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On this Date

Nov. 27, 1933:  The U.S. Army Air Corps accepted the Glenn L. Martin Company’s first service test YB-10 bomber, serial number 33-140, to the U.S. Army Air Corps. This was the first all-metal monoplane bomber with an internal bomb bay, retractable landing gear, rotating gun turret, and enclosed cockpit. It flew faster than the pursuit aircraft of the day. There had been a single prototype, the Martin Model 123. It was powered by two Wright R-1820-19 engines rated at 600 horsepower, each. This was designated XB-907 by the U.S. Army Air Corps when tested at Wright Field, Ohio, in 1932. Recommendations for modifications were made, and Martin upgraded the prototype to the XB-907A configuration, which was then designated XB-10 by the Air Corps. The Army then ordered 48 production airplanes. The first group of 14 airplanes were designated YB-10. The YB-10 (Martin Model 139) had enclosed canopies for the pilot and top gunner, and a nose turret. The crew consisted of a pilot, radio operator, and three gunners.

 

 

Nov. 27, 1942: During World War II, the Vichy French navy scuttled its ships and submarines in Toulon, to keep them out of the hands of German troops.

 

 

Nov. 27, 1944: The Boeing XF8B made its first flight. The XF8B (Model 400) was a single-engine aircraft developed by Boeing during World War II to provide the U.S. Navy with a long-range shipboard fighter aircraft. The XF8B was intended for operation against the Japanese home islands from aircraft carriers outside the range of Japanese land-based aircraft. Designed for various roles including interceptor, long-range escort fighter, dive-bomber, and torpedo bomber, the final design embodied a number of innovative features in order to accomplish the various roles. Despite its formidable capabilities, the XF8B-1 never entered series production. Although testing of the promising XF8B concept continued into 1946 by the U.S. Army Air Force and 1947 by the U.S. Navy, the end of the war in the Pacific and changing postwar strategy required that Boeing concentrate on building large land-based bombers and transports. The advent of jet fighters led to the cancellation of many wartime piston-engined projects; consequently, since the Air Force lost interest in pursuing the project and the U.S. Navy was only prepared to offer a small contract, Boeing chose to wind down the XF8B program.

 

 

Nov. 27, 1949: The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II made its first flight. The Globemaster II, nicknamed “Old Shaky,” was an American heavy-lift cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, Calif. The C-124 was the primary heavy-lift transport for the U.S. Air Force’s Military Air Transport Service during the 1950s and early 1960s, until the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter entered service. It served in MATS, later Military Airlift Command, units of the Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard until retired in 1974. The first deliveries of the 448 production aircraft began in May 1950 and continued until 1955. The C-124 was operational during the Korean War and was also used to assist supply operations for Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica. They performed heavy lift cargo operations for the U.S. military worldwide, including flights to Southeast Asia, Africa, and elsewhere. From 1959 to 1961 they transported Thor missiles across the Atlantic to England. The C-124 was also used extensively during the Vietnam War transporting material from the U.S. to Vietnam. Until the C-5A became operational, the C-124, and its sister C-133 Cargomaster, were the only aircraft available that could transport very large loads.

 

 

Nov. 27, 1962: The first Boeing 727 was rolled out at the company’s Renton Plant, and the first test flight took place.

 

 

Nov. 27, 1968: A test team began the A-37B Qualitative Spin Test program. The A-37B was the attack version of the T-37 trainer and was designed for combat in Vietnam, where it flew 165,000 combat sorties with the U.S. Air Force and South Vietnamese.

 

 

Nov. 27, 1980: Soyuz T-3, carrying three cosmonauts to the Salyut 6 space station, launched. Soyuz T-3 was the first Soyuz spacecraft to carry three cosmonauts following the fatal Soyuz 11 disaster in 1971. The mission was both an early flight of the new Soyuz-T variant craft, as well as one of the later flights to the Salyut 6 station, which had successfully received several crews and visiting craft in recent years. Unlike previous habitations of the station, the crew of Soyuz T-3 did not receive any visitors, and thus did not exchange Soyuz craft with other crews for a return journey, a common practice.

