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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 3

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Died, John Bainbridge, English astronomer (comet of 1618)

Died, Paul Guldin, Swiss astronomer, mathematician

A great panic occured in Europe over the "close" approach of a comet.

Born, John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, inventor (sandwich),_4th_Earl_of_Sandwich

J Palisa discovered asteroids #262 Valda and #263 Dresda.

Born, Herbert Felix Axster, German guided missile expert during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war, starting at Fort Bliss, Texas, in January 1947

A Kopff discovered asteroid #579 Sidonia; M Wolf discovered asteroid #2533.

Born, Werner Baum, engineer in the German Rocket Team in the Soviet Union after World War II, worked on rocket engine development in Glushko's design bureau as Deputy of the Chief and Technical Designer, Dept. 61 (1947-1952)

Died, Aleksandr Lyapunov, Russian mathemetican, mechanician and physicist (stability of a dynamic system, etc.)

Born, William Harvey Dana (at Pasadena, California, USA), NASA's first test pilot, astronaut (X-15)

William H. Dana, NASA test pilot, NASA photo

Born, Kevin Patrick "Chili" Chilton (at Los Angeles, California, USA), General USAF, NASA astronaut (STS 49, STS 59, STS 76)

Astronaut Kevin P. Chilton, NASA photo

1957 19:12:00 GMT
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 carrying a dog named Laika, the first orbital satellite to carry a living animal.

Laika ("Barker" in Russian) was a female part-Samoyed terrier originally named Kudryavka ("Little Curly"), the first dog sent into orbit around the Earth. She rode on Sputnik 2, a Russian mission that blasted off on 3 November 1957 for study of the physical processes and conditions of life in outer space. After the surprise public impact of Sputnik 1, the satellite and launch teams were called back from vacation, and in one month assembled the satellite (using equipment already developed for dog sounding rocket flights). After the launch, Soviet space officials said that the spacecraft would not return and that the dog had enough food and oxygen to live for up to 10 days. Laika was originally thought to have survived in Earth orbit for four days, dying in space when the batteries for the cabin overheated. According to Dimitri Malashenkov of the Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow, however, Laika died roughly 5 to 7 hours into the flight, from overheating and stress. (Malashenkov's account was reported on on 29 October 2002.)

Sputnik 2 weighed about 1120 pounds (508 kg) at launch.

After orbiting the Earth 2,570 times, Sputnik 2, which turned out to be the first space crypt, fell back to Earth after 162 days on 14 April 1958, burning up during re-entry.

USSR Sputnik 2, photo courtesy of NASA

1960 05:16:00 GMT
NASA launched Explorer 8 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, for ionospheric research.

Explorer 8, launched 3 November 1960, was a 41 kg mercury battery powered Earth orbiting satellite designed to obtain measurements of the electron density, the electron temperature, the ion concentration, the ion mass, the micrometeorite distribution, and the micrometeorite mass in the ionosphere at altitudes between 400 and 1600 km. It studied the temporal and spatial distribution of these properties and their variation from full sunlit conditions to full shadow (nighttime) conditions.

The payload was in the form of two truncated cones with their bases attached to a cylindrical equator. The outer shell was aluminum, 76 cm in diameter and 76 cm tall. The 108.00 MHz transmitter broadcast at 100 mW average power, and it functioned for the life of the battery pack (54 days). Solar cells were not used to power the satellite to avoid the possibility of effects on the experiments by asymmetrical charging on solar cell surfaces. The data system included telemetry consisting of continuous operation with real-time transmission.

Experiment instrumentation included an RF impedance probe, an ion current monitor, a retarding potential probe, a two-element and a three-element electron temperature probe, an electron current monitor, a photomultiplier-type and a microphone-type micrometeorite detector, an electric field meter, a solar horizon sensor, and thermistor temperature probes. Simultaneous measurements of electron and ion concentration were used to resolve the question of neutrality of the medium.

Battery power failed on 27 December 1960. Considerable difficulty was encountered with decommutating the telemetered data to make machine processing possible. As a result, the data were mostly processed by hand. In spite of the difficulties, considerable new knowledge about the ionosphere was gained from operation of the satellite.

Valentina Tereshkova (Vostok 6, the first woman into space space) married cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev (Vostok 3).

Vostok 6 was launched on 16 June 1963, with Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, on board. Valentina returned to Earth on 19 June 1963. At the time, the Soviet space program had one eligible bachelor, Andrian Nikolayev, who had flown aboard Vostok 3 on 11 August 1962. Rumors began that Valentina and Andrian were an item. Although they were untrue, the rumors eventually reached the ear of Premier Nikita Khrushchev who thought such a union would be a wonderful and novel thing. He turned on the pressure and Valentina and Andrian were wed on 3 November 1963, in a ceremony at the Moscow Wedding Palace with Khrushchev presiding. Valentina's marriage to Andrian did not last long, but it did last long enough for the couple to have one child: Seven months after the wedding, on 8 June 1964, Valentina gave birth to their only child, a daughter named Elena Andrionovna, who grew up to become a doctor.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #2351 O'Higgins.

1965 17:09:00 GMT
NASA/USAF launched X-15A-2 External Tank Test mission # 155, the first flight with empty external tanks, in which Robert Rushworth reached maximums of 2414 kph (Mach 2.31) and 21.519 km altitude. The ammonia tank was recovered, the LOx tank was destroyed.

1966 13:50:42 GMT
The US Air Force launched a Titan 3C from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) mockup and the Gemini B spacecraft, as well as four technology satellites that were put into orbit.

On 3 November 1966, the US Air Force launched a Manned Orbtiing Laboratory (MOL) mockup as part of a flight which lofted the Gemini B capsule on a suborbital trajectory, and four satellites into orbit. The modified Titan 2 propellant tank represented the MOL station itself. It allowed study of the aerodynamic loads associated with launching the MOL into orbit, and validated the very long length to diameter core represented by the MOL/Titan 3M configuration. It is possible certain prototype MOL equipment was flown as well.

During the ascent to orbit, the Gemini capsule atop the MOL Cannister was ejected and made a suborbital reentry and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean. The spacecraft was the Gemini 2 reentry module, reused to test reentry with a hatch cut into the heat shield. The capsule was successfully recovered, and it was found that the reentry actually melted the hatch shut, indicating that the design was valid for the MOL.

Launched into orbit on the flight were the OV4-03, OV1-06S, OV4-01R and OV4-01T technology satellites, the latter two announced as "whispering gallery" experiments.

Titan IIIC carrying a modified unmanned Gemini capsule (Gemini-B)
as part of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program, NASA photo

NASA launched Mariner 10 toward Mercury, via Venus.

Mariner 10 was the seventh successful launch in the Mariner series, the first spacecraft to use the gravitational pull of one planet (Venus) to reach another (Mercury), and the first spacecraft mission to visit two planets. Mariner 10 was the first spacecraft to visit Mercury. The spacecraft flew by Mercury three times in a retrograde heliocentric orbit and returned images and data on the planet. Mariner 10 returned the first-ever close-up images of Venus and Mercury. The primary scientific objectives of the mission were to measure Mercury's environment, atmosphere, surface, and body characteristics and to make similar investigations of Venus. Secondary objectives were to perform experiments in the interplanetary medium and to obtain experience with a dual-planet gravity-assist mission.

Mariner 10 was launched 3 November 1973 on a mission to explore Mercury and Venus. The television and ultraviolet experiments were trained on the comet Kohoutek while the spacecraft was en route to its destination. Using a near-ultraviolet filter, it produced photographs of the Venusian chevron clouds, and performed other atmospheric studies. Mariner 10 took 4,000 photos of Venus, which revealed a nearly round planet enveloped in smooth cloud layers. On 29 March and 21 September 1974, and 16 March 1975, Mariner 10 passed Mercury, and was able to map 40-45% of the planet. Its radiometer readings suggested Mercury has a nighttime temperatures of -297 degrees F (-183 degrees C) and maximum daytime temperatures of 368 F (187 C). The closest encounter with Mercury on the first pass was at 2047 UT on 29 March 1974 at a range of 436.5 miles (703 kilometers). Having looped around the Sun, Mariner 10 flew by Mercury again on 21 September 1974 at a range of 29,850 miles (48,069 kilometers), and photographed the sunlit side of the planet and the south polar region. The spacecraft used solar pressure on its solar panels and high-gain antenna for attitude control. A third and final encounter, the closest to Mercury, took place on 16 March 1975 at a range of 203 miles (327 kilometers). Contact with the spacecraft was terminated on 24 March 1975.

Mariner 10 (also known as Mariner Venus Mercury 1973) was placed in a parking orbit after launch for approximately 25 minutes, then placed in orbit around the Sun en route to Venus. The protective cover of the sunward-facing electrostatic analyzers did not open fully after launch, and these intruments, part of the Scanning Electrostatic Analyzer and Electron Spectrometer experiment, could not be used. It was also discovered that the heaters for the television cameras had failed, so the cameras were left on to prevent low temperatures from damaging the optics.

A trajectory correction maneuver was made 10 days after launch. Immediately following this manuever the star-tracker locked onto a bright flake of paint which had come off the spacecraft and lost lock on the guide star Canopus. An automated safety protocol recovered Canopus, but the problem of flaking paint recurred throughout the mission. The on-board computer also experienced unscheduled resets occasionally, which would neccesitate reconfiguring the clock sequence and subsystems. Periodic problems with the high-gain antenna also occurred during the cruise. In January 1974, Mariner 10 made ultraviolet observations of Comet Kohoutek and another mid-course correction was made on 21 January. The spacecraft passed Venus at 1701 UT on 5 February 1974 at a closest range of 5768 km, and returned the first close-up images of Venus. This also marked the first time a spacecraft used a gravity assist from one planet to help it reach another.

Enroute to Mercury an attitude control anomaly occurred for the second time, using up much of the attitude control gas. Some new procedures were used from that point on to orient the spacecraft, including Sun-line maneuvers and the use of solar wind on the solar panels to orient the spacecraft. Mariner 10 crossed the orbit of Mercury at 2046 UT on 29 March 1974, at a distance of about 704 km from the surface. A second encounter with Mercury, when more photographs were taken, occurred on 21 September 1974, at an altitude of 48,069 km. Unfortunately, the lighted hemisphere was almost the same as the first encounter, so a large portion of the planet remained unimaged. A third and last Mercury encounter at an altitude of 327 km, with additional photography of about 300 frames and magnetic field measurements occurred on 16 March 1975. Engineering tests were continued until 24 March 1975, when the supply of attitude-control gas was depleted and the mission was terminated.

Mariner 10 results showed a Hadley-type circulation existed in Venus' atmosphere and showed that Venus had at best a weak magnetic field, and the ionosphere interacted with the solar wind to form a bow shock. At Mercury, it was confirmed the planet had only a faint atmosphere of mostly helium, and an intensely cratered, dormant Moon-like surface was shown in the images. Mercury was shown to have a small magnetic field and a relatively large iron-rich core.

Mariner 10 with components labelled, NASA illustration

P Wild discovered asteroid #2151 Hadwiger; Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroids #2255 Qinghai and #2693 Yan'an.

Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroids #3206 and #3609; Z Knezevic discovered asteroