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Space History for October 14

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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
Visit to find out more!

Born, Edward Sabine, Irish astronomer, extensive pendulum measurements to determine Earth's shape, magnetic observatories to relate sunspot activity with terrestrial magnetism disturbances

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #176 Iduna.

George Eastman patented paper-strip photographic film.

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #244 Sita.

P. Gotz discovered asteroids #547 Praxedis and #548 Kressida.

Born, Raymond Davis Jr., American physicist, Nobel 2002 with Koshiba "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos," looking at the solar neutrino problem

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #985 Rosina.

During XS-1 Flight 50, USAF Captain Chuck Yeager flew a rocket powered Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound (Mach 1.05, 1062 kph, 660 mph), at 42,000 ft (12.801 km, 7.955 mi) altitude above Muroc, California, the first person to do so in level flight.

On 14 October 1947, the USAF XS-1 was dropped from its B-29 mother ship at 20,000 feet over Rogers Dry Lake near Muroc, California, on its ninth powered flight, piloted by Captain Chuck Yeager. All four engines were ignited in rapid succession and the XS-1 climbed to 42,000 feet where it was leveled off, with two engines shut down between 35,000 and 40,000 feet.

At 42,000 feet (12.801 km, 7.955 mi), in "approximately level flight" a third engine was turned on. Yeager reports the acceleration was rapid and the speed increased to Mach .98. The machmeter fluctuated momentarily at that reading, then passed off the scale. Assuming the reading remained linear, his speed reached an estimated Mach 1.05 (1062 kph, 660 mph) at that time.

After jettisoning the (approximately 30%) remaining fuel and LOX, a 1 G stall was performed at 45,000 feet, with the flight concluded by gliding to a normal landing at the lake bed.

See also Speed of Sound Table Chart, Engineers Edge where the correlation between Mach number and airspeed is illustrated.

XS-1 9th powered flight pilot's notes
Source: [US] National Archives

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #2775.

1960 13:51:03 GMT
USSR launched Marsnik 2 (Korabl 5, Mars 1960B), the first confirmed Soviet Mars attempt, which did not achieve Earth orbit.

Marsnik 2 (also called Korabl 5 or Mars 1960B), an intended Mars flyby mission, launched 14 October 1960, was either the Soviet Union's first or second attempt at a planetary probe, depending on whether the probe designated as Marsnik 1 launched four days earlier was actually designed to go to Mars. The objectives of the mission were to investigate interplanetary space between Earth and Mars, to study Mars and return surface images from a flyby trajectory, and to study the effects of extended spaceflight on onboard instruments and provide radio communications from long distances. After launch, the third stage pumps were unable to develop enough thrust to commence ignition, so Earth parking orbit was not achieved: At T+290 seconds, the Stage 3 engine 8D715K failed to ignite because a LOX leak froze kerosene in the fuel inlet to the pump on the launch pad due to a faulty LOX valve seal. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 120 km before reentry, the upper stages and payload broke up on re-entry into the atmosphere.

The spacecraft was nearly identical to the Venera 1 design, a cylindrical body about 2 meters high with two solar panel wings, a 2.33 meter high-gain net antenna, and a long antenna arm, and had a mass of about 650 kg. It carried a 10 kg science payload consisting of a magnetometer on a boom, cosmic ray counter, plasma-ion trap, a radiometer, a micrometeorite detector, and a spectroreflectometer to study the CH band as a possible indicator of life on Mars. These instruments were mounted on the outside of the spacecraft. A photo-television camera was held in a sealed module in the spacecraft and could take pictures through a viewport when a sensor indicated the Sun-illuminated Martian surface was in view.

Attitude was to be controlled by a Sun-star sensor with attitude correction performed by a dimethylhydrazine/nitric acid binary propellant engine. The spacecraft orientation was to be maintained so that the solar panels faced the Sun throughout the flight. Power would be provided by the two-square meter solar panels which charged silver-zinc batteries. Radio communications were to be made using a decimeter band transmitter via the high gain antenna for spacecraft commands and telemetry. Radio bearing was planned to be used to maintain the antennas orientation to Earth. Images were to be transferred using an 8-cm wavelength transmitter through the high-gain antenna. A fourth stage was added to the booster, the Molniya or 8K78, the new launcher was designated SL-6/A-2-e.