 

 

Nov. 28, 1922: Royal Air Force Capt. Cyril Turner gives the first skywriting exhibition in New York City. Turner spelled out “Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200.” Forty-seven thousand people called.

 

 

Nov. 28, 1943: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin meet at the Tehran Conference in Iran to map out a strategy.

 

 

Nov. 28, 1956: The Ryan X-13 Vertijet made the world’s first jet vertical transition flight. Following a horizontal takeoff, pilot Pete Girard put the test airplane into a vertical hover and then recovered flying speed for a conventional landing.

 

 

Nov. 28, 1964: Mariner 4 launched; 1st probe to fly by Mars. The Mariner 4 made its closest approach on July 15, 1965 — and took the first photos of another planet from space. In addition to providing key information about how to safely deliver future missions to the Martian surface, the spacecraft far outlasted its planned eight-month mission. It lasted about three years in solar orbit, continuing long-term studies of the solar wind and making coordinated measurements with the Mariner 5 spacecraft.

 

 

NB-52 posed for takeoff

Nov. 29, 1957: The third production Boeing B-52A-1-BO Stratofortress was flown from Boeing’s Seattle plant to the North American Aviation facility at Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, Calif., to be modified to carry the new X-15 hypersonic research rocketplane. Modifications began on Feb. 4, 1958. A pylon was mounted under the bomber’s right wing; a large notch was cut into the trailing edge of the inboard flap for the X-15’s vertical fin; and a 1,500 gallon liquid oxygen tank was installed in the bomb bay. Additionally, a station for a launch operator was installed on the upper deck of the B-52 at the former electronic countermeasures position. A series of control panels allowed the panel operator to monitor the X-15’s systems, provide electrical power, and to keep the rocketplane’s liquid oxygen tank full as the LOX boiled off during the climb to launch altitude. The operator could see the X-15 through a plexiglas dome, and there were two television monitors. After modifications were completed at Palmdale, the aircraft was flown to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Nov. 14, 1958.

 

 

Nov. 29, 1961: Mercury-Atlas 5 carries a chimp (Enos) to orbit. The flight was an American unmanned spaceflight of the Mercury program. The craft orbited the Earth twice and splashed down about 200 miles south of Bermuda. Enos survived the mission in good condition, although he had removed all of the medical electrodes and the urine collection device from his body.

 

 

Nov. 29, 1962: Great Britain and France decide to jointly build the Concorde supersonic airliner. The aircraft would make its first flight on March 2, 1969.

 

 

Nov. 29, 1974: The Boeing Vertol YUH-61 made its first flight.  The Vertol was a twin turbine-engined, medium-lift, military assault/utility helicopter. The YUH-61 was the runner-up in the U.S. Army Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System competition in the early 1970s to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter. At the end of the flyoff program, Sikorsky Aircraft was awarded a contract to develop and build its UH-60A entry. Under a contract awarded in August 1972, Boeing Vertol designed and delivered three prototypes to compete UTTAS program. When the Boeing Vertol failed to win the Army competition, it pinned its hope on winning civil orders and the US Navy’s LAMPS III program. In the end, a variant of the Sikorsky design, the SH-60B, won the Navy contract, and the civil orders received were canceled.

Three aircraft were built and a further two were cancelled and not completed. An attack helicopter design, using the YUH-61’s dynamic system (engines, rotor systems, and gearboxes), was proposed for the Advanced Attack Helicopter competition, much as the dynamic system of the earlier UH-1 Iroquois had been adapted into the AH-1 Cobra gunship, but did not make the downselect that resulted in the Bell YAH-63 and Hughes YAH-64 being built. The Boeing Vertol AAH design was unique in that the crew were seated in a laterally staggered tandem configuration.

