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This Month in Exploration - November
Visit "This Month in Exploration" every month to find out how aviation and space exploration have changed throughout the years, improving life for humans on Earth and in space. While reflecting on the events that led to NASA's formation and its rich history of accomplishments, "This Month in Exploration" will also reveal where the agency is leading us -- to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Paul Cornu's first helicopter 100 Years Ago

November 30, 1907: Aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss formed the Curtiss Aeroplane Company, the first airplane manufacturing company in the United States.

November 13, 1907: In France, Paul Cornu made the first vertical helicopter flight with a passenger. His aircraft was powered by a 24-horsepower Antoinette engine with two rotors. It rose about one foot off the ground.

Image right: Paul Cornu in his first helicopter in 1907.

75 Years Ago

November 4, 1932: The Beech Model 17 Staggerwing biplane flew for the first time. This private passenger airplane was created by aircraft executive Walter Beech and airplane designer T.A. Wells. It was designed for the business executive and included a luxurious cabin that could seat up to five passengers.

November 19, 1932: The Wright Brothers Monument was dedicated in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where Orville Wright was the guest of honor.

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50 Years Ago

November 3, 1957: Only a month after launching Sputnik I, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik II. This second satellite weighed over 1,000 pounds and carried a dog named Laika, the first living creature in orbit.

40 Years Ago

November 9, 1967: NASA launched the first Saturn V rocket, the largest launch vehicle ever made, to begin the Apollo 4 mission. There were no delays during the launch countdown. The unmanned mission demonstrated the structural integrity and performance of the launch vehicle. Apollo 4 rocket

30 Years Ago

November 23, 1977: NASA launched Meteosat 1, a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite, via a Delta rocket. Meteosat was part of a group of weather satellites called the European meteorological satellite system.

Image left: Apollo 4 Saturn V prior to launch. Credit: NASA

25 Years Ago

November 11, 1982: NASA launched Space Shuttle Columbia to begin STS-5, the first operational shuttle mission. Columbia deployed two commercial communications satellites, ANIK C-3 for TELESAT Canada and SitS-C for Satellite Business Systems.

15 Years Ago

November 8, 1992: Germany launched the Maxus sounding rocket from Kiruna, Sweden. The Maxus Program was the result of collaboration between Germany and Sweden that was sponsored by the European Space Agency. The rocket’s payload allowed for up to eight microgravity experiments to be conducted in 12 to 13 minutes.

10 Years Ago

November 19, 1997: The 88th shuttle mission began when NASA launched Columbia from Kennedy Space Center. Several payloads were onboard during the STS-87 mission including the SPARTAN free-flyer and the United States Microgravity Payload-4, which was used to study materials science, combustion science and fundamental physics. During the mission, Takao Doi completed an eight-hour space walk, becoming the first Japanese citizen to walk in space.

Five Years Ago

November 23, 2002: During the STS-113 mission, Space Shuttle Endeavor delivered supplies, equipment the Integrated Truss Assembly P1to the International Space Station. The crew performed three spacewalks and installed and activated the new P1 truss, which was the third segment of station's backbone.

Beech Model 17 Stagger Wing Aircraft Image right: The Beech Model 17 Staggerwing. Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution (SI 94-4044)

Present Day

November 2007: Aviation pioneer Reinhardt Ausmus will be inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in Columbus, Ohio. Raised in an orphan home, Ausmus built and flew his first airplane at the age of 16. It took him two years to build the craft with no financial assistance. During World War I, Ausmus served as a flight instructor.

Emily Owens (Analex Corporation)

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