Leipzig, Ger-
number of which were fully successful. many. Over 300 Me-163B's were
produced by Junkers by the end of 1944.
June 24: Lt. Col. W. R. Lovelace, AAF
Aeromedical Laboratory, made world August 7: German turbojet fighter, a
record parachute jump from 40,200 feet Messerschmitt Me-262, demonstrated be-
at Ephrata, Wash. fore Adolf Hitler in East Prussia.

Mid-1943: Navy initiated development of August 17: AAF

FR "Fireball" fighter, the only U.S. jet- deep-penetration daylight raid by 376
and-propeller-engine fighter produced in B-17's, with heavy loss of 60 bombers.
any quantity before the end of the war.
August 17-18: Royal Air Force attacked
Developed by Ryan, prototype was ac-
Germany's Peenemiinde Rocket Research
cepted in October 1944 and production
Center, causing heavy damage and de-
authorized in December 1944.
laying V-weapon program by weeks or
July 5: First turbojet engine completed months.
for the Navy, the Westinghouse 19A, com-
During August: Navy initiated develop-
pleted its 100-hour endurance test.
ment of McDonnell Phantom XFD-1
July 7; Adolf Hitler gave the German fighter, first pure-jet aircraft developed
V-2 program highest military priority. for USN.

1943 —Continued :Navy BuOrd established facility
for testing rocket motors at Naval Gun
During August: German aircraft Factory, Washington, D.O.
launched first HS-293 radio-controlled
glidebomb against British ship in Bay of 'November 8: Secretary of the Navy ap-
Biscay, the beginning of guided-missile proved Naval Ordnance Test Station to
be located on west coast and to be under
cognizance of BuOrd. In December, its
September 1: 123,000 airplanes and site was selected at Inyokern, China

349,000 airplane motors were produced in Lake, Calif.

the United States between May 1940 and
this date.
November 30: Department of Aviation
Medicine Physiological Research
During September: Rocket Development was authorized at NAMCPhiladelphia.
Branch created in Army Ordnance to di-
During November: Gen. H. H. Arnold,
rect and coordinate development on
Chief of Air Staff, directed and author-
ized emphasis on research, development,
U.S. Bell Airacomet first flown in
and procurement of guided missiles, as
England at Moreton Valenee, result of indicated by known German advances.
exchange for first production model of
Theodore von Kdrmdn submitted
a Meteor Mk I (EE210) sent to the

proposal to Army Ordnance for de-

United States.
veloping long-range surface-to-surface
Late September: Aberdeen Ballistic Re- missiles.
search Laboratories' Study entitled "De-
velopment of Long-Range Rocket Pro- :In response to military character-
jectile" was submitted by the Army to istics established by the Coast Artillery
the National Defense Research Commit- Board for a radio-controlled antiaircraft
tee. The project was accepted by NDRC. projectile, Frankford Arsenal conceived
a guided-missile system based on exist-
October 2: First U.S. military rocket- ing fire-control knowledge.
powered airplane, the Rocket Ram, was
tested as a glider by John Myers. It December 24: The first major Eighth
was equipped with an Aerojet XCAL-200 Air Force assault on German V-weapon
engine, using monoethylanline as fuel. sites was made when 670 B-17's and
B-24's bombed the Pas de Calais area.
October S: First afterburner for turbojet
engines in America, built at NACA Lewis During December: The rocket aircraft
Flight Propulsion Laboratory. research program conceived by NACA's
John Stack, to investigate the flight char-
October 10: USAAF demonstrated televi- acteristics of an airplane flying beyond
sion control of a drone aircraft. the speed of sound or Mach 1.

October 15: Details of gyro fluxgate com- : First turbojet light bomber flight,

pass, giving accurate readings despite the German Arado Ar-234B, which was
violent aircraft movements, made public powered by two Junkers .004 engines.
by Bendix Aviation.
During 19^3: First jet-propelled rotor
During October: Division 5 of NDRC sug- helicopter flown, the Austrian Doblhoff
gested to AAF the appointment of gen- No. 1.

eral officer to coordinate entire AAF

guided-missile program. Dtiring 19^2-43: Cal Tech studied pump-
ing of liquid rocket propellants, partic-
: Army General Staff created new ularly nitric acid, resulting in successful
Weapons Division to coordinate research design in 1945, which was set aside for
and development studies and plans among future use because of decision to con-
the Army and other divisions. centrate on gas-pressurized fuel systems.

January 1: At request of Army Ordnance, Port Lyautey, via Newfoundland and the
Cal Tech's rocket laboratory started re- Azores.
search and development program on
long-range missiles, called Project May SI: First launching of the experi-
ORDCIT, which resulted in development mental VB-7 vertical bomb, incorporating
of Private "A" and Corporal missiles. television.

January 8: First flight of Lockheed XP- June 13: The first German V-l's fired in
80 at Muroc, which was powered by Brit- anger, launched from France against
ish Halford turbojet engine, the first England with 4 of the 11 striking London.
U.S. airplane designed from the begin-
ning for turbojet propulsion. Rushed During June: Remains of V-2 which im-
through development in 145 days by pacted in Sweden were flown to England
Lockheed's Clarence L. ("Kelley") for Allied analysis.
Johnson, the P-80 was not distributed to
tactical units until December 1945.
July 5: The MX-324, first U.S. military
rocket-powered plane built by Northrop,
January 11: First U.S. combat use of was flown by test pilot Harry Crosby, at
forward-firing rockets made by Navy Harper Dry Lake, Calif.
TBF-lC's against a German submarine.
July 29: First successful test of Pelican
February 28: First firing of Nazi Ger- guided missile, two of four launched
many's Wasserfall antiaircraft missile. were hits against target ship 44 miles
offshore from NAS New York.
During February: Army Ordnance and
AAF initiated development of surface- During July: Robert R. Gilruth of the
to-air high-altitude supersonic guided Langley Flight Research Division,
missile, subsequently became XSAM-A- prompted by the need for an experi-
7 Nike I.
mental method of gathering aerodynamic
data at transonic speeds, conceived the
March 16: At seminar at NACA Langley wing-fiow method (utilizing the tran-
Laboratory, attended by AF, Navy, and sonic-airflow field over the top surface of
NACA personnel, NACA proposed on the the wing of a high-speed subsonic air-
basis of considerable study that a jet-pro- plane, usually a P-51 fighter, as a "flying
pelled transonic research airplane be de- wind tunnel" for testing small semispan
veloped. This proposal ultimately led wing and airplane models).
to the X-1 research airplane project.
:First positive identification of Ger-
During March: First operation of a tur- man turbojet interceptors used against
bojet engine in an altitude facility was Allied bombers.
conducted at NACA Lewis Laboratory
during tests of P-59 propulsion system, : RAF formed first Meteor jet squad-
rons for use against V-l's.
ensuing program making major contribu-
tions to U.S. turbojet engine development.
Summer 19Jf4: German "Reichenberg"
May 9: First flight of aircraft modified
program began for use of manned V-l's
air launched from He-Ill's for suicide
to demonstrate high-lift boundary layer
missions test flights were made at
control made by Lt. Col. R. E. Horner,

a project initiated in May 1942 by USAAF
contract. August 4' The first Aphrodite mission
(radio-controlled aircraft carrying 20,000
May 10: Bell helicopter made an indoor pounds of TNT) was fiown against rocket
demonstration flight at Buffalo, N.T., sites in the Pas de Calais area.
Floyd Carlson as pilot.
: Meteor EE 216 became first British
May 28-June 1: U.S. Navy
airships K-123 jet fighter to destroyan enemy aircraft,
and K-130 completed the first nonrigid the destruction of a German V-1 Flying
transatlantic crossing from Boston to Bomb by tipping it with a wingtip.

1944 —Continued During October: Dr. H. J. E. Reid, Engi-
neer-in-Charge of the Langley Labora-
August 13: Two GB-4 glide bombs, incor- tory, became scientific chief of the War
porating television and radio control, Department's Alsos Mission charged with
launched against E-boat pens at Le picking up as much information as pos-
Havre, France. Four additional GB^'s sible on the enemy's scientific research
were sent against targets in France and and development.
Germany between 17 August and 13 Sep-
tember 1944. During Fall: Preliminary studies were
made of velocity gradients above wings of
During August: German Me-163B Komet high-speed subsonic airplanes to deter-
rocket^powered fighters first attacked mine feasibility of utilizing the wing-flow
American bomber formations over Eu- method in transonic model tests, at NACA
rope. The Me-163 had sweptback wings, Langley Laboratory. This led in the fol-
Walther liquid-fuel rocket motor, speed lowing winter to tests of a series of small
of 590 mph, and powered flight duration airfoil models by this method, and later
of 8-10 minutes. to use of rockets in flying aircraft models.

September S: Torpex-laden Liberator November 1 : Nation's first center devoted

drone flown from airfield at Feresfield, to the research and development of rocket
England, by Lt. Ralph Spaulding (USN), propulsion systems, founded at Cal Tech
who set radio control and bailed out, after in 1936, reorganized and renamed the Jet
which drone was guided from parent air- Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
craft to German airfield on Helgoland
Island. November 1-December 7; Representatives
of 52 nations (excluding Axis nations
September 6: Navy awarded contract to and U.S.S.R.) met in the International
McDonnell Aircraft for development of Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago
the Gargoyle or LBD-1, a radio- they turned down "blue skies" legal con-
controlled low-wing gliding bomb fitted cept and reaffirmed doctrine of national
with a rocket booster and designed for sovereignty in air space, and established
use with carrier-based aircraft. the Provisional International Civil Avia-
tion Organization (PICAO) to regulate
September 8: First German V-2 fired in international air commerce.
combat exploded in suburb of Paris the;

second struck London a few hours later. November 7 : Gen. H. H. Arnold requested
Dr. Theodore von Karmdn to "investi-
September 14: Successful fiight into hur- gate all possibilities and desirabilities for
ricane for scientific data was made by postwar and future war's development
Col. Floyd B. Wood, Maj. Harry Wexler, as respects the AAF." Dr. von Karmdn
and Lt. Frank Reckord in a Douglas organized the AAF Scientific Advisory
A-20. Group for this purpose.

September 18: Navy Pelican guided November 15: Army Ordnance initiated
missile production terminated and proj- Hermes program for research and devel-
ect returned to developmental status opment of ballistic missiles with a prime
because of tactical and logistic problems. contract with General Electric Co.

During September: Brig. Gen. W. A. Bor- November 11: Navy BuAer undertook
den, Chief, New Developments Division JB-2 Army version
feasibility studies of
of the War Department, made known of German V-1, which subsequently be-
that Ordnance would develop wingless came the Loon.
ballistic-type missiles and the AAF
would develop winged pilotless-aircraft- During November: First flight use of a
type missiles with mutual cooperation in radio telemeter for transmitting research
the development of warheads and other data at transonic speeds, by the bomb-
equipment. drop technique at NACA's Langley Lab-
: USAAF accelerated development
of JB-2 robot bomb based on design of December 1-16: At Camp Irwin, Calif.,
German V-1. 24 Private "A" rockets were launched by

JPL, only 11 months after the start of Supersonic wind tunnel (Mach

Project ORDCIT. 1.7) completed at Aberdeen Proving

Ground for use in ballistic research and
December 13-14: In an AAF-NACA con- development.
ference, Air Force representatives indi-
cated strong preference for use of rocket Initial contracts for rocket research

engines instead of jets in X-1 research aircraft development let by the for AAF
airplane project. the XS-1 vFith BeU Aircraft and by the
Navy with Douglas Aircraft for the D-
During December: Army Ordnance made 558-1, with NACA
providing technical
plans under the Hermes program to study support under cooperative agreement.
the German V-2 missile.
During 1944-1945: First full-scale super-
: Glenn L. Martin granted $1,700,000 sonic propulsion wind tunnel (8 by 6
to the University of Maryland for es- feet) was conceived, designed, and di-
tablishment of a College of Engineering rected by Abe Silverstein at NACA Lewis
and Aeronautical Sciences. Laboratory. Capable of accommodating
full-scale supersonic aircraft engines, it
During 1944: NACA established Special was the first of its size to have a flexible-
Committee on Self -Propelled Guided Mis- wall test section, which allowed varia-
siles to recommend and coordinate re- tions from Mach 1.4 to 2.
search related to guided missiles.
Japan launched approximately 10,-

: USAAF VB-1 controlled-trajectory 000 Fugo balloons (30-foot diameter)

air-to-surface bomb (Azon) produced and carrying incendiaries and aimed at the
used in European and Burma theaters. North American continent.

January 20: Robert T. Jones, NACA fighters, each armed with twenty-four
Langley aeropautical scientist, formu- 55-mm high-explosive rockets, which op-
lated sweptback-wing concept to over- erated with high success against Allied
come Shockwave effects at critical Mach bomber formations.
numbers, and verified it in wind-tunnel
experiments in March 1945 prior to learn- February 20: The Secretary of War ap-
ing of parallel German work. It was proved Ordnance plans for the establish-
subsequently checked by the wing-flow ment of the White Sands Proving Ground
technique before the first NACA report (WSPG).
was issued in June.
During February: Project Nike initiated
January 24: Germans successfully by Army Ordnance with the Western
launched A-9, a winged prototype of the Electric Co. to explore anew air defense
first ICBM (the A-10) designed to reach system high-speed and high-
North America. A-9 reached a peak alti- altitude bombers beyond the reach of
tude of nearly 50 miles and a maximum conventional artillery.
speed of 2,700 mph.

During January: JNW created Guided

AAF contracted with Bell for con-

struction of three transonic flight re-

Missiles Committee to formulate broad
search aircraft, to be powered by liquid
program of research and development
rocket engines. Aircraft designated
in the guided missiles field, the commit-
XS-1, and later X-1.
tee to consist of two members from
OSRD, one from NACA, three from the
Army, and three from the Navy. March 8: Navy rocket-powered Gorgon
air-to-air missile launched from PBY-5A
During January: German Luftwaffe in first powered test flight off Cape May,
formed special squadron of 16 Me-262 jet N.J.

1945 —Continued and by October 1949 a total of 102
cessful firings had taken place.

March 21: Navy initiated development of

the Lark surface-to-air guided missile in June 19: Dr. Frank L. Wattendorf, En-
BuAer contract with Fairchild Aircraft. gineering Division, Wright Field, and a
member of AAF Scientific Advisory
During March: "Summary
of Airfoil Group, recommended to Brig, Gen. F. O.
Data," by Ira H. Abbott, A. E. von Carroll, Chief, Engineering Division, that
Doenhoff, and Louis Stievers of NACA an Air Force Development Center, in-
Langley Laboratory, was issued, which cluding facilities for development of
was considered a classic reference sum- supersonic aircraft and missiles, be built
marizing NACA data on airfoil sections. on a location away from Wright Field
and near a large source of power.
: Project Paperclip to recruit
German missile scientists was initiated June 25: Construction began at White
in the Pentagon. Sands Proving Ground.

During Spring: Supplemental appropri- During June: Army Ground Forces

ation passed by Congress authorized Equipment Review Board concluded that
expanded research on guided missiles at increased emphasis should be placed on
NACA Langley Laboratory, including development of guided missiles.
establishment of a rocket launch facility
at Wallops Island, Va. : XC-99, cargo version of B-36,
made first fiight.
April 1-13: 17 JPL Private F rockets
were fired at Hueco Range, Fort Bliss, July 4: Baby Wac rocket, one-fifth scale
Tex. model of Wac Corporal proposal, flight
tested at Camp Irwin by JPL.
During April: Aberdeen Proving Ground
wind-tunnel tests of sweptback wing at : rocket launch at NACA's
Mach 1.72 carried out on the suggestion new Wallops Island facility for calibra-
of Theodore von Karm^n. tion of radar instrumentation.

May 5: Russian ground forces occupied July 13: White Sands Proving Ground
Peenemiinde, Germany. (WSPG) was activated.

May 8: World War II ended in Europe. July 14: AAF

A-20's from Hollandia set
fire to Japanese
oil fields at Boela,

At time of German collapse, more

: Ceram, in the first use of rocket bombs in
than 20,000 V-weapons, V-l's and V-2's the Southwest Pacific.
had been fired. Although figures vary,
best estimate is that 1,115 V-2 ballistic July 16: First test atomic device ex-
rockets had been successfully fired ploded in New Mexico.
against England and 1,675 against con-
tinental targets. Great disparity be- July 20: Navy Little Joe antiaircraft
tween production figures and operational missile made two successful fiights at
missions due to fact that series produc- Applied Physics Laboratory test station
tion and development testing were per- at Island Beach, N.J.
formed concurrently, there being as
many as 12 major modifications in basic July 23: Life published drawings of a
design features. manned space station as envisioned by
the German rocket scientists of Peene-
May 10: Crash program to counter Jap- miinde.
anese Baka (suicide) bomb. Naval Air-
craft Modification Unit was authorized During July: First launching of a two-
to develop Little Joe, ship-to-air missile stage rocket-propelled research model,
powered with standard JATO unit. the Tiamat missile, which employed six
rockets as boosters, had automatic stabi-
During May: Boeing began development lization, its maneuvers were programed,
of Gapa (ground-to-air pilotless aircraft) and its testing was the first research pro-
antiaircraft missile for USAAF. Within gram of the NACA's Wallops Island
2 years 37 Gapa missiles had been fired Station.

August 6: First atomic bomb was dropped During September: First volume of the
on Hiroshima. Toward New Horizons reports of the
Army Air Forces Scientific Advisory
August 9: Second atomic bomb was Group (headed by Von Kdrman), entitled
dropped on Nagasaki. Science: The Key to Air Supremacy, was
submitted to the Commanding General of
August 14: World War II ended with the AAF, These reports prepared by
Japanese surrender. leading scientists are classic in their as-
sessment of future developments emerg-
: Team of American scientists was ing out of World War II advancements.
dispatched to Europe to collect informa-
tion and equipment relating to German October 3: A Navy Committee for Eval-
rocket progress. uating the Feasibility of Space Rocketry
(CEFSR) was established by BuAer. In
August 24: First successful use of a te-
November 1945, CEFSR recommended
lemetry system in a rocket-propelled
high priority for satellite development
flight research model, the two-stage Tia-
and estimated cost between $5 and $8
mat at NAOA Wallops Island, Va.

During August: First successful U.S.

October 11: First launch of full Wac
chemical gas, generator-driven, turbo-
Corporal (WAC-A) at WSPG attained
pump fed, regeneratively cooled rocket
an altitude of 235,000 feet.
engine (XCALT-6000), delivered to AAF
by Aerojet-General Corp. October 18: NACA Langlcy's Pilotless
Aircraft Research Division (PARD)
Components for approximately 100
launched the first successful drag re-
V-2 ballistic missiles were shipped from search vehicle for wing and body re-
Germany to White Sands Proving search, forerunner of a large series of
Ground. flight tests of various wings and bodies
in a combination of transonic and super-
:Joint Army-Navy Aeronautical
sonic speeds providing basic design in-
Board established Research Committee
formation later applied on all later
to investigate and report on matters af-
supersonic aircraft and missiles.
fecting research, development, and test-
ing of aircraft, including liaison with
October SO: Chief of Army Ordnance in-
NACA and industry, and to recommend
vited Secretary of the Navy to utilize the
action to foster aeronautical research and
White Sands Proving Ground (WSPG)
as a test range for naval-guided missiles
September 8: William F. Durand, one of
(BuOrd) and for pilotless aircraft
members of the NACA in
the original
1915, retired.
During October: Secretary of War Pat-
terson approved plan to bring top Ger-
September 20: First flight of airplane
powered by propeller-turbine engines,
man scientists to United States to aid

made in England by experimental Gloster military research and development.

Small group of German rocket specialists
Meteor powered with Rolls Royce Trent-
brought to United States under Project
engines with five-bladed propellers.
Paperclip to work on missile development
September 26: The Navy publicly demon- at Fort Bliss and White Sands Proving
strated the Ryan Fireball FR-1 at NAS Ground.
Anacostia, the first propeller-and-jet-
powered airplane designed for aircraft : Navy BuOrd
established Guided
carriers. Missiles,Jet Propulsion and Counter-
measures Section in its Research and
: Army Wac
Corporal, first develop- Development Division.
ment at White Sands, estab-
flight, fired
lished U.S. record of 43.5 miles height, November 6: The first jet landing on an
and was the first U.S. liquid-propellant aircraft carrier was made by Ens. Jake
rocket developed with Government funds C. West, USN, in an FR-1 Navy turbojet
(constructed by Douglas and Aerojet un- and conventional reciprocating-engine
der JPL Project). fighter.

1 945 —Continued :Navy BuAer awarded contract to
Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at
November 7; Bell Aircraft Corp. an- Cal Tech to conduct research whose find-
nounced successful test flights of a jet- ings were to be used in formulating policy
propelled P-59 by remote control; tele- for a projected high-altitude earth satel-
vision was used to read the instruments. lite vehicle.

During 191^5: Abe Silverstein of Lewis

During November: Guided Missiles Com-
Laboratory made basic application of
mittee of the Joint Committee on New
ramjet technology to the problem of aft-
Weapons and Equipment (JNW) drafted
erburner design, leading to the first full-
Dewey Report on "A National Program
scale afterburner tests.
for Guided Missiles."
:New wind tunnels placed under
December 3: The first USAAF jet fighter
construction at NACA's Ames Labora-
unit, the 412th Fighter Group, received
tory at Moffett Field, Langley Labora-
its first Lockheed P-80 aircraft at March tory at Hampton, Va., and Propulsion
Field, Calif.
Laboratory at Cleveland, to attain speeds
of 1,400, 1,800, and 2,600 mph with vari-
December 9 : First Stratovision flight test
ous sized throats.
made at Middle River, Md., by Westing-
house Electric Corp. and Glenn L. Mar- German Heinkel He-162 Salaman-

tin Co. Telecasts were made from the der or "Volksjaeger" jet fighter appeared
airplane flying in the stratosphere. operationally, while the protots^pe of a
heavy jet bomber appeared in the Junkers
December 14 : AAF contracted with Bell Ju-287 (four-engine) with auxiliary take-
for development of three supersonic off rockets, sweptforward wings, speed
flight research aircraft, powered by liq- over 550 mph, and bomb load of 8,800
uid rockets. Designated XS-2, and later pounds.
End 0/ 19If5: Increase in speed of re-
December 11: Rocket-Sonde Research ciprocating-engined fighter aircraft by
Branch constituted in Naval Research 300 to 400 mph between World War I and
Laboratory to conduct scientific explora- World War II (speed being only one
tion of the upper atmosphere. military criterion) was estimated to be
75 percent gain because of increased
December 19: President Truman sub- horsepower, 25 percent from aerodynamic
mitted his plan to Congress for the uni- improvement.
fication of the armed services.
Dr. Jerome C. Hunsaker pointed

During December: OflSce of Deputy Chief out that U.S. aeronautical research effort
of Air Staff for Research and Develop- during World War II was based upon
ment created in Hq. USAAF, headed by short-range policy of about 90 percent
Maj. Gen. C. E. LeMay. for specific development problems ap-
plied to help win the war and 10 percent
:More than 100 German rocket sci- on basic research to gain needed knowl-
entists and engineers, who had agreed edge. The national research effort has
to come to the United States under Proj- "concentrated on the improvement of air-
ect Paperclip, arrived at Fort Bliss, Tex. craft in the production program."

January 2: Special investigation of high- January 10: An Army R-5, demonstrated
temi)erature aluminium alloys begun by by C. A. Moeller and D. D. Viner, set an
J. C. McGee, Wright Field engineer, unofllcial world helicopter record by
which led by June 1947 to useful alloy climbing to 21,000 feet at Stratford,
known as "ML," named after the Mate- Conn.
rials Laboratory.

January 16: U.S. upper atmosphere re- America, in Lewis Altitude Wind Tun-
search program initiated with captured nel, and reported by Fleming and Dietz.
German V-2 rockets. A V-2 panel of
representatives of various interested March 12: Chief of Naval Operations di-
agencies was created, and a total of more rected that Glomb, Gorgon II-C, and
than 60 V-2's were fired before the sup- Little Joe guided missiles be discontin-
ply ran out. The Applied Physics Lab- ued and that Gargoyle, Gorgon II-A, and
oratory of Johns Hopkins University Dove be limited to test and research ve-
then undertook to develop a medium- hicles. He directed that Loon be con-
altitude rocket, the Aerobee, while the tinued as a possible interim weapon, the
Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) di- Bat be completed, and the Kingfisher,
rected its efforts to the development of Bumblebee, and Lark be continued as
a large high-altitude rocket, first called high-priority missile developments.
the Neptune, later the Viking.
March 15: First American-assembled
January 19: First glide flight of AAF- V-2 static fired at White Sands Proving
NACA XS-1 rocket research airplane Ground.
(No. 1 of the original three X-l's built),
by Jack Woolams, BeU Aircraft test March 22: First American rocket to es-

pilot, at Pinecastle Army Air Base, Fla.

cape earth's atmosphere, the JPL-Ord-
nance Wac, reached 50-mile height after
January 26: Army aimounced creation by launch from WSPG.
AAF of the First Experimental Guided
Missiles Group to develop and test rocket
During March: Fleet Adm. William D.
missiles at Eglin Field, Fla.
Leahy sent memorandum to the Secre-
taries of the War and Navy Departments
: Naval Aviation Ordnance Test on a national program for development
Station was established at NAAS Chinco- of guided missiles.
teague to develop aviation ordnance and
guided missiles.
AAF established Project Rand as

separate department of Douglas Aircraft

During January: First missile launched Co. plant at Santa Monica, Calif., to
at Naval Air Facility, Point Mugu, Calif., study supersonic aircraft, missiles, and
a KVW-1 Loon, USN name for AAF earth satellites.
robot bomb (JB-2) modeled on the
German V-1.
: Navy successfully flight tested
XSAM Talos surface-to-air guided mis-
February 3: Development of a plane with
automatic devices to preset takeoff, : USAAF established initial program
flight, and landing, with the pilot doing
on ballistic missile defense, a contract
nothing except monitoring the equip- for study of interceptor weapon to cope
ment, disclosed by AAF. with V-2-type missiles. In April a sec-
February 19: S. Paul Johnston appointed
ond contractor began study of defense
Director of the IAS to replace Lester D. against true ICBM.
Gardner, retiring after 15 years of April 1: Bell Aircraft Corp. contracted
service. with the AAF (under Project MX-776)
March to produce a 100-mile guided missile
7: BuAer Committee for Evaluat-
ing the Feasibility of Space Rocketry (later designated the Rascal)
(CEFSR) held joint meeting with AAF April 16: First flight test of American-
representatives to work out joint satel- assembled V-2 rocket launched by the
litedevelopment program based on Bu- Army at White Sands Proving Ground,
Aer proposal. Nothing resulted until a N. Mex. In July firings, Missiles Nos.
subsequent Project Rand report and 5 and 9 set new altitude records of
Navy CEFSR proposal were presented to slightly over 100 miles, while Missile 17
RDB, Committee on Guided Missiles, set velocity record of 3,600 mph.
Technical Evaluation Group in March
1948. April 17: Army Ground Forces submitted
to the Guided Missile Committee a sum-
March 11: First successful operation of mary of its program on antiaircraft,
afterburner at altitude conditions In assault, antiship, air-launched close sup-

1946 —Continued terest in fields of aeronautics, atomic
energy, electronics, geographical explora-
port, and long-range strategic guided tion, geophysical sciences, and guided
missiles. missiles.

April 19: Project MX-774 inaugurated by June 14: Navy established Naval Ord-
AAF with Consolidated- Vultee to study nance Missile Test Center at WSPG,
rocket capabilities with an ICBM as a
final objective. June 17: First meeting of the AAF Scien-
tific Advisory Board met in the Pentagon,

April 22: Glenn L. Martin Co. contracted chaired by Theodore von Karmdn.
with the AAF to produce (under Project
MX-771) a surface-to-surface guided June 19: NACA Langley's PARD
missile (later designated the Matador). launched successful control-surface
research vehicle at Wallops Island for
U.S. Weather Bureau in coopera-
: evaluating controllability with a roll rate
tion with Army, Navy, NACA, Air Trans- transmitter and Doppler radar.
port Association, and several universi-
ties, began series of flights into thunder- : AAF contracted with Sverdrup &
storms with pilotless P-61 "Black Parcel, Inc., for study utility and cost
Widows" and piloted sailplanes to obtain requirements, and site surveys for both
scientific data. an AAF Air Engineering Development
Center, and a NACA National Scientific
May 8: Chief of Naval Operations di- Research Center.
rected BuAer to make preliminary in-
vestigation of earth satellite vehicle, June 24: Ofiice of Naval Research ap-
such an investigation to "contribute to proved program for high-altitude manned
the advancement of knowledge in the fiight. Project Helios, based upon con-
field of guided missiles, communications, cept presented by Jean Piccard in Feb-
meteorology, and other technical fields ruary for using clustered plastic
with military applications." balloons.

May 16: AAF established an Institute of During June: First U.S. airborne infra-
Technology at Wright Field to graduate red tests by US AAF,
350 officers annually.
July 6: Antiaircraft and Guided Missile
May 17: Original design and development Center activated at Fort Bliss, Tex.
of Aerobee sounding rocket begun when
contract was given to Aerojet Engineer- July 9 : Subcommittee of the Guided Mis-
ing Corp, siles Committee of the JCS recommended
that location be sought for a long-range
First fiight of Douglas
: XB-43, light missile proving ground.
jet-propelled bomber.
July 21: First U.S. all turbojet to operate
May 28: AAF initiated study of use of from an aircraft carrier, a McDonnell
atomic propulsion for aircraft, Project XFD-1 "Phantom" from the U.S.S,
NEPA, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

May 29: War Department Equipment August 2: National Air Museum was es-
Board concluded in its report that mis- tablished under the Smithsonian Institu-
siles would play a prominent role in tion by act of Congress,
future warfare. It established require-
ments for seven types of missiles, in- August 6: Two unmanned B-17 drones
cluding a strategic ground-to-ground flown from Hilo, Hawaii, to Muroc, Calif.
missile for use at ranges from 150 to
several thousand miles, August 8: First flight of the XB-36, the
development of which had begun in 1941.
June 6: Joint Army-Navy Research and
Development Board created for purpose August 17: Sergeant Lambert of Wright
of coordinating all activities of joint in- Field, Ohio, became the first person in

the United States to be ejected from an During November: First snow from a
airplane by means of emergency escape natural cloud produced by V. Schaefer
equipment (ejected from a P-61 air- of General Electric, the experiment car-
plane traveling 302 miles per hour at an ried out by means of dry-ice pellets
altitude of 7,800 feet). dropped from a plane over Greylock
Mountain, Mass.
August 26: Army Ground Forces in-
formed Chief of StaflE that development December 8: First successful powered
of certain missiles had reached a point (RMI XLR-11 rocket engine) flight of
where an assignment of operational re- an XS-1, flown by Chalmers Goodlin,
sponsibility was i)ossible. Bell test pilot, reached a speed of 550
mph. This was first U.S. aircraft de-
September i7: Experimental booster for signed for supersonic speeds.
Nike R&D system first tested at WSPG.
December 17: Space biological research
September 30: 13 engineers, instrument program was initiated at Holloman AFB,
technicians, and technical observers were N. Mex., by the National Institutes of
ordered TDY from Langley Laboratory Health.
to the Air Force test facility at Muroc,
Calif., to assist in the X-1 flight re- : Velocity and altitude record for
search program. Named as the NACA single-stage rocket (3,600 mph and 116
Muroc Flight Test Unit, this group un- miles altitude) made by V-2 at WSPG.
der Walter Williams was the origin of
the NASA Flight Research Center at During 1946: Signal Corps by radio-echo
Edwards, CaUf. transmissions between the Earth and the
Moon, proved radio transmission across
October 1: Naval Air Missile Test Center, space was feasible with moderate power.
Point Mugu, Calif., was established to
conduct tests and evaluations of guided : Jet Propulsion Laboratory under
missiles and components. Army Ordnance contract develoi>ed the
field of solid-propellant rocketry such as
: Navy Lockheed PV-2, Truculent castable propellants, case bonding tech-
Turtle, set a record of nonstop long-dis- niques, and radial burning techniques.
tance flight, completing an 11,236-mile
tripfrom Perth, Australia, to Columbus, Daniel Guggenheim Medal for 1946

Ohio, in 55 hours 15 minutes. awarded to Frank Whittle for develop-

ment of jet propulsion engines.
October 7: First of three XS-1 (later
X-1) rocket research airplanes moved :Program of transonic and hyper-
from Bell Aircraft's Niagara Falls plant sonic free-flight research on ramjet and
to Muroc, Calif. rocket-propelled test vehicles launched
from piloted aircraft inaugurated at
October 11: First glide flight of XS-1 NACA Lewis Laboratory.
(No. 2) by Chalmers Goodlin, Bell test
pilot, at Muroc, Calif. :Commandant of the School of Avia-
tion Medicine, Col. H. G. Armstrong, and
October 2Jf: \-2 rocket No. 13 launched the AAF Air Surgeon, Brig. Gen. M. C.
from WSPG carried camera which took Grow, proposed establishment of aero-
motion pictures of the earth at approx- medical center for research and teaching.
imately 65 miles altitude (pictures
covered 40,000 square miles) :Office of Naval Research contracted
with General Mills for construction of a
During October: Army Ordnance ini- cluster of 100 plastic balloons for high
tiated BumperProject for development altitude atmosphere research (Project
leading to a two-stage rocket test vehicle, Helios).
which resulted in use of JPL WAC
poral as second stage of a V-2. During 1946-47: Transonic bump tech-

nique using floor- or wall-mounted air-
During Fall: Reaction Motors began de- foil surface in subsonic wind tunnel to get
sign and development of rocket engine —
transonic flow developed in 7- by 10-foot
for the Navy Viking sounding rocket. wind tunnel at NACA Langley Labora-

1 946 —Continued by the Langley Flight Research Division,
and it permitted testing in the range of
tory. A similar development was con- Mach numbers from low subsonic to Mach
ducted by Lockheed in the California Co- 1.2 until the slotted-throat transonic tun-
operative Tunnel during the same period. nel was developed and put into operation
This technique w^as a logical step from at Langley 2 years later.
the earlier wing-flow technique developed

January 8: First experimental operation graphic mapping of 1,500,000 square miles
of model slotted-throat wind tunnel. of the interior and 5,500 miles of the
Langley Laboratory's Ray H. Wright, coastline, the equivalent of about half the
working theoretically, and Vernon G. area of the United States and its entire
Ward, working experimentally with a coastline.
parasite tunnel attached to the Langley
16-foot high-speed tunnel, collaborated March 6: First four-engine jet bomber,
in effort that resulted in establishment
an the XB^5 built by North American, made
of transonic flow with the use of longi- firsttest flight at Muroc, Calif., with
tudinal slots in the walls of the throat George Krebs as pilot. Its engines were
of a conventional subsonic tunnel. arranged in pairs in single nacelles in
Known as the slotted-throat technique, each wing.
first major installation was made in the
March 7: USN V-2 flight from WSPG took
Langley 8-foot subsonic high-speed tunnel
in December 1949, a breakthrough in wind
first photograph at 100-mile altitude.
tunnel technique.
During March: First test flights of plas-

January 23: Telemetry operated success- ticballoons conducted by General Mills

fully in a V-2 firing at WSPG, Army
at Minneapolis, Minn., for ONR Project
Ordnance's Hermes telemetry system. Helios.

February 5: President Truman directed During March: AAF transferred facili-

ties for testing missiles from
that production of nuclear weapons con-
tinue, following the recommendations of
Wendover Field in Utah and Tonopah in
the AEC and the Secretaries of War and Nevada, to Alamogordo Field (subse-
quently renamed Holloman AFB) in New
February 12: Navy Loon launched from
submarine Cusk at Point Mugu, first April 15: First flight of Douglas D-558-I
research airplane successful. Gene May,
launching of a guided missile from a
Douglas test pilot, as pilot. Airplane de-
veloped was a Navy-NACA project and
February 11: Wac Corporal (WAC-B), three were built.
fired from WSPG, attained an altitude of
April 2^: French Government established
240,000 feet.
rocket test range at Colomb Bechar, Al-
February 20: First of a series of V-2 fir-
ings (No. 20) known as Blossom Project, April 25: NACA Langley's PARD
tested ejection of canister and its re- launched its first rocket-propelled model
covery by parachute, containing fruit of a complete airplane for performance
files and various types of seeds exposed evaluation (AF XF-91), at Wallops Is-
to cosmic rays. land. This was followed by flight tests
of models of practically all Air Force and
March ^; Air operations in the Antarctic Navy supersonic airplanes.
known as Operation Highjump ended.
From December 24, 1946, Navy PBM's Standard system of designating
Ap7-il 30:
and R4D's logged 650 hours in photo- guided missiles and assigning popular

names was adopted by the Army and July 9: Subsonic ramjet engine success-
Navy. Basic designation adopted was fully flown in Navy Gorgon IV (PTV-2)
two-letter combination of the three let- in 28-minute flight test at Naval Air Mis-
ters A (Air), S (Surface), U
(Under- sile Test Center.
water), the first letter indicating origin
of missile, the second letter its objective, July 18: President Truman designated a
to be followed by the letter "M" for mis- five-man Air Policy Committee, with
sile. Thus a surface-to-air missile was Thomas K. Finletter of New York as
designated "SAM." Chairman, to submit by 1 January 1948 a
broad plan to give the United States the
During April: First Deacon rocket "greatest possible benefits from aviation."
launched at Wallops Island, which
achieved a velocity of 4,200 feet per sec- July 26: President Truman signed the
ond. Armed Forces Unification Act, creating a
Department of the Air Force, coequal
May 21 : NACA Langley Laboratory dem- with Army and Navy, and creating a Na-
onstrated practically noiseless airplane tional Military Establishment under the
with five-bladed propeller and muffled ex-
Secretary of Defense.

During July: USAF relinquished respon-

May 27: Army Corporal E, first U.S. sur-
sibility for Army's missile program and
face-to-surface ballistic guided missile,
was fired with results exceeding expecta- Army assigned primary, responsibility
tions (a JPL project). for it to Ordnance.

