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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 November 2

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Born, George Boole, mathematician (Boolean algebra, credited with laying the foundations for the information age)

A De Gasparis discovered asteroid #13 Egeria.

J Palisa discovered asteroid #153 Hilda; Paul Henry discovered asteroid #152 Atala.

Born, Harlow Shapley, US astronomer (studied the galaxies)

Born, Alexander Lippisch, German aerodynamicist

Dr. Alexander Martin Lippisch (2 November 1894 - 11 February 1976) was a German pioneer of aerodynamics who made important contributions to the understanding of flying wings and ground effect craft. One of his most famous designs was the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered interceptor.

E Delporte discovered asteroid #2534 Houzeau.

The British Broadcasting Corporation initiated the BBC Television Service, the world's first regular, high-definition (then defined as at least 200 lines) service. Renamed BBC1 in 1964, the channel is still operating.

Born, Jeffrey Alan "Jeff" Hoffman PhD (at Brooklyn, New York, USA), NASA mission specialist astronaut (STS 51-D, STS 35, STS 46, STS 61, STS 75)

Astronaut Jeff Hoffman PhD, NASA photo

Aircraft designer Howard Hughes performed the maiden (and only) flight of the "Spruce Goose (Hughes H-4 Hercules) which lasted only eight minutes. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history.

H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" US FAA photo

The first Mach 8 rocket flight was made, the first air-launched, multistage, solid-rocket-propelled vehicle flown to a Mach number greater than 8, by the NACA Lewis Laboratory.

The first titanium mill for rolling and forging titanium was opened in Toronto, Ohio, by the Titanium Metals Corporation of America.

The Lunar atlas prepared for the USAF by a group under the technical direction of G. P. Kuiper was released. The "Orthographic Atlas of the Moon" charted 5,000 base points combined with the best photos and grids available at the time.

1965 12:28:00 GMT
USSR launched Proton 2 from Baikonur, a high energy physics laboratory, for investigation of ultra-high-energy cosmic particles.

Proton 2, launched 2 November 1965, was the second in a series of four spacecraft from which a cylindrical payload containing an instrument compartment and extened solar panels was launched. The instruments were capable of studying cosmic rays in the range up to 10 to the 13 eV (10,000 GeV).

USSR's Cosmos 188 was destroyed during its return to Earth after completing the first automatic docking of spacecraft in orbit (with Cosmos 186, on 30 October).

Cosmos 188, launched 30 October 1967, was the docking target craft for Cosmos 186, which achieved the world's first automatic rendezvous and docking in orbit on the second attempt, also on 30 October. Mutual search, approach, mooring, and docking were performed automatically. Capture was achieved, but hard docking and electric connections were unsuccessful due to misalignment of the spacecraft. After 3.5 hr of joint flight, the satellites parted on a command sent from Earth, and continued to orbit separately.

Cosmos 188 incorporated a reentry body (capsule) for landing scientific instruments and test objects. Its ion flow sensor failed, and Cosmos 188 had to make a high-G uncontrolled re-entry on 2 November 1967. When it deviated too far off course, it was destroyed by the on-board self-destruct system. However, the Soviet Union officially reported that it landed succesfully at 09:10 GMT, and that its mission was "investigation of outer space, development of new systems and elements to be used in the construction of space devices."

T Smirnova discovered asteroids #2360 Volgo-Don, #2371 Dimitrov, #2401 Aehlita, #2438 Oleshko, #2519 Annagerman, #2578 Saint-Exupery, #2681 Ostrovsk, #3347 and #3482.

1978 11:05:00 GMT
USSR's cosmonaut crew of Ivanchenkov and Kovalyonok, launched aboard Soyuz 29, returned to Earth from the Salyut 6 space station in the Soyuz 31 spacecraft.

B A Skiff discovered asteroids #2525 O'Steen, #2588 Flavia and #3434.

Died, Dieter Karl F Huzel, German rocket engineer, member of the German Rocket Team in the United States after World War II

Dieter Huzel (3 June 1912 - 2 November 1994) was a German rocket engineer, a guided missile propulsion expert during World War II working at Peenemunde. He was brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip and became a member of the German Rocket Team at Fort Bliss, Texas in January 1947. He was soon hired by North American Aviation, providing a key link in transfer of the V-2 rocket engine technology to the group that would later become Rocketdyne. He is also author of Peenemunde to Canaveral, an autobiographical account of rocketry beginning at the Peenemunde Rocket Development Center on the Baltic Sea where the V-2 rocket was developed, to Cape Canaveral and launching the Redstone missile in 1953.

1997 12:25:00 GMT
Brazil launched SCD-2A (Data Collection Satellite 2A) from Alcantara, designed to gather meteorological data relayed by data collection platforms deployed throughout Brazilian territory. It was destroyed during launch by failure of the VLS-1 booster.

NASA's X-38 test vehicle V-131R was drop-tested over Edwards Air Force Base, California. The first space flight by X-38 vehicle V-201 was scheduled for 2002 at the time of this test, later ISS budget cutbacks impacted the plan.

2000 09:21:03 GMT
The first resident crew (American commander Bill Shepherd, Russians Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev) arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TM-31.

NASA's Stardust comet probe flew within 3000 km of asteroid 5535 Anne Frank.

The Stardust Mission spacecraft was launched 7 February 1999. The probe flew past asteroid #5535 Anne Frank on 2 November 2002, passing within 3000 km. On 2 January 2004, Stardust flew within 236 kilometers (147 miles) of Comet Wild 2 and captured thousands of particles in its aerogel collector for return on Earth on 15 January 2006. Findings from the historic encounter revealed a much stranger world than previously believed. The comet's rigid surface, dotted with towering pinnacles, plunging craters, steep cliffs, and dozens of jets spewing violently, surprised scientists.

