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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 21

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Born, Jean Chacornac, French astronomer (discovered 6 asteroids)

The first rocket patent in the US was granted to Andrew Lanergan of Boston, Massachusetts.

Born, Maximilian Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf, German astronomer, astrophotography pioneer, discovered over 200 asteroids

Died, Anders Jonas Angstrom, Swedish astronomer, physicist ("angstrom" is a unit of length equal to 0.1 nanometer, one hundred-millionth (10**-8) of a centimeter)

Born, William H. Keesom, physicist (pioneer in cryogenics)

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #601 Nerthus.

Tiny Broadwick became the first person to parachute from an airplane.

Born, Herbert Friedman, American astronomer, pioneer in using sounding rockets to study solar physics, aeronomy and astronomy

Born, Valentin Gavriylovich Yershov (at Moscow, Russian SFSR), Soviet scientist, cosmonaut candidate (Academy of Sciences Group 1 - 1967), ejected from the Soviet Lunar lander program because he refused to join the Communist Party (deceased)

Seaman Harold Dahl claimed to have seen and taken photos of six UFOs near Maury Island, his son was injured and his dog killed by slag from one of the UFOs. The next morning Dahl reported the first modern MIB (Men In Black, conspiracy theory) encounter.

The first stored computer program was run, on the University of Manchester's Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM).

H. L. Giclas discovered asteroid #1886 Lowell.

Died, Charles Dillon Perrine, American astronomer living in Argentina

Died, Johannes Stark, German physicist (Stark effect, Nobel 1919 "for his discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields")

Born, Gennadi Ivanovich Padalka (at Krasnodar, Krasnodar Kray, Russian SFSR), Colonel Russian Air Force, cosmonaut (Mir 26, ISS 9, ISS 19/20, ISS 31/32, ISS 43/44, nearly 878.5 total days in space through 9 September 2015)

Cosmonaut Gennadi Padalka, NASA photo

1962 17:47:00 GMT
NASA and the US Air Force launched X-15A MH-96 Demo, M=5 Test mission # 58 above Edwards Air Force Base, California, in which Major Robert M White flew to 75.194 km with a maximum speed of 5860 kph (Mach 5.08).

Born, Oleg Dmitriyevich Kononenko (at Chardzhou, Chardzhou Oblast, Turkmen SSR), cosmonaut (ISS 17, ISS 30/31, ISS 44/45)

Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA photo

Born, Yang Liwei (at Suizhong County, Liaoning Province, PRC), taikonaut, first Chinese man in space (Shenzhou 5)

1969 08:53:00 GMT
NASA launched Explorer 41 from Vandenburg, California, to gather cislunar radiation data.

Explorer 41 (IMP-G), launched 21 June 1969, was a spin-stabilized spacecraft placed into a high-inclination, highly elliptic orbit to measure energetic particles, magnetic fields, and plasma in cislunar space. The line of apsides and the satellite spin vector were within a few degrees of being parallel and normal, respectively, to the ecliptic plane. The initial local time of apogee was about 1300 h, and the initial satellite spin rate was 27.5 rpm. The basic telemetry sequence was 20.48 seconds. The spacecraft functioned very well from launch until it decayed from orbit on 23 December 1972. Data transmission was nearly 100% for the spacecraft life except for the interval from 15 November 1971, to 1 February 1972, when data acquisition was limited to the vicinity of the magnetotail neutral sheet.

1975 11:43:00 GMT
NASA launched OSO I (Orbiting Solar Observatory-8) to study solar radiation.

The objectives of the OSO satellite series were to perform solar physics experiments above the atmosphere during a complete solar cycle, and to map the entire celestial sphere for direction and intensity of UV light, X-ray radiation, and gamma-ray radiation.