May 29: V-2 impacted 1% miles south of Soviet MiG-15 first flew but engine

Juarez, Mexico, resulting in new safety performance was unsatisfactory, a prob-

measures at WSPG. lem solved with purchase of 55 British
Derwent V and Nene (4,500-pound
June 5: First AAF
research balloon thrust) engines, flrst placed in series pro-
launch (a cluster of rubber balloons) duction, then improved with the RD-45
at HoUoman, by New York University engine (5,000-pound thrust) and the VK-
team under contract with Air Material 1 (6,000-pound thrust) engine.
August 1-3: Boeing B-29 set a new offi-
June 17: Princeton University started
cial world "distance in a closed-circuit
construction of 4,000-mph wind tunnel.
record" with a flight of 8,854.308 miles,
Lt. Col. O. P. Lassiter as pilot.
June 19 : World speed record regained by
United States when P-80R flown by Col.
August 8: A. L. Berger of Wright Field
Albert Boyd attained 623.8 mph at Muroc,
received the Thurman H. Bane Award
for 1947 for work in developing new
June 30: In meeting at Wright-Patterson, types of high-temi)erature ceramic coat-
AAF and NACA representatives agreed ings for use in aircraft engines.
to divide responsibilities for X-1 flight
testing : AF
exploit maximum perform- August 16: Physicist Martin Pomerantz
ance in a few flights acquire
; NACA announced at Swarthmore College that
detailed research information. he had sent a flight of four free balloons,
carrying cosmic ray equipment, to a rec-
July 1: Contract with Convair for MX-
ord height of at least 127,000 feet.
774 "Upper Air Test Vehicle," predeces-
sor of the Atlas ICBM, was cancelled by
AAF. August 20: Comdr. T. Caldwell (USN)
flew the Douglas D-558-I (No. 1) Sky-
streak, powered by a General Electric
July 3: Start of polyethylene balloon op-
erations at Holloman, a 10-balloon cluster TG-180 turbojet, to a new world's speed
launched by New York University staff record of 640.7 mph. Five days later
with a payload of less than 50 pounds, Maj. Marion Carl, USMC, added another
which reached an altitude of 18,500 feet. 10 mph flying D-558-I (No. 2).

1947 —Continued powered NACA-USAF
Bell XS-1, later the
research plane,
X-1 (M=1.06).
August 22: Dr. Hugh L. Dryden appointed
October SO: Dr. H. J. E. Reid, Engineer-
Director of Aeronautical Research of the
in-Charge of the Langley Aeronautical
NACA, replacing Dr. George W. Lewis. Laboratory (1926-60), received the
Medal of Merit from President Truman
September 2-6: First Joint Technical
for wartime contributions to American
Sessions by the Royal Aeronautical So-
ciety, Great Britain, and the Institute of
Aeronautical Sciences, held in London. During October: Committee on Guided
Missiles of RDB assigned responsibility
September 6: Germanrocket V-2 work on earth satellite
for coordinating
launched from U.S. aircraft carrier Mid- program which had been conducted in-
way in Atlantic tests, exploding prema- dependently by each of the military
turely after a 6-mile flight. services.

September 22: Air Force C-54 completed November 14: First complete Aerobee
firsttransatlantic robot-controlled flight rocket was fired to a height of 190,000
from Stephenvllle, Newfoundland, to feet from White Sands Proving Ground,
Brize Norton, England, a distance of N. Mex.
2,400 miles.
November 15: Air Force disclosed that the
September 25: First flight under ONR world's ramjet helicopter, the

Project Skyhook, an unmanned plastic McDonnell Flying Bike, had been success-
balloon, from St. Cloud, Minn. fully test fiown for 6 months.

November 26: First successful hyper-

: First successful flring of Applied
sonic-flow wind tunnel (11 inch) placed
Physics Laboratory Aerobee research
into operation at March 7 at Langley
rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.
September 26: Maj. Gen. William E. Kep- November 28: Norton Sound was assigned
ner, was named chief of the new atomic to Operational Development Force for
energy division of the USAF. use as an experimental rocket-firing ship,
alterations initiated at Naval Shipyard at
September 30: Research and Development Philadelphia in March 1948, and com-
Board (RDB) of DOD superseded Joint pleted October 1, 1948.
Research and Development Board, with
Vannevar Bush named as Chairman. December 10: Lt. Col. John P. Stapp
(USAF MO), made his first rocket-pro-
During September: After completing pelled research sled ride.
studies. Project Rand reported that earth
satellites were technically feasible. December 11: USAF Boeing XB^7
Stratojet made first fiight from Seattle to
October 1 : First flight of the North Amer- Moses Lake, first medium turbojet
ican XF-86 Sabre Jet, swept-
classic bomber and the first with engines (six)
wing USAF fighter aircraft until the mounted on pylons.
Century series.
initiated study
October 9: General Electric engineers of ecological conditions on other planets.
obtained first carefully instrumented
heat-transfer data from supersonic flight During a Politburo meeting review-

when V-2 fired from WSPG attained ing the problem of developing an inter-
3,400 mph. continental ballistic missile. Premier
Joseph Stalin reportedly stated that a
October 10: U.S. Patent Office issued
transatlantic rocket capable of hitting
patent on the Norden bombsight, which
Carl L. Norden had applied for 17 years
New York City "would make it easier to
talk with the gentleman-shopkeeper,
Harry Truman, and keep him pinned
October H: The first supersonic flight in down where we want him." This prob-
manned aircraft in level or climbing flight ably reflected the high priority accorded
was made by Capt. Charles E. Yeager large rocket development in the U.S.S.R.
(USAF) at Muroc, Calif., in a rocket- at this time.

January 1 : President's Finletter Commis- March 18: "V-2 Upper Atmosphere Re-
sion submitted its comprehensive report search Panel, representing aU U.S. inter-
entitled "Survival in the Air Age." ested agencies, was renamed the Upper
Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel.
January 4-' University of California an-
nounced completion of pilot model for March 29: Technical Evaluation Group
low-pressure supersonic wind tunnel, of the RDB, Guided Missiles Committee,
while NACA Ames Aeroiiautical Labora- after reviewing Navy CEFSR and USAF
tory placed its low-density wind tunnel Project Rand satellite proposals, stated
into operation about this time. that "neither the Navy nor the USAF
has as yet established either a military
January 12: Northrop Aircraft Co. an- or a scientiflc utility commensurate with
nounced that rocket-powered test vehicles the presently expected cost of a satellite
at Muroc Air Base, Calif., had attained vehicle. However, the question of utility
a speed of 1,019 mph. deserves further study and examination."

January 15: Gen. H. S. Vandenberg, May 2: The Navy announced successful

Vice Chief of StafE, USAF, approved testing of a submarine capable of firing
policy calling for development of earth guided missiles.
satellite components and the initiation
of satellite development at the proper May 3: Howard O. Lilly killed in takeoff
time. of D-588-I (No. 2) research airplane at
Muroc, the first NACA
test pilot killed
January 30: Orville Wright died in Day- in line of duty.
ton, Ohio, at the age of 76, thus ending
his 28 years as a member of the NACA. May 13: Two-stage Bumper-Wac fired at
In his lifetime, the speed of the airplane WSPG, the V-2 first stage reaching 70
had been increased from mph to almost miles and the Wac Corporal 79-mile
1,000 mph. altitude.

February ^: First flight of research air- May 23: Army dedicated a continuous
plane Douglas D-558-II (No. 1), John wind tunnel capable of 3,000 mph at
Martin of Douglas as pilot. Airplane had Aberdeen, Md.
both jet and rocket engines and was flown
from ground takeoff. May 26: First North American NATIV
missile launched at WSPG.
February 6: Successful electronic flight
control exercised on V-2 launch to a 70- June 10: Air Force confirmed repeated
mile altitude at White Sands, N. Mex., attainment of supersonic speeds by X-1
by General Electric technicians for (formerly XS-1) flown by Capt. C. E.
Army Ordnance. Yeager.

March 4- NACA's Flight Research Divi- Jtine 26: Berlin airlift began,which con-
sion pilot, Herbert H. Hoover, became tinued September 30, 1949, al-
the first civilian to fly supersonic, in the though the Russians ended their blockade
XS-1 (No. 2) at Muroc, Calif. of the city on May 12, 1949. 2,343,000
tons of supplies were airlifted on 277,000
March 6: ONR Aerobee sounding rocket flights.
attained an altitude of 78 miles.
During June: William H. Phillips of the
March 11-14: Key West Agreement for- Langley Flight Research Division pub-
mulated by military service chiefs which lished NACA report (TN-1627) which
delineated respective service roles and contained theoretical prediction of the
missions. It did not clearly assign mil- then-not-recognized problem of roll cou-
itary aeronautical and rocket research pling (sometimes referred to as "inertial
and development responsibilities to the coupling"). This phenomenon was to
services. plague future high-speed aircraft with

1948— Continued NACA Flight Propulsion Research

Laboratory in Cleveland was redesig-

short wings and long fuselages, and nated the Lewis Flight Propulsion Lab-
almost 9 years passed before aerodynam- oratory, in memory of Dr. George W.
icists were to use Phillips' theory to Lewis who died on July 12, 1948.
explain inertial coupling troubles.
September 30: Third Bumper-Wac launch
During June: Bell Laboratories an- from WSPG, the V-2 reaching 93.4 miles,
nounced invention of the transistor of the Wac-Corporal not firing.
the point-contact type.
During September: Delta-wing Convair
July 13: First Convair MX-774 (RTV- XF-92 first fiew, the precursor of the F-
A-2) test rocket was successfully 102A.
launched, first demonstrating use of gim-
balled engines and design features later October 13: First launching of a rocket-
incorporated in the Atlas ICBM. This propelled "flying wind tunnel" model by
was the first of three Convair-sponsored NACA Langley's PARD at Wallops Is-
test flights. land, to measure roll damping of wings
at transonic speeds.
July 26: Two separate rockets fired from
White Sands, one a V-2 which reached October 19: Photographs of the earth's
an altitude of 60.3 miles, the other a surface taken from altitudes between 60
Navy Aerobee which reached an altitude and 70 miles by cameras installed in
of 70 miles, carried cameras which pho- rockets, were released by the Navy.
tographed the curvature of the earth.
October 31: The Air Force revealed the
During August: Northrop F-89 Scorpion, use of ramjet engines for the first time on
an all-weather jet fighter with electronic piloted aircraft, a modified F-80.
intercept and fire control begun in 1946,
first fiew. November 4-' USAF announced forma-
tion of the Rand Corp., successor to Proj-
September 1: An XR-82 photographed a ect Rand, to assemble most advanced
2,700-mile strip of the United States from and mili-
scientific, technical, industrial,
coast to coast in a single fiight, using tary knowledge available and bring it to
390 individual frames and 325 feet of film. bear on major Air Force decisions.

September 5: Navy JRM-2 Caroline Mars November 10-12: The first symposium
carried a 68,282-pound cargo from Pa- on aeromedical problems of space travel
tuxent River, Md., to Cleveland, the was held at the School of Aviation Medi-
heaviest payload ever lifted by an air- cine, San Antonio, Tex.
November 22: The Wright Kitty Hawk
September 15: Committee on Guided Mis- airplane arrived at the Smithsonian In-
siles of the Research and Development stitution, Washington, D.C., after 20
Board approved recommendation that years in the South Kensington Museum,
Army Hermes project "be given the task London.
of providing the National Military Estab-
lishment with a continuing analysis of November SO: Curtiss-Wright demon-
the long-range rocket problem as an ex-
strated its new
reversible-pitch propellers
pansion of their task on an earth satel- which enabled a C-54 to make a con-
trolled descent from 15,000 to 1,000 feet
lite vehicle."
in 1 minute 22 seconds.
A world speed record of 671 mph set

by Maj. Richard L. Johnson, USAF, in December 2: Third Convair MX-774 test

missile successfully fired.
F-86A at Muroc, Calif.
September 21: Second Corvair MX-774 December 11: Secretary of Defense
test rocket fired. established Weapons Systems Evaluation
September 28: An Army Signal Corps un-
manned balloon, released at Belmar, N.J., December 13: Secretaryof Defense Louis
set a 140,000-foot altitude record. Johnson directed a review of military

missile programs, under the aegis of Air December 29: The first report of the
Force Secretary Stuart Symington. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal,
reported that the United States had been
December H: Jet Propulsion Centers engaged in research on an earth satellite.
established at Princeton University and The Report of the Executive Secretary
the California Institute of Technology of the Research and Development Board,
by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim contained as an appendix, stated "The :

Foundation to provide research facilities Earth Satellite Vehicle Program, which

and graduate training for qualified young was being carried out independently by
scientists and engineers in rocketry and each military service, was assigned to
astronautics. Robert H. Goddard Chairs the Committee on Guided Missiles for
were established at each center. coordination."

December 16: First flight of tailless

X^ (No. 1) research airplane completed,
During 1948: First turboprop airliner
flown, the Vickers Viscount.
Northrop test pilot Charles Tucker as
pilot. Two X-4's were built by Northrop
and some 60 research flights were made : Human Centrifuge became opera-
by NACA at Muroc with the X^
(No. 2) tionalat Aero Medical Laboratory at
after about a dozen Air Force flights. Wright Field.

January 7: X-1, flown by Capt. Charles March At Carswell Air Force Base,
E. Yeager, climbed 23,000 feet after Tex., USAF
Boeing B-50, Lucky Lady II,
launch, at record rate of 13,(X)0 feet per with Capt. James Gallagher as pilot,
minute, at Muroc. completed the first nonstop, round-the-
world flight in history, having covered
January 11: First launching of a rocket 23,452 miles in 94 hours 1 minute, and
model employing known but nonaerody- having been refueled in the air over the
namie torque from canted rocket nozzles, Azores, Arabia, the Philippines, and
for determining damping in roll of wings, Hawaii.
at NACA's Wallops Island, Va.
March 4' Navy flying boat, Caroline
January 26: First guided-missile test Mars, set new world passenger -load rec-
ship, U.S.S. Norton Sound, launched its ord by carrying 269 persons from San
first missile, a Loon, off NAMTC, Point Diego to San Francisco.
Mugu, Calif.
March 12: Development of a multichan-
nel telemetering system announced by
During January: Army established
the Navy.
formal requirement for a surface-to-air
missile system to combat ballistic mis- March 16: First experimental track-type
siles. landing gear delivered to USAF, received
by 314th Troop Carrier Wing from Fair-
February 9: The Department of Space child Aviation Corp. for installation on
Medicine was established at the School C-82 aircraft.
of Aviation Medicine, Randolph AFB,
Tex. March 25: New world helicopter speed
record of 133.9 mph at Niagara Falls,
February 2^: An Army JPL Bumper-Wae N.Y., claimed by XH-12 of Bell Aircraft
two-stage rocket (a Wac Corporal Co.
mounted on a V-2 stage) attained
March 26: USAF B-36 with six recipro-
a record altitude of 244 miles and record cating and four jet engines made first test
speed of 5,150 miles per hour over White flight at Forth Worth, Tex.
Sands, N. Mex., yielding information
about ion densities in the F-region of March 30: The President signed a bill
the ionosphere. providing for construction of a "perma-

1949— Continued : Pratt & Whitney submitted speci-
fications for XJ57-P-1 turbojet engine,
nent" radar defense network for the basic design for which had begun
in 1947
United States. and for which production began in Febru-
ary 1953. The J57 ultimately powered
Durmg March: Concept of launching of the B-52, YB-60, F-lOO, F-101, YF-105A,
small high-performance rockets sus- KC-135, Boeing 707, F4D, and A3D, as
pended from a balloon above most of the well as the SNARK (SM-62) missile.
atmosphere (later called "Rockoons"),
developed by Cmdr. Lee Levpis, Cmdr. G. : NACA Ames Aeronautical Labora-
Halvorson, S. F. Singer, and J. A. Van tory completed a 10- by 14-inch super-
Allen during Aerobee firing cruise of sonic wind tunnel with top Mach number
U.S.S. Norton Sound. of 5, later increased to 6.3.

April 8: First successful rocket-propelled June 9: First use of small pulse rockets
RM-10 research missile for drag and heat in fiight as disturbing impulse for evalua-
transfer studies at transonic and super- tion of dynamic stability in a model of the
sonic speeds, making use of skin calorim- Rascal missile, at NACA's Wallops
eter techniques, at Wallops Island, Va. Island.

April 21: First Euroi)ean flight of air- June lit: Second V-2 flight carrying a
craft pov^ered solely with ramjet engine live AF Aero Medical Laboratory monkey,
made in France, an air-launched Leduc Albert II, attained an altitude of 83
which flew for 12 minues. Rene Leduc miles the ; monkey survived but died on
had worked with ramjet design since impact.
June 27: Naval Ordnance Laboratory
May S: Naval Research Laboratory's (NOL) at White Oak, Md., dedicated
Martin Viking rocket No. 1 fired at White new aeroballistic facilities, which in-
Sands Proving Ground, N. Mex., reached cluded supersonic and hypersonic wind
an altitude of 51i/^ miles and a speed tunnels (up to Mach 10) and the first
of 2,250 mph its payload contained
; pressurized ballistic range.
upper air pressure and temperature
experiments. During June: NACA's first hovering
flights ofa simplified propeller vertical
: Truman
approved takeoff landing (VTOL) airplane model
amendments to the basic legislation of conducted at Langley Laboratory.
1915 covering "Rules and Regulations
for the Conduct of the Work of the Na- August 8: First operational emergency
tional Advisory Committee for Aeronau- use of T-1 partial pressure suit by Maj.
tics," a basic statement of organizational F. K. Everest (USAF) in X-1 aircraft at
resi>onsibilities. 69,000 feet; suit's automatic operation
saved pilot and aircraft.
May 11: President Truman signed a bill
providing a 5,000-mile guided-missile test August 9: First use in United States of
range, which was subsequently estab- a pilot ejection seat, by Lt. J. L. Fruin
lished at Cape Canaveral, Fla. (USN), from F2H-1 Banshee while
making over 500 knots near Waterboro,
May 13: Prototype of British Canberra S.C.
medium jet bomber first flown, at Warton,
England. During August: Wernher von Braun
named an Honorary Fellow of the British
May 24-26: Second International Confer- Interplanetary Society.
ence on Aeronautics, combining the Royal
Aeronautical Society and the Institute of October 1: Long-Range Proving Ground
Aeronautical Sciences, held in New York. atCape Canaveral was activated.

During May: Single-stage Russian rocket October 27: The Unitary Wind Tunnel
attained an altitude of 68 miles with an Act (63 Stat. 936) authorized the con-
instrument payload of 264 to 286 pounds, struction of $136 million of new NACA
according to Tass, March 27, 1958. facilities, $10 million for wind tunnels

at universities, $6 inillion for a wind tracts when heated and expands when
tunnel at the David W. Taylor Model cooled, and which can stand heat of
Basin, and $100 million for the establish- 2,000°, used on jet and rocket engines.
ment of the Air Force Arnold Engineer-
ing Development Center, at Tullahoma, December 28: USAF reported that 2-year
Tenn., in recognition of the fact that investigation had found that there was
industry could not subsidize expensive no such thing as a "flying saucer" and
wind tunnels for research in transonic that Project Saucer at Wright-Patterson
and supersonic flight. AFB had been discontinued.
Ncwember 3: Charles B. Moore (General During December: First continuous tran-
Mills) made first manned flight in a sonic flow established in NACA's Langley
polyethelene balloon over Minneapolis 8-foot high-speed wind tunnel with use
Minn. of slotted-throat technique. (See Janu-
ary 8, 1947. ) This was a major milestone
November 10: Piasecki HRP-2 passenger in wind-tunnel technique.
transport helicopter made first fiights.
During 1949: USAF Advisory Committee
November 21: USAF Sikorsky H-19 12- headed by Louis N. Ridenour recom-
place helicopter made first test flight. mended that Air Force research and de-
velopment be consolidated into a single
November 22: D-558-II Skyrocket ex- command.
ceeded the speed of sound at Edwards
AFB, Calif. It was powered by both a :First "probe and drogue" method
Westinghouse J-34 turbojet engine and a of contact aerial refueling performed in
Reaction Motors, Inc. rocket motor. England (developed by Flight Refuel-
ling, Ltd. Early in year the USAF had
) .

December 1:Supersonic wind tunnel, issued requirement for development of a

capable of 3,000-mph speeds, was dedi- refueling method other than loop hose
cated at MIT. for use with single-seat jet fighter air-
craft. After the nonstop round-the-
December 2: First firing of USAF Aero- world fiight of the B-29 Lucky Lady
bee research rocket (RTV-A-la) at Hol- using the Boeing loop-hose method in
loman AFB, the development of which March, Boeing developed the "boom
was initiated earlier in the year. technique."

December 12: Last monkey, Albert IV, : Complete fixed-component com-

launched in V-2 series of tests at WSPG, bined loads testing machine was com-
a successful flight indicating no ill effects pleted and operated at NACA Langley
on monkey until impact of V-2. Laboratory, remaining in use through
1960. It was first machine capable of
December 22: North American YF-86D
completed fiight at Edwards applying forces along each of three axes
first test
AFB. and moments about those axes (positive
and negative), in any combination of
December 25: Air Force revealed develop- forces and moments, each applied
ment of stupalith, a ceramic which con- independently.

January 10: U.S.S. Norton Sound began January 13: First successful automatic
19-day firing cruise in Alaskan waters, homing fiight of Navy Lark (XSAM-
launching two Aerobees, one Lark and N-4) launched at NAMTC, making simu-
one Loon. Eight scientists connected lated interception at a range of 17,300
with Aerobee upper atmosphere research yards at an altitude of 7,400 feet.
program and Army, Navy, and Air Force
observers made the cruise. January 23: USAF established the Air

1950— Continued to Army Ordnance's Redstone Arsenal,
Huntsville, Ala.
Research and Development Command
(ARDC). May 3: Submarine Cusk launched a Loon
guided missile and after submerging,
January 29: Remains of Wac C5orporal tracked and controlled its flight to a
which reached 250-mile altitude on Feb- range of 105 miles.
ruary 24, 1949, found on desert near
WSPG. May 10: President Truman signed legisla-
tion creating the National Science Foun-
January SO: President Truman an- dation.
nounced his decision to go ahead on the
hydrogen bomb development program. May 11: NRL Viking No. 4 research
rocket fired from the U.S.S. Norton Sound
During January: Contractor study near Jarvis Island in the Pacific, at the
launched by USAF which led to Bomarc intersection of the geographic and geo-
interceptor missile. magnetic equators, obtaining cosmic-ray
and pressure-temperature data. It set a
February 9: Navy's Martin "Viking No. 3 106.4-mile altitude record for an Ameri-
successfully launched to 50-mile altitude can single-stage rocket and was the first
from White Sands. firing of the Viking from shipboard.

February 10: Secretary of the Air Force May 12: Last flight of X-1 (No. 1) rocket
directed that the Air Engineering De- research airplane, for RKO motion pic-
velopment Center be renamed the Arnold ture "Test Pilot," which was turned over
Engineering Development Center in to the National Air Museum at the Smith-
honor of the late General of the Air sonian on August 28th.
Force, Henry H. Arnold.
May 15: Navy announced completion of
February 17: V-2 reached an altitude of test chamber at the Ordnance Aerophy-
92 miles in launch from WSPG. sics Laboratory at Daingerfield, Tex.,
capable of conducting tests of full-scale
March 2: First full-thrust test of 75,000- ramjet engines up to 48 inches in di-
pound liquid rocket engine for the Nav- ameter at simulated altitudes up to 100,-
aho (XLR43-NA-1) conducted by North 000 feet.
American at Santa Susana, Calif.
May 19: First Army Hermes A-1 test
March 3: Symposium on space medicine rocket fired at WSPG.
held by the University of Illinois at its
Professional Colleges in Chicago. During May: New York University re-
search balloon released from Holloman
March 15: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a AFB drifted 7,000 miles and was re-
basic decision on guided-missile roles and covered in Myrdal, Norway.
missions, gave the USAF formal and ex-
clusive responsibility for strategic guided : USAF SAM scientists, Drs. Fritz
missiles. and Heinz Haber, delivered paper on
"Possible Methods of Producing the
March 24 First successful ramjet re-
•' Gravity-Free State for Medical Re-
search model flown at Wallops Island by search," suggesting aerodynamic parab-
NACA Langley's PARD. olas with use of aircraft to obtain up to
30 seconds of relative weightlessness.
During March: Radiobiological Labora-
tory established at Austin, Tex., by the June 6: Ramjet missile launched which
USAF School of Aviation Medicine and accelerated under ramjet power to Mach
the University of Texas. 3.1 at 67,200-feet altitude, at NACA
Wallops Island.
:Hypersonic wind tunnel became op-
erational at Wright-Patterson AFB. June IS: Department of Defense assigned
range responsibilities to the armed serv-
A pril 1 : Missile staff headed by Wernher ices Army White Sands, N. Mex., Prov-
: :

von Braun was moved from White Sands ing Ground and nearby Holloman Air

Force Base at Alamogordo Navy Point
; : August SI: Last of five Aeromedical
Mugu, Calif.; Air Force: Long-Range Laboratory experiments (first four
Proving Ground at Banana River, Fla. known as Albert series) fired by V-2 No.
(now called Cape Canaveral). 51 from WSPG, which carried a non-
anesthetized mouse photographed by a
June 28: First run of rocket-propelled re- camera which survived impact.
search sled made on
the 3,550-foot track
at Holloman Air Force Base. September 22: Col. David C. Schilling
and Lt. Col. William Ritchie fiew two Re-
June 25: North Korea armed forces in- public F-84E jet fighters across the At-
vaded South Korea. lantic nonstop, Schilling flying from
London to New York with three in-flight
During June: VfR, the German Rocket refuelings, the first nonstop jet flight
Society disestablished by Hitler in 1933, across the Atlantic, while Ritchie was
passed resolution calling for international forced to bail out over Newfoundland.
conference of all astronautical societies.
September 28: In a balloon launched at
:Secretary of Defense created Holloman AFB, eight white mice sur-
Guided Missiles Interdepartmental Oper- vived an Aeromedical Laboratory flight
ational Requirements Group. to an altitude of 97,000 feet.

July 1: Lacrosse guided-missile project, September 29: Record parachute jump

begun in 1947 by Naval Ordnance, trans- from 42,449 feet made by Capt. R. V.
ferred to the Department of the Army by Wheeler at Holloman AFB, N. Mex.
the JCS.
September 30: First International Con-
July 5: James H. Doolittle named "avia- gress on Astronautics held in Paris pro-
tor of the decade" (1940-49) by the Har- posed creation of a permanent federation
mon International Aviation Awards Com- of astronautical societies.
mittee, while Jacqueline Cochran was
named "aviatrix of the decade." During September: USAF School of Avia-
tion Medicine's Department of Space
July 21: First polyethylene balloon Medicine headed by Hubertus Strughold,
launched at Holloman by USAF person- formulated research concept of "atmos-
nel. pheric space equivalence."

July 24: Bumper No. 8,a German V-2 October 24 : Kaufman T. Keller, president
with a 700-pound Army-JPL Wac of the Chrysler Corp., appointed to the
Corporal, was fired from Long-Range newly created position of Director of
Proving Ground at Cape Canaveral; the Guided Missiles for the U.S. Armed
first-stage ¥-2 climbed 10 miles, sepa- Forces.
rated from the second-stage Corporal
which traveled 15 more miles. This was October 25: The first Lark missile
the first missile launch from Cape launched by Air Force from Cape
Canaveral. Canaveral, the last of the three missiles
launched in 1950 at the LRPG.
July 29: Bumper No. 7 was the second
missile launch from Cape Canaveral, October 26: Army contracted with Doug-
reached highest velocity (Mach 9) at- las Aircraft for design, development,
tained by a manmade object to date. fabrication, and flight testing of rocket
having Honest John specifications.
August 1: Patrick Air Force Base, ad-
ministrative headquarters of the AFMTC During October: Air Force announced
at Cape Canaveral, officially named after program to replace all piston-engine air-
Gen. Mascn M. Patrick. craft with jet aircraft.

During Fall: Rand Corp. completed mis- : USAF canceled XF-85 parasite
sile feasibility studies begun in 1949, fighter project after fiight test at Ed-
which confirmed the military practicabil- wards AFB revealed that parasite fighter
ity of long-range rocket weapons. escort for B-36 was not feasible.

1950 —Continued During Decem-ber: Dr. Hugh L. Dryden,
Director of NACA, awarded the Daniel
November 6-9: USAF School of Aviation Guggenheim Award for 1950 for out-
Medicine and Lovelace Foundation spon- standing leadership. ( See Appendix D.)

sored a "Symposium on the Physics and

Medicine of the Upper Atmosphere," at Construction started at Grand

San Antonio, Tex. Bahama Island for the first tracking

station on the Florida Missile Test
November 8: First jet airplane dogfight Range, later the Atlantic Missile Range.
when USAF Lockheed F-80 piloted by
Lt. J. R. Brown downed a Russian-built During 1950: NACA Langley's Pilotless
MiG-15 over Korea. Aircraft Research Division demonstrated
low drag of thin delta wing (which led
November 21: Navy Viking No. 5 at- to F-102, F-106, B-58) with rocket-
tained 108-mile altitude. powered model flights.

December 6: Establishment of transonic Worldwide analysis of atmospheric


flow in the Langley 16-foot high-speed turbulence and gusts was made at Lang-
wind tunnel following installation of a ley Aeronautical Laboratory based on
slotted-throat test section. data taken with NACA-developed VG and
VGH recorders on commercial airline
December 11: Navy Viking No. 6 in night operations on transpacific and South
firing attained only 40 miles altitude. American routes.

January 16: Air Force established Project tests, a person was supported by a jet-
MX-1593 (Project Atlas), study phase thrust device attached to his feet.
for an intercontinental missile. Contract
given Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft on March 6: Talos missile powered by ram-
January 23. This was the follow-on to jet engine launched at Naval Ordnance
Project MX-774 terminated in 1947. Test Station, and operated 2 minutes in
longest full-scale ramjet flight yet
January 31 : F-51 set new London to New achieved.
York speed record of 8 hours and 55
minutes. March 29: Navy Regulus (XSSM-N-8)
operating under airborne command took
During January: James Forrestal Cen- off and landed at Edwards AFB, Calif.
ter established at Princeton University
as a jet-propulsion research center. March 31: Navy issued contract to Con-
vair for the XFY-1, propellor-driven
: Westinghouse J^O jet engine VTOL fighter.
(7,500 pounds dry thrust) completed
150-hour Navy qualification test. During March: Pratt & Whitney began
flight test of new 10,000-pound thrust
February 14: Republic F-84F with J-57 jet engine, using converted B-50 as
Wright J-65 Sapphire engine made first test bed.
flight at Edwards AFB.
April 2: USAF Air Research and Devel-
During February: Hiller Helicopters pro- opment Command
(ARDC) became
duced two-place helicopter powered by which was assigned Air
operational, to :

ramjet engines. Development Force at Wright Field AF ;

Cambridge Research Division AF Flight


: NACA Langley Research Center Test Center at Edwards AFB and the ;

conducted first man-carrying,

fiights of Holloman AFB R&D establishment (later
jet-supported platform at Wallops Island AFMDC). Later the Arnold Engineer-
in exploratory investigations. In these ing Development Center (TuUahoma,

Tenn.) ; AF Armament Center (Eglin June SO: United States terminated its
AFB, Fla.) and the AF Special Weapons
; V-2 program, 67 V-2's having been flown
Center (Kirtland AFB, N. Mex.). since the first American launch of a V-2
on April 16, 1946.
April IS: The first Aerobee research
rocket containing a biomedical experi- July 1: Navy Air Turbine Test Station
ment was launched at Holloman AFB, commissioned at Trenton, N.J., to test
N. Mex. and to evaluate turbojet, turboprop, ram-
jet, and pulse-jet engines, accessories,
May 14: Air Force Missile Test Center and components.
(AFMTC) established at Long-Range
Proving Ground, and assigned to the Air July 6: Air-to-air refueling of jet aircraft
Research and Development Command (RF-80) in combat zone accomplished
(ARDC). in Korea, believed the first such hookup.

July 20: First fiight of Consolidated

During May: Drs. H. Strughold, H.
Haber, and F. Haber initiated first re-
XF-92A, a USAF and later a NACA re-
search airplane (predecessor of the
search program on weightlessness at the
F-102) at Edwards AFB.
USAF SAM, a study (Task No. 7758-20)
suspended in 1952, and reactivated by July 21: United States-United Kingdom
Dr. S. J. Gerathewohl on July 1, 1955. agreement signed and went into effect
permitting the extension of the U.S.
June 11: Navy D-558-II Douglas Sky- missile range southeastward from Florida
rocket, fiown by test pilot William
on its first leg through the Bahamas.
Bridgeman, set a new unoflScial airplane
speed and altitude record at Edwards August 7: A Navy Viking 7 rocket set an
AFB, Muroc Dry Lake, Calif. speed ;
altitude record for single-stage rockets,
estimated at more than 1,200 mph alti- ;
climbing to 136 miles and reaching a speed
tude estimated 70,000 feet. of 4,100 mph, at White Sands, N. Mex.,
highest flight of original airframe design.
June 17: Navy issued contract to Convair
for development of delta-winged, hydro- D-558-II Skyrocket reached maxi-

ski-equipped research seaplane with mum speed of 1,238 mph, with William
fighter characteristics, subsequently Bridgeman as pilot.
known as XF2Y-1.
August 15: William Bridgeman flew the
June 20: First launching of USAF B-61 D-558-II Skyrocket to 79,494 feet, high-
Martin Matador pilotless aircraft at Mis- est altitude attained by a human being
sile Test Center. to date.

: Bell X-5
(No. 1) research airplane August 29: First of USAF Aeromedical
made first of 30 minutes at Ed-
fiight Laboratory balloon flights at White
wards, Calif., with Jean Ziegler as pilot. Sands.
This was first fiight of an aircraft with
variable-sweep, a USAF-NACA research August SO: First successful launching of
project for investigation of various NACA Langley's PARD of an under-
sweeps. slung or "piggyback" rocket booster sys-
tem, at Wallops Island, Va.
June 22: JPL fired first of a series of
3,544 Loki solid-propellant antiaircraft During August: X-ID airplane destroyed
missiles at WSPG, the Army program by explosion.
ending after September 1955. Loki
rocket was later used in Rockoon ONR tember 3: The International Astro-
upper atmosphere
balloon-launched nautical Federation was formed by sci-
rocket research soundings. entists of 10 nations at the Second Inter-
national Congress on Astronautics to co-
June 25: USAF Arnold Engineering De- ordinate responsibility on flights to the
velopment Center at Tullahoma, Tenn., moon and planets. Predicted within the
dedicated by President Truman, to test decade a 50-ton earth satellite traveling

and evaluate supersonic aircraft and 18,(X)0 mph, orbiting earth at an altitude
guided missiles. of 300 miles.

195 1 —Continued November 9:1^-1 (No. 3) rocket research
airplane and its B-29 "mother" airplane
September 5: USAF awarded contract to were destroyed on the ground by ex-
Consolidated Vultee to fly a B-36 with plosion and fire.
a nuclear reactor aboard, to be built by
General Electric, for added boost. November IS: First experimental investi-
gation of transonic-type compressor was
September 20: USAF made first success- conducted at Lewis Laboratory, a break-
ful recovery of animals from a rocket through in compressor technology later
flight when an instrumented monkey and utilized by virtually all advanced turbo-
11 mice survived an Aerobee flight to an jet engines.
altitude of 236,000 feet from HoUoman
AFB. December 16: Navy Kaman K-225,
modified as the first gas-turbine, shaft-
September 28: Special meeting of the Air
powered helicopter, successfully com-
Force Council reviewed USAF R&D pro-
pleted flight test.
gram and recommended to Chief of Staff
Vandenberg the development of an inter- During December: Richard T. Whitcomb
continental strategic weapons system. of NACA Langley Laboratory verified
During September: USAF directed all
the "area rule" in NACA's new transonic
work in Project MX-1593 (Atlas) he for wind tunnels which enabled significant
development of a rocket-powered ballistic
gain in jet aircraft speeds with what be-
came known as the "coke bottle" or "wasp
waist" shape.
October 4' M. K. Tikhonravov in New
York said U.S.S.R. science made During 1951: NACA Lewis Laboratory
feasible space flight and creation of arti- completed first rocket combustion tests
ficialearth satellite reported U.S.S.R.
; using the high-energy proi)ellant liquid
rocket advance equaled or exceeded West. fluorine as an oxidant.

October 10: JPL Corporal E-11 fired at :Production of J-65 Sapphire turbo-
WSPG, the basic configuration of the
jet engine begun by Curtiss Wright, later
Army's Corporal tactical missile.
fitted in some instances with afterburner

October 29: Firing of V-2, No. 66, at in F-84F, B-57, FJ-3, FllF-1, and
White Sands Proving Ground concluded A4D-1.
U.S. use of these German missiles in
upper atmosphere rocket research. :USAF initiated development of
liquid-propellant rocket engine with
October SI: Responsibility for Hermes II thrust of 150,000 pounds (XLR 4a-
transferred to Army Ordnance Guided NA-3).
Missile Center at Redstone Arsenal
Hermes II redesignated the RVA-A-3 :NACA's A. Scott Crossfield first
test vehicle. flew a series of aerodynamic parabolas to
produce a short period of weightlessness,
During October: International Council of
in a YF-84 at Edwards AFB, Calif. Maj.
Scientific Unions decided to hold Third
Charles E. Yeager (USAF) also flew
International Polar Tear, later to be-
some of these so-called "Keplerian
come International Geophysical Year in
October 1952.

November 8: First successful launching : Air passenger-miles (10,679,281,-

of a research model propelled by the 000) exceeded total passenger-miles
helium gun catapult, by Langley's PARD traveled in Pullman cars (10,224,714,000),
at Wallops Island. the first time in U.S. history.

Felyruary 25: Army Nike I first test fired May 22: Air Force Aerobee rocket placed
at WSPG. an aeromedical payload containing two
monkeys and two mice to an altitude of
During February: Establishment of At- 36 miles, which were recovered unharmed
mosphere and Astrophysics Division and without api)arent ill effect.
within Naval Research Laboratory,
headed by Dr. John P. Hagen. May 26: Navy's first and for many years
the world's largest wind tunnel was de-
March 18: First successful solid-fuel commissioned at the Naval Gun Factory,
ramjet research model flown at NACA's Washington, D.C. Completed in 1914,
Wallops Island. the wooden 8- by 8-foot wind tunnel was
used over 30 years.
March 23: Two-place glider altitude rec-
ord of 44,000 feet claimed by L. Edgar June 17: Aviation Medical Acceleration
and H. Klieforth, Sacramento, Calif. Laboratory dedicated at NADC at Johns-
which featured human centri-
ville, Pa.,
During March: Theodore von Karman fuge capable of producing accelerations
named Chairman of NATO's Advisory of up to 40 g's.
Group for Aeronautical Research and
Development. June 18: H. Julian Allen of NACA Ames
Laboratory conceived the "blunt nose
April 15: First flight of YB-52, first all-
principle" which submitted that a blunt
jet heavy bomber. shape would absorb only one-half of 1
percent of the heat generated by the re-
April 21:BOAC De Havilland Comet in- entry of a body into the earth's atmos-
augurated first jet passenger service, be-
phere. This principle was later signifi-
tween London and Rome.
cant to ICBM nose cone and the Mercury
capsule development.
During April: DOD directed Research
and Development Board to determine
June 20: Navy issued contract for con-
whether Air Force with 39 different air-
struction of a transonic wind tunnel at
craft types ordered in 1953 procurement
the David Taylor Model Basin.
program, and the Navy with 27 different
types, were operating too many different
June 27: First glide flight of X-2 (No. 2)
types of aircraft. research airplane, by Jean "Skip" Zieg-
ler, Bell test pilot.
First successful North Pole land-

ing, by a ski-and- wheel USAF C-47.

