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On This Day: February 14

Aviation events for February 14

1894: Venus is both a morning star and evening star.
1914: An official American nonstop duration and distance record is made when Lt. Townsend Dodd and Sgt. Herbert Marcus fly the U.S. Signal Corps Burgess H tractor biplane. (S.C. No. 26) 244.8 mi. in 4 hours 43 minutes. Although it established a record for two people in one airplane, it also exceeded the previous single-seat record.
1932: Ruth Nichols flies her Lockheed Vega from Floyd Bennett Field, New York to an altitude of 19,928 feet, a new world record for diesel-engined airplanes.
1946: Philippine Airlines resumes service after a 5-year hiatus during World War II.
1955: First flight of the Mikoyan-Gurevich Ye-2, prototype of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
1963: The Indian Air Force receives its first batch of Soviet fighters, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s.
1963: U.S. launches communications satellite Syncom 1.
1972: Luna 20 - USSR Lunar Lander launched. Landed on the moon and returned samples to the Earth. Landed on February 21, 1972 at Apollonius highlands located at latitude 3°32' N and longitude 56°33' E. 30 grams of lunar samples were returned to the Earth.
1978: First flight of the Cessna 303.
1980: Japan Air Lines begins commercial operations with the highest-capacity airliner ever put into scheduled service, conducting the inaugural flight of eight Boeing 747SR. The aircraft has seating for 550 passengers, 45 in the upper deck.
1980: U.S. launches Solar Maximum Mission Observatory to study solar flares.
1984: First flight of the Cessna Citation S/II.
1989: The first of 24 Global Positioning System satellites is placed into orbit.
1990: Space probe Voyager 1 takes photograph of entire solar system.
1996: China launches a Long March 3 rocket, carrying the Intelsat 708 satellite. The rocket flies off course 3 seconds after liftoff and crashes into a rural village due to an engineering defect. The number of fatalities is unconfirmed.
2001: Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft becomes first vehicle to land on an asteroid (433 Eros)
2008: Belavia Flight 1834, a Bombardier CRJ-100ER (EW-101PJ), crashes on takeoff in Yerevan, Armenia. The left wing had accumulated frost on the wing due to difference in temperature between the air and fuel inside the wing’s tanks, resulting in immediately stall as the aircraft became airborne. All 21 on-board survived, mostly as a result of the 50-second response time of the rescue team.

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