 

 

An F/A-18F Super Hornet, from the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, makes a sharp turn above the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Truman and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 are underway on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of maritime security operations U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Kevin T. Murray Jr. (Released)

Nov. 29, 1995: The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet made its first flight. The Super Hornet is a twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft variant based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air-to-air refueling system. Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Low-rate production began in early 1997 with full-rate production starting in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super Hornet entered fleet service with the U.S. Navy in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which was retired in 2006; the Super Hornet has served alongside the original Hornet. The Royal Australian Air Force, which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its aging General Dynamics F-111C fleet. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010.

 

 

Nov. 30, 1995: The B-1B was certified to carry and deliver up to 84 Mk 82 “iron” bombs in a combat situation, following the successful completion of Block C, Phase 1, of the bomber’s Conventional Munitions Upgrade Program.

 

 

Nov. 30, 1995: Official end of Operation Desert Storm. Although combat operations concluded on Feb. 28, 1991, Operation Desert Storm did not officially end until Nov. 30, 1995. U.S. service members who served in the war from Aug. 2, 1990, to Nov. 30, 1995, were authorized to wear the Southwest Asia Service Medal, created by President George H.W. Bush.

 

 

Nov. 30, 1999: British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems merge to form BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defense contractor and fourth largest aerospace firm in the world.

 

 

Nov. 30, 2005: The Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., acquired the McDonnell Douglas YF-15A, S/N 71-0285, the eighth prototype built. It was primarily used for high angle of attack testing early in the program and was later used to test the new F100-PW-220 engines for the F-15C. The -220 engine introduced single-crystal turbine airfoils, an advanced multi-zone augmentor, an increased airflow fan, and a digital electronic engine control system. Later in its career, the aircraft had been assigned to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center (now Armstrong FRC) at Edwards where it was used for digital electronic flight and engine control research under the Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control program. The aircraft was also used to test and evaluate a computerized self-repairing flight control system for the Air Force that detected damaged or failed flight control services.

 

 

Dec. 1, 1921: The first U.S. helium-filled dirigible, U.S. Navy blimp C-7, made it first flight. The ship was commanded by Lt. Cdr. Ralph F. Wood, assisted by Lt. Cdr. Zachary Lansdowne, Lt. C.E. Bousch, and CMM Farriss. C-7 made several flights from Norfolk, Va., beginning on Dec. 1, including a flight to Washington, D.C., and back.

 

 

Dec. 1, 1941: Japanese Emperor Hirohito signs declaration of war against the United States and the British Empire. The declaration was not published until Dec. 8, 1941, an hour after Japanese forces attacked U.S. Navy bases at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and British forces in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong King.

 

 

Dec. 1, 1941: U.S. Civil Air Patrol organizes. The Civil Air Patrol was conceived in the late 1930s by aviation advocate Gill Robb Wilson, who foresaw general aviation’s potential to supplement America’s military operations. With the help of New York Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, in his capacity as then-Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, CAP was created with Administrative Order 9, signed by LaGuardia on Dec. 1, 1941, and published Dec. 8, 1941. The Civil Air Patrol had 90 days to prove themselves to Congress. Maj. Gen. John F. Curry was appointed as the first national commander. During World War II, CAP was seen as a way to use America’s civilian aviation resources to aid the war effort instead of grounding them. The organization assumed many missions including anti-submarine patrol and warfare, border patrols, and courier services. During World War II, CAP’s coastal patrol reportedly flew 24 million miles and sighted 173 enemy U-boats, dropping a total of 82 bombs and depth charges throughout the conflict. Two submarines were reportedly destroyed by CAP aircraft, but later research found there was no basis for this claim. By the end of the war, 68 CAP members had lost their lives in the line of duty.  With the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, and creation of the U.S. Air Force, the CAP became the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force in 1948, and its incorporating charter declared that it would never again be involved in direct combat activities, but would be of a benevolent nature.

 

 

Dec . 1, 1943: At the end of the Tehran Conference, the Big Three (Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt) agree that the invasion of Normandy should take place in May 1944.

