World Aviation in 1963

17 January
Joe Walker flies the North American X15A to a height of 82,600 metres (271,000 feet) and, having flown higher than 50 miles, he qualifies for astronaut wings.

5 April
A ‘hot line’ is established for immediate communication between the United States and the Soviet Union during periods of East-West tension.

30 April – 12 May
American Betty Miller makes the first transpacific solo flight by a woman. The 4-stop flight is from Oakland in California to Brisbane in Australia.

1 May
Jacqueline Cochran, flying a Lockheed TF104G Starfighter sets a new 100 kilometre closed circuit world speed record for women of 1,937kph (1,203mph).

16 June
The launch of the second Soviet spacecraft in two days. Vostok 6 carries the first woman into space, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who makes 48 orbits of the earth.

19 July
Joe Walker increases the height record for the North American X15A to 106,010 metres (347,800 feet).

25 July
A nuclear test ban treaty is finalised after 3 years of discussion, bringing an end to tests in the Earth’s atmosphere.

1 October
A ski-equipped Lockheed C130 Hercules, under the command of Rear Admiral James R. Reedy, makes a first transpolar non-stop flight from Capetown in South Africa to McMurdo Sound in Antarctica.

17 October
The United Nation General Assembly confirms earlier unilateral declarations made by the USA and Soviet Union that no weapons will be mounted or used in space.

29 November
President Johnson issues an executive order which renames Cape Canaveral as Cape Kennedy and its space facilities as the John F. Kennedy Space Centre.