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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 22

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Born, Friedrich W. Bessel, German astronomer (measured distance to 61 Cygni), mathematician (systematized Bessel functions discovered by Daniel Bernoulli)

Died, Giuseppe Piazzi, Italian monk, mathematician, astronomer (discovered Ceres in 1801, the first known and largest asteroid)

J. R. Hind discovered asteroid #30 Urania.

W. Lorenz discovered asteroid #665 Sabine.

M. Wolf discovered asteroids #879 Ricarda, #880 Herba and #881 Athene.

G. Neujmin discovered asteroid #1306 Scythia; H. van Gent discovered asteroids #1666 van Gent, #1752 van Herk and #1945 Wesselink.

Wiley Post landed at Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field after flying solo around the world, the first person to have done so, in 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes - 21 hours less than his previous (non-solo) record.

C. Jackson discovered asteroids #1359 Prieska and #1360 Tarka.

Born, Tohiro Akiyama (at Setagaya Ward, Japan), Japanese journalist, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-11/Mir/Soyuz TM-10), first Japanese national to fly in space

"Plan 9 From Outer Space" premiered, called by some "one of the worse films ever produced."

A successful pad abort flight of a Mercury boilerplate spacecraft was made with a production version of the escape tower and rocket motor, manufactured by Grand Central Rocket, the first operational test of this component.

The B. F. Goodrich Company was selected to develop the Mercury astronaut pressure suit. Company technology in the field dates back to 1934, when it developed the first rubber stratosphere flying suit for Wiley Post's attempts at setting altitude records.

1962 09:21:23 GMT
NASA launched Mariner 1 for Venus, but the vehicle had to be destroyed 5 minutes after launch when it veered off course.

Mariner 1, launched 22 July 1962, was intended to perform a Venus flyby. The vehicle was destroyed by the Range Safety Officer 293 seconds after launch at 09:26:16 UT when it veered off course. The booster had performed satisfactorily until an unscheduled yaw-lift (northeast) maneuver was detected. Faulty application of guidance commands made steering impossible and were directing the spacecraft towards a crash, possibly in the North Atlantic shipping lanes or in an inhabited area. The destruct command was sent 6 seconds before separation, after which the launch vehicle could not have been destroyed. The radio transponder continued to transmit signals for 64 seconds after the destruct command had been sent.

The failure was apparently caused by a combination of two factors: Improper operation of the Atlas airborne beacon equipment resulted in a loss of the rate signal from the vehicle for a prolonged period, inoperative for four periods ranging from 1.5 to 61 seconds in duration. In addition, the Mariner 1 Post Flight Review Board determined that the omission of a hyphen in coded computer instructions in the data-editing program allowed transmission of incorrect guidance signals to the spacecraft. During the periods the airborne beacon was inoperative, the omitted hyphen caused the computer to incorrectly accept the sweep frequency of the ground receiver as it sought the vehicle beacon signal and combined this data with the tracking data sent to the remaining guidance computation. This caused the computer to swing automatically into a series of unnecessary course corrections with erroneous steering commands which finally threw the spacecraft off course.

The Mariner 1 spacecraft was identical to Mariner 2, which was launched 27 August 1962. It consisted of a hexagonal base, 1.04 meters across and 0.36 meters thick, containing six magnesium chassis housing the electronics for the science experiments, communications, data encoding, computing, timing, and attitude control, and the power control, battery, and battery charger, as well as the attitude control gas bottles and the rocket engine. On top of the base was a tall pyramid-shaped mast on which the science experiments were mounted, which brought the total height of the spacecraft to 3.66 meters. Attached to either side of the base were rectangular solar panel wings with a total span of 5.05 meters and width of 0.76 meters. Attached by an arm to one side of the base and extending below the spacecraft was a large directional dish antenna.

