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Space History for September 11


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1872
Prosper Henry discovered asteroid #125 Liberatrix.

1877
Born, James H. Jeans, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, worked on thermodynamics, heat and other aspects of radiation
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Jeans.html

1879
C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #202 Chryseis.

1891
A. Charlois discovered asteroid #317 Roxane.

1898
M. Wolf and A. Schwassmann discovered asteroid #435 Ella; M. Wolf discovered asteroid #434 Hungaria.

1904
P. Gotz discovered asteroids #543 Charlotte and #544 Jetta.

1907
A. Kopff discovered asteroids #646 Kastalia, #647 Adelgunde, #648 Pippa and #649 Josefa.

1909
Max Wolf rediscovered Halley's comet.
https://books.google.com/books?id=54BHAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA444&lpg=PA444&dq=Max+Wolf+discovered+Halley%27s+comet.+september+11+1909

1923
K. Reinmuth discovered asteroids #1628 Strobel and #1662 Hoffmann.

1928
P. Shajn discovered asteroids #1120 Cannonia, #1121 Natascha and #1610 Mirnaya.

1935
Born, Gherman Stepanovich Titov (at Verkhneye Zhilino, Altai Kraj, Russian SFSR), cosmonaut (Vostok 2, 25h 18m in space), second person in orbit, first to spend over 24 hours in space, youngest person (25) in space (2017) (deceased)

Cosmonaut German Titov at the White House 3 May 1962, NASA photo by Asif Siddiqi
from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:German_Titov.JPG
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gherman_Titov

1937
Born, Robert Laurel "Bob" Crippen (at Beaumont, Texas, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (STS 1, STS 7, STS 41-C, STS 41-G, over 23.5 days total in space), member of first crew to fly a winged spacecraft to orbit and back

Astronaut Bob Crippen, NASA photo
https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/crippen-rl.html

1942
K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1759 Kienle.

1952
P. Shajn discovered asteroid #1987 Kaplan.

1967 00:46:44 GMT
NASA's Surveyor 5 made a soft landing on the Moon, returned pictures of the surface, and made the first chemical analysis of Lunar material.

Surveyor 5, launched 8 September 1967, was the third spacecraft in the Surveyor series to achieve a successful Lunar soft landing, and the first mission to obtain in-situ compositional data on the Moon. The primary objectives of the Surveyor program, a series of seven robotic Lunar soft landing flights, were to support the coming crewed Apollo landings by: (1) developing and validating the technology for landing softly on the Moon; (2) providing data on the compatibility of the Apollo design with conditions encountered on the Lunar surface; and (3) adding to the scientific knowledge of the Moon. The objectives for Surveyor 5 were to land on the Moon in Mare Tranquillitatis and obtain postlanding television pictures of the Lunar surface. The secondary objectives were to conduct a vernier engine erosion experiment, determine the relative abundances of the chemical elements in the Lunar soil by operation of the alpha-scattering instrument, obtain touchdown dynamics data, and obtain thermal and radar reflectivity data.

The instrumentation for Surveyor 5 was similar to that of the previous Surveyors, and included the survey television camera and numerous engineering sensors. An alpha-scattering instrument was installed in place of the surface sampler, and a small bar magnet attached to one footpad was included to detect the presence of magnetic material in the Lunar soil. Convex auxilliary mirrors were attached to the frame to allow viewing of the surface below the spacecraft. Surveyor 5 had a mass of 1006 kg at launch and 303 kg at landing.

Surveyor 5 was launched at 7:57:01 UT (3:57:01 AM EDT) from Eastern Test range launch complex 36B at Cape Kennedy on an Atlas-Centaur rocket. The Centaur placed the spacecraft into an Earth parking orbit, then restarted 6.7 minutes later to inject Surveyor 5 into a Lunar transfer trajectory. A midcourse trajectory correction involving a 14.29 second firing of the verier engines was performed at 1:45 UT on 9 September. Immediately following the maneuver, the spacecraft began losing helium pressure. It was concluded that the helium pressure valve had not reseated tightly and the helium was leaking into the propellant tanks, causing an overpressure which opened the relief valves, discharging the helium. A new emergency landing plan was adopted. Early vernier engine firings were made while there was still helium to slow the spacecraft, reduce its mass, and leave more free volume in the propellant tanks for the helium. The burn of the main retrorocket was delayed to an altitude of 1300 meters at a velocity of 30 m/s rather than the planned 10,700 meters at 120 to 150 m/s.

