On This Day in Aviation History

August 12, 2010

On This Day in Aviation History: August 12th

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By: Matt Molnar
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1960, NASA launches Echo 1A, the world’s first communications satellite. Essentially a metal balloon, it is used to bounce signals from one ground station to another.

1977, Space Shuttle Enterprise makes its first atmospheric test flight.

1985, Japan Air Lines Flight 123, a 747-100SR flying from Tokyo to Osaka, crashes into Mount Takamagahara in Japan following an explosion of the rear bulkhead, which tears off the vertical stabilizer and knocks out all four of the aircraft’s hydraulic systems. All 520 on board are killed, and it remains the deadliest single-aircraft crash in history. It is believed a tailstrike eight years earlier caused the damage which led to the accident.