The Mariner 1 power system consisted of the two solar cell wings, one 183 cm by 76 cm and the other 152 cm by 76 cm (with a 31 cm dacron extension, a solar sail, to balance the solar pressure on the panels) which powered the craft directly or recharged a 1000 Watt-hour sealed silver-zinc cell battery, used before the panels were deployed, when the panels were not illuminated by the Sun, and when loads were heavy. A power-switching and booster regulator device controlled the power flow. Communications consisted of a 3 Watt transmitter capable of continuous telemetry operation, the large high gain directional dish antenna, a cylindrical omnidirectional antenna at the top of the instrument mast, and two command antennas, one on the end of either solar panel, which received instructions for midcourse maneuvers and other functions.

Propulsion for midcourse maneuvers was supplied by an anhydrous hydrazine monopropellant 225 N retro-rocket. The hydrazine was ignited using nitrogen tetroxide and aluminum oxide pellets, and thrust direction was controlled by four jet vanes situated below the thrust chamber. Attitude control with a 1 degree pointing error was maintained by a system of nitrogen gas jets. The Sun and Earth were used as references for attitude stabilization. Overall timing and control was performed by a digital Central Computer and Sequencer. Thermal control was achieved through the use of passive reflecting and absorbing surfaces, thermal shields, and movable louvers.

The scientific experiments were mounted on the instrument mast and base. A magnetometer was attached to the top of the mast below the omnidirectional antenna. Particle detectors were mounted halfway up the mast, along with the cosmic ray detector. A cosmic dust detector and solar plasma spectrometer detector were attached to the top edges of the spacecraft base. A microwave radiometer and an infrared radiometer and the radiometer reference horns were rigidly mounted to a 48 cm diameter parabolic radiometer antenna mounted near the bottom of the mast.

1969 04:54:42 GMT
NASA's Apollo 11 astronauts executed a transearth injection maneuver to start their return trip from the Moon to the Earth.

Apollo 11 (AS-506) was the first mission in which humans walked on the Lunar surface and returned to Earth: On 20 July 1969, two astronauts (Apollo 11 Commander Neil A. Armstrong and "Eagle" Lunar Module (LM) pilot Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr.) landed in Mare Tranquilitatis (the Sea of Tranquility) on the Moon in the LM while the "Columbia" Command and Service Module (CSM), with CM pilot Michael Collins, continued in Lunar orbit. During their stay on the Moon, the astronauts set up scientific experiments, took photographs, and collected Lunar samples. The LM took off from the Moon on 21 July and the astronauts returned to Earth on 24 July.

Apollo 11, the fifth manned Apollo mission, was launched into Earth orbit on 16 July 1969 from pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on a Saturn V. After 1.5 Earth orbits, the S-IVB stage was re-ignited at 16:16:16 UT for the 5 minute 48 second translunar injection burn, putting the spacecraft on course for the Moon. The CSM separated from the S-IVB stage containing the LM 33 minutes later, turned around and docked with the LM at 16:56:03 UT. About an hour and 15 minutes later, the S-IVB stage was injected into heliocentric orbit. On 17 July, a three second mid-course correction burn of the main engine was performed. During the translunar coast, at 4:40 pm EDT on 18 July, the crew began a 96 minute color television transmission of the CSM and LM interiors, CSM exterior, the Earth, probe and drogue removal, spacecraft tunnel hatch opening, food preparation, and LM housekeeping. Lunar orbit insertion was achieved on 19 July at 17:21:50 UT by a retrograde firing of the main engine for 357.5 seconds while the spacecraft was behind the Moon and out of contact with Earth, and a 17 second burn later circularized the orbit. During the second Lunar orbit, a live color telecast of the Lunar surface was made. At 13:50 UT on 20 July, Armstrong and Aldrin entered the LM for the final systems checkout. At 18:11:53, the LM and CSM separated, and after a visual inspection by Collins, the LM descent engine was fired for 30 seconds at 19:08 UT, putting the craft into a descent orbit with a closest approach 14.5 km above the Moon's surface. At 20:05, the LM descent engine was fired for 756.3 seconds, and the final descent to the Lunar surface began.

The first Apollo landing site, in the southern Sea of Tranquility about 20 km (12 mi) southwest of the crater Sabine D, was selected in part because it had been characterized as relatively flat and smooth by the automated Ranger 8 and Surveyor 5 landers, as well as by Lunar Orbiter mapping spacecraft, and therefore unlikely to present major landing or extra-vehicular activity (EVA) challenges.

Armstrong and Aldrin found they were "running long" - Eagle was 4 seconds further along its descent trajectory than planned, and would land miles west of the intended site. The LM navigation and guidance computer reported several "program alarms" as it guided the LM's descent which tore the crew's attention from the scene outside as the descent proceeded. A young controller named Steve Bales at NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, was able to tell the flight director it was safe to continue the descent in spite of the alarms (for which he later received the Medal of Freedom). Once they were able to return their attention to the view outside, the astronauts saw that their computer was guiding them toward a landing site full of large rocks scattered around a large crater. Armstrong took manual control of the Lunar module, and guided it to a landing with less than 30 seconds worth of fuel left. The program alarms were "executive overflows" indicating the computer could not finish its work in the time allotted. The cause was later determined to be the LM rendezvous radar was left on during the descent, causing the computer to spend unplanned time servicing the unused radar.

The LM landed at 20:17:40 UT (4:17:40 pm EDT) in Mare Tranquilitatis (the Sea of Tranquility), with Armstrong reporting, "Houston, Tranquility Base here - the Eagle has landed." Armstrong stepped onto the Lunar surface at 02:56:15 UT on 21 July (10:56:15 pm July 20 EDT) stating, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Aldrin followed him onto the Lunar surface 19 minutes later. The astronauts unveiled a plaque mounted on a strut of the LM and read to a worldwide TV audience, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the Moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." After raising the American flag and talking to President Nixon by radiotelephone, the astronauts deployed the Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package (EASEP) and other instruments, took photographs, and collected 21.7 kg of Lunar rock and soil, traversing a total distance of about 250 meters. Despite some technical and weather difficulties, ghostly black and white images of the entire first Lunar EVA were received, primarily through the radio telescope station at the Parkes Observatory in Australia, and were immediately broadcast live to at least 600 million people on Earth. The EVA ended at 5:11:13 UT when Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the LM and closed the hatch.

The LM lifted off from the Moon at 17:54:01 UT on 21 July after 21 hours, 36 minutes on the Lunar surface. After docking with the CSM at 21:34:00 UT, the crew, with the Lunar samples and film, transferred to the CSM. The LM was jettisoned into Lunar orbit at 00:01:01 UT on 22 July. The crew then rested and prepared for the return trip to Earth. Transearth injection began at 04:54:42 UT on 22 July with a 2.5 minute firing of the CSM main engine. Following a midcourse correction at 21:01 UT, an 18 minute color television transmission was made, in which the astronauts demonstrated the weightlessness of food and water, and showed shots of the Earth and Moon. The CM separated from the SM at 16:21:13 UT on 24 July as the spacecraft neared Earth on its return. Apollo 11 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 24 July 1969 at 16:50:35 UT (12:50:35 pm EDT) after a mission elapsed time of 195 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds. Splashdown took place at 13 deg 19 min N, 169 deg 9 min W, 400 miles SSW of Wake Island and 24 km (15 mi) from the recovery ship USS Hornet. Following decontamination procedures at the splashdown point, the astronauts were carried by helicopter to the Hornet where they entered a mobile quarantine facility to begin a period of observation under strict quarantine conditions. The CM was also recovered and removed to the quarantine facility. Sample containers and film were flown to Houston.

All primary mission objectives and all detailed test objectives of Apollo 11 were met, and all crew members remained in good health. The performance of the spacecraft was excellent throughout the mission. The primary mission goal of landing astronauts on the Moon and returning them to Earth was achieved. Armstrong was a civilian on his second spaceflight (he'd previously flown on Gemini 8), Aldrin was a USAF Colonel on his second spaceflight (Gemini 12), Collins was a USAF Lt. Colonel also on his second flight (Gemini 10). The backup crew for the mission was Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and William Anders. The Apollo 11 Command Module is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

The Apollo program included a large number of uncrewed test missions and 12 crewed missions: three Earth orbiting missions (Apollo 7, 9 and Apollo-Soyuz), two Lunar orbiting missions (Apollo 8 and 10), a Lunar swingby (Apollo 13), and six Moon landing missions (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). Two astronauts from each of the six landing missions walked on the Moon (Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, Charles Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke, Gene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt), the only humans to date (2015) to have set foot on another planetary body beyond Earth.

