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Flashback calendar

Last Mercury spaceflight lifts off

Mercury-Atlas 9, the final mission of the U. S. Mercury space program, started from Cape Canaveral. Astronaut Gordon Cooper became the last American to fly to space alone. He orbited Earth 22 times and successfully splashed into the Pacific Ocean 130 km southeast of Midway. The Mercury program was followed by Project Gemini which flew spacecraft manned by a two-man crew.

The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3

Sputnik 3 was a Soviet satellite launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome using a modified R-7 Semyorka missile. Its purpose was to explore the upper atmosphere and near space. The original launch was postponed due to technical difficulties. It was the only satellite launched by Soviets that year. Sputnik successfully made it into orbit.

The Gloster Whittle makes its first flight

Britain's first jet-propelled aircraft, the Gloster Whittle, took to the air for the first time, flying for 17 minutes. Its jet engines were designed by Frank Whittle, “the father of the jet engine.” The Gloster Whittle was the third jet to fly successfully after the German Heinkel He 178 and the Italian Caproni Campini N.1.

Nylon stockings first become available for sale

Nylon stockings were first introduced by chemical company DuPont at the 1939 New York World's Fair. On May 15, 1940, they went on sale for the first time in Wilmington, Delaware. The demand for stockings increased and spread throughougt the United States with up to 4 million pairs being purchased in a single day.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous

born 1859

Pierre Curie

born 1951

Frank Wilczek

born 1936

Paul Zindel