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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 July 10

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Born, Alvan Graham Clark (at Fall River, Massachusetts, USA), astronomer, telescope maker (discovered Sirius B, the magnitude 8 companion of Sirius, while testing a new 18 inch refracting telescope in 1862)

Died, Louis-Jacques Daguerre, inventor, photographer

Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre (18 November 1787 - 10 July 1851) was the French artist and chemist who is recognized for his invention of the Daguerreotype process of photography.

He announced its perfection in 1839 after years of experimentation, with the French Academy of Sciences announcing the process on January 9 of that year. Daguerre's patent was acquired by the French Government, and on 19 August 1839 the French Government announced the invention was a gift "Free to the World."

Born, Nikola Tesla (at Smiljan, Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia)), inventor, electrical engineer

Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 - 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American physicist, inventor, and electrical engineer of unusual intellectual brilliance and practical achievement. Tesla is most famous for conceiving the rotating magnetic field principle (1882) and then using it to invent the induction motor together with the accompanying alternating current long-distance electrical transmission system (1888). His theoretical work and patents still form the basis for modern alternating current electric power systems. He also developed numerous other electrical and mechanical devices including the fundamental principles and machinery of wireless technology, including the high frequency alternator, the "AND" logic gate and the Tesla coil, as well as other devices such as the bladeless turbine, the spark plug and many other inventions.

Rumors and speculations abound about the extent of Tesla's inventions, in part because his laboratory burned and most of his notes were destroyed. One notable story is of a Pierce Arrow apparently powered by a small box of parts assembled from a radio store in the early 1930s. While some reports speculate the "black box" that powered the car operated from cosmic energy, it is possible the device could have existed, powered from electrical power transmission systems Tesla was then working on.

L. Schulhof discovered asteroid #147 Protogeneia.

Born, Theodore Buchhold, professor, German expert in guided missiles during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war

H. Kamerlingh Onnes liquified helium (-269 degrees C) for the first time.

Died, Johann G. Galle, German astronomer (first sighted Neptune by telescope within 1 degree of Le Verrier's predicted position, 23 September 1846)

Walter Brookins became the first pilot to reach an altitude of one mile in an airplane, reaching an altitude of 1,882 m (6,175 ft) in his Wright biplane at Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Born, Owen Chamberlain, UC Berkeley particle physicist (Nobel 1959 with Segre "for their discovery of the antiproton")

H. E. Wood discovered asteroid #3300.

Born, Pyotr Ilyich Klimuk (at Komarovka, Brest Oblast, Belorussian SSR), Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 13, Soyuz 18, Soyuz 30)

E. L. Johnson discovered asteroid #1609 Brenda.

The first Apollo spacecraft mockup inspection was held at NASA's Space and Information Systems Division. Attending were Robert R. Gilruth, Director MSC (Manned Spaceflight Center), Charles W. Frick, Apollo Program Manager MSC, and astronaut Gus Grissom.

1962 08:35:00 GMT
Telstar 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first commercial satellite, and the first privately sponsored orbital space launch.

NASA launched the Telstar 1 satellite for AT&T on 10 July 1962, the first active communications satellite, the first satellite designed to transmit telephone and high-speed data communications, and the first privately owned satellite. Unlike all of the preceding communications satellites, Telstar's orbit was such that it could "see" Europe and the US simultaneously during one part of its orbit. During another part of its orbit it could see both Japan and the US. As a result, it provided real-time communications between the United States and those two areas - for a few minutes out of every hour.

Telstar 1 relayed its first television pictures (of a flag outside its ground station in Andover, Maine) on the day it was launched. Almost two weeks later, on 23 July, it relayed the first live transatlantic television signal, carried the first telephone call transmitted through space, and successfully transmitted faxes, data, and both live and taped television. John F. Kennedy, then President of the United States, gave a live transatlantic press conference via Telstar 1.

Telstar 1, which ushered in a new age of the benevolent use of technology, actually became a victim of the belligerent uses of technology during the Cold War: The day before Telstar was launched, the United States exploded a high altitude nuclear device (Starfish Prime) which super-energized the Earth's Van Allen Belt where Telstar took orbit. This vast increase in radiation, combined with further increases during subsequent high altitude blasts, overwhelmed Telstar's fragile transistors, and it went out of service on 21 February 1963.

