Wernher Von Braun joins the German Air Force and receives pilot training at Frankfurt/Oder and Stolp.
Joint German Army-Air Force rocket research station opened at Peenemünde on Baltic Sea; Army Ordnance rocket program under Capt. Walter Dornberger moved his staff from Kummersdorf. References: 17 .
Von Braun's membership in the SS is 'renewed' and he is promoted to Untersturmfuehrer with the SS number 185068. According to some accounts he had joined the SS as early as 1934.
A PBY Catalina, fitted with two liquid-propellant JATO rockets developed at Annapolis, took off with 20 percent reduction in run. Liquid-propellant JATO was abandoned by Navy in 1944. References: 17 .
Solar radiation research. Launched at 0842 local time. Reached 91.8 km.
Solar radiation research. Launched at 0759 local time. Reached 126 km.
Rocket performance test. Launched at 1505 local time. Reached 4 km.
Test of Vanguard third-stage separation and firing at altitude.Launched at 0129 local time. Reached km.
Vanguard Test Vehicle (TV-1), a modified Martin Viking first-stage and Vanguard solid-propellant third-stage Grand Central Rocket as second-stage, launched with instrumented nose cone to an altitude of 121 miles and met all test objectives. References: 17 .
Decision to move directly to early manned flights in orbit. Korolev, after a review with engineers, determines that planned three stage versions of the R-7 ICBM could launch a manned orbital spacecraft. Korolev advocates pursuit of manned spaceflight at the expense of the military's Zenit reconnsat program, putting him in opposition to Ustinov. References: 85 .
Four-stage rocket launched a 9-pound inflatable sphere to 50-mile altitude at NACA Wallops Island. References: 17 .
The Army Ordnance Missile Command submitted to NASA a report entitled "Preliminary Study of an Unmanned Lunar Soft Landing Vehicle," recommending the use of the Saturn booster. References: 16 .
NASA's Administrator announced the naming of Goddard Space Flight Center under construction near Greenbelt, Md., in commemoration of Robert H. Goddard, American pioneer in rocket research. Dr. Harry J. Goett was appointed Director in September. STG was transferred to the authority of the newly formed Goddard Space Flight Center but remained based at Langley Field, Va. References: 17 .
NASA Administrator Webb issued a statement concerning the 2-year Mercury manned space flight program, which said, in part: "NASA has not attempted to encourage press coverage of the first Mercury-Redstone manned flight. It has responded to press and television requests, with the result that over 100 representatives of the press, radio, and TV are now at Cape Canaveral. . . . We must keep the perspective that each flight is but one of the many milestones we must pass. Some will completely succeed in every respect, some partially, and some will fail. From all of them will come mastery of the vast new space environment on which so much of our future depends." References: 18 .
Grumman reported that it had advised North American's Rocketdyne Division to go ahead with the lunar excursion module descent engine development program. Negotiations were complete and the contract was being prepared for MSC's review and approval. The go-ahead was formally issued on May 2. References: 16 .
Decree 'On adoption into armaments of the Raduga complex of DS-P1-Yu' was issued. References: 474 .