During June: Goodyear delivered largest
nonrigid airship built, the ZPN-1, to
May 7; First fiight of USAF X-17 ram-
jet test vehicle.
July 2: First AF fighter armed solely
May 16: Special Committee for the Inter- with rockets, a Lockheed F-94C Jet, dis-
national Geophysical Year established closed by USAF.
by the International Council of Scientific
Unions to coordinate the international July 14: NACA's Executive Committee
IGY programs. This committee was directed its laboratories to begin study
known as CSAGI after the initials of its of problems likely to be encountered in
French name. flight beyond the atmosphere, which in
May 1954 resulted in decision in favor of
Navy Terrier missile completed
: manned research vehicle and NACA's
development program with successful de- proposal to the Air Force that such a
struction of two F6F-5K target drones. vehicle be developed.

1952 —Continued parted his findings on the blunt nose cone
directly to the missile industry, which
July 19: First successful flights of bal- first was disseminated in official report
loons at controlled constant altitudes in early in 1953, later as NACA
the stratosphere for i)eriods of more than
3 days announced by the USAF. October 20: First flight of Douglas X-3,
an USAF-NACA research airplane (Fly-
July 22: First production-line Nike made ing Stiletto) completed, William Bridge-
successful flight. man as pilot.
July 26: Aerobee fired capsule containing October 23: Hughes XH-17 Flying Crane
two monkeys and two mice to approxi- helicopter completed first official flight.
mately 200,000 feet at Holloman AFB, all
recovered unharmed. During October: Scope of International
Polar Year broadened and its name
July 29: First Rockoon (balloon-launched changed to International Geophysical
rocket) launched from icebreaker East- Year (IGY) by the International Council
wind off Greenland by ONR group under of Scientific Unions.
James A. Van Allen. Rockoon low-cost
technique was conceived during Aerobee : James P. Henry
of the Aeromedical
firing cruse of the Norton Sound in March Laboratory Wright-Patterson AFB
1949, and was later used by ONR and published research on behavior of ani-
University of Iowa research groups in mals under subgravity conditions, for
1953-55 and 1957, from ships in sea be- which he and his associates later received
tween Boston and Thule, Greenland. the Tuttle Memorial Award.

July 31: First transatlantic helicopter November 1: First hydrogen device ex-
fiight, by two AF MATS sikorsky H-19's. ploded at AEC Eniwetok proving ground.

August 22: European Office, ARCD, estab- November 19: At Santa Susana, Calif.,
lished in Brussels to handle USAF Euro- a complete liquid-rocket engine assembly
pean research contracts. (Navaho) having a thrust in excess of
100,000 pounds was fired for the first time.
August 25-29: 3,700 Moslems airlifted to
Mecca by 14 USAF G-54 transports. : North American F-86D established
speed record of 698.505 mph at

August-September: Series of Rockoon Salton Sea, Calif., Capt. J. Slade Nash

launchings from Eastwind in high-alti- (USAF) as pilot.
tude research by ONR group.
November 26: Northrop B-62 Snark, a
turbojet subsonic missile with 5,500 nauti-
September 1: Third International Con-
cal-mile range, first launched from a zero-
gress on Astronautics adopted a constitu-
length launcher.
tion for the International Astronautical
Federation (lAF), at Stuttgart, Ger- December 15: NLR "Viking No. 9 research
many. rocket launched to an altitude of 135
miles at White Sands, and Navy revealed
September 3: First fully configured Side- that it had launched rockets from bal-
winder air-to-air missile successfully loons in the geomagnetic North Pole area
fiown at Naval Ordnance Test Station,
for cosmic ray research.
Inyokern, the beginning of an extensive
period of developmental testing. During December: Republic XF-91 made
its firstsupersonic rocket-powered flight
September 18: Construction begun of (Reaction Motors 6,(X)0-pound-thrust
Thule AFB in northwestern Greenland, rocket engine) at Edwards AFB.
930 miles from the North Pole.
During 1952: Convair designers became
September SO: First launching of Bell interested in conical camber principle
Rascal XGAM-63 air-to-surface strategic conceived by NACA Ames Laboratory
missile. scientist Charles F. Hall in 1949, verified
by wind tunnel experiments 1950-57, and
During September: H. Julian Allen of applied with success to the F-102 fighter
NACA Ames Laboratory personally im- and the B-58 bomber.

Transistors first placed in service
—— First actual animal experiments on

in Bell Telephone System network as weightlessness carried out in rocket

part of long-distance dialing service. launches by AF Aeromedical Laboratory
at Holloman AFB, while E. R. Ballinger
: New and photographic
optical conducted first manned aircraft weight-
methods for rapidly measuring rocket lessness experiments with instrumented
combustion temperatures and flow proc- humans at Wright-Patterson AFB.
esses developed by NACA Lewis
:NACA undertook studies of the
: NACA Lewis Propulsion Labora- problems of manned and unmanned flight
tory first identified high-frequency com- in the upper atmosphere and at hyper-
bustion-oscillations in jet engine after- sonic speeds, such studies leading to the
burners, developed partial controls by development of the rocket-propelled X-15
1954, and rational design solutions by research airplane.

January 1^-16: USAF scientific advisory Febiru-ary 26: Dorothy M. Simon, aero-
panel concluded that unidentified flying nautical research scientist with Lewis
objects (UFO's) (1) held no direct
: Flight Propulsion Laboratory, was re-
physical threat; (2) were not foreign cipient of 1952 Rockefeller Public Serv-
developments; (3) were not unknown ice Award "for the effective application
phenomena requiring revision of current of the physics and chemistry of combus-
scientific concepts; and (4) a rash of tion to flight research." (See Appendix
sightings offered a threat from skillful D.)
hostile propagandists.
During February: U.S. National Com-
January 22: First flight test of a complete mittee for the IGY established by the
airplane model designed by "area rule" National Academy of Sciences.
concepts propelled to sui)ersonic speeds
by rocket boosters, at Langley Wallops Rocket test stand capable of test-

Island, Va. ing engines to 400,000 pounds of thrust

activated at AF Flight Test Center
During January: 10- by 10-foot jet-engine (AFFTC).
test facility at Lewis Flight Propulsion
Laboratory began operations. J-57 engine with a thrust of 10,000

pounds placed into production (1941

February 1: Chance Vought delivered Whittle turbojet engine had 850 pounds
last propeller-driven flghter, the Navy thrust).
F4U Corsair, the 12,571st built since flrst
one flew in 1940. During February: American Medical As-
sociation authorized American Board of
February IS: First full guidance flight of Preventive Medicine to establish aviation
Navy Sparrow III missile at Naval Air medicine as a distinct specialty and to
Missile Test Center. grant certification for those physicians
proi)erly qualified.
February 19-26: Six Moby Dick balloon
flights to study high-altitude winds flown
March 11: Single-stage, air-launched
from Vemalles NAS, Calif., by USAF
rocket research vehicle exceeded Mach
Cambridge Research Center, each capsule
5 in NACA Lewis Laboratory fiight test.
also containing fruit flies. (See Appen-
dix C.)
During March: Research on 1-million-
February 21: First powered flight of the pound thrust plus engine begun at Rocket-
Bell X-IA research airplane was com- dyne, the feasibility of which was estab-
pleted, Jean Ziegler as pilot. lished in March 1955.

1953 —Continued July 1: Fiscal year 1953, just concluded
was first year that the United States
During March: Boeing delivered last pro- spent as much as $1 million on strategic
peller-driven bomber, a RB-50H, to the ballistic missile development.
USAF. More than 4,250 B-29 and B-50
Superforts vv^ere delivered to the AF in July 15: First submarine launching of
the last decade; more than 17,000 four- Regulus missile, from submarine Tunny
engined Boeing bombers since the first off NAMTO.
B-17 in 1935.
July 27: Armistice signed in Korean war.
: Lt. Col. John P. Stapp traveled at USAF reported that 5th Air Force had
421 mph on 3,500-foot track in rocket- shot down 984 Communist planes, in-
powered sled. cluding 823 MiG-15's. USAF lost 971
planes 94 in aeral combat of which 58

April 9: Navy XF2Y-1 Sea Dart, an were Sabrejets, 671 downed by ground
experimental delta-wing jet seaplane vrith fire, and 206 lost through other causes.
hydroskis, made first flight at San Diego.
August S: Fourth International Congress
May 8: First launching of a cluster of on Astronautics met at Zurich, at which
three Deacon rockets as a booster at S. F. Singer proposed Project Mouse
NACA's Wallops Island. (Minimum Orbital Unmanned Satellite
May 12: First Bell X-2 exploded during
a captive flight killing Jean Ziegler, Bell August 20: Redstone missile No. 1 was
test pilot, over Lake Ontario near Buffalo, firedby Army Redstone Arsenal personnel
N.T. at AFMTC, Cape Canaveral, Fla.

May 18: Jacqueline Cochran became first Longest nonstop flight by single-

woman to fly faster than the speed of engined jet fighters, made by 17 USAF
sound, in a F-86. F-84G Thunderjets from Albany, Ga., to
Lakenheath, England, a distance of 4,485
May 25: USAF North American YF-IOOA miles.
made its first flight at Edwards AFB, the
first service supersonic fighter.
: USSR announced H-bomb ex-
plosion, later reported by AEC to have
June 5: Missile fired from the under-
occurred in U.S.S.R. on August 12.
ground launching installation constructed
by the Army Corps of Engineers, at
First successful launching by

NACA Langley's PARD of a hypersonic

June 16: Department of Defense Study research vehicle for heat transfer studies
Group on Guided Missiles established by consisting of a cluster of three Deacon
the Armed Forces Policy Council under first stage and HPAG rocket second stage,

Secretary of Defense C. E. Wilson. This at Wallops Island, Va.

group made a technical evaluation of
the missile programs of the military serv- August 21: Flying Douglas D-558-II (No.
ices. One of their recommendations was 2) Skyrocket research aircraftwhich had
that a special evaluation of all Air Force been launched from a B-29 Superfortress
strategic missiles be made. In the fall at an altitude of 34,000 feet, Lt. Col.
the Strategic Missiles Evaluation Com- Marion E. Carl, USMC, attained an alti-
mittee, headed by John Von Neumann, tude of 83,235 feet at Edwards AFB,
made such an evaluation. Calif.

June 30: Department of Defense Reorgan- August 28: At Santa Susana, Calif., a
ization Plan No. 6, transmitted by complete liquid-rocket engine assembly
President Eisenhower to Congress under (Navaho) having a thrust in excess of
the Reorganization Act of 1949, abolished 200,000 pounds was fired for the first time.
the Research and Development Board,
the Munitions Board, the Defense Man- September 1: First aerial refueling of
agement Agency, and the Office of Direc- jet aircraft by jet tanker, a B-47 Strato-
tor of Installations. jet by a KB-47B.

September 9: Trevor Gardner appointed NACA test pilot A. Scott Crossfield estab-
to head a committee to eliminate inter- lished an unoflficial speed record of 1,328
service competition in the development of mph at Edwards AFB, Calif., the first
guided missiles by Secretary of Defense Mach 2 flight (2.01).
December 12: In a Bell X-IA which had
September 11: First successful intercep- been launched from a B-29, Maj. Charles
tion by Navy Sidewinder missile at E. Yeager, USAF, attained a speed of
NOTS, Inyokern. 1,612 mph atEdwards AFB, Calif., about
Mach 2.5.
October 1: First Pilotless Bomber Squad-
ron (light) established by USAF at During December: Nike-Ajax battalion
AFMTO in Florida. deployed on site in Washington-Baltimore
area, the first operational surface-to-air
October 3: Newworld speed record of missile system in the United States.
753.4 mph in Douglas XF4D-1 Navy Sky-
ray fighter, Lt. Comdr. J. B. Verdin as During 1953: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
pilot. completed development of the Cori>oral
I, the first U.S. surface-to-surface ballis-
October 14 : Prototype of North America's tic missile,and continued with Corporal
B-64 Navaho, a X-10 ramjet guided mis- II development. Army Ordnance also
sile, made its initial flight. asked JPL to study application of large-
scale solid propellant rockets for use as
October 16: Test pilot Robert O. Rahn, surface-to-surface guided missiles.
flying a Douglas XF-4D Skyray fighter
at Edwards AFB, Muroc, Calif., estab- Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator

lished a world closed-course speed record Co. developed power transistor (20
of 728.11 mph. watts).

October 23: The Daniel and Florence : USAF initiated meteorological sur-
Guggenheim Institute for Flight Struc- vey over the United States with large
tures established at Columbia University plastic balloons to obtain data on winds,
for research and graduate training in temperatures, and cloud formations over
flight structures, including structures in- 50,000 feet. This survey, known as
tended for space flight. "Moby Dick," was expanded later to in-
clude other select launching areas of the
October 29: Flying a F-lOO Super Sabre world. ( See February 19.
at Edwards AFB, Calif., Lt. Col. Frank
K. Everest, USAF, set a speed record of Dr. Hubertus Strughold of SAM

755.149 mph. published The Green and Red Planet: A

Physiological Study of the Possibility of
During October: Prototype Convair Life on Mars.
F-102A delta-wing fighter first flew, a
supersonic fighter featuring the NACA
: Dr. E. G. Bowen of the Australian
Radio and Physics Division of the Com-
American Astronautical
: Society monwealth Scientific and Research
(AAS) founded. Organization first propounded the theory
that meoteoric dust provides the nuclei
November 19: First launching of a Nike- for heavy rainfall. By 1956, he had col-
Deacon two-stage rocket for heat transfer lected worldwide statistics revealing cor-
studies at NACA Wallops Island. relation between heavy rainfall and
showers of meteors through which the
November 20: In a D-558-II (No. 2) earth passed. In 1960, additional data
which had been launched from a B-29, were acquired with U-2 aircraft.

January 21: First atomic-power sub- During March: Work on AM-2 propul-
marine, U.S.S. Nautilus, launched at sion system for Atlas by Rocketdyne was
Groton, Conn. begun, drawing upon the experience in
developing the regeneratively cooled
During January: Pan American World chamber developed for the Navaho.
Airways took over operations and main-
April 8: Office of the Assistant Chief of
tenance of the Florida Missile Test
Staff for Guided Missiles was established
Range, under AFMTC; changeover com-
in Headquarters USAF.
pleted in March.
April 29: First launching of a three-stage
February 10: Air Force Strategic Mis- rocket vehicle consisting of two Nike
siles Evaluation (Teapot) Committee boosters in tandem and a Deacon rocket
under Dr. John von Neumann reported as third stage, and also a first launching
possibility of major technological break- of a rocket booster system consisting of
through on nuclear warhead size and three "peelaway" Deacons as the first
that other technical problems associated stage wrapped around a fourth Deacon
with development of ICBM's could be re- as a second stage, and a HP AG rocket
solved in a few years. It recommended as the third stage, by NACA Langley's
that a special Air Force development- PARD at Wallops Island.
management group be established to
accelerate the program During April: Bell Laboratory an-
nounced invention of the silicon solar
February 12: First flight test of a high-
energy fuel made by NACA Lewis Labora- May 4' Third Symposiimi on Space
tory in an air-launched test vehicle.
Travel conducted at American Museum,
Hayden Planetarium, New York. Harry
February 17: American Astronautical Wexler of the Weather Bureau presented
Society (AAS) incorporated in the State a proposal for a meteorological satellite
of New York. program.

During February: First flight of XF-104,

May 7: NRL Martin Viking No. 10, a
single-stage research rocket, successfully
powered with J-65 engine (later powered
fired to an altitude of 135 miles from
with J-79 engine)
White Sands with experiment instru-
: Rand Corp. report recommended
that Atlas ICBM program efforts be in- May 11: Start of 59-day special effort by
creased and its characteristics relaxed to ARDO, WADC, SAC, and Westinghouse
obtain an operationally useful ICBM at combined forces to carry new radar set
an earlier date. from initial design to flight-test status.

May 17-25: Navy nonrigid airship

March United States exploded its first
1 :
YZP6-2 established new world endurance
hydrogen bomb in the Marshall Islands, record for unrefueled flight of 200 hours
and its second on March 20. and 12 minutes, commanded by Comdr.
M. H. Eppes (USN).
March 17: President Eisenhower signed
Executive Order 10521 on the "Adminis- May 18: SUPER SKYHOOK, largest
tration of Scientific Research by Federal polyethylene balloon built to date,
Agencies," which gave the National launched by General Mills for ONR and
Science Foundation major responsibility carried emulsions to 115,000 feet.
on pure scientific research.
May 24: NRL Martin Viking No. 11 set
an altitude record of 158 miles (834,240
March 18: First launching of a cluster of feet) and attained a speed of 4,300 mph
four Deacon rockets as a booster vehicle, in a flight from White Sands Proving
at NACA Wallops Island. Ground, N. Mex.

May 21: President Eisenhower signed $5 as a reflector of radio signals. This was
million exi>ansion bill for NACA to be later developed into the Communications
used in research for ICBM fuel and high- Moon Relay (CMR) system, which was
speed seaplane fighters. successfiilly used in November 1959 when
solar disturbances in the ionosphere dis-
June 2: With test pilot J. F. Coleman at rupted conventional high-frequency cir-
the controls, the Convair XFY-1, a ver- cuits between Washington and Hawaii.
tical takeoff aircraft, made the first free
vertical takeoff and landing at Moffett August 1: Fifth International Congress
Naval Air Station, Mountain View, Calif. on Astronautics began, at Innsbruck,
June 4: Maj. Arthur Murray, USAF, pi-
loted the X-IA research airplane, August 3: Navy F2Y-1 Sea Dart, a hy-
launched from a B-29 to a record alti- dro-ski water-based fighter, exceeded the
tude of slightly over 90,000 feet, highest speed of sound at San Diego, Calif.
so far attained by man.
August 5: Bell X-2 (No. 2) flown on its
June 21: USAF directed Air Research firstglide fiight by Lt. Col. Frank K.
and Development Command to establish Everest (USAF), at Edwards AFB.
a special development-management group
on west coast, with authority and con- August 7; The USAF revealed that the
trol over all aspects of the program, to School of Aviation Medicine had previ-
accelerate and reorient Project Atlas. ously received the "first piece of experi-
mental equipment ever built specifically
for the study of living conditions in
June 25: Project Orbiter outlined by in-
formal committee of rocket specialists, —
space" a sealed cabin, to simulate the
interior of a spaceship.
to launch a satellite into a 200-mile orbit
with a Redstone missile and a Loki sec-
ond stage, which became a joint Army- August 11: First firing of Lacrosse
Navy study project after meeting at "Group A" missile at WSPG.
Redstone Arsenal on August 3.
August 23: First NACA flight of X-3 re-
July 1: USAFWestern Development Di- search airplane made by Joseph Walker
vision (became Air Force Ballistic Mis- at Edwards AFB, the first of 20 NACA
sile Division in 1957) established at research fiights in program which con-
Inglewood, Calif., under Brig Gen. Ber- cluded on May 23, 1956.
nard A. Schriever, with authority to
direct the ballistic missile development August 2It: First flight test of the Army
program authorized by June 1954 Dart missile at WSPG.
August 26: The Supplemental Appropri-
July 9: NACA met with USAF and Navy ations Act, 1955, appropriated $2 million
BuAer representatives to propose the to the National Science Foundation to
X-15 as an extension of the cooperative support the U.S. IGY program sponsored
rocket research aircraft program. The and coordinated by the National Acad-
NACA proposal was accepted as a joint emy of Sciences.
effort and a memorandum of understand-
ing was signed on December 23 naming :
Major Arthur Murray (USAF) flew
NACA as technical director of the proj- the Bell X-IA to 90,000-feet altitude, at
ect, with advice from a joint Research Edwards AFB.
Airplane Committee.
September 24: U.S.S.R. established Ziol-
July 15: First jet-powered transport kovsky Gold Medal for outstanding con-
built in the United States, the prototyx)e tribution to interplanetary communica-
for the military Stratotanker and later tions, an award to be given every 3 years.
the Boeing 707, fiight tested near Seattle,
Wash. September 26: Moscow radio reported
U.S.S.R. sent rockets to 240-miles height
July 25: NRL transmitted the first voice claimed rocket for interplanetary travel
earth-to-earth messages using the moon designed and flight principles worked out.

1954 —Continued vertical flight, then shifted to horizontal,
and finally changed back to vertical for
September 29: Army Ordnance awarded landing at San Diego, Calif.
contract for Redstone missile to Chrysler
Corp. November 18: Inertial guidance system
for Navaho X-10 missile tested in first
October 4: At meeting in Rome, launch- fiight at Downey, Calif.
ing of scientific earth satellites recom-
mended by the Special Committee for the December 7; First successful recovery of
IGY (known as CSAGI). a Navaho X-10 using fully automatic ap-
proach and landing system, made at Ed-
October 8: First powered flight of BeU wards AFB, Calif.
X-IB completed, Maj. Arthur Murray as
pilot. December 10: On a rocket-propelled sled
run. Col. John P. Stapp, USAF (MC),
October 9: $500 million was added to the attained a speed of 632 mph and sus-
current year's budget for the guided- tained the greatest g-force ever endured
missile program. (In fiscal year 1950 by man in recorded deceleration tests.
through 1954, $700 million was spent.)
December 16: USAF announced Atlas
October IJ,: NACA's PARD launched
ICBM under construction by Convair.
four-stage, solid-fuel rocket for heat
transfer data to Mach 10.4, at Wallops
December 21: Department of Defense in
Island, Va.
a two-sentence comment reported that
studies continued to be made in the
October 11: Piloting a Sikorsky XH-39,
earth satellite vehicle program.
Warrant Officer Billy I. Wester, USA,
established a world helicopter altitude
December 23: NACA-USAF-USN Memo-
record of 24,500 feet at Bridgeport, Conn,
randum of Understanding signed for
October 18-19: At the suggestion of The- "Joint Project for a New High Speed Re-
odore von Kdrmdn and following a re- search Airplane," which covered what
quest of Gen. H. B. Thatcher, an Ad Hoc
became the X-15 program. Design com-
petition was opened by the USAF during
Committee of the Scientific Advisory
Board met in the Pentagon to consider this month.
the application of nuclear energy to mis^
sile propulsion. In its report, the Com- December 31: Army Ordnance terminated
the Hermes project, during which de-
mittee "noted that there was an almost
complete hiatus in the study of the nu- velopment of high-performance liquid-
fuel rocket and first stabilized platform
clear rocket from 1947 following a report
inertial guidance equipment had been
by North American Aviation, until a 1953
report by the Oak Ridge National Labo-
ratory. Because the technical problems
appear so severe, and because another
During December: "Man in Space" pro-
6 years of no progress in this area would
duced by Walt Disney.
seem to be unfortunate," the Committee
During 1954: Baffles successfully used to
felt that a continuing study both analyti-
counter high-frequency oscillations in
cal and experimental, at a modest level of
rocket thrust chambers, for the first time
effort, should be carried on.
at NACA Lewis Laboratory.
During October: NRL Aerobee fired at
White Sands took photographs at lOO- Project Stratolab utilizing plastic

mile altitude, first picture taken of com- balloons for scientific observations in the
plete hurricane, off the Texas gulf coast. stratosphere initiated by ONR.

During Fall: U.S.S.R. created the Soviet : Schoolof Aviation Medicine

Interdepartmental Commission on Inter- (SAM) initiated studies at the Univer-
planetary Communications, an action an- sity of Texas on the use of plants for the
nounced on April 15, 1955. regeneration of air in a space cabin.
SAM also established a veterinary sci-
November Test pilot J. F. Coleman
2'- ence division to support medical research
flying the Convair XYF-1, took off in involving the use of animals.

: Development of the silicon tran- Aeromedical Laboratory biological

sistor, announced by several firms dur- specimens were reflown on two separate
ing the year, v^^hile the first large tran- plastic balloon flights for a total of 74
sistorized calculator vras demonstrated hours and 35 hours at an altitude be-
by IBM. tween 82,000 and 97,000 feet, mostly
above 90,000 feet, at HoUoman AFB.

January 10: U.S.S.R. scientists stated to National Academy of Sciences and
that launching of an earth satellite was the National Science Foundation,
possible in the near future, according
to Radio Moscow. : DOD officials announced that
guided-missile spending would reach $518
January 11: First launching of a test million in fiscal year 1955 and $674
model towed by a rocket vehicle with a million in fiscal year 1956.
flexible towline, by Langley Laboratory's
FARD at Wallops Island, Va. March 25: Chance Vought XF8U-1, Navy
jet fighter, exceeded the speed of sound
January 22: Existence of ICBM program on its first flight, at Edwards AFB.
announced by DOD.
During March: Feasibility of P-1 rocket
February 4: ONR
Viking No. 12 research engine developing a million pounds of
rocket attained altitude of 144 miles from thrust in a single chamber established at
White Sands. Rocketdyne.

February IJf:Killian Committee (Tech- April 6: Launched from a B-36, an air-to-

nological Capabilities Panel) recom- air guided missile with an atomic war-
mended concurrent development of head was exploded 6 miles above Yucca
IRBM of 1,500-niile range with ICBM Flats, Nev.
April 15: Soviet newspaper, Vechernaya
February 26: First known survivor of Moskva, announced that an interdepart-
supersonic ejection of a pilot, a North mental commission for interplanetary
American test pilot ejected from an air- communication had been created to de-
craft at Mach 1.05. velop an earth satellite, which would im-
prove weather forecasting by taking
March 1: Trevor Gardner became the Ijhotographs. This commission had been
first Assistant Secretary of the Air Force established late in 1954.
for Research and Development.
April 21: First launching of USAF Aero-
March 6: USAF
Chief of Staff, Nathan bee-Hi sounding rocket (AF-55) attained
F. Twining, reported that ICBM's were height of 123 miles with a payload of 196
receiving priority in the AF program be- pounds.
cause of known Soviet progress. Navaho,
Snark, and Atlas programs accelerated. April 26:Moscow Radio reported U.S.S.R.
planned to explore moon with tank re-
March USAF unit of F-84 jet
8: First motely controlled by radio, foresaw trips
fightersformed which were capable of by man in 1 to 2 years, and reported for-
being launched and recovered by B-36 mation of scientific team to devise satel-
mother planes, the 91st Strategic Recon- lite able to circle earth.
naissance Squadron at Great Falls AFB.
May 2: USAF approved Western Develop-
March Committee for
1^: U.S. National ment Division proposals to inaugurate a
IGY completed feasibility study and en- second ICBM airframe, which became the
dorsed earth satellite project in report l^tan ICBM (SM-68).

1955 —Continued June SO: The Independent Offices
propriation Act 1956, appropriated "$10

May 6: Detailed earth satellite program million to remain available until June 30,
developed by the U.S. National Commit- 1960," for the U.S.-IGY program.
tee for IGY, forwarded by the National
Academy of Sciences to the National July 1: USAF research program on
Science Foundation for governmental weightlessness in flight reactivated at
consideration. SAM under direction of Dr. S. J. Gerathe-
wohl, which conducted flight experiments
May 10: GE XJ-79 turbojet engine first until the spring of 1958.
flown in B-45 testbed, later powered the
B-58 and F-104. July 8: First test run was held on the
Supersonic Military Air Research Track
May 19: Under the Second Supplemental (SMART), a 12,000-foot track for rocket-
Appropriations Act, 1956, the National propelled sleds at Hurricane, Utah.
Science Foundation received an appropri-
ation of "$27 million, to remain available July 14: Martin P6M Seamaster, swept-
until June 30, 1960," for the Na- wing powered with four J-71 engines,
tional Academy of Sciences' U.S.-IGY made first fiight, initially demonstrating
program. great promise for minelaying and recon-
naissance missions.
May 20: Commission on the Organization
of the Executive Branch of the Govern-
July 18: First of Aeromedical Labora-
ment (Hoover Commission) reported to tory's 2-million-cubic-f oot plastic balloons
Congress that the NACA "has a splendid
manufactured by Winzen Research,
record in its leadership of the Nation's
launched at Fleming Field, Minn., at-
aeronautical research. It justifies con-
tained an altitude of over 120,000 feet;
tinued confidence and support."
the second launched on the next day at-
tained a record altitude of 126,000 feet.
May 23-24: Project Orbiter Conference
was held at Redstone Arsenal and at
July 20: NB-36H aircraft housing an
Cape Canaveral.
atomic reactor made its first flight; the
May 29: U.S.S.R. reported that research reactor was not activated.
was being conducted on hydrogen fusion
as a means of propulsion for space appli- July 29: President endorsed USNC-IGY
cations. earth satellite proposal and the White
House announced that "The President
Luring May: Basic study on interference has approved plans by this country for
liftcompleted by Antonio Ferri, Joseph going ahead with the launching of small,
H. Clarke, and Anthony Casaccio of unmanned, earth-circling satellites as
Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. part of the U.S. participation in the
International Geophysical Year which
June 1: First experimental use at NACA takes place between July 1957 and
Lewis Laboratory of a "boot-strap" December 1958." Scientific responsibil-
rocket-exhaust powered ejector to permit
itywas assumed by the National Acad-
rocket testing at simulated high-altitude
emy of Sciences, flscal responsibility by
conditions without complicated and ex-
the National Science Foundation, and
pensive exhausting facilities.
responsibility for logistic and technical
June 11: Delivery and flight test of ex-
support by the Department of Defense.
perimental all-magnesium F-80C air-
craft, built to test weight and strength of
July 30: U.S.S.R. announced that it
planned to launch an earth satellite.
magnesium alloys, at Wright-Patterson
AFB, Ohio.
During July-Octoter: Instrumented Loki
June 24: First Nike-Deacon sounding I and Deacon rockets were successfully

rocket launched at Wallops Island in co- balloon launched (Rockoons) from ship-
operative USAF-NACA program of upper board off the coast of Greenland in
air density measurements. cosmic-ray studies by State University
of Iowa research group. Army Ordnance
June 29: First successful firing of Nike supplied JPL-developed Loki rockets and
B, at WSPG. ONR sponsored the project.

August ^: L. Sedov, chairman of the
1. gram was placed under Navy m^tiage-
U.S.S.R. Academy
of Sciences Inter- ment and DOD monitorship. Objectives
departmental Commission on Interplane- of Project Vanguard were: to develop
tary Communications, announced Soviet and procure a satellite-launching vehicle
intention to launch artificial satellites to place at least one satellite in orbit
during the IGY, at the Sixth Inter- around the earth during IGY to accom-

national Congress on Astronautics at plish one scientific experiment and to


Copenhagen, the first lAF meeting at- track flight to demonstrate the satellite
tended by Soviet representatives. actually attained orbit.

August 8: X-IA exploded just prior to September 30: X-15 research airplane
time of drop from "mother" B-29, NACA development contract let to North Amer-
pilot Joseph A. Walker was saved and ican Aviation.
X-IA was jettisoned.
During Grover J. D. Schock
fall: Capt.
August 16: First successful demonstra- of USAF Aeromedical Laboratory con-
tion of Rockair technique (research ducted subgravity flight program (Task
rocket launched from aircraft) by ONR 78501) with F-94C aircraft at Wright-
and University of Maryland team, a 2.75- Patterson AFB.
inch FFAR rocket fired from a Navy
F2H-2 aircraft to an altitude of approxi- October 2: National Academy of Sciences'
mately 180,000 feet. Rockair technique IGY Committee established Technical
first suggested by Herman Oberth (1929) Panel for the Earth Satellite Program,
and others. with Richard W. Porter as Chairman, to
plan the scientific aspects of the pro-
Army Hawk
: missile first fired, at gram, including the selection of experi-
WSPG. ments, the establishment of optical track-
ing stations, and the handling of inter-
August 2: Col. Horace A. Hanes estab- national and interdisciplinary relations.
lished a speed record for
straightaway flight at 822.135 mph in a October 7; Prime contract for Project
F-lOO Super Sabre, at Edwards AFB. Vanguard awarded the Martin Co.

August 24: Research and development October 15: Douglas A4D Skyhawk set a
Policy Council (DOD) unanimously rec- new closed-course speed record of
ommended that the time-risk factor in 695.163 mph.
the scientiflc satellite program be
brought to the attention of the Secretary During October: First solar-powered
of Defense for determination as to telephone call made by customer of
whether a Redstone backup program was regular Bell System service. During
indicated. this year, fully transistorized radios and
phonographs were first placed on the
August 26: First use of balloon target in market.
missile testing at Holloman AFB.
November 1: U.S.S. Boston, first guided-
September 8: President approved assign- missile cruiser, was placed in commis-
ment of highest national priority to sion at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
ICBM research and development pro-
gram. November 1-3: NACA Conference on
Aerodynamics of High-Speed Aircraft at
September 9: DOD Advisory Group Langley, at which Vernon J. Rossow pre-
known as Stewart Committee recom- sented paper on "Examples of Favorable
mended that proposed Navy satellite Interference Effects on the Lift-Drag
program utilizing Viking and Aerobee-Hi Characteristics of Aerodjmamic Shapes
rockets for satellite development proceed, at Supersonic Speeds."
with Chairman Homer J. Stewart sub-
mitting a dissenting minority report. November 2: First air-launched, multi-
The DODPolicy Council endorsed the stage, solid-rocket-propelled vehicle
majority recommendation. Designated flown to a Mach number greater than
Project Vanguard, this tri-service pro- 8 by NACA Lewis Laboratory.

1955 —Continued December 8: XJ-79-GE--3 turbojet engine
first powered an aircraft, an XF4-D, the

November 2: The Atomic Energy Com- engine which became the primary power-
mission approved, on the basis of a state- plant of the B-58 and F-104.
ment of interest by the Department of
Defense, the proposed plans of the Los December 15: First powered flight of the
Alamos Scientific and the Radiation Lab- Bell X-IE, Joseph A. Walker, NACA test
oratories of the University of California, pilot, at Edwards AFB (after prelimi-

for the study and development of nuclear nary glide flight by Walker on December
power for rocket propulsion. 12).

November 8: Secretary of Defense ap- December 20: Secretary of Defense Wil-

proved Jupiter and Thor IRBM pro- son reported that fiscal year 1957 would
grams, the first based on experience have a record $1 billion for development
gained by Redstone Arsenal team from and production of guided missiles, over
V-2 and Redstone, the latter on experi- the $750 million in fiscal year 1956. He
ence gained from Atlas program. also predicted an ICBM with a nuclear
warhead within the next 5 years.
November 8-llt: Department of Defense
and the Air Force established special December 21: First prototype of Asp (at-
streamlined administrative program and mospheric sounding projectile) sounding
approved procedures (Gillettte Proce- rocket, capable of payloads up to 80
dures) to prevent delays in ICBM and pounds, launched successfully at NAMTC
IRBM programs. at Point Mugu, Calif.

November 11: Navy created Special During December: First flight of Ryan
Projects Ofiice under Vice Adm. W. F. X-13, VTOL jet, at Edwards AFB.
Raborn to develop ship-launched missile
weapon systems. During 1955: NACA Lewis Laboratory
presented ARDC with results of air-
November 18: Air Force took action to breathing nuclear propulsion systems
insure possible initial opera-
earliest for applications, leading to AEC-
tional capability with ICBM and IRBM. AF Pluto project, and also initiated com-
parison of nuclear rocket with chemical
: First powered flight of Bell X-2 systems for ICBM, a concept of use to
(No. by Lt. Col.
1) Frank Everest Rover program.
(USAF), powered by first throttlable
rocket engine, the Curtiss Wright Laboratory device for simulating

XLR25-CW-1, and Mach 0.99 was reentry of satellites into the earth's at-
reached. mosphere were first suggested by NACA
Ames Laboratory scientist Eggers (Re-
November 22: Republic F-105A exceeded port No. RM-A55115).
the speed of sound in its initial flight at
Edwards AFB. Transistorized automatic pilot de-

veloped for USAF by Bendix Aviation.

During November: Naval Research Lab-
oratory first transmitted transcontinen-
tal communication by means of refiecting Concept of nuclear reactor facility

teletype messages on the moon, from at NACA Lewis

Plum Brook proposed by
Washington, D.C., to San Diego, Calif., Research Center, construction of which
a technique repeated on August 12, 1960, was completed in 1961.
using the ECHO I satellite for two-way
reflected message transmission. Army Ordnance ordered Jet Pro-

pulsion Laboratory to undertake research

December 1: President Eisenhower as- and development of Sergeant solid-pro-
signed highest priority to ICBM and pellant, surface-to-sui-face missile.
Thor and Jupiter IRBM programs.
During 1955-56: NACA developed ma-
December 7: First flight of XC-123D air- terialsresearch for high-temperature
craft with boundary-layer control system jets and other structures at hypersonic
in partial operation. speeds under direction of Robert R. Gil-

ruth, which, confirmedRedstone Arsenal's During 1955-58: NACA laboratories com-
contention that ablation was sound heat pleted basic aeronautical research sup-
protection method for reentry of nose porting feasibility of B-70 supersonic
cones and capsules. bomber.

January 6: President Eisenhower in his Drag Ratios at High Supersonic Speeds,"
state-of-the-Union message noted the in- NACARM-A55105).
creasing importance of long-range mis-
siles andnuclear-powered aircraft. March H: The first Jupiter A launching,
$1,275 billion was scheduled for fiscal by ABMA at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
year 1957 production of guided missiles,
with an additional $1.43 billion for mili- March 20: Ballistic Missile Committee,
Ofiice of the Secretary of Defense, ap-
tary research and development.
proved Navy program for development of
solid-propellant, ship-based ballistic mis-
January 10: First U.S.-built complete
liquid-rocket engine having a thrust in
excess of 400,000 pounds was fired for
March 21: Secretary of Defense created
the first time at Santa Susana, Calif.
Office of Special Assistant for Guided
Missiles to establish more centralized
January 13: USAF Northrop Snark controls and assist in the coordination of
launched from Cape Canaveral on 2,000- Army, Navy, and Air Force missile pro-
mile flight.
grams, including the development of earth
satellite vehicles for the IGY. E. V.
January 20: ICBM Scientific Advisory Murphree named to head this office.
Committee to the Air Force was trans-
ferred to the Oflice of the Secretary of March 28: Airman D. F. Smith remained
Defense to assure common interchange of in a sealed space cabin simulator for 24
technical information on all missile pro- hours at USAF's SAM.
During March: Army-Navy Ballistic
January 26-27: Symposium on "The Missile Committee authorized missile
Scientific Uses of Earth Satellites" held test launch ships, missile submarine de-
at the University of Michigan under spon- velopment program, and precision navi-
sorship of the Upper Atmosphere Rocket gation system for launch vehicles.
Research Panel, James A. Van Allen of
the State University of Iowa, Chairman. April 3: Navy program to procure guided
missiles would jump from $126 million
in fiscal year 1955, $238 million in fiscal
February 1: Army activated the Army
year 1956, $353 million in fiscal year
Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Red-
stone Arsenal, HuntsviUe, Ala., to weap-
1957, according to Navy Secretary
onize the Redstone and to develop the
Jupiter IRBM,
April 23: Army informed the OSD that a
Jupiter missile could be fired in an effort
Early 1956: Production of the J47 turbo- to orbit a small satellite in January 1957.
jet engine completed by GE, notable pow-
erplant of B-47, F86D (also E, F, K, and April 26: Naval Aircraft Factory at Phil-
L models ) and F J-2.
adelphia decommissioned, marking the
passing of a name prominent in naval
March 5: A. J. Eggers and C. A. Sy vert- aviation since World War I. Naval Air
son submitted concept for "interference Engineering Facility was established in
lift," often referred to as "compression its place to do research, engineering, de-
lift," which contributed important input sign, development, and limited manu-
for Mach 3 configurations ("Aircraft facturing of devices for launching and
Configurations Developing High Lift- recovering aircraft and guided missiles.

