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Space History for September 24


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1891
A Charlois discovered asteroid #318 Magdalena.

1906
J H Metcalf discovered asteroid #611 Valeria; M Wolf discovered asteroid #609 Fulvia.

1913
Born, Lawrence Hugh Aller, US astronomer (gaseous nebulae)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_H._Aller

1916
M Wolf discovered asteroids #838 Seraphina and #839 Valborg.

1917
M Wolf discovered asteroid #3034 Climenhaga.

1929
Lt James H Doolittle guided a Consolidated NY-2 Husky biplane over Mitchell Field in New York in the first all-instrument flight, in Doolittle's words, "the first time an airplane had taken off, flown over a set course, and landed by instruments alone."
http://ethw.org/Milestones:First_Blind_Takeoff,_Flight_and_Landing,_1929

1930
Born, John Watts Young (at San Francisco, California, USA), astronaut (Gemini 3, Gemini 10, Apollo 10, Apollo 16, STS 1, STS 9), only astronaut to fly Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle; ninth person to walk on the Moon

Astronaut John Young, NASA photo
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/young.html

1935
E Delporte discovered asteroids #1388 Aphrodite and #2213 Meeus.

1945
Died, Hans Geiger, German physicist, inventor (Geiger counter)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Geiger

1960
The Palomar-Leiden Survey discovered 79 asteroids.

On 24 September 1960, the Palomar-Leiden Survey discovered 79 asteroids: #1743 Schmidt, #1744 Harriet, #1776 Kuiper, #1777 Gehrels, #1795 Woltjer, #1808 Bellerophon, #1809 Prometheus, #1810 Epimetheus, #1811 Bruwer, #1812 Gilgamesh, #1846 Bengt, #1868 Thersites, #1869 Philoctetes, #1912 Anubis, #1923 Osiris, #1924 Horus, #1964 Luyten, #1965 Van de Kamp, #1966 Tristan, #1979 Sakharov, #2003 Harding, #2041 Lancelot, #2042 Sitarski, #2054 Gawain, #2095 Parsifal, #2125 Karl-Ontjes, #2154 Underhill, #2155 Wodan, #2176 Donar, #2177 Oliver, #2200 Pasadena, #2210 Lois, #2224 Tucson, #2225 Serkowski, #2247, #2256, #2289, #2317 Galya, #2318 Lubarsky, #2339, #2413 van de Hulst, #2435 Horemheb, #2436 Hatshepsut, #2462 Nehalennia, #2471 Ultrajectum, #2662, #2662 Kandinsky, #2663, #2782, #2798, #2800, #2818, #2823 van der Laan, #2876 Aeschylus, #2921 Sophocles, #2930 Euripides, #2940 Bacon, #2986 Mrinalini, #2987 Sarabhai, #2992 Vondel, #3046 Moliere, #3047 Goethe, #3079 Schiller, #3091 van den Heuvel, #3092 Herodotus, #3097 Tacitus, #3098 van Sprang, #3164 Prast, #3201 Sijthoff, #3218, #3226, #3244, #3251, #3292 Sather, #3293 Rontaylor, #3294 Carlvesely, #3377, #3538 and #3664.

"The Palomar-Leiden Survey of Faint Minor Planets" was made using the 1.2 meter Oschin Schmidt telescope at Palomar Mountain in September and October 1960. The plates were made by Tom Gehrels at Palomar, then shipped to Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, where Kees van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld measured the trails.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 minor planets were discovered over the course of the Palomar–Leiden survey and its subsequent Trojan campaigns. A total of 4,622 numbered minor planets are directly credited to the survey's principal investigators, C. J. van Houten, I. van Houten-Groeneveld and T. Gehrels, by the Minor Planet Center. (The MPC is the official worldwide organization in charge of collecting observational data for minor planets (e.g. asteroids) and comets, calculating their orbits and publishing the information.)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palomar%E2%80%93Leiden_survey

1970
C U Cesco discovered asteroid #1958 Chandra.

1970 03:26:00 GMT
USSR's Luna 16 sample return capsule landed approximately 80 km SE of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan with the first robotically collected Lunar samples.

Luna 16 was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample to Earth, the first Lunar sample return mission by the Soviet Union, and the third Lunar sample return overall, following the Apollo 11 and 12 missions. The spacecraft consisted of two attached stages, an ascent stage mounted on top of a descent stage. The descent stage was a cylindrical body with four protruding landing legs, fuel tanks, a landing radar, and a dual descent engine complex. A main descent engine was used to slow the craft until it reached a cutoff point, determined by the onboard computer based on altitude and velocity. After cutoff, a bank of lower thrust jets was used for the final landing. The descent stage also acted as a launch pad for the ascent stage. The ascent stage was a smaller cylinder with a rounded top. It carried a cylindrical hermetically sealed soil sample container inside a re-entry capsule. The spacecraft descent stage was equipped with a television camera, radiation and temperature monitors, telecommunications equipment, and an extendable arm with a drilling rig for collecting the Lunar soil sample.

