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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 27

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Near Gonesse, France, Professor J.A.C. Charles released the first unmanned hydrogen filled balloon, which reached an altitude of 900 meters before returning to Earth where it was attacked by the local villagers who didn't know what it was.

Died, Eise J. Eisinga, Frisian astronomer, constructed a planetarium at Franeker

Edwin Drake drilled the first successful oil well, near Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Born, Charles Stewart Rolls, English motorist, aviator, founder of Rolls-Royce Ltd.

A. Borrelly discovered asteroid #240 Vanadis.

A. Charlois discovered asteroid #427 Galene.

Max Wolf discovered asteroid #605 Juvisia.

Thomas Alva Edison demonstrated the Kinetophone, a machine to record talking movies, at his New Jersey laboratory.

Lieutenant Peter Nestrov, of the Imperial Russian Air Service, performed a loop in a monoplane at Kiev, the first aerobatic maneuver in an airplane.

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #794 Irenaea.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #984 Gretia.

Parks College, America's oldest aviation school, opened its doors.,_Aviation_and_Technology

Died, Herman Potočnik, rocket engineer and cosmonautics pioneer

Herman Poto─Źnik (pseudonym Hermann Noordung) (22 December 1892 - 27 August 1929) was a Slovene rocket engineer and pioneer of cosmonautics (astronautics). He is chiefly remembered for his work addressing the long-term habitation of space.

P. Shajn discovered asteroids #1369 Ostanina and #1387 Kama.

Captain Erich Warshitz flew a Heinkel He 178 in the first successful flight of a jet propelled airplane, in Germany.

The first jet propelled airplane was the Coanda-1910 (Romania), piloted by its inventor Henri Coanda in 1910. Unfortunately, the aircraft crashed during its first and only demonstration.

The second jet plane was the Heinkel He 178 (Germany), piloted by Erich Warsitz in 1939.

G. Strommer discovered asteroid #1537 Transylvania.

The maiden flight of the Caproni-Campini CC-2, an experimental jet plane, was made in Milan.

Born, Yuri Vasilyevich Malyshev (at Nikolayevsk, Stalingrad Oblast, Russian SFSR), cosmonaut (Soyuz T-2, Soyuz T-11, over 11 total days in space) (deceased)

Born, Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev (at Leningrad, Russian SFSR), cosmonaut (Mir 4, Mir 9/10, STS 60, STS 88, ISS 1, ISS 11, 803.4 total days in space), first Russian to fly aboard an American spacecraft

Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, STS-88 mission specialist representing Russian Space Agency (RSA), NASA photo

Died, Ernest O. Lawrence, US physicist, inventor (Cyclotron, Nobel 1939 "for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements")

1958 02:28:00 GMT
In the first Argus experiment, a small atomic bomb was detonated in space over the South Atlantic, which induced auroral illumination.

1958 23:15:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched the Jupiter 7 research and development flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The US Air Force fired a Jupiter missle from the AMR, Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1815 hours EST on 27 August 1958 as a research and development flight. The countdown was normal. Operations were interrupted by one hold, a 15 minute delay for minor adjustments. Ignition, main-stage, and lift-off were normal. The missile followed the pre-selected trajectory closely during powered flight, though cut-off was effected by fuel depletion rather than by the pre-set guidance cut-off. The nose cone impacted 39 nm short and 15.7 nm to the left of the pre-calculated range of 1,246 nm after reaching an apogee of 500 km. Jupiter 7 was the first flight test of the warhead and fuse system, which also marked the second flight test of the Jupiter all-inertial guidance system, the fourth flight test of the NAA S-3D engine operating at 150,000 pounds thrust, and the first flight test of the solid propellant spin rocket and vernier motor.

1962 06:53:14 GMT
NASA launched Mariner 2 for a Venus flyby, the first-ever successful planetary encounter, which occurred the following December.

Mariner 2 was the first successful spacecraft in the NASA Mariner program, which began by sending spacecraft to Venus.

The Mariner 2 spacecraft was the second of a series of spacecraft used for planetary exploration in the flyby (nonlanding) mode, and the first spacecraft to successfully encounter another planet. Mariner 2 was a backup for the Mariner 1 mission which failed shortly after launch to Venus. The objective of the Mariner 2 mission was to fly by Venus and return data on the planet's atmosphere, magnetic field, charged particle environment, and mass. It also made measurements of the interplanetary medium during its cruise to Venus and after the flyby.