The OSO 8 platform, launched 21 June 1975, consisted of a sail section, which pointed two experiments continually toward the Sun, and a wheel section, which spun about an axis perpendicular to the pointing direction of the sail and carried five experiments. Gas jets and a magnetic torquing coil performed attitude adjustment. Pointing control permitted the pointed experiments to scan the region of the solar disk in a 40- by 40-arc-min to 60- by 60-arc-min raster pattern. In addition, the pointed section was capable of being commanded to select and scan a 1- by 1-arc-min or 5- by 5-arc-min region anywhere on the solar disk. Data were simultaneously recorded on tape and transmitted by PCM/PM telemetry. A command system provided for at least 512 ground-based commands.

1980 20:09:00 GMT
USSR launched the Molniya 1-47 communications satellite from Plesetsk for operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR, and transmission of television programs to stations in the Orbita network.

1985 00:39:41 GMT
USSR launched the Progress 24 resupply vessel from Baikonur to Salyut 7.

Progress 24, launched 21 June 1985, carried a mixed cargo to the Salyut 7 orbital station, with a total mass of 2,000 kg. Docked with Salyut 7 on 23 Jun 1985 02:54:00 GMT. Undocked on 15 Jul 1985 12:28:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 15 Jul 1985 22:33:31 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.51 days. Total docked time 22.40 days.

1989 23:35:00 GMT
USSR launched the Raduga 1-1 communications satellite from Baikonur for maintenance of telephone and telegraph radio communications. It was positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 49 deg E in 1989-1992; 70 deg E in 1992-1996.

1993 09:07:22 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA launched STS 57 (Endeavour 4, 58th Shuttle mission) carrying SPACEHAB-1, and to perform the European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) retrieval.

The STS 57 launch was originally targeted for mid-May, but rescheduled to June to allow both liftoff and landing to occur in daylight. The liftoff set for 3 June slipped when managers decided to replace the high pressure oxidizer turbopump on main engine number two, after concerns arose over a misplaced inspection stamp (penetration verification stamp) on a spring in the pump. The additional time also allowed investigation of an inexplicable loud noise heard after the Shuttle arrived at the launch pad; the "big bang" was eventually attributed to a ball strut tie-rod assembly inside the 17-inch (43-centimeter) liquid hydrogen line. The launch attempt on 20 June was scrubbed at T-5 minutes due to low clouds and rain at the return-to-launch site at Kennedy Space Center, and weather concerns at all three transoceanic abort landing sites. The launch countdown was the longest since the return to flight (after Challenger) to allow servicing of payloads at the pad. STS 57 was finally launched on 21 June 1993.

STS 57 marked the first flight of the commercially developed SPACEHAB, a pressurized laboratory designed to more than double the pressurized workspace for crew-tended experiments. Altogether 22 experiments were flown, covering materials and life sciences, and a space station wastewater recycling experiment.

On 22 June, all six crew members talked with President Clinton.

On 24 June, the crew captured and stowed the approximately 9,424-pound (4,275 kilogram) European Retrievable Carrier (EURECA) deployed by STS 46. However, EURECA ground controllers were unable to stow the spacecraft's two antennas, and on 25 June, Low and Wisoff spent the beginning of a scheduled extravehicular activity (EVA) manually folding the antennas. The remainder of the 5 hour, 50 minute EVA was spent on planned tasks, the second in series of generic EVAs during 1993.

The other cargo bay payloads flown on STS 57 were the Get Away Special (GAS) bridge assembly holding one ballast can and 11 GAS can payloads, including a Complex Autonomous Payload called Consortium for Materials Development in Space-IV (CONCAP-IV) and CAN DO experiment designed by the Charleston, South Carolina school district; and the Super Fluid Helium On Orbit Transfer (SHOOT) experiment to investigate resupply of liquid helium containers in space.

Middeck payloads flown on STS 57 were: the Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE); and the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II). No flight hardware was required for Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) calibration test which was also performed.

