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 . Space History News - People and events in development of space travel Space History News - People and events in development of space travel Space History News - People and events in development of space travel  

Space History for January 1

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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
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Died, Johann Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (Gottfried Leibniz's calculus, particle moving in a gravitational field, catenary equation, exponential calculus)

French inventor Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American Dr. John Jeffries made the first crossing of the English Channel by air, in a balloon.

Giuseppe Piazzi discovered asteroid #1 Ceres.

1 Ceres was the first asteroid discovered, on 1 January 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi. It was originally named Ceres Ferdinandea after both the mythological figure Ceres (Roman goddess of plants and motherly love) and King Ferdinand III of Sicily. King Ferdinand was taking refuge in Palermo at the time, the Kingdom of Naples having been conquered by the French in 1798. The "Ferdinandea" part was not acceptable to other nations of the world and was dropped. Ceres was also called Hera for a short time in Germany.

Born, Gustave Whitehead, German-American inventor (flew in 1901, 2 years, 4 months before the Wright brothers)

Gustave Albin Whitehead (1 January 1874 - 10 October 1927) was a German-American aviation pioneer. His first published flight took place on 14 August 1901 in Connecticut when he flew his Number 21 three times, as reported by the Bridgeport Herald, the New York Herald and the Boston Transcript. The longest flight was 2.5 km (1.5 miles) at a height of up to 60 m (200 ft), significantly better than the Wright brothers' initial flights two years and four months later. There are witness reports that he flew about 1 km (half a mile) as early as 1899. In January 1902 he flew 10 km (7 miles) over the Long Island strait in the improved Number 22.

It has been suggested the reason his flights are so little known is he was of German origin, and that the Wright brothers donated their Wright flyer to the Smithsonian Institution on condition the museum did not recognize an earlier airplane.

Died, Heinrich Hertz, German physicist

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (22 February 1857 - 1 January 1894) was the German physicist for whom the hertz, the SI unit of frequency, is named. In 1888, he was the first to demonstrate the existence of electromagnetic radiation by building apparatus to produce radio waves.

Following Michelson's 1881 experiment (precursor to the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment) which disproved the existence of luminiferous aether, he reformulated Maxwell's equations to take the new discovery into account. Through experimentation, he proved that electric signals can travel through open air, as had been predicted by James Clerk Maxwell and Michael Faraday, and which is the basis for the invention of radio. He also discovered the photoelectric effect (which was later explained by Albert Einstein) when he noticed that a charged object loses its charge more readily when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

Wilhelm Roentgen forwarded reprints of the article he had submitted announcing his discovery of x-rays to several other scientists.

Born, Vasili Ivanovich Voznyuk, Commander of Kapustin Yar launch facility (6/1946-4/1973), credited with single-handedly turning the uninhabitable region into a tolerable living area, with great concern for the welfare of those under his command

The first scheduled airline flight was made, from St. Petersburg, Florida to Tampa, piloted by Tony Jannus.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1105 Fragaria.

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #1214 Richilde.

Born, Gennadi Vasiliyevich Sarafanov (at Sinenkiye, Saratov Oblast, Russian SFSR), Colonel Russian AF Reserve, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 15; nearly 2d 0.25h in spaceflgiht) (deceased)

Cosmonauts Gennadi Sarafanov (left) and Lev Dyomin pictured on a 1974 USSR stamp
Source: Wikipedia

Born, Vladimir Georgiyevich Titov (at Sretensk, Russia), Colonel Russian AF, Soviet/Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz T-8, Soyuz T-10, Soyuz TM-4/Mir (first flight over one year), STS 63, STS 86; nearly 387d 0.75h total time in spaceflight)

Cosmonaut Vladimir Titov, NASA photo

Born, Sergei Vasiliyevich Avdeyev (at Chapayevsk, Kuybyshev Oblast, Russian SFSR), Russian cosmonaut (Mir 12, Mir 20, Mir 26/27; nearly 747d 14.25h total time in spaceflight)

Cosmonaut Sergey Avdeev, 6 April 2011
Photo by Dmitry Rozhkov
Source: Wikipedia

Born, Abdul Ahad "Abdulah" Mohmand (at Sardah, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan), Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-6/Mir EP3/Soyuz TM-5; nearly 8d 20.5h in spaceflight)

Syncom 3, the first geosynchronous communications satellite, passed from civilian to military control.

Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroid #3335.

Carlos Cesco and A. G. Samuel discovered asteroid #1917 Cuyo.

The (US) World Data Center A for Rockets and Satellites was transferred to the National Space Science Data Center.

The Unix epoch began at 00:00:00 UTC. This is the "zero" hour for most computer time systems in use in 2019.

Died, Hermann F. Beduerftig, German/American rocket engineer, Vortex cavity seal float, US Patent # US3194439 A

E. Bowell discovered asteroids #2357 Phereclos, #2761 Eddington and #3197 Weissman.

The ARPANET, a US Department of Defense internetworking system, officially changed to use the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

Died, Theodore Buchhold, professor, German expert in guided missiles during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war

Died, James Wayne Wood, astronaut candidate, X-20 DynaSoar pilot

The International Space Year began.

Died, Arthur Louis Hugo Rudolph, German guided missile engineer and expert during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war, worked on the Pershing missle and Saturn V

Died (unexpectedly), Boris Vladimirovich Morukov MD, Russian civilian physician (Institute of Medical Biological Problems), Russian cosmonaut (STS 106; nearly 11d 19.25h in spaceflight)

2019 00:33:00 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
After traveling billions of miles over nearly 13 years, NASA's New Horizons probe passed 2200 miles from Ultima Thule (21 miles long, about the size of Washington DC) at 32,000mph and returned useful data about the dark, dirt-colored Kuiper Belt object.

