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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 August 22

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Born, Henry Maudslay, British machine tool-maker and inventor (first screw-cutting lathe)

Born, Samuel Pierpont Langley, American astronomer, physicist, inventor, aviation pioneer

J. R. Hind discovered asteroid #19 Fortuna (Roman goddess of fortune).

Born, Friedrich Kustner, German astronomer (polar motion of the Earth in terms of a variation of latitude)

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #102 Miriam.

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #229 Adelinda.

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #333 Badenia.

A. Charlois discovered asteroid #406 Erna.

A. Kopff discovered asteroid #754 Malabar; M. Wolf discovered asteroid #1514 Ricouxa.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #918 Itha.

Born, Raymond Douglas "Ray" Bradbury III, science fiction writer (Farenheit 451, Martian Chronicles, Illustrated Man)

The distance between the Earth and Mars, 55,776,939 km (0.37284581 AU), was smallest in over 2000 years.

Born, Gerald Paul "Gerry" Carr (at Denver Colorado, USA), Colonel USMC, NASA astronaut (Skylab 4)

Astronaut Gerry Carr, NASA photo

E. L. Johnson discovered asteroid #3184.

The X-1D rocketplane flight 2 was aborted when the X-1D suffered a low-order explosion during fuel dump pressurization. Pilot Frank Everest managed to get into the B-50 carrier aircraft's bomb bay before the X-1D was jettisoned, which exploded on impact.

I. Groeneveld discovered asteroid #2947.

The US Navy Project Pilot # 3 rocket was launched from the Santa Barbara, California, drop zone and possibly reached orbit, but radio contact was lost with the vehicle so the test was deemed a failure.

The NS Savannah, the world's first nuclear-powered ship and one of only four nuclear-powered cargo ships ever built, completed its maiden voyage from Yorktown, Virginia, to Savannah, Georgia.

1963 18:05:00 GMT
NASA launched X-15A VO, Spectrom, Photom Test/Aeronomy mission # 91 in which Joe Walker reached an unofficial world record altitude of 107.960 km (354,300 ft, 67 mi) and a speed of 6106 kph (Mach 5.58), the second X-15 astronaut flight (FAI definition).

Joseph A. Walker (20 February 1921 - 8 June 1966) was a Chief Research Pilot at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center during the mid-1960s. Walker made the first NASA X-15 flight on 25 March 1960. He flew the research aircraft 24 times and achieved its fastest speed and highest altitude. He attained a speed of 4,104 mph (Mach 5.92) during a flight on 27 June 1962, and reached an altitude of 354,300 feet on 22 August 1963 (his last X-15 flight). He was the first man to pilot the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) that was used to develop piloting and operational techniques for Lunar landings. Walker was killed in a collision of his F-104 chase plane with the XB-70 bomber during testing. The accident led to the discovery of wingtip vortices, which were responsible for the collision.

1964 07:12:00 GMT
USSR launched their first communications satellite, Cosmos 41, from Baikonur, the second Molniya launch attempt. The antenna failed to deploy, so the spacecraft could only be tested in a limited manner, not used as a television relay as planned.

L. Kohoutek discovered asteroids #1834, #1875 and #1931.

1970 05:06:09 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 359, a Venera spacecraft intended for Venus, from Baikonur. The escape stage Block L engine was late igniting and cut off early, 25 seconds after firing, due to abnormal operation of the sequencer and a DC transformer failure.

L. Zhuravleva discovered asteroids #2130 Evdokiya, #2173 Maresjev and #2374 Vladvysotskij.

1976 05:55:00 GMT
USSR's Luna 24 landed in western Siberia, about 200 km southeast of Surgut, carrying 170 grams of Lunar soil in the third Soviet Lunar sample return mission.

The last of the Luna series of spacecraft, Luna 24 was launched 9 August 1976 as the third Soviet mission to retrieve Lunar samples (the first two were returned by Luna 16 and 20). After entering an initial 115 x 115 km Lunar orbit with an inclination of 120 degrees, the probe landed in Mare Crisium (Sea of Crisis) at 12.75 N, 62.2 E on 18 August 1976. Using a sample arm and drill, the mission successfully collected 170.1 grams of Lunar samples and deposited them into a collection capsule. The capsule was launched from the Moon at 5:25 UT on 19 August and landed at 5:55 UT on 22 August in western Siberia, about 200 km southeast of the town of Surgut, where the samples were collected for scientific study.

