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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 13

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Johann Goldsmid (a.k.a. Fabricius) was the first to publish documented observations of sunspots, and correctly interpreted the apparent motion of sunspots in terms of axial rotation of the Sun.

Born, Thomas Young, British polymath, physician (wave theory of light)

Born, James Clerk Maxwell, physicist (electromagnetic theory), generally regarded as the nineteenth century scientist who had the greatest influence on twentieth century physics, making contributions to the fundamental models of nature

J C Watson discovered asteroid #132 Aethra.

A Borrelly discovered asteroid #198 Ampella.

Born, German rocket pioneer Reinhold Tiling, developed wing-recovered black-powder-propelled rockets

Reinhold Tiling (13 June 1893 – 11 October 1933) was a German rocket pioneer who developed wing-recovered black-powder-propelled rockets. Tiling was inspired to pursue rocketry when he heard Oberth lecture on the subject in 1924. Impatient to proceed with rocket control system development, and unwilling to wait for development of liquid rocket engines, he proceeded to work on rockets powered by compressed black powder. He began development of rockets with deployable wings for recovery and reuse in 1928. In 1929, he received funding from the German Navy, ostensibly for development of improved line-throwing rockets for ship-to-ship transfers. By 1931, his rockets were being fired to 7 km altitude and demonstrating stable flight through use of tail fins. He demonstrated the first launch of a rocket from an airplane in 1932, and in the same year was demonstrating variable wing deployment and parachute recovery of rockets. By 1933, he was demonstrating powder rockets with burn durations of as much as ten seconds. A fire broke out on 10 October 1933 in his propellant processing room where he used a proprietary process to compress black powder into solid rocket propellant. He, his assistant Angelika Buddenboehmer and his mechanic Friedrich Kuhr died from burns suffered in the fire and ensuing explosion. His brother, Richard Tiling, continued his work, conducting flight experiments at Cuxhaven in the summer of 1934, until further private development of rocketry in Germany was prohibited by the new Nazi government later that year.

Born, Luis Walter Alvarez, US physicist (hydrogen bubble chamber, Nobel 1968), proposed (with his geologist son Walter) the asteroid-impact theory to explain the iridium anomaly of the K-T extinction boundary (dinosaurs)

Luis Walter Alvarez (13 June 1911 - 1 September 1988) was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analysis."

Luis Alvarez, with his geologist son Walter, proposed the asteroid-impact theory to explain the iridium anomaly of the K-T extinction boundary. The anomaly is generally accepted as conclusive evidence that a 10–15 km (6–9 mi) meteor fell on the Yucatán Peninsula, at Chicxulub, Mexico approximately 66 million years ago, causing extinction of the dinosaurs. See for more information.

A ticker-tape parade welcomed Charles A. Lindbergh to New York City following his historic solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

C Jackson discovered asteroid #1349 Bechuana.

The first German V-1 (Fieseler Fi-103) "buzz bomb" rocket assault on London occurred, with four of those first eleven "fired in anger" (launched from German positions in France against England) striking London.

Born, Ronald John "Ron" Grabe (at New York City, New York, USA), Colonel USAF, NASA astronaut (STS 51-J, STS 30, STS 42, STS 57)

Astronaut Ron Grabe, NASA photo

T Smirnova discovered asteroid #2111 Tselina.

NASA's Apollo 13 Review Board published the results of its investigation.

Apollo 13 (AS 508) consisted of the Command and Service Module (CSM) "Odyssey" and the Lunar Module (LM) "Aquarius." The flight was launched on 11 April 1970, intended to be the third mission to carry humans to the surface of the Moon, but an explosion of one of the oxygen tanks and resulting damage to other systems resulted in the mission being aborted before the planned Lunar landing could take place. The crew, commander James A. Lovell, Jr., Command Module pilot John L. Swigert, Jr., and Lunar Module pilot Fred W. Haise Jr., were returned safely to Earth on 17 April 1970.

