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On This Day: February 2

Aviation events for February 2

1872: French navy-engineer Dupuy de Lome gets his elbow-grease powered airship up to a top speed of 11 km/h.
1917: The NACA recommended to the President, for transmittal to Congress for approval, that the Government acquire basic aeronautical patents.
1918: The first operational squadrons of the American Expeditionary Force are formed in France.
1925: President Coolidge signed the Kelly bill authorizing contract air transport of mail.
1950: Japan Air Lines inaugurates its first international service: a twice-weekly route to San Francisco.
1961: First telecast of a solar eclipse.
1961: NASA-AEC Space Nuclear Propulsion Office invited industry to submit proposals for participation in development of Nerva (nuclear engine for rocket vehicle application), a part of Project Rover initiated in 1955 by USAF-AEC.
1962: 8 of 9 planets align for 1st time in 400 years (Note: In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided that Pluto is not a planet, reducing the number of known planets in our solar system to 8.).
1971: Apollo 14 - USA Lunar Manned Lander (January 31 to February 8, 1971) Crew: Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, Stuart A. Roosa. Shepard and Mitchell landed on the moon on February 5, 1971, in the Fra Mauro highlands, located at 3°40' S and longitude 17°28' E. They collected 42.9 kilograms of lunar samples and used a hand-held cart to transport rocks and equipment.
1977: Burn up of Salyut 4 Space Station (U.S.S.R.)
1987: People Express flies its last service from Newark, New Jersey, to New York; it has been taken over by Continental Airlines.
1995: U.S. space shuttle Discovery launched.
1998: Cebu Pacific Flight 387, a DC-9-32 travelling from Manila to Cagayan de Oro, crashed on the slopes of Mount Sumagaya in Misamis Oriental, killing all 104 people on board. The crash was one of The Philippines's deadliest air disasters. Aviation investigators deemed the incident to be caused by pilot error when the plane made a non-regular stopover to Tacloban. Flight 387 was supposed to be a direct flight but due to the stopover, the pilots were not familiar with the route.

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