N. Chernykh discovered asteroids #2208 Pushkin, #2287 Kalmykia, #3112, #2338 Bokhan, #2376 Martynov, #2887 Krinov, #2915 Moskvina and #3448.

USSR's Cosmos 936 biosatellite landed after 18.5 days in orbit with an international array of experiments aboard.

USSR launched Bion 4 (Cosmos 936) on 3 August 1977 for biological research. Scientists from the USSR, the US, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic conducted experiments in physics and biology on the mission. The biosatellite was recovered 22 August 1977 at 51 deg 53 min N, 61 deg 30 min E, near Kustanay in Central Asia after remaining in orbit for 18.5 days.

1978 23:44:00 GMT
USSR launched the Molniya 1-42 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.

Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist discovered asteroids #2589 Daniel, #2694 Pino Torinese, #3005 Pervictoralex and #3331 Kvistaberg.

Died, James Smith McDonnell, aviation pioneer, founder of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation (later McDonnell Douglas, subsequently bought by Boeing)

E. Bowell discovered asteroids #3368 Duncombe, #3672 and #3673.

1985 19:26:00 GMT
USSR launched the Molniya 1-64 communications satellite from Plesetsk, which replaced Molniya 1-61 in operation of the long-range communications system in the USSR and transmission of USSR Central Television programs to stations in the Orbita network.

The first complete ring around Neptune was discovered in images returned from NASA's Voyager 2 probe as it neared the planet.

The Voyager 2 spacecraft, originally planned as Mariner 12 of the Mariner program, was launched on 20 August 1977 on a mission to explore the outer planets of the solar system. It is identical to its sister Voyager program craft, Voyager 1. Voyager 2 followed a somewhat different trajectory during its Saturn encounter, however, bypassing a close encounter with Titan in favor of taking advantage of a gravitational slingshot to travel on to Uranus and Neptune. It became the first probe to visit those two planets.

Voyager 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. The closest approach to Jupiter occurred on 9 July 1979. On 25 August 1981, Voyager 2 flew past Saturn at a distance of 63,000 miles (100,000 km), and it took pictures of Saturn's moon Titan the following day, 26 August. Its closest approach to Uranus was on 24 January 1986, and its closest approach to Neptune occurred on 25 August 1989, after a 12 year, 4 billion mile journey, when it flew over the planet's cloud tops and those of its moon Triton, sending back photographs of 'swamps' from a distance of 5000 km. Voyager 2 imagery returned on 22 August 1989 confirmed the rings around Neptune are complete, although they are much more faint than those of Saturn.

As of 24 August 2003, Voyager 2 was at a distance of 10.6 billion kilometers (71 AU) and was escaping the solar system, diving below the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 48 degrees and at a speed of about 3.3 AU per year (ca. 15 km/s, 470 million kilometers (about 290 million miles) a year). On 9 July 2014 it was more than 15.7 billion km (9.79 billion miles, 105 AU) from the Sun. (See Where Are The Voyagers Now? for a spreadsheet of distance, speed, and other interesting information.) It will be approximately 40,000 years before Voyager 2 approaches another planetary system.

Voyager 2 is expected to keep transmitting into the 2030s.

Voyager 2 carries with it a golden record (Voyager Golden Record) that contains pictures and sounds of Earth, along with symbolic directions for playing the record. The contents of this record were selected by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan.

See also

1992 22:40:00 GMT
The Hughes Communications Inc Galaxy 1R communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, destroyed by range safety when the Centaur engine turbopump did not start, which was identical to the 18 April 1991 Atlas/Centaur failure.

Died, Wilhelm Angele, engineer, guided missile expert during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war, Head of Pilot Manufacturing Development Branch, Guidance and Control Division, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (1960)

During the 3h 16m internal "EVA" Mir EO-24-1, cosmonauts Solovyov and Vinogradov connected Spektr power cables, surveyed the interior of the depressurised Spektr module, and retrieved equipment and belongings from the module.