1969 12:58:00 GMT
USSR launched Molniya 1-12 from Baikonur for operation of the long range telephone telegraph communication system in the USSR, and for transmission of USSR Central Television programs to the stations of the Orbita network.

1972 09:32:00 GMT
USSR's Venera 8 transmitted data back to Earth as it entered the Venusian atmosphere and landed on Venus.

Venera 8 was a Venus atmospheric probe and lander launched from Earth on 27 March 1972. Its instrumentation included temperature, pressure, and light sensors as well as an altimeter, gamma-ray spectrometer, gas analyzer, and radio transmitters. The spacecraft took 117 days to reach Venus with one mid-course correction on 6 April 1972, separating from the bus (which contained a cosmic ray detector, solar wind detector, and ultraviolet spectrometer) and entering the atmosphere on 22 July 1972 at 08:37 UT. Descent speed was reduced from 41,696 km/hr to about 900 km/hr by aerobraking. The 2.5 meter diameter parachute opened at an altitude of 60 km, and a refrigeration system was used to cool the interior components. Venera 8 transmitted data during the descent. A sharp decrease in illumination was noted at 35 to 30 km altitude and wind speeds of less than 1 km/s were measured below 10 km. Venera 8 landed at 09:32 UT at 10 degrees south, 335 degrees west, in sunlight about 500 km from the morning terminator. It continued to send back data for 50 minutes, 11 seconds after landing before failing due to the harsh surface conditions. The probe confirmed the earlier data on the high Venus surface temperature and pressure (470 degrees C, 90 atmospheres) returned by Venera 7, and also measured the light level as being suitable for surface photography, finding it to be similar to the amount of light on Earth on an overcast day with roughly 1 km visibility.

1976 22:04:00 GMT
Comsat's Comstar 2 satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, which was positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 95 deg W 1976-1983, at 76 deg W 1983-1993.

1987 01:59:00 GMT
USSR launched Soyuz TM-3 from Baikonur to Mir with a Soviet-Syrian crew of three.

Soyuz TM-3, launched 22 July 1987, transported a Soviet-Syrian crew to the Mir orbital space station, comprised of cosmonauts A S Viktorenko, A P Aleksandrov and M A Faris, to conduct joint research and experiments with cosmonauts Y Romanenko and A Laveykin. The Soyuz maneuvered from its initial 231 X 217 km orbit to Mir's 311 X 359 km orbit, and docked with the rear Mir port at 3:30 GMT 24 July. The transport was then undocked from the rear port on 30 July, and docked to the forward port.

1993 06:41:00 GMT
Russia's Soyuz TM-16 landed with the crew of Haignere, Manakov and Polishchuk aboard, returning from the Mir space station.

1993 22:59:00 GMT
An Ariane 44L launched from Kourou carried Spain's Hispasat-1B and India's Insat-2B communications satellites to space, which were positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 30 deg W and 93 deg E, respectively.

The last fragment of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.

1995 08:02:00 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA's STS 70 (Discovery 21, 70th Shuttle mission) landed at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, after carrying TDRS-G to orbit and performing a variety of on-orbit scientific experiments within the Shuttle.

Its liftoff first targeted for 22 June 1995, STS 70 was launched 13 July 1995 after mission managers opted to exchange the STS 70 and STS 71 launch dates due to Russian space program scheduling delays affecting STS 71. Discovery and her payloads were being readied for liftoff no earlier than 8 June, with Atlantis to follow on STS 71 later in June until after the extended Memorial Day holiday weekend, when Northern Flicker Woodpeckers at Pad 39B poked about 200 holes in the foam insulation of Discovery's external tank. Attempts to repair damage at pad were unsuccessful, and the Shuttle stack returned to the VAB on 8 June with a new launch date set for 13 July. The holes ranged in size from large excavations of about four inches (10 centimeters) to single pecks and claw marks. The countdown on 13 July proceeded smoothly except for a brief 55 second hold at T-31 seconds required when engineers had to verify the signal from the range safety system was being properly received by the destruct device on the external tank. The interval between the landing of STS 71 on July 7 and the launch of STS 70 six days later marked the quickest turnaround to that date between Shuttle missions.

