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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 16

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Born, Julius Plucker, German mathematician, physicist (analytical geometry, cathode rays)

Born, Edward Davy, English physician, chemist, and inventor (telegraph)

Born, Karl-Heinz Bringer, German propulsion engineer, developer of the Viking engine, propulsion leader of the German Rocket Team in France after World War II

1911 17:20:00 CST (GMT -6:00:00)
A 772 gram stony meteorite struck earth near Kilbourn, Columbia County, Wisconsin, USA, damaging a barn.

At about 5:20 p.m. on Friday, 16 June 1911, a meteor fell through the barn roof on the farm of William Gaffney near Kilbourn, Columbia County, Wisconsin, which was located on present day Golden Avenue near Big Spring.

Prior to the meteor striking the barn, Mr. Gaffney had been coming in from the field and told of hearing a sound which he described as "... a rumbling noise, similar to a heavy wagon passing over a stony road. The noise was much louder than thunder."

The meteor passed through the roof of the barn, penetrating three thickness of shingles, an inch thick hemlock roof board and the 7/8 inch hemlock boards forming the floor of the hay loft. It came within inches of striking Mr. Gaffney before it hit the manger, rebounded, struck the stone foundation of the barn where a small point was broken off, and buried itself 2 1/2 inches in the hard packed clay soil forming the floor of the barn.

Mr. Gaffney recalled that when he reached to pick up the meteorite, "The mass when picked up was quite warm, could only be held for a second or so. The meteorite remained warm for one and a half hours."

See also, the source of this description

Born, Jack Ridley, American test pilot, aeronautical engineer, important work on the Bell X-1 (first supersonic aircraft)

Died, Elmer Ambrose Sperry, inventor, manufacturer (electric dynamos and arc lamps, gyrocompass)

Born, Taylor Gun-Jin Wang PhD (at Shanghai, China), JPL research scientist, NASA payload specialist astronaut (STS 51-B; just over 7d in spaceflight)

Astronaut Taylor Wang, NASA photo ID: S84-36141 (20 June 1984)
Source: Wikipedia ( unavailable June 2019)

Born, Jeffrey Shears Ashby (at Dallas, Texas, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (STS 93, STS 100, STS 112; over 27d 16.25h total time in spaceflight)

Astronaut Jeffrey S. Ashby, STS-112 mission commander, NASA photo (30 October 1998)
Source: Wikipedia ( killed 25 Feb 2021)

1961 23:02:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched Discoverer 25 (a.k.a. KH-2) from Vandenburg, California, a surveillance satellite which returned a film capsule two days later.

1963 09:29:52 GMT
USSR launched Vostok 6 with cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova aboard, the first woman in space.

Vostok 6 (callsign Chaika - "Seagull") was launched by the Soviet Union on 16 June 1963 with Colonel-Engineer Valentina Tereshkova aboard, the first woman in space. She orbited the Earth 48 times in a flight which lasted 2.95 days. The spacecraft was recovered on 19 June 1963, in the Soviet Union.

Sergei Korolev, the Soviet chief rocket designer, had been responsible for the novel idea of placing a woman in space. Vostok 6 was to be a joint mission with Vostok 5, launched on 14 June 1963, the primary mission was to collect data on the effects of space flight on men and women. Valentina came within roughly 5 km of Vostok 5 and made radio contact with Bykovsky. Korolev, not pleased with Valentina's abilities (she had difficulty with engineering topics in her training), suggested that she was psychologically instable, and never allowed her to take control of Vostok 6. She was, basically, along for the ride as a subject in a great experiment. Valentina returned to Earth on 19 June 1963, just three hours before Vostok 5. After entering Earth's atmosphere, Valentina parachuted from her space craft, landing roughly 380 miles northeast of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Vostok 6 was recovered the same day at the geographical location of 53:16 N/80:27 E, east of where Valentina landed.

1963 10:50:00 GMT
USSR Vostok 6 approached within 5 km of Vostok 5 (estimated time), which had been launched two days earlier, at the start of three days of a joint mission.