An annular solar eclipse was visible over Indonesia, Malaysia and New Guinea.,_1998

2001 13:23:00 CDT (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA's STS 105 (Discovery 30) mission ended after completing the International Space Station Flight 7A.1 flight during which the Expedition Two and Expedition Three crews were transferred.

STS 105 was launched 10 August 2001, and spent 12 days in orbit, with eight of those days docked to the International Space Station, from 12 August through 20 August. While at the orbital outpost, the STS-105 crew attached the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, transferred supplies and equipment to the station, completed two space walks and deployed a small spacecraft called Simplesat. Discovery delivered the Expedition Three crew, Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin, for their extended stay aboard the space station. It returned to Earth with Expedition Two crewmembers Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms who had spent 147 days living on the station.

Mission Specialists Daniel Barry and Patrick Forrester spent a total of 11 hours, 45 minutes outside the ISS during two space walks. The first space walk involved installing the Early Ammonia Servicer and the first external experiment, the Materials International Space Station Experiment, onto the station's hull. The servicer contains spare ammonia that can be used in the space station's cooling systems if needed. MISSE was a NASA/Langley Research Center-managed cooperative endeavor to fly materials and other types of space exposure experiments on the space station. The objective was to develop early, low-cost, non-intrusive opportunities to conduct critical space exposure tests of space materials and components planned for use on future spacecraft. Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Glenn Research Center, the Materials Laboratory at the Air Force Research Laboratory and Boeing Phantom Works were participants with Langley in the project. The experiments were in four Passive Experiment Containers (PECs) initially developed and used for an experiment on Mir in 1996 during the Shuttle-Mir Program. PECs are suitcase-like containers for transporting experiments via the space shuttle to and from an orbiting spacecraft. Once on orbit and clamped to the host spacecraft, the PECs are opened and serve as racks to expose experiments to the space environment.

During the second space walk, Barry and Forrester strung two 13.7 meter (45 foot) heater cables and installed handrails down both sides of the Destiny Laboratory.

The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), one of three supplied by the Italian Space Agency, made its second trip to the International Space Station in Discovery's payload bay. Aboard Leonardo were six Resupply Stowage Racks, four Resupply Stowage Platforms, and two new scientific experiment racks for the station's US laboratory Destiny. The two new science racks (EXPRESS Racks 4 and 5) added science capability to the station. EXPRESS stands for Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station. EXPRESS Rack 4 weighed 1,175 pounds (533 kg) and EXPRESS Rack 5 weighed 1,200 pounds (544 kg). The empty weight of each EXPRESS rack is about 785 pounds (356 kg). The Resuppy Stowage Racks and Resupply Stowage Platforms were filled with Cargo Transfer Bags that contained equipment and supplies for the station. The six Resuppply Stowage Racks contained almost 3,200 pounds (1451 kg) of cargo and the four Resupply Stowage Platforms contained about 1,200 pounds (544 kg) of cargo, not including the weight of the Cargo Transfer Bags, the foam packing around the cargo or the straps and fences that hold the bags in place. The total weight of cargo, racks and packing material aboard Leonardo was just over 11,000 pounds (4990 kg), with a total cargo weight of about 6,775 pounds (3073 kg).

Mission Specialist Pat Forrester used the shuttle's robot arm to move the MPLM from the shuttle to the Earth-facing docking port on the station's Unity module. Both crews worked together to haul tons of supplies and equipment from Leonardo to storage places within the station, then filled Leonardo with unneeded station equipment and trash for return to Earth. Forrester then used the robot arm to reberth the module in Discovery's payload bay for the trip home.

Other payloads on STS 105 were part of the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility Shuttle Small Payloads Project. The SSPP system utilizes payload carrier systems such as the Hitchhiker, Getaway Specials and Space Experiment Modules to provide a low cost scientific research environment. SSPP payloads on STS-105 include the Hitchhiker payload Simplesat, the Cell Growth in Microgravity GAS Canister (G-708), the Microgravity Smoldering Combustion experimet (MSC), and the Hitchiker Experiment Advancing Technology Space Experiment Module-10 payload.

STS 105 ended 22 August 2001 when Discovery landed on Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, following a one-orbit wave-off due to a rain shower that popped up off the end of the landing strip. Mission duration: 11 days, 21 hours, 13 minutes, 52 seconds. Orbit altitude: 122 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 51.6 degrees.