The primary objective of the mission was accomplished when Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-G was deployed from the orbiter payload bay about six hours after liftoff. Approximately one hour after deployment, the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster attached to TDRS-G completed the first of two scheduled burns to place TDRS-G in geosynchronous orbit. Once it completed on-orbit checkout, TDRS-G became an operational spare, completing the existing TDRS network of advanced tracking and communications satellites.

During the remainder of the mission, the five crew members completed a variety of experiments. Biological Research in Canister (BRIC) experiments studied the effects of microgravity on a wide range of physiological processes in plants, insects and small invertebrate animals. BRIC-4 examined how the hormone system and muscle formation of the tobacco hornworm is affected by microgravity; BRIC-5 tested whether cell division changes in daylily are due to microgravity or other causes. Also, the Bioreactor Development System (BDS), composed of devices developed at the Johnson Space Center, used colon cancer cells to test the bioreactor performance in microgravity; the experiment worked extremely well, yielding tissue cultures better than any seen previously.

National Institutes of Health-R-2 featured a suite of experiments examining how microgravity affects different aspects of rodent pre- and post-natal development.

The Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG) experiment featured the Protein Crystallization Facility (PCF) on its eighth flight. Five of these flights have yielded space-grown protein crystals of superior X-ray quality. Human insulin crystals grown on the SPACEHAB 1 and 2 missions yielded the most detailed analysis ever made of this protein, which is a key medication used to treat diabetes. The pharmaceutical industry subsequently used the structural information to develop a new and improved time-release insulin formulation. On STS 70, crystals of the alpha interferon protein - used to treat human viral hepatitis B and C - were grown.

Other experiments on STS 70 included: Space Tissue Loss-B (STL-B), studying the effect of microgravity on embryogenesis; and Hand-Held, Earth-Oriented, Cooperative, Real-Time, User-Friendly, Location Targeting and Environmental System (HERCULES), a space-based geolocating system that features a video camera and an electronic still camera to document locations on Earth and tag every frame with latitude and longitude to within three nautical miles. The crew had difficulty aligning the HERCULES camera at first, but eventually obtained 95% of the planned photographic targets.

Microencapsulation in Space-B (MIS-B), making its second flight aboard the Shuttle, was designed to produce a better microencapsulated antibiotic, which has proven extremely effective in treating wound infections, as it releases the antibiotic at a precise and predictable rate to cure infection. The first flight of MIS-B yielded purer microcapsules than could be obtained on Earth, but only a small quantity was produced. Researchers hoped the second flight would yield a greater quantity of antibiotic.

The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) required no onboard hardware; the military MSX satellite used the Shuttle during its mission as a tracking and calibration target. Military Applications of Ship Tracks (MAST) required the crew to photograph ship tracks as part of an effort to determine how pollutants generated by ships modify the reflective properties of clouds. Radiation Monitoring Equipment-III (RME-III) was a prototype dosimeter instrument which had been flying on the Shuttle since STS 31, and measured exposure to ionizing radiation on the Shuttle; data from RME-III was archived and used to update and refine models of the space radiation environment in low Earth orbit.

The objective of the Window Experiment (WINDEX), another military experiment, was to gain an understanding of the chemistry and dynamics of low Earth orbit by collecting a variety of data about such phenomena as Shuttle thruster plumes, water dumps and atmospheric nightglow.

Visual Function Tester-4 (VFT-4) was designed to gain a better understanding of whether astronauts' vision is affected by microgravity. The VFT-4 instrument measures eyesight at near- and close range to test theories on what happens to the human eye in space. Astronauts since the Gemini days in the early 1960s had noticed that it seemed to take longer to adjust and focus on near objects in space, and the STS 70 crew confirmed this observation.

