Gearfuse Almanac: January 14 in Science and Technology

Credit: Robert Lawton (via Creative Commons share-alike 2.5 license)

In 1950 the prototype of the MiG-17 takes to the air; more than 10,000 MiG-17s would be built by the USSR and under license to client states. Used in twenty national air forces, the MiG-17 saw combat in Vietnam, several Arab-Israeli conflicts, and the Nigerian Civil War. Although slower than the Western supersonic fighters it tangled with, its maneuverability and durability made it a mainstay of the Cold War, the AK-47 of the air; many remain in service to this day.
In 1973, Elvis Presley performs his Aloha from Hawaii show, live via satellite; it becomes the most-viewed single-entertainer event in history.

In 2005, the Huygens probe lands on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Carried to the saturn system by the Cassini spacecraft, Huygens accomplished the first landing by spacecraft in the outer solar system. NASA and the European Space Agency, which funded and administered the Huygens mission, created this exceedingly strange movie with data gathered during the probe’s four-hour landing procedure (hit the link for complete details):

The spacecraft was named for Christiaan Huygens, the 17th-century Dutch astronomer who (among many other things) discovered Titan.

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