The flight crew for STS 105 was: Scott J. Horowitz, Commander; Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow, Pilot; Patrick G. Forrester, Mission Specialist 1; Daniel T. Barry, Mission Specialist 2; Expedition Three crew flew to the ISS (returned on STS 108): Frank L. Culbertson, Jr., ISS Commander; Vladimir N. Dezhurov, Soyuz Commander; Mikhail Tyurin, Flight Engineer; Expedition Two crew returned from the ISS (launched on STS 102): Yury V. Usachev, ISS Commander; James S. Voss, Flight Engineer; Susan J. Helms, Flight Engineer.

2002 05:15:00 GMT
The 4.7 ton American Echostar 8 communications satellite was launched from Baikonur on a Proton rocket to broadcast digital TV to North America through its 16 Ku-band spot beams and 41 transponders after parking over 110 degrees W longitude.

2003 16:26:05 GMT
Brazil's SATEC and Unosat satellites and Alcantara launch pad were destroyed when the VLS-1 exploded on the pad during final prelaunch processing. 21 people were killed. It appeared that one of the strapon boosters ignited by accident.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft made a successful flyby of Saturn's moon Titan.

NASA's Cassini Orbiter's mission consists of delivering an ESA probe, Huygens, to Titan, then remaining in orbit around Saturn for detailed studies of the planet and its rings and satellites. The principal objectives are to: (1) determine the three-dimensional structure and dynamical behavior of the rings; (2) determine the composition of the satellite surfaces and the geological history of each object; (3) determine the nature and origin of the dark material on Iapetus' leading hemisphere; (4) measure the three-dimensional structure and dynamical behavior of the magnetosphere; (5) study the dynamical behavior of Saturn's atmosphere at cloud level; (6) study the time variability of Titan's clouds and hazes; and, (7) characterize Titan's surface on a regional scale.

The Cassini/Huygens probe was launched on 15 October 1997. Unable to be launched directly to Saturn with propulsion systems available at the time, Cassini took a roundabout route to reach the ringed planet, referred to as a VVEJGA (Venus-Venus-Earth-Jupiter Gravity Assist) trajectory. Cassini made two flybys of Venus (April 1998 and June 1999), one of the Earth (August 1999), and one of Jupiter (December 2000). Various observations were made at each of these encounters in order to verify instrument and spacecraft systems as well as to perform calibration observations. At Jupiter, numerous simultaneous observations were made using Cassini, Galileo, and the Hubble Space Telescope, among other missions.

On 1 July 2004 UTC, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft fired its main engine to reduce its speed, allowing the spacecraft to be captured by Saturn's gravity and enter orbit. The spacecraft then started a four-year mission to explore the ringed planet, its mysterious moons, the stunning rings and its complex magnetic environment.

The first two orbits around Saturn set up the necessary trajectory for deployment of the Huygens probe on the third orbit. The maneuver placed the paired spacecraft on an intersect course with Titan and the probe was released on 25 December 2004. The two spacecraft separated with a relative velocity of 0.3-0.4 m/s but remained in the same orbit for about three weeks. Cassini then executed a deflection maneuver to enable it to fly by Titan at an altitude of 60,000 km, positioning it to receive transmissions from Huygens as it entered Titan's atmosphere, some 2.1 hours prior to Cassini's closest approach. Huygens landed on Titan on 14 January 2005.

During the Saturn Tour, Cassini was initially planned to complete 74 orbits of the ringed planet, 44 close flybys of the hazy moon Titan, and numerous flybys of Saturn's other icy moons. Cassini completed its initial four-year mission to explore the Saturn system in June 2008 and the first extended mission, called the Cassini Equinox Mission, in September 2010. The healthy spacecraft is continuing to make exciting new discoveries in a second extended mission called the Cassini Solstice Mission. This extension, which goes through September 2017, is named for the Saturnian summer solstice occurring in May 2017. The northern summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Since Cassini arrived at Saturn just after the planet's northern winter solstice, the extension will allow for the first study of a complete seasonal period.

See also NASA's Cassini Orbiter page and NASA's Huygens page in the NSSDC Master Catalog.

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