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On this day: January 31

Published On: Jan 31 2013 12:08:38 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 31 2014 01:00:00 AM CST

The first Social Security check is issued, America launches its first satellite into orbit, McDonald's comes to Moscow, and "Avatar" hits the $2 billion mark, all on this day.

OTD January 31 - Explorer 1
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NASA

1958: With the launch of Explorer 1, America puts its first satellite into orbit around the Earth. It would become the first spacecraft to detect the Van Allen radiation belt, returning data until its batteries were exhausted after nearly four months. It remained in orbit until 1970, and has been followed by more than 90 scientific spacecraft in the Explorer series.

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