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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 June 4


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1754
Born, Baron Franz Xaver von Zach, Hungarian scientific editor, astronomer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Xaver_von_Zach

1769
A transit of Venus was followed within 5 hours by a total solar eclipse, the shortest such interval in recorded history.
https://books.google.com/books?id=iwR7h3jN7_8C&pg=PA74&lpg=PA74&dq=transit+of+Venus+was+followed+within+5+hours+by+a+total+solar+eclipse+june+4+1769

1783
Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier first demonstrated flight of a hot air balloon (no passengers) in the marketplace at Annonay, France. Their balloon (called a Montgolfiere) lifted 6,562 feet into the air, the invention that began the conquest of space.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgolfier_brothers#Public_demonstrations

1784
French opera singer Mme. Elisabeth Thible became the first woman to fly, in a hot air balloon over Lyon, France.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89lisabeth_Thible

1900
M Wolf and A Schwassmann discovered asteroid #456 Abnoba.

1918
M Wolf discovered asteroid #894 Erda.

1931
The first rocket powered glider flight in the US was made by W. C. Swan.
https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/8.9993?journalCode=bais

1934
C Jackson discovered asteroid #2066 Palala.

1954
Arthur Murray flew the X-1A rocket plane to a record 27374 meters. He encountered the same instability as Yeager had, but at Mach 1.97. Murray recovered control after tumbling 6100 m down to 20130 m.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_X-1A_flights

1964
USSR made the unsuccessful first attempt to launch a Molniya communications satellite. At T+104 sec, tank draining of core Block A failed due to a servo-motor throttle jam and break down of the motor's circuit. The launcher was destroyed on impact.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molniya-1_No.2

1964 03:50:00 GMT
The US Navy launched the Transit 9 navigation satellite into orbit from Point Arguello, California.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1964-026A

1971
In the final X-24A flight, the experimental lifting body airplane had a maximum speed of 867 kph, a maximum altitude of 16581 m, and a flight time of 517 seconds.
https://books.google.com/books?id=JHg6CgAAQBAJ&pg=PT188&lpg=PT188&dq=X-24A+flight+june+4+1971

1971 18:10:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 426 into orbit for investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. The mission studied charged particle flows and cosmic radiation.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1971-052A

1981
E Bowell discovered asteroids #2494 Inge, #2797 Teucer, #2870 Haupt, #3169 Ostro and #3726.

1991 08:10:00 GMT
USSR launched Okean 3 into orbit for gathering up-to-date oceanographic information and data on ice conditions in the interests of the Soviet economy and international cooperation. Okean 3 ceased working in January 1994.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1991-039A

1996 12:34:00 GMT
The first Ariane 5 booster was launched with four Cluster Earth-observation platforms. The vehicle went off course because of reuse of Ariane 4 software, and was destroyed by range safety.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariane_5#Notable_launches

1998 12:58:00 EST (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA's STS 91 (Discovery) docked at the Russian Mir space station, the first time Discovery had visited the space outpost, during the ninth (final) Shuttle-Mir docking mission.

The final shuttle-Mir mission, STS 91, launched 2 June 1998, recovered NASA astronaut Andy Thomas from the Mir station, and took Russian space chief and ex-cosmonaut Valeri Ryumin to Mir for an inspection tour of the aging station. It was also the first test of the super lightweight aluminium-lithium alloy external tank, designed to increase shuttle payload to the Mir or International Space Station orbits by 4,000 kg. The countdown proceeded smoothly except for a slight delay in operations to load the external tank with cryogenic propellant to evaluate a few technical issues. As planned, launch managers determined the exact orbital location of the Mir space station during the countdown's T-9 minute built in hold. The decision was then made to launch Discovery at 6:06 pm EST to achieve optimum Shuttle system performance, and to accommodate the Shuttle-Mir rendezvous activities. At 22:15 GMT, Discovery entered an initial 74 x 324 km x 51.6 deg orbit, with the OMS-2 burn three quarters of an hour later circulizing the chase orbit.

