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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 27

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R. S. Dugan discovered asteroid #523 Ada.

Jupiter's moon Pasiphae was discovered by Philibert Jacques Melotte.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1815 Beethoven.

E. Delporte discovered asteroid #1341 Edmee.

The first two way ground station-to-aircraft radio communication via satellite was made, between the NASA/Hughes Station at Camp Roberts, California and the Bendix Equipment aboard a Pan Am flight out of Hong Kong.

The Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. As of February 2021, 111 countries were parties, another 23 had signed but had not completed ratification.

1967 18:31:05 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
Apollo 1 burned on the pad during a training session for emergency procedures, killing astronauts Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, the first astronaut fatalities while in a spacecraft in NASA's history.

Apollo One is the name given to the Apollo/Saturn 204 (AS-204) spacecraft after it was destroyed by fire during a training exercise, ironically for emergency procedures, on 27 January 1967, at Pad 34 on a Saturn IB rocket. Its crew were the astronauts selected for the initial Apollo program mission: Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee.

See also Wikipedia

Charred interior of Apollo 1 after the fatal fire, NASA photo (28 January 1967)
Source: Wikipedia ( killed 25 Feb 2021)

1967 18:31:05 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
Died (Apollo 1 launch pad fire), Edward Higgins "Ed" White II, astronaut (Gemini 4; nearly 4d 2h in spaceflight), first American to walk in space

Edward Higgins "Ed" White II (14 November 1930 - 27 January 1967) was an American astronaut. He was chosen with the second group of astronauts in 1962. As pilot of Gemini 4, he was the first American to make a spacewalk. White was also the backup command pilot for Gemini 7. He had been selected to be the Command Module pilot for the first Apollo program flight. He died with fellow astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee in the Apollo 1 fire at Cape Kennedy, Florida.

Astronaut Ed White II, NASA photo S66-35219 (12 May 1966)
Source: Wikipedia ( killed 25 Feb 2021)

1967 18:31:05 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
Died (Apollo 1 launch pad fire), Roger B. Chaffee, Lt Commander USN, NASA astronaut candidate

Roger Bruce Chaffee (15 February 1935 - 27 January 1967) was chosen in NASA's third group of astronauts in 1963. He had been selected as Lunar Module pilot for the first Apollo flight when the capsule burned on the pad, killing its crew of three: Chaffee, Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Edward White II. The mission would have been his first flight to space.

Apollo 1 astronaut candidate Roger B. Chaffee, NASA photo (10 September 1964)
Source: Wikipedia ( unavailable January 2020)

1967 18:31:05 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
Died (Apollo 1 launch pad fire), Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom, Lt Colonel USAF, NASA astronaut (suborbital Mercury MR-4 (Liberty Bell 7), Gemini 3; 4h 52m in orbital spaceflight)

Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom (3 April 1926 - 27 January 1967) was one of NASA's original seven Mercury astronauts. Grissom flew the second manned US space flight and commanded the first two-man Gemini mission. He was killed along with Edward White II and Roger Chaffee in a launch pad fire during a test for the upcoming first Apollo flight, which Grissom was scheduled to command.

Astronaut Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom, NASA photo (1964)
Source: Wikipedia ( unavailable January 2020)

Oak Ridge Observatory discovered asteroids #2674 Pandarus and #3342.

A. Mrkos discovered asteroid #3278.

1985 16:23:23 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA's STS 51-C (Discovery 3, 15th Shuttle mission) landed at Kennedy Space Center at the close of the first Shuttle mission dedicated to the Department of Defense.

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.

Died, Charles Hard Townes, physicist, developed lasers (Nobel 1964 with Basov, Prokhorov "for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle")

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