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On this day: January 31

POSTED: 10:08 PM PST Jan 30, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Jan 30, 2014 

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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