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DECEMBER 1

* First successful sporting balloon flight by Charles and Marie-Noel Robert in a 27.5 foot diameter hydrogen-filled balloon (1783).

* First helium-filled balloon flight (1921).

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DECEMBER 2

* The Solar Max Mission (SMM) Satellite entered the Earth's atmosphere (1989).

* The first an atom was split by humans (1942).

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DECEMBER 3

* First fly-by of Jupiter by a spacecraft (Pioneer 10, 1973).

(Click on Pioneer to read the story of the Pioneer planetary exploration program.)

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DECEMBER 4

* Gemini 7 was launched and was the longest of the Gemini flights. It lasted 320 hours (1965).

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DECEMBER 5

* The Pioneer 11 planetary spacecraft flew by Jupiter (1974).

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DECEMBER 6

* This was the date of the first attempt made by the United States to launch a satellite. Unfortunately, it went only a few feet before exploding on the launch pad (1957).

* Pioneer 3 reached the distance of 63,580 miles before falling back to Earth (1958).

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DECEMBER 7

* Pilot Wiley Post discovered a jet stream of air current existed over the United States (1934).

* The last Apollo flight, Apollo 17, was launched for the Moon (1972).

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DECEMBER 8

* Langley tried to fly his "Aerodrome" aircraft over the Potomac River. This, his second attempt, failed (1903).

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DECEMBER 9

* First time a monoplane (single wing) flew in the U.S. (1909).

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DECEMBER 10

* U.S. Air Force dropped its Dyna- Soar program (the X-20). The project was to have launched one person into orbit on a space glider which would orbit Earth then return to land on a runway (1963).

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DECEMBER 11


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