 

 

Dec. 1, 1958: The North American X-15 and the Boeing B-52 launch aircraft were mated for the first time.

 

 

Dec. 1, 1977: The Lockheed Have Blue made its first flight. Lockheed Have Blue was the code name for Lockheed’s proof of concept demonstrator for a stealth bomber. Have Blue was designed by Lockheed’s Skunk Works division, and tested at Groom Lake, Nev. The Have Blue was the first fixed-wing aircraft whose external shape was defined by radar engineering rather than by aerospace engineering. The aircraft’s faceted shape was designed to deflect electromagnetic waves in directions other than that of the originating radar emitter, greatly reducing its radar cross-section. To design the aircraft, the Skunk Works’ design team leveraged the mathematics published by Soviet physicist and mathematician Petr Ufimtsev regarding the reflection of electromagnetic waves. A stealth engineer at Lockheed, Denys Overholser, had read the publication and realized that Ufimtsev had created the mathematical theory and tools to do finite analysis of radar reflection. The eventual design characteristically featured faceted surfaces to deflect radar waves away from a radar receiver. It had highly-swept wings and inward-canted vertical stabilizers, which led to it being nicknamed “the Hopeless Diamond” – a pun on the Hope Diamond. Two flyable vehicles were constructed. Both were lost due to mechanical problems. Nevertheless, Have Blue was deemed a success, paving the way for the first operational stealth aircraft, Senior Trend, or Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk.

 

 

Dec. 1, 1984: At Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., NASA intentionally crashed a Boeing 720 as part of the Controlled Impact Demonstration program. The Controlled Impact Demonstration (or colloquially the Crash In the Desert) was a joint project between NASA and the FAA that intentionally crashed a remotely controlled Boeing 720 aircraft to acquire data and test new technologies to aid passenger and crew survival. The crash required more than four years of preparation by NASA Ames Research Center, Langley Research Center, Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center, the FAA, and General Electric. After numerous test runs, the plane was crashed on Dec. 1, 1984. The test went generally according to plan, and produced a spectacular fireball that required more than an hour to extinguish.

The test aircraft took off from Edwards, made a left-hand departure and climbed to an altitude of 2,300 feet. The aircraft was remotely flown by NASA research pilot Fitzhugh Fulton from the NASA Dryden Remotely Controlled Vehicle Facility. All fuel tanks were filled with a total of 76,000 pounds of AMK and all engines ran from start-up to impact (flight time was 9 minutes) on the modified Jet-A. It then began a descent-to-landing along the roughly 3.8-degree glideslope to a specially prepared runway on the east side of Rogers Dry Lake, with the landing gear remaining retracted. Passing the decision height of 150 feet above ground level, the aircraft turned slightly to the right of the desired path. The aircraft entered into a situation known as a Dutch roll. Slightly above that decision point at which the pilot was to execute a “go-around”, there appeared to be enough altitude to maneuver back to the center-line of the runway. The aircraft was below the glideslope and below the desired airspeed. Data acquisition systems had been activated, and the aircraft was committed to impact.

The aircraft contacted the ground, left wing low, at full throttle, with the aircraft nose pointing to the left of the center-line. It had been planned that the aircraft would land wings-level, with the throttles set to idle, and exactly on the center-line during the CID, thus allowing the fuselage to remain intact as the wings were sliced open by eight posts cemented into the runway (called “Rhinos” due to the shape of the “horns” welded onto the posts). The Boeing 720 landed askew. One of the Rhinos sliced through the number 3 engine, behind the burner can, leaving the engine on the wing pylon, which does not typically happen in an impact of this type. The same rhino then sliced through the fuselage, causing a cabin fire when burning fuel was able to enter the fuselage.