The new descent profile worked flawlessly, and Surveyor 5 touched down on the Lunar surface on 11 September 1967 at 00:46:44 UT (8:46:44 PM EDT 10 September) at 1.41 N, 23.18 E (selenographic coordinates) on a 20 degree slope of a 9 x 12 meter rimless crater in southwest Mare Tranquillitatis. Touchdown was 29 km from the original target. All experiments were performed successfully. Surveyor 5 returned 18,006 television pictures during its first Lunar day. The alpha-scattering instrument was deployed and performed the first in-situ analysis of an extraterrestrial body, returning 83 hours of data on Lunar soil composition during the first Lunar day, beginning on 11 September 1967. A vernier engine erosion experiment was conducted on 13 September, about 53 hours after landing, consisting of a firing of the vernier engines for 0.55 seconds while the spacecraft sat on the ground, to examine the effects of the engines on the surface. The spacecraft shut down from 24 September to 15 October 1967 over its first Lunar night on the Moon's surface. An additional 1048 pictures and 22 hours of alpha-scattering data were received during the second Lunar day. On 18 October Surveyor 5 acquired thermal data during a total eclipse of the Sun. Transmissions for the second day were received until 1 November 1967, when shutdown for the second Lunar night occurred about 200 hours after sunset. Transmissions were resumed on the third and fourth Lunar days, with the final transmission occurring at 04:30 UT on 17 December 1967. Pictures were transmitted during the first, second, and fourth Lunar days. A total of 19,118 pictures were transmitted.

Alpha-scattering results indicated soil composition, resembling Earth basaltic rock, of 53% to 63% oxygen, 15.5% to 21.5% silicon, 10% to 16% sulphur, iron, cobalt, and nickel; 4.5% to 8.5% aluminum, and small quantities of magnesium, carbon, and sodium. The quantity of material adhering to the magnet was consistent with a mixture of pulverized basalt and 10% to 12% magnetite with no more than 1% metallic iron. The vernier engine experiment produced minor but observable erosion of the surface. All mission objectives were accomplished.



Surveyor 5 image of the footpad resting in the Lunar soil, NASA photo
https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02978
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1967-084A

1969
P. Wild discovered asteroids #1891 Gondola and #2029 Binomi.

1969
Two major directions were identified for NASA's manned space flight in its next decade - continued Lunar exploration, and developing a permanent presence in low Earth orbit supported by a low-cost shuttle.

Two major directions were identified for NASA's manned space flight in the next decade, on 11 September 1969. These were further exploration of the Moon, with possibly the establishment of a permanent Lunar surface base, and the continued development of manned flight in Earth orbit, leading to a permanent manned space station supported by a low-cost shuttle system. To maintain direction, the following key milestones were proposed:

   1972 - AAP operations using a Saturn V launched Workshop
   1973 - Start of post-Apollo Lunar exploration
   1974 - Start of suborbital flight tests of Earth to orbit shuttle
        - Launch of a second Saturn V Workshop
   1975 - Initial space station operations
        - Orbital shuttle flights
   1976 - Lunar orbit station
        - Full shuttle operations
   1977 - Nuclear stage flight test
   1978 - Nuclear shuttle operations-orbit to orbit
   1979 - Space station in synchronous orbit

By 1990
        - Earth orbit space base
        - Lunar surface base
        - Possible Mars landing


https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4011/part2c.htm

1971
USSR Luna 18 crashed into the Lunar surface while attempting a soft landing in rugged mountainous terrain near Mare Fecunditatis at 3.57 N, 50.50 E (selenographic coordinates).

