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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 May 2


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1519
Died, Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance architect, musician, anatomist, inventor, engineer, sculptor, geometer, astronomer, painter
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci

1780
William Herschel discovered the first known binary star, Xi Ursae Majoris.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xi_Ursae_Majoris

1864
N R Pogson discovered asteroid #80 Sappho.

1890
Born, E[dward] E[lmer] "Doc" Smith, US science fiction author
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Smith

1935
E Delporte discovered asteroid #1926 Demiddelaer.

1941
The US FCC approved regular scheduled commercial TV broadcasts to begin on July first.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1941_in_television

1946
A piece entitled "Preliminary Design of Experimental World Circling Spaceship" was published by the RAND Corporation.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/special_memoranda/SM11827.html

1952
The first commercial jet passenger airplane, a BOAC Comet, was put into service on a route between London, England and Johannesburg, South Africa.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/2/newsid_2480000/2480339.stm

1956
C. H. Mayer, at the US Naval Research Laboratories in Washington, DC, first detected high temperature microwave radiation from Venus.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1958ApJ...127....1M

1963
Near Cuxhaven, Berthold Seliger launched a three stage rocket that reached a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometers. It was the only sounding rocket developed in Germany.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_experiments_in_the_area_of_Cuxhaven#1960s

1973
A R Klemola discovered asteroid #2014 Vasilevskis.

1976
N Chernykh discovered asteroids #2269 Efremiana, #2476 Andersen and #2625 Jack London.

1989
Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers held a free concert at the Johnson Space Center Rocket Park, Houston, Texas for 15,000 space workers to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the first manned Lunar landing.
https://www.rolandnote.com/people.php?scode=timeline&keyword=Kenny+Rogers&page=28

1999
NASA's Mercury capsule Liberty Bell 7, flown by Gus Grissom, was located 3 miles (4.8 km) under water northwest of Grand Turk Island where it had sunk during post-flight recovery efforts.

Mercury Redstone 4 (MR-4, commonly known as "Liberty Bell 7"), launched 21 July 1961, was the second flight of an American rocket with a human on board (Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom) and NASA's last suborbital manned flight. Its objectives were to: (1) familiarize man with a brief but complete space flight experience, including the lift-off, powered flight, weightless flight (approximately 5 minutes), re-entry, and landing; (2) evaluate man's ability to perform as a functional unit during space flight by demonstrating manual control of spacecraft attitude before, during, and after retrofire, and by use of voice communications during flight; (3) study man's physiological reactions during space flight; and, (4) qualify the explosively-actuated side egress hatch.

From lift-off to re-entry, operational sequences were similar to those of the first manned suborbital flight, and Grissom's flight experience was similar to Shepard's in that there was a five minute period of weightlessness. As with Shepard, no ill effects resulting from this condition were reported. Control tests of spacecraft attitude in manual mode were also successfully completed and demonstrated their ease of use. The main configuration differences from the MR-3 spacecraft was the addition of a large viewing window and an explosively actuated side hatch.

During the 15 minute, 37 second flight, the spacecraft attained a maximum velocity of 8,270 km/hour (5140 mph) and an altitude of 189 km (117 miles). The capsule landed 483 km (300 miles) down range from Cape Canaveral.

After splash-down, the explosive hatch activated prematurely while Grissom was waiting for helicopter pickup. Grissom immediately exited the capsule, and remained in the water while a helicopter attempted to lift the rapidly sinking spacecraft, though his suit was filling up with water through open oxygen inlet lines. The attempt to raise the spacecraft failed, Liberty Bell 7 thus became the first spacecraft to sink at sea. Grissom was lifted to another helicopter after spending 3-4 minutes in the water, and transported to the aircraft carrier USS Randolph.

Despite the functional failure of the explosive hatch and the loss of the spacecraft, MR-4 was deemed a successful mission. Subsequent investigation into the premature firing of the egress hatch resulted in more testing, but no premature firings occurred. A mechanical hatch was designed to replace the explosive hatch, but was never implemented due to weight constraints. The incident did result in a change of procedures which required the firing safety pin to remain in place until after the helicopter hook was attached and tension applied to the recovery cable.

Liberty Bell 7 came to rest some 4.8 km below the surface, 830 km northwest of Grand Turk Island. It was finally raised from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 1999 after a number of expeditions. Two explorations of the area, in 1992 and 1993, were unsuccessful in locating the capsule. The next effort succeeded in locating the capsule on 2 May 1999, but the cable which linked the surface ship to the submersible (which would have towed the capsule to the surface) broke, resulting in the loss of the submersible, and temporarily dashing the hopes of those who intended to retrieve a piece of history. A final expedition, to recover both the submersible and the capsule, succeeded on 20 July 1999 in raising the capsule to the surface. Still attached to the capsule was the recovery line from the helicopter which tried to save it from sinking in 1961. Among the artifacts found inside were some of Grissom's gear, and some Mercury dimes which had been taken into space as souvenirs.


http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=MERCR4

2000
US President Bill Clinton announced that GPS access equivalent to that available to the US military would be made available for civilian use.
http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/edn-moments/4413261/Accurate-GPS-access-available-to-civilians-in-US--May-2--2000

2001
Died, Karl Sendler, German expert in guided missiles during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the United States after the war
http://www.astronautix.com/s/sendler.html

2007
Died, Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, US astronaut, the only man to fly in all three of America's first space programs (Mercury 8, Gemini 6, Apollo 7)

Astronaut Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, NASA photo
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/schirra-wm.html


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