The cutting of the number 3 engine and the full-throttle situation was significant, as this was outside the test envelope. The number 3 engine continued to operate for approximately 1/3 of a rotation, degrading the fuel and igniting it after impact, providing a significant heat source. The fire and smoke took over an hour to extinguish. The CID impact was spectacular with a large fireball created by the number 3 engine on the right side, enveloping and burning the aircraft. From the standpoint of AMK, the test was a major set-back. For NASA Langley, the data collected on crashworthiness was deemed successful and just as important.

The actual impact demonstrated that the antimisting additive tested was not sufficient to prevent a post-crash fire in all circumstances, though the reduced intensity of the initial fire was attributed to the effect of AMK. FAA investigators estimated that 23–25 percent of the aircraft’s full complement of 113 people could have survived the crash. Time from slide-out to complete smoke obscuration for the forward cabin was five seconds; for the aft cabin, it was 20 seconds. Total time to evacuate was 15 and 33 seconds respectively, accounting for the time necessary to reach and open the doors and operate the slide. Investigators labeled their estimate of the ability to escape through dense smoke as “highly speculative.” As a result of analysis of the crash, the FAA instituted new flammability standards for seat cushions which required the use of fire-blocking layers, resulting in seats which performed better than those in the test. It also implemented a standard requiring floor proximity lighting to be mechanically fastened, due to the apparent detachment of two types of adhesive-fastened emergency lights during the impact. Federal aviation regulations for flight data recorder sampling rates for pitch, roll, and acceleration were found to be insufficient.

NASA concluded that the impact piloting task was of an unusually high workload, which might have been reduced through the use of a heads-up display, the automation of more tasks, and a higher-resolution monitor. It also recommended the use of a microwave landing system to improve tracking accuracy over the standard instrument landing system. In practice, the Global Positioning System-based Wide Area Augmentation System came to fulfill this role.

 

 

Dec. 2, 1937: The Brewster F2A Buffalo made its maiden flight. The Brewster F2A Buffalo was an American fighter aircraft which saw service early in World War II. Designed and built by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation, it was one of the first U.S. monoplanes with an arrestor hook and other modifications for aircraft carriers. The Buffalo won a competition against the Grumman F4F Wildcat in 1939 to become the U.S. Navy’s first monoplane fighter aircraft. Although superior to the Grumman F3F biplane it replaced, and the early F4Fs, the Buffalo was largely obsolete when the United States entered the war, being unstable and overweight, especially when compared to the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

The Buffalo was built in three variants for the U.S. Navy: the F2A-1, F2A-2, and F2A-3. The F2A-3 variant saw action with U.S. Marine Corps squadrons at the Battle of Midway. Shown by the experience of Midway to be no match for the Zero, the F2A-3 was derided by Marine Corps pilots as a “flying coffin.” Indeed, the F2A-3s performance was substantially inferior to the F2A-2 variant used by the Navy before the outbreak of the war, despite detail improvements.

 

 

Dec. 2, 1942: The first flight of the experimental Curtiss canard fighter design, the CW-24B, took place from the dry lakebed at Muroc. The company pilot was J. Harvey Gray. The CW-24B was a swept-wing pusher design with a small canard which was developed into three XP-55 Ascender prototypes. The design lacked stability and never went into production.

 

 

An air-to-air right side view of a T-34 Mentor aircraft from Training Squadron 5 (VT-5).

Dec. 2, 1948: The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor made its first flight. The Mentor is an American propeller-driven, single-engined, military trainer aircraft derived from the Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza. The earlier versions of the T-34, dating from around the late 1940s to the 1950s, were piston-engined. These were eventually succeeded by the upgraded T-34C Turbo-Mentor, powered by a turboprop engine. The T-34 remains in service more than seven decades after it was first designed. In this photograph, a U.S. Navy T-34B is shown, circa 1976.

 

 

Dec. 2, 1971: Soviet space probe Mars 3 is first to soft land on Mars. It failed 110 seconds after landing, having transmitted only a gray image with no details.

