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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 24


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1764
The Governor Winthrop Telescope was destroyed in a Harvard fire.
https://books.google.com/books?id=2a8DBgAAQBAJ&pg=PT38&lpg=PT38&dq=Governor+Winthrop+Telescope

1874
Died, Johann Philipp Reis, German physicist and inventor (telephone)

Johann Philipp Reis (7 January 1834 - 24 January 1874) was a self-taught scientist and inventor who constructed one of the first working telephones, in 1860 (16 years before Bell's invention), covering a distance of 100 m. However, the transmitter Reis used was based on interrupting the current in the circuit, with a spring to close the contact after it had been opened by the shock of a vibration. As long as the sound was a musical tone it proved efficient, for a musical tone is a regular succession of vibrations. The vibrations of speech are instead irregular and complicated, and in order to transmit them the current has to be varied in strength without being altogether broken. Consequently, the instrument Reis built could send music fairly well, but was quite poor at transmitting speech.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Philipp_Reis

1888
Born, Ernst Heinkel, German aircraft designer and manufacturer (first jet- and rocket-powered aircraft)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Heinkel

1906
M Wolf discovered asteroid #2443 Tomeileen.

1914
A Massinger discovered asteroid #776 Berbericia; and F Kaiser discovered asteroid #777 Gutemberga.

1925
Pictures of the solar eclipse occurring on this date were taken from the United States Navy dirigible Los Angeles over Long Island, New York.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1925PA.....33....2W

1930
K Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1142 Aetolia.

1933
E Delporte discovered asteroid #1276 Ucclia.

1952
Born, William F. Readdy (at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, USA), USN pilot, NASA astronaut (STS 42, STS 51, STS 79)

Astronaut William F. Readdy, STS-79 mission commander, NASA photo (9 October 1987)
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/readdy.html

1958
After warming to 100,000,000 degrees, two light atoms were bashed together to create a heavier atom, resulting in the first man-made nuclear fusion.
http://www.radjournal.com/articles/History/january.htm

1961
Died, Alfred Carlton Gilbert, Erector Set inventor, 1908 Summer Olympics gold medal winner (pole vault)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Carlton_Gilbert

1975
The USSR Salyut 3 space station's orbit decayed, and it performed a programmed reentry and disintegration in the atmosphere.

Salyut 3, launched 25 June 1974, was the Soviet Union's first successful Almaz military manned space station flight, and attained an altitude of 219-270 km, with a final orbital altitude of 268-272 km. It tested a wide array of reconnaissance sensors. Salyut 3 had a total mass of about 19 tons (18500 kg). It had two solar panels laterally mounted at the center of the station, and a detachable recovery module for return of research data and materials. Salyut 3 was only operated by one team of Soyuz cosmonauts, from Soyuz 14 (July 1974). The Soyuz 15 cosmonauts (August 1974) were unable to dock successfully with the station. On 23 September 1974, the station's recovery module was released and re-entered the atmosphere, and was recovered by the Soviets. The KSI capsule suffered damage during re-entry, but all of the film was recoverable. On 24 January 1975 trials of the on board Nudelmann aircraft cannon were conducted with positive results: Cosmonauts have confirmed that a target satellite was destroyed in the test. The next day the station was commanded to retrofire to a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean. Although only one of three planned crews managed to board the station, that crew did complete the first completely successful Soviet space station flight.


http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1974-046A

1978
The Soviet Cosmos 954 nuclear-powered satellite disintegrated as it plunged into the Earth's atmosphere, causing radioactive debris to be strewn across parts of northern Canada.
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/ed-ud/fedplan/cosmos_954-eng.php

1982
E Bowell discovered asteroids #2602 Moore, #2905 Plaskett, #2929 Harris, #3001 Michelangelo, #3104 Durer, #3125 Hay, #3131 Mason-Dixon, #3209 Buchwald, #3236 Strand and #3749.

1985 14:50:00 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA launched STS 51-C (Discovery 3, 15th Shuttle flight) on a Department of Defense mission.

STS 51-C was launched 24 January 1985 after the original launch on 23 January was scrubbed due to freezing weather conditions. This was the first mission dedicated to the Department of Defense. A US Air Force Inertial Upper Stage booster was deployed and met mission objectives.

The STS 51-C mission ended on 27 January 1985 when Discovery landed on revolution 49 on Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Rollout distance: 7,352 feet. Rollout time: 50 seconds. Launch weight: 250,891 pounds. Landing weight: classified. Orbit altitude: 220 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.5 degrees. Mission duration: three days, one hour, 33 minutes, 23 seconds. Miles traveled: 1.3 million.

The flight crew for STS 51-C was: Thomas K. Mattingly II, Commander; Loren J. Shriver, Pilot; Ellison S. Onizuka, Mission Specialist 1; James F. Buchli, Mission Specialist 2; Gary E. Payton, Payload Specialist 1.


http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-51C.html

1986
NASA's Voyager 2 was the first to fly by Uranus, passing 81,593 km (50,679 miles) from the planet, and found new moons.

