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On This Day: May 31

Aviation events for May 31

1773: Pierre-Simon Laplace was elected an adjunct in the Académie des Sciences.
1862: Information obtained from Thadeus S. C. Lowe’s balloon observation saves Union forces from defeat at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia during the U. S. Civil War. Union General George McClellan is warned by Lowe of Confederate General Albert Johnston’s approaching troops.
1928: The first airplane flight across the Pacific is made by British Capt. Charles Kingsford-Smith and crew in a Fokker F-VIIB/3m. They fly from Oakland Field, California to Brisbane, Australia, 7,389 miles (11,890km), in 83 hours, 38 minutes. On the way, it becomes the first airplane to land in Fiji.
1946: London Heathrow Airport is officially opened.
1966: Luna 10, USSR Lunar Orbiter launched. Probe is currently in a lunar orbit.
1967: First operational mission of an A-12 (937). Pilot Mele Vojvodich. The target was NorthVietnam. 70 of the known 190 SAM sites and 9 primary targets were photographed successfully. Flown at Mach 3.1, 80,000 feet, 3 hours 39 minutes.
1978: USSR launches Kosmos 1000 navigational satellite.
1995: The first flight of the Schweizer RU-38A Twin Condor long-range surveillance aircraft takes place in Elmira, New York.
1996: Space Shuttle STS-76 (Atlantis 16), lands.
2008: Champion Air ceased operations because of high fuel prices and fuel inefficiency, the main two reasons the airline was terminated.

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