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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 March 5

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Born, Gerardus Mercator (Gerhard Kremer), German cartographer

Born, William Oughtred, English mathematician, inventor (slide rule)

Born, Jacques Babinet, French physicist, mathematician, astronomer, most famous for his contributions to optics

Died, Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Italian physicist known especially for the development of the electric battery, eponym for the unit of the electric potential

Died, Pierre Simon de Laplace, mathematician, astronomer

A Charlois discovered asteroid #307 Nike.

F Courty discovered asteroid #387 Aquitania.

J Helffrich discovered asteroid #698 Ernestina.

M Wolf discovered asteroid #889 Erynia.

Died, Clement Ader, French inventor (first to fly a heavier-than-air craft)

Clement Ader (4 February 1841 - 5 March 1926) was an early aviation enthusiast who constructed a balloon at his own expense during the Franco-German War of 1870-71. In 1876, he quit his job in the Administration of Bridges and Highways to make more money to support his hobby. His early inventions in electrical communications included a microphone and a public address device.

He then focused on the problem of heavier-than-air flying machines, and in 1890 built a steam-powered, bat-winged monoplane. On 9 October 1890, he flew it a distance of 50 m (160 feet) on a friend's estate near Paris. The steam engine was unsuitable for sustained and controlled flight. Nevertheless, Ader's short hop was the first demonstration that a manned heavier-than-air machine could take off from level ground under its own power.

Born, Valery Grigoriyevich Korzun (at Krasny Sulin, Rostov Oblast, Russian SFSR), Russian Air Force Major General, cosmonaut (Mir 22, ISS 5)

Cosmonaut Valery G. Korzun, NASA photo

The US Army launched Explorer 2 toward Earth orbit. However, due to a fourth stage ignition failure in the Jupiter-C rocket, the satellite did not achieve orbit.

1968 18:29:00 GMT
NASA launched SOLRAD 9 (Explorer 37) to study the Sun.

SOLRAD 9, launched 5 March 1968, was an NRL satellite, one of the SOLRAD series that began in 1960 to provide continuous coverage of solar radiation with a set of standard photometers. SOLRAD 9 was a spin-stabilized satellite oriented with its spin axis perpendicular to the sun-satellite line, so that the 14 solar X-ray and UV photometers pointing radially outward from its equatorial belt viewed the sun with each revolution. Data were simultaneously transmitted via FM/AM telemetry and recorded in a core memory that read out its contents on command. Individual scientists and institutions were invited to receive and use the data transmitted on the 136-MHz telemetry band on the standard IRIG channels 3 through 8. For the period July 1971 to June 1973, the core memory data of SOLRAD 10 were used rather than those from SOLRAD 9. The SOLRAD 10 core memory failed 11 June 1973, and SOLRAD 9 was heavily used until 25 February 1974, when the gas supply of the attitude control system was exhausted. Lacking attitude control, SOLRAD 9 was operationally useless and was turned off.

For more details, see R. W. Kreplin and D. M. Horan, "The NRL SOLRAD 9 Satellite Solar Explorer B 1968-17A," NRL Report 6800, 1969.

P Wild discovered asteroids #2001 Einstein and #2034 Bernoulli.

1978 17:54:00 GMT
NASA launched the Landsat 3 Earth resources satellite from Vandenberg AFB, California on a Delta rocket.

Detection equipment on satellites widely dispersed across the Solar system picked up a gamma ray burst originating from the remnants of supernova N49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters.

NASA's Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter, 349,000 kilometers (217,000 miles) from its center.

Voyager 1 spacecraft is an unmanned probe of the outer solar system, launched by NASA aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket on 5 September 1977 from Cape Canaveral. Its trajectory took Voyager 1 past Jupiter, and Saturn. It is now (2015) the most distant man-made object, and is expected to keep transmitting valuable data at least into the 2020s. Communications will be maintained until the Voyagers' power sources can no longer supply enough electrical energy to power critical subsystems. Voyager 1 is leaving the solar system, rising above the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 35 degrees, traveling at a rate of about 520 million kilometers (about 320 million miles) a year, and entered interstellar space on 25 August 2012.

Originally scheduled to launch twelve days after Voyager 2, Voyager 1's launch was delayed twice to prevent occurrence of problems which Voyager 2 experienced after launch. When Voyager 1's launch finally happened, it was termed "flawless and accurate." Although launched sixteen days after Voyager 2, Voyager 1's trajectory was the quicker one to Jupiter. On 15 December 1977, while both spacecraft were in the asteroid belt, Voyager 1 surpassed Voyager 2's distance from the Sun. Both prior to and after planetary encounters observations were made of the interplanetary medium. Some 18,000 images of Jupiter and its satellites were taken by Voyager 1. In addition, roughly 16,000 images of Saturn, its rings and satellites were obtained.