New Horizons is a NASA unmanned spacecraft originally scheduled for launch 11 January 2006, designed to fly by Pluto and its moon Charon and transmit images and data back to Earth. The launch was delayed until 17 January 2006 to allow borescope inspections of the Atlas rocket's kerosene tank, and high winds at the launch site and a power outage at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland (which operates the spacecraft while the mission is underway) interrupted the second attempt. The spacecraft was finally launched successfully 19 January 2006 at 2:00 PM EST directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory. It had an Earth-relative velocity of about 16.26 km/sec (58,536 km/hr, 10.10 mi/sec, 36,373 mi/hr) after its last engine shut down, leaving Earth at the fastest speed ever recorded for a human-made object. It flew by Jupiter on 28 February 2007 at 5:43:40 UTC and crossed Saturn's orbit on 8 June 2008 at 10:00 UTC. After visiting Pluto on 14 July 2015, it continued into the Kuiper Belt where it flew by Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 (Ultima Thule) at 12:33AM EST on 1 January 2019 and returned further data:

The mission's primary objectives were to characterize the global geology and morphology of Pluto and Charon, map the surface composition of Pluto and Charon, and characterize the neutral atmosphere of Pluto and its escape rate. Other objectives included studying time variability of Pluto's surface and atmosphere, imaging and mapping areas of Pluto and Charon in stereo, mapping the terminators and composition of selected areas of Pluto and Charon at high-resolution, characterizing Pluto's upper atmosphere, ionosphere, energetic particle environment, and solar wind interaction, searching for an atmosphere around Charon and characterizing its energetic particle environment, refining bulk parameters, orbits, and bolometric Bond albedos of Pluto and Charon, searching for additional satellites and rings, and possibly characterizing one or more Kuiper Belt objects.

Flyby of Pluto took place on 14 July 2015 with closest approach at 11:48:45 UT (7:48:45 EDT). The encounter period began 6 months prior to closest approach. Long range imaging included 40 km mapping of Pluto and Charon 3.2 days out, half the rotation period of Pluto-Charon, imaging the side of both bodies which were facing away from the spacecraft at closest approach. New Horizons flew within 12,500 km of Pluto at a relative velocity of 11 km/s at closest approach and came as close as 27,000 km to Charon. During the flyby the instruments were able to obtain images with resolution as high as about 25 m/pixel, 4-color global dayside maps at 0.7 km/pixel, hyper-spectral near infrared maps at 7 km/pixel globally and 0.6 km/pixel for selected areas, characterization of the atmosphere, and radio science results. Because of the limited power available, the instruments were duty cycled during encounter. The flyby took place at a distance of 33 AU from Earth with a round-trip light time of 9 hours. Encounter data was transmitted to Earth at 600 bps over a 9-month period. After passing by Pluto, New Horizons is headed out to the Kuiper Belt. A 16-minute hydrazine thruster maneuver on 22 October 2015 put the spacecraft on course towards Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69. Three more maneuvers on 25 and 28 October, and 4 November 2015 put it on course for an encounter with MU69 on 1 January 2019. Similar measurements to those at Pluto were made.

Having travelled many billions of miles over a time span of nearly 13 years, NASA's New Horizons probe passed just 2200 miles (3500 km) from Ultima Thule (21 miles (33 km) long, about the size of Washington DC) at a speed of 32,000 mph (51,000 km/h) and returned useful data that's going to take 20 months to fully download about the dark, dirt-colored Kuiper Belt object.

The spacecraft has a thick triangle (0.68 x 2.11 x 2.74 m) shape with a cylindrical radiothermal generator (RTG) protruding from one vertex in the plane of the triangle and a 2.1 m high-gain radio dish antenna affixed to one flank side. An aluminum central cylinder supports surrounding honeycomb panels. The central cylinder acts as the payload adapter fitting and houses the propellant tank. The 465 kg launch mass included 80 kg of propellant. The entire structure is covered in thermal multi-layer insulating blankets; thermal control is further achieved by electrical dissipation and RTG waste heat, thermal louvers, and external shunt plates. Communication from Pluto was via X-band at a rate of 600 bps through the high gain antenna to a 70-m DSN dish. There were also two low gain antennas for communications within 5 AU and a medium gain antenna with uplink capability to 50 AU. The RTG provided approximately 228 W at encounter in 2015. Hydrazine monopropellant is used for propulsion via four 4.4 N thrusters and twelve 0.8 N thrusters, a delta-V capability of 290 m/s was available after launch. The hydrazine is stored in a titanium tank separated from the gaseous nitrogen pressurant by a girth-mounted diaphragm. The spacecraft has both 3-axis stabilized and spin-stabilized modes. Star cameras are mounted on the side of the spacecraft for navigation.

The 31 kg science payload package required 21 W of power and consisted of seven scientific instruments. The Long Range Reconnaisance Imager (LORRI) was a visible light, high-resolution CCD Imager. The Ralph instrument was composed of two parts, a visible CCD imager (MVIC) and a near-infrared imaging spectrometer (LEISA). The Alice instrument was an ultraviolet imaging spectrometer. The plasma and high energy particle spectrometer suite (PAM) consisted of SWAP, a toroidal electrostatic analyzer and retarding potential analyzer, and PEPSSI, a time-of-flight ion and electron sensor. The Radio Science Experiment (REX) used an ultrastable oscillator to conduct radio science investigations. A student-built dust counter (SDC) made dust measurements in the outer solar system.

Total mission cost is planned to be under $550 million.

see also
see also New Horizons on Wikipedia

Ultima Thule from 18,000 mi (28,000 km)
NASA New Horizons LORRI image (1 Jan 2019 05:01GMT)
Source: JHU APL

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