1956 —Continued operative NACA-University of Michigan
project, attaining an altitude of 425,000
April 30: A House subcommittee heard feet.
that guided missiles, which accounted for
July 14: Navy Sidewinder missile first
20.3 percent of the AF's fiscal year 1957
deployed with Sixth Fleet in Mediter-
budget might climb to 35 percent by 1959.
ranean and to the Seventh Fleet in
During April: Dr. John von Neumann August.
was awarded the Enrico Fermi Award July 23: Lt. Col. Frank K. Everest
for anticipating the importance of the
(USAF) flew the Bell X-2 rocket-pow-
high-speed computer in nuclear develoi>-
ered research plane at a record speed of
ment programs and in the general ad-
just over 1,900 mph and to an altitude of
vancement of science.
75,000 feet, at Edwards AFB, Calif.

May 3: Plans were disclosed by the AF Mid-1956: USAF X-17 flight test program
and Convair for a $41 million guided- started at Cape Canaveral to study re-
missile facility at Sorento, Calif., for
entry problems by simulating reentry
work on Atlas. velocities and conditions with three-stage
solid-fuel Lockheed X-17. A total of 26
May 8: Aerobee-Hi sounding rocket
X-17 flights were conducted until March
reached an altitude of 116.5 miles from
August 8: Largest U.S. test stand for
May 18: Development of a high-altitude
rocket motors was completed at Redstone
research rocket, known as the Asp, for Arsenal, slated for Jupiter IRBM.
Navy's BuShips was announced.
August 10: Lt. Comdrs. Malcolm Ross
May 19: National Science Foundation re- (USNR) and L. Lewis (USN) made first
ceived an appropriation of $27 million to stratospheric manned flight on polyethyl-
remain available until June 30, 1960, for ene balloon, reached 40,000 feet in an open
the IGY, under the Second Supplemental gondola. Flight was part of ONR Project
Appropriations Act, 1956. Strato-Lab.

May 21: First known airborne H-bomb August 21: Speed record for U.S. combat
dropped from B-52 at approximately 50,- aircraft of 1,015 mph set by F8U-1 Cru-
000 feet, and exploded over the Bikini sader flown by Comdr. R. W. Winslow
atoll in the Pacific. (USN) over the Mojave Desert.
During May: Air Force initiated a pro- August 23: U.S. Army helicopter, the H-
gram to support the AEC's Project 21, madethe flrst transcontinental non-
ROVER through application studies, pro- stop flight for helicopters, 2,610 miles
pellant and materials research, and non- from San Diego, Calif.', to Washington,
nuclear engine component development. D.C., in 31 hoiirs 40 minutes.
Both programs were placed under a
single stafie in the AEC. August 24: NACA Langley's PARD
launched the world's first five-stage solid-
June 20: First Gajun research rocket fuel rocket to a speed in excess of Mach
successfully launched at NACA Wallops 15, from Wallops Island, Va.
Island, Va.
August 21: First static firing of Thor
June 22: Japanese Meteorological Ob- rocket engine at AFFTC, Edwards AFB.
servatory announced that the U.S.S.R.
had exploded a missile-borne H-weapon at September 2: At the National Aircraft
a 22-mile altitude. Show, Oklahoma City, an H-13, USA heli-
copter, set an endurance record in the air
June 29: An Aerobee-Hi rocket manufac- of 57 hours 40 minutes.
tured by Aerojet General Corp. attained
an altitude of 163 miles in a launching September 7; Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe
from White Sands, N. Mex. (USAF) set new unoflScial altitude record
for manned flight at Edwards AFB,
July 6: First Nike-Cajiin research rocket Calif., piloting a Bell X-2 rocket-powered
successfully fired at Wallops Island, a co- aircraft to a height of 126,200 feet.

: University of Minnesota launched hicle to the X-15, following ARDC

ONR Mylar plastic balloon from Minne- quiries concerning a boost-glide vehicle.
apolis, establishing unofficial world alti-
tude record of 145,000 feet for an un- November 8: Lt. Comdr. M. L. Lewis
manned balloon. (USN) and Malcolm D. Ross established
a world record in a plastic
September 10-15: Scientists from 40 na- STRATOLAB balloon by ascending to a
tions, including the United States and height of 76,000 feet, taking off near
U.S.S.R., at a meeting in Barcelona of the Rapid City, S. Dak., and landing 175
Special Committee for the IGY (CSAGI) miles away near Kennedy, Nebr., thus
approved resolutions calling for, among breaking the record of 72,394 feet set in
other things, countries having satellite 1935 by O. A. Anderson and A. W.
programs to use tracking and telemeter- Stevens.
ing radio systems compatible with those
that have been announced at the current November 11: Initial flight of Convair
CSAGI meeting, and to release technical B-58 delta-winged Hustler, the first
information on tracking equipment and supersonic bomber, made at Fort Worth,
scheduling and planning information Tex. B-58 incorporated the NACA
essential to preparation for and execution "wasp waist" or "coke bottle" shape.
of optical and radio observations.
November IS: North American F-107
September 20: First Jupiter C (a three- reached Mach 2 in flights at Edwards
stage ABMA-JPL Redstone missile) was AFB, Calif.
launched at Cape Canaveral, Fla., at-
tained an altitude of 680 miles and November 15: NRL Aerobee-Hi sounding
traveled 3,300 miles downrange. research rocket successfully fired at Fort
Churchill, Canada, in a series of upper
September 21: First flight test of a Terra- atmosphere research flights.
pin sounding rocket at Wallops Island,
which consisted of a Deacon and T55 November 16: Department of Defense
rocket and carried a payload of 8 pounds transferred northern portion of Camp
to 400,000-feet altitude. Cooke, Calif, (now Vandenberg AFB),
to the Air Force to be used as first
September 26: H. Froehlich and K. Long ICBM base.
of General Mills flew ONR Strato-Lab
balloon to new altitude record for an November 2-6: Secretary of Defense Wil-

open-basket gondola of 42,000 feet. son issued a memorandum to the Armed

Forces Policy Coimcil fixing the areas of
September 27: After having been jurisdiction of the three U.S. armed
launched from a B-50 bomber over the services in developing missiles of various
Mojave Desert in California, Capt. Mil- ranges, and giving the USAF operational
bum G. Apt (USAF), flying an X-2 jurisdiction over long-range missiles.
rocket-powered plane on its 13th powered Army over missiles up to 200-mile range
flight, set a record speed of 2,094 mph, and for "point defense," and Navy for
or Mach 3.196. In the course of the ship-based missiles.
flight the aircraft crashed and the pilot
was killed. November 28: Ryan X-13 Vertijet com-
pleted the world's first jet vertical take-
During September: Sperry Gyroscope de- off transition flight, Peter F. Giraud of

livered first experimental inertial navi- Ryan as pilot.

gation system to the Navy, for fleet mis-

sile submarines. November 30: Martin TM-61 Matador,
a jet-propelled missile, completed flnal
October 2: Full-scale test version of the test flight and became USAF's first

Snark guided missUe (XSM62) success- tactical missile.

fully recovered for the first time after a
flight from Cape Canaveral. During November: Following Navy with-
drawal from the Jupiter IRBM program,
During October: NAOA scientists in- separate Army and Navy Ballistic Mis-
itiated examination of the need for a sile Committees were established under
follow-on manned-rocket research ve- chairmanship of respective service secre-

1956 —Continued heat sources
were specified as ap-

taries. Navy withdrawal based on in-

terest in solid-propellant Polaris as ship- During 1956: Research on tungsten nu-
based IRBM. clear rocket propulsion systems initiated
by NACA Lewis Laboratory, and other
During November: Rocket test stand ca- feasible systems for practical nuclear
pable of engines to 1 million
testing rocket systems, such as 1958 concept of
pounds thrust activated at Edwards coaxial jet gaseous reactor, followed.
AFB, which became operational in March
and the Aeromedical Field
Laboratory at Holloman carried out
December First test rocket in the
studies of subgravity conditions in swim-
IGY-U.S. satellite program, a one-stage
NRL Viking, attained an altitude of 126 ming pool experiments.
miles and a speed of 4,000 mph. Viking
No. 13 carried a "minitrack" radio NACA Lewis Research Laboratory

transmitter which was ejected at 50 miles completed research and development on

and tracked. new concepts of ramjet engine perform-
ance at altitude, increasing performance
December Twenty-four Wasp
11-18: of Navaho engine experimentally ap-
research development chafC and
and proximately 40 percent and also con-
parachute rockets, used to obtain wind tributing to Bomarc engine.
soundings to 160,000 feet, were fired by
Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility at : Field-effect transistor and the
WSPG. spacistor, which extended power and
high-frequency capabilities of transistors
December 17: Navy Special Projects Of- were developed.
ficeauthorized Lockheed to proceed with
Polaris development, having withdrawn
Pilotless Aircraft Research Divi-
from the Jupiter program earlier.
sion (PARD) of NACA Langley Aero-
nautical Laboratory completed solid-pro-
December 21: Maj. Arnold I. Beck
pellant, rocket-design studies leading to
(USAF) "soared" simulated alti-
to a
an improved Deacon rocket motor called
tude of 198,770 feet, the highest on
the Cajun.
record, in an Air Research and Develop-
ment Command altitude chamber at
Dayton, Ohio. SAM'S Department of Microbiology

began micro-organism behavior studies

First launching of a Nike-Recruit
in a "Mars Chamber," with a simulated
research vehicle at NACA's Wallops Is- Martian environment.
land, which reached speed of 7,600 feet
per second at 13,000-feet altitude for a •: NACA
Langley's Structures Re-
record dynamic pressure of 45,700 pounds search Division initiated electric arc-
per square foot. powered jets work, using DC and AC
current and liquid nitrogen, liquid air
The U.S. Atomic Energy Commis-
: and aqueous air jets. On December 19,
sion initiated a development program at firstsuccessful use of AC arc jet using
the request of the Department of De- gaseous air was performed. Twenty-
fense to provide nuclear-electric power four arc tunnels were subsequently de-
sources for use in Air Force satellites. veloped and extensively used on many
The projects are designated the SNAP materials and structures research prob-
(Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power) lems associated with reentry of bodies
program. Both reactor and radioisotope into the atmosphere.

January 10: President Eisenhower in his March Jf-15: Navy nonrigid airship ZPB~
State-of-the-Union message declared that 2 completed nonstop round-trip Atlantic
"we are willing to enter any reliable crossing, simultaneously establishing new
agreement which would mutually control world endurance record for unrefueled
the outer space missile and satellite flight of 264 hours and 14 minutes,
development." Comdr. J. R. Hunt commanding.

: Department of Defense assigned March 10: Ion engine research begun at

highest priority to ICBM/IRBM con- NACA Lewis Laboratory.
tracts and purchase orders.
March 11 : Speed record for a transconti-
January 16-18: Three of five B-52 jet nental passenger flight was established
bombers completed first nonstop jet flight when a Boeing 707 jet transport, with 42
around the world in 45 hours 20 minutes. passengers and a crew of 10, flew 2,335
miles from Seattle to Washington in 3
January 25: First attempted test flight hours and 48 minutes.
of USAF Thor IRBM, only 13 months
after first production contracts were March 18: As a result of guidance from
signed, failed to launch. the Secretary of Defense as to desired
level of effort, the Atomic Energy Com-
During January: First of Boeing KC-135 mission reduced its program on nuclear
Stratotankers placed in operational serv- rocket propulsion to a single laboratory
ice in SAO, Castle AFB, Calif. effort, phasing out work at the Univer-
sity of California Radiation Laboratory
Fehruai-y 1: First of a series of two- and concentrating AEC development ef-
stage test vehicles (RM-10) to make forts at Los Alamos Scientific Labora-
heat transfer studies at high speed in tory.
free flight, was launched from NACA's
Pilotless Aircraft Research Station at During March: NACA issued Research
Wallops Island, Va. Vehicle was de- Memorandum entitled, "Preliminary
veloped by PARD
of Langley Labora- Measurements of Atmospheric Turbulence
tory. at High Altitudes as Determined From
Acceleration Measurements on Lockheed
February I4: NACA established "Round U-2 Airplane."
Three" Steering Committee to study
feasibility of a hypersonic boost-glide re- Feasibility research study insti-

search airplane. "Roimd Three" was tuted by USAF on the Midas early-warn-
considered as the third major flight re- ing satellite.
search program which started with the
X-series of rocket-propelled supersonic April 8: McDonnell F-IOIB Voodoo, pow-
research airplanes, and which considered ered by improved J-57 engine, made first
the X-15 research airplane as the sec- flight.
ond major program. The boost-glide pro-
gram eventually became known as Dyna- Ap7-il 11: U.S.-IGY scientific satellite
Soar. equipment, including a radio transmitter
and instruments for measuring temper-
February 18: Guggenheim Foundation ature, pressure, cosmic rays, and mete-
granted $250,000 to Harvard University's oric dust encounters, was tested above
Aviation Health and Safety Center. earth for the first time, as a rocket con-
taining this equipment was fired by the
February 20: U.S. National Committee Navy to a 126-mile altitude.
for the IGY submitted report of its Tech-
nical Panel on the Earth Satellite Pro- The Ryan X-13, a jet research

gram to the National Science Founda- plane capable of vertical takeoffs and
tion and the Department of Defense, landings, flown successfully through the
which outlined a post-IGY space re- complete flight sequence at Edwards
search program. AFB, Calif.

1957 —Continued imum altitude. This was
loon fiight into the stratosphere.
first solo bal-

April 19: Douglas Thor IRBM (XSM-

75) was launched at Cape Canaveral, June 10: NACA made "Round Three"
Fla., destroyed by range safety officer. presentation on a boost-glide research
airplane to ARDC.
April 23: Details of X-15 rocket research
airplane were publicly revealed for the June 11: First test fiight of prototype
firsi; time. WS-107A Atlas was detonated by com-
mand signal at 5,000 feet following a
April 24 : Lockheed X-17 research rocket failure in the booster fuel system.
reached 9,000 mph at PatrickAFB, Fla.
June 15: Astronomical Society of the
April 30: Aerobee-Hi
No. 41 fired at Pacific and the International Mars Com-
White Sands reached speed of 4,900 mph mittee held a symposium on "Problems
and an altitude of 193 miles. Common to Astronomy and Biology," at
Flagstaff, Ariz.
Naval Aviation Medical Center at

Pensacola was commissioned, combining June 27: The Goose (SM-73) became the
the clinical, training, and research func- first plastic airframe missile to fly, and
tions of the Naval School of Aviation reportedly the first missile to complete
Medicine and the Pensacola Naval Hos- countdown, launch, and flight on the first
pital. attempt.

During April: Upper Atmosphere Rocket June 28: First phase of Project Far Side
Research Panel was renamed the Rocket was completed, with the by the
and Satellite Research Panel. Its chair- world's largest balloon of a load of over
man was James A. Van Allen of the State a ton of military equipment and instru-
University of Iowa. ments to a height of more than 104,000
feet. (See Appendix C.)
A. Dollfus flew from Paris, France,

on a cluster of 100 weather balloons to June 30: Program to gather daily

an altitude of 42,000 feet. weather data over the Pacific, North
America, and the Atlantic with use of
May 1: Vanguard Test Vehicle (TV-1), transonde balloons was inaugurated with
a modified Martin Viking first-stage and the release of first balloon from NAS
Vanguard solid-propellant third-stage Iwakuni, Japan. Preset to fioat at 30,000
Grand Central Rocket as second-stage, feet, balloons carried instruments which
launched with instrimiented nose cone to reported pressure and temi)erature every
an altitude of 121 miles and met aU test 2 hours in a 5- to 8-day flight terminat-
objectives. ing short of the European coast.

May 6: William M. Holaday was named July 1 : Aerobee upper air research rocket
as Special Assistant for Guided Missiles, developed by the Applied Physics Lab-
Department of Defense. oratory of Johns Hopkins, and first fired
on September 25, 1947, completed 165 suc-
May 16: Bomarc IM-99 ordered into pro- cessful fiTings to date.
duction, a pilotless interceptor, which at-
tained speeds near Mach 2 and was International Geophysical Year

planned for long-range area defense. began. The scientists of 67 nations were
to participate in a cooperative, world-
May 31: Army Jupiter IRBM was fired wide scientific program which would last
1.500 miles, limit of its designed range, for 18 months and would be coordinated
and to an altitude of 250-300 miles, the internationally by CSAGI of the Inter-
first successful launching of an IRBM. national Council of Scientific Unions.

June 2: Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr. July 10: Convair B-58 Hustler publicly
(USAF), remained aloft in plastic MAN unveiled for the first time.
HIGH I balloon over Minnesota for 6
hours 34 minutes, being above 92,000 feet July 11: Navaho ramjet intercontinental
for 2 hours and reaching 96,000 feet max- missile program canceled by Air Force.

July 16: Chance Vought F8U-1 Crusader August 19-20: Airborne for 32 hours in
set Los Angeles to New York speed rec- MAN HIGH II fiight, Maj. David G.
ord with an average speed of 760 mph, Simons, USAF, established a manned-
Maj. John Glenn, Jr. (USMC), as pilot. balloon altitude record of 101,516 feet,
ascending at Crosby, Minn., and landing
July 19: USAF fired first air-to-air nu- at Elm Lake, S. Dak.
clear warhead rocket, the Douglas MB-1
Genie, from an F-89J over Yucca Flat, August 26: Soviet Union successfully
Nev., during Operation Flumhob. Genie
launched a"super longdistance inter-
had been placed in weapon inventory of continental multistage ballistic rocket
Air Defense Command in January 1957. ... a few days ago," according to
Tass, Soviet News Agency.
July 24; Distant Early Warning (DEW)
August 28: Supplemental Appropriation
Line, extending from Alaska's northwest
Act, 1958, appropriated $34,200,000 for the
coast eastward to Baffin Island, became
U.S. scientific satellite "to be derived by
transfer from such annual appropriations
available to the Department of Defense
:Falcon GAil-2A, heat-seeking in-
as may be determined by the Secretary of
frared missile, tested successfully.
Defense, to remain available until
During July: ExamiDation of a satellite
launch vehicle using solid fuel upper August 30: Department of Defense an-
stages to achieve pay load orbit with as nounced that four to six Soviet ICBM
siniple a booster as possible initiated by tests took place in the spring of 1957.
NACA Langley, the beginning of the con-
ception of Scout. : USAF accepted first C-133A turbo-
prop transport.
During July-August: NACA Ames Lab-
oratory's Al Eggers worked out semi- During August: Estimated operational
ballistic design of manned reentry space- capability date for Atlas changed from
craft. March 1959 to June 1959.

August 6: First measurements of the ter- September S: NACA "Study of the Feasi-
restrial magnetic fields in the auroral a Hypersonic Research Airplane"
bility of

zone, made by L. Cahill and J. A. Van ("Round Three") was submitted to the
Allen in firing of SUI Rockoon No. 59. Air Force.

: Navy XKDT-1, solid-propellant,

August 7: Army-JPL Jupiter-C fired a
rocket-powered drone, made its first flight
scale-model nose cone 1,200 miles down
from F3H aircraft over NAMTC, Point
range from AMR with a summit altitude
Mugu, Calif.
of 600 miles. Recovery the next day of
aerodynamic nose cone using ablation,
September 13: 1st Missile Division of
resolved reentry heating problem for
USAF activated under ARDC at Cooke
Jupiter missile. Nose cone was shown
AFB, Calif.
to the Nation on TV by President Eisen-
hower on November 7.
September 20: Complete USAF Thor
IRBM first successfully launched from
August 18: Paul E. Bikle established Cape Canaveral.
world glider speed record of 55.02 mph
over 300 km triangular course, in a September 26-November 9: Thirty-six
Schweizer SGS 123B sailplane, from El Rockoons (balloon-launched rockets)
Mirage, Calif. were launched from Navy icebreaker,
U.S.S. Glacier, in Atlantic, Pacific, and
August 19: STRATOSCOPB I, an un- Antarctic areas ranging from 75 N. to
manned balloon-telescope system, 72 S. latitude, as part of the U.S.-IGY
launched by General Mills under Navy scientific program headed by James A.
contract for Princeton University astro- Van Allen and Lawrence J. Cahill of the
nomers, which produced first "clear" State University of Iowa (SUI). These
photos of the sun from 80,000 feet using were the first known upper atmosphere
a 12-inch telescope. rocket soundings in the Antarctic area.

i gCY Continued ^^^ National Academy of Sciences, "Wash-
ington, D.C., under the sponsorship of
September SO-Octoler 5: Scientists from CSAGI.
12 countries, including the United States During October: Project Vanguard world-
and U.S.S.R., attended International wide tracking system (minitrack)
Rocket and Satellite Conference held at became operational.


The First Three Years of

the Space Age

THE SPACE AGE was bom October 4, 1957. Launching of the first man-
made object into orbitaround the earth, SPUTNIK I, greatly-
prodded man's scientific conquest of space and animated a chain
reaction of subsequent events which has not yet expired. One of
the immediate consequences was the creation of the National Aero-
nautics and Space Administration by October 1958.
Scientific and technological progress cannot be either prevented or
ignored. The pace of events since the dawn of the space age swiftly
documented, as the following pages help demonstrate, that advances
in aeronautics and astronautics will greatly benefit all of mankind
in its peaceful pursuits. The feasibility of reliable global com-
munications and improved weather forecasting with the use of satel-
lites has alrea,dy been demonstrated. It is often hard to realize that
not until the flight of TIKOS I in April, May, and June, 1960, had
men viewed the earth's cloud cover from above on a global scale.
Not many young Americans do not know about the Van Allen radi-
ation belts, although it has only been since early 1958 that their exist-
ence was confirmed by EXPLOKEK I and PIONEEK III.
In many ways, the world has been further shrunken in time- distance
size and is now more clearly viewed in its celestial orbit in the minds
of most of its human passengers. Eocket propulsion and associated
developments provided new tools and techniques for the scientist
in his quest for basic knowledge. The newly available environment
of space offers, for the first time, an extraterrestrial laboratory of al-
most unpredictable potential. Scientists had no hard data on the
space environment 22-million miles away from earth until the flight
of PIONEER V in the spring of 1960. Increased understanding con-

cerning the true nature of the earth's environment itself geodesy,
weather, ionospheres, radiation belts, Sun-Earth relationships includ-

ing solar storms, and cosmic rays appears of immediate importance

to all of the physical and life sciences. Substantiation of theories
concerning the origin of the universe or of the existence of life forms
on nearby planets seems possible of early confirmation in the lunar
and planetary exploration programs now underway.
This, then, seems the fundamental challenge presented by the
recently accessible frontier in space facing mankind in this seventh
decade of the 20th century, and one which requires a broad-based and
sound response. It is also something entirely new and exciting in
the history of mankind. Man can now physically project his vehicles
and instruments, and himself soon, into that about which he could
j/reviously only observe from the surface of the earth.
Passage of time and studied analysis will inevitably provide clearer
perspective from which to discern the basic significance of many of
the recent events cited in the following pages. Therefore, the chron-
icle of events which follows must not be considered complete or
explanatory. Full documentation of the events of the past three dy-
namic years alone will require much detailed research and evaluation.
Behind almost every major event is generally a complex technical,
organizational, and human story. The historical process has only
been initiated here.

Octoler 4: SPUTNIK I, the first man- October 22: Army Jupiter (IRBM) mis-
made earth satellite, launched by U.S.S.R. sile successfully fired at Cape Canaveral,
and remained in orbit until January 4, Fla.
1958. (For details see Appendix A.)
Four-stage rocket fired from a bal-

: The National Rocket Club was or- loon at 100,000 feet above Eniwetok, in
ganized in Washington, D.C. Operation Far Side, penetrated at least
2,700 miles into outer space.
October 6: Eighth lAF Congress began at
Barcelona, Spain. October 23: IGY Vanguard prototype
(TV-2) with simulated second and third
October 9: President Eisenhower in a
stage successfully met test objectives, by
White House press release congratulated
reaching 109-mile altitude and 4,250
the Soviet scientists on SPUTNIK I. He
gave a brief history of the development of
the U.S.-IGY satellite program and
October 24 : Thor long-range fiight test
pointed to the separation of Project Van-
successful from AMR, impacting 2,645
guard from work on ballistic missiles.
miles downrange.
October 11: Thor missile launched at
Cape Canaveral, the second tested,
October 26: SPUTNIK I ceased trans-
achieved its designed 1,500-mile range.

October 14: USAF and NACA reviewed October 31: Snark intercontinental mis-
preliminary studies dating from 1954 on sile launched from Cape Canaveral first

a boost-glide research vehicle to follow flew 5,000 miles, to a target near Ascen-
the X-lo ; all studies were combined into sion Island.
a single plan which was accepted by the
Air Force and later designated as Dyna- During October: Aerospace Medical Cen-
Soar. ter's SAM continued experimental
with space-cabin simulator with 20
American Rocket Society presented
: Strategic Air Command volunteers, each
to President Eisenhower a program for man completing the full-scale run of
outer space development which proposed 7 or 8 days of confinement in the cabin
establishment of an Astronautical Re- simulator.
search and Development Agency similar
to NACA and AEC with responsibility for November 3: SPUTNIK II, the world's
all space projects except those directly second manmade satellite, launched by
related to the military defense. U.S.S.R. and remained in orbit until
April 13, 1958, carrying a dog named
October 16: USAF successfully launched "Laika." It was the first vehicle to
pellets ata speed faster than 33,000 mph carry a living organism into orbit. ( See

( some 8,000 mph faster than the velocity

Appendix A.)
necessary to escape from the earth ) by an
Aerobee rocket to a height of 35 miles November 7; President Eisenhower in
the nose section then ascended to a height major address on science and security
of 54 miles where shaped charges blasted
announced that scientists had solved the
the pellets into space.
problem of ballistic missile reentry and
October IS: Lt. Comdrs. Malcolm Ross showed the nose cone of an Army
(USNR) and L. Lewis (USN) ascended Jupiter-C missile which was intact after
to unoflBcial two-man altitude record of a flight through space. He announced
85,700 feet in STRATO-LAB HIGH II the creation of the oflice of Special As-
balloon. sistant to the President for Science and
Technology and the appointment of
October 18-20: NACA "Round Three" James R. Killian, president of the Massa-
Steering Committee met at Ames Labora- chusetts Institute of Technology, to the
tory. new post.

1957 —Continued November 21: The National Advisory
Committee for Aeronautics authorized
Novemher 8: Secretary of Defense Mc- establishment of a special committee on
Elroy directed the Department of the space technology, headed by H. Guyford
Army to launch a scientific satellite with Stever. This committee would both
the modified Jupiter-C test rocket. The supervise and help formulate a space re-
satellite, carrying instruments selected search program and would be assisted by
by the National Academy of Sciences, specialized subcommittees.
would be a part of this country's con-
tribution to the IGY. William M. Hola- November 22: First hydrogen-fluorine
day, Assistant to the Secretary of De- rocket engine successfully operated at
fense for Guided Missiles, was given au- NACA Lewis Laboratory, demonstrating
thority for coordinating this ABMA- a 40-percent performance improvement
JPL project with the overall U.St-IGY over other propellant combinations.
satellite program.
November 25: USAF awarded contract
for a surveillance satellite to Lockheed.
November 10: SPUTNIK II ceased trans-
The Preparedness Investigating

Subcommittee of the Senate Committee

November 11: KO-135 tanker flown on Armed Services began extensive hear-
6,350 miles from Westover AFB, Mass.,
ings on the Nation's satellite and mis-
to Buenos Aires, in 13 hours 2 minutes,
sile programs.
by Gen. Curtis LeMay, a world record for
nonstop nonrefueled jet flight. November 27: Thor and Jupiter IRBM's
ordered into production for ultimate de-
Noveniler IS: President Eisenhower, in ployment by the USAF.
a speech on future security, proposed
adoption of a formula for decisions on During November: NACA 1957 Flight
undertaking space projects, which would Propulsion Conference at Cleveland was
include the following criteria "If the: review of analysis of space missions, nu-
project is designed solely for scientific clear propulsion systems, chemical pro-
purposes, its size and its cost must be pulsion systems, electrical propulsion
tailored to the scientific job it is going systems, auxiliary power systems, and
to do. If the project has some ultimate propellants.
defense value, its urgency for this pur-
pose is to be judged in comparison with First Baker-Nunn precision optical

the probable value of competing defense satellite tracking camera installed at

projects." White Sands, N. Mex., the first of 12
such optical tracking installations as a
part of the IGY under the supervision
1,000-mile, Navy Regulus II fired

of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Ob-

in first launch with rocket boosters at
Edwards AFB, and returned to base by
control aircraft after a 48-minute flight.
Development of satellite launch

vehicle focused upon all solid fuel sys-

November 15: William M. Holaday, spe-
tems at NACA Langley, a major step
cial assistant to the Secretary of De-
in the origin of Scout.
fense, was named Director of Guided
Missiles by Secretary of Defense Mc- December 4: The American Rocket
Elroy. Under terms of the Defense De- Society's proposal for an Astronautical
partment directive "The Director of
Research and Development Agency,
Guided Missiles will direct all activities which was presented to President Eisen-
in the DOD
relating to research, develop- hower on October 14, 1957, was
ment, engineering, production, and pro- announced.
curement of guided missiles."
December 6: IGY Vanguard (TV-3), the
November 19: An ANP (Aircraft, Nu- firstwith three live stages, failed to
clear Powered) project, an integrated launch a test satellite.
ABC-DOD atomic aircraft project within
the AEC, was announced, with Maj. Gen. December 9: Secretary McElroy ordered
Donald Keirn (USAF) as its head. acceleration of the Polaris program.

Deceniber 13: The Air Force order of multiply under certain simulated Mar-
December 10 creating a Directorate of tian atmospheric conditions.
Astronautics under Brig. Gen. Homer A.
Boushey was suspended by Secretary : NACA Lewis Laboratory com-
William H. Douglas, as creation of such pleted major phases of pioneering re-
a group before establishment of the pro- search on high-energy turbojet and ram-
posed Advanced Research Projects jet fuels including boron. This research
Agency was considered premature. included flight test in piloted aircraft
and air-launched free flight models.
Decemier 11: First successful test firing Theoretical performance and experi-
of USAF Atlas ICBM, the missile land- mental thrust chamber injector experi-
ing in the target area after a flight of ments were also performed at NACA
some 500 miles, on the 54th anniversary Lewis, aiding in design of X-15 rocket
of the Wright brothers' first flight. engine.

Deceniber 18: First full-scale production : Single-spool J93 turbojet engine

of electricity for commercial use by civil- placed under intensive development at
ian nuclear power station, at Shipping- General Electric. The .179 turbojet, the
port, Pa. first high-compression variable-stator en-
gine built in United States by GE, pow-
December 19: A Thor missile, the eighth ered most Mach 2 U. S. aircraft, includ-
tested and the fourth successfully, com- ing the F-104, B-58, FllF-lF, F4H, and
pleted the first fully-guided Thor IRBM A3J, as well as the Regulus II missile.
flight using an ali-inertial guidance
system. : operation by the NACA
Lewis Laboratory of a 20,000-pound
December 23: USAF awarded B-70 Mach thrust hydrogen-oxygen rocket engine
3 bomber development contract to North completely self-cooled by the liquid hy-
American Aviation. drogen, which led to Centaur engine
December 28: World altitude record of
30,335 feet for helicopters set by Capt. : The NACA proposed and led in
J. E. Bowman (USA) in a Cessna YH41 the development of the Polaris reentry
Seneca at Wichita, Kans. body based on the work done at Langley
Laboratory, 1952-56.
During Decem^ber: Maxime Faget of
NACA Langley proposed ballistic shape : State University of Iowa com-
of Mercury capsule, while A. Eggers of pleted balloon-launched rocket (Rockoon)
Ames and E. S. Love and J. V. Becker research at high latitudes begun in 1952.
of Langley proposed glider configura- James A. Van Allen reported that prin-
tions of manned spacecraft later incor- cipal scientific measurements attained
porated in Dyna-Soar and Apollo studies. included: first latitude survey of total
cosmic-ray intensity at high altitude and
During 1957: NACA Technical Note, "A high latitude survey of latitude varia-

Comparative Analysis of Long-Range tion of heavy nuclei in primary cosmic

Hypervelocity Vehicles," by Ames sci- radiation discovery of X-radiation as-

entists Eggers, Allen, and Neice pre- sociated vpith aurorae; first arctic
pared and issued. It was considered a measurements of atmospheric density,
landmark in the development of scientific pressure, and temperature at high alti-
thought on manned reentry. tudes; measurement of ultraviolet and
soft X-radiation during solar flares first ;

Experiments at USAF School of

: measurements of terrestrial magnetic
Aviation Medicine showed that soil bac- fields at high altitudes in the auroral
teria could not only survive but also zone.

January 1: Strategic Air Command as- pursued, but they must not distract us
signed responsibility for U.S. operational from the speedy development of our other
ICBM capability while the 672nd Stra-
; missile systems. To handle them, I am
tegic Missile Squadron, first to be establishing within the Department of
equipped with USAF Douglas Thor Defense an Advanced Research Projects
IRBM, was activated. Agency, which will be responsible to the
Secretary of Defense for the unified di-
January 4: SPUTNIK I reentered the rection and management of the antimis-
atmosphere and disintegrated. sile missile program and for outer space
American Rocket Society and the

Rocket and Satellite Research Panel is- In his budget message to Congress,

sued a siuninary of their proposals for a President Eisenhower stated "Funds are

National Space Establishment. Prefer- provided for an expanded research and

ably independent of the Department of development effort on military satellites
Defense, but in any event not under one and other outer space vehicles and on
of the military services, this establish- antimissile-missile systems, to be carried
ment would be responsible for the "broad out directly under the Secretary of De-
cultural, scientific, and ccmimercial ob- fense." The budget for fiscal year 1959
jectives" of outer space development. showed that $340 million in new obliga-
tional authority was being asked for the
January 9: In his state-of-the-Union mesr Advanced Research Projects Agency. No
sage, President Eisenhower reported "In :
new authorizations were sought for the
recognition of the need for single control International Geophysical Year, but esti-
in some of our most advanced develop- mated obligations for earth satellite ex-
ment projects, the Secretary of Defense ploration of the upper atmosphere under
has already decided to concentrate into this program were $8,139,834 for fiscal
one organization all antimissile and sat- year 1958 and $21 million for fiscal year
ellite technology undertaken within the 1959.
Department of Defense."
January l^-' NACA issued a staff study
January 11: James H. Doolittle, Chair- entitled "A National Research Program
man of the National Advisory Committee for Space Technology."
for Aeronautics, announced that a special
committee on space technology was Senator Lyndon B. Johnson in a

formed on November 21, 1957. CBS address urged the United

States "to demonstrate its initiative be-
January 12: President Eisenhower, in fore the United Nations by inviting all
answering the December 10, 1957, letter member nations to join in this adventure
of Soviet Premier Nikolai A. Bulganin into outer space together."
regarding a summit conference and dis-
armament, proposed that the Soviet January 15: 4751st Air Defense Missile
Union and the United States "agree that Wing to develop and conduct training
outer space should be used only for program for Bomarc units, and the 864th
peaceful puriK>ses." This proposal was Strategic Missile Squadron to be equipped
compared with the 1946 offer of the with Jupiter IRBM, were both activated.
United States to cease production of nu-
clear weapons and dedicate atomic en- January 16: The NACA adopted resolu-
ergy to peaceful uses, an offer which was tion recommending that national space
not accepted by the Soviet Union. program can be most effectively imple-
mented by the cooperative effort of the
January IS: Secretary of Defense Neil H. Department of Defense, the NACA, the
McElroy testified before the House Armed National Academy of Sciences, and the
Services Committee: "Such long-range National Science Foundation, together
programs as the antimissile missile and with universities, research institutions,
the military satellite programs are in the and industrial companies of the Nation,
research and exploratory development with military development and operation
stages. They are important and must be of space vehicles a responsibilty of the

Department of Defense, and research ment to ban atomic and hydrogen weajn
and scientific space operations the re- ons, to end tests thereof, and to liquidate
sponsibility of the NACA. foreign military bases in other nations'
territories. In that case, an agreement
:Special Subcommittee on Outer on the use of outer space for peaceful
Space Propulsion created by the Joint purposes only would unquestionably meet
Congressional Committee on Atomic En- no diflSculties."
ergy, Senator Clinton P. Anderson as
chairman. Scientists at the Jet Propulsion

Laboratory at the California Institute of

Secretary of State Dulles proposed
Technology reported that initial data
the formation of an international com- from EXPLORER I showed that cosmic
mission to insure the use of outer space radiation on its orbit did not exceed 12
exclusively for peaceful purposes. times the amount on earth.

Feiruary 4- President Eisenhower di-

January 17: First launch of Navy Polaris
rected James R. Killian, Jr., to head a
test vehicle at Cape Canaveral.
committee to study and make recom-
mendations on the governmental organi-
January 27: Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Direc-
zation of the Nation's space and missile
tor of the NACA, in a si)eech to the In-
stitute of the Aeronautical Sciences,
stressed the importance of a well-planned February 5: Trial firing of IGY Vanguard
and logical space program embracing both (TV-SBu) satellite failed at Cape Ca-
civilian and military uses. He stated naveral, Fla., 57 seconds after launch.
that the national space program should
be under the joint control of the De- February 6: The Senate passed S. Res.
partment of Defense, the NACA, the Na- 256, creating a Special Committee on
tional Academy of Sciences, and the Na- Space and Astronautics to frame legisla-
tional Science Foundation; in addition tion for a national program of space ex-
to research flights, the NACA would ploration and development.
"coordinate and conduct research in
space technology in its own laboratories February 7: The Advanced Research
and by contract in support of both mili- Projects Agency (ARPA) was estab-
tary and nonmilitary projects." lished by the DOD, and Roy W. Johnson,
a vice president of General Electric Co.,
January 28: Thor IRBM smccessfully was appointed by Secretary of Defense
fired from Cape Canaveral, flew pre- McElroy as its Director. ARPA was
scribed course, and impacted in prese- placed in charge of the Nation's outer
lected area. space program.