NASA's Mars Global Surveyor reported a series of alarms after it was ordered to perform a routine adjustment of its solar panels. Within 11 hours, depleted batteries ended the mission due to the spacecraft being unable to control its orientation.

The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida on 7 November 1996 aboard a Delta-7925 rocket. The spacecraft travelled nearly 750 million kilometers (466 million miles) over the course of a 300 day cruise to reach Mars on 12 September 1997. Through a series of aerobraking maneuvers, the spacecraft's orbit was circularized at approximately 378 km (235 miles) altitude in a Sun-synchronous arrangement that caused it to transit the Martian surface at 2 pm local time on each orbit. After 7 sols and 88 orbits, the spacecraft approximately retraced its previous path, but offset by 59 km eastward. This ensured eventual full coverage of the entire surface.

The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) was designed to orbit Mars over a two year period and collect data on the surface morphology, topography, composition, gravity, atmospheric dynamics, and magnetic field. This data was to be used to investigate the surface processes, geology, distribution of material, internal properties, evolution of the magnetic field, and the weather and climate of Mars.

The spacecraft itself was a rectangular box of approximately 1.17 x 1.17 x 1.7 meters, made up of two parts, an equipment module and a propulsion module. All instruments except the magnetometer were stored on the nadir equipment deck, on one of the 1.17 x 1.17 meter surfaces, the top of the equipment module, which was 0.735 m high. The main thruster and propulsion tanks were on the opposite side from the instruments, on the propulsion module, which was approximately 1 meter high. Two solar panels, each 3.5 x 1.9 m, extended out from opposite sides of the craft. A 1.5 meter diameter parabolic high gain dish antenna was mounted on an adjacent side, and attached to a 2 meter boom, which was extended for mapping operations so the antenna was held away from the body of the spacecraft.

The spacecraft was three-axis stabilized with no scan platform. The main 596 N thruster used hydrazine and N2O4 propellant. Control was through 12 4.45 N hydrazine thrusters, mounted in four groups of three (two aft facing and one roll control thruster). The initial propellant load was 216.5 kg of hydrazine and 144 kg of N2O4. Four solar array panels (2 GaAs, 2 SI) provide 980 W of power to the spacecraft. Energy was stored in two 20 Amp-hr nickel hydrogen batteries, and supplied at 28 V DC. Temperature control was primarily passive with multilayer insulation, thermal radiators, and louvers, augmented by electrical heaters. Communications was achieved via the Deep Space Network using the high gain antenna and two low gain antennas, one mounted on the high gain antenna and one on the equipment module. Uplink was in the X-band, downlink in the X and Ka bands. The minimum downlink rate was 21.33 kbps, 2 kbps engineering data downlink, and 10 bps emergency downlink.

The instruments on the nadir equipment deck consisted of a camera, thermal emission spectrometer, laser altimeter, and a radio transmission relay. A magnetometer/electron reflectometer sensor was attached to the end of each solar array, and an ultra-stable oscillator was used for tracking and gravity determination. An 8086 processor was used for the payload data subsystem, and 1750A processors for the standard controls processor and the engineering data formatter. Data was stored on four 0.75 Gb solid state recorders.

After launch on a Delta 7925 (a Delta II Lite launch vehicle with nine strap-on solid-rocket boosters and a Star 48 (PAM-D) third stage) and a 10 month cruise phase, the Mars Global Surveyor was inserted into an elliptical capture orbit at 01:17 UT 12 September 1997. Over the next four months, it was intended that aerobraking maneuvers and thrusters would be used to lower the orbit to the final circular mapping orbit. However, one of the solar panels failed to latch properly when it was deployed, and subsequently showed unexpected motion and moved past its fully deployed position when aerobraking began (thought to be due to the fracture of a damper arm and subsequent structural damage). A new aerobraking schedule was employed, which involved slower aerobraking, putting less pressure on the solar panels through April 1998, at which time an 11.6 hour science phasing orbit with a 171 km periapsis was achieved, and aerobraking was halted. After a 5 month hiatus, aerobraking was resumed on 23 September 1998. Science observations were made periodically during the second set of aerobraking maneuvers.

After aerobraking ended in February 1999, MGS was in a 118 minute circular polar science mapping orbit with an index altitude of 378 km. The orbit was Sun-synchronous (2 AM/2 PM) and mapped over the 2 PM crossing from south to north (instead of north to south as originally planned). The orbit had a 7 Martian day (sol) near-repeat cycle, so Mars would be mapped in 26 day cycles. Science mapping began in mid-March 1999, which was summer in the northern hemisphere on Mars. The primary mission was to last one Martian year (687 Earth days) through January, 2001. An extended mission would then take place until April 2002. After that time, the orbiter was to act as a relay until January 2003 in support of the other missions of the Mars Surveyor program.

On 12 September 2005, Mars Global Surveyor celebrated its eighth "birthday" as the oldest spacecraft in operation at Mars. The spacecraft's lasting success enabled scientists to capture repeating weather phenomena and new, fresh insights revealing Mars as an active planet.

The last transmission from MGS was received on 2 November 2006, after the spacecraft was ordered to perform a routine adjustment of its solar panels. The spacecraft reported a series of alarms, but indicated that it had stabilized. In a report issued on 13 April 2007, NASA concluded the spacecraft subsequently reoriented to an angle that exposed one of two batteries carried on the spacecraft to direct sunlight. This caused the battery to overheat and ultimately led to the depletion of both batteries. Incorrect antenna pointing prevented the orbiter from telling controllers its status, and its programmed safety response did not include making sure the spacecraft orientation was thermally safe. Within 11 hours of its last transmission, depleted batteries likely left the spacecraft unable to control its orientation, ending its mission.

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