Luna 18 was launched 2 September 1971, a month after the spacecraft's designer, Babakhin, had died at age 56. It was placed in an Earth parking orbit after launch, before being put on a translunar trajectory. On 7 September 1971, Luna 18 entered Lunar orbit, using a new method of navigation in Lunar orbit and for landing. The spacecraft completed 85 communications sessions and 54 Lunar orbits before it was sent towards the Lunar surface by use of braking rockets, in an attempted Lunar soil return mission, on 11 September 1971. It crashed while attempting to soft land, impacting the Moon in rugged mountainous terrain near Mare Fecunditatis at Latitude 3.57 (3 deg 34 min) N, Longitude 50.50 (56 deg 30 min) E (selenographic coordinates). Signals ceased at the moment of impact.


https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1971-073A

1972
N. Chernykh discovered asteroids #1907 Rudneva, #1908 Pobeda, #2113 Ehrdni, #2164 Lyalya, #2178 Kazakhstania and #2238 Steshenko.

1976 18:24:00 GMT
USSR launched Raduga 2 from Baikonor to provide telephone and telegraph service in the USSR, and transmit USSR Central Television programs to stations in the Orbita network, positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 86 deg E.
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1976-092A

1977
N. Chernykh discovered asteroids #2428 Kamenyar, #2458, #3054 Strugatskia, #3224 Irkutsk and #3302.

1981 08:43:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 1305 into orbit from Plesetsk, a Molniya-3 communications satellite.
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1981-088A

1985
H. Debehogne discovered asteroid #3646.

1985
NASA's ISEE 3/ICE (International Sun Earth Explorer/International Cometary Explorer) probe traversed the plasma tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner within 7900 km of its nucleus, the first-ever comet flyby.

The Explorer-class heliocentric spacecraft, International Sun-Earth Explorer 3, was part of the mother/daughter/heliocentric mission (ISEE 1, 2, and 3). The purposes of the mission were: (1) to investigate solar-terrestrial relationships at the outermost boundaries of the Earth's magnetosphere; (2) to examine in detail the structure of the solar wind near the Earth and the shock wave that forms the interface between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere; (3) to investigate motions of and mechanisms operating in the plasma sheets; and, (4) to continue the investigation of cosmic rays and solar flare emissions in the interplanetary region near 1 AU.

The three spacecraft carried a number of complementary instruments for making measurements of plasmas, energetic particles, waves, and fields. The mission thus extended the investigations of previous IMP spacecraft. The launch of three coordinated spacecraft in this mission permitted the separation of spatial and temporal effects. ISEE 3, launched 12 August 1978, had a spin axis normal to the ecliptic plane and a spin rate of about 20 rpm. It was initially placed into an elliptical halo orbit about the Lagrangian libration point (L1) 235 Earth radii on the sunward side of the Earth, where it continuously monitored changes in the near-Earth interplanetary medium. In conjunction with the mother and daughter spacecraft, which had eccentric geocentric orbits, this mission explored the coupling and energy transfer processes between the incident solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere. In addition, the heliocentric ISEE 3 spacecraft also provided a near-Earth baseline for making cosmic-ray and other planetary measurements for comparison with corresponding measurements from deep-space probes. ISEE 3 was the first spacecraft to use the halo orbit.

In 1982, ISEE 3 began the magnetotail and comet encounter phases of its mission. A maneuver was conducted on 10 June 1982 to remove the spacecraft from the halo orbit around the L1 point and place it in a transfer orbit involving a series of passages between Earth and the L2 (magnetotail) Lagrangian libration point. After several passes through the Earth's magnetotail, with gravity assists from Lunar flybys in March, April, September and October of 1983, a final close Lunar flyby (119.4 km above the Moon's surface) on 22 December 1983 ejected the spacecraft out of the Earth-Moon system and into a heliocentric orbit ahead of the Earth, on a trajectory intercepting that of Comet Giacobini-Zinner. At this time, the spacecraft was renamed International Cometary Explorer (ICE). A total of fifteen propulsive maneuvers (four of which were planned in advance) and five Lunar flybys were needed to carry out the transfer from the halo orbit to an escape trajectory from the Earth-Moon system into a heliocentric orbit.