January 29: The DOD announced plans February 10: First successful radar re-
to establish the National Pacific Missile turns from Venus (27,530,000 miles
Range (PMR) as part of the Naval Air away) detected by MIT's Lincoln Lab-
Missile Test Center at Point Mugu, Calif., oratory Millstone Hill. It took 1 year to
the range to be designed for long-range process confirmation of this event.
guided missile and ICBM testing.
Airman 1/C Donald G. Farrell

January 31: EXPLORER I, first U.S. spent the week of February 10-16 in a
earth satellite, launched by modified space-cabin simulator at SAM, Randolph
ABMA-JPL Jupiter-C, with US-IGT AFB, Tex.
scientific experiment of James A. Van
Allen, which discovered the radiation belt February H: "Basic Objectives of a Con-
around the earth. (See Appendix A.) tinuing Program
of Scientific Research
in Outer Space," a report by the Tech-
February 3: Soviet Premier Nikolai A. nical Panel on the Earth Satellite Pro-
Bulganin in a letter to President Eisen- gram of the National Academy of Sci-
hower stated that the Soviet Union "is ences IGY Committee, was published. It
ready to examine also the question of proposed a program of space research
the Intercontinental rockets if the West- extending beyond the International Geo-
em powers are willing to reach agree- physical Year,

1 958 —Continued March 15: U.S.S.R. Foreign Ministry
statement proposed that ban on use of
February J7: In a letter to Soviet Pre- outer space for military purposes, as
mier Nikolai A. Bulganin, President suggested by President Eisenhower, be
Eisenhower repeated his plea for the coupled with the liquidation of foreign
dedication of outer space to peaceful military bases in Europe, the Middle
uses. Denying that this proposal was East, and North Africa.
intended "to gain strategic advantages
for the United States," he stressed the Contract awarded for inertial

urgency of dealing with outer space be- guidance system for the Titan ICBM to
fore its use for military purposes had, American Bosch Arma by the USAF.
like nuclear weapons, advanced to the
point where complete international con- March Second U.S.-IGY sateUite,
trol was almost impossible.
VANGUARD I, launched into orbit with

life expectancy of perhaps a 1,000 years,

February 18: USAF revealed that an air- a highly successful scientific satellite
flow speed of 32,400 mph had been at- which proved that the earth is slightly
tained for one-tenth of a second in a pear shaped. Operating on solar-powered
wind tunnel test at the Arnold Engineer- batteries, it was stilltransmitting after
ing Development Center, Tullahoma, 3 years in orbit. (See Appendix A.)
Tenn., on an undisclosed date.
An experiment testing the behavior

February 21: U.S.S.R. fired a single-stage of crews under conditions of long con-
rocket to 294-mile altitude v\ath 3,340 finement was concluded at "Wright Air
pounds of experiments for measuring ion Development Center, as five Air Force
composition of the atmosphere, pressure, officers ended a 5-day simulated space
temperature, micrometeorites, etc., ac- flight.
cording to the Soviet IGY Committee.
March 18: Dr. Herbert F. York was ap-
February 26: James H. Doolittle, Chair-
pointed as Chief Scientist for DOD's Ad-
man of tlje NACA, Senate
testified before
vanced Research Projects Agency.
Committee on Appropriations that "four
years ago, about 10 percent of our ac- March 19: Space program for the United
tivities were associated with space; two States proposed by the U.S.-IGY Satel-
years ago, about 25 percent and in 1959 ;
lite Panel.
we will be devoting almost half of our
time on missiles, antimissiles, and satel- March 21: Two-stage monorail rocket-
lites and other space objectives." propelled sled exceeded 2,700 mph at
Holloman AFB.
February 2S: Department of Defense as-
signed responsibilityland-based
March 23: Navy demonstrated first
ICBM/IRBM development to the USAF, dummy test offromPolaris missile
and directed it to develop Minuteman
"popup" launcher off San Clemente Is-
solid-propellant ICBM capable of being
land, from submerged launching plat-
launched from underground sites.
During February: NACA Langley's
March U.S.-IGY Satellite, EX-
26: Third
PARD conceived and placed in operation
PLORER a joint ABMA-JPL proj-
the "opposed gun" technique for studying
ect, successfully launched by Army Juno
projectile impacts.
II, yielded valuable data on radiation

MarcJi 5: EXPLORER II launched by belt, micrometeorite impacts, and tem-

Army Jupiter-C failed to orbit due to perature before returning to earth on

failure of last stage to ignite, a joint June 27.
JPL-ABMA project.
President Eisenhower in a brief

H. Res. 496, passed by the House

: statement released the President's
of Representatives, established a Select Science Advisory Committee's report,
Committee on Astronautics and Space "Introduction to Outer Space: an Ex-
Exploration to investigate the problems planatory Statement." This report set
of outer space and to submit recom- forth the basic factors making the ad-
mendations for the control and develop- vancement of space technology a national
ment of astronautical resources. necessity and explained to the nontechni-

cal reader the principles and potentiali- of the Budget, Maurice H. Stans, which
ties of space travel. The many uses of was transmitted to Congress by Presi-
space technology for scientific and mili- dent Eisenhower.
tary purposes were summarized, and a
April 3; In a message to Congress on the
timetable for carrying out these objec-
organization of the Nation's Defense
tives was included.
Establishment, President Eisenhower
: Military telephone and telegraph recommended creation of the position of
system using the troposphere to bounce Director of Defense Research and Engi-
radio signals over long distances, called neering, which would have a higher rank
"White Alice," was activated. and replace the present Assistant Secre-
tary of Defense for Research and Engi-
March 27: President Eisenhower gave his neering.
approval to the plans for outer space ex-
April 5: USAF Atlas ICBM was success-
ploration announced by Secretary of De-
fully flown from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to
fense Neil H. McElroy. The Advanced
the impact area some 600 miles away.'
Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was
to undertake several space projects in- April 8: USAF KO-135 Stratotanker
cluding the launching of certain earth ended a nonstop, nonrefueled record
satellites and five space probes as a part distance jet flight of 10,228 miles, from
of this country's contribution to the IGY Tokyo to Lajes Field, Azores.
program. The Air Force Ballistic Mis-
sile Division was authorized by ARPA to April 13: SPUTNIK II reentered earth's
carry out three lunar probes with a Thor- atmosphere.
Vanguard system, and lunar probes uti-
lizing the Jupiter-C rocket were assigned Ai)ril 1^:Proposal for a National Aero-
to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. nautics and Space Agency drafted by the
Bureau of the Budget was submitted to
April 2: In a message to Congress, Presi- the Congress by the President, and was
dent Eisenhower proposed the establish- contained in the following congressional
ment of a National Aeronautics and bills

Space Agency into which the National S.3609, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Senator Styles Bridges
would be absorbed. This agency was to H.R. 11881, Representative John W.
have responsibility for civilian space McCormack
science and aeronautical research. It H.R. 11882, Representative Leslie C.
would conduct research in these fields in Arends
its own facilities or by contract and H.R. 11887, Representative Harry G.
would also perform military research re- Haskell, Jr.
quired by the military departments. In- H,R. 11888, Representative Kenneth
terim projects pertaining to the civilian Keating
program which were under the direction H.R. 11946, Representative William H.
of the Advanced Research Projects Natcher
Agency would be transferred to the H.R. 11961, Representative Peter Fre-
civilian space agency. A National Aero- linghuysen, Jr.
nautics and Space Board, appointed by H.R. 11964, Representative James G.
the President and composed of eminent Fulton
persons outside the Government and rep- H.R. 11996, Representative Gordon L.
resentatives of interested Government McDonough
agencies (wdth at least one member from
the Department of Defense), was to Ajjril 15: Select Committee on Astronau-
assist the President and the Director of tics and Space Exploration of the House
the National Aeronautics and Space of Representatives opened hearings on
Agency. outer space leading toward formulation
of a national space program.
Original budget request of $340

million in new obligational authority for April 16: Grumman FllF-lF Super
the Advanced Research Projects Agency Tiger flown to world altitude record of
for fiscal year 1959 was raised to $520 76,828 feet for ground-launched planes,
million for advanced research projects in piloted by Cdr. George 0. Watkins, at
a letter from the Director of the Bureau Edwards AFB.

1958 —Continued Minn. Mikesell becoming the first as-

tronomer to observe stratosphere, and it

April 17: Simulated 7-day trip to the was first flight in which crew remained
ifloonmade by six Navy men in chamber in stratosphere in oi)en basket after
at Philadelphia Naval Base. sunset.

British Skylark reached an alti-

: May Lockheed F-lOiA Star-
7: Flying a
tude of 90 miles at Woomera, Australia. fighterat Edwards AFB, Calif., Maj.
Howard C. Johnson (USAF) set a 91,249-
April 23: USAF Thor-Able missile veas foot world altitude record for ground-
launched from Cape Canaveral in a re- launched planes.
entry test flew short of its goal and the

nose cone was not recovered. The nose May 11: Lt. Comdr. Jack Neiman com-
cone carried a mouse as a biomedical pleted 44-hour simulated high altitude
experiment. flight at between 80,000 and 100,000 feet
in pressure chamber at NAS Norfolk.
April 24: Navy rocket sled attained speed
of 2,827.5 mph at China Lake, Calif. May 14-17: Symposium on "Possible Uses
of Earth Satellites for Life Sciences Ex-
April 25: First successful launching and periments" held in Washington, D.C.,
erection in space of a 12-foot inflatable under sponsorship of National Academy
sphere for air density measurements, of Sciences, National Science Foundation,
using a Nike-Cajun booster system, by and American Institute of Biological
NACA Langley's PARD at Wallops Science.
Island, Va.
May 15: SPUTNIK III placed into orbit
April 27: Pravda reported on Soviet satel- by the U.S.S.R. with a total payload
lite findings that Laika's heartbeat had weight of about 7,000 pounds, and called
taken three times as long as expected to a "flying laboratory." (See Appendix
return to normal. Weightlessness af- A.)
fecting the nerve centers was suggested
as the cause. The Soviet report dis- May 16: In level flight over a lO-mUe
closed that the density and temperature course at Edwards AFB, Calif., Capt.
of the atmosphere at a given altitude Walter W. Irwin (USAF), flying a F-
were not uniform, and that cosmic ray 104A Starfighter, set a world speed rec-
intensity was 40 percent greater at 400 ord of 1,404.19 mph.
miles than at 135 miles.
May 18: First U.S. full-size tactical nose
April 28: Vanguard (TV-5) failed to cone was recovered from the Atlantic
orbit due to malfunction of minor com- Ocean 4i^ hours after launching from
ponents in the firing circuit of third stage. Cape Canaveral on a Jupiter missile.

May 1: Scientific findings from the two May 20: NACA-USAF Memorandum of
Understanding signed, "Principles for
Explorer satellites disclosed an unex-
Participation of NACA in Development
pected band of high-intensity radiation
and Testing of the Air Force System 464L
extending from 600 miles above earth to
Hypersonic Boost Glide Vehicle (Dyna-
possibly an 8,000-mile altitude. The ra-
diation was described by Dr. James A.
Van Allen as "1,000 times as intense as May 24: Gravity load of 83 g's for a frac-
could be attributed to cosmic rays." tion of a second withstood by Capt. E. L.
Breeding in deceleration of a rocket sled
Responsibility for the Project Van-
at HoUoman AFB.
guard portion of the U.S.-IGY scientific
satellite program was transferred from May 27: First USAF Republic F-105
Navy to Advanced Research Project Thunderchief fighter-bomber delivered to
Agency monitorship by the Department the USAF.
of Defense.
First launching of production Van-

May 6-7: Lt. Comdr. M. Ross (USNR) guard satellite vehicle (SLV-1) generally
and A. Mikesell (Naval Observatory) successful with exception of second-stage
used open gondola STRATO-LAB balloon burnout which prevented achievement of
to reach 40,000-feet altitude from Crosby, satisfactory orbit.

During May: Four-stage rocket launched successfully completed first military
a 9-pound, inflatable sphere to 50-mile launch of a Snark intercontinental mis-
altitude at NACA Wallops Island. sile at Cape Canaveral.

Dr. Abe Silverstein, Associate Di-

: June 28: EXPLORER III reentered the
rector of Lewis Flight Propulsion Labo- earth's atmosphere.
ratory, was transferred to NACA
quarters to help plan the organization June 30: The NACA reported that 50
and programs of the National Aeronau- percent of its research effort was being
tics and Space Administration, subse- devoted to problems associated with mis-
quently becoming Director of the Ofl5ce siles and space vehicles.

of Space FUght Programs.

During June: Space Science Board of 16
June 3: USAF and NACA jointly an- members established by National Acad-
nounce details on the inertial guidance emy of Sciences, with Dr. Lloyd V. Berk-
system to be used on the X-15 research ner as Chairman, to advise and assist in
aircraft, a flight instrument system to formulation of U.S. post-IGY space re-
allow the pilot to prevent the aircraft search program and to foster coopera-
from reentering dense atmosphere too tion with space scientists in other
steeply or too shallow. nations.

June 4; USAF Thor flight tested for the

NACA-USAF meetings concern-

ing applicability of all solid-propellant

first time from a tactieal-tyi»e launcher
launch vehicle (later named Scout) to
at Cape Canaveral.
meet USAF requirements.
June 8: Test firing of a full-scale upper
: Recovery of first data capsule at
stage rocket under simulated altitude
conditions was made in an engine test
AMR after successful separation from
a Thor IRBM at reentry.
cell at the USAF's Arnold Engineering
Development Center at TuUahoma, Tenn. July 1: Japanese Kappa-6tw two-stage
rocket fiown to 30-mile altitude over
June 16: Phase I development contract Michikawa Rocket Center, Japan.
for Dyna-Soar boost-glide orbital space-
craft awarded by USAF to two teams of July 8: First launching of a 10-inch-
contractors headed by Martin Co. (Bell, diameter spherical rocket motor with
American Machine & Foundry, Bendix, spin stabilization, at NACA Wallops
Goodyear, and Minneapolis-Honeywell Island.
and the Boeing Co. (Aerojet, General
Electric, Ramo-Wooldridge, North Amer- July 9: Second AF Thor- Able reentry
ican, and Chance Vought). test vehicle was launched,
traveling Q,000
miles (no nose cone recovery)
: Pacific Missile Range, Point Mugu,
Calif., officially established under Navy July 17: Nose cone of Jupiter missile suc-
management to provide range support to cessfully recovered after intermediate
the Department of Defense and other range flight.
governmental agencies engaged in mis-
sile, satellite, and space vehicle research, July 21: Standing Committee on Science
development, evaluation and training. and Astronautics established by House
of Representatives.
Jlme 26: Production Vanguard satellite
(SLV-2) failed to orbit due to failure July 23: Thor-Able reentry test vehicle
of second stage, but demonstrated struc- made another successful 6,000-mile flight
tural integrity of tankage which with- the nose cone and mouse passenger were
stood pressure exceeding design values. not recovered.

June 21: First successful launching by July 23-31: Feasibility of creating or

NACA Langley's Aircraft Research Divi- destroying cloud formations by release
sion of a Mach 18 five-stage rocket vehi- of carbon black was established in tests
cle at Wallops Island, Va. conducted off Florida co^st by the Navy
Weather Service's Comdr. N. Brango and
: USAF strategic missile squadron Dr. Florence Van Straten.

1 958 —Continued August 1: AFBMD announced develop-
ment of a complete inertial guidance sysi-
Jitly 24: Senate established Standing tem to replace radio inertial system now
Committee on Aeronautical and Space in use.
August 2: First full-powered flight of
IV, fourth U.S.- USAF Atlas ICBM using both the sus-
IGY satellite, successfully launched by tainer and booster engines.
Army Jupiter-C. (See Appendix A.)
August 6: Rocketdyne Division of North
Capt. Ivan C. Kincheloe
: (USAF) American announced an Air Force con-
killed when F-104 crashed at Edwards tract for a 1-million-pound thrust engine.
AFB. He had been scheduled to test-fly
the X-15. August 7: First launching of USAF Bo-
marc interceptor missile from Cape Ca-
Jtily 28-27: Comdrs. M. Ross and L. naveral on a signal sent by the SAGE
Lewis (USN) reached maximum alti- Control Center at Kingston, N.T.
tude 82,000 feet in STRATO-LAB
HIGH III flight from Crosby, Minn., August 8: President nominated Dr. T.
which set new unoflBcial record for strato- Keith Glennan to be Administrator of the
spheric flight of 34.7 hours. National Aeronautics and Space Admin-
istration, and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as
July 29: President Eisenhower signed Deputy Administrator.
H.R. 12575, making it the National Aero-
nautics and Space Act of 1958 (Public August 11: Army Redstone No. 51 suc-
Law 85-568) In his statement, he said
. : cessfully fired off Johnson Island in the
"The present National Advisory Com- South Pacific as a part of Project Hard-
mittee for Aeronautics (NACA) with its tack.
large and competent staff and well-
equipped laboratories will provide the After program review and discus-

nucleus for NASA. The NACA has an sions,NACA drafted specifications of the
established record of research perform- Scout launch vehicle based upon prelim-
ance and of cooperation with the armed inary designs for a hypervelocity re-
services. The coordination of space ex- search vehicle and orbiting system.
ploration responsibilities with NACA's
traditional aeronautical research func- August 14: Nominations of Dr. T. K.
tions is a natural evolution [one . . .
Glennan and Dr. H. L. Dryden were ap-
which] should have an even greater im- proved by the Senate Special Committee
pact on our future." on Space and Astronautics.

July SO: President Eisenhower requested August 15: Saturn Project initiated by
$125 million to initiate the National Aero- ARPA order to Army Ordnance Missile
nautics and Space Administration Command, and it was assigned to Red-
(NASA). stone Arsenal.

Successful proof tests subjecting

Dr. T. Keith Glennan confirmed

humans to over 20 times the force of by the Senate as Administrator of the

gravity were conducted, with NACA's National Aeronautics and Space Admin-
Maxlme Paget conceiving concept of the istration.
contour couch on centrifuge at Navy
AMAL, Johnsville, Pa. This couch be- Federal Aviation Agency created

came integral part of the Project Mer- with passage by Congress of the Federal
cury concept. Aviation Act.

July 31: Army Redstone No. 50 success- August 17: USAF Thor-Able-1 launch ve-
fully firedJohnson Island in the
off hiclewith first U.S.-IGY lunar payload
South Pacific as a part of Project Hard- exploded 77 seconds after launch because
tack. of a failure of first-stage engine.

: First comprehensive Sputnik data August 19: Dr. T. Keith Glennan sworn
was released by U.S.S.R. to foreign in as Administrator, and Dr. Hugh L.
scientists. Dryden as Deputy Administrator, of the

National Aeronautics and Space Admin- lion forNASA, including $50 million for
istration 40 days later, as of October 1,
; research and development, $25 million
1958, NASA was declared to be ready for construction and expenses, and $5
to function. million for salaries and expenses.

: Navy Tartar
surface-to-air missile August 29: Second full-powered flight of
made successful first flight and inter- USAF Atlas ICBM
traveled 3,000 miles
ception at NOTS China Lake, Calif. with radio-inertial guidance.

August 21: The National Advisory Com- August 30: The second Argus small
mittee for Aeronautics held its final meet- A-bomb detonation beyond the atmos-
ing, and invited Dr. T. Keith Glennan, phere was conducted in the South At-
newly appointed Administrator of NASA, lantic.
to receive best wishes for the future.
During August: In 3-week period, 19 five-
August 2k: EXPLORER V successfully stage Argo E5 sounding rockets were
launched by ABMA-JPL Jupiter-C and launched in USAF-NACA program to
allstages fired, but orbit not achieved be- measure radiation caused by Project
cause of collision between parts of booster Argus, rockets reaching 500-mile altitude
and instrument compartment. and were launched from Wallops Island,
AMR, and Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico.
August 25: Ninth lAF meeting began at
The Hague, which witnessed, the first : Experimental "weightlessness"
colloquium on space law. flights C-131B aircraft begun
in at
Wright Air Development Center.
August 26: Gen. Thomas D. White, USAF,
wrote James H. Doolittle, Chairman, September 2: U.N. Ambassador Henry
NACA "There was regret at the passing
Cabot Lodge announced that United
of an agency that for 43 years has set States would propose a plan for inter-
the world's standard in aeronautical re- national cooperation in the exploration
search. There has always been for
. . .
of outer space to the United Nations.
us in the Air Force, the knowledge that
NACA was ready to help in any aero- September 4: President Eisenhower ap-
dynamic trouble." pointed Detlev W. Bronk, president of
the National Academy of Sciences; Wil-
Two mice lived 36 days sealed in
liam A. M. Burden; James H. Doolittle;
a chamber and dependent upon oxygen and Alan T. Waterman, Director of the
production of algae in an experiment at NSF, to the National Aeronautics and
the University of Texas. Space Council. Additionally, the Space
Council including the Administrator of
August 27: The first Argus experiment NASA, the Secretary of Defense, the
(ARPA) was conducted (based upon Oc- Secretary of State, and the Chairman of
tober 1957 proposal of N. C. Christofilos the AEO as statutory members.
of the University of California, Liver-
more), in which a small A-bomb was September 6: The third of the Argus
detonated beyond the atmosphere over small A-bomb detonations beyond the
the South Atlantic. Launched from the atmosphere was conducted over the
rocketship Norton Sound, the initial flash South Atlantic. Instruments of EX-
was followed by an auroral luminescence PLORER IV satelliterecorded and re-
extending upward and downward along ported to ground stations resultant elec-
the magnetic lines where the burst oc- tron densities, subsequently reported by
curred. James Van Allen.

: Soviet Union reportedly sent two September 7: Black Knight missile of the
dogs to an altitude of 281 miles and United Kingdom was launched from the
safely returned them to earth, single- Australian range at Woomera to an alti-
stage rocket boosting a total payload of tude of over 300 miles.
3,726 pounds.
September 8: Unmanned ONR balloon
:President Eisenhower signed Pub- carried telescope and camera to an alti-
lic Law 85-766 which included $80 mil- tude of 104,600 feet.

1958 —Continued September 28: Nike-Asp
Navy LSD Point Defiance near Puka
test flight from

September 8: Wearing a Goodrich light- Island reached 800,000 feet, the highest
weight full-pressure suit, Lt. R. H. Tabor altitude ever reached by ship-launched
(USN) completed a 72-hour simulated rocket, in preliminary test of Nike-Asp
flight in pressure chamber at NAS Nor- for use in IGY solar eclipse studies.
folk, in which he was subjected to alti-
tude conditions as high as 139,000 feet. September 29: United States announced
as policy that all measures to prevent
September 11: Joint NASA-ARPA contamination of the moon would be
Manned Satellite Panel established to taken in all lunar probes.
make final recommendation for manned
space flight program. During September: Saturn design studies
authorized to proceed at Redstone Ar-
September 2Jf: First senior staff meeting senal for development of 1.5-million-
of the newly created National Aero- pound-thrust clustered fl'rst stage.
nautics and Space Administration
(NASA) held, with Dr. T. Keith Glennan :Dr. W. Albert Noyes was ap-
as Administrator, and Dr. Hugh L. pointed chairman of U.S. committee to
Dryden as Deputy Administrator. draft proposals for international coopera-
tion in the space sciences for the consid-
KC-135 jet Stratotanker lifted
eration of the International Council of
77,350-pound payload to an altitude of Scientific Unions (ICSU).
1.25 miles.
October 1: First oflScial day of the Na-
First use of Sidewinder aircraft
: tional Aeronautics and Space Adminis-
rocket with heatseeker nose, by Chinese tration (NASA). Existing NACA facili-
Nationalist F-86's over the Formosa ties, personnel, policies, and advisory
Straits. Chinese Nationalists claimed 10 committees were transferred to NASA,
Communist planes. and the NACA laboratories were re-
named Research Centers.
General Electric delivered first

prototype of MIT-developed Polaris : By Executive

order of the Presi-
guidance system. dent, DOD for the re-
maining U.S.-IGY satellite and space
September 25: Dr. T. Keith Glennan probe projects were transferred to the
signed proclamation declaring that "as National Aeronautics and Space Admin-
of the close of business September 30, istration included were Project "Van-

1958, the National Aeronautics and guard, and the four lunar probes and
Space Administration has been organized three satellite IGY projects remaining,
and is prepared to discharge the duties which had previously been assigned by
and exercise the powers conferred on it." ARPA to AFBMD and ABMA. Also
Entered upon the Federal Register, this transferred were a number of engine de-
proclamation instituted the National velopment research programs.
Aeronautics and Space Administration
as of October 1, 1958. October 2: Executive Board of the Inter-
national Council of Scientific Unions
First launching of an Exos sound-
: (ICSU) proposed a plan to establish a
ing rocket in USAF-NASA joint effort Committee on Space Research, which be-
from Wallops Island, Va. came known as COSPAR.

September 26: Vanguard (SLV-3) October k'- Vandenberg AFB, first opera-
reached 265 miles' altitude and was de- tional ICBM base in free world, was
stroyed 9,200 miles downrange over dedicated.
Central Africa on reentry into the atmos-
phere. Jet transatlantic passenger serv-

iceinaugurated by British Overseas Air-

: Boeing B-52D set a world distance ways.
in a closed-circuit record of 6,233.981
miles, with Lt. Col. V. L. Sandacz at the October 7; NASA formally organized
controls. Project Mercury to: (1) place a manned

Space capsule in orbital flight around the : First launching of two USAF
earth; (2) investigate man's reactions Bomarc missiles within less than 10 sec-
to and capabilities in this environment onds of each other at Cape Canaveral
and (3) recover capsule and pilot safely. launches signaled from SAGE at Kings-
A NASA Space Task Group organized ton, N.Y., and both missiles scored suc-
at Langley Research Center drew up cessful intercepts against different target
specifications for the Mercury capsule, aircraft.
based on studies by the National Advi-
sory Committee for Aeronautics during —
October 23: NASA with the Army as
the preceding 12 months, and on discus-
sions with the Air Force which had been

executive agent attempted to launch a
12-foot-diameter inflatable satellite of
conducting related studies. micro-thin plastic covered with aluminum
foil known as BEACON. Launched from
October 8: U.S.S.R. supplied telemetry AMR —
by a Juno I a modified Redstone,
code of SPUTNIK III to other IGT mem- the payload prematurely separated prior
bers, covering only radiation measure- to booster burnout.
October 26: Pan American World Air-
: In MAN HIGH III balloon ways began regular daily jet service be-
launched from Holloman AFB, Lt. Clif- tween New York and Paris using Boeing
ton M. McClure attained a near-record 707's.
altitude of 99,900 feet.
October 30: William M. Holaday ap-
October 11: PIONEER I, U.S.-IGY space pointed by the President to be Chairman
probe under direction of NASA and with of the NASA-DOD Civilian-MiUtary
the AFBMD as executive agent, launched Liaison Committee (CMLC).
from AMR, Cape Canaveral, Fla., by a
Thor-Able-I booster. It traveled 70,700 During October: Air Force awarded con-
miles before returning to earth, deter- tract to Pratt & Whitney for CJentaur ve-
mined radial extent of great radiation hicle with hydrogen-burning chamber
belt, first observations of earth's and based on research of Lewis Research
interplanetary magnetic field, and first Center between 1953 and 1957. Centaur
measurements of micrometeorite density project later transferred to NASA.
in interplanetary space.

November 6: Army completed Redstone

October 12: Naval Research Laboratory flight testing with a perfect 2.50-mile shot.
rocket firings in Danger Island region of
the South Pacific from U.S.S. Point November 7: Bidders conference held by
Defiance, reached 139, 148, 152, and 150 NASA on manned-satellite capsule for
miles altitude to chart solar spectrum in Project Mercury.
the ultraviolet and X-ray portion.

November 8: Second U.S.-IGY space

October i^; NASA requested transfer of probe under direction of NASA with Air
Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the space Force as executive agent, PIONEER II,
activities of Army Redstone Arsenal to was launched from AMR. Unseparated
NASA. third and fourth stages reached an alti-
tude of about 1,000 miles and flew some
October 15: First of a series of three 7,500 miles before burning out.
X-15 experimental rocket - powered
manned research aircraft was rolled out November 14: First launch of a 3,750,000-
at the Los Angeles plant of North Ameri- cubic-foot plastic balloon at Holloman
can Aviation, Inc., in the joint USAF- AFB payload was a parachute test ve-

USN-NASA program. hicle for development of high-Mach

parachute systems.
October 21: Three weeks after NASA
oflScially began operating, prosi)ective November 15: First meeting of CO SPAR
contractors were invited to a briefing at ( Committee on Space Research ) proposed

NASA headquarters on development of bylaws and rules for the approval of

l^^-million-pound-thrust engine. the ICSU, at London.

1958 —Continued agent —was launched at 12 -.45 a.m., from
AMR by Juno II rocket. The primary
November 19: United States and 19 other mission of PIONEER III, to place the
nations jointly introduced resolution in scientific payload in the vicinity of the
U.N. General Assembly calling for cre- moon, was not accomplished although
ation of ad hoc committee to bring about an altitude of 63,580 miles was achieved
full international cooperation in the and it discovered that radiation belt was
peaceful uses of outer space. comprised of at least two bands.

November 21 : NASA formed new Special December 9: The first meeting of the new
Committee on Life Sciences to provide NASA Inventions and Contributions
advice on human factors, medical, and Board was held to evaluate scientific or
allied problems on NASA's manned space technical contributions and to recom-
vehicle program. mend monetary awards.

November 26: Project Mercury, U.S. December 10: First domestic jet airline
manned-satellite program, was oflScially passenger service, by National Airlines
named by NASA. between New York and Miami.

November 28: USAF Atlas made its first December 12-16: SMALL WORLD bal-

successful operational test flight in a loon with four passengers failed in trans-
atlantic attempt, lifting from Canary
6325 statute-mile flight, landed close to
its target.
Islands and landing at sea northeast of
During November: NASA requested DX
priority for 1.5-million-i>ound-thrust F-1 December IS: U.N. General Assembly
adopted resolution bringing into being an
engine project and Project Mercury.
18-member Ad Hoc Committee on the
Second International Symposium
Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
on Physics and Medicine of the Atmos-
Squirrel monkey Gordo made 1,500-

phere and Space was held at San Antonio,

mile flight in nose cone of Army Jupiter
v/ith no knovm adverse effects, but float
mechanism failed and nose cone was not
December 3: President transferred the
functions and facilities of the Jet Pro-
pulsion Laboratory of the California In-
December 16: Two Thor shots, one from
stitute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.,
Cape Canaveral and one from Vanden-
from the Army to NASA. JPL built, de-
berg AFB, were successful. Intermedi-
signed, and tested upper stages, payloads,
ate range ballistic missile portion of
and tracking systems for the flrst IGY
Explorer satellites.
PMR was inaugurated- with successful
firing of USAF Thor from Vandenberg

: NASA and the Army reached an
agreement whereby ABMA and its sub- : MATS C-133 Cargomaster lifted
ordinate organizations at Redstone Arse-
117,900 pounds of cargo to 10,000 feet, a
nal, Huntsville, Ala., would be responsive
weight-lifting record, at Dover AFB, Del.
to NASA requirements.
December 17: NASA awarded contract to
: DOD announced details of Project Rocketdyne of North American to build
Discoverer, series of polar orbiting single-chamber 1.5-million-poimd-thrust
satellites. rocket engine.

December 5: Modified Navy Terrier : Project Mercury announced as

rocket with camera launched to an alti- name of U.S. man-in-space program by
tude of 86 miles from Wallops Island, NASA.
providing a 1,000-mile composite photo-
graph of a frontal cloud formation. December 18: Plastic balloon flight No.
1,000 launched by the Balloon Branch of
December The third U.S.-IGY space
6: the Missile Development Center at Hol-
probe —the second under direction of loman AFB, a series beginning in July
NASA and with the Army as executive 1950.

Entire TJSAF Atlas boosted into
: ington, approved extension of IGT
orbit communications relay satellite, through December 1959 under name of
PROJECT SCORE or the "talking atlas." International Geophysical Cooperation
A total of 8,750 pounds were placed in 1959 (IGC-59) and also approved estab-
orbit, of wMch 150 pounds was payload. lishment of Committee on Space Research
(COSPAR) to continue international co-
December 19: President Eisenhower's operation in the scientific exploration of
Christmas message beamed from PROJ- space. National Academy of Sciences is
ECT SCORE satellite in orbit, the first U.S. adhering body to COSPAR.
voice beamed in from space.
During December: National booster pro-
: BOLD ORION (WS-199) launched gram developed by NASA and DOD to
from B-58 Hustler traveling at about provide basis for long-range planning.
1,100 mph over Cape Canaveral, Fla.
: First vacuum tank for use in ion
December 20: White Sands Proving
and plasma electric propulsion research
Ground announcea missile range firing received at NASA Lewis Research Cen-
record : 2,000 "hot" firings in 1 year.
ter, three more of which were later put
to research, and two large models to be
First Titan test launch exploded

completed by 1962.
on the pad at Cape Canaveral.

New voice and teletype messages

During 1958: NASA Langley research
were received and rebroadcast on com- scientists, Paul Purser and Maxime Fa-

mand by PROJECT SCORE satellite, get, conceived Little Joe research rocket

and a series of experiments were con- the Scout vehicle system was conceived
tinued in subsequent days. from PARD's multistage hypersonic
solid-propellant rocket program.
December 23: First Atlas-C fired success-
fully at AMR. :Twistor and other thin-film semi-
conductors were developed suitable as
December 2^: Dr. Herbert F. York, Chief memory elements.
Scientist of ARPA, was named as Direc-
tor of Defense Research and Engineering : NASA Lewis Research Center com-
for the Department of Defense by Presi- pleted 14 years of extensive research on
dent Eisenhower. all U.S. turbojet engines.

December 21: Federal Council for Science : NASA Lewis Center successfully
and Technology to be headed by Dr. demonstrated use of fluorine gas to
James R. Killian, Jr., was approved by provide ignition for practical
President Eisenhower.
hydrogen-oxygen engine (20K thrust) ;

same year first throttling of hydrogen-

: PIONEER III data indicated that
thrust chamber demonstrated
the earth is surrounded by two bands of
over wide range.

First year that the total number

31: PROJECT SCORE ceased
transmissions, concluding 12 days of op- of transatlantic air passengers exceeded
the number of sea passengers.
erations and 97 successful contacts.

IGY scheduled to close, but in

: Experimental tests for launching
October 1958 the International Council satellites via rocket fired from fighter
of Scientific Unions, meeting in Wash- aircraft conducted by Navy Project Pilot.

January 2: U.S.S.R. launched LUNIK I January 28: Nike-Cajun successfully
into a solar orbit, with a total weight of laimched 12-foot-diameter test inflatable
a reported 3,245 pounds, the first man- sphere to a height of 75 miles over NASA
made object placed in orbit around the Wallops Island, the sphere inflating sat-
sun. It was called MECHTA("dream") isfactorily.
by the Russians. ( See Appendix A.
One hundred ten candidates were

:Defense ofl5cials indicated fiscal selected by NASA

in the first screening
year 1960 budget would begin major in- for Project Mercury astronauts from Air
tegration of long-range missiles into Force, Navy, and Marine Corps test-pilot
weapons arsenal and replacement of sch.ools.
manned aircraft on a large scale.
January 29: First jet passenger service
January 4-' Vandenberg Air Force Base across the United States begun by Amer-
and the Pacific Missile Range declared ican Airlines with Boeing 707's.
oflBcially operational for firings.
During January: Rocketdyne demon-
January 5: LUNIK I transmissions strated 1-million-pound-thrust liquid-
ceased 373,125 miles from earth. propellant rocket combustion chamber at
full power.
January 8: NASA requested eight Red-
stone-type launch vehicles from the Army
February 2: First annual report on Aero-
to be used in Project Mercury develop-
nautical and Space Activities, covering
ment flights.
all U.S. activities during the year 1958,
JanuAiry 9: NASA-DOD agreement was forwarded to the Congress by the
signed for a "National Program To Meet President
Satellite and Space Vehicle Tracking and
Surveillance Requirements" for fiscal February 6: First test launch of USAF
year 1959 and fiscal year 1960. Titan ICBM (A-3) from Cape Canaveral.

January 12: NASA announced selection FebruMry 11: Army announced that a
of McDonnell Aircraft Corp., as source weather balloon, launched at the Signal
for design, development, and construc- Research and Development Laboratory,
tion of Mercury capsule. Fort Monmouth, N.J., had established a
world altitude record of 146,000 feet.
January 15: First successful castings of
molybdenum made at U.S. Bureau of February 11: VANGUARD II (SLV-^),
Mines Laboratory at Albany, Oreg. the fifth U.S.-IGY satellite, successfully
January 19: The AEG demonstrated a launched payload containing photocells
5-watt radioisotope thermoelectric gener- designed to produce cloud cover images
for 2 weeks precessing or wobbling pre-
ator (designated SNAP 3) to President ;

Eisenhower as an example of the poten- vented significant interpretation of data.

( See Appendix A.
tial use of radioisotopes and static ther-
moelectric conversion for providing long-
lived electric power for space. USAF Committee presided over by

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Associate Director

January 21: First Chrysler-made, opera- of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observ-
tional version of Army Jupiter IRBM, atory at Cambridge, Mass., recommended
successfully launched from AMR. that the USAF continue to take a posi-
tive approach to UFO's, iuA'estigate re-
January 23: Dr. T. Keith Glennan, NASA ported sightings by all scientific means,
Administrator, announced appointment of and keep the public fully informed of
chairmen of 13 new research advisory existing policy. Of the unknown ob-
committees to provide technical counsel jects sighted, it reported, no scientific
from industry, universities, and govern- evidence supports the conclusion that the
ment organizations. objects were spacecraft.

February 19: Monorail two-stage rocket- March 11: NASA granted
$350,000 to Na-
research sled attained 3,090 mph, or tional Academyof Sciences-National Re-
roughly Mach 4.1, at Holloman AFB. search Council for program of research
appointments in theoretical and experi-
February 20: NASA awarded $105 mil- mental physics to stimulate basic re-
lion in contracts for 1959 projects (15 search in the space sciences.
March 12: Second British Black Knight
February 23: Navy revealed development rocket reached 350-mile altitude at Woo-
of steerable molybdenum nozzle used in
mera, Australia.
the solid-propellant Polaris missile.
March 12-14 ' Second meeting of COSPAR
held at The Hague, the Netherlands.
satellite weighing 1,450 pounds, success-
fully launched into polar orbit by USAF
March 13: The President announced the
Thor-Hustler booster from Pacific Mis-
establishment of the Federal Council for
sile Range stabilization diflaculties ham-
Science and Technology to promote closer
pered tracking acquisition. (See Ap-
cooperation among Federal agencies in
pendix A,
planning their respective research and
March 1: "Poor man's rocket," Scout, development programs.
was jointly announced by NASA and AF.
The concept of Scout originated at Lang-
: From an of 123 miles

ley Research Center in 1958, based upon

boosted by an NRL Aerobee-Hi rocket,
fired from White Sands, N. Mex., the
extensive experience with staged solid-
first ultraviolet photos of the sun were
propellant rockets.
taken and recorded.
March 3: PIONEER IV, fourth U.S.-IGY
space probe, a joint ABMA-JPL project March 14 : National Academy of Sciences
under direction of NASA, was launched delegate to OOSPAR transmitted to
by a Juno II rocket from AMR and CO SPAR President the offer of NASA to
achieved earth-moon trajectory, passing carry experiments by scientists of other
within 37,000 miles of the moon before nations in U.S. space vehicles.
going into permanent solar orbit. Radio
contact was maintained to a record dis- March 15: Army Redstone ejected minia-
tance of 406,620 miles. It was the first ture TV camera which transmitted pic^
U.S. sun-orbiter. (See Appendix A.) tures of its target impact area.

