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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 September 19

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Born, Jan Luyts, Netherlands, scholar, physicist, mathematician, astronomer

Died, Ole Christensen Romer, Danish astronomer, made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light (1676)

Born, Pieter van Musschenbroek, Dutch physician, physicist (Leyden jar, buckling of compressed struts, described machines for tension, compression, and flexure testing)

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier launched the first hot-air balloon with live creatures on board, in Versailles, France.

Saturn's moon Hyperion was simultaneously discovered by George Phillips Bond (in the US) and William Lassell (in England).

A. De Gasparis discovered asteroid #20 Massalia.

H. Goldschmidt discovered asteroids #48 Doris and #49 Pales.

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #85 Io.

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #112 Iphigenia.

A. Charlois discovered asteroid #336 Lacadiera.

M. Wolf discovered asteroids #573 Recha, #574 Reginhild and #575 Renate; P. Gotz discovered asteroid #572 Rebekka.

Born, Masatoshi Koshiba, Japanese physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics 2002 ("for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos")

Died, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, Russian inventor, pioneering rocket scientist - "The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one can not live in a cradle forever!"

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (17 September (5 September "old style" date) 1857 - 19 September 1935) was a Russian rocket scientist and cosmonautics pioneer. As a child he caught scarlet fever and became hard of hearing. He was not accepted at elementary schools because of his hearing problem, so was home schooled until 16. Nearly deaf, he worked as a high school mathematics teacher until retiring in 1920.

Tsiolkovsky theorized many aspects of space travel and rocket propulsion. He is considered the father of human space flight and the first man to conceive the space elevator, after visiting Paris in 1895 and becoming inspired by the newly-constructed Eiffel Tower. His most famous work was "The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices," published in 1903, and arguably the first academic treatise on rocketry. Tsiolkovsky proposed the construction of staged rockets in his book "Cosmic Trains" in 1929. He first calculated the escape velocity from the Earth into orbit was 8 km/second and that to achieve this, a multi-stage rocket fueled by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen was required. During his lifetime he published over 500 works on space travel and related subjects, including science fiction novels. Among his works are designs for rockets with steering thrusters, multi-stage boosters, space stations, airlocks for exiting a spaceship into the vacuum of space, and closed cycle biological systems to provide food and oxygen for space colonies. He was also an adherent of philosopher Nikolai Fyodorov, and believed that colonizing space would lead to the perfection of the human race, with immortality and a carefree existence. Unfortunately, his pioneering ideas didn't make it out of Russia in a timely manner, and the field lagged until German and other scientists independently made the same calculations decades later.

Friedrich Zander became enthusiastic about Tsiolkovsky's work and active in promoting and developing it. In 1924, he established the first Cosmonautics Society in the Soviet Union, and later researched and built liquid-fueled rockets named OR-1 (1930) and OR-2 (1933). On 23 August 1924 Tsiolkovsky was elected as a first professor of the Military-Air Academy N. E. Zhukovsky.

The basic equation for rocket propulsion, the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, is named after him.

C. Jackson discovered asteroid #2825.

Y. Vaisala discovered asteroids #2638 Gadolin and #3606.

S. Arend discovered asteroids #1583 Antilochus, #1683 Castafiore, #1787 Chiny, #2513 Baetsle and #3755.

Born, Richard Michael Linnehan DVM (at Lowell, Massachusetts, USA), US Army Captain, NASA astronaut (STS 78, STS 90, STS 109, STS 123/ISS 1JA; nearly 59d 12h total time in spaceflight)

Astronaut Richard Linnehan, STS-123 mission specialist, NASA photo JSC2000-03747 (March 2000)
Source: Wikipedia ( dead 25 Feb 2021)

NASA Administrator James Webb announced the new Manned Spacecraft Center would be in Houston, Texas. The Manned Spacecraft Center would be the command center for the manned Lunar landing mission, and all follow-on manned space flight missions.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #1729 Beryl.

Born, Sunita Lyn Williams (at Euclid, Ohio, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (ISS 14/15, ISS 32/33 (Commander/33); 321d 17.25h total time in spaceflight)

Astronaut Suni Williams, NASA photo (30 July 2013)
Source: NASA Astronaut Profile

P. Wild discovered asteroids #1687 Glarona and #2914.

Died, Chester F. Carlson, inventor (photocopier)

The main electrical cable to the N1 launch complex at Baikonur was accidentally bulldozed, delaying the first launch of the Soviet Moon rocket two months.

The main electrical cable to the N1 launch complex at Baikonur was accidentally bulldozed. The back-up cables were buried only 30 cm (1 foot) from the main line, both were destroyed. The cables were poorly marked, and it took 50 days to repair the damage. At the time of this accident, it was predicted it would delay the first launch of the Soviet Moon rocket until the second half of November 1968, and the second launch to February 1969 - "Most likely the first launch cannot take place until next year" (comment made in 1968).

1968 00:09:00 GMT
Intelsat 3 F-1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a Thor Delta booster, but the launch vehicle suffered a control system failure and had to be destroyed by range safety.

C. J. Van Houten discovered asteroids #3290 Azabu and #3548; T. Gehrels discovered asteroid #2643.

L. Chernykh discovered asteroids #2386 Nikonov, #2419 Moldavia, #2756 Dzhangar, #2977 Chivilikhin, #3232 Brest, #3384 and #3429.

N. Chernykh discovered asteroids #2222 Lermontov, #2251 Tikhov, #2770 Tsvet and #2967.

1980 03:00:00 CDT (GMT -5:00:00)
A Titan 2 ICBM loaded with a 9 megaton nuclear warhead exploded in its launch silo in Damascus, Arkansas.

An Air Force repairman doing routine maintenance in a Titan II ICBM silo in Damascus, Arkansas, dropped an 8 lb (3.6 kg) socket from a wrench on 18 September 1980, which rolled off a work platform and fell to the bottom of the silo. The socket struck the missile, causing a leak in a pressurized fuel tank. The missile complex and surrounding areas were evacuated. Eight and a half hours later, at approximately 3 AM on 19 September, the fuel vapors ignited, causing an explosion which killed an Air Force specialist and injured 21 others. The explosion also blew off the 740 ton reinforced concrete-and-steel silo door, and catapulted the warhead 200 meters (650 feet) into the air. The silo was later filled in with gravel, rather than rebuilt.

1981 21:28:00 GMT
China launched the Shi Jian 2 (SJ-2) technology satellite mission from Jiuquan on a Feng Bao 1 booster, including the SJ-2A and SJ-2B subsatellites, the latter being a balloon for drag studies.

1988 09:32:00 GMT
Israel became the eighth nation to launch its own satellite into orbit when it launched its first satellite, Ofeq 1, on a Shavit booster, for secret military reconnaissance.

Ofeq 1 (Horizon 1) was an experimental satellite launched 19 September 1988 by Israel to demonstrate its capability to launch small satellites, possibly an experimental surveillance mission. The launch, from a site in the Negev desert on the coast south of Tel-Aviv, on a Shavit booster, made Israel the eighth nation to launch a satellite on its own rocket. The spacecraft operated successfully for nearly four months, until re-entry on 14 January 1989. Solar panels provided a power capability of 246 watts, but the average power consumption of the spacecraft was 53 watts. Its spin period was one second. Telemetry was in the S-band, at 2.5 kbits/sec. The launching organizations were Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd (IAI) and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA). The advertised functions of the satellite were: 1) experimentation in generation of solar power (solar panels); 2) experimentation in reception of transmissions from space (telemetry, data); 3) verification of the system's ability to withstand vacuum and weightless conditions; 4) data collection on space environment conditions and the Earth's magnetic field.

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