The crew also spoke with ground radio operators as part of the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX), counting around 50 contacts a day for several days of flight.

No significant problems were experienced with the orbiter. STS 70 marked the first flight of the new Block I main engine featuring a new high pressure liquid oxidizer turbopump built by Pratt & Whitney. Engine 2036 flew in the number one position; the other two main engines were of the existing Phase II design.

STS 70 ended 22 July 1995 when Discovery landed on revolution 143 on Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Rollout distance: 8,465 feet (2,580 meters). Rollout time: 57 seconds. Orbit altitude: 160 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: Eight days, 22 hours, 20 minutes, five seconds. Miles traveled: 3.7 million. The first landing opportunities at KSC on 21 July were waved off due to fog and low visibility, as was the first opportunity on 22 July. STS 70 was Discovery's final flight prior to being shipped to California for periodic refurbishment and modification. OV-103 departed KSC for the Rockwell facility in Palmdale on 27 September, for return to KSC in July 1996.

Post-landing inspections of the STS 70 boosters showed a gas path in the right solid rocket motor nozzle internal joint number 3, extending from the motor chamber to, but not past, the primary O-ring. The STS 70 gas path was similar to what was seen in the same joint post-flight of the previous mission, STS-71. Gas paths or small air pockets are the result of nozzle fabrication involving backfilling of the joint with insulation material. Similar paths had been expected and observed following previous flights, but missions STS 71 and STS 70 marked first time a slight heat effect was noted on the primary O-ring.

The flight crew for STS 70 was: Terence T. Henricks, Commander; Kevin R. Kregel, Pilot; Nancy Jane Currie, Mission Specialist; Donald A. Thomas, Mission Specialist; Mary Ellen Weber, Mission Specialist.

1999 23:31:00 CDT (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA launched STS 93 (Columbia 26) to deploy the Chandra X-ray telescope into orbit and conduct scientific experiments.

STS 93 launched 22 July 1999. With the launch, Colonel Eileen Collins became the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.

When Columbia reached orbit, it was 11 kilometers (7 miles) short of its target, due to premature main engine cutoff. The problem was traced to a hydrogen leak in the No. 3 main engine nozzle, caused when a liquid oxygen post pin came out of the main injector during main engine ignition, striking the hotwall of the nozzle and rupturing three liquid hydrogen coolant tubes. Columbia eventually reached its proper altitude and continued its mission.

On Flight Day 1, the shuttle crew successfully deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The observatory was propelled into its final orbit by a two-stage Inertial Upper Stage, or IUS. Following the second IUS burn, Chandra's solar arrays were deployed, and the IUS separated from the observatory as planned.

During the rest of the mission the crew activated secondary payloads and experiments, including the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System which was used to capture ultraviolet imagery of Earth, the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter.

The astronauts monitored several plant growth experiments and collected data from a biological cell culture experiment. They used the exercise treadmill and the Treadmill Vibration Information System to measure vibrations and changes in microgravity levels caused by on-orbit workouts. High-Definition television equipment was tested for future use on both the shuttle and the International Space Station to conform to evolving broadcasting industry standards for television products.

STS 93 ended at 11:20:35 PM EDT on 27 July 1999 when Columbia landed on Runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a successful mission of nearly five days and 1.8 million miles.

The flight crew for STS 93 was: Eileen M. Collins, Commander; Jeffrey S. Ashby, Pilot; Cady G. Coleman, Mission Specialist 1; Steven A. Hawley, Mission Specialist 2; Michel Tognini, Mission Specialist 3.

This is one of the most poorly documented Shuttle flights we have encountered, with very few post-flight updates or mission reports available on the Web. As of 2015, the "STS-93 Press Kit" link on NASA's page points to an undeveloped (parked) domain name, and the "Chandra X-Ray Observatory News" link leads to the Marshall Space Flight Center home page, rather than anything related to Chandra.

The US deployed the first Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI), lowered into a silo at Fort Greely, Alaska. Five additional interceptors were to be deployed in Alaska by the end of September.

2004 17:46:28 GMT
Russia launched Cosmos 2407 from Plesetsk, a Parus navigation satellite.

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