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This Week in Tech History: Windows 95 Launch

Mariner 2 heads to space, the first CAT scan is introduced and Microsoft rolls out a new operating system… It all happened This Week in Tech History.


This Week in 1962 – The U.S. launched the Mariner 2 space probe using an Atlas D booster. Later that year, “Mariner 2” passed within just over 20,000 miles of Venus, reporting an 800-degree Fahrenheit surface temperature, high surface pressures, a predominantly carbon dioxide atmosphere, continuous cloud cover, and no detectable magnetic field.


1972 – The computed axial tomography (CAT) scan was introduced in England by the British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield (later Sir Godfrey), and by physicist Alan Cormack. The history of X-ray computed tomography actually goes back to at least 1917 with the mathematical theory of the Radon transform. In October 1963, William Oldendorf received a U.S. patent for a “radiant energy apparatus for investigating selected areas of interior objects obscured by dense material”. However, Hounsfield’s invention was the first commercially viable CT scanner.


1995 – Microsoft officially rolled out their Windows 95 operating system. Midnight parties at retailers across the U.S. offered the new system for sale to those who just couldn’t wait any longer. NBC’s Jay Leno hosted the official launch party at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. The company lit up the Empire State Building with the Windows 95 logo colors, and licensed the Rolling Stones song, “Start Me Up”, to use in its TV advertisements (for $12 million).

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Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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