US U-2 espionage planes observed Soviet missile launchers in Cuba.

The Cuban Missile Crisis, which lasted from 15 October through 28 October 1962, was a stand-off between the United States and the Soviet Union over Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, putting the entire world under threat of a nuclear war. It started after a US U-2 spy plane had observed Soviet missles in Cuba on 14 October, and ended when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced the missles were being removed, on 28 October.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #2070 Humason.

1965 12:58:00 GMT
NASA launched OGO 2 (Orbiting Geophysical Observatory-2) from Vandenberg, California, to make observations of aurora and airglow emissions, energetic particles, magnetic field variations and ionospheric properties, especially over polar areas.

OGO 2, launched 14 October 1965, was a large observatory instrumented with 20 experiments designed to make simultaneous, correlative observations of aurora and airglow emissions, energetic particles, magnetic field variations, ionospheric properties, etc., especially over the polar areas.

OGO 2 consisted of a main body, generally parallelepipedal in form, two rectangular solar panels, each with a solar-oriented experiment package (SOEP), and two orbital plane experiment packages (OPEP). It also included six experiment packages (EP-1,-2,-3,-4,-5, and -6) mounted on booms extending generally fore and aft of the spacecraft along the Y axis. Antenna and attitude control fixtures also extended from separate and/or EP booms. The main body was attitude-controlled by use of horizon scanners and gas jets and was designed to point toward the Earth (Z axis). The axis connecting the two solar panels (X axis) was designed to oscillate in order to remain perpendicular to the Earth-sun-spacecraft plane. The solar panels, activated by Sun sensors, could rotate about this X axis in order to obtain maximum radiation for the solar cells and concurrently orient the SOEP properly. The OPEPs were reoriented on either end of an axis that was parallel to the Z axis and attached to the forward end of the main body. These OPEP sensors normally were maintained looking forward in the orbital plane of the satellite. To maintain this orientation, the OPEP axis could rotate over 90 degrees. In addition, an angular difference of over 90 degrees was possible between the orientation of the upper and lower OPEP packages. The SOEP contained four experiments, and the OPEP contained five experiments.

Soon after achieving orbit, difficulties in maintaining Earth lock with the horizon scanners caused exhaustion of the attitude control gas by 23 October 1965, 10 days after launch. At this time, the spacecraft entered a spin mode (about 0.11 rpm) with a large coning angle about the previously vertical axis. Five experiments became useless when the satellite went into this spin mode. Six additional experiments were degraded by this loss of attitude control. By April 1966, both batteries had failed, so subsequent observations were limited to sunlit portions of the orbit. By December 1966, only eight experiments were operational, five of which were not degraded by the spin mode operation. By April 1967, the tape recorders had malfunctioned and only one third of the recorded data could be processed.

Spacecraft power and periods of operational scheduling conflicts created six large data gaps so that data were observed on a total of about 306 days of the 2 year 18 day total span of observed satellite data from launch to 1 November 1967. The data gaps were (a) 24 October 1965, to 5 November 1965, (b) 6 December 1965, to 7 January 1966, (c) 9 April 1966, to 21 June 1966, (d) 2 September 1966, to 18 November 1966, (e) 27 December 1966, to 11 April 1967, and (f) 9 May 1967, to 19 September 1967.

The spacecraft was shut down on 1 November 1967, with eight experiments still operational. It was reactivated for 2 weeks in February 1968 to operate the rubidium vapor magnetometer experiment 65-081A-05.

For additional information see J. E. Jackson and J. I. Vette, OGO Program Summary, NASA SP-7601, December 1975.

1965 19:41:00 GMT
USSR launched Molniya 1-2 from Baikonur, a France/USSR communications link, for transmission of television programs and long-range, two-way multi-channel telephone, phototelegraph and telegraph communications.

1965 20:46:00 GMT
NASA and the USAF launched X-15A MIT,Pace transducer Test mission # 153. Joe Engle achieved a maximum speed of 3554 mph (5720 kph, Mach 5.08) and achieved a maximum altitude of 266,500 ft (81.229 km, 50.473 mi), earning astronaut wings (USAF definition).