The primary scientific objective of ICE was to study the interaction between the solar wind and a cometary atmosphere. As planned, the spacecraft traversed the plasma tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner on 11 September 1985, and made in situ measurements of particles, fields, and waves. It also transited between the Sun and Comet Halley in late March 1986, when other spacecraft (Giotto, Planet-A, MS-T5, VEGA) were also in the vicinity of Comet Halley on their early March comet rendezvous missions. ICE became the first spacecraft to directly investigate two comets. ICE data from both cometary encounters are included in the International Halley Watch archive at http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?ds=XD-B3A

Tracking and telemetry support were provided by the DSN (Deep Space Network) starting in January 1984. The ISEE-3/ICE bit rate was nominally 2048 bps during the early part of the mission, and 1024 bps during the Giacobini-Zinner comet encounter. The bit rate then successively dropped to 512 bps (on 9/12/85), 256 bps (on 5/1/87), 128 bps (on 1/24/89) and finally to 64 bps (on 12/27/91).

As of January 1990, ICE was in a 355 day heliocentric orbit with an aphelion of 1.03 AU, a perihelion of 0.93 AU and an inclination of 0.1 degree.

An update to the ICE mission was approved by NASA headquarters in 1991. It defined a Heliospheric mission for ICE consisting of investigations of coronal mass ejections in coordination with ground-based observations, continued cosmic ray studies, and special period observations such as when ICE and Ulysses were on the same solar radial line. By May 1995, ICE was being operated with only a low duty cycle, with some support being provided by the Ulysses project for data analysis. Termination of operations of ICE/ISEE3 was authorized 5 May 1997.

In 1999, NASA made brief contact with ICE to verify its carrier signal.

On 18 September 2008, NASA located ICE with the help of KinetX using the Deep Space Network after discovering it had not been powered off after the 1999 contact. A status check revealed that all but one of its 13 experiments were still functioning, and it still had enough propellant for 150 m/s (490 ft/s) of Δv (velocity change).

In early 2014, space enthusiasts started discussing reviving ICE when it approached the Earth in August. However, officials with the Goddard Space Flight Center said the Deep Space Network equipment required for transmitting signals to the spacecraft had been decommissioned in 1999, and was too expensive to replace.

On 15 May 2014, the ISEE-3 Reboot Project successfully raised $125,000 through crowdfunding to re-establish communications with the probe.

On 29 May 2014, the reboot team commanded the probe to switch into Engineering Mode to begin to broadcast telemetry. Project members, using the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex DSS-24 antenna, achieved synchronous communication on 26 June and obtained the four ranging points needed to refine the spacecraft's orbital parameters, data needed to calculate maneuvers required to bring the satellite out of heliocentric orbit. The reboot project successfully fired the thrusters on 2 July for the first time since 1987. They spun up the spacecraft to its nominal roll rate, in preparation for the upcoming trajectory correction maneuver in mid-July. However, a longer sequence of thrusters firings on 8 July failed, apparently due to a loss of the nitrogen gas used to pressurize the fuel tanks. The ISEE-3 Reboot Team announced that all attempts to change orbit using the ISEE-3 propulsion system had failed on 24 July. They began shutting down propulsion components to maximize the electrical power available for the science experiments.

In late July 2014, ISEE-3 Reboot Project announced the ISEE-3 Interplanetary Citizen Science Mission would gather data as the spacecraft flies by the Moon on August 10 and continues in heliocentric orbit. With five of the 13 instruments on the spacecraft still working, the science possibilities include listening for gamma ray bursts, where observations from additional locations in the solar system can be valuable. The team plans to acquire data from as much of ISEE-3's 300-day orbit as possible and the project is recruiting additional receiving sites around the globe to improve diurnal coverage. They may upload additional commands while the spacecraft is close to Earth, after which they will mostly be receiving data.

On 10 August 2014, ICE passed the Moon at a distance of approximately 15,600 km (9600 mi) from the surface and continued into heliocentric orbit. It will return to Earth's vicinity in about 17 years.