: NASA's Langley Research Center March 17: First flight launching of a

launched a series of six-stage
first in spin-stabilized 20-inch-diameter spherical
solid-fuel rocket research vehicles, the rocket, by NASA Langley's PARD
at Wal-
world's first, from Wallops Island, Va., lops Station, Va.
to a speed of Mach 26 in a reentry
physics program. : ARPA announced that DISCOV-
ERER I was no longer in orbit.
March British National Committee on

Space Research, H. S. W. Massey as March 18: Army Signal Corps and RCA
chairman, held its first meeting. announced development of micromodules
for electronic devices which ultimately
March Radio signals received from
could permit 500,000 components to be
PIONEER IV from a distance of 406,620 packed into a cubic inch of si)ace.
miles from earth, a new communications
March 19: Deputy Secretary of Defense
March French Veronique sound-
7: First Quarles announced that three atomic
ing rocket launched from Columb Bechar blasts were fired in space (Project Argus)
to an altitude of 155 miles. in 1958, using modified X-17 rockets.

March 10: First captive flight of X-15 March 20: MIT announced successful
(No. 1) under modified B-52 with A. radar signal returns from Venus had
Scott Crossfield in the cockpit additional
; been performed on February 10 and 12,
captive flights were made on April 1, 1958, return signals being one ten-mil-
April 10, and May 21. lionth as strong as transmission signals.

1959 —Continued teeon the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
convene in New York on May 6.
March 24: NASA announced that Wallops
Station had made over 3,300 rocket fir- April 20: NASA announced acceptance of
ings since 1945. proposals by the Canadian Defense Re-
search Telecommunications Establish-
April 2: Seven astronauts were selected ment for continuing joint rocket and
for Project Mercury after a series of the satellite ionospheric experiments of a
most rigorous physical and mental tests nonmilitary nature.
ever given to U.S. test pilots. Chosen
from a field of 110 candidates, the final- April 23: Fourth recovery of a data
ists were all qualified test pilots Capts. :
capsule at AMR, USAF Thor 1,500-mile
Leroy G. Cooper, Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, accuracy test fiight.

and Donald K. Slay ton, (USAF) Lt. ;

Malcolm S. Carpenter, Lt. Comdr. Alan President announced the resigna-


B. Shepard, Jr., and Lt. Comdr. Walter tion Richard E. Horner, Assistant
M. Schirra, Jr. (USN) ; and Lt. Col. Secretary of the Air Force for Research
John H. Glenn (USMC). and Development, to become Associate
Administrator of NASA effective July
: Lt. Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, 1st.
Commander AFBMD, was named Com-
mander of Air Research and Develop- : First test flight of USAF GAM-77
ment Command. Hound Dog at AMR.

: USAF Bold Orion ballistic missile April 2^: Hugh L. Dryden and
test launched from B-^7 jet bomber. Loftus Becker appointed to assist
Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge in the
April 7: AEG Los Alamos Scientific Lab- forthcoming meetings at the United
oratory announced development of Nations of the Committee on Peaceful
plasma thermocouple for direct conver- Uses of Outer Space.
sion of energy from a nuclear reactor
into electricity, offering potential auxil- April 27: Meeting of DOD working group
iary power source for space applications. on Project Mercury search and recovery
operations was held at Patrick Air Force
: First operational flight of USAF Base, with major emphasis placed on the
Snark to target on AMR. first two ballistic Atlas shots, and com-
mand relationships.
April 8: Reentry body of USAF Thor-
Able recovered at the far end of the At- The 1958 Annual Report of the

lantic Missile Range first recovery after

National Advisory Committee for Aero-
an ICBM range flight by AFMTC task nautics, the 44th and final report of
force. NACA established in 1915, was submitted
to Congress by the President. It con-
April 13: DISCOVERER II satellite suc- tained historical sections by Jerome C.
cessfully placed into polar orbit by Thor-
Hunsaker and James H. Doolittle.
Agena A
booster, but capsule ejection
malfunctioned causing it to impact in
vicinity of Spitsbergen on April 14 in-
: DX
priority (highest national
priority) assigned to Project Mercury.
stead of vicinity of Hawaii. It was first
vehicle known to have been placed, in a
April 28: NASA announced the signing
polar orbit and was the first attempt to
of a $24 million contract with Douglas
recover an object from orbit.
Aircraft Co., Inc., for a three-stage Thor-
: VANGUARD (SLV-5) failed to
Vanguard launching rocket called Delta.
achieve payload orbit because of loss of
second-stage pitch attitude control. April 29-30: Symposium sponsored by the
Space Science Board of the National
April 16: First Thor IRBM launched by Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the
British crew at Vandenberg AFB. American Physical Society, held in Wash-
ington to review space research findings
April 17: United States formally re- and the objectives of future research
quested that the United Nations Commit- programs in the space sciences.

During April: The Tiros meteorological University of Minnesota scientist

satellite program was transferred from under ONR contract launched unmanned
the Department of Defense to the re- balloon to 100,000 feet, where first posi-
sponsibility of NASA for the national tive measurement of intense solar pro-
meteorological satellite program. At the tons associated with a solar flare was
same time, a Joint Meteorological Satel- made.
lite Advisory Committee was established.
— USAF Thor launched GE Mark 2

nose cone 1,500 miles down AMF, re-

May 1 NASA's Administrator announced
covered data capsule contained photo-
the naming of Goddard Space Flight
graph of the earth from 300-mile altitude.
Center under construction near Green-
belt,Md., in commemoration of Robert
May 13: British plan for launching an
H. Goddard, American pioneer in rocket
earth satellite was revealed by Prime
research. Dr. Harry J. Goett was ap-
Minister Harold Macmillan before the
pointed Director in September.
House of Commons.

: Smithsonian Optical Tracking Sta- May IJf.: Use of moon as relay station

tion at Woomera, Australia, successfully for intercontinental transmission made

photographed VANGUARD I earth satel- from Jodrell Bank, England, to the USAF
lite at the apogee of its orbit, nearly Cambridge Research Center at Bedford,
2,500 miles from earth. Compared to Mass.
taking picture of golf ball 600 miles away,
this feat was repeated on May 3 and 4. May 15: Lt. Gen. Bernard A. Schriever,
Commander of ARDC, unveiled first re-
May 3: Dr. Otto Struve of the University entry vehicle ever to be recovered after
of California was appointed Director of a full intercontinental range flight.
the National Radio Astronomy Observa-
tory, to be located at Green Bank, W. Va. May 18: NASA announced formation of
Committee on Long-Range Studies
May Jj.: National Bureau of Standards re- headed by John A. Johnson to fulfill
leased details on the effect on the iono- charge of National Aeronautics and Space
sphere of the high-altitude nuclear shots Act of 1958 (sec. 102), calling for "estab-
called Teak and Orange on August 1 and lishment of long-range studies of the po-
12, 1958, over Johnston Island. tential benefits to be gained from, the
opportunities for, and the problems in-
May 6: NASA created a committee to volved in the utilization of aeronautical
study problems of long-range lunar ex- and space activities for peaceful and sci-
ploration to be headed by Dr. Robert entific purposes."

3Iay 26: ABMA static fired a single H-1
Saturn engine at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
: ABMA Jupiter IRBM made suc-
cessful 1,500-mile flight at Cape Canav-
eral and was declared operational by the
May 21: First flight test of USAF Bo-
USAF. marc B long-range interceptor missile.

May 28: Dr. George B. Kistiakowsky of

awarded contract to Con- Harvard University named special assist-
vair for development of Vega launch ve-
ant to the President for science and tech-
hicle for deep space probes and satellites.
nology, replacing Dr. James R. Killian,
May 6-June 25: Ad Hoc Committee on
the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space of Army Jupiter IRBM launched a

U.N. met in session at U.N. headquarters nose cone carrying two living passen-
in New York. —
gers Able, an American-born rhesus
monkey, and Baker, a South American
May 12: NASA announced training pro- squirrel monkey, to a 300-mile altitude,
gram for seven Project Mercury astro- and both were recovered alive. The med-
nauts to provide them with technical ical portions of the experiment were
knowledge and skills required to pilot carried out by the Army Medical Service
the Nation's manned orbital capsule. and Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Army

1959— Continued ance of the earth, its atmosphere, and
the solar energy flux, failed to go into
Ordnance Missile Command, with the co- orbit.
operation of the USN School of Aviation
Medicine and the USAF School of Avia- June 23: USAF Arnold Engineering De-
tion Medicine. velopment Center was directed by ARDC
to prepare operating and design require-
June 1: Rhesus monkey Able died from ments for a "Large Space Environments
effects of anesthesia given for removal Test Facility" for testing and developing
of electrode instrumentation, autopsy re- military space weapons.
vealing no effects from flight on May 28,
at Army Research Laboratory, Fort
June 25: DISCOVERER IV failed to
achieve orbit.
Knox, Ky.
June 29: NASA welcomed announcement
June 3: Moon
relay transmission of Pres- of United Kingdom approval of proposals
ident Eisenhovi^er's voice by recording for cooperative scientific research in
was made from Millstone Hill Radar space with the United States pending
Observatory, Westford, Mass., to Prince formal arrangements.
Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.
June 30: Considerable effort devoted to
: DISCOVERER III failed to determining the causes of the malfunc-
achieve orbit. tions that resulted in the explosion of
four out of five Atlas missiles launched
June 5: Construction at Cape Canaveral before June 30.
for the Saturn begun.
During June: NASA issued Research
June 6: Army announced
that sea urchin Memo (4-17-59L) entitled "Airplane
eggs fertilized before Jupiter nose cone Measurements of Atmospheric Turbu-
flight continued to grow normally. lence at Altitudes between 20,000 and
55,000 feet for Four Geograjjhic Areas,"
June 8: X-15 (No. 1) research airplane analyzing data acquired by Lockheed
made its first glide flight with A. Scott U-2 aircraft over western United States,
Crossfield as pilot, after being carried
England and Western Europe, Turkey,
by the B-52 mother ship to an altitude
and Japan.
of 38,000 feet.
Deployment of first USAF opera-

Mail carried by missile as 3,000

Thor IRBM squadron to the United
letters were delivered by a Regulus I Kingdom.
from the submarine Barhero to NAS
Mayport, Fla. Operating velocity of Mach 6 was

achieved in AEDC wind tunnel with a

June 9 : First Polaris-carrier nuclear sub- 40- by 40-inch test section at TuUahoma,
marine launched at Groton, Conn., the Tenn.
George Washington.
July 1: The first experimental reactor
June 12: Scientific subcommittee of the (Kiwi- A) in the nuclear space rocket
U.N. Committee on Peaceful Uses of program operated successfully at full
Outer Space proposed creation of a temperature and duration at Jackass
center to promote international coopera- Flats, Nev.
tion in outer space research.
July 6: Comdr. M. Lee Lewis (USN)
June 11: First USAF test firing of an killed in accident shortly before scheduled
experimental escape capsule. launching of high-altitude balloon at St.
Paul, Minn. He is credited with orig-
June 18: Six U.S. Navy enlisted men be- inating the Rockoon concept.
gan an 8-day experiment in a simulated
July 7." Four-stage Argo D4 rocket with
space cabin at the Air Crew Equipment
Laboratory of the Naval Air Material an ARDC Javelin payload fired from
Center at the Philadelphia Naval Base. Wallops Island to an altitude of 750
miles, first in a series of USAF-NASA
June 22: VANGUARD (SLV-6) satellite launchings to measure natural radiation
designed to measure the radiation bal- surrounding the earth.

July 8: As developmental planning for the first of 12 designed to record radia-
Project Mercury evolved, NASA notified tion 150 miles up and also the first bal-
the Army that to reduce the variety of listic missile fired from this new facility.
launching vehicles the Jupiter missile
would not be used for Project Mercury During July: Project Mercury astronauts
tests. completed disorientation flights on three-
axis space-flight simulator, the MASTIF
July 9: NASA Lewis Research Center (Multiple Axis Space Test Inertia Fa-
operated a research model of an ion cility), at NASA Lewis Research Center.
rocket in a newly completed electric-
rocket test facility designed for basic in- : Portion of Chincoteague (Va.)
vestigations into the problems associated Naval Air Station transferred to NASA
with a reliable ion rocket with a mini- for use in connection with Wallops Sta-
mum life of 1 year. tion rocket range.

July 10: A 10-page report of Soviet, Brit-

August-December: Conference of the In-
ish,and United States scientists recom-
ternational Telecommunications Union
mended that satellites be used to detect
which was held at Geneva, Switzerland,
nuclear explosions in space.
allocated radio frequency bands for space
July 11: ONR STRATOSCOPE I balloon and earth-space use.
with camera to photograph the sun was
launched from St. Paul, Minn., to an alti- During summer: Under joint sponsorship
tude of 81,250 feet. of National Science Foundation and the
Office of Naval Research, Princeton Uni-
July 13: Largest plastic balloon to date versity scientists successfully photo-
(6 million cubic feet) launched by Office graphed sunspots with unprecedented
of Naval Research with 173 pounds of clarity by means of 12-inch solar tele-
instruments, at Fort Churchill, Canada, scope, STRATOSCOPE I, mounted on a
balloon platform at an altitude of near
July H: U.N. Assembly Document No. 80,000 feet. (See July 11 and 13.)
A/4141, Report of the Ad Hoc Committee
on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, was August 3: First flight test of Navy Sub-
released. roc antisub missile from NOTS, China
Lake, Calif.
July 16: NASA, with Army as executive
agent of a joint ABMA-JPL project, at- August 7: EXPLORER VI, popularly
tempted Explorer satellite launch with called "Paddlewheel
the Satellite,"
Juno II booster, but it was destroyed 5^/^ launched by NASA Thor- Able 3, con-
seconds after launch by range safety tained 14 experiments, and a photocell
officer. scanner which transmitted a crude pic-
ture of the earth's surface and cloud
: Second largest reflector telescope cover from a distance of 17,000 miles.
in the world, the 120-inch telescope at Placed in highly elliptical orbit (26,000
the Lick Observatory, was dedicated. miles out, 156 miles in), it gave a broad
sample of readings. (See Appendix A.)
July 20: NASA selected Western Electric
Co. to build worldwide network of track- Comdr. M. Ross (USNR) and R.

ing and ground instrument stations to be Cooper (High Altitude Observatory)

used in Project Mercury. flew STRATO-LAB open gondola balloon
to 38,000 feet for solar studies with a
July 21: A full-scale USAF Atlas ICBM coronagraph.
nose cone recovered for the first time
after flight down the AMR. USAF launched 39-inch weather

balloon with radar reflector (Robin)

July 24: USAF Thor data capsule re- from rocket at 50-mile altitude.
covered near Antigua which contained
movie film showing nose cone separation. August 10: USAF canceled research pro-
gram to develop exotic chemical fuels for
July 29: Two-stage Nike-Asp fired from proposed Mach 3 B-70 bomber and F-108
Naval Missile Facility, Point Arguello, interceptor.

August 27: Satellite tracking station at
1959— Continued Woomera, Australia, successfully photo-
August 13: DISCOVERER V placed into graphed EXPLORER VI at a distance
polar orbit by AF Thor-Agena A, but of 14,000 miles.
reentry capsule not recovered due to
postejection malfunctions. First British Commonwealth Sym-

posium on Space Flight began in London.

August H: With Army as executive agent
of ABMA-JPL Project, Beacon satellite August 29: Navy technician withstood
launched by Juno II failed to go into record 31 g's in centrifuge at AMAL,
orbit. Johnsville, Pa.

: While EXPLORER VI satellite

August 31: Tenth lAF meeting oi)ened
was passing over Mexico at an altitude in London.
of about 17,000 miles, it successfully
transmitted a crude picture of a sunlit, September 1: USAF Atlas ICBM offi-
crescent-shaped portion of the North Cen- cially declared operational and taken
tral Pacific Ocean. The area of earth over by the Strategic Air Command, at
photographed was 20,000 square miles. Vandenberg AFB.
August 11: First of NIKE-ASP sound- September 2: Dr. Theodore von Karmdn
ing rockets to provide geophysical in-
named chairman of a committee to estab-
formation on wind activity between 50
lish an International Academy on Astro-
and 150 miles high was launched suc- nautics.
cessfully from NASA Wallops Station.

DISCOVERER VI satellite September 4: ONR SKYHOOK unmanned

August 19:
balloon launched from Sioux Falls,
orbited successfully, but reentry capsule
S. Dak., by Raven Industries, establish-
not recovered.
ing new unofficial altitude record of
August 21: Laimching of Mercury cap- 148,000 feet for unmanned balloon.
sule mockup from Wallops Station to test
the escape and recovery systems; emer- September 9: NASA boilerplate model of
gency escape rocket accidentally fired 30 Mercury capsule successfully launched
minutes before scheduled firing of the on an Atlas (Big Joe) missile from AMR
Little Joe booster. and recovered in South Atlantic after
surviving reentry heat of more than
established Bioscience Ad- 10,000° F.
visory Committee, headed by Dr. Sey-
mour S. Kety, to study U.S. capability in : First launch of operational AF
space-oriented life science research and Atlas lOBM from Vandenberg AFB was
development and to recommend future successful, and second Atlas ICBM fired
NASA role in this area in terms of a from Cape Canaveral the same day.
national space program.
September 12: Russia's LUNIK II
August 2Jt: USAF fired Atlas-O 5,000 launched with a total payload weight of
miles and recovered nose cone camera 858.4 iwunds, became the first manmade
with photographs of one-sixth of earth's object to hit the moon on the following
surface taken from 700 miles up, near day. Its launching coincided with the
Ascension Island. departure of Premier Nikita Khrushchev
for the United States in turboprop Tu-
August 25: NASA Western Operations
114. ( See Appendix A.
Office, Santa Monica, Calif., made re-
sponsible for liaison, administrative, and
management support west of Denver, September 15: First static test firing of
Colo., for rapidly expanding NASA re-
USAF Minuteman, a second generation
search and development activities.
solid-fuel ICBM.

Reflected signals off the moon suc-

: Premier Khrushchev presented

cessfully received at the University of President Eisenhower with a replica of

Texas from the Royal Radar Establish- the Soviet coat of arms inpacted on the
ment at Malvern, England. moon on September 13.

September 16: Army Jupiter launched released by NASA. Picture showed
with NASA biomedical experiment from crescent shape of the sunlit portion of the
Cape Canaveral, destroyed by a i-ange earth and crude cloud-cover image.
officer after fish tailing.
During September : Dr. Hugh L. Dryden,
—— : Full-sized Slinuteman ICBM
USAF Deputy Administrator of NASA, took
model launched from underground silo. part in a number of discussions with
European scientific community to assess
September 17: ARPA-Navy TRANSIT space interest there and to indicate
lA navigation satellite vpas successfully NASA's desire to work out possible co-
laimched by Thor-Able booster, but did operative space research programs.
not orbit due to third-stage malfunction.
October 1: NASA personnel total reached
: First povs^ered flight of X-15 (No. 9,347.
2) research airplane, released from its
B-52 mother ship approximately 36 min- October 2: AFMTC Commander Maj.
utes after takeoff ( Interim Thiokol-RMD Gen. Donald N. Yates, appointed Depart-
XLR-11 engines), A. Scott Crossfield as ment of Defense representative for Proj-
pilot. ect Mercury support operations.

September 18: VANGUARD III, sixth October J,: NASA LITTLE JOE launch
U.S.-IGY satellite, successfully injected vehicle carrying a boilerplate Mercury
into orbit, marking the end of Vanguard capsule with a dummy escape system
launching activities. VANGUARD III successfully launched from Wallops Sta-
provided comprehensive survey of mag- tion, Va.
netic field, lovrer edge of radiation belts,
and accurate micrometeorite impacts. LUNIK III, Russia's translunar

earth satellite began photographing trip

:Secretary of Defense McElroy is- around the moon, while Premier Khru-
sued order entitled "Satellite and Space shchev was visiting Peiping. (See Ap-
Vehicle Operations," assigning basic re- pendix A.)
October 6: EXPLORER VI ceased trans-
September 22: Nuclear submarine Pairicfc missions.
Henry launched at Groton, Conn.
: USAF launched an Atlas ICBM
September 23: Director of Defense Re- and a Thor IRBM at their full range
search and Engineering, Dr. Herbert F. from Cape Canaveral.
York, announced reorganization of mili-
tary space and missile program, with October 8: PIONEER IV reached first
major role going to Air Force. Four aphelion (estimated 107,951,000 miles)
ARPA space projects vpere to be trans- in its orbit around the sun at 8 p.m.,
ferred to the services. e.s.t. Since launch on March 3,
PIONEER IV was tracked by JPL's
September 24 NASA Atlas- Able-4 launch
•' Goldstone tracking station to 407,000
vehicle, minus its payload, undergoing miles from earth.
static tests at AMR, exploded while being
prepared for the launch of a 375-pound October 13: EXPLORER VIII, the
satellite into a lunar orbit in October. seventh and last U.S.-IGY earth satel-
and now under direction of NASA
September 27; NASA renamed High with the Army as executive agent,
Speed Flight Station at Edwards, Calif., launched into an earth orbit by modified
to be NASA Flight Research Center, Army Juno II. By late December, data
consistent with mission responsibility for from the satellite indicated possible re-
all but STOL and VTOL flight research lationships between solar events and
at low-speed ranges conducted at NASA geomagnetic storms, and revealed in-
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, formation about trapped radiation and
Calif. cosmic rays near the earth. With
launching of this ABMA-JPL project, all
September 28: Pictures taken from satel- experiments for the U.S.-IGY space pro-
lite EXPLORER VI over Mexico at gram had been successfully placed into
19,500 miles altitude on August 14, were orbit.

1959— Continued November 7: USAF DISCOVERER VII
satellite placed into polar orbit, but cap-
October 13: USAF Bold Orion launched sule recovery not achieved.
from B-47 near Patrick AFB passed
within 4 miles of EXPLORER VI at an November 9: Entire outer Van Allen
altitude of 160 miles in test firing. radiation belt broke up and disappeared
for several days, according to data anal-
October 1^: First successful flight test of ysis from EXPLORER VII reported at
Nike-Zeus at WSPG. AAAS meeting in New York, December
29, 1960.
October 11: A
second powered free flight
of the X-15 (No. 2) research airplane November 10: Five-stage sounding rocket
accomplished most planned objectives. launched from NASA
Wallops Island to
an altitude of 1,050 miles to measure
October 18: LUNIK III provided man's density of electrons in upper atmosphere.
firstlook at 70 percent of the backside of
the moon, 2 weeks after launch, by trans- : The AEC's SNAP 2 Experimental
mitting automatically taken pictures. Reactor (SER) achieved initial design
Pictures were released on October 26. power of 50 thermal kilowatts in de-
velopmental tests at the Atomics Inter-
October 21: The President by Executive national, Santa Susana, Calif., test site.
Order indicated that the Development SER, the first reactor designed for use
Operations Division of ABMA would be in space, was being developed for Air
transferred to NASA, subject to the ap- Force surveillance satellite systems.
proval of Congress.
: Air Force placed contracts for
October 26: USSR released photo of Dyna-Soar project with Boeing and
the far side of the moon taken by LUNIK Martin.
November 11-22: Under sponsorship of
October 28: 100-foot-diameter inflatable
CO SPAR, an internationally coordinated
program of scientific rocket soundings of
sphere launched on a suborbital test
the upper atmosphere was conducted.
flightfrom NASA Wallops Station, Va.,
The U.S. contribution included 10 rocket
to an altitude of 250 miles by a first
Sergeant-Delta rocket; aluminum-coated
Mylar-plastic sphere to be used as pas-
Novem>ber 13: National Science Founda-
sive electronic reflector in Echo was de-
tion and the OflSce of Naval Research re-
veloped by NASA Langley's Space
leased select photographs from the more
Vehicle Group under the direction of
than 1,(X)0 taken of the sun on Strato-
William J. O'Sullivan.
scope balloon flights over Minnesota on
July 11, August 17, and September 4.
October 29: USAF Atlas successfully
launched from Cape Canaveral carrying November World's largest balloon
a nose-cone camera which took a series (10^ cubic feet) launched from Strato-
of photographs of the earth's cloud cover
bowl near Rapid City, S. Dak., by W^inzen
from a 300-mile altitude. Research, reaching maximum altitude of
near 118,000 feet with a 1-ton payload
November 2: President Eisenhower an-
nounced his intention of transferring the
Saturn project to NASA, which became : New Aerospace Medical Center
effective on March 15, 1960. dedicated at Brooks AFB, Tex.
November If: NASA launched a second November 16: Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger,
LITTLE JOE from Wallops Station, to Jr. (USAF), made record parachute
test the Mercury escape system under jump from open balloon gondola at an
severe dynamic pressure launch ve-
; altitude of 76,400 feet (EXCELSIOR I).
hicle functioned perfectly, but the escai)e
rocket ignited several seconds too late. November 17: Based on September de-
cision that all Department of Defense
November 5: Third powered flight of the satellite and space vehicle programs
X-15 (No. 2). would be assigned to the military service

of primary interest, various projects graph, and observing water vapor in the
were assigned. Discoverer, Midas, and atmosphere of the planet Venus.
Samos were transferred from ARPA to
the Air Force. During November: Prototype Goodrich
full-pressure Mercury astronaut suits
Pending formal transfer of the
(modified Navy Mark IV) were delivered
Saturn project, the Associate Adminis- to NASA. Navy Air Crew Equipment
trator of NASA requested the Director Laboratory (NACEL) of Philadelphia
of Space Flight Development to form a fitted suits and indoctrinated the astro-
study group with membership from nauts on their use.
NASA, the Directorate of Defense Re-
search and Engineering, ARPA, ABMA, :Cooperative space efforts were dis-
and the Air Force to prepare recom- cussed with Soviet scientists attending
mendations for the development, and se- the American Rocket Society meeting in
lection of upper stage configurations. Washington, D.C.

November 18: Nike?-Asp sounding rocket December 1: 12 nations (including United

from NASA Wallops Station emitted
fired States and U.S.S.R.) signed Antarctic
sodium vapor at 50-mile altitude to 150 Treaty promoting scientific research and
miles, revealing powerful windshear barring any military activity in the area.
: New Bureau of Naval Weapons,
: NASA-DOD memorandum of un- consolidating the Bureau of Ordnance
derstanding signed providing for interim and the Bureau of Aeronautics, began
management of Project Saturn pending functioning.
its formal transfer to NASA.
: USAF reduced order for the B-70
November 19: Second sodium-vapor-trail bomber to only two prototyi)es.
experiment in Nike-Asp launch from Wal-
December 2: Construction of a missile
lops Island was not successful.
tracking station on Roi Namur Island
November 20: DISCOVERER VIII satel- near Kwajalein in the Central Pacific
litesuccessfully placed into polar orbit, was announced by DOD.
but capsule was not recovered.
December ^: Third LITTLE JOE suc-
: Polaris test missiles successfully cessfully launched at NASA Wallops
launched from launching ship, Observa- Station as part of Project Mercury de-
tion Island, off Cape Canaveral. velopment prograni, carried a monkey
named "Sam" 55 miles into space which
November 26: Pioneer lunar probe was was recovered safely.
normally lifted by Atlas-Able 4 launch
vehicle, but failure of plastic fairing December 7: UnoflScial altitude record of
covering payload (at 45 seconds after 98,560 feet set by Navy McDonnell F4H
launch) caused payload to break away. carrier jet at Edwards AFB, Comdr. L. E.
Flint as pilot.
November 27: Hiller X-18 tilt-wing re-
search transport made first flight at :Administrator of NASA, Dr. T.
Edwards AFB. Keith Glennan, offered services of U.S.
worldwide tracking network in support
November 28: During severe geomagnetic of any manned space flight the U.S.S.R.
storm, two Geiger tubes on EXPLORER might plan to undertake, in a speech be-
VII found anomalies in the outer radia- fore the Institute of World Affairs in
tion zone at about l,00O-km altitude, Pasadena, Calif.
which appeared to be correlated in space
and time with optical emissions from the : Nine nations including the Soviet
atmosphere below. Very intense narrow Union approved a new charter for
zones of radiation were detected over a CO SPAR at The Hague, which opened
visible aurora during one orbit. membership in COSPAR to all national
academies of science engaged in space
November 28-29: Comdr. M. Ross and research, and created a nine-representa-
Dr. C. B. Moore flew ONR STRATO-LAB tive executive board. The U.S.S.R. had
HIGH IV balloon to an altitude of 81,000 not participated in COSPAR delibera-
feet, using a 16-inch telescope and spectro- tions since November 1958.

1959— Continued December 15: Convair F-106A broke
straightaway course record at 1,525.95
mph, piloted by Maj. J. W. Rogers
December Don R. Ostrander
8: Maj. Gen. (USAF).
(USAF) named Director of NASA's Of-
fice of Launch Vehicle Programs and re- :NASA released detailed compari-
sponsible for launch vehicle development son of United States and U.S.S.R. space
and operations. sciences programs prepared by Dr.
Homer E. Newell, which pointed up the
Brig. Gen. Austin W. Betts (USA)
importance of leadtime in vehicle tech-
was named Director of ARPA
to replace nology.
Acting Director, Gen. D. Ostrander
(USAF). Mid-December: NASA team completed
study design of upper stages of Saturn
December 9: USAF Goodyear unmanned launch vehicle.
balloon launched from Akron, Ohio, to
an altitude of 100,000 feet, vphere radar December 16: Transmitters of VAN-
photographs of the earth's surface were GUARD III, launched on September 18,
taken. became providing tracking
silent after
signals and scientific data for 85 days.
Kaman H-iSB established new
Satellite was expected to remain in orbit
helicopter altitude record of 30,100 feet. 40 years.

December 10: U.S. Ambassador Lodge December 17: Launching of NASA-

presented a resolution to the Assembly of AFBMD Thor-Able space probe designed
the United Nations recommending that to boost 90-pound payload to explore
an international conference on the peace- space between Earth and Venus was
ful uses of outer space be convened in postponed.
1960 or 1961.
December 18: Atlas ICBM made second
December 11: Capt. Kittinger (USAF)
J. successful 6,325-mile flight at AMR.
flew EXCELSIOR II balloon from Hollo-
man AFB to an altitude of 74,700 feet December 19: The Chairman, AEC, in a
and bailed out, establishing stable free letter the Administrator of NASA,
fall for 55,000 feet. proposed a flight test objective be estab-
lished for the nuclear rocket program
New world speed record for 100-km
and proposed a technical program and
closed course set by Brig. Gen. J. H. division of agency responsibilities to
Moore (USAF) in F-105B, at 1,216.48 achieve those objectives.
December 20: Dr. Melvin Calvin reported
: NASA discontinued multistage that molecules in meteorites resembled
Vega vehicle program to reduce number basic constituents of genetic material
of rocket vehicles and to exploit reliabil- found on earth.
ity factor in future satellite and space
projects. December 22: In a United States-Cana-
dian cooperative project, NASA launched
December 12: First Titan ICBM launch- the first four-stage Javelin soiinding
ing testing second stage was unsuccessful rocket from Wallops Station to an alti-
at AMR. tude of 560 miles to measure the inten-
sity of galactic radio noise.
United Nations created permanent

24-nation committee to study Peaceful December 21: NASA proposed joint space
Uses of Outer Space and to arrange for efforts with other nations to promote
an international conference. international cooperation in space
December H: Lockheed P-104C piloted
by Capt. J. B. Jordan (USAF) climbed December SO: U.S.S. George Washington,
to new world's record for jet aircraft of the first fleet Polaris submarine, was
103,389 feet. commissioned.

: Scientists associated with EX- During 1959: Lewis Research Center de-
PLORER VII experiments reported their veloped general method for automatic
preliminary findings in a press confer- computation of theoretical rocket per-
ence at NASA Headquarters, which indi- formance for propellant combinations in-
cated sporadic burst of radiation from volving up to 10 chemical elements;
the sun could influence manned space method permitting rapid performance
flight. calculation for virtually any conceivable
fuel-oxidant combination.
December 31: Mercury astronauts com-
pleted basic and theoretical studies in : Pratt & Whitney conducted thrust
their training program and started prac- chamber tests of high-energy upper stage
tical engineering studies. rocket engine using liquid hydrogen
More than 100 drop tests of boiler-

plate Mercury capsules had been com- : Previous experience led NASA
pleted from aircraft to test and develop Lewis Research Center design and
the parachute system. construct experimental high-temperature
jet engine which demonstrated feasibil-
Approximately 300 U.S. research
ity of gas turbine operation at inlet gas
rockets were launched during the 30- temperatures up to 2,500° F, almost 1,000°
month IGY/IGC-59 period 221 of these :
above conventional gas-turbine engine.
were launched during the IGY. This This test engine had a cooled turbine.
compared with the some 400 U.S. re-
search rockets flred during the entire pre- Aeromedical Laboratory completed

ceding 12-year period from the beginning development and testing of the full-pres-
of high-altitude rocket research circa sure pilot suit for use by pilots of the
1945 to July 1, 1957. X-15.

The IGY/IGC-59 program ended,

: The National Science Foundation
but international cooperation in geo- sited a national observatory on Kitt
physics was to continue without a formal Peak, Ariz., 40 miles southwest of Tucson,
name under the sponsorship of Inter- for construction of a 36-inch reflector and
national Council of Scientific Unions. an 80-inch telescope, and a 60-inch solar
telescope. The solar telescope is sched-
NASA continued to make data from
scientific satellites and space probes uled for completion in 1961 and will be
available to the world scientific com- several times larger than the largest in-
munity utilizing COSPAR and World strument of its kind in existence.
Data Centers established during the IGY.
NASA Lewis Research Center first

operated hydrogen fluorine thrust cham-

During December: National Radio bers at simulated high-altitude condi-
Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, tions obtaining unusually high perform-
W. Va., placed its 85-foot equatorially
mounted radio telescope in full operation
and continued construction of its 140- Aeromedical Field Laboratory at

foot telescope which was planned for op- Holloman AFB began training of chim-
eratlon in 1961. All qualified U.S. panzees for flights in ballistic and orbital
astronomers have access to these facili- flights for Project Mercury.
ties sponsored by the National Science
Foundation, with priorities determined : School of Aviation Medicine un-
by the scientific merit of their respective dertook to evolve a system for maintain-
projects. ing animals in sealed, self-contained
ecological systems under a variety of
:USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards physical conditions, such as weight-
AFB proposed curriculum for Space Re^ lessness, acceleration, vibration, and
search Pilot Course in defining training spinning.
needs for 1960-65.
: Transatlantic air passengers to-
Briefing on the orbiting Astronom-
: taled 1,367,000 persons on scheduled
ical Observatory Satellite (AOS) pro^ flights and 173,000 on charter and special
gram was given for interested members flights for the year, as compared to 884,-
of industry at NASA headquarters. 000 sea passengers.

January 1 : NASA headquarters reorgani- plan of space activities to Congress the ;

zation became effective, including a new plan included 25 major vehicle launch-
Office of Launch Vehicle Programs. ings per year of increasing mission
capability as research and development
January 6: Second full-range Atlas lOBM programs proceed,
impacted target area 6,325 miles down
AMR. :Navy Polaris successfully tested in
900-mile flight from Cape Canaveral.
January 7: In his State-of-the-Union mes-
sage, President Eisenhower requested re-
: U.S.S.R. fired long-range ballistic
vision of the National Aeronautics and
missile into Pacific.
Space Act of 1958, to abolish the National
Aeronautics and Space Council and the January 21: Fourth LITTLE JOE fired
Civilian-Military Liaison Committee Mercury capsule in successful test of
(CMLC). emergency-escape system to an altitude

Polaris test vehicle achieved first
of 9 miles from Wallops Station rhesus ;

fully guided flight from AMR.

monkey passenger, Miss Sam, success-
fully recovered after 20-g and 48,900-foot-
January 8-16: First International Space altitude fiijifht.

Science Symposium held at Nice, France,

under sponsorship of CO SPAR. U.S. del- January 22: Director of USIA, George V.
Allen, stated that the United States was
egation from the National Academy of
Sciences participated. facing a loss of prestige in world opinion
because of Soviet successes in space, in
January 11: Skybolt air-launched ballis- testimony before the House Science and
tic missile announced by USAF, proto- Astronautics Committee.
types of which had already been launched
from subsonic and supersonic aircraft. January 25: NASA's Bioscience Advisory
Committee submitted its report recom-
January 14: The President formally asked mending establishment of an office to
Congress to amend the National Aero- concern itself with the role of life sci-
nautics and Space Act of 1958, "to clarify ences in space exploration.
management responsibilities and to
streamline organizational arrangements : United States and Britain an-
concerning the national program of space nounced cooperative satellite project
exploration." using a Scout launch vehicle and several
British experiments.
: The President directed NASA Ad-
ministrator to examine need for addi- January 26: Javelin four-stage sounding
tional money for high-thrust launching rocket reached an altitude of 600 miles
vehicles, which resulted ultimately in from Wallops Station.
NASA's request for $113 million addi-
tional for the fiscal year 1961 budget
: Navy 173-foot-diameter balloon
launched from USS Valley Forge east of
January 15: Research Division created in Puerto Rico, carrying 1,630-pound pay-
USAF Research and Development Com- load to record cosmic ray and secondary
mand to coordinate basic research. particles. Payload film packs were re-
covered the next day by the destroyer
January 16: Second Sergeant-Delta Hyman.
launched lOO-foot-diameter inflatable
sphere to an altitude of 250 miles from January 28: NRL Communications Moon
Wallops Station, a development flight of Relay (CMR) system using the moon as
Project Echo. a reflector of radio signals between
Hawaii and Annapolis, Md., was first
House Science and Astronautics
publicly demonstrated.
Committee announced members of its
Panel on Science and Technology to pro- January 29: In agreement with the de-
vide consultation on major problems. sire of the Department of State, NASA
established the Office for the United Na-
January 20: NASA presented its 10-year tions Conference to prepare for U.S. par-

ticipation in an international scientific February 7: New EXPLORER VII data
conference on the peaceful uses of outer showed that outer Van Allen belt rim
space. Dr. John P. Hagen was named moved north and south as much as 500
as Director of OUNO. miles in latitude and varied in intensity
tenfold within a few hours.
January 30: USS Valley Forge launched
second cosmic ray research balloon south February 9: X-15 (No. 1) rocket re-
of Puerto Rico, the payload of which search airplane was delivered by North
was recovered the next day. American to NASA for further testing.

Airman B. Barwise (USAF) com-

: Test-stand construction progress
pleted 72-hour test afloat in survival announced for the development of large
capsule designed for B-70. F-1 rocket engine, near Edwards AFB,

January 31: U.S.S.R. fired second long-

Air Force dedicated the National

range missile into the Pacific.