The purposes of the Apollo 13 mission were (1) to explore the hilly upland Fra Mauro region of the Moon, (2) to perform selenological inspection, survey, and sampling of material in the Fra Mauro formation, (3) to deploy and activate an Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), (4) to further develop man's capability to work in the Lunar environment, and (5) to obtain photographs of candidate Lunar exploration sites. These goals were to be carried out from a near-circular Lunar orbit and on the Lunar surface at 3 deg S latitude, 17 deg W longitude. Although the planned mission objectives were not realized, a limited amount of photographic data was obtained. Lovell was a Navy captain on his fourth spaceflight (he'd flown previously on Gemini 7, Gemini 12, and Apollo 8), Haise and Swigert were both civilians on their first spaceflights.

Apollo 13 was launched at 19:13:00 UT (02:13:00 p.m. EST) from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. During the second stage boost, the center engine of the S-II stage cut off 132 seconds early, causing the remaining four engines to burn 34 seconds longer than normal. The velocity after the S-II burn was still lower than planned by 68 m/sec, so the S-IVB orbital insertion burn at 19:25:40 was 9 seconds longer than planned. Translunar injection took place at 21:54:47 UT, CSM/S-IVB separation at 22:19:39 UT, and CSM-LM docking at 22:32:09 UT. After separation from the Apollo spacecraft, the S-IVB auxilliary propulsive system burned at 01:13 UT on 12 April for 217 seconds to put the S-IVB into a Lunar impact trajectory. (It impacted the Lunar surface on 14 April 1970.) The Apollo astronauts made a 3.4 second mid-course correction burn at 01:27 UT on 13 April.

A television broadcast was made from Apollo 13 from 02:24 UT to 02:59 UT on 14 April and a few minutes later, at 03:06:18 UT, Jack Swigert turned the fans on to stir oxygen tanks 1 and 2 in the Service Module. Wires which had been damaged during pre-flight testing in the Beech-built oxygen tank number 2 shorted, and the Teflon insulation caught fire. The fire spread within the tank, raising the pressure until at 3:07:53 UT on 14 April (10:07:53 EST 13 April; 55:54:53 mission elapsed time), oxygen tank number 2 exploded, damaging oxygen tank number 1 and the interior of the Service Module, and blowing off the bay number 4 cover. With the oxygen stores depleted, the Command Module was unusable, the mission had to be aborted, and the crew transferred to the Lunar Module and powered down the Command Module.

At 08:43 UT, a mid-course maneuver (11.6 m/s delta V) was performed using the Lunar Module descent propulsion system (LMDPS) to place the spacecraft on a free-return trajectory which would take it around the Moon on a path that took the astronauts farther from Earth than any humans had ever been before and return it to Earth, targeted at the Indian Ocean at 03:13 UT 18 April. After rounding the Moon, another LMDPS burn at 02:40:39 UT 15 April for 263.4 seconds produced a differential velocity of 262 m/s, and shortened the estimated return time to 18:06 UT 17 April, with splashdown in the mid-Pacific. To conserve power and other consumables, the Lunar Module was powered down except for environmental control, communications, and telemetry, and passive thermal control was established. At 04:32 UT on 16 April, a 15 second LMDPS burn at 10% throttle produced a 2.3 m/s velocity decrease and raised the entry flight path angle to -6.52 degrees. Following this, the crew partially powered up the CSM. On 17 April at 12:53 UT, a 22.4 second LMDPS burn put the flight path entry angle at -6.49 degrees.

The Service Module, which had been kept attached to the Command Module to protect the heat shield, was jettisoned on 17 April at 13:15:06 UT, and the crew took photographs of the damage. The Command Module was powered up, and the Lunar Module was jettisoned at 16:43:02 UT. Any parts of the Lunar Module which survived atmospheric re-entry, including the SNAP-27 generator, planned to power the ALSEP apparatus on the Lunar surface and containing 3.9 kg of plutonium, fell into the Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand. Apollo 13 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 17 April 1970 at 18:07:41 UT (1:07:41 p.m. EST) after a mission elapsed time of 142 hours, 54 minutes, 41 seconds. The splashdown point was 21 deg 38 min S, 165 deg 22 min W, southeast of American Samoa and 6.5 km (4 miles) from the recovery ship USS Iwo Jima.

On 13 June 1970, the Apollo 13 Accident Review Board published the results of its investigation. The explosion was found to have been caused by a bare-wire heating element within the fuel cell liquid oxygen tank. The element itself had burned off its insulation through a combination of unimplemented specification changes early in the program, coupled with unauthorized procedures during ground testing.

The Apollo 13 Command Module "Odyssey" is now on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson, Kansas.

Perth Observatory discovered asteroids #1806 Derice and #1978 Patrice.

T Smirnova discovered asteroid #2604.

1972 21:53:00 GMT
The Intelsat 4 F-5 communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 61 deg E 1972-1975; at 60 deg E 1976-1980; over the Pacific at 179 deg E 1980-1981.

Felix Aguilar Observatory discovered asteroid #2219 Mannucci.

After more than a decade in space, NASA's Pioneer 10, the world's first outer-planetary probe, crossed the orbit of Neptune (the outermost planet at the time) and became the first human-built space vehicle to leave the Solar system.

Pioneer 10 was launched 3 March 1972. This mission was the first to be sent to the outer solar system and the first to investigate the planet Jupiter, after which it followed an escape trajectory from the solar system. The spacecraft achieved its closest approach to Jupiter on 3 December 1973, when it flew over the cloud tops at a distance of approximately 2.8 Jovian radii (about 200,000 km - 130,000 miles). After more than a decade in space, Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Neptune on 13 June 1983 and became the first human-built space vehicle to leave the Solar system. As of 1 January 1997 Pioneer 10 was at about 67 AU from the Sun near the ecliptic plane and heading outward from the Sun at 2.6 AU/year and downstream through the heliomagnetosphere towards the tail region and interstellar space. This solar system escape direction is unique because the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft (and the Pioneer 11 spacecraft) are heading in the opposite direction towards the nose of the heliosphere in the upstream direction relative to the inflowing interstellar gas. Pioneer 10 is heading generally towards the red star Aldebaran, which forms the eye of Taurus (The Bull). The journey over a distance of 68 light years to Aldebaran will require about two million years to complete. Routine tracking and project data processing operatations were terminated on 31 March 1997 for budget reasons. Occasional tracking continued later under support of the Lunar Prospector project at NASA Ames Research Center with retrieval of energetic particle and radio science data. The last successful data acquisitions through NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) occurred on 3 March 2002, the thirtieth anniversary of Pioneer 10's launch date, and on 27 April 2002. The spacecraft signal was last detected, from a distance of 82 AU from the Sun, on 23 January 2003 after an uplink was transmitted to turn off the last operational experiment, the Geiger Tube Telescope (GTT), but lock-on to the sub-carrier signal for data downlink was not achieved. No signal at all was detected during a final attempt on 6-7 February 2003. Pioneer Project staff at NASA Ames then concluded that the spacecraft power level had fallen below that needed to power the onboard transmitter, so no further attempts would be made.

See also
See also

1984 11:37:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched Navstar 9 (GPS 1-9) from Vandenburg Air Force Base, California, a GPS Block 1 navigation satellite, a component of the Global Positioning System.

1990 01:07:00 GMT
USSR launched the Molniya 3-38 communication satellite for operation of long-range telephone and telegraph systems in the USSR, transmission of USSR Central Television program to stations in the Orbita network and in international cooperation.

Died (complications from a brain tumour), Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, Major USAF, NASA astronaut (Apollo-Soyuz)

Donald K. 'Deke' Slayton (1 March 1924 - 13 June 1993) was the only one of the Mercury 7 astronauts chosen for America's first manned-space effort who did not fly in the Mercury program, due to an erratic heart rate (idiopathic atrial fibrillation). Slayton had been scheduled to fly in 1962 on the second orbital flight that was flown instead by Scott Carpenter.

A US Air Force pilot, Slayton resigned his commission in 1963 and worked for NASA as the civilian head of astronaut selection. In that capacity, he had the decisive role of choosing crews for the Gemini and Apollo programs, including who would be the first man to walk on the Moon.

A long medical program let him be restored to full flight status in 1973, when he was chosen as the Apollo docking module pilot for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. On 17 July 1975, an American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft docked in orbit, and astronauts Slayton, Thomas Stafford and Vance D. Brand conducted crew transfers and joint science activities with cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov. Slayton logged 217 hours and 28 minutes in his first (and only) space flight.

Slayton retired from NASA in 1982. He was president of Space Services Inc., of Houston, Texas, a company he founded to develop rockets for small commercial payloads.

Slayton died 13 June 1993, in League City, Texas, from complications of a brain tumor.

During the 5h 42m EVA Mir EO-21-6, cosmonauts Yuri Onufriyenko and Yuri Usachyov assembled a truss and deployed an SAR radar antenna, assisted by astronaut Shannon Lucid working inside the Russian space station.

During EVA STS-111-3, astronauts replaced the wrist roll joint on the International Space Station's Canadarm-2 SSRMS robot arm. The old joint was stowed in Endeavour's cargo bay for return to Earth.

STS 111 was launched 5 June 2002, the fourteenth shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station. With the launch, astronaut Chang-Diaz became the second human to fly in space seven times, tying a mark set in April 2002 by Jerry Ross on the STS 110 mission.

STS 111 delivered the Expedition Five crew to the station and returned the Expedition Four crew to Earth. Space Shuttle Endeavour also delivered the Mobile Base System (MBS) to the ISS. The STS 111 crew unloaded supplies and science experiments from the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module as well, which made its third trip to the orbital outpost.

Three spacewalks were performed during STS 111's stay at the International Space Station, to continue on-orbit construction and to do some maintenance work. The spacewalkers were Mission Specialists Franklin Chang-Diaz and Philippe Perrin. During the first spacewalk, on Flight Day 5, they prepared the Mobile Remote Servicer Base System for installation onto the station's Mobile Transporter on Flight Day 6. They also set the stage for relocation of the P6 Truss during a future flight.

The focus of the second extravehicular activity (EVA) was the outfitting and permanent attachment of the MBS onto the station, on Flight Day 7. The primary task during the final spacewalk, on Flight Day 9, was replacement of a wrist roll joint on the station's robot arm.

All three spacewalks were based from the station's Quest Airlock.

STS 111 ended on 19 June 2002 when Endeavour landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, completing a successful 5.78 million mile mission. Mission duration: 13 days, 20 hours, 35 minutes. Orbit insertion altitude: 122 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 51.60 degrees.

The flight crew for STS 111 was: Ken Cockrell, Commander; Paul Lockhart, Pilot; Franklin Chang-Diaz, Mission Specialist 1; Philippe Perrin (CNES), Mission Specialist 2; Valery Korzun, Expedition 5 Commander; Peggy Whitson, Expedition 5 Flight Engineer; Sergei Treschev, Expedition 5 Flight Engineer. STS 111 returned Expedition 4 Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch from the International Space Station, concluding a record 196-day stay in space. Walz and Bursch broke the US record for the longest single space flight, previously 188 days, set by astronaut Shannon Lucid in 1996.

2004 09:30:00 NZST (GMT +12:00:00)
A 1.3 kg (2lb 14oz) chondrite type meteorite struck the house of Phil and Brenda Archer in Ellerslie, New Zealand, causing serious damage but no injuries, destroying the roof, plunging through the living room ceiling and bouncing off the couch.

The return capsule from Japan's Hayabusa (MUSES-C) re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and landed near Woomera, Australia, carrying dust particles from asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36).

The primary scientific objective of the Hayabusa (formerly Muses-C) mission was to collect a surface sample of material from the small (550 x 180 meter) asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36) and return the sample to Earth for analysis. It was also a technology demonstration mission. Other scientific objectives of the mission included detailed studies of the asteroid's shape, spin state, topography, color, composition, density, photometric and polarimetric properties, interior and history.

The spacecraft was launched on 9 May 2003 on an M-5 solid fuel booster from the Kagoshima launch center. Following launch, the name Muses-C was changed to Hayabusa (Japanese for falcon), and the spacecraft was put into a transfer orbit to bring it to asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36), a 0.3 x 0.7 km near-Earth object. The ion engines were successfully test-fired from 27 May to the middle of June 2003. A large solar flare in late 2003 degraded the solar panels. The loss of power available to Hayabusa's ion engines forced the originally planned early summer 2005 rendezvous with Itokawa to be moved back to September. Hayabusa flew by Earth on 19 May 2004 at an altitude of 3725 km at 6:23 UT. On 31 July 2004 the X-axis reaction wheel failed. Rendezvous with the asteroid occured in September 2005 with the spacecraft coming to rest relative to the asteroid at a distance of 20 km at 1:17 UT on 12 September. The spacecraft did not go into orbit around the asteroid, but remained in a station-keeping heliocentric orbit close by. On 3 October 2005 Hayabusa lost the use of the Y-axis reaction wheel and was using one reaction wheel and two chemical thrusters to maintain attitude control.

Hayabusa initially surveyed the asteroid's surface from a distance of about 20 km in the "home position", a region roughly on a line connecting the Earth with the asteroid on the sunward side. This is global mapping phase 1, the phase angle during this phase was small, no greater than 20 - 25 degrees. Global mapping phase 2, which lasted about a week, began on 4 October when the spacecraft reached a position near the terminator at a distance of 7 km, affording high phase angle views of the asteroid. Following this the spacecraft moved back to the home position and then moved close to the surface in November for a "rehearsal" touchdown. This touchdown was attempted on 4 November but was aborted due to an anomalous signal at 700 meters above the asteroid's surface.

On 12 November a second rehearsal touchdown was attempted. The spacecraft began its descent from 1.4 km altitude at 3 cm/sec to an altitude of 55 meters. The small lander/hopper, Minerva, was deployed at 6:34 UT (3:34 p.m. JST) but unfortunately Hayabusa had already reached the 55 meter level and had begun an automatic ascent so the release was at a higher altitude than planned. Contact with the lander was lost and it is believed Minerva moved off into space without landing.

At 12:00 UT on 19 November 2005 (9:00 p.m. JST, 7:00 a.m. EST) Hayabusa began its descent towards the asteroid from an altitude of 1 km. At 19:33 UT (4:33 a.m. JST 20 November) the final approach was commanded and the descent began from an altitude of about 450 meters at 12 cm/sec. The target marker was released at 20:30 UT 19 November (5:30 a.m. JST 20 November) about 40 meters above the asteroid and Hayabusa's descent was slowed to 3 cm/sec to allow the marker to fall ahead of it. The spacecraft reduced its speed to zero and then began free-fall at an altitude of 17 meters at which point contact was lost. Later telemetry indicated that Hayabusa hit the surface at 20:40 UT 19 November (5:40 a.m. JST 20 November) at roughly 10 cm/sec and bounced. It bounced again at 21:10 and then landed at 21:30 within about 30 meters of the target marker. At 21:58 (6:58 a.m. JST 20 November) it was commanded to make an emergency ascent. The craft remained on the surface for about half an hour but did not fire the projectile to collect a sample. This was the first ever controlled landing on an asteroid and first ascent from any other solar sytem body except the Moon.

A second touchdown and sampling run was made on 25 November, early telemetry indicated the spacecraft touched down at 10 cm/sec and that two sampling bullets were fired 0.2 seconds apart at 22:07 UT 24 November (7:07 a.m. JST 25 November) but later examination indicated the bullets did not fire. On 9 December contact was lost with the spacecraft, presumably because of torques caused by a thruster leak which altered the pointing of the antenna. Communication with the spacecraft was regained in early March 2006. It appeared the chemical fuel had been lost due to the leak. Also, two of three reaction wheels were also inoperable and 4 of the 11 lithium-ion battery cells were not functioning. Ground controllers used the solar batteries to run the ion engine in place of the chemical thrusters to maintain attitude control. The ion engine ran until November 2007 when it was turned off and the spacecraft went into hibernation mode and continued on a ballistic trajectory. There was still a large margin of xenon left to run the thrusters for propulsion and attitude control.

The re-entry capsule detached from the main spacecraft between 300,000 and 400,000 km from the Earth, coasting on a ballistic trajectory, and re-entering the Earth's atmosphere on 13 June 2010. The capsule experienced peak decellerations of about 25 G and heating rates approximately 30 times those experienced by the Apollo spacecraft. It landed via parachute near Woomera, Australia. Subsequent examination of the sample return capsule showed that there were roughly 1500 dust particles from asteroid Itokawa which were presumably kicked up into the collection area during the touchdowns due to the extremely low surface gravity.

Spacecraft Details

On-board optical navigation was planned to be employed extensively during the landings and sample collection operations because the long communication delay prohibited ground-based real-time commanding. The samples, with a total mass of approximately one gram, were to be held inside a separate re-entry capsule. (The lander was also to deploy a small rover supplied by NASA onto the surface of the asteroid, but the rover was cancelled by NASA due to budget constraints.) All operations at Itokawa had to take into account the extremely low gravity at the asteroid's surface.

Hayabusa was equipped with a universal sample collection device to gather roughly one gram of surface samples taken from the landings at 3 different locations. The device consisted of a funnel-shaped collection horn, 40 cm in diameter at the end, to be placed over the sampling area. A pyrotechnic device then fired a 10 gram metal projectile down the barrel of the horn at 200 - 300 m/sec. The projectile struck the surface, producing a small impact crater in the surface of the asteroid and propelling ejecta fragments back up the horn, where some were funnelled into a sample collection chamber. Prior to each sampling run, the spacecraft was drop a small target plate onto the surface from about 30 m altitude to use as a landmark to ensure the relative horizontal velocity between the spacecraft and asteroid surface was zero during the sampling. After collection, the samples were to be stored in the re-entry capsule for return to Earth.

The Minerva lander was a small (591 gram) cylinder about the size of a coffee can, designed to be released from the spacecraft on the first rehearsal touchdown run. It had the ability to "hop" on the surface of the asteroid and had full autonomy. It was equipped with an imaging system comprising three miniature cameras and temperature measuring devices. Data was to be relayed to Hayabusa and then to Earth.

The rover, or Small Science Vehicle (SSV), was to have been a NASA contribution to the mission but was cancelled due to budget contraints. The SSV would have been dropped onto the surface of the asteroid by the Hayabusa spacecraft. The rover goals were to make texture, composition and morphology measurements of the surface layer at scales smaller than 1 cm, investigations of lateral heterogeneity at small scales, investigation of vertical regolith structure by taking advantage of disturbances of the surface layer by microrover operations, and to measure constraints on the mechanical and thermal properties of the surface layer. The rover would have weighed about 1 kg and was to be capable of rolling, climbing, or hopping around on the surface of the asteroid. It would have run on solar power and carry a multi-band imaging camera, a near-infrared point spectrometer, and an alpha/X-ray spectrometer (AXS).

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