Telstar 1, while primarily a communications satellite, also carried an experiment designed to measure the energetic proton and electron distribution in the Van Allen belts. Scientific information was transmitted by the spacecraft beacon, one of two onboard transmitters, via a PCM/FM/AM encoder. The telemetry sequence required about 1 minute to complete. The spacecraft operated normally from launch until November 1962, when the command channel began to behave erratically. The satellite was turned on continuously to circumvent this problem. On 23 November 1962, the command channel ceased to respond. On 20 December, the satellite was successfully reactivated, and intermittent data were obtained until 21 February 1963, when the transmitter failed.

Telstar 1, NASA photo (from, "Courtesy of Bell Labs")

The batteries in NASA's Explorer 17 probe ran down, terminating the useful life of the spacecraft.

Explorer 17, launched 3 April 1963, was a spin-stabilized sphere 3 feet (0.95 m) in diameter. The spacecraft was vacuum sealed in order to prevent contamination of the local atmosphere. Explorer 17 carried four pressure gauges for the measurement of total neutral particle density, two mass spectrometers for the measurement of certain neutral particle concentrations, and two electrostatic probes for ion concentration and electron temperature measurements. Battery power failed on 10 July 1963. Three of the four pressure gauges and both electrostatic probes operated normally. One spectrometer malfunctioned, and the other operated intermittently.

1964 21:51:00 GMT
USSR launched Elektron 3 and Elektron 4 for simultaneous study of the inner (E3) and outer (E4) Van Allen radiation belts of the Earth, cosmic rays and the upper atmosphere.

E. F. Helinand and E. Shoemaker discovered asteroid #3484.

1981 05:16:00 GMT
USSR launched the Meteor 1-31 weather and Iskra scientific satellites from Baikonur. Meteor 1-31 also performed Earth resources tasks and carried scientific instruments developed in Bulgaria; Iskra studied diffusion and heat processes in weightlessness.

1982 09:57:44 GMT
USSR launched the unmanned supply vessel Progress 14 from Baikonur to the Salyut 7 space station.

Progress 14, launched 10 Jul 1982 09:57 GMT, docked with Salyut 7 on 12 Jul 1982 11:41 GMT, undocked on 10 Aug 1982 22:11 GMT, and was destroyed in reentry on 13 Aug 1982 01:29 GMT. Total free-flight time 4.21 days. Total docked time 29.44 days.

E. Bowell discovered asteroids #3222 Lillerand and #3751.

1985 03:15:00 GMT
USSR launched the Bion 7 (Cosmos 1667) biological research satellite from Plesetsk with two monkeys aboard.

Bion 7 (Cosmos 1667), launched 10 July 1985, was a biological research satellite which carried two monkeys named Verniy and Gordiy to orbit for continued investigations of the influence of space flight factors on living organisms and radiation physics research. Cosmos 1667 was the second USSR biosatellite mission with a primate payload, and also featured a large rodent payload. The US conducted a single cardiovascular experiment on one of the two flight monkeys. Countries participating in the mission included the USSR, US, France, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. Cosmos 1667 returned to Earth on 17 July 1985.

1986 08:00:00 GMT
USSR launched the Cosmos 1762 landsat from Plesetsk for investigation of the natural resources of the Earth in the interests of various branches of the national economy of the USSR, and international cooperation.

ESA's Giotto Comet flew by Comet P/Grigg-Skjellerup at a distance of 200 km and a relative velocity of 13.99 km/s during its extended mission.