The rocket carrying Mariner 1 veered off-course during its launch on 22 July 1962, and the spacecraft was destroyed. A month later, Mariner 2 was launched successfully on 27 August 1962, sending it on a 3.5 month flight to Venus.

After launch and termination of the Agena first burn, the Agena-Mariner was in a 118 km altitude Earth parking orbit. The Agena second burn injected the Mariner 2 spacecraft into a geocentric escape hyperbola at 26 minutes 3 seconds after lift-off. Solar panel extension was completed about 44 minutes after launch. On 29 August 1962 cruise science experiments were turned on. A midcourse maneuver was initiated at 22:49:00 GMT on 4 September and completed at 2:45:25 GMT 5 September. On 8 September at 17:50 GMT the spacecraft suddenly lost its attitude control, which was restored by the gyroscopes 3 minutes later. The cause was unknown but may have been a collision with a small object. On 31 October, the output from one solar panel deteriorated abruptly, and the science cruise instruments were turned off. A week later the panel resumed normal function and instruments were turned back on. The panel permanently failed on 15 November, but Mariner 2 was close enough to the Sun so that one panel could supply adequate power.

On 14 December, the radiometers were turned on. Mariner 2 approached Venus from 30 degrees above the dark side of the planet, and passed below the planet at its closest distance of 34,773 km at 19:59:28 GMT 14 December 1962. As it flew by Venus, Mariner 2 scanned the planet with infra-red and microwave radiometers, revealing that Venus has cool clouds and an extremely hot surface. (Because the bright, opaque clouds hide the planet's surface, Mariner 2 was not outfitted with a camera.)

After encounter, cruise mode resumed. Spacecraft perihelion occurred on 27 December at a distance of 105,464,560 km. The last transmission from Mariner 2 was received on 3 January 1963 at 07:00 GMT. Mariner 2 remains in heliocentric orbit.

Scientific discoveries made by Mariner 2 included a slow retrograde rotation rate for Venus, hot surface temperatures and high surface pressures, a predominantly carbon dioxide atmosphere, continuous cloud cover with a top altitude of about 60 km, and no detectable magnetic field. On the way to Venus, Mariner 2 measured the solar wind for the first time, a constant stream of charged particles flowing outwards from the Sun. In addition, Mariner 2 detected high-energy charged particles coming from the Sun, including several brief solar flares, as well as cosmic rays from outside the Solar system. It was also shown that in interplanetary space, the cosmic dust density is much lower than the near-Earth region. Improved estimates of Venus' mass and the value of the astronomical unit were made.

Mariner 2 Venus flyby probe, NASA artwork

1969 21:59:00 GMT
NASA launched the Pioneer E satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida. However, because of a first stage hydraulics failure, the vehicle was destroyed at T+383 seconds, before reaching orbit.

Pioneer E was the fifth in a series of solar-orbiting, spin stabilized, solar-cell and battery powered satellites designed to obtain measurements of interplanetary phenomena from widely separated points on a continuing basis. Its experiments were to study the positive ions and electrons in the solar wind, the interplanetary electron density (radio propagation experiment), solar and galactic cosmic rays, the interplanetary magnetic field, cosmic dust, and electric fields. Due to a booster malfunction, the spacecraft did not achieve orbit when it was launched 27 August 1969: The vehicle was destoyed at T+383 seconds because of a first stage hydraulics failure.

1970 13:23:34 GMT
The US Navy launched the Transit-O 19 navigation satellite into orbit from Vandenburg, California.

E. F. Helin discovered asteroid #2048 Dwornik.

L. Chernykh discovered asteroid #3681.

1975 01:42:00 GMT
The joint German/French Symphonie 2 experimental telecommunications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 11 deg W.

S. J. Bus discovered asteroid #2285 Ron Helin.

N. S. Chernykh discovered asteroids #3012 Minsk, #3283, #4621 Tambov, #6167 and #7373.

Hans-Emil Schuster discovered asteroid #4761 Urrutia; Paul Wild discovered asteroid #4323 Hortulus.

1982 00:02:00 GMT
USSR launched Molniya 3-19 from Plesetsk, replacing Molniya 3-13, for operation of the USSR telephone and telegraph system, and transmission of USSR Central Television programs to Orbita network stations and in the framework of international cooperation.