Luna 16 was launched toward the Moon from a preliminary Earth orbit on 12 September 1970, and after one mid-course correction on 13 September, it entered a circular 111 km Lunar orbit on 17 September 1970. The Lunar gravity was studied from this orbit, and then the spacecraft was fired into an elliptical orbit with a perilune of 15.1 km. The main braking engine was fired using a timed burn on 20 September, initiating the descent to the Lunar surface. At an altitude of 600 meters, the new-design braking rocket was automatically controlled according to height and velocity as measured by radar. The main descent engine cut off at an altitude of 20 meters and the landing jets cut off at 2 meters height at a velocity less than 2.4 m/s (14 mph), followed by vertical free-fall. At 05:18 UT, the spacecraft soft landed on the Lunar surface in Mare Foecunditatis (the Sea of Fertility) as planned, approximately 100 km west of Webb crater. Getting there had required 68 communications sessions over nine days of flight. This was the first landing made in the dark on the Moon, as the Sun had set about 60 hours earlier. According to the Bochum Radio Space Observatory in the Federal Republic of Germany, strong and good quality television pictures were returned by the spacecraft. However, since the pictures were not made available to the US by any sources, there is a question of the reliability of the Bochum report. The drill was deployed at 10:00 UT and penetrated to a depth of 35 cm before encountering hard rock or large fragments of rock. The column of regolith in the drill tube was then transferred to the soil sample container. After 26 hours and 25 minutes on the Lunar surface, the ascent stage, with the hermetically sealed soil sample container, lifted off from the Moon carrying 101 grams of collected material at 07:43 UT on 21 September. The lower stage of Luna 16 remained on the Lunar surface and continued transmission of Lunar temperature and radiation data. The Luna 16 re-entry capsule returned directly to Earth without any mid-course corrections, made a ballistic entry into the Earth's atmosphere on 24 September 1970 and deployed parachutes. The capsule landed approximately 80 km SE of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 03:26 UT, only 30 km from its aim point. There was ideal weather in the recovery area, the radio beacon worked well, and a helicopter picked up the capsule only a few minutes after landing.


https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1970-072A

1975 12:00:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 770 from Plesetsk, a Sfera satellite used for investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. (The Sfera system covered broad developments in geodetics, continental drift, and precise location of cartographic points.)
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1975-089A

1976
N Chernykh discovered asteroids #2323 Zverev, #2362 Mark Twain, #3158 Anga, #3372, #3436, #3517 and #3632.

1977 16:30:00 GMT
USSR launched Intercosmos 17 from Plesetsk for investigation of energetic charged and neutral particles and micrometeorite fluxes in circumterrestrial space.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1977-096A

1978
A Mrkos discovered asteroid #2552 Remek; Z Vavrova discovered asteroid #2821.

1979
N Chernykh discovered asteroids #2777 Shukshin, #2953 Vysheslavia, #3006 Livadia. #3073 Kursk, #3148, #3170, #3306, #3385 and #3535.

1981 23:09:00 GMT
The SBS 2 (Satellite Business Systems 2) comsat was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 97 deg W 1981-1983; 104 deg W 1983; 97 deg W 1983-1988; 99 deg W 1988-1990; 97 deg W 1990-1994; 71 deg W 1994-1996.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1981-096A

1982 09:07:00 GMT
USSR launched the Cosmos 1410 geodetic satellite from Plesetsk for investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1982-096A

1984
K Augustesen discovered asteroid #3312 Pedersen.

1988 10:02:00 GMT
NASA launched the NOAA 11 weather satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

NOAA 11 was a third-generation operational meteorological satellite for use in the National Operational Environmental Satellite System (NOESS) and for support of the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP) during 1978-84. The satellite design provided an economical and stable Sun-synchronous platform for advanced operational instruments to measure the Earth's atmosphere, its surface and cloud cover, and the near-space environment. Primary sensors included (1) an advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) for observing daytime and nighttime global cloud cover, (2) a TIROS operational vertical sounder (TOVS) for obtaining temperature and water vapor profiles through the Earth's atmosphere, and (3) a solar backscatter ultraviolet spectrometer (SBUV/2) for providing ozone distributions in the atmosphere. The secondary experiment was a data collection system (DCS), which processed and relayed to central data acquisition stations the various meteorological data received from free-floating balloons and ocean buoys distributed around the globe. A search and rescue (SAR) system was also carried on NOAA-H to receive, process, and relay distress signals transmitted by beacons carried by civil aircraft and some classes of marine vessels. The satellite was based upon the Block 5D spacecraft bus developed for the US Air Force, and was capable of maintaining an Earth-pointing accuracy of better than +/- 0.1 degree with a motion rate of less than 0.035 degree/second.


http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1988-089A

1995 00:06:00 GMT
Telstar 402-R was launched from Kourou on an Ariane 42L booster, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 89 deg W to transmit TV to the continental US for 13 years. The satellite suffered a power failure on 19 September 2003 and was a total loss.

Telstar 402-R was an AT&T geostationary spacecraft built by Loral Space & Communication and launched by an Ariane rocket on 24 September 1995. The 6.4kW spacecraft replaced the failed 402 spacecraft launched on 9 September 1994, and was to provide 48 channels of direct television and telecommunications for the next 13 years after reaching the parking longitude of 89 deg W. Its coverage included the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and southern Canada.

Telstar 402-R, then known as Telstar 4, shut down after a short circuit of its primary power bus on 19 September 2003 at 1256 UTC. The satellite was declared a total loss after Loral failed to re-establish contact with its spacecraft.

See also http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1995-049A

1997 21:32:00 GMT
Russia launched the Molniya 1-90 communications satellite into orbit from Plesetsk to relay television programs and long-distance two-way links from Moscow to receiving stations in the Orbita system.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1997-054A

1999
Russia's Foton 12 descent module landed on Russian territory at 52.47 deg N 53.83 deg E, carrying European microgravity experiments that had been in space for fifteen days.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1999-048A

1999 18:22:00 GMT
The Ikonos 2 civilian commercial high resolution (1 meter) photograhic satellite was launched into a 678x682 km orbit from Vandenburg, California by an Athena 2 rocket.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1999-051A


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