The first live television transmission from a manned US spacecraft occurred, during the Apollo 7 mission.

Apollo 7 (AS-205), launched 11 October 1968, was the first crewed flight of the Apollo spacecraft, with astronauts Walter Schirra Jr, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham on board. The primary objectives of the Earth orbiting mission were to demonstrate Command and Service Module (CSM), crew, launch vehicle, and mission support facilities performance, and to demonstrate CSM rendezvous capability. Two photographic experiments and three medical experiments were planned.

The Command Module (CM), a cone-shaped craft about 390 cm in diameter at the large end, served as a command, control, and communications center. Supplemented by the Service Module (SM), it provided all life support elements for the crew. The CM was capable of attitude control about three axes and some lateral lift translation. It also served as a buoyant vessel at sea. The SM provided the main propulsion and maneuvering capability. It was jettisoned just before CM reentry. The SM was a cylinder 390 cm in diameter and 670 cm long. The spacecraft mass of 14,781 kg is the mass of the CSM including propellants and expendables. There was no Lunar Module or boilerplate unit on this flight.

The countdown had proceeded smoothly, with only a slight delay because of additional time required to chill the hydrogen system in the S-IVB stage of the Saturn launch vehicle. After lifting off from Launch Complex 34 at Cape Kennedy, Florida, the S-IVB/CSM was put into a 228 x 282 km Earth orbit. Venting of the S-IVB propellants raised the orbit to 232 x 309 km over the next three hours, at which time the S-IVB stage was separated from the CSM. Although spacecraft separation was normal, the crew reported that one adapter panel had not fully deployed. The S-IVB stage was then used for rendezvous maneuvers over the next two days, as Schirra and his crew performed simulated dockings with the S-IVB stage, maneuvering to within 1.2 meters of the rocket.

Shortly after liftoff, the commander (Schirra) reported he was developing a bad head cold. The next day, the other two crew members also reported symptoms. The zero-gravity environment exacerbated their ailments, since normal fluid drainage from the head did not occur. The crew took medication, but the colds caused them extreme discomfort throughout the mission, hampering performance of some of the scheduled duties. During re-entry, the astronauts also did not wear their helmets, to make it possible to properly clear their throats and ears.

Many tests were performed over the course of the 11 day mission, including tests of sextant calibration, attitude control, evaporator, navigation, rendezvous radar, thermal control system, and Service Module propulsion systems. During eight burns of the service propulsion system over the course of the flight, the engine functioned normally. The seven television transmissions made from Apollo 7, commencing on 14 October, were the first live TV transmissions from a piloted US spacecraft. The S-IVB orbit decayed on 18 October, and it impacted the Indian Ocean at 9:30 UT. At 10:46 UT on 22 October, the SM was jettisoned, and re-entry of the CM and crew started 10 minutes later.

Apollo 7 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on 22 October 1968 at 11:11:48 UT (7:11:48 a.m. EDT) after a mission elapsed time of 260 hours, 9 minutes, 3 seconds. The splashdown occurred at 27 deg 32 min N, 64 deg 04 min W, 200 nautical miles SSW of Bermuda and 13 km (8 mi) north of the recovery ship USS Essex.

For nearly 30 years the Apollo 7 Command Module was on loan (renewable every two years) to the National Museum of Science and Technology of Canada, in Ottawa, along with the space suit worn by Wally Schirra. In November 2003, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, requested them back for display at their new annex at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

The Apollo program included a large number of uncrewed test missions and 12 crewed missions: three Earth orbiting missions (Apollo 7, 9 and Apollo-Soyuz), two Lunar orbiting missions (Apollo 8 and 10), a Lunar swingby (Apollo 13), and six Moon landing missions (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). Two astronauts from each of the six landing missions walked on the Moon (Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, Charles Conrad, Alan Bean, Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, David Scott, James Irwin, John Young, Charles Duke, Gene Cernan, and Harrison Schmitt), the only humans to have set foot on another solar system body (through 2014).