Discovery's first docking to Mir occurred 4 June at 12:58 pm EST, at an altitude of 208 miles. Hatches between the two vessels were opened at 2:34 pm the same day. At hatch opening, Andy Thomas officially became a member of Discovery's crew, completing 130 days of living and working on Mir. The transfer wrapped up a total of 907 days spent by seven US astronauts aboard the Russian space station as long-duration crew members. During the next four days, the Mir 25 and STS 91 crews transferred more than 1,100 pounds of water, and almost 4,700 pounds of cargo experiments and supplies were exchanged between the two spacecraft. Long-term US experiments aboard the Mir were moved into Discovery's middeck locker area and the SPACEHAB single module in the orbiter's payload bay, including the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) and the tissue engineering co-culture (COCULT) investigations, as well as two crystal growth experiments. The crews also conducted Risk Mitigation Experiments (RMEs) and Human Life Sciences (HLS) investigations. When the hatches closed for undocking on 8 June at 9:07 am, and the spacecraft separated at 12:01 pm that day, the final Shuttle-Mir docking mission was concluded, and Phase 1 of the International Space Station (ISS) program came to an end.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) flew for the first time on this mission. The AMS, designed to look for dark and missing matter in the universe, was powered up on Flight Day 1. Data originally planned to be sent to ground stations through Discovery's KU-band communications system was recorded onboard because of a problem with the KU-band system that prevented it from sending high-rate communications, including television signals, to the ground, although the system was able to receive uplink transmissions. On 3 June, the crew was able to set up a bypass system that allowed AMS data to be downlinked via S-band/FM communications when the orbiter came within range of a ground station. Data that could not be recorded by ground stations was recorded onboard throughout the mission.

The KU-band system failure was determined to be located in a component that was not accessible to the crew. The failure prevented television transmission throughout the mission. Television broadcasts from Mir were prevented by a problem between a Russian ground station and the mission control center outside of Moscow, limiting communications to audio only on NASA television.

Other experiments conducted by the Shuttle crew during the mission included a checkout of the orbiter's robot arm to evaluate new electronics and software and the Orbiter Space Vision System for use during assembly missions for the ISS. Also onboard in the payload bay were eight Get Away-Special experiments, while combustion, crystal growth and radiation monitoring experiments were conducted in Discovery's middeck crew cabin area.

STS 91 ended on 12 June 1998 when Discovery landed on orbit 155 on Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Rollout distance: 11,730 feet (3,576 meters). Rollout time: one minute, four seconds. Mission duration: nine days, 19 hours, 54 minutes, two seconds. Discovery logged 3.8 million statute miles during the flight with an orbit inclination of 51.6 degrees. It landed on the first opportunity at KSC, marking the fifteenth consecutive landing in Florida, and twenty-second in the last twenty three missions.

The flight crew for STS 91 was: Charles J. Precourt, Commander; Dominic L. Pudwill Gorie, Pilot; Wendy B. Lawrence, Mission Specialist; Franklin R. Chang-Diaz, Mission Specialist; Janet L. Kavandi, Mission Specialist; Valery Victorovitch Ryumin, Mission Specialist; Andrew S. W. Thomas returned from Mir (Mir-25, launched on STS 89).


http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-91.html

2000
NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory re-entered the Earth's atmosphere when it was de-orbited after more than nine years in space.

The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory was the second of NASA's Great Observatories. Compton, at 17 tons, was the heaviest astrophysical payload ever flown at the time of its launch on 5 April 1991 aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, and deployed into orbit on 7 April. Compton was safely deorbited and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on 4 June 2000.

Compton had four instruments that covered an unprecedented six decades of the electromagnetic spectrum, from 30 keV to 30 GeV. In order of increasing spectral energy coverage, these instruments were the Burst And Transient Source Experiment (BATSE), the Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE), the Imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL), and the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET). For each of the instruments, an improvement in sensitivity of better than a factor of ten was realized over previous missions.

The Observatory was named in honor of Dr. Arthur Holly Compton, who won the Nobel prize in physics for work on scattering of high energy photons by electrons - a process central to the gamma ray detection techniques of all four instruments.

See also http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1991-027B



Compton Gamma Ray Observatory in Earth orbit, NASA illustration
http://cossc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

2003 19:23:00 GMT
Russia launched the Cosmos 2398 navigation satellite into orbit from Plesetsk.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=2003-023A


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