Aug 13


Ten U.S. Air Force pilots complete a month-long simulation to study the possible psychological effects of a prolonged space mission. The pilots worked efficiently, surpassing expectations during a simulation held inside a model space cabin


Aug 15


The Advanced Research Projects Agency authorizes the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency to develop the Juno 5 rocket. The rocket eventually is handed over to the United States’ newly created space agency, NASA, and renamed the Saturn 1 by rocket engineer Werner von Braun.


Mercury astronauts begin centrifuge training at the Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory at the Naval Air Development Center in Johnsonville, Pa.

Aug. 16


A team from the Office of Naval Research and the University of Maryland launch a Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket from a Navy F2H-2 aircraft to an altitude of 60,000 kilometers. It is the first successful demonstration of the Rockair technique in which a rocket is launched in midair from an aircraft.


After a 20-year case, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims rules

that the U.S. government violated Hughes Aircraft Co.’s patent for a satellite attitude-control system. The government was found to have infringed on Hughes’ patent with 84 military and civilian spacecraft, valued at $3.6 billion to $4 billion at the time.

Aug. 18


The U.S.S.R successfully launches the first hybrid rocket, which uses liquid oxygen to burn petroleum gel. The GIRD-9 rocket was developed by the GIRD, or Central Committee for the Study of Rocket Propulsion, research team.


The Delta Clipper-Experimental rocket, built by McDonnell Douglas, successfully completes its first test flight and hovering maneuver at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

Aug. 19


The U.S.S.R. launches Korabl-Sputnik 2 aboard an early, unmanned version of the Vostok orbital spacecraft from the BaikonurCosmodrome. The craft orbited for about a day carrying two dogs –

Strelka and Belka

along with other animals, plants, fungi and algae. All the organisms were recovered after being ejected and descending with the aid of a parachute. The ejection unit later would become the cosmonaut’s ejector seat. It was the first successful recovery of any living organism after entering space.