Eleven countries signed a convention establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), currently the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.
The acronym CERN originally stood, in French, for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Council for Nuclear Research), which was a provisional council for setting up the laboratory.
The organization was established by the following 11 European governments; Belgium, Denmark, West Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and United Kingdom.
Today the organization has twenty European member states, and is currently the workplace of approximately 2,600 full-time employees, as well as some 7,931 scientists and engineers (representing 580 universities and research facilities and 80 nationalities). Read More…
China launches the spacecraft Shenzhou 7, the third human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program. The mission, which included an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) carried out by crewmembers Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming, marked the commencement of the second phase of the Chinese government’s Project 921.
The Shenzhou spacecraft carrying the three crewmembers was launched 25 September 2008, by a Long March 2F (CZ-2F) rocket which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 21:10 CST.
The mission lasted three days, after which the craft landed safely in Siziwang Banner in central Inner Mongolia on 28 September 2008, at 17:37 CST. The EVA carried out during the flight makes China the third country to have conducted an EVA, after the Soviet Union and the United States. Read More…
NASA’s Lunar Prospector was deliberately crashed into the Shoemaker crater near the moon’s south pole in an unsuccessful attempt to detect the presence of water.
The mission was the third selected by NASA for full development and construction as part of the Discovery Program.
At a cost of $62.8 million, the 19-month mission was designed for a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon, including mapping of surface composition and possible polar ice deposits, measurements of magnetic and gravity fields, and study of lunar outgassing events.
The mission ended July 31, 1999 when the orbiter was deliberately crashed into a crater near the lunar south pole in an unsuccessful attempt to detect the presence of water.
Data from the mission allowed the construction of a detailed map of the surface composition of the Moon, and helped to improve understanding of the origin, evolution, current state, and resources of the Moon. A series of articles on the scientific results were published in the journal Science.
U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, establishing a new federal non-military space agency known as NASA.
The Act, which followed close on the heels of the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, was drafted by the United States House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration.
Prior to enactment, the responsibility for space exploration was deemed primarily a military venture, in line with the Soviet model that had launched the first orbital satellite. In large measure, the Act was prompted by the lack of response to that military infrastructure that seemed incapable of keeping up the space race. Read More…
French aviator Louis Blériot crossed the English Channel in a heavier-than-air flying machine, flying from near Calais, France, to Dover, England receiving a prize of 1000 offered by the London Daily Mail for a successful crossing of the English Channel.
Blériot was a pioneer of the sport of air racing and also is credited as the first person to make a working monoplane.
Blériot had two rivals for the prize, both of whom failed to reach the goal. The first was Hubert Latham, a French national of English extraction. He was favored by both the United Kingdom and France to win. Read More…
First ever motorized racing event is held in France between the cities of Paris and Rouen. The race is won by Jules de Dion.
Motor racing was started in France, as a direct result of the enthusiasm with which the French public embraced the motor car. Manufacturers were enthusiastic due to the possibility of using motor racing as a shop window for their cars.
The first motor race took place on July 22, 1894 and was organised by Le Petit Journal, a Parisian newspaper. It was run over the eighty mile (128 km) distance between Paris and Rouen. The race was won by Jules de Dion, although he was not awarded the prize for first place as his car required a stoker and the judges deemed this outside of their objectives. The de Dion Bouton that Jules piloted was a steam powered vehicle, and thus did not meet the intent of the competition.
Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched into orbit by NASA aboard a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral.
Telstar 1 was the first privately sponsored space launch. A medium-altitude satellite, Telstar was placed in an elliptical orbit (completed once every 2 hours and 37 minutes), inclined at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the equator, with perigee about 1000 km from Earth and apogee about 6000 km from Earth.
Because of this, its availability for transatlantic signals was limited to 20 minutes in each orbit that passed over the Atlantic Ocean.
Telstar 1, which had ushered in a new age of the benevolent use of technology, became a victim of technology during the Cold War. The day before Telstar 1 was launched, the United States had tested a high-altitude nuclear bomb (called Starfish Prime) which energized the Earth’s Van Allen Belt where Telstar 1 went into orbit. Read More…