 

 

Dec. 2, 1974: A U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School team began a weeklong evaluation of the BD-5J for the Very Low Cost Air Combat Trainer project. The BD-5J was a tiny (12.4 feet long) civilian sport airplane made by Bede Aircraft, Inc. with side-arm control and a fully automatic turbojet engine. Three BD-5Js were studied for supplemental air combat maneuvering training and possible inclusion in the TPS fleet.

 

 

Dec. 2, 2013: China launches its first moon rover mission with the Yutu rover. Yutu reached the Moon’s surface on Dec. 14, 2013. The mission marks the first soft landing on the Moon since 1976 and the first rover to operate there since the Soviet Lunokhod 2 ceased operations on May 11, 1973. The rover encountered operational difficulties toward the end of the second lunar day after surviving and recovering successfully from the first 14-day lunar night. It was unable to move after the end of the second lunar night, though it continued to gather useful information for some months afterward. In October 2015, Yutu set the record for the longest operational period for a rover on the Moon. On July 31, 2016, Yutu ceased to operate after a total of 31 months, well beyond its original expected lifespan of three months. In total, while working on the Moon, the rover was able to travel a distance of 114 meters.

 

 

Dec. 3, 1973: Pioneer 10 passes Jupiter on the first fly-by of an outer planet. Pioneer 10 (originally designated Pioneer F) is an American space probe, launched in 1972 and weighing 569 pounds, that completed the first mission to the planet Jupiter. Thereafter, Pioneer 10 became the first of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity needed to leave the Solar System. This space exploration project was conducted by the NASA Ames Research Center in California, and the space probe was manufactured by TRW Inc.

Pioneer 10 was assembled around a hexagonal bus with a 9-foot diameter parabolic dish high-gain antenna, and the spacecraft was spin stabilized around the axis of the antenna. Its electric power was supplied by four radioisotope thermoelectric generators that provided a combined 155 watts at launch.

It was launched on March 2, 1972, by an Atlas-Centaur expendable vehicle from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Between July 15, 1972, and Feb. 15, 1973, it became the first spacecraft to traverse the asteroid belt. Photography of Jupiter began Nov. 6, 1973, at a range of 16,000,000 miles, and about 500 images were transmitted. The closest approach to the planet was on Dec. 4, 1973, at a range of 82,178 miles. During the mission, the on-board instruments were used to study the asteroid belt, the environment around Jupiter, the solar wind, cosmic rays, and eventually the far reaches of the Solar System and heliosphere. Radio communications were lost with Pioneer 10 on Jan. 23, 2003, because of the loss of electric power for its radio transmitter, with the probe at a distance of 12 billion kilometers (80 AU) from Earth.

 

 

Dec.3, 1999: NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere. The Mars Polar Lander, also known as the Mars Surveyor ’98 Lander, was a 290-kilogram robotic spacecraft lander launched by NASA on Jan. 3, 1999, to study the soil and climate of Planum Australe, a region near the south pole on Mars. It formed part of the Mars Surveyor ’98 mission. On Dec. 3, 1999, however, after the descent phase was expected to be complete, the lander failed to reestablish communication with Earth. A post-mortem analysis determined the most likely cause of the mishap was premature termination of the engine firing prior to the lander touching the surface, causing it to strike the planet at a high velocity. The total cost of the Mars Polar Lander was $165 million. Spacecraft development cost $110 million, launch was estimated at $45 million, and mission operations at $10 million.

 

 

Dec. 3, 2005: XCOR Aerospace flew its EZ-Rocket (a rocket-powered Long-EZ aircraft the company built as a demonstrator for its reusable rocket engines) from Calif., to California City, Calif., both in Kern County. Test pilot Dick Rutan made the flight, which lasted about 9 minutes and carried U.S. mail from the post office in Mojave to addresses in California City. This was the first time that a manned, rocket-powered aircraft was used to carry U.S. Mail.

 

 

Dec. 3, 2017: Expedition crew members on board the International Space Station hosted the first pizza party in space. From left: NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei; Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryazanskiy and Alexander Misurkin; European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli and NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Randy Bresnik show off their pizza creations.

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