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  • Current events for January 31, 2018
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    Events in space history for 01/31:
    • U.S. entered the Space Age with the launch of Explorer 1 by a Juno 1 rocket (1958). It discovered the Earth is surrounded by radiation belts (Van Allen).
    • "Ham," a chimpanzee, was recovered from a Mercury spacecraft after a suborbital flight (1961).
    • January 21-31: Second Army transcontinental flight by Maj. T. C. Macauley in DH-4 Liberty, Fort Worth-San Diego-Miami-Fort Worth, which he repeated in April (1919).
    • Dr. Edward P. Warner appointed economic and technical adviser of the CAA (1939).
    • F-51 set new London to New York speed record of 8 hours and 55 minutes (1951).
    • EXPLORER I, first U.S. earth satellite, launched by modified ABMA-JPL Jupiter-C, with U.S.-IGY scientific experiment of James A. Van Allen, which discovered the radiation belt around the earth (1958).
    • USAF Samos II, a 4,100-pound test satellite containing photographic equipment, placed in orbit by Atlas-Agena A from Point Arguello, California (1961).
    • Mercury-Redstone (MR-2) flight from Atlantic Missile Range shot Mercury capsule containing chimpanzee named Ham to 157 miles altitude and 418 miles down range. Capsule with life-support equipment functioned well but flight was 42 miles higher and 125 miles farther than programmed. Ham was recovered in good health (1961).
    • An eight-engine static test firing of the Saturn test booster (Sa-T1) for 113 seconds was completed at Marshall Space Flight Center (1961).
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