USSR Soyuz 7 and 8 experienced system problems which prevented the two spacecraft from docking.

Orbital maneuvers leading to the planned Soyuz 7-8 docking on 14 October 1969 initially proceeded normally. The intention was Soyuz 7 and 8 would dock while Soyuz 6 observed from 50 meters away. The automated rendezvous system engaged when the spacecraft were 250 km apart. However, when Soyuz 7 and 8 were only a kilometer apart, the Igla automated docking system failed. The crews could have conducted a manual rendezvous, but that was not allowed by the technical flight controller even though mission rules would have permitted manual docking when the spacecraft are within 1500 m.

The failure of the rendezvous electronics in all three craft was later determined to be due to a new helium pressurization integrity test conducted prior to the mission.

1969 13:40:00 GMT
USSR launched Intercosmos 1 from Kapustin Yar whose payload included East European experiments to study solar UV and X-ray effects on the upper atmosphere, for investigation of solar radiation and its effect on the atmosphere of the Earth.

Intercosmos 1, launched 14 October 1969 by the Soviet Union, was designed to study solar ultraviolet and x-ray radiation and the effects of these types of radiation on the structure of the Earth's upper atmosphere. This spacecraft, a cooperative effort, carried instruments supplied by the German Democratic Republic, the USSR, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Scientists from the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, the Polish People's Republic, and the Socialist Republic of Romania participated in the receipt and interpretation of data.

1970 11:30:00 GMT
USSR launched Intercosmos 4 from Kapustin Yar for investigation of the ultra-violet and x-ray radiation of the Sun and its effect on the structure of the Earth's upper atmosphere.

The Intercosmos 4 mission, launched 14 October 1969 by the Soviet Union, was a joint effort of the German Democratic Republic, the USSR, and Czechoslovakia. The spacecraft carried a Soviet X-ray polarimeter and X-ray spectroheliograph, an East German UV photometer in the Lyman-alpha range and a real-time telemetry system, and a Czech X-ray photometer with power analyzer and optical photometer. Radioastronomical, ionospheric, and optical observations of the payload were conducted by scientists in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Rumania. Intercosmos 4 had an eight-channel telemetry system that transmitted both stored and real-time data.

L. Chernykh discovered asteroid #2446 Lunacharsky.

1972 06:14:00 GMT
USSR launched Molniya 1-21 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.

1976 17:39:00 GMT
USSR launched Soyuz 23 with a crew of cosmonauts Rozhedstvensky and Zudov on a mission to Salyut 5, but they returned to Earth in a blizzard without docking because of a docking system error.

Soyuz 23 was a manned Soviet mission launched 14 October 1976 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with cosmonauts Rozhedstvensky and Zudov on board. It was intended to dock with the Salyut 5 space station, but the mission failed due to a fault of the main antenna of the Igla rendezvous system. Sensors indicated an incorrect lateral velocity, causing unnecessary firing of the thrusters during rendezvous. The automatic system was turned off, but no fuel remained for a manual docking by the crew. An emergency splashdown was done at night in a blizzard in Lake Tengiz on 16 October 1976. Recovery crews did not find the capsule until the next morning, and were surprised to find the crew alive.

1976 22:44:00 GMT
The Marisat 3 maritime communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 73 deg E.

Died, Vladimir Mikhailovich Myasishchev, Russian Chief Designer of OKB-23 (1951-1960), developed innovative bomber, cruise missile, and spaceplane designs, later Director of TsAGI, regained his own design bureau just before his death

USSR's Cosmos 1129 capsule was recovered 52 deg 17 min N 65 deg 30 min E, a biosatellite which investigated effects of space flight on living organisms through biological and radiation physics experiments from 8 countries including the US and USSR.

Bion 5 (Cosmos 1129) was launched 25 September 1979 with biological experiments related to embryo development and radiation medicine. The biosatellite was designed for the continued investigation of the effects of space flight on living organisms. It carried biological and radiation physics experiment packages from Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, German Democratic Republic, US and USSR. The capsule was recovered on 14 October 1979.

Haute-Provence Observatory discovered asteroid #2630 Hermod.

Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroid #3763.