Artist's concept of ICE encountering a comet, NASA artwork
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/masterCatalog.do?sc=1978-079A

1992
During the 5h 44m Mir EO-12-3 EVA, cosmonauts Solovyov and Avdeyev completed the installation of the VDU thruster pod on the Sofora tower on the Mir space station.
http://www.spacefacts.de/mir/english/mir-12.htm

1993 17:12:00 GMT
McDonnell-Douglas launched a DC-X test mission from White Sands, New Mexico, as an ascent and landing mode control and ground effects survey, which reached a 92 meter altitude in its 66 second flight.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X#Flight_testing

1995 06:52:00 GMT
Soyuz TM-21 landed with the crew of Budarin and Solovyov aboard, returning from the Mir space station.
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftOrbit.do?id=1995-010A

1996 00:00:59 GMT
An Ariane 42P launched from Kourou carried the Echostar 2 communications satellite to space, which was positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 119 deg W.
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1996-055A

2000 04:47:00 GMT
During the 6h 14m STS-106-1 EVA, astronauts Lu and Malenchenko rode the shuttle Atlantis' RMS arm to the Zvezda ISS module and began installing cables, reaching a distance of 30 meters from the airlock when installing Zvezda's magnetometer.

STS 106 was launched 8 September 2000 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39B after a smooth countdown. The inital orbit of 72 x 328 km x 51.6 deg was circularised by the Shuttle's OMS engines at apogee.

Of nearly 12 days in orbit, STS 106 spent seven docked with the International Space Station, preparing the ISS for the arrival of the first residents in its permanent habitation, the Expedition One crew. Atlantis docked with the PMA-2 adapter on the International Space Station at 05:51 GMT on 10 September.

The STS 106 crew spent five days, 9 hours and 21 minutes inside the International Space Station. The seven crewmembers completed a long checklist aimed at making the station a home for its first residents, who would arrive about five weeks later to stay for more than four months. Acting as plumbers, movers, installers and electricians, the astronauts installed batteries, power converters, a toilet and a treadmill on the orbiting outpost. They also delivered more than 2,993 kilograms (6,600 pounds) of supplies.

Astronauts Lu and Malenchenko performed a spacewalk beginning at 04:47 GMT on 11 September. They rode the RMS arm up to the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module and began installing power, data and communications cables, reaching a distance of 30 meters from the airlock when installing Zvezda's magnetometer. The total EVA duration was 6 hours 21 minutes.

Atlantis' thrusters were fired four times to boost the station's altitude by 22.5 kilometers (14 miles).

The Shuttle undocked from ISS at 03:44 GMT on 18 September. After undocking, Pilot Scott Altman moved Atlantis to a distance of about 137 meters (450 feet) from the station, and made two circuits of the station, each lasting half an orbit, as the rest of the crew photographed its exterior for documentation. The final separation maneuver was executed at 05:34 GMT.

The payload bay doors were closed at 04:14 GMT on 20 September, and at 06:50 GMT, the OMS engines ignited for a three minute burn lowering the orbit from 374 x 386 km x 51.6 deg to 22 x 380 km x 51.6 deg. After entry interface at 07:25 GMT, STS 106 ended 20 September 2000 when Atlantis landed on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, with main gear touchdown at 07:56:48 GMT, for a mission duration of 11 days, 19 hours, 10 minutes.

The flight crew for STS 106 was: Terrence Wilcutt, Commander; Scott D. Altman, Pilot; Edward T. Lu, Mission Specialist 1; Richard A. Mastracchio, Mission Specialist 2; Daniel C. Burbank, Mission Specialist 3; Yuri I. Malenchenko, Mission Specialist 4; Boris V. Morukov, Mission Specialist 5.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-106#Spacewalks
https://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/archives/sts-106/index.html

2001
Died (passenger in suicide attack on the World Trade Center, NYC), Charles Edward Jones, astronaut candidate (DoD Group 2 - 1982)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Edward_Jones

2001
Suicide hijackers crashed two airliners into and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City, and a third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, damaging it heavily, in the first use of civilian aircraft as weapons of mass destruction.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks

2003
Scaled Composites/Mojave Aerospace conducted White Knight Flight 33 in their X-Prize development program for a SpaceShipOne approach and landing profile review.
http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone_test_logs/39


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