Voyager 1 began photographing Jupiter in January 1979, and made its closest approach to on 5 March 1979, at a distance of 349,000 kilometers (217,000 miles) from the center of the planet. It finished photographing the planet in April. Voyager 1's Saturn flyby occurred in November 1980, with the closest approach on 12 November when it came within 124,000 kilometers (77,000 miles) of the planet's cloud-tops. The craft detected complex structures in Saturn's rings, and studied the atmospheres of Saturn and Titan. Its trajectory, designed to allow close study of Titan, took it out of the plane of the ecliptic, thus ending its planetary science mission.

After its encounter with Saturn, Voyager 1 remained relatively quiescent, continuing to make in situ observations of the interplanetary environment and UV observations of stars. After nearly nine years of dormancy, Voyager 1's cameras were once again turned on to take a series of pictures. On 14 February 1990, Voyager 1 looked back from whence it came and took the first "family portrait" of the solar system, a mosaic of 60 frames of the Sun and six of the planets (Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) as seen from "outside" the solar system. After this final look back, the cameras on Voyager 1 were once again turned off.

Voyager has mounted to one of the sides of the bus a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk. The disk has recorded on it sounds and images of Earth designed to portray the diversity of life and culture on the planet. Each disk is encased in a protective aluminum jacket along with a cartridge and a needle. Instructions explaining from where the spacecraft originated and how to play the disk are engraved onto the jacket. Electroplated onto a 2 cm area on the cover is also an ultra-pure source of uranium-238 (with a radioactivity of about 0.26 nanocuries and a half-life of 4.51 billion years), allowing the determination of the elapsed time since launch by measuring the amount of daughter elements to remaining U238. The 115 images on the disk were encoded in analog form. The sound selections (including greetings in 55 languages, 35 sounds, natural and man-made, and portions of 27 musical pieces) are designed for playback at 1000 rpm. The Voyagers were not the first spacecraft designed with such messages to the future. Pioneers 10 and 11, LAGEOS, and the Apollo landers also included plaques with a similar intent, though not quite so ambitious.

All of the experiments have produced useful data, except for the photopolarimeter which failed to operate.

H Debehogne discovered asteroids #2461 and #3610.

1982 07:00:10 GMT
USSR Venera 14 landed on Venus about 950 km southwest of Venera 13 near the eastern flank of Phoebe Regio at 13 deg 15 min S by 310 E on a basaltic plain and returned pictures of the surface.

Venera 14, launched on 4 November 1981, consisted of a bus (81-110A) and an attached descent craft (81-110D). It was identical to Venera 13, the two spacecraft were built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched five days apart. After a four month cruise to Venus, the descent vehicle separated and plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on 5 March 1982. As it flew by Venus the bus acted as a data relay for the brief life of the descent vehicle, and then continued on into a heliocentric orbit. The bus was equipped with instrumentation including a gamma-ray spectrometer, retarding potential traps, UV grating monochromator, electron and proton spectrometers, gamma-ray burst detectors, solar wind plasma detectors, and two-frequency transmitters which made measurements before, during, and after the Venus flyby.

The Venera 14 descent craft/lander was a hermetically sealed pressure vessel which contained most of the instrumentation and electronics, mounted on a ring-shaped landing platform and topped by an antenna. It carried instruments to take chemical and isotopic measurements, monitor the spectrum of scattered sunlight, and record electric discharges during its descent through the Venusian atmosphere. The spacecraft utilized a camera system, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, a screw drill and surface sampler, a dynamic penetrometer, and a seismometer to conduct investigations on the surface.

After entering the atmosphere, a parachute was deployed. At an altitude of about 50 km the parachute was released and simple aerobraking was used the rest of the way to the surface. Venera 14 landed about 950 km southwest of Venera 13 near the eastern flank of Phoebe Regio at 13 deg 15 min S by 310 E on a basaltic plain. After landing an imaging panorama was started and a mechanical drilling arm reached to the surface and obtained a sample, which was deposited in a hermetically sealed chamber, maintained at 30 deg C and a pressure of about .05 atmospheres. The composition of the sample was determined by the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, showing it to be similar to oceanic tholeiitic basalts. The lander survived 57 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 465 deg C and a pressure of 94 Earth atmospheres.

K Augustesen discovered asteroid #3033 Holbaek.

Died, Peter Bierdrager, Fokker test pilot, in air crash

NASA announced that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon had found enough water to support a human colony.

Died, John Leland "Lee" Atwood, Chief Engineer at North American Aviation (1948-1971), supervised development of the P-51, Navaho cruise missle, F-86, X-15, XB-70, Apollo, and Space Shuttle

Died, Joseph Weizenbaum, artificial intelligence pioneer

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