L. G. Karachkina discovered asteroids #3067, #3511 and #3750; L. Zhuravleva discovered asteroid #3624.

USSR's Venera 16 orbiter reached Venus to use 8 cm band side-looking radar mappers to study the surface properties of Venus with Venera 15.

Venera 16, launched 7 June 1983, was part of a two spacecraft mission (along with Venera 15) designed to use 8 cm band side-looking radar mappers to study the surface properties of Venus. The two spacecraft were inserted into Venus orbit four days apart, Venera 16 arriving second on 14 October 1983, with their orbital planes shifted by an angle of approximately 4 degrees relative to one another. This made it possible to reimage an area if necessary. Each spacecraft was in a nearly polar orbit with a periapsis at 62 N latitude. Together, the two spacecraft imaged the area from the north pole down to about 30 degrees N latitude (i.e., approximately 25% of the surface of Venus) over the 8 months of mapping operations. In June 1984, Venus was at superior conjunction and passed behind the Sun as seen from Earth. No transmissions were possible, so the orbit of Venera 16 was rotated back 20 degrees at this time to map the areas missed during this period.

The Venera 15 and 16 spacecraft were identical and were based on modifications to the the orbiter portions of the Venera 9 and 14 probes. Each spacecraft consisted of a 5 m long cylinder with a 6 m diameter, 1.4 m tall parabolic dish antenna for the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) at one end. A 1 m diameter parabolic dish antenna for the radio altimeter was also located at this end. The electrical axis of the radio altimeter antenna was lined up with the axis of the cylinder. The electrical axis of the SAR deviated from the spacecraft axis by 10 degrees. During imaging, the radio altimeter would be lined up with the center of the planet (local vertical), and the SAR would be looking off to the side at 10 degrees. A bulge at the opposite end of the cylinder held fuel tanks and propulsion units. Two square solar arrays extended like wings from the sides of the cylinder. A 2.6 m radio dish antenna for communications was also attached to the side of the cylinder.

Both Venera 15 and 16 were equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). A radar was necessary in this mission because nothing else would be able to penetrate the dense clouds of Venus. The probes were equipped with on board computers that saved the images until the entire image was complete.

Died, Martin Ryle, English radio astronomer, Nobel 1974 with Hewish "for ... pioneering research in radio astrophysics: ... observations and inventions, in particular of the aperture synthesis technique" (accurate location, imaging of weak radio sources)

C. Shoemaker discovered asteroid #3709.

1992 19:58:00 GMT
Russia launched Molniya 3-42 from Plesetsk for operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system, and transmission of television programs to stations in the Orbita and cooperating international networks.

NASA's space probe Magellan burned up in the atmosphere of Venus. (presumed date, which may also have been 13 October)

Magellan, launched 4 May 1989 aboard NASA's shuttle Atlantis, was a unique mission, being the first dedicated US mission to study the surface of Venus in detail, using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Because Magellan was intended to be a low cost mission, major components of the spacecraft were obtained from flight spares from other programs including Galileo, Viking, Voyager, Mariner, Skylab, Ulysses, and even the shuttle. Designed as a follow-up to the mapping portion of the Pioneer Venus mission, Magellan's purpose was to: (1) obtain near-global radar images of Venus' surface with a resolution equivalent to optical imaging of 1 km per line pair; (2) obtain a near-global topographic map with 50 km spatial and 100 m vertical resolution; (3) obtain near-global gravity field data with 700 km resolution and 2-3 milligals (1 gal = 1 cm/s**2) accuracy; and, (4) develop an understanding of the geological structure of the planet, including its density distribution and dynamics.