STS 57 ended on 1 July 1993 when Endeavour landed on revolution 155 on Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Landing weight: 244,400 pounds. Rollout distance: 9,954 feet (3,034 meters). Rollout time: 65 seconds. Orbit altitude: 252 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: nine days, 23 hours, 44 minutes, 54 seconds. Miles traveled: 4.1 million. Landing attempts on 29 June and 30 June were waved off due to unacceptable cloud cover and rain showers at KSC; Mission 61-C (1986) was last time prior to the flight when there were two wave-offs in one Shuttle mission. After landing, the STS 57 crew in Endeavour talked to the STS 51 crew in Discovery at Pad 39B, the first orbiter-to-orbiter crew conversation since the orbiting 51-D crew talked to the 51-B crew at KSC in 1985.

The flight crew for STS 57 was: Ronald J. Grabe, Commander; Brian Duffy, Pilot; G. David Low, Payload Commander; Nancy J. Sherlock, Mission Specialist 2; Peter J. Wisoff, Mission Specialist 3; Janice E. Voss, Mission Specialist 4.

A total solar eclipse occurred, observable from Madagascar to the Atlantic Ocean. (4 min 56 sec),_2001

Died, Magnus Freiherr von Braun, German rocket engineer, brother of Werner von Braun, member of the German Rocket Team in the United States after World War II

2004 14:50:00 GMT
The Mojave Aerospace Ventures (Burt Rutan, Paul Allen) SpaceShipOne vehicle, piloted by Mike Melvill, was launched and flew to 100 km in a sub-orbital mission, and Melville became the first privately funded astronaut launched to space.

Mojave Aerospace Ventures White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 60L/15P took place on 21 June 2004. Bankrolled by Microsoft founder Paul Allen, designed by Burt Rutan, it was the first privately manned spaceflight in human history. A control system failure during ascent caused SpaceShipOne to experience 90 degree rolls to the left and right. This led to the spacecraft not reaching the planned altitude, and re-entering 35 km away from the intended point. Nevertheless, pilot Mike Melvill took the craft just over 100 km, thereby becoming the first private citizen, the third person born in Africa, the second person born in South Africa, and the oldest pilot in command to reach outer space. The flight was made in pursuit of the Ansari X Prize, which the team subsequently captured on 4 October 2004.

2005 19:46:09 GMT
The Planetary Society Cosmos-1 solar sail mission was launched from a Russian submarinne, but the rocket failed after 83 seconds of flight, and the spacecraft did not achieve orbit.

The Planetary Society solar sail mission Cosmos-1 was lost during its launch on 21 June 2005. The Volna submarine-launched ballistic missile was fired from the K-496 "Borisoglebsk" in the Barents Sea. The first stage engine of the Volna was reported to have failed 83 seconds into the flight, and the first stage did not separate from the second stage. The rocket's flight ended 160 seconds after launch; it probably reached an altitude of about 200 km before falling back to Earth.

The Planetary Society initially reported that telemetry from the satellite was recorded but contact was lost during the apogee burn at 2007 UTC, which would have suggested a failure of the final stage apogee burn, when the vehicle would have been in a -2000 x 765 km x 80 deg orbit, with reentry around 2019 UTC over the equatorial Pacific. However, later claims of telemetry on the second orbit cast doubt on the apogee burn information as well: The balance of the evidence was that the spacecraft had been destroyed by 1950 UTC, and all later reports of transmissions were incorrect.

After reaching orbit, the 103 kg payload would have deployed 8 blades of aluminized Mylar with a span of 30 meters. The planned 850 km orbit was high enough so that solar radiation pressure would have been greater than the atmospheric drag on the satellite: The solar radiation pressure, in the vicinity of the Earth, is approximately 4.6 microPascals (as opposed to the solar wind pressure, which is typically only a few nanoPascals). At an altitude of 850 km, typical atmospheric drag is about 0.1 microPascal (compared to 30 micropascals at ISS altitudes of around 400 km). The differential resulted in an expected force of 3 milliNewtons, which would have made Cosmos 1 the first spacecraft to use solar radiation pressure for propulsion.

Cosmos-1, sponsored by the Planetary Society, was an ambitious and exciting project funded by enthusiasts and private investors, and its failure left a tremendous feeling of loss with many people.

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