The Voyager 2 spacecraft, originally planned as Mariner 12 of the Mariner program, was launched on 20 August 1977 on a mission to explore the outer planets of the solar system. It is identical to its sister Voyager program craft, Voyager 1. Voyager 2 followed a somewhat different trajectory during its Saturn encounter, however, bypassing a close encounter with Titan in favor of taking advantage of a gravitational slingshot to travel on to Uranus and Neptune. It became the first probe to visit those two planets.

Voyager 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. The closest approach to Jupiter occurred on 9 July 1979. On 25 August 1981, Voyager 2 flew past Saturn at a distance of 63,000 miles (100,000 km), and it took pictures of Saturn's moon Titan the following day, 26 August. Its closest approach to Uranus was on 24 January 1986, and its closest approach to Neptune occurred on 25 August 1989, after a 12 year, 4 billion mile journey, when it flew over the planet's cloud tops and those of its moon Triton, sending back photographs of 'swamps' from a distance of 5000 km. Voyager 2 imagery returned on 22 August 1989 confirmed the rings around Neptune are complete, although they are much more faint than those of Saturn.

As of 24 August 2003, Voyager 2 was at a distance of 10.6 billion kilometers (71 AU) and was escaping the solar system, diving below the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 48 degrees and at a speed of about 3.3 AU per year (ca. 15 km/s, 470 million kilometers (about 290 million miles) a year). On 9 July 2014 it was more than 15.7 billion km (9.79 billion miles, 105 AU) from the Sun. (See Where Are The Voyagers Now? for a spreadsheet of distance, speed, and other interesting information.) It will be approximately 40,000 years before Voyager 2 approaches another planetary system.

Voyager 2 is expected to keep transmitting into the 2030s.

Voyager 2 carries with it a golden record (Voyager Golden Record) that contains pictures and sounds of Earth, along with symbolic directions for playing the record. The contents of this record were selected by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan.

See also https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1977-076A


https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/science/planetary.html

1990 11:46:00 GMT
Japan launched the Hiten (MUSES-A) and Hagoromo Moon flyby and orbiter spacecraft from the Uchinoura Space Center, the first Japanese Lunar mission.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1990-007A

1993 05:58:05 GMT
USSR's Soyuz-TM 16 was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome to transport cosmonauts Gennadi Manakov and Alexander Poleshchuk to the Mir station.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1993-005A

1998 20:14:00 GMT
NASA's STS 89 (Endeavor 12, 89th Shuttle mission) docked with the Russian Mir space station during the eighth Shuttle-Mir docking mission.

STS 89 was launched 22 January 1998 after being delayed per requests from the Russian space program to allow completion of activities on Mir. During the flight, astronaut David Wolf joined the shuttle crew from where he had been staying on Mir. His place aboard the space station was taken by Andy Thomas, the last US astronaut assigned to complete a lengthy stay on Mir.

Docking of Endeavour to Mir occurred at 3:14 p.m. EST 24 January (20:14 UT), at an altitude of 214 nautical miles. Hatches opened at 5:25 p.m. EST (22:25 UT) the same day. Transfer of Andy Thomas to Mir and return of David Wolf to the US orbiter occurred at 6:35 p.m. EST 25 January (23:35 UT). Initially, Thomas thought his Sokol pressure suit did not fit, and the crew exchange was allowed to proceed only after Wolf's suit was adjusted to fit Thomas. Once on Mir, Thomas was able to make adequate adjustments to his own suit (which would be worn should the crew need to return to Earth in the Soyuz capsule) and this remained on Mir with him. Wolf spent a total of 119 days aboard Mir, and after landing his total on-orbit time was 128 days.

Hatches between the two spacecraft closed at 5:34 p.m. EST 28 January (22:34 UT), and two spacecraft undocked at 11:57 a.m. EST 29 January (16:57 UT). More than 8,000 pounds (3,629 kilograms) of scientific equipment, logistical hardware and water were taken from Endeavour to Mir.

The STS 89 mission ended on 31 January 1998 when Endeavour landed on orbit 139 on Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Florida on the first opportunity at KSC. Rollout distance: 9,790 feet (2,984 meters). Rollout time: One minute, 10 seconds. Mission duration: eight days, 19 hours, 46 minutes, 54 seconds, logged 3.6 million statute miles.

The flight crew for STS 89 was: Terrence W. Wilcutt, Commander; Joe F. Edwards, Jr., Pilot; Bonnie J. Dunbar, Payload Commander; Michael P. Anderson, Mission Specialist; James F. Reilly, II, Mission Specialist; Salizhan Shakirovich Sharipov, Mission Specialist; Andrew S. W. Thomas, Mission Specialist (returned on STS 91); David A. Wolf returned from Mir (launched on STS 86).


http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-89.html


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