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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 14

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Died, Augustin-Jean Fresnel, optics pioneer, physicist

A. Charlois discovered asteroid #370 Modestia.

Robert Goddard received US Patent 1,103,503, mainly concerned with his concept of cartridge rockets, with a brief section fully outlining the concept of liquid rocket propulsion.

Born, Jay Wright Forrester, invented random-access magnetic core memory

C. Jackson discovered asteroids #1325 Inanda and #1326 Losaka.

Born, Robert Franklin "Bob" Overmyer (at Lorain, Ohio, USA), Colonel USMC, NASA astronaut (STS 5, STS 51-B) (deceased)

Astronaut Bob Overmyer, NASA photo

Born, Tatyana Dmitryevna Kuznetsova (at Gorki, Gorki Oblast, Russian SFSR), cosmonaut candidate (Female Group - 1962), the youngest person ever selected by a government human spaceflight program, married cosmonaut candidate Lado V. Pitskhelauri

C. A. Wirtanen discovered asteroid #1747 Wright.

Died, Harry Brearley, inventor of stainless steel

Died, Richard von Mises, mathematician (fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, aeronautics, statistics, probability theory)

Douglas Aircraft Company submitted a proposal to NASA for having a six man space research station orbiting within five years.

A study submitted to NASA on 14 July 1964 by Douglas Aircraft Company concluded that a space research station, capable of being in orbit for one year with a crew of six, could be orbiting the Earth within five years. The crew, serving on a staggered schedule, would travel to and from the station on modified Gemini or Apollo spacecraft. The station would provide a small degree of artificial gravity through slow rotation, and would include a centrifuge to simulate reentry forces.

USSR's Zond 1 passed Venus at a distance of approximately 100,000 km.

Zond 1 was launched 2 April 1964 from an Earth orbiting platform towards Venus. Communications from the spacecraft failed soon after 14 May 1964. It flew by Venus on 14 July 1964, at a distance of 100,000 km and entered a heliocentric orbit. The announced mission objectives were space research and testing of onboard systems and units.

1967 11:53:00 GMT
NASA launched the unsuccessful Surveyor 4 Lunar landing mission.

Surveyor 4, launched 14 July 1967, was the fourth in a series designed to achieve a soft landing on the Moon and to return photography of the Lunar surface for determining characteristics of the Lunar terrain for the Apollo Lunar landing missions. Equipment on board included a television camera and auxiliary mirrors, a soil mechanics surface sampler, strain gauges on the spacecraft landing legs, and numerous engineering sensors. After a flawless flight to the Moon, radio signals from the spacecraft ceased during the terminal descent phase, approximately 2.5 minutes before touchdown. Contact with the spacecraft was never reestablished, the probe was presumed destroyed by an explosion, and the mission was unsuccessful.

L. Zhuravleva discovered asteroids #1959 Karbyshev and #2423 Ibarruri.

1974 05:17:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched the NTS 1 technology satellite from Vandenburg, California, which demonstrated navigation technologies that lead eventually to the Navstar/GPS system, and operated for five years.

N. Chernykh discovered asteroids #2286 Fesenkov, #2492 Kutuzov, #2509 Chukotka, #2607 Yakutia and #3213.

1977 10:39:00 GMT
Japan's Himawari 1 weather satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 140 deg E 1977-1981; at 160 deg E 1981-1984; at 140 deg E in 1984; and at 160 deg E in 1984-1989.

1978 10:43:00 GMT
The ESA-Geos 2 magnetospheric research satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 36 deg E in 1978-1979; at 6-36 deg E in 1979-1981; at 24 deg E in 1981; at 33-37 deg E in 1981-19

1978 15:07:00 GMT
USSR launched the Molniya 1-41 communications satellite from Plesetsk for operation of the long range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR, and transmission of television programs to stations in the Orbita network.

1980 22:35:00 GMT
USSR launched the Ekran 5 communications satellite from Baikonur for transmission of USSR central television programs to a network of receivers for collective use, which was positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 99 deg E in 1980.

1983 10:21:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched Navstar 8 from Vandenburg, California, a GPS Block 1 satellite component of the Global Positioning System.

1992 22:02:00 GMT
Russia launched the Gorizont 26 communications satellite from Baikonur for the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation, which was positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 11 deg W in 1992-1999.

1994 05:13:30 GMT
Russia launched the Nadezhda 4 civilian maritime navigation satellite from Plesetsk, which carried the COSPAS/SARSAT search and rescue package, and was positioned in plane 14 of the constellation, transmitting signals at 150.00 MHz and 400.00 MHz.

During the 5h 34m EVA Mir EO-19-1, Mir cosmonauts Anatoli Soloviyov and Nikolai Budarin repaired a solar array and inspected the exterior of the station.

2000 05:21:00 GMT
The Echostar 6 commercial communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 149 deg W.

An "Aerobie" flying ring again became the object a human has thrown the farthest distance in the Earth's atmosphere at ground level without any velocity aiding feature, traveling 406.3 m (1,333 feet), breaking the 1996 record.

2015 11:48:45 GMT
NASA's New Horizons probe made its closest approach to Pluto, passing within 12500 km at a relative velocity of 11 km/s, obtaining images with resolution as high as about 25 m/pixel.

