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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 31

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Born, Charles G. Abbot, US astronomer (solar constant)

Born, Georgi Ivanovich Petrov, Russian scientist, Director of the Soviet Institute of Space Research 1965-1973, who conducted aerodynamic research at NII-1 before being named Director

Born, Martin Schwarzschild, German-born American astrophysicist (stellar structure and evolution, Bruce Medal 1965)

M. Wolf discovered asteroids #892 Seeligeria and #893 Leopoldina.

The first wedding held in an aircraft took place in a Handley-Page bomber based at Ellington Field, Texas in which Lieutenant Robert Meade and Miss Marjorie Dumont of Cincinnati were wed by an Army chaplain.,4015700

Born, John G. Kemeny, US computer pioneer (wrote BASIC, with Kurtz)

1928 08:54:00 PST (GMT -8:00:00)
The first successful transpacific flight, from the US to Australia, was begun by two Americans and two Australians in a Fokker trimotor aircraft, leaving Oakland, California for Brisbane, Austrailia. The flight ended on 8 June.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1108 Demeter.

Comet 73P/1930 (Schwassmann-Wachmann 3) was discovered when it approached to within 0.0617 AUs (5.7 million miles) of Earth.

A Goddard A series rocket reached 7,500 feet. The 15 ft. 1.5 in. rocket had a new lift indicator, weighed 84 lb, showed excellent stabilization, and landed 5500 ft from the launch tower, digging a hole 10 in. deep, with a loud whistle on descent.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1466 Mundleria.

S. Arend discovered asteroid #1591 Baize.

1957 18:08:00 GMT
The first fully successful launch of the US Jupiter IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) rocket reached an altitude of over 250 miles.

The US Army Jupiter IRBM was first successfully fired 1,247 nautical miles (2,309 km; 1,435 statute mi), to an altitude of 250-300 miles, on 31 May 1957. It was fired from AMR to test the range capability and performance of rocket engine and control system. Although the missile was 253 nm short of its estimated 1,500 nm impact point (the limit of its designed range), this was the first successful flight of the Jupiter. All phases of the test were successful during this first firing of an IRBM in the Western world.

NASA selected North American Aviation's Rocketdyne Division to develop the J-2, a 200,000 pound thrust rocket engine burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, later chosen for the upper stages of the Saturn C-5.

1967 09:36:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched a Thor Agena D from Vandenburg carrying nine separate calibration, gravity gradient stabilization and navigation experiment satellites into orbit. The Timation 1 experiments eventually led to the Navstar/GPS system.

The European Space Agency (ESA) began operating when the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) was merged with the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO).

J. Kveton discovered asteroid #2672 Pisek.

1979 17:58:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 1104 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, part of a 6-satellite Soviet military navigation system distributed in orbital planes spaced 30 degrees apart.

1981 05:00:00 GMT
India launched the Rohini 2 technology satellite from Sriharikota, a partial failure because the satellite ended up in an orbit that was too low.

The 5hr 1min PE-6 - EVA 2 was performed at the Salyut 7 space station in which cosmonauts Kizim and Solovyov extended the URS truss and performed tests.

1988 07:45:00 GMT
USSR launched the Cosmos 1951 landsat for investigation of the natural resources of the Earth in the interests of various branches of the national economy of the USSR, and international cooperation.

1989 08:31:59 GMT
USSR launched a Proton booster from Baikonur carrying two Glonass satellites (Cosmos 2022 and 2023) for testing the navigation system being developed, and Cosmos 2024 for geophysical and geodetic research and space apparatus identification testing.

1990 10:33:20 GMT
USSR launched the Kristall Mir module into orbit from Baikonur.

Mir's third expansion module, dedicated to materials processing, Kristall was launched 31 May 1990, and carried equipment for research on semiconductors and the purification of biologically active substances to the USSR/Russian Mir space station. It also carried astrophysical, geophysical and technical experiments. Its launch was originally planned for 30 March 1990, delayed to 18 April, then further delayed due to computer chip problems. Docking was scheduled for 6 June at 12:36, but was delayed due to problem with one of Kristall's orientation engines. Docking was successfully completed 10 June at 12:47. On 11 June, Kristall was moved to a side port. Work within the module began on 15 June 1990.

At launch, Kristall had a total mass of 19,500 kg (7,000 kg payload), which had been reduced to 17,200 kg on docking. It was 11.9 m long, 4.35 m in diameter, and its solar arrays spanned 36 m. Its main body was similar to Kvant 2, with a multiple docking port instead of an EVA airlock module. The docking system was planned to host a future Buran visit. It increased Mir's mass to 83 metric tons and restabilized the station, which had been thrown off kilter with the addition of the Kvant 2 module.

Kristall consisted of two compartments: The Instrument-Payload Compartment contained food containers, and the industrial processing units Krater 3, Optizon 1, Zona 02, and Zona 03. A 0.8 m hatch led to the Junction-Docking compartment which contained a spherical universal docker with two APAS-89 androgynous docking units for docking with the Buran shuttle and the 1,000 kg X-ray telescope that was planned to be delivered by Buran in 1991. A third opening housed Earth observation cameras.

Officially, Kristall was a specialized module for experimental-industrial production of semi-conducting materials, refinement of biologically active substances for the production of new medicinal preparations, cultivation of crystals of different albumine compositions and hybridization of cells, and to conduct astrophysical and technical experiments.

1995 15:27:00 GMT
The US Navy launched USA 111 (UFO 5 - UHF Follow-On #5), a Navy communications satellite. It was positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 72 deg E in 1995-1999.

Died, Raymond Davis Jr., American physicist, Nobel 2002 with Koshiba "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos," looking at the solar neutrino problem

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