1982 15:04:16 GMT
Soyuz T-5 returned to Earth from the Salyut 7 space station with the crew of Popov, Savitskaya and Serebrov aboard.

US President Ronald Reagan announced the Teacher in Space project.

1985 06:58:01 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA launched STS 51-I (Discovery 6, 20th Space Shuttle mission) which carried ASC-1, AUSSAT-1, and SYNCOM IV-4 to orbit, and in which LEASAT-3 was repaired in orbit.

STS 51-I was scrubbed on 24 August 1985 at T-5 minutes because of thunderstorms in the vicinity. The flight was again scrubbed at T-9 minutes on 25 August 1985 when the orbiter's number five on-board general purpose computer failed. The launch on 27 August at 6:58:01 AM EDT was delayed three minutes, one second due to combination of weather and an unauthorized ship entering the restricted solid rocket booster recovery area.

Three communications satellites were deployed during STS 51-I: ASC-1, for the American Satellite Company; AUSSAT-1, an Australian Communications Satellite; and SYNCOM IV-4, the Synchronous Communications Satellite. ASC-1 and AUSSAT-1 were both attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) motors. SYNCOM IV-4 (also known as LEASAT-4) failed to function after reaching the correct geosynchronous orbit. Fisher and van Hoften performed two extravehicular activities (EVAs) totaling 11 hours, 51 minutes. Part of the time (on 31 August and 1 September) was spent retrieving, repairing and redeploying LEASAT-3, deployed on Mission 51-D. The Middeck Payload on the mission was the Physical Vapor Transport Organic Solid Experiment (PVTOS).

STS 51-I ended when Discovery landed 3 September 1985 at 6:15:43 AM PDT on revolution 112 on Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 6,100 feet. Rollout time: 47 seconds. Launch weight: 262,309 pounds. Landing weight: 196,674 pounds. Orbit altitude: 242 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: seven days, two hours, 17 minutes, 42 seconds. Miles traveled: 2.9 million. The mission was shortened one day when the AUSSAT sunshield hung up on the remote manipulator system camera and AUSSAT had to be deployed before it was scheduled. The orbiter was returned to the Kennedy Space Center on 8 September 1985.

The flight crew for STS 51-I was: Joseph H. Engle, Commander; Richard O. Covey, Pilot; James D. A. van Hoften, Mission Specialist 1; John M. Lounge, Mission Specialist 2; William F. Fisher, Mission Specialist 3.

H. Debehogne discovered asteroids #4123 and #4939.

L. G. Karachkina discovered asteroids #4556 Gumilyov, #4861 Nemirovskij, #5808 Babel and #5902 Talima; L. I. Chernykh discovered asteroids #4485 Radonezhskij and #6511.

1987 09:20:00 GMT
Japan launched the Kiku 5 (ETS 5) geostationary technology satellite from Tanegashima to establish basic 3-axis stabilized bus and other key technologies for the next applications satellite generation, and to experiment in mobile satellite communications.

1989 22:59:00 GMT
The British BSB R1 direct broadcasting system (DBS) satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 31 deg W 1989-1993; 5 deg E 1994-2000; 13 deg W in 2000.

1994 23:10:00 GMT
The Australian Optus B3 communications satellite was launched from Xichang, China, for telephone, TV, mobile communications, and air traffic control, positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 152 deg E 1994-1995; 156 deg E 1995-2001.

1998 01:17:00 GMT
The commercial Galaxy 10 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Due to guidance system induced oscillation, all solid motor gimbal hydraulic fluid was exhausted after 71 seconds. Range safety destroyed the booster at 75 seconds, at 16 km altitude.

Mojave Aerospace flew the White Knight Flight 4 mission (Ansari X-Prize) for envelope expansion out to 35,000 feet and 150 knots / 0.4M and 3 G's, and to test engine relight performance and avionics software upgrades.

Mojave Aerospace flew Tier One White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 31LC/04GC, aborted about 20 minutes before launch of SpaceShipOne, after a GPS navigation malfunction occurred in the SpaceShip avionics system. The mated pair continued other system tests.

Mojave Aerospace flew Tier One White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 32L/05G with the same objectives as the aborted flight 31LC/04GC earlier in the day - the second glide flight of SpaceShipOne.

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