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APRIL 11

* In 1986, Halley's Comet made its closest approach to Earth until 2061. In earlier returns, the Comet Halley was featured in ads to sell many products, even soap as shown in the photo from the Library of Congress. (Click here for more about Halley's Comet.)

* Launch of Apollo13 (1970). Click here for more about Apollo 13.

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APRIL 12

* Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Aboard his Vostok I spacecraft, he was the first man in history to orbit Earth (1961).

* First launch of the shuttle (1981).

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APRIL 13

* Apollo 13 moon craft oxygen tank two exploded and the spacecraft was stranded more than 200,000 miles from Earth. The ensuing rescue captured the attention of millions on Earth (1970).

For more about the Apollo 13 rescue.
Click here for an exhibit about this exciting space rescue.
For a comic book story about Apollo 13, click here.

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APRIL 14

* American aviator Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Her feat was overshadowed by the loss of the Titanic (1912).

* Gamma Ray Observatory deployed on STS-37 (1991). (Click above for more information.)

* Christian Huygens, astronomer, born (1629).

* Flash of light seen in a Moon crater, Plato (1948).

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APRIL 15

* First balloon flight in Ireland (1784). (Click on the Balloon button above for more information.)

* Titantic sunk (2:27 a.m., 1912).

* Wilhelm von Struve, astronomer, born (1793).

* James Ross discovered North magnetic pole (1800).

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APRIL 16

* First firing of an American V-2 at White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, (1946).

* Wilbur Wright born (1867).

*Apollo 16 launches for the Moon (1971).

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APRIL 17

* Bogus invoice presented to makers of Apollo 13 Mother ship by makers of Lunar Lander rescue craft for 400,001 mile tow charge (1970).

* Surveyor 3 was launched. It became the first to sample the surface of the Moon (1967).

* Jerry Mock became first woman to fly solo around world (1964).

* Air service between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City was begun using a Douglas M-2 to carry 1,000 lbs of mail or 2 passengers (1926).

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APRIL 18

* Great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 resulted in fires that burned for three days; 3,000 acres were flat- tened. Space program technology has contributed to fire-fighting technology.

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APRIL 19

* "Toys in Space" returned to Earth aboard STS 51-D (1985).

* Soviets placed Salyut 7 space station in an orbit of 136 x 173 miles. The station can provide for five crew members (1982).

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APRIL 20

* Apollo 16 landed on the Moon (1972).

* Goddard launched a rocket outfitted with a barograph. Altitude reached was 4,215 feet (1,285 meters) and distance from launch that rocket landed was 6,950 feet (1938).

* First free-flight of Bell Aerosystems rocket belt (1961).

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APRIL 21


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