Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

Calendar Of Science – April

Every month, Pacific Science Center publishes a Calendar of Science, a compendium of science facts to add a little knowledge to your daily routine. Read on and discover a few things you may not have known. If you would like to receive a daily dose of science, subscribe to Calendar of Science on Twitter. Have a comment or question? Please drop us a line. Remember, life’s boring without discovery.


April 1, 1960: The first weather observation satellite, Tiros I (Television Infrared Observation Satellite), launched from Cape Kennedy.
April 2, 1935: Sir Robert Watson-Watt was granted a patent for the RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging).
April 3, 1966: Luna 10, the first spacecraft to orbit the moon entered lunar orbit, and completed its first orbit 3 hours later.
April 4, 1969: Dr. Denton Cooley implanted a first total artificial heart into a 2-month-old patient.
April 5, 1877: Birthday: Walter Sutton, provided first evidence that chromosomes carry the units of inheritance and occur in distinct pairs.
April 6, 1938: Roy J. Plunkett and Jack Rebok accidentally discovered polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), later marketed as Teflon.
April 7, 1964: IBM launched System/360, a family of six mutually compatible computers and 40 peripherals that could work together.
April 8, 1886: Dr. Carl Gassner, was issued a German patent for the first “dry” cell, which used zinc as its primary ingredient.
April 9,  1895: James Keeler made a spectrogram and proved that the rings of Saturn were composed of meteoric particles.
April 10, 1944: The first synthetic quinine, an anti-malarial drug, was produced by Drs. Woodward and Doering at Harvard University.
April 11, 1957: A Ryan X-13 Vertijet became the first jet to take-off and land vertically at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
April 12, 1988: First U.S. patent issued on a mammal life form to Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart for a genetically engineered mouse.
April 13, 1960: The first U.S. navigational satellite, the Transit-1B was launched from cape Canaveral, Florida on a Thor-Ablestar rocket.
April 14, 1932: The atom was split by a proton beam by Cockcroft and Walton who had developed first nuclear particle accelerator.
April 15,  1952: The hydrogen thryatron(an electronic switching tube filled with gas) was patented by K. Germeshausen.
April 16, 1943: The hallucinogenic effect of the drug LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide, was first observed by Albert Hofmann.
April 17, 1930: The discovery of a new rubber-like synthetic compound was recorded by Dr. Arnold M. Collins.
April 18, 1940: Birthday: Joseph L. Goldstein who won Nobel prize for elucidating the process of cholesterol metabolism in the human body.
April 19, 1971: Salyut 1, the first operational space station, launched from the Soviet Union.
April 20, 1940: Vladimir Zworykin demonstrated the first electron microscope in the United States.
April 21, 1838: Birthday: John Muir, Scottish-born naturalist who was considered the father of the environmental movement.
April 22, 1970: The first nationwide Earth Day was celebrated in the U.S. as an environmental awareness event.
April 23, 1981: Ioannis V. Yannas first transplanted artificial skin on patients at Massachussetts General Hospital, Boston.
April 24, 1928: The fathometer (an instrument that measured underwater depths) was patented by Herbert Grove Dorsey.
April 25, 1990: The Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in space from the Space Shuttle Discovery into an orbit 381 miles above Earth.
April 26, 1986: One of the four reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded in the world’s worst civil nuclear catastrophe.
April 27, 1791: Birthday: Samuel F. B. Morse who is famous for developing the Morse Code (1838).
April 28,  1932: A vaccine was announced for yellow fever for human immunization.
April 29, 1994: The discovery of a gene in a mammal (a mouse) that regulates the body’s internal “biological clock” was reported.
April 30, 1897: J.J. Thomson first announced the existence of electrons (as they are now named) at the Royal Institution.

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