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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 12


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1577
Born, Paul Guldin, Swiss astronomer, mathematician
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/history/Biographies/Guldin.html

1838
The Hopkins Observatory was dedicated in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1998JAHH....1...61P

1840
A meteorite hit Uden, Netherlands, landing with a thud just a few meters from a group of laborers who were cutting peat.
http://home.online.nl/marco.langbroek/udeneng.html

1934
The Black-McKellar Bill was passed, which caused William Boeing's aircraft empire to be broken up into Boeing United Aircraft [Technologies] and United Air Lines.
http://avstop.com/history/needregulations/act1934.htm

1936
C Jackson discovered asteroid #1394 Algoa.

1949
Born, Yuri Mikhailovich Baturin (at Moscow, Russian SFSR), civilian engineer, Energia NPO, 1973 - 1980, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-28/27 - Mir EP-4, TM-32/31 - ISS EP-1)
http://www.spacefacts.de/bios/cosmonauts/english/baturin_yuri.htm

1958
Born, Fernando "Frank" Caldeiro (at Buenos Aires, Argentina), NASA mission specialist astronaut candidate (Group 16 - 1996), lead astronaut in several development programs (deceased)

Astronaut Fernando
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/caldeiro.html

1962 20:04:00 GMT
NASA launched X-15A RCS check, M=5 Test mission # 57 in which US Air Force Major Robert M White took the X-15 to 56.266 km and achieved a maximum speed of 5660 kph (Mach 5.02).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_X-15_flights

1963
NASA Administrator James E. Webb ruled out a Mercury MA-10 launch because the program goals had been reached. Consequently Project Mercury, America's first manned space flight program, came to a close after 4 years, 8 months, and 1 week.
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/Mercury.html

1967 02:40:00 GMT
USSR launched Venera 4 toward Venus, the first spacecraft to successfully return data from Venus' atmosphere.

Venera 4 was launched 12 June 1967 from a Tyazheliy Sputnik (67-058B) towards Venus with the announced mission of direct atmospheric studies. On 18 October 1967, the spacecraft entered the Venusian atmosphere and released a capsule with two thermometers, a barometer, a radio altimeter, an atmospheric density gauge, 11 gas analyzers, and two radio transmitters operating in the DM waveband. The main bus, which had carried the capsule to Venus, carried a magnetometer, cosmic ray detectors, hydrogen and oxygen indicators, and charged particle traps. Signals were returned by the spacecraft, which braked and then deployed a parachute system after entering the Venusian atmosphere, until it reached an altitude of 24.96 km.



USSR Venus probe Venera 4, photo courtesy of NASA
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1967-058A

1968 15:31:00 GMT
NASA launched X-15A WTR/SA TPS/HS/FAB Test/Technology mission # 195 in which William H. Dana reached a maximum speed of 5734 kph (Mach 5.15), and a maximum altitude of 67.086 km.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_X-15_flights

1971
T Smirnova discovered asteroid #2216 Kerch.

1975 08:12:00 GMT
NASA launched the Nimbus 6 weather satellite into orbit from Vandenburg Air Force Base, California.

Nimbus 6 was launched 12 June 1975 for environmental research. The experiments selected for the satellite were the Earth Radiation Budget (ERB), Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR), High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS), Limb Radiance Inversion Radiometer (LRIR), Pressure Modulated Radiometer (PMR), SCAnning Microwave Spectrometer (SCAMS), Temperature-Humidity Infrared Radiometer (THIR), Tracking and Data Relay Experiment (T+DRE), and the Tropical Wind Energy conversion and Reference Level Experiment (TWERLE). This complement of advanced sensors was capable of mapping tropospheric temperature, water vapor abundance, and cloud water content; providing vertical profiles of temperature, ozone, and water vapor; transmitting real-time data to a geostationary spacecraft (ATS 6); and yielding data on the Earth's radiation budget.


http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1975-052A

1979
Bicycle champion Bryan Allen pedaled Paul MacCready's Gossamer Albatross, a man powered airplane with a 98 foot wingspan, across the English Channel in a flight that took 2 hours 49 minutes.

Gossamer Albatross crossing the English Channel
Source: http://digitalphotopix.com/unbelievable/human-powered-flight/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gossamer_Albatross

1983
Comet C/1983 (Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa) approached to within 0.0628 AUs (5.84 million miles) of Earth.
https://books.google.com/books?id=14zKCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA80&lpg=PA80&dq=Comet+C/1983+(Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa)+approached+Earth+june+12+1983

1988
Photographic iamges were captured in which Carolyn Shoemaker discovered her fourteenth comet, making her the most successful comet hunter living at the time.
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1993JALPO..36..145M

1990 05:52:00 GMT
India launched the Insat 1D communications satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida, positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 83 deg E in 1990-1999; 74 deg E in 1999-2000.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1990-051A

1995 14:38:00 GMT
McDonnell-Douglas launched a DC-X test mission which featured the first use of the reaction control system thrusters, and demonstrated a change of angle of attack from 0 to 70 degrees. It reached an altitude of 1740 meters during the 132 second flight.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X#Flight_testing

1998 14:00:18 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA's STS 91 (Discovery 24, 91st Shuttle mission) landed after the ninth and final Shuttle-Mir docking.

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


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