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On this day: December 6

Published On: Dec 05 2012 11:00:14 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 06 2013 01:00:00 AM CST

Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, the capstone is set on the Washington Monument, the TV special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" debuts, and Roy Orbison passes away, all on this day.

OTD December 6 - Vanguard rocket exlodes
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NASA

1957: A launchpad explosion of Vanguard TV3 at Cape Canaveral thwarts the first United States attempt to launch a satellite into Earth orbit. Although the three-stage Vanguard rocket's booster ignited and began to rise, it quickly lost thrust and began to fall back to the launch pad. Its fuel tanks then ruptured and exploded, destroying the rocket and satellite and severely damaging the launch pad.

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