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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 - Ham the Chimp
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NASA

1961: Ham the Chimp becomes the first chimpanzee launched into outer space by the American space program when he rides a Mercury rocket on a 16-minute suborbital flight. Ham had his vital signs and tasks monitored using computers on Earth before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

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