Aviation in 1962
Major Clyde P. Evely and crew establish a new world distance
record in a Boeing B52H Stratofortress. Flying from Okinawa
in the Ryukyu Islands to Madrid in Spain a total distance of
20,168 kilometres (12,532 miles)
United States' first earth orbit astronaut is launched into
space. Lieutenant Colonel John H. Glenn of the United States
Marine Corps (USMC) completes 3 orbits in a flight time of 4
hours 55 minutes 23 seconds.
Following manned tests at 909kph (565mph) on the 28 February
high speed tests of an escape capsule fitted to the Convair
B58A Hustler are undertaken. An unnamed bear is ejected from
a Convair B58A 'Hustler' at 1,400kph (870mph) and lands
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) pilot
Joe Walker takes the North American X15A to a new altitude
record of 75,195 metres (246,700 feet)
Mercury capsule Arora 7 takes Lieutenant Commander M. Scott
Carpenter of the United States Navy (USN) into a three orbit
space flight. Problems with re-entry mean the capsule
splashes down 420 kilometres (260 miles) from the intended
The North American X15A is piloted by Joe Walker to a new top
speed of 6,693kph (4,159mph).
Colonel G. Mosolov establishes a new world speed record for
the Soviet Union, flying the Mikoyan Ye166 to record a speed
of 2,681kph (1,666mph).
The Telstar 1 communications satellite is placed in earth
orbit. The first transatlantic exchanges of television
programmes are now possible.
Air-to-ground public telephone service are started on Trans
World Airlines (TWA) St Louis to Chicago-East Coast route.
United States President Kennedy announces that United States
reconnaissance aircraft have established that offensive
missile sites are being erected in Cuba.
The Soviet Union puts its forces on alert and challenges the
United States rights to be concerned with actions in Cuba.
Following lengthy exchanges between Kennedy and Khrushchev
the 'Cuban missile crisis' is ended. The United States agrees
not to invade Cuba and the USSR agrees to halt the
construction of missile sites and to remove the missiles.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA)
Mariner II scans the surface of Venus for 35 minutes as it
flies past at a distance of 34,830 kilometres (21,642 miles).
A surface temperature of 428°C (834°F) is recorded.
The United States Navy (USN) announces that it has stopped
all activity related to lighter-than-air craft and has
disposed of its last airship.
The United States Department of Defence announces the
cancellation of the Skybolt ballistic missile programme