Magellan reached Venus and went into orbit on 10 August 1990. The initial phase of the mission (Cycle 1) began shortly after orbital insertion about Venus and lasted for eight months (15 September 1990 through 15 May 1991). During this cycle, Magellan collected radar images of about 84% of the planet's surface. Cycle 2 lasted from the end of cycle 1 until 15 January 1992, during which the spacecraft obtained images of the southern polar region and filled numerous gaps left in the cycle 1 information. Cycle 3 began on 24 January 1992 and lasted until 15 September 1992, during which the remaining gaps from cycle 1 were filled in as well as providing data which, in combination with earlier data, could be used to produce stereo images of the surface. Cycle 4 lasted from 15 September 1992 to May 1993 and consisted of gravity data acquisition from the elliptical orbit. An aerobraking maneuver, in which Magellan was dipped into the Venus atmosphere to shed orbital energy and bring the spacecraft into a more circular orbit, was performed from 24 May until 2 August 1993. At the end of aerobraking, the orbit had a periapsis of 180 km, an apoapsis of 540 km, and a period of 94 minutes. Cycle 5 was used to acquire gravity data from this orbit from 3 August 1993 until 29 August 1994, giving high-resolution gravity data for about 95% of the planet. In September 1994, the Windmill experiment took place, in which the solar panels were tilted at an angle so that atmospheric drag put a torque on the craft, which could be measured to give information about the atmospheric density at different altitudes.

Magellan began its final descent into the atmosphere of Venus on 11 October 1994. On 12 October 1994, radio contact with Magellan was lost, and the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere on 13 or 14 October 1994.

By the end of the mission, over 99% of the planet's surface had been mapped by RADAR with a resolution ten times better than that obtained by the earlier Soviet Venera 15 and 16 missions.

See also the final Magellan Status Reports

1999 08:16:00 GMT
China launched a Chang Zheng 4B (Long March 4B) booster from Taiyuan carrying the joint China-Brazil CBERS 1 landsat (sometimes called Zi Yuan 1 (ZY-1) in Chinese reports) and the INPE experimental scientific satellite SACI 1 into orbit.

CBERS 1 (sometimes called Zi Yuan 1 in Chinese reports), a joint China-Brazil Earth resources satellite, was launched 14 October 1999. China's first Earth resources satellite, it weighed 1,540 kilograms at launch. Its chief designer was Chen Yiyuan. The satellite, a joint project of China and Brazil, was designed to gather information on the environment, agriculture and urban planning through remote sensing images and data transmitted to China, Brazil and other countries. Its planned lifetime was two years. The satellite circled the Earth 14 times a day, and the groundtrack repeated after 26 days. By 23 February 2000, it had taken more than 20,000 high quality images. It was formally handed over for operational use on 2 March 2000. The High Resolution CCD Camera had a resolution of 20 meters in the visible spectrum. The camera could point up to 32 degrees to either side of vertical, imaging the Earth's surface stereoscopically. After 177 days in orbit, the Wide Field Imager failed in early May 2000. The other devices on the satellite, including the high resolution CCD camera, continued to work normally.

2002 14:08:00 GMT
During the 6h 36m STS-112-3 EVA, Atlantis astronauts Wolf and Sellers completed installation of the S1 truss on the International Space Station, carried out repairs to the Mobile Transporter on S0, connected fluid lines, and removed the keel pins on S1.

STS 112 was launched 7 October 2002 on a flight delayed from 22 March, 4 April, 22 August, 28 September, and 2 October due to payload delays, then SSME problems. It docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on 9 October carrying a crew of five Americans and one Russian, undocked on 16 October, and landed at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 18 October 2002, ending the mission at the 10 day, 19 hour, 58 minute mark.

The STS 112 crew - Commander Jeff Ashby, Pilot Pam Melroy and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus, Piers Sellers, David Wolf and Fyodor Yurchikhin continued the on-orbit construction of the International Space Station with the delivery and installation of the S-1 (S-One) Truss. The S1, the third piece of the station's 11-piece Integrated Truss Structure, was attached to the starboard end of the S0 (S-Zero) Truss on Flight Day 4, which extended the truss system of the exterior rail line with a 14 meter, 13 ton girder. The crew also tested a manual cart on the rails. The cart, named CETA (Crew and Equipment Transportation Aid), was designed to increase mobility of crew and equipment during the later installation phases. The STS 112 crew performed three spacewalks (10 October, 12 October and 14 October) to outfit and activate the new component. The crew also transferred cargo between the two vehicles, and used the shuttle's thruster jets during two maneuvers to raise the station's orbit.