ESA's Giotto, launched 2 July 1985, was designed to study Comet P/Halley. The major objectives of the mission were to: (1) obtain color photographs of the nucleus; (2) determine the elemental and isotopic composition of volatile components in the cometary coma, particularly parent molecules; (3) characterize the physical and chemical processes that occur in the cometary atmosphere and ionosphere; (4) determine the elemental and isotopic composition of dust particles; (5) measure the total gas-production rate and dust flux and size/mass distribution and derive the dust-to-gas ratio; and, (6) investigate the macroscopic systems of plasma flows resulting from the cometary-solar wind interaction. The spacecraft encountered the comet on 13 March 1986, at a distance of 0.89 AU from the sun and 0.98 AU from the Earth and an angle of 107 degrees from the comet-sun line. During the encounter with Halley's comet, the spin axis was aligned with the relative velocity vector. The 1.5 m X-band dish antenna was inclined and despun in order to point at the Earth (44 degrees with respect to the velocity vector). The goal was to come within 500 km of Halley's comet at closest encounter; the actual closest approach was measured at 596 km.

The scientific payload was comprised of ten hardware experiments: a narrow-angle camera, three mass spectrometers for neutrals, ions and dust, various dust detectors, a photopolarimeter and a set of plasma experiments. All experiments performed well and returned a wealth of new scientific results. Fourteen seconds before closest approach, Giotto was hit by a `large' dust particle. The impact caused an angular momentum vector shift of 0.9 degrees in the spacecraft, which performed a nutation around the new axis with a period of 16 seconds and an amplitude of 0.9 degrees; thus, the maximum deviation from the desired attitude was 1.8 degrees. Scientific data were received intermittently for the next 32 minutes. Some experiment sensors suffered damage during this 32 minute interval. Other experiments (the camera baffle and deflecting mirror, the dust detector sensors on the front sheet of the bumper shield, and most experiment apertures) were exposed to dust particles regardless of the accident and also suffered damage. Many of the sensors survived the encounter with little or no damage. Questionable or partially damaged sensors included the camera (later proved to not be functional) and one of the plasma analyzers (RPA). Inoperable experiments included the neutral and ion mass spectrometers and one sensor each on the dust detector and the other plasma analyzer (JPA).

During the Giotto extended mission, the spacecraft flew by the Earth on 2 July 1990 at a distance of 16,300 km at 10:01:18 UTC. This was the first encounter of Earth by a spacecraft coming from deep space, during which observations were made of the Earth's magnetic field and energetic particles. Giotto obtained a gravitational assist from the flyby, and successfully encountered Comet P/Grigg-Skjellerup on 10 July 1992. Its closest approach was 200 km at a relative velocity of 13.99 km/s. The heliocentric distance of the spacecraft was 1.01 AU, and the geocentric distance, 1.43 AU at the time of the encounter. The payload was switched on in the evening of 9 July. Eight experiments were operated and provided data. The Johnstone Plasma Analyser detected the first presence of cometary ions 600,000 km from the nucleus at 12 hours before the closest approach. The Dust Impact Detectors reported the first impact of a fairly large particle at 15:30:56. Bow shocks/waves and acceleration regions were also detected.

On 23 July 1992 Giotto operations were officially terminated after completion of final orbit adjustments and configuration of the spacecraft for its third hibernation. Only 1 to 7 kg of fuel is left on board, insufficient for any extensive future maneuvers. Giotto flew by the Earth on 1 July 1999 at a closest approach of about 219,000 km at approximately 02:40 UT (10:40 p.m. EDT, 30 June).

Died, Vyecheslav Mikhailovich Kovtunenko, Russian Chief Designer and General Designer of NPO Lavochkin 1977-1995, who started his career at the Yangel design bureau, where he was responsible for satellite design

Died, Albert E. Schuler, rocket engineer, German expert in guided missiles during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war

1998 05:45:00 GMT
Russia launched a Zenit from Baikonur carrying an international payload of 6 satellites to orbit: Russia Resurs-O1 (with the Belgian LLMS-Little LEO Messaging System), Chile Fasat-Bravo, Thailand TMSAT, Israel Gurwin, Australia WESTPAC, Germany SAFIR-2.

1999 08:46:00 GMT
A Delta 7420-10C launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carried four Globalstar satellites (Globalstar M030, M032, M035, M051) to orbit.

EADS, the world's second largest aerospace group at the time, was formed by the merger of Aerospatiale-Matra, DASA, and CASA. EADS became Airbus Group NV in January 2014.

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