New Horizons is a NASA unmanned spacecraft originally scheduled for launch 11 January 2006, designed to fly by Pluto and its moon Charon and transmit images and data back to Earth. The launch was delayed until 17 January 2006 to allow borescope inspections of the Atlas rocket's kerosene tank, and high winds at the launch site and a power outage at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland (which operates the spacecraft while the mission is underway) interrupted the second attempt. The spacecraft was finally launched successfully 19 January 2006 at 2:00 PM EST directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory. It had an Earth-relative velocity of about 16.26 km/sec (58,536 km/hr, 10.10 mi/sec, 36,373 mi/hr) after its last engine shut down, leaving Earth at the fastest speed ever recorded for a human-made object. It flew by Jupiter on 28 February 2007 at 5:43:40 UTC and crossed Saturn's orbit on 8 June 2008 at 10:00 UTC. After visiting Pluto on 14 July 2015, it is continuing into the Kuiper Belt where it may possibly fly by a Kuiper Belt object and return further data.

The mission's primary objectives are to characterize the global geology and morphology of Pluto and Charon, map the surface composition of Pluto and Charon, and characterize the neutral atmosphere of Pluto and its escape rate. Other objectives include studying time variability of Pluto's surface and atmosphere, imaging and mapping areas of Pluto and Charon in stereo, mapping the terminators and composition of selected areas of Pluto and Charon at high-resolution, characterizing Pluto's upper atmosphere, ionosphere, energetic particle environment, and solar wind interaction, searching for an atmosphere around Charon and characterizing its energetic particle environment, refining bulk parameters, orbits, and bolometric Bond albedos of Pluto and Charon, searching for additional satellites and rings, and possibly characterizing one or more Kuiper Belt objects.

Flyby of Pluto took place on 14 July 2015 with closest approach at 11:48:45 UT (7:48:45 EDT). The encounter period began 6 months prior to closest approach. Long range imaging included 40 km mapping of Pluto and Charon 3.2 days out, half the rotation period of Pluto-Charon, imaging the side of both bodies which were facing away from the spacecraft at closest approach. New Horizons flew within 12500 km of Pluto at a relative velocity of 11 km/s at closest approach and came as close as 27,000 km to Charon. During the flyby the instruments were able to obtain images with resolution as high as about 25 m/pixel, 4-color global dayside maps at 0.7 km/pixel, hyper-spectral near infrared maps at 7 km/pixel globally and 0.6 km/pixel for selected areas, characterization of the atmosphere, and radio science results. Because of the limited power available, the instruments were duty cycled during encounter. The flyby took place at a distance of 33 AU from Earth with a round-trip light time of 9 hours. Encounter data was transmitted to Earth at 600 bps over a 9-month period. After passing by Pluto, New Horizons is headed out to the Kuiper Belt. A 16-minute hydrazine thruster maneuver on 22 October 2015 put the spacecraft on course towards Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69. Three more maneuvers were scheduled for 25 and 28 October, and 4 November 2015 to put it on course for an encounter with MU69 on 1 January 2019. Similar measurements to those at Pluto would be made.

The spacecraft has a thick triangle (0.68 x 2.11 x 2.74 m) shape with a cylindrical radiothermal generator (RTG) protruding from one vertex in the plane of the triangle and a 2.1 m high-gain radio dish antenna affixed to one flank side. An aluminum central cylinder supports surrounding honeycomb panels. The central cylinder acts as the payload adapter fitting and houses the propellant tank. The 465 kg launch mass included 80 kg of propellant. The entire structure is covered in thermal multi-layer insulating blankets; thermal control is further achieved by electrical dissipation and RTG waste heat, thermal louvers, and external shunt plates. Communication from Pluto was via X-band at a rate of 600 bps through the high gain antenna to a 70-m DSN dish. There were also two low gain antennas for communications within 5 AU and a medium gain antenna with uplink capability to 50 AU. The RTG provided approximately 228 W at encounter in 2015. Hydrazine monopropellant is used for propulsion via four 4.4 N thrusters and twelve 0.8 N thrusters, a delta-V capability of 290 m/s was available after launch. The hydrazine is stored in a titanium tank separated from the gaseous nitrogen pressurant by a girth-mounted diaphragm. The spacecraft has both 3-axis stabilized and spin-stabilized modes. Star cameras are mounted on the side of the spacecraft for navigation.

The 31 kg science payload package required 21 W of power and consisted of seven scientific instruments. The Long Range Reconnaisance Imager (LORRI) was a visible light, high-resolution CCD Imager. The Ralph instrument was composed of two parts, a visible CCD imager (MVIC) and a near-infrared imaging spectrometer (LEISA). The Alice instrument was an ultraviolet imaging spectrometer. The plasma and high energy particle spectrometer suite (PAM) consisted of SWAP, a toroidal electrostatic analyzer and retarding potential analyzer, and PEPSSI, a time-of-flight ion and electron sensor. The Radio Science Experiment (REX) used an ultrastable oscillator to conduct radio science investigations. A student-built dust counter (SDC) made dust measurements in the outer solar system.

Total mission cost is planned to be under $550 million.

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