Space Surveillance Control Center
During January: SPACETRACK (Na-
(SPACETRACK) at Bedford, Mass.
tional Space Surveillance Control Cen- February 10: Department of Defense an-
ter) at Bedford, Mass., began operations.
nounced that "mystery satellite" in near-
polar orbit since last January may be
Initial experimental investigation
ejected DISCOVERER V recovery cap-
of the plug-nozzle rocket engine was com- sule launched August 1959.
pleted by General Electric, a NASA con-
tractor. President Eisenhower toured Cape

February 1: NASA Administrator re-
quested another $113 million for fiscal February 11: X-15 (No. 2) ascended to
year 1961 to increase large launch ve- 86,700 feet in powered flight.
hicle program based on study directed by
the President on January 14. February 13: France became fourth nu-
clear power with explosion of plutonium
University of Chicago Project
: bomb in the Sahara Desert.
lOEF (International Cooperative Emul-
sion Flights), sponsored by the NSF and February 16: Reaction Motors Division
of Thiokol Chemical reported successful
ONR, laimched 10-million-cubic-foot
SKYHOOK baUoon completion of a series of 36 tests on the
to 21.4-mile altitude,
capturing ultra-high-energy cosmic ray
finalXLR-99 engine for the X-15, at the
particles for analysis by international
Arnold Engineering Development Center,
Tullahoma, Tenn.
groui)S of physicists.

First color photographs of the

February Titan ICBM fired from
earth taken at high altitude, secured
AMR, successfully achieving separation
with recovery of data capsule of Thor
and ignition of second stage.
launched on December 1, 1959.

February 3: Simulated weightlessness February 19: DISCOVERER X launched

experiment at USAF Aerospace Medical but did not attain orbit.
Laboratory ended, in which Dr. Duane
E. Graveline was submerged in a liquid Exos four-stage rocket launched

in centrifuge with a 5-g spin, and which reached 68-mile altitude at l^lin AFB,
demonstrated muscle deterioration with- Fla.
out exercise.
February 24: Titan ICBM successfully
February 4: Stanford University scien- fired 5,000 miles from Cape Canaveral,
tists reported on successful reflection of its longest flight to date.
radar signals off the sun's corona on
April 7, 10, and 12, 1959, NASA plans were outlined for the

conduct of a nuclear rocket flight test

: DISCOVERER EX failed to orbit program in a letter from the Administra-
from Vandenberg AFB, tor to the Chairman, ABC.

1960 —Continued March 10: OflSce of Reliability and Sys-
tems Analysis was established in NASA
February 25: First test launch of Army's Headquarters to conduct program design
Pershing tactical missile from Cape to evaluate and improve operational re-
Canaveral. liability of launch vehicles and pay-
loads. Landis S. Gephardt was named as
February 26: First USAF Midas test Director.
launch with Atlas-Agena from AMR
failedwhen a malfunction at staging March 11: PIONEER V, NASA space
damaged Agena. probe, successfully launched by Thor-
Able-4, the start of a historic flight to
:Establishment of Project Mercury measure radiation and magnetic fields
tracking networks in Australia was sanc- between Earth and Venus, and to com-
tioned by joint agreement. municate over great distances. Managed
by AFBMD and Space Technology Lab-
February 21: 100-foot-diameter inflatable oratories for NASA, PIONEER V carried
sphere successfully launched on third experiments designed by various civilian
suborbital test to an altitude of 225 miles, and governmental scientists. (See Ap-
from NASA "Wallops Station, Va. Radio pendix A.)
transmissions were reflected via the
sphere from Holmdel, N. J., to Round Hill, March 13: PIONEER V transmitted radio
Mass. signals from a distance of more than
409,000 miles, a new communications
:Atmosphere entry simulator at record.
NASA Ames Research Center completed
first successful launch and recovery of Lunar atlas published by the USAF,

test model launched at satellite speed representing a comprehensive collection

of 17,000 mph. First proposed by A. of high-quality photographs of the visible
Bggers in 1955, it had previously pro- surface of the moon prepared by G. P.
vided important information at ballistic Kuiper.
speeds. Throughout 1959-60, Ames sci-
entists contributed to understanding of March 15: Saturn project officially trans-
flight characteristics at altitudes over ferred to NASA from ABMA.
100 miles, using low density research
apparatus. George C. Marshall Space Flight

Center at Huntsville, Ala., named by

During early 1960: NASA Lewis Re- Executive Order of the President.
search Center completed flight safety
research program involving over 30 full- March 16: Ban on nuclear weapons being
scale experimental crashes and labora- placed in orbit around the earth in the
tory studies leading to improved criteria future proposed by the representatives of
for survivability. the Western nations at the Geneva Dis-
armament Conference.
March 1: NASA announced establish-
ment of the OflBee of Life Sciences to March 17: VANGUARD I still in orbit
provide focal point for broad-based sci- and transmitting on its second anniver-
entific study of life processes provided by sary after traveling 131,318,211 miles.
the space exploration program, not to NASA reported that VANGUARD I orbit
duplicate existing effort in military lab- was being altered by solar pressure.
oratories. Dr. Clark T. Randt was named
as Director. : X-15 (No. 2) passed stress flight
House Science and Astronautics

Committee voted $915 million for NASA March 18: PIONEER V reported on com-
in fiscal year 1961. mand to NASA Headquarters at 2 a.m.
from 1,002,700 miles away and trans-
March 8: First USAF
Atlas fiight using mitting seven kinds of scientific readings.
inertial guidance system.
: Princess Margaret of England
March 9: Navy fired Polaris 900 miles in commanded PIONEER V l,(MtO,000 miles
successful test of flight control equip- away and received answer 25 seconds
ment. later.

March 19: United States-Spanisli agree- During March: NASA let contract with
ment on Project Mercury tracking sta- Naval Ordnance Test Station, Inyokern,
tion in Canary Islands was announced Calif., tostudy the feasibility of control-
(1 of 16 similar agreements with other ling the direction of thrust from a nozzle
nations ) by injecting gas or liquid into the nozzle
expansion cone.
March USAF
Titan fired 5,000 stat-
ute miles and data capsule recovered.
April 1: First known weather observa-
tion satellite, TIROS I (Television Infra-
Red Observation Satellite) , launched into
March 23: Explorer satellite launched by
orbit by Thor-Able, and took pictures of
Juno II but did not orbit.
earth's cloud cover on a global scale from
450 miles above until June 29. TIROS I
: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories
was hailed as ushering in "a new era of
disclosed controlled thermonuclear fusion meteorological observing." (See Appen-
was achieved by Scylla II device for less dix A.)
than a millionth of a second at about 13
million degrees centigrade. :Fourth suborbital Shotput test of
the lOO-foot-diameter sphere later known
March 25: Aerobee 150-A, a new type, as Echo was launched from NASA Wal-
fired from new launch tower at Wallops lops Station to an altitude of 235 miles
Station, reached an altitude of 150 miles and inflated successfully.
and achieved rocket performance objec-
tives as well as micrometeorite impact April 2: LUNIK I completed first orbit

counts. around the sun.

April If: Project Ozma initiated to listen

First flight and first powered flight

for possible signal patterns fi-om outer

of the X-15 (No. 1) in the NASA/USAF
research program, NASA's Joseph A. space other than natural "noise," at the
Walker as pilot.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
at Green Bank, W. Va.

First launch of missile from a nu-


April 6: Four Saturn's first-stage engines

clear submarine when a Regulus I was
successfully tested at Huntsville, Ala.
fired from the Halibut off Oahu, Hawaii.
: SPUTNIK III reentered the earth's
: DOD formally announced high pri- atmosphere.
ority for Midas project.
April 7: Maj. Gen. Donald N. Yates
Signals received from a distance of
: (USAF) named Deputy Director of De-
2 million miles from PIONEER V. fense Research and Engineering for
Ranges and Space Ground Support.
March 28: Two of Saturn's first-stage
engines passed initial static firing test of April 12: First production model of Mc-
7.83 seconds duration at Huntsville, Ala. Donnell-built Mercury capsule was de-
livered to NASA.

NASA announced selection of Aero-


April IS: Navy TRANSIT I-B launched

jet-General to build the power conversion
into orbit by Thor-Able-Star with navi-
equipment for the SNAP-8 (System for
gation payload experiment at Cape Ca-
Nuclear Auxiliary Power), and to inte-
naveral. Flight demonstrated the first
grate the reactor into an operational
engine restart In space and the feasibility
system. SNAP-8 is a joint NASA-AEC
of using satellites as navigational aids.
( See Appendix A.

March 29: Naval Weapons Annex, April 14: First underwater launch of
Charleston, S.C, was opened, providing Polaris missile, from an underwater tube
capability for missile final assembly and ofE San Clemente Island, Calif.
loading of submarines.
: William M. Holaday's resignation
: First fully guided flight- of Polaris asChairman of the Civil-Military Liaison
from Observation Island. Committee accepted by the President.

1960 —Continued million miles
of telemetry.
from earth) by reworking

April 14: One week in self -sustained sim-

ulated space capsule environment con- April 26: IRAC Table of Frequency Al-
cluded by O. A. Metzgen at USAF Aero- locations (official allocation of frequency
space Medical Laboratory. table for United States and possessions)
was approved, relating to frequency as-
April 15: DISCOVERER XI launched signments for space research based on
from Vandenberg AFB and stayed in 1959 ITU Conference in Geneva, Switzer-
orbit, reentry capsule was not recovered. land.
( See Appendix A.
announced selection of Doug-
April 11: PIONEER V transmitted telem- las Aircraft for construction of second
etry a distance of 5 million miles from (S-4) stage of initial C-1 Saturn launch
earth. vehicle.

April 18: Scout test vehicle, with live first April 27: Completion of technical review
and third stages, fired from "Wallops Sta- of Dyna-Soar program announced by the
tion, but vehicle broke up after first- Air Force.
stage burnout.
NASA signed contract with Aero-

nutronic, a division of Ford Motor Co.,

selected Avco Manufactur-
ing and General Electric to conduct en- for development and production of the
first survivable capsule for landing in-
gineering and development studies on an
electric rocket engine. struments on the moon.

April 29: Milestone achieved in comple-

April 19: NASA announced negotiation
tion of interim or formal agreements
of a contract for development of a space-
concluded for all oversea Mercury track-
craft solar powerplant, Sunflower I, with
ing stations.

: NASA press conference with par-
: Aerobee-Hi made series of
ticipating scientists reporting on the
X-ray photographs of the sun from an
correlation of data received from EX-
altitude of 130 miles.
April 20: Spin of TRANSIT I-B was re-
V during the solar storm on March 21.
duced from 170 to 4 rpm by ground
April 29 : All eight engines of the Saturn
engine were fired for the first time at
Huntsville, Ala.
April 22: Radar beam transmitted along
electron lines of the earth's magnetic
During April: Seven Mercury astronauts
field extending into the exosphere, first
completed training session at the Navy
confirmation of theory and work of Roger Aviation Medical Acceleration Labora-
M. Gallet of the National Bureau of tory, Johnsville, Pa.
•Standards and Henry G. Booker of Cor-
nell University. Echo reflected from the May 4* Lewis Research Center began
earth successfully received 0.2 of a sec- testing of high-energy hydrogen-oxygen
ond later after traveling 37,000 miles, engines in an altitude test facility capa-
perhaps offering a new tool to study the ble of subjecting an entire propulsion
effect of solar eruptions on the earth's system to a space environment. On June
magnetic field and a new long-range sur- 17,LRC began similar testing of hydro-
veillance method using radar. gen-fluorine engines.

April 23: NASA fired first of five Aero- May 5: NASA held a press conference on
bee-Hi sounding rockets from Wallops high-altitude weather research using
Station in program to measure ultra- Lockheed U-2 aircraft, one of which was
violet radiation. reportedly lost on May 1 over Turkey.

NASA announced that Robert E.

May 8: 150- watt
transmitter on PIO-
Gottfried of GSFC had successfully "re- NEER V interplanetary spacecraft was
paired" faulty diode in PIONEER V (5.5 commanded at 5 :04 a.m. e.d.t., and oper-

ated satisfactorily while it was 8,001,000 May 24: MIDAS
II test satellite success-
miles from earth, another communica- fully launched into orbit from by AMR
tions record. an Atlas-Agena laimch vehicle, a test of
an USAF surveillance system designed
May 9: First production model of Proj- to provide warning of long-range missile
ect Mercury spacecraft was successfully launching, the first anti-missile early-
launched from NASA Wallops Station to warning satellite.
test escape, landing, and recovery sys-
tems. Known as the "beach abort" shot, May 21: Rate of spin of TIROS I satel-
the Mercury capsule reached 2,540 feet lite was increased by ground command.
before parachute landing and pickup by
Marine helicopter returned it to Wallops' : ONR Aerobee-Hi launched to 135-
hangar 17 minutes after launch. mile altitude carrying eight telescopes to
map sky by means of ultraviolet light,
May 10: Submarine U.S.S. Triton com- from WSPG.
pleted 41,519-mile submerged cruise
around the world. May 30: NASA established Office of Tech-
nical Information and Educational Pro-
May 12: Speed of Mach 3.2 and 78,000- grams (OTIEP) in Headquarters to carry
foot altitude attained iu X-15 (No. 1) out pertinent requirements of the Na-
with interim engines by NASA's Joseph tional Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958
A. Walker. This was the first remote- and related functions. Shelby Thompson
launch operation ( 100 miles from release of AEG was named as Director.
from "mother" aircraft to landing site at
Edwards AFB). May 31: 100-foot inflatable sphere
launched from NASA Wallops Station
May 13: Echo satellite, a 100-foot passive to an altitude of 210 miles to test payload
with first
reflector sphere, failed to orbit configuration carrying two beacon trans-
complete three-stage Thor-Delta launch mitters, a development flight of Project
vehicle. Echo.

May Founding of the International

llf: NASA disseminated telemetry cali-

Academy of Astronautics announced, by bration for EXPLORER VII to members

the lAF and the Daniel and Florence of the Committee on Space Research
Guggenheim Foundation. (COSPAR).

May 15: SPACECRAFT I weighing 10,- : NASA selected Rocketdyne Divi-

000 pounds launched into orbit by the sion of North American Aviation to
U.S.S.R., the first successful effort to or- develop a 200,000-pound-thrust engine
bit a vehicle large enough to contain a utilizing hydrogen and oxygen propel-
human passenger, although efforts to re- lants. This engine is second only to the
cover the space capsule failed. (See F-1 in single-thrust chamber level.
Appendix A.
June 1: Navy assumed operational re-
May 19: TIROS I weather satellite sponsibility for PMR.
spotted a tornado storm system in the
vicinity of Wichita Falls, Tex. June 2-3: Panel on Science and Technol-
ogy of the House Committee on Science
X-15 (No. 1) flown to 107,000 feet,
: and Astronautics held its second meeting
its highest altitude to date, by Maj. Rob- in Washington.
ert M. White (USAF), at Edwards AFB.
June 5: Winzen Research launched 10^-
May 20: Atlas ICBM fired 9,040 statute cubic-foot balloon from NAS Glynco, Ga.,
miles from AMR to Indian Ocean, longest for cosmic ray studies after 10 days of

known flight of an ICBMto date. Mis- flight the balloon disappeared over the
sile attained an apogee of about 1,000 Pacific on a westerly heading.
June 7: Contract for ion engine develop-
May 21 : First public showing of F-1 en- ment was awarded by NASA to Hughes
gine mockup. Aircraft.

1960 —Continued munication received from PIONEER V,
then 22.5 million miles from earth mov-
June 8: Complete eight-engine static ing at a relative velocity of 21,000 mph.
firing of Saturn successfully conducted Since March 11 when launched, PIO-
for 110 seconds at MSFC, the longest NEER V traveled some 180 million miles,
firing to date. and it would fly 18 million miles closer
to the sun than any manmade object.
: XLR-99 engine mounted in X-15
(No. 3) during test-stand runs by the June 28: The Smithsonian Institution
contractor exploded, which damaged air- awarded its highest honor, the Langley
craft but did not injure contractor's test Medal, to Robert H. Goddard posthu-
pilot in the cockpit. mously.

June IJf: AEC's SNAP-2 Experimental : U.S.S.R. announced that it would

Reactor (SER) reached 147,300 kilowatt- conduct new series of long-range missile
hours of operation at design tempera- shots into the Pacific, July 5-31, 1960.
tures and power during which 1,000 hours
of continuous operation was attained. June 29: DISCOVERER XII failed to go
into polar orbit.
: NASA announced creation of
Launch Operations Directorate (LOD) : TIROS I ended its operational life-
to become operational on July 1, to be time, transmitting a total of 22,952 pic-
headed by Dr. Kurt Debus of Marshall ture frames of the earth's cloud cover
Space Flight Center, who headed the and completing 1,302 orbits since launch
Army launch operations of EXPLORER on April 1.
I and the first American payload to orbit
the sun, PIONEER IV. July 1: NASA George C. Marshall Space
Flight Center, vdth Dr. Wernher von
Small explosive charge ignited
Braun as its Director, oflScially opened
package on side of Titan ICBM at
flare with formal transfer to NASA from
AMR, causing first missile fatality (J. ABMA, at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville,
G. Sibole) in 10 years of missile launch- Ala.
ings at Cape Canaveral.
: First complete Scout launch ve-
June 15: Saturn static test firing of 121 hicle fired from NASA Wallops Station,
seconds successful at MSFC. but fourth stage separation and firing
was not accomplished.
June 22: Navy TRANSIT II-A, an ex-
perimental navigation satellite with two : Pacific Missile Range (PMR) Fa-
payloads (navigation and radiation cility established at Eniwetok, Marshall
measurement) successfully
, launched Islands.
into orbit by Thor- Able- Star vehicle.
This was the first time that two instru- : First operational version of Titan
mented satellites have been placed into ICBM failed to launch at Cape Canav-
orbit at the same time. (See Appendix eral.
July 4' Soviet Tass announced that
June 24: 500-w SNAP
mercury-Rankin Russia last month successfully launched
cycle-turbine alternator package endur- a new 4,400-pound-thrust rocket carrying
ance test was successfully terminated at a rabbit and two dogs to a reported alti-
2,500 hours of operation at design condi- tude of 124.8 miles.
tions, by AEC.
Piper Comanche set a world dis-

June 25: Aerospace Corp., a nonprofit tance record in a closed circuit of 6,921.28
civilian organization to manage engineer- miles. Max Conrad as pilot.
ing, research, and development aspects of
missile and military space programs, was July 8: Second experimental reactor
established by the USAF. (Kiwi-A Prime) in the Project Rover
nuclear rocket program was successfully
June 26: Six-minute message received tested at full power and duration at Jack-
by Jodrell Bank, England, was last com- ass Flats, Nev.

July 11: NASA selected Hughes, North July ^]-29; First NASA-Industry Pro-
American, Space Technology Laboratory, gram Plans Conference held in Washing-
and McDonnell to study designs for the ton, D.C,
first lunar soft-landing spacecraft.
July Project
29: Apollo, advanced
Dr. Ivan A. Getting of Raytheon
manned spacecraft program, was first
was named first president of the Aero- announced at NASA's Industry Confer-
space Corp. ence.

Bell Telephone outlined to FCC a

: Atlas launch vehicle carrying un-
plan for worldwide service based upon manned Mercury capsule exploded 65 sec-
a network of 50 satellites in polar orbit onds after launch from AMR.
at 3,000-mile altitude.
:The 300-kw(e) static reactor elec-
July Mistran (Missile trajectory
tric power system attained first critical-
measurement system) for AFMTC initi-
ity. SNAP 10, utilizing thermoelectric
ated by USAF contract with General
conversion with no moving parts, was
being developed for satellite application.
July 17: First of three NASA experiments
carried by USAF balloons, carrying a July 31: Dr. John F. Victory, the first
NASA capsule containing 12 mice to 130,- employee of NACA hired in 1915 and
000-foot altitude for lli^ hours, in sup- recently Assistant to the Administrator
port of study of effects of heavy primary of NASA, retired after 52 years of con-
cosmic ray particles. tinuous Government service, including
many important contributions in formu-
July 18: Dr. Robert C. Seamans, Jr., lating national air policies and in estab-
formerly chief engineer of RCA Missile lishing aeronautical research facilities
Electronics and Control Division, was and programs.
named Associate Administrator of NASA
to replace Richard E. Homer. August 2: NRL Aerobee reached 90-mile
altitude from WSPG with instruments to
July 20: Two
Polaris (A-IX) test mis-
measure ultraviolet spectrum of the sun.
siles successfully launched from sub-
merged submarine, the George Washing- : Army Ordnance
five-stage Strong-
ton, marking a major milestone in the
arm sounding rocket launched from Wal-
Navy ballistic missile program. lops Station, reaching an altitude of 300
July 21: NASA fired a Nike-Cajun sound- miles, although fifth stage did not
ing rocket from Fort Churchill, Mani- function.
toba, Canada, containing an instrumented
payload to measure data on energetic August 3: First Sparrowbee sounding
particles during"' a period of low solar rocket launched from Wallops Station,
ictivity. lifting 56-pound University of Michigan
payload to 260-mile altitude.
July 22: First flight of NASA's Iris
sounding rocket successful, designed for August 4' X-15 (No. 1) rocket airplane
100-pound payloads to altitudes of about with interim engines established new
200 miles, from Wallops Station. unofficial world speed record of 2,196
mph, with Joseph Walker, NASA test
July 23: Second of USAF-NASA balloon
pilot, at the controls. This topi)ed
flights carrying NASA life science experi-
Captain Apt's speed of 2,094 mph at-
ment to an altitude of over 130,000 feet
tained in the X-2 on September 27, 1956.
for 111/^ hours.

July 24: Donald Piccard established Class August 5: NASA and the Department of
I world altitude record of 3,740 feet in Defense announced the settlement of
plastic balloon HOLIDAY, from Minne- patent infringement claim by the estate
apolis, Minn. of the late Robert H. Goddard, which
had been pending since 1951, for $1 mil-
July 26: End of series of Army Bell HU-1 lion ($765,000 by USAF, $125,000 by
Iroquois helicopter flights which estab- USA, $100,000 by NASA, and $10,000 by
lished four new world records. USN).

1960 —Continued Two pilots sealed in "space cabin"

for 17-day simulated flight to the moon,

August 5: IGY data released indicated at SAM, Brooks AFB, Tex.
that upper atmosphere's density becomes
twice as great in December as in June. August 16: Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger,
Jr. (USAF), parachuted from EXCEL-
August 6: While over Blossom Point, SIOR III balloon at 103,000 feet, falling
Md., simultaneously with a Class 1 solar 17 miles before chute was employed at
flare, TRANSIT II-A satellite trans- 17,500 feet, a new parachute record.
mitted 6 minutes of clear reception show-
ing history of development of ultraviolet 11th Congress of the
: lAF opened in
and X-ray emission in relation to iono- Stockholm.
spheric behavior and to solar-radio
noise. August 17: ECHO I visible to sky-
watchers and provided reflection for
August 10: DISCOVERER XIII launched numerous long-range radio transmissions
successfully into a polar orbit. by private and governmental research
agencies in the United States.
August 11: First manmade object re-
covered from an orbiting satellite, the August 18: ECHO I utilized for trans-
85-pound instrumented capsule of DIS- atlantic communications when carrier
COVERER XIII recovered from the signal was received by the French Tele-
ocean off Hawaii after 16 orbits. Silken communications Establishment (CNET).
50-star American flag it carried was pre- Subsequently, voice and music transmis-
sented to the President on August 15. sions were received by the University of
Manchester at Jodrell Bank and other
August 12: X-15 (No. 1) with interim British installations.
engines and with Maj. Robert M. White
(USAF) at the controls, established a : USAF DISCOVERER XIV
new altitude record for a manned ve- launched into polar orbit from Vanden-
hicle of 136,500 feet. This topped Cap- berg AFB, Calif. (See Appendix A.)
tain Kincheloe's record altitude of 126,-
200 feet attained on September 7, 1956, USAF- Army COURIER lA com-

in the X-2 rocket research aircraft. munications satellite failed to orbit due
to premature shutdown of first stage of
: NASA's ECHO I, the first passive Thor-Able-Star.
communications satellite, successfully
launched into orbit by a Thor-Delta. It August 19: SPACECRAFT II launched
reflected a radio message from the Presi- into orbit by the U.S.S.R. weighing 5 tons
dent across the Nation, thus demonstrat- and carrying a biological payload includ-
ing the feasibility of global radio com- ing two dogs. (See Appendix A.)
munications via satellites. The 100-f oot-
diameter aluminized Mylar-plastic sphere Second time a manmade object was

was the most visible and largest satellite recovered intact from earth orbit and the
first midair recovery of an object from
launched to date. ( See Appendix A.
space, when USAF C-119 transport
USAF Atlas carrying radiation
: snared the 300-pound capsule of DIS-
experiments in nose cone was fired 5,000 COVERER XIV at 10,000 feet, Capt.
miles from Cape Canaveral, but nose H. F. Mitchell (USAF) as pilot of the
cone was not recovered. C-119.

: Navy Polaris missile fired 1,000 :Wirephoto of President Eisenhower

miles down AMR. transmitted from Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
to Dallas, Tex., via ECHO I satellita
August 13: Army announced completion
of a project for mapping lunar landing August 21: U.S.S.R. announced safe re-
sites. covery of biologic payloads of SPACE-
CRAFT II after 17 orbits, and reported
August 15: NASA announced selection of that 2 dog passengers were in excellent
Plasmadyne Corp. for contract negotia- physical condition. This was the first
tions on a 1-kilowatt electric arc jet successful recovery of life forms from
rocket engine. orbit.

August 22: Smithsonian Astrophysical September 13: NASA and DOD an-
Observatory reported that solar pressure nounced the creation of the Aeronautics
was pushing ECHO I's perigee l^^ miles and Astronautics Coordinating Board "to
closer to the earth every 24 hours. review planning, avoid duplication, co-
ordinate activities of common interest,
August 23: Bell Laboratory technicians identify problems requiring solution
successfully transmitted a voice and either by NASA or the Department of
music message from New Jersey to Jod- Defense and insure a steady exchange
rell Bank, England, via ECHO I. of information." Dr. Hugh L. Dryden,
Deputy Administrator of NASA, and Dr.
Aerobee-Hi with 208-pound pay-
Herbert F. York, Director of Research
load launched from NASA Wallops Sta- and Engineering of DOD, were named
tion 118-mile altitude. co-chairmen of the Board.

August 24: ECHO went into earth's

I first : DISCOVERER XV placed into
shadow with its two tracking beacons polar orbit. ( See Appendix A.
still operating. Since going into orbit on
August had relayed hundreds of
12, it : NASA gave bidders briefing to in-
telephonic experiments and transmis- dustry representatives on Project Apollo
sions. study contract at Space Task Group,
Langley AFB, Va.
August 26: Construction begun on the
world's largest radar at Areeibo, P.R., •
: Bilateral agreement with South
capable of bouncing signals off Venus, Africa ratified providing for construction
Mars, and Jupiter, with Cornell Univer- of new tracking station in South Africa.
sity as the prime contractor under direc-
tion of ARPA and USAF. September 13-14 : First meeting of the
NASA Advisory Committee on Space Bi-
August 30: First Industry Conference ology, chaired by Dr. Melvin Calvin.
conducted by NASA Goddard Space
Flight Center. H: Recovery capsule of DIS-
COVERER XV located from aircraft, but
August 31: Joint NASA-AEC Nuclear bad weather prevented surface pickup
Propulsion Office (NPO) created at Ger- before it sank.
mantown, Md., with Harold B. Finger as
Manager. September 15: Two USAF pilots, Capt.
W. D. Habluetzel and Lt. J. S. Har-
During August: NASA suspended work greaves, completed a 30-day, 8-hour, and
on geodetic satellite program pending 24-minute simulated round trip to the
determination of whether it was to be a moon in the space cabin simulator at the
civilian or military program. School of Aviation Medicine, Brooks
AFB, Tex.
: USAF Atlas squadrons became
operational at Warren AFB, Wyo. September 16-22: 27 research rockets
were launched by U.S. scientists as a part
September 5: McDonnell F4H-1 Phan- of the CO SPAR International Rocket
tom II Navy fighter flown 1,216.78 mph Interval for 1960.
on 500-km closed course for a new record,
Lt. Col. T. H. Miller (USMC) as pilot. September 19: Atlas ICBM fired 9,000
miles from Cape Canaveral to the Indian
September 8: ONR announced that radio Ocean in 50 minutes, the second record
signals had been received from the planet distance flight.
Saturn and a star 3,000 light-years away
by the University of Michigan's 85-foot :NBRV (Nuclear Emulsion Recov-
radio telescope. ery Vehicle) experiment successfully
launched from Point Arguello, Calif., by
President Eisenhower formally
an Argo D-8 rocket, the flrst NASA
dedicated the NASA George C. Marshall launching at PMR. NERV instrumented
Space Flight Center at Huntsville, Ala. capsule reached an altitude of 1,260 miles
before landing 1,300 miles downrange
September 10: X-15 flown at more than where it was picked up by Navy ships 3
2,100mph and to 80,000 feet. hours later. It reached the highest

1 960 —Continued this
Massive Soviet news buildup for

as "a day in the history of the

known altitude that any manmade object world," while Premier Khrushchev was
had attained to be recovered successfully at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in
from space. New York. Rumored space spectacular
did not apparently take place.
Scptemier 20: Aero Commander 680F
set aworld class altitude record of 36,932 September SO: To date, the Smithsonian
feet for light aircraft, Jerrie Cobb as Astrophysical Observatory had photo-
pilot. graphed approximately 17,200 satellite
passages with the Baker-Nunn Optical
8ei)teml)er 21: USAF Blue Scout rocket Network, and had recorded 17,000 visual
fired from Cape Canaveral placed in- observations by Moonwatch.
strumented payload 16,600 miles above
first of 11 such tests, but
Soviet test pilot K. K. Kokkinaki
the earth, the
established world speed record of 2,148.3
no data were received due to radio
malfunction. km/hr in delta-wing E-66 jet aircraft
over 100-km closed course.
September 22: President Eisenhower's ad-
: Formal agreements for all NASA
dress to the General Assembly of the
tracking planned at present,
United Nations pointed to the importance
were either concluded or near conclusion.
of international agreement on measures
to "enable future generations to find October 1: First BMEWS (Ballistic Mis-
peaceful and scientific progress not an- sile Early Warning System) station went
other fearful dimension in the arms race, into operation, at Thule, Greenland.
as they explore the universe."
October 2: JPL announced that 85-foot
September 25: Atlas-Able 3 lunar orbital receiving antenna for space tracking at
probe of NASA failed to achieve trajec- Woomera, southwestern Australia, would
tory because of malfunction in one of the be operational by November 1.
upper stages.
: McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II carrying equipment to photograph the
Navy fighter flown record 1,390.21 mph halo around the sun was launched at
over 100-km closed course at Edwards 80,000 feet in a series of high-altitude
AFB, Comdr. J. F. Davis as pilot. coronascope flights.

October 4: COURIER I-B active com-

September 26: NASA and Weather Bu-
munications satellite successfully placed
reau issued joint invitation to scientists
into orbit by Thor-Able-Star launch ve-
of 21 nations to participate in meteoro-
hicle from Cape Canaveral. After com-
logical research connected vsdth future
pleting one orbit it received and recorded
Tiros satellite.
a transcribed message to the United Na-
tions by President Eisenhower trans-
Heat balance between atmos-
mitted from Fort Monmouth, N.J., and
pheric pressure areas near the earth's
retransmitted it to another earth station
surface and temperature readings in
in Puerto Rico. This marked the 100th
space, reported as a result of experiments
launch of the Douglas Thor, military and
in EXPLORER VII launched October 13,
scientific combined, and a Thor record
1959, by Dr. Verner E. Suomi of the Uni-
of 60 percent of the U.S. satellites
versity of Wisconsin.
boosted into orbit.

Formal meeting of the DOD-NASA

: Second complete NASA Scout vehi-
Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinat- cle firedsuccessfully to its predicted
ing Board (AACB). 3,500-mile altitude and 5,800-mile impact
range, from Wallops Station.
September 27: Parachute designed to
slow reentry speed of space capsules suc- October 7: AEG briefing held at the Ne-
cessfully tested at a speed of 2,000 mph vada Test Site at Jackass Flats, Nev., for
after rocket boost to 30-mile altitude, representatives of 26 companies for pro-
over Eglin AFB, Fla. posals to study the requirements for a

National Nuclear Rocket Engine Devel- quest in the Office of Meteorological Re-
opment Facility. Existing test facilities search of the Weather Bureau.
are fully committed to the development
of nuclear reactors. October 18: Second Iris rocket rose to
140 miles with a payload of 125 pounds
: Federation A^ronautique Interna- from Wallops Station.
tionale meeting at Barcelona, Spain, ac-
cepted first rules to govern establishment October 19: Kiwi-A No. 3 static test of
of official records for manned spacecraft. nuclear rocket propulsion was success-
The first record to be recognized must be fully conducted at AEC Nevada test site,
at least 100 km, and later records must resulting in NASA-AEC call for bids for
exceed existing record by 10 percent. industrial development phase of Project
Four categories for records are duration Rover on November 1, 1960.
of flight, altitude vrithout orbiting earth,
altitude in orbit, and mass lifted above : NASA announced award of pre-
100 km.
liminary design contracts for solid-fuel
rockets with thrusts between 2 and 15
Octoier 10: Interagency meeting on the million pounds to Aerojet-General, Grand
establishment of an operational metero- Central, and Thiokol.
logical satellite system vras held at NASA
Headquarters. : Dr. Hugh L. Dryden received the
Elliott Cresson Medal of the Franklin
October 11: USAF SAMOS I launched Institute.
from Vandenberg AFB, but failed to
orbit. October 21: FCC received formal appli-
cation of American Telephone & Tele-
October 12: Dr. T. Keith Gleniian, NASA graph for authority to operate a commu-
Administrator, announced that communi- nications satellite.
cations satellites developed by private
companies on a commercial basis would October 23: COURIER I-B stopped trans-
be launched by NASA at cost to assist mitting, but radio tracking beacon con-
private industry in developing a commu- tinued to function. In 18 days it had
nications network. transmitted 118 million words.

: Heavy-equipment parachute drop October 24: Titan ICBM fired 6,100 miles,
record of 41,740 pounds, from Lockheed 100 miles longer than any previous shot,
C-130 Hercules transport to ground at with tactical-type nose cone.
El Centro, Calif.
October 25: NASA
selected Convair, Gen-
October 13: USAF Atlas launched at eral Electric, to conduct in-
and Martin
AMR placed nose cone containing three dividual feasibility studies of an ad-
black mice 650 miles up and 5,000 miles vanced manned spacecraft as part of
downrange at 17,000 mph. Nose cone Project Apollo.
was recovered in target area near Ascen-
sion Island, the three mice surviving the October 26: USAF DISCOVERER XVI
flight in "good condition." successfully launched with new payload,
but failed to go into polar orbit.
: Transmitter of EXPLORER VII
failed to stop as programed.
October 21: Institute of the Aeronautical
: Camera mounted in nose of Atlas Sciences (IAS) changed its name to the
Institute of the Aerospace Sciences.
photographed stars at 700-mile altitude,
providing first color picture of the earth
from 600-mile altitude. October 31: DOD ordered a stepup in de-
velopment of the mach 3 B-70 supersonic
October 15-18: Four operational-type Po- bomber.
launched from
laris missiles successfully
submerged Patrick Henry off the Florida :USAF announced consideration of
coast. proposals for "aerospace plane" capable
of scooping up tons of oxygen in upper
October 17: Project Mercury weather atmosphere before space flight, then re-
support group established at NASA's re- entering for landing as an airplane;

1960 —Continued Post Office Department transmitted

a "speed mail" letter from Washington

During October: Construction of space to Newark, N.J., by bouncing microwave
simulator began at Rye Canyon Research transmission off ECHO I.

Center of Lockheed for study of disinte-

gration of materials at simulated 800,000 Early November: NASA-DOD Aeronau-
feet at temperature of —320° F. and Astronautics Coordinating Board
(AACB) and cognizant members agreed
: Structures Research Division of that NASA could drop the tracking light
NASA Langley continued ablation studies geodetic satellite and utilize other space
begun in 1956 with electric arc-powered projects to obtain geodetic data for the
jet, achieving 9,000° F for 105 seconds scientific community.
on an illustrative test.
November 10: Advanced Polaris (A-2)
Novernber 2: Lunar atlas prepared for successfully launched on record 1,600-
USAF by group under technical direction mile flight at AMR.
of G. P. Kuiper was released, an "Ortho-
graphic Atlas of the Moon" charted 5,000 : Department of Defense placed
base points combined with best available Navy's SPASUR ( Space Surveillance De-
photos and grids. tection Net) and the Air Force's SPACE-
TRACK (National Space Surveillance
November 3: EXPLORER VIII launched Control Center) under the North Ameri-
into an elliptical orbit from AMR by can Air Defense Command for military
four-stage Juno II, containing instru- functions. NASA would assume SPACE-
mentation for detailed measurements of TRACK's function of passing on infor-
the ionosphere. This was the 10th time mation on space vehicles to the world's
that JPL-developed upper stage rocket scientific community.
clusters had successfully placed satel-
lites or deep space probes into orbit.
placed into polar orbit from Vandenberg
( See Appendix A.
AFB, restartable Agenda B second stage
successfully flown for the first time.
November 4' New results in sustaining
hydrogen fusion for 1 millisecond at 60°
F reported by University of California : Navy announced development of
techniques for low-cost satellite-launch-
ing faculties from airplanes, barges,
ships, or from underwater.
November 5: Operational date of first
Minuteman squadron advanced a full
year to July 1962 by USAF. November H: Capsule of DISCOVERER
XVII ejected after 31 orbits and success-
fully snared at 9,000 feet by USAF C-119
November 6: U.S.S.R. published atlas on
aircraft, the second such recovery in
the far side of the moon based on LUNIK
midair of a space object.
III photographs.

:IGY Warning Center reported that

: Japanese Space Development solar flares were causing "extremely se-
Council recommended initiation of basic vere" magnetic disturbance of the earth's
studies for launching an earth satellite.
atmosphere, an event detected by EX-
PLORER VII and later analyzed as
November 8: USAF Blue Scout Jimior greatest burst of solar radiation in the
with radiation-study payload reached satellite's 13 months of operation.
24,500-mile altitude, but second stage did
not burn full program. DOD announced that NASA,

USAF, USA, and USN were jointly build-

: NASA LITTLE JOE test flight of ing a geodetic satellite to map the earth
Mercury capsule, capsule did not sep- accurately.
arate from booster.
USAF reported that printed mes-

November 9: NRL Aerobee-Hi collected sages and weather maps had been sent
data on ultraviolet radiation in the night up to 900 miles by bouncing radio signals
sky 131 miles above WSPG. off meteor trails.

First letter carried by satellite mail
: 500-pound capsule of USAF

(31 orbits and a distance of about a launched to 32-mile altitude and recov-
million miles), a letter from USAF Chief ered intact by means of drag balloon and
of Staff to the Secretary of Defense car- parachute known as the "BaUute"
ried in capsule recovered from DIS- system.
November 22: India and United States
November 15: X-15 (No. 2) with new announced joint program of some 40
XLR-99 engine (57,000-pound thrust) high-altitude balloon fiights from India,
flown to nearly 80,000 feet and 2,000 mph starting in December.
on first test flight by A. Scott Crossfield
at Edwards AFB, Calif. Earlier interim
Aerobee-Hi fired to 105-mile alti-

engine, XLR-11 with one-quarter of the tude from NASA Wallops Station with
thrust of the XLR-99, had pushed the four stellar spectrometers developed for
X-15 to new world speed and altitude an experiment by the University of
records of 2,196 mph and 136,500 feet. Rochester's Institution of Optics.