STS 112 was also the first shuttle mission to use a camera on the External Tank. The color video camera provided a live view of the launch to flight controllers and NASA TV viewers.

2004 03:06:26 GMT
The International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 10 crew of Leroy Chiao and Salizhan Sharipov with guest Yuri Shargin was launched into space from Baikonur in Russia's Soyuz TMA-5 capsule.

Tucked inside the Soyuz TMA-5 spacecraft during a flawless launch were ISS Expedition 10 commander Leroy Chiao, flight engineer Salizhan Sharipov and Russian Space Forces cosmonaut Yuri Shargin, a space station visitor, as they began a two-day trip toward the space station. Shargin had a packed schedule of science experiments for the eight days he was to spend aboard the ISS. Chiao and Sharipov would spend the next six months living aboard the space station during their mission.

Expedition 10's on-time takeoff took place at 11:06:26 PM EDT on 13 October (0306:26 14 October GMT), though it was 9:09:26 in the morning at the launch's Site 254 staging ground at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch pad was also the starting point for the world's first human spaceflight by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.

Chiao, Sharipov, and Shargin, docked successfully with the Pirs module at 12:16 AM EDT (0416 GMT) on 16 October 2004. The docking maneuver was not without incident, however: Six minutes before, with the Soyuz under autonomous control and within 200 meters (656 feet) of the station, the approaching spacecraft's speed rose considerably, exceeding normal flight velocity for docking maneuvers, setting off the appropriate alarms. But Sharipov, who had commanded the Soyuz for the two-day trip to the station, calmly took manual control, backed it away, then brought it in to complete the procedure smoothly.

After spending just over three hours conducting leak checks between the Soyuz spacecraft and the ISS, the Expedition 10 crew entered the station at 3:25 AM EDT (0725 GMT).

2004 21:23:00 GMT
The US commercial AMC-15 television satellite was launched from Baikonur on Russian Proton/Breeze M rocket.

AMC-15 was launched 14 October 2004 from Launch Pad 39 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan on a Russian-built Proton rocket at 5:23 PM EDT (2123 GMT), in the morning darkness at the launch site. After separating from the Proton booster 9 minutes 48 seconds after launch, the Breeze M upper stage was ignited for the first of three engine burns to place the satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. Spacecraft separation was expected to take place early Friday 15 October at 12:18 AM EDT (0418 GMT), with AMC-15 using its own engine to position itself in geostationary orbit at 105 degrees longitude, 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometers) above Earth.

The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin for Princeton, New Jersey-based satellite provide SES AMERICOM, and the flight was marketed by McLean, Virginia's International Launch Services. The launch was executed without difficulty despite periodic sandstorms earlier in the day which had been a problem for ground operations.

Equipped with 12 Ka-band spot beams and 24 Ku-band transponders, AMC-15 was the first satellite dedicated to SES AMERICOM's AMERICOM2Home program. After conducting a series of functional tests, the satellite was expected to provide home entertainment services for EchoStar's DISH Network.

Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a balloon at a record 38.969 km (127,851 ft, 24.214 mi) altitude and broke the sound barrier on his way to the ground, the first human to do so without an engine.

Red Bull Stratos was a space diving project in which Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner flew 38,969 m (127,851 ft) (23.3884 miles) into the stratosphere on 14 October 2012 over New Mexico, United States, in a helium balloon before free falling in a pressure suit and then parachuting to Earth. The total jump, from leaving the capsule to landing on the ground, lasted approximately ten minutes. While the free fall was initially expected to last between five and six minutes, Baumgartner deployed his parachute after 4 minutes and 19 seconds.

Reaching 1,357.64 km/h (843.6 mph), Mach 1.25, Baumgartner broke the sound barrier on his descent, thus becoming the first human to do so without any form of engine power. Baumgartner also broke two other world records: the unofficial record for the highest manned balloon flight of 37,640 m (123,491 ft) previously set by Nicholas Piantanida, and the record for the highest altitude jump, set in 1960 by retired USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who was Baumgartner's mentor and capsule communicator at mission control. These claims were verified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

Baumgartner's jump was 65 years to the day after 14 October 1947, when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time in a piloted aircraft.

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