This Day In History : August 27

1962 United States

NASA launches the Mariner 2 unmanned space mission to Venus

NASA launched the Mariner 2 unmanned space mission to Venus on August 27, 1962. Mariner 2 was the first successful mission to another planet, and it provided valuable data on Venus' atmosphere and surface conditions, significantly advancing our understanding of the planet. This mission marked a major milestone in space exploration.

Also on This Day in History August 27

Discover what happened on August 27 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, August 27
  • 1850 Augusto Righi

    Italian physicist who showed that radio waves displayed characterics of light wave behaviour in the manner of reflection, refraction, polarization and interference.

  • 1865 James Henry Breasted

    American Egyptologist, archaeologist and historian who promoted research on ancient Egypt and the ancient civilizations of western Asia.

  • 1874 Carl Bosch

    German industrial chemist who at BASF directed development of the industrial scale process for production of ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen.

  • 1899 Eduardo Torroja

    Spanish engineer who pioneered the architectural use of concrete-shell structures.

  • 1915 Norman Ramsey

    Norman Foster Ramsey Jr. was an American physicist who was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of the separated oscillatory field method, which had important applications in the construction of atomic clocks.

Deaths on This Day, August 27
  • 1958 Ernest Orlando Lawrence

    Ernest Orlando Lawrence was an American nuclear physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939 for his invention of the cyclotron.

  • 1898 John Hopkinson

    English physicist and electrical engineer who worked on the application of electricity and magnetism in devices like the dynamo and electromagnets.

  • 1937 Lionel Walter Rothschild

    British zoologist and collector (2nd Baron Rothschild (of Tring)) who founded the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, Tring, which opened to the public in 1892 and is now part of the Natural History Museum.

  • 1909 Emil Christian Hansen

    Danish botanist who revolutionised beer-making through development of new ways to culture yeast.

  • 1879 Rowland Hill

    English educator and inventor who originated the penny postage system with the first adhesive postage stamp (10 Jan 1840).


The world's biggest battery was connected to provide emergency power to Fairbanks, Alaska's second-largest city

In 2003, the world's largest battery was connected to provide emergency power to Fairbanks, Alaska's second-largest city. This massive battery system was designed to offer a reliable backup power source in case of outages, ensuring stability and continuous power supply for the region. The battery's implementation marked a significant advancement in emergency power infrastructure and energy storage technology.

Guinness Book of World Records 1st published

The "Guinness Book of World Records" was first published on August 27, 1955. Compiled by Sir Hugh Beaver and the McWhirter twins, Norris and Ross, this book aimed to settle pub disputes by providing authoritative records of various feats and achievements. It quickly became a popular reference book, documenting a wide array of world records.

Sir Frank Whittle and Hans J.P. von Ohain invented a craft that became the first jet-powered airplane to fly

In 1939, the Heinkel He 178, an experimental aircraft designed by the German engineer Hans von Ohain, became the world’s first aircraft to fly using the thrust from a turbojet engine. On August 27, 1939, the He 178 V1 prototype performed its maiden flight, piloted by Erich Warsitz. This historic flight lasted for six minutes and preceded a short hop by the same aircraft three days prior.

The first communications satellite, Marcopolo I launched

In 1989, the first communications satellite Marcopolo I was launched on August 27. Marcopolo I was a British communications satellite, part of a project by British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) to provide direct-to-home satellite television services in the United Kingdom. The launch of Marcopolo I marked a significant milestone in the development of satellite broadcasting technology.
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