:Prof. A. Gib DuBusk, geneticist at National Science Foundation an-


Florida State University, reported that nounced that the National Center for
bread mold specimens, rocketed to 1,200- Atmospheric Research, operated by a
mile altitude on Argo D-8 capsule on group of universities, would be sited at
September 19, had shown 30 times as Table Mountain, near Boulder, Colo.
many changes as control cells. Walter Orr Roberts was named as Direc-
tor of this NSF Center which will do
: USAF Mace-B flight tested 1,000 fundamental research and serve as a co-
miles. ordinating center for a network of at-
mospheric investigations.
: Data capsule fired 5,000 miles
downrange from AMR by Atlas ICBM, ARPA technical advisory group

which was recovered 1 hour later. established to facilitate exchange of in-

formation between technical manage-
: Aerobee-Hi launched to 145-mile ment and research personnel on Project
altitude from NASA "Wallops Station, Va. Defender.

November 23: X-15 (No.flown on

November 11: NASA
established Test
at the Pacific Missile
second test flight with XLR-99
engine by
Support Office
A. Scott Crossfleld, restarting the engine
Range (PMR) to function under Launch

in flight for the first time.

Operations Directorate, Marshall Space
Flight Center.
: TIROS II weather satellite
launched by Thor-Delta at AMR, the 14th
Last test of Polaris (A-1, 1,300-
successful U.S. satellite launched to date

mile series) from AMR unsuccessful.

in 1960. (See Appendix A.)

: U.S. proposed upper atmosphere :In a letter to the chairman of the

rocket probes from Woomera Rocket Senate Committee on Aeronautical and
Range in Australia. Space Sciences, NASA Administrator
Glennan defined low- altitude (orbits of
November 19: Albert Hibbs of JPL re- 2,000 to 6,000 miles) active communica-
ported that EXPLORER I had also dis- tions satellite development to "stimulate
covered clouds of cosmic dust in its orbit, those developments which promise early
information found by continued exam- benefits to our citizens."
ination of data obtained during 4 months
of payload transmission after launch on : from Sioux
Plastic balloon launched
January 31, 1958. EXPLORER I re- with University of Michi-
Falls, S. Dak.,
mained in orbit. gan instrument package designed to take
cloud pictures to compare with those
November 21: Mercury Redstone flight taken by cameras in TIROS II.
test (MR-I) at AMR
terminated prior
to liftoff "because of faulty ground-sup- November 25: NASA scientists increased
port circuitry which had not been noted the speed of spin of TIROS II by means
on some 60 previous Redstone firings. of ground radio command.

] 960—Continued a continuing series of 1 :1,000,000 charts
prepared on USAF contract in resjwnse
November 27: Report of the President's to NASA requirements.
Commission on National Goals was re-
leased, which stated that the United : Army Nike-Zeus A-ICBM missile
States "should be highly selective in our with guidance successfully test fired
space objectives and unexcelled in their from WSPG.
pursuit. Prestige arises from sound ac-
complishment, not from the merely spec- Delegates of 11 Western European

tacular, and we must not be driven by nations approved an agreement aimed at

nationalistic competition into programs establishing an organization for space
so extravagant as to divert funds and research. Proposed intergovernmental
talents from programs of equal or greater agency would concentrate on satellites
importance . . .
," rather than rockets for launch vehicles.

November 28: Discussions on creation of December 2: First of new series of static

an European space research organization firings of Saturn considered only 50 per-
undertaken by scientific representatives cent successful in 2-second test at MSFC.
of Belgium, Denmark, France, West Ger-
many, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, : Human tissues exposed to heavy
Sweden, Switzerland, and the United radiation during 50-hour flight of re-

Kingdom, with an observer from Spain. covered DISCOVERER XVII capsule

according to USAF.
: TIROS II had successfully trans-
mitted 998 pictures to receiving stations December 3: Moscow Radio reported that
at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and San Nich- SPACECRAFT III descended along an
olas Island, Calif., 85 percent of narrow "uncalculated trajectory" and burned up
in the dense atmosphere.
angle and 5 to 10 percent of the wide-
angle pictures having some value.
: Titan ICBM exploded in its silo at
November 28-DeGember 3: Space Re- Vandenberg AFB during night fueling
search Symposium sponsored by Argen-
tina in which Dr. Hugh Dryden and other
Senate Committee on Science and

U.S. scientists participated.

Astronautics issued staff study entitled
"Policy Planning for Space Communi-
November 30: TRANSIT III-A naviga-
cations," which stated that the United
tion satellite, VTith two instrumented pay-
States "must have a unified policy which
loads, was destroyed 40 minutes after
effectively coordinates all our diverse
launch from AMR by Thor-Able-Star and extensive resources in this area."

December ^; American Bar Association's

During November: Under arrangements "Report to NASA on the Law of Outer
of the AACB (Aeronautics and Astro- Space" was released, which contained
nautics Coordinating Board), NASA will collation of legal opinion on the broad
utilize existing NASA tracking stations
spectrum of space activities.
for initial Centaur development vehicles
and switch to the Advent network Attempt to launch a Beacon satel-

(which is to be planned, funded, and lite with a four-stage solid-propeUant

constructed by DOD) when Centaur is Scout from Wallops Station did not suc-
operational, perhaps as early as the ceed due to failure of second stage.
fourth of 10 development launchings of
Centaur. December 5: Polaris A-2 successfully
test fired 1,400 nautical miles down
launched by U.S.S.R., weighing over 5
tons and carrying a biological payload in : USAF completed Snark R&D pro-
its "space cabin." (See Appendix A.) gram with a 5,000-mile flight from Cape
: USAF delivered to JPL the first
1 :1,000,000 scale map of the lunar land- Decem,ber 6: Civil Service Commission
ing site selected by NASA, the second in approved new examination for career^

professional positions in aerospace tech- December 12: SAM scientists at Brooks
nology, part A
covering work in the AFB reported that biological specimens
physical sciences, engineering, and math- including hvmaan tissue recovered from
ematics, and part B covering work i|i the capsule of DISCOVERER XVIII two
the life sciences and related systems. days ago, showed far less radiation ef-
fects than specimens recovered from DIS-


launched into polar orbit by new Thor-
Agena B
from Vandenberg AFB, carry-
-- —
system of

new guidance
Initial flight test of
Pershing missile suc-
ing surveillance-system equipment and
human tissue in recovery capsule. cessful.

December IS: North American A3-J Vigi-

: X-15 (No. 2) flown on final con-
lante set a world altitude record with
tractor's test flight by A. Scott Grossfleld,
1,000 kilogram payload of 91,450.8 feet,
making two midair engine shutdowns
Comdr. Leroy Heath (USN) as pilot.
and restarts.
: Palaemon, a 180-foot barge built to
December 1-10: Series of upper atmos- transport the Saturn launch vehicle from
phere sounding rockets from NASA MSFC to Cape Canaveral by water, was
Wallops Station, sodium vapor being formally accepted by MSFC Director
ejected at about 212 miles altitude and from Maj. Gen. Frank S. Besson, Chief of
a lithium flare released near peak alti- Army Transportation.
tude of about 450 miles to measure wind
velocities and temperatures.
December U: USAF B-52G completed
10,000-mile nonstop flight without refuel-
December 9: X-15 made first flight with ing in 19 hours and 45 minutes, at Ed-
ball-shaped "hot nose," reaching 50,000 wards AFB, which broke world and jet
feet and 1,254 mph, NASA's Neil Arm- distance records over a closed course
strong making his second Jfamiliarization without refueling.
December 15: Atlas-Able launch vehicle

: Tory IIA reactor, part of AEC- with NASA cislunar spacecraft exploded
70 seconds after launch from Cape
USAF Pluto program to demonstrate
feasibility of nuclear ramjet propulsion,
achieved criticality of 1-watt nominal
power, and later in day was run up to
December 16: Scientists from Great Brit-
ain and NASA completed a series of
200 watts.
meetings leading to planning for British
scientific satellite to be flown on a Scout
December 10: 300-pound capsule of DIS- vehicle.
COVERER XVIII caught at 14,000 feet
by USAF C-119 crew, after making 48 : Atlas-D with Mark 3 nose cone fired
polar orbits. Capsule contained human 4,384 nautical miles into Eniwetok Atoll
eye-lid tissue and blood and bone mar- in first SAC launching from Vandenberg
row to study effect of radiation in space. AFB.
This was the second DISCOVERER
capsule catch by G-119 crew headed by AEC-NASA Nuclear Propulsion

Capt. Gene Jones, while precision of the Office announced selection of TALANT
entire oi)eration beginning with launch industrial team proposal to conduct study
3 days previous was considered the most of the requirements for a National Nu-
successful to date. clear Rocket Engine Development
December 11: SAM scientists reported
that human tissue recovered from the December 11: National Science Founda-
capsule of DISCOVERER XVII after tion announced grants totaling $22.7 mil-
about 50 hours on 31 orbits (November lion to support summer institutes for
14), survived radiation in space, includ- 20,000 teachers of science, mathematics,
ing that generated by one of the largest and engineering in high schools and
solar storms ever observed. colleges.

1960 —Continued severe solar storm of November 12, was
increased by about a factor of two. Sci-
December 19: Unmanned Project Mer- entists had previously noted the rise and
cury spacecraft launched by modified fall of the density of the upper atmos-
Redstone booster (MR-1) in a suborbital phere, and the heating effect of a solar
trajectory, impacting 235 miles down- fiare had been noted on the orbit of
range after reaching an altitude of 1B5 SPUTNIK III in 1959.
miles and a speed of near 4,200 mph.
Capsule was recovered about 50 minutes December 25: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
after firing. announced selection of Blaw-Knox
Equipment, Hughes Aircraft, North
:Secretariat of CO SPAR released American Aviation, and Westinghouse
official Soviet data on 27 U.S.S.R. rockets Electric to study feasibility of a large
launched in a series of high-altitude ex- space-tracking antenna.
periments from a research ship in the
Pacific, and a total of 73 rocket launch- December 26: Successful firing of a
ings in the first half of the year 1960. solid-propellant rocket motor using
"building block" method was announced
XIX successfully launched into polar or-
bit from PMRcarrying Project Midas December 21: EXPLORER VIII ceased
test payload. (See Appendix A.) transmitting ionospheric measurement
data acquired in 20,866,706 miles and
President-elect Kennedy announced
: 694.3 orbits, which produced more than
that Vice President-elect Lyndon B. 700 miles of magnetic tape since launch
Johnson would chair the National Aero- on November 3.
nautics and Space Council.
December 28: U.S. Weather Bureau sent
: in 1912 by Glenn L. Mar-
Founded TIROS II cloud-cover picture to Aus-
tin, the Martin Co. delivered its last air- which was taken over the Indian
plane, a P5M-2, to the Navy, having and South Pacific Oceans and served as
produced more than 12,000 aircraft and a basis for forecasting a break in severe
entering the missile/space business with heat wave.
the NRL Viking research rocket in 1948.
December 29: Dr. T. Keith Glennan of-
: Second stage of near-operational fered his resignation as Administrator
Titan ICBM failed to ignite over Cape of NASA, to be effective January 20,
Canaveral. 1961.

December 21: Space Technology Labora-

December 31: To date, the United States
tories was selected by NASA for contract
had successfully launched 31 earth satel-
negotiations for an orbiting geophysical
lites (9 of 16 stUl in orbit were stiU
observatory (OGO) satellite program.
transmitting) and 2 deep space probes
To be managed by GSFC, OGO will be into orbit around the sun. The U.S.S.R.
NASA's first standardized satellite, often
had launched seven satellites (one of
referred to as the "streetcar'' satellite,
which remained in orbit) and one d^p
capable of placing 50 different geophysi-
space probe. The U.S.S.R. had also
cal experiments on any one flight
launched one
lunar impact mission
(LUNIK while LUNIK III had
: Eight-enginecluster of Saturn
passed once around the moon and then
successfully static fired for 65 seconds at
went into earth orbit before decaying.
MSEC, the firing generating 1,300,000
pounds of thrust.
During 1960: World Data Center A,
December 22: Nuclear submarine Robert Rockets and Satellites, of the National
E. Lee fired Polaris A-1 IRBM 1,300 Academy of Sciences, continued to pro-
miles in an Atlantic shot. vide a means for international exchange
of scientific data.
December 23: Goddard Space Flight Cen-
ter scientists, Robert Jastrow and : JPL turned the Army Sergeant
Robert Bryant, reported that atmos- missile over to Sperry Gyroscope Co. as
pheric drag acting on ECHO I during the production contractor.

: Through a contract with the Uni- over two-thirds of which were fully suc-
versity of Chicago, the USAF's Aero- cessful.
medical Field Laboratory and Missile
Test Center developed a system for ascer- : World's scheduled airlines (exclud-
taining the types and intensities of ing U.S.S.R. and Communist China) car-
primary cosmic particles in space. ried 108 million passengers during the
year according to ICAO, the first year
: NASA launching record for the air passenger traffic exceeded 100 million
year: 22 major space flight attempts, persons.


Chronicle of Earth Satellites

and Space Probes

THIS APPENDIX WES Compiled from statistics prepared by the NASA

Office of Public Information, Washington, D.C. It does not include
description of spent rocket casings, etc., that have gone into orbits or
trajectories along with payloads. For more detail on instrumenta-
tion and other items, the reader is advised to consult "Space Activi-
ties Summary," prepared and issued by the NASA Office of Public
Information. Eussian data are unofficial.

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Chronicle of World
Airplane Records

THE FOLLOWING official records are those compiled by the Federation

Aeronautique Internationale, Paris, France, as supplied by its Ameri-

can representative, the National Aeronautic Association. It does not
include seaplane records or discontinued categories.

1. Airplanes: Distance (1925-i6).

2. Airplanes : Distance in closed circuit ( 1906-60)

3. Airplanes : Maximum speed over straightaway course (1906-59)

4. Airplanes: Altitude (1909-59).

Record holder and country ; date and place Miles
Capts. Ludovic Arrachart and Henri LeMaitre. France.
Feb. S-A, 1925. Etampes to Cisneros 1, 967. 257
Capts. Ludovic Arrachart and Paul Arrachart. France.
June 26-27, 1926. Le Bourget to Shaibah 2, 674. 998
Capt. Andre Girier and Lt. Francis Dordilly. France.
July 14-15, 1926. Le Bourget to Omsk 2, 930. 319
Lt. Leone Challe and Capt. Rene Weiser. France.
Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1926. Le Bourget to Bender Abbas 3, 214. 968
Lt. Dieudonne Costes and Capt. Georges Rignot. France.
Oct. 28-29, 1926. Le Bourget to Jask 3, 352. 912
Charles A. Lindbergh. United States.
May 20-21, 1927. New York to Paris 3, 609. 538
Clarence Chamberlin and Charles A. Levine. United States.
June 4r-6, 1927. New York to Isleben, Germany 3, 910. 902
Majs. A. Ferrarin and C. P. Del Prete. Italy.
July 3-5, 1928. Rome to Touros 4,466.569
Dieudonne Costes and Maurice Bellonte. France.
Sept. 27-29, 1929. Le Bourget to Moulant 4, 911. 929
Russell N. Boardman and J. Polando. United States.
July 28-30, 1931. Brooklyn to Istanbul 5, Oil. 349
O. R. Gayford and C. E. Nicholetts. Great Britain.
Feb. 6-8, 1933. Cranwell to Walvis Bay 5, 308. 985
Maurice Rossi and Paul Codos. France.
Aug. 5-7, 1933. New York to Rayack, Syria 5, 656. 932
Mikhail Gromov, Andre Youmachev, and Sergei Danilin. U.S.S.R.
July 12-14, 1937. Moscow to San Jacinto, Calif 6, 305. 662
R. Kellett, R. T. Gething, and M. L. Gaine, one flight. A. N. Combe, B. K.
Burnett, and H. B. Gray, second plane. Great Britain.
Nov. 5-7, 1938. Ismalia, Egypt, to Darwin, Australia 7, 158. 440
Col. C. S. Irvine, Lt. Col. G. R. Stanley and crew, United States Army
Air Force. United States.
Nov. 1^20, 1945. Guam to Washington, D.C 7, 916. 000
Comdrs. T. D. Davies, E. P. Rankin, W. S. Reid Lt. Comdr. R. A.

Tabeling, United States Navy. United States.

Sept 29-Oct. 1, 1946. Perth, Australia to Columbus, Ohio 11, 235. 600


Record holder and country; date and place
A. Santos Dumont. France. Miles
Nov. 12, 1906. Bagatelle 0. 136
Henri C. Farman. France.
Oct. 26, 1907. Issy-les-Moulineaux ,478
Henri C. Farman. France.
Jan. 13, 1908. Issy-les-Moulineaux .621
Henri C. Farman. France.
Mar. 21, 1908. Issy-les-Moulineaux 1.242

Record holder and country j date and place Miles
Leon Delagrange. France.
Apr. 11, 1908. Issy-les-Moulineaux 2. 438
Leon Delagrange. Italy.
May 30, Cantocelle
1908. 7.922
Leon Delagrange. France.
Sept. 16, 1908. Issy-les-Moulineaux 14.989
Wilbur Wright. France.
Sept. 21, 1908. Auvours 41.382
Wilbur Wright. France.
Dec. 18, 1908. Auvours 62.012
Wilbur Wright. France.
Dec. 31, 1908. Auvours 77.485
Louis Paulhan. France.
Aug. 25, 1909. Betheny 83.263
Hubert Latham. France.
Aug. 26, 1909. Betheny 96. 064
Henri C. Farman. France.
Aug. 27, 1909. Betheny 111.846
Henri O. Farman. France.
Nov. 4, 1909. Mourmelon 145. 531
Rene Labouchere. France.
July 9, 1910. Rheims 211.265
Jan Olieslagers. France.
July 20, 1910. Rheims 244.043
Maurice Tabuteau. France.
Oct. 20, 1910. Etampes 289.414
Georges Legagneux. France.
Dec. 11, 1910. Pau 320. 564
Maurice Tabuteau. France.
Dec. 30, 1910. Buc 363.344
Jan Olieslagers. Belgium.
July 16, 1911. Kiewit 388.356
Georges Fourny. France.
Sept. 1, 1911. Buc ^ 449.209
Andre Gobe. France.
Dec. 24, 1911. Pau 459.998
Georges Fourny. France.
Sept. 11, 1912. Etampes 628. 142
Augustin Seguin. France.
Oct. 13, 1913. Buc-le-Barp 634.541
Lucien Bossoutrot and Jean Bernard. France.
May 3-4, 1920. Villesauvage 1,189.992
Lts. Oakley and John A. Macready, USAS.
C. Kelly United States.
Apr, 16-17, 1923. Dayton, Ohio 2, 516. 548
Maurice Drouhin and Jules Landry. France.
Aug. 7-9, 1925. Etampes-Ohartres 2, 734. 026
(Cornelius Edzard and Johann Risztics. Germany.
Aug. 3-5, 1927. Dessau 2,895.970
Arturo Ferrarin and O. P. Del Prete. Italy.
May 31-June 1-2, 1928. Casale del Prati 4, 763. 798
Dieudonne Costes and Paul Oodos. France.
Dec. 15-17, 1929. Istres 4,988.969

Record holder and country j date and place Miles
Maj. Umberto Maddalen and Lt. Fausto Ceeconi. Italy.
May 31-June 1-2, 1930. Montecelio-Stazion Ladispoli 5, 088. 267
Lucien Bossoutrot and Aime Rossi. France.
Feb. 26-28, 1931. Oranie 5,481.927
Anthoine Paillard and Jean Mermoz. France.
Mar. 30-Apr. 2, 1931. Oran 5,567.475
Joseph LeBrix and Marcel Doret. France.
June 7-10, 1931. Istres 6,444.881
Lucien Bossoutrot and Maurice Rossi. France.
Mar. 23-26, 1932. Oran 6,587. 441
Yuzo Fujita and F. Takahashi. Japan.
May 13-15, 1938. Kisarasu 7,239.588
Angelo Tondi, Roberto Dagasso and Ferrucio Vignoli. Italy.
July 30-Aug. 1, 1939. Rome 8, 037. 899
Lt. Col. O. F. Lassiter, Capt. W. J. Valentine, and crew, USAAF. United
Aug. 1-2, 1947. Tampa, Fla 8, 854. 308
Lt. Col. J. R. Grissom and crew, USAF. United States.
Dec. 14, 1960. Edwards, Calif 10, 078. 84


Record holder and country : date and place ,,.,
. r~. -r^, -^ MtleS
A. Santos Dumont. France. per hour
Nov. 12, 1906. Bagatelle 25. 66
Henri C. Farman. France.
Oct. 26, 1907. Issy-les Moulineaux 32. 75
Paul Tissandier. France.
May 20, 1909. Pau 34. 06
Glenn H. Curtiss. France.
Aug. 23, 1909. Rheims 43.38
Louis Bleriot. France.
Aug. 24, 1909. Rheims 46. 18
Louis Bleriot. France.
Aug. 28, 1909. Rheims 47. 84
Hubert Latham. France.
Apr. 23, 1910. Nice 48.21
Leon Morane. France.
July 10, 1910. Rheims 66.18
Alfred Leblanc. United States.
Oct. 29, 1910. New York 68. 20
Alfred Leblanc. France.
Apr. 12, 1911. Pau 69. 47
Edouard Nieuport. France.
May 11, 1911. Chalons 74.42
Alfred Leblanc. France.
June 12, 1911. Etampes 77.67
Edouard Nieuport. France.
June 16, 1911. Chalons 80.81

Record holder and country; date and place Miles
Edouard Nieuport. France. per hour
June 21, 1911. Chalons 82.73
Jules Vedrines. France.
Jan. 13, 1912. Pau 90.20
Jules Vedrines. France.
Feb. 22, 1919. Pau 100.22
Jules Vedrines. France.
Feb. 29, 1912. Pau 100.94
Jules Vedrines. France.
Mar. 1, 1912. Pau 103.66
Jules Vedrines. France.
Mar. 2, 1912. Pau 104.33
Jules Vedrines. France.
July 13, 1912. Rlieims 106. 12
Jules Vedrines. United States.
Sept. 9, 1912. Chicago 108.18
Marcel Prevost. France.
June 17, 1913. Rheims 111. 73
Marcel Prevost. France.
Sept. 27, 1913. Rheims 119.24
Marcel Prevost. France.
Sept. 29, 1913. Rheims 126.67
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Feb 7, 1920. Villacoublay 171.04
Jean Casale. France.
Feb. 28, 1920. Villacoublay 176. 14
Bernard de Romanet. France.
Oct. 9, 1920. Buc 181. 86
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Oct. 10, 1920. Buc 184.36
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Oct. 20, 1920. Villacoublay 187.98
Bernard de Romanet. France.
Nov. 4, 1920. Buc 192.01
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Dec. 12, 1©20 Buc 194. 52
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Sept. 26, 1921. Villesauvage 205. 22
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Sept. 21, 1922. Villesauvage 211. 90
W. E. Mitchell. United States.
Oct. 13, 1922. Detroit, Mich 222. 97
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Feb. 15, 1923. Istres 233. 01
Lt. R. L. Maughan, USAS. United States.
Mar. 29, 1923. Dayton, Ohio 236. 59
Lt. Harold J. Grow, USN. United States.
Nov. 2, 1923. Mineola, N.Y 259.15
Lt. A. J. Williams, USN. United States.
Nov. 4, 1923. Mineola, N.Y 266. 58
Adj. A. Bonnet. France.
Dec. 11, 1924. Istres 278. 48

Record holder and country; date and place Miles
per hour
J. H. Doolittle. United States.
Sept. 5, Cleveland, Ohio
1932. 294.38
J. B. Wedell. United States.
Sept. 4, 1933. Glenview, 111 304. 98
Raymond Delmotte. France.
Dec. 25, 1934. Istres 314.319
Howard R. Hughes. United States.
Sept. 13, 1935. Santa Anna, Calif 352. 388
Herman "Wurster. Germany.
Nov. 11, 1937. Augsburg, Germany 379.626
Hans Dieterle. Germany.
Mar. 30, 1939. d'Orianenburg, Germany 463. 917
Fritz Wendel. Germany.
Apr. 26, 1939. Augsburg, Germany 469. 220
Grp. Capt. H. Wilson. Great Britain.
Nov. 7, 1945. Heme Bay 606. 255
Grp. Capt. E. M. Donaldson. Great Britain.
Sept. 7, 1946. Little Hampton 615. 778
Col. A. Boyd, USAAF.
United States.
June 19, 1947. Muroc, Calif 623. 738
Comdr. T. F. Caldwell, USN. United States.
Aug. 20, 1947. Muroc, Calif 640. 663
Maj. Marion Carl, USMC. United States.
Aug. 25, 1947. Muroc, Calif 650.796
Maj. R. L. Johnson, USAF. United States.
Sept. 15, 1948. Muroc, Calif 670. 981
Capt. James S. Nash, USAF. United States.
Nov. 19, 1952. Salton Sea, Calif 698. 505
Lt. Col. Wm. F, Barnes. United States.
July 16, 1953. Salton Sea, Calif 715. 745
Sqd. Ldr, N. F. Duke. Great Britain.
Sept. 7, 1953. Little Hampton 727. 624
Michael J. Lithgow. Great Britain.
Sept. 25, 1953. Azizia, Tripoli 735. 702
Lt. Comdr. J. B. Verdin, USN. United States.
Oct. 3, 1953. Salton Sea, Calif 752.943
Lt. Col. F. K. Everest, Jr., USAF. United States.
Oct. 29, 1953. Salton Sea, Calif 755. 149
Col. H. A. Hanes, USAF. United States.
Aug. 20, 1955. Palmdale, Calif 822. 266
L. Peter Twiss. Great Britain.
Mar. 10, 1956. Ford-Chichester 1,132.136
Maj. Adrian E. Drew, USAF. United States.
Dec. 12, 1957. Edwards, Calif 1,207.6
Capt. Walter W. Irwin, USAF. United States.
May 16, 1958. Edwards, Calif 1,404.09
Gueorgui Mossolov. U.S.S.R.
Oct. 31, 1959. Joukovski-Petrovskoe 1, 483. 85
Maj. Joseph W. Rogers, USAF. United States.
Dec. 15, 1959. Edwards, Calif 1, 525. 965

Record holder and country; date and place Feet
Hubert Latham. France.
Aug. 29, 1909. Rheims 509
Comte Charles de Lambert. France.
Oct. 18, 1909. Paris 984
Hubert Latham. France.
Dec. 1, 1909. Chalons 1,486
Hubert Latham. France.
Jan. 7, Chalons
1910. 3,281
Louis Paulhan. United States.
Jan. 12, 1910. Los Angeles 3, 967
Walter R. Brookins. United States.
June 14, 1910. Indianapolis 4,380
Hubert Latham. France.
July 7, 1910. Rheims 4,541
Walter R. Brookins. United States.
July 10, 1910. Atlantic City, N.J 6,234
Anthony Drexel. United States.
Aug. 11, 1910. Lamark 6,601
Leon Morane. France.
Sept. 3, 1910. Deauville 8, 471
Georges Chavez. France.
Sept. 8, 1910. Issy-les-Moulineaux 8,488
Henri Wijnmalen. France.
Oct. 1, 1910. Mourmelon 9,121
Anthony Drexel. United States.
October 1910. Philadelphia 9,449
Ralph Johnstone. United States.
Oct. 31, 1910. Belmont Park 9, 711
Georges Legagneaux. France.
Dec. 8, 1910. Pau 10,171
Marcel Loridan. France.
July 8, 191L Chalons 10,423
Capt. Julien Felix. France.
Aug. 9, 1911. Etampes 10,466
Roland Garros. France.
Sept. 4, 1911. Saint-Malo 12,828
Roland Garros. France.
Sept. 6, 1912. Houlgate 16,076
Georges Legagneaux. France.
Sept. 17, 1912. Corbaulieu 17, 881
Roland Garros. France.
Dec. 11, 1912. Tunis 18,405
Edmond Perreyon. France.
Mar. 11, 1913. Buc 19,291
Georges Legagneaux. France.
Dec. 28, 1913. Saint-Raphael 20,079
Maj. R. W. Schroeder, USAS. United States.
Feb. 27, 1920. Dayton, Ohio 33,113
Lt. J. A. Macready, USAS. United States.
Sept. 18, 1921. Dayton, Ohio 34,508

Record holder and country; date and place Feet
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Sept. 5, 1923. Villacoublay 35,243
Sadi Lecointe. France.
Oct. 30, 1923. Issy-les-Moulineaux 36, 565
Lt. C. C. Champion, USN. United States.
July 25, 1927. Washington, D.C 38, 419
Lt. Apollo Soucek, USN. United States.
May 8, 1929. Washington, D.O 39,140
Willi Neuenhofen. Germany.
May 26, 1929. Dessau 41, 795
Lt. Apollo Soucek, USN. United States.
June 4, 1930. Washington, D.C 43, 166
Capt. C. F. Uwins. Great Britain.
Sept. 16, 1932. Filton, Bristol 43,976
G. Lemoine. France.
Sept. 28, 1933. Villacoublay 44,819
Comdr. Renato Donati. Italy.
Apr. 11, 1934. Borne 47,352
Georges Detre. France.
Aug. 14, 1936. Villacoublay 48, 697
F. R. D. Swain. Great Britain.
Sept. 28, 1936. South Farnborough 49, 944
Mario Pezzi. Italy.
May 8, 1937. Montecello 51, 361
Fl. Lt. M. J. Adam. Great Britain.
June 30, 1937. Farnborough 53,937
Col. Mario Pezzi. Italy.
Oct. 22, 1938. Montecello 56, 046
John Cunningham (Jet). Great Britain.
Mar. 23, 1948. Hatfield 59,445
Walter F. Gibb. Great Britain,
May 4, 1953. Bristol 63, 668
Walter F. Gibb. Great Britain.
Aug. 29, 1955. Bristol 65, 889
George E. Watkins. United States.
Apr. 18, 1958. Edwards, Calif 76, 932
Maj. Howard C. Johnson, USAF, United States.
May 7, 1958. Palmdale, Calif 91,243
Vladimir Iljiuchin. U.S.S.R.
July 14, 1959. Podmoskounoie 94,635
Comdr. Lawrence E. Flint, USN. United States.
Dec. 6, 1959. Edwards, Calif 98,557
C^pt. Joe B. Jordan, USAF. United States.
Dec. 14, 1959. Edwards, Calif 103,389


Chronicle of Select
Balloon Flights

THIS CHRONICLE provides appreciation of balloon flights and opera-

tions in man's conquest of the air, and helps illustrate the more recent
use of the balloon as a research tool in the scientific exploration of
space. It includes both official and imofficial record flights. The
guidance of Comdr. Malcolm Ross (USNR) of the Office of Naval
Research and Maj. Gen. Orvil A. Anderson (USAF retired) of the
Air Force Historical Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

March 9, 1927: Capt. H. C. Gray (AAC) settingan unofficial record for women
ascended to 28,910 feet in a free balloon and becoming first woman to enter the
for an American altitude record. World stratosphere.
record was held by Suring and Berson of
Germany who ascended to 35,433 feet on July 26, 1935: Russian balloon USSR
June 30, 1901. reached 52,000 feet, crew including
Warigo, Christofil, and Prilucki.
May 4, 1927: Record balloon flight by
Oapt. H. C. Gray (AAC) reached 42,470 November 11, 1935: Army Air Corps-Na-
feet over Scott Field, 111., but he was tional Geographic EXPLORER II estab-
forced to bail out so that record was not lished new official world record of 72,395
ofBcial. feet in ascent from Stratobowl, crew per-
sonnel were Capts. Orvil A. Anderson and
November 4, 1921. Oapt. H. C. Gray A.W.Stevens (AAC).
(AAC) ascended to 42,470 feet, the
identical altitude of his May 4 flight,
During 1935: Dr. Jean Piccard, in collab-
but he did not survive the flight and
oration with Dr. Thomas Johnson of
thereby again failed to achieve ofl&cial
Bartol Research, flew first unmanned
world record.
plastic balloon (cellophane) at Swarth-
more, Pa.
May 27, 1931 : Augusce Piccard and Paul
Kipfer made successful manned as-
cent into stratosphere from Augsburg,
During summer-fall 1936: Dr. Jean Pic-
Germany, establishing new world altitude card and John Ackerman flew first con-
stant-level plastic (cellophane) balloons
record of 51,777 feet in Belgian FNBS
from the University of Minnesota
August 18, 1932: Auguste Piccard and
Max Cosyns flew FNRS balloon from During 1937: First manned cluster bal-
Zurich, Switzerland, to a record altitude loon fiight (PLEIADES) made by Dr.
of 53,152 feet. Jean Piccard using rubber meteorological
balloons from Rochester, Minn.
September SO, 1933: Russian balloon
USSR launched at Moscow reached al- During 1944-^5: Japan launched approx-
titude of 60,695 feet which never became imately 10,000 unmanned Fugo balloons
an official record, crew including Proko- (30-foot diameter). They floated at
vief, Bimbaum and Godrenow. 30,000 feet, carried incendiaries, and
were aimed at the North American con-
November 29, 1933: Lt. Comdr. T. G. W. tinent.
Settle (USN) and Maj. C. Fordney
(USMC) established official world al- During March 1947: First test flights of
titude record of 61,237 feet over plastic balloons conducted by General
Akron, Ohio, in balloon CENTURY OF Mills for ONRProject Helios.
June 5, 1947: First AAF research balloon
January 1934: Russian balloon OSA-
launch (cluster of rubber balloons) at
VIAKHIM reached 73,000-foot altitude
Holloman, by New York University team
but crew perished when gondola fell free,
under AMC contract.
personnel including Fedosienko, Wa-
sienko, and Vsyskin.
July 3, 1947: Start of polyethylene bal-

July 28, 1934: EXPLORER I balloon loon operations at Holloman, a 10-balloon

launched from Stratobowl near Rapid cluster launched by New York University
City, S. Dak., failed at 60,613 feet, Maj. staff with a payload of less than 50
W. Kepner (AAC) and Capts. O. A. pounds, which reached an altitude of
Anderson and A. W. Stevens (AAC) 18,500 feet.
parachuted safely.
September 1947: First successful ONR
August 18, 1934: Jeanette and Jean Pic- SKYHOOK polyethylene plastic balloon
card flew CENTURY OF PROGRESS (220,000 cubic feet) launched from St.
balloon from Dearborn, Mich., to an Cloud, Minn., carrying 63-pound cosmic
altitude of 57,579 feet. Jeanette Piccard ray emulsions to 100,000 feet

September 28, 1948: Army Signal Corps September 7, 1956: University of Minne-
balloon set a 140,000-foot altitude un- sota launched ONR Mylar plastic balloon
manned record, at Belmar, N.J. from Minneapolis, establishing an unof-
ficial world altitude record of 145,000 feet
January SO, 1949: U.S. Navy launched for unmanned balloon.
firstpolyethelene SKYHOOK balloons
from ship, USS Saipan off the coast of September 24, 1956: H. Froehllch and K.
Cuba, in a series of 12 flights. Long (General MiUs) flew ONR
STRATO-LAB balloon to new altitude
November 3, 1949: Charles B. Moore record of 42,000 feet for an open basket
(General Mills) made first manned flight gondola.
in a plastic balloon, over Minneapolis,
Minn. November 8, 1956: Lt. Comdrs. M, D. Ross
(USNR) and M. L. Lewis (USN) ^t
During May 1950: New York University unofficial world altitude record of 76,000
research balloon released from Holloman feet In STRATO-LAB HIGH I ascent
AFB drifted 7,000 miles and was recov- from Stratobowl, bringing balloon down
ered in Myrdal, Norway, several days safely although it failed.

June 2, 1957: Capt. Joseph Kittinger

July 21, 1950: First polyethylene balloon
(USAF) made solo balloon flight
launched by USAF personnel at Hollo- Into statosphere In MANHIGH
I, setting
man AFB, N. Mex.
a new unofficial world altitude record of
96,000 feet after launch from St. Paul,
August 28, 1952: First successful RocTcoon Minn.
(balloon-launched rocket) launched from
icebreaker off Greenland by University of
June 28, 1957: First phase of Project Far
Iowa team headed by J. A. Van Allen and
Side completed, with the lifting by
on ONE contract, rocket was launched
world's largest plastic balloon (3,700,000
from balloon at 70,000 feet and reached
cubic feet) of a load of 2,306 i)ounds of
maximum altitude of 37.9 miles.
military equipment and Instruments to
a height of more than 104,000 feet.
February 19-26, 1953: First of the MOBY
DICK balloon flights to 60,000-100,000
August 19-20, 1957: Maj. David G.
feet to study high-altitude winds and
Simons (USAF MC) set official world
carrying capsule containing fruit flies,
altitude record of 101,516 feet in MAN-
launched from NAS Vemalles, Calif., by
USAF Cambridge Research Center. HIGH II balloon, setting unofficial dura-
tion record of 32 hours, and becoming
first person to remain In stratosphere
May 18, 1954: Super Skyhook, largest
overnight, over Crosby, Minn.
polyethylene balloon built to date (3,000,-
000 cubic feet) was successfully launched
by General Mills for ONR and carried August 19, 1957: Stratoscope I, an un-
emulsions to 115,000 feet. manned balloon-telescope system,
launched by General Mills under Navy
contract for Princeton University astron-
July 1955: First Aeromedical Labo-
omers, produced first "clear" photos of
ratory's cubic feet) plastic balloons
the sun taken at 80,000-foot altitude with
manufactured by Winzen Research,
12-inch telescope.
launched at Fleming Field, Minn., at-
tained an altitude of over 120,000 feet;
the second launched on the next day at- September 18, 1957: Donald Plccard
tained a record altitude of 126,000 feet. made successful manned low-level
flight on a cluster of plastic balloons,

August 10, 1956: Lt. Comdrs. Malcolm D. from Swarthmore, Pa.

Ross (USNR) and M. Lee Lewis (USN)
made first stratospheric manned flight on October 18, 1957: Lt. Comdrs. M. D. Ross
a polyethylene balloon from Minneapolis (USNR) and M. L. Lewis (USN) as-
as a part of ONR
Project Strato-Lab, cended to unofficial two-man altitude
flying in open basket and reaching an record of 85,700 feet in STRATO-LAB
altitude of 40,000 feet. HIGH II balloon.

May 6-7, 1958: Lt. Comdr. M. D. Ross September 4> 1959: Raven Industries
(USNR) A. Mikesell (Naval Ob-
and. launched Office of Naval Research Sky-
servatory) used open-gondola STRATO- hook unmanned balloon from Sioux Falls,
LAB to ascend to 40,000 feet from So. Dakota, establishing new imb