Vostok 5 (callsign Yastreb - "Hawk"), the fifth spacecraft in the USSR manned flight series, was launched on 14 June 1963, to study the effects of prolonged space flight on the human organism, for a tandem flight with Vostok 6, and for improvement of spacecraft equipment and pilotage. (Some NASA records mistakenly list the launch date as 15 June.) The spacecraft consisted of a nearly spherical cabin covered with ablative material, three small portholes, and external radio antennas. Radios, a life support system, instrumentation, and an ejection seat were contained in the manned cabin. The cabin was attached to a service module that carried chemical batteries, orientation rockets, the main retro system, and added support equipment for the total system. The service module was separated from the manned cabin on reentry.

Vostok 5, piloted by cosmonaut Lt. Col. Valery F. Bykovsky, was relatively unsuccessful. The launch was delayed repeatedly due to high solar activity and technical problems. Intended to be in orbit for a record eight days, Vostok 5 had troubles from the start. It was finally forced down after five days in space, landing northwest of Karaganda on 19 June 1963, after making only 81 orbits about the Earth; the mission still set a Soviet manned duration record of 119 hour 6 minutes. Problems encountered during the flight included the spacecraft ending up in a lower than planned orbit; the elevated levels of solar flare activity combined with the associated increased atmospheric activity to decay Vostok 5's orbit quickly; temperatures in the service module reached very high levels; a problem with the spacecraft's waste collection system, possibly a spill, made conditions "unpleasant" in the capsule; and, as on Vostoks 1 and 2, the reentry module failed to separate cleanly from the service module when it was time for Bykovsky to come home, such that wild gyrations ensued until the heat of reentry burned through the non-separating retraining strap.

On 16 June 1963, Vostok 6 was launched, with Valentina Tereshkova (the first woman in space) on board. This was to be a joint mission with Vostok 5; the primary mission was to collect data on the effects of space flight on men and women. On the first orbit, Valentina came within roughly 5 km of Vostok 5, the closest distance achieved during the flight, and made radio contact with Bykovsky. Vostok 5 flew with Vostok 6 for 3 days (48 orbits), maintaining two way radio communications, and establishing communications with Earth at regular intervals. The space spectacular featured television coverage of Bykovsky that was viewed in the West as well as in Russia.

See also

A electrical fire aboard the USSR Salyut 1 space station nearly caused the cosmonauts staying there to make an emergency return to Earth. The burning stopped without causing noticeable damage, however, and the mission continued.

Died (cancer), Wernher Von Braun, German American engineer, leader of the German Rocket Team that developed the world's first ballistic missile, and later the Saturn rockets that took America to the Moon

1977 10:51:00 GMT
NASA launched the GOES 2 weather satellite into geostationary orbit.

GOES 2 weather satellite, NASA illustration
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

1978 10:49:00 GMT
NASA launched the GOES 3 weather satellite into geostationary orbit.

H.-E. Schuster discovered asteroid #2275.

1983 11:59:03 GMT
An Ariane launched from Kourou carried the Eutelsat 1 commercial communications satellite and the Oscar 10 amateur radio satellite into orbit.

During the 3h 15m Mir EO-2-3 EVA, USSR cosmonauts Romanenko and Laveykin continued a solar array installation and placed exposure sample cassettes on the station exterior.

Died, Thomas G. Cowling, British mathematician, astronomer, first to compute a stellar model (the "Cowling model") with a convective core and a radiative envelope, Bruce Medal 1985

Died, Shen Qizhen, Chinese engineer, Chairman of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, one of three senior scientists who laid out plans for the first Chinese manned spacecraft in April 1966

2000 00:44:00 GMT
Russia's Soyuz TM-30 landed near Arkalyk in Kazakkstan, ending the last human expedition to the Mir space station.

2001 01:49:00 GMT
The European (SES - Societe Europeene des Satellites, Luxembourg) Astra 2C geosynchronous communications satellite was launched from Baikonur on a Proton booster.

2004 22:27:00 GMT
The Intelsat 10-02 communications satellite was launched from Baikonur, the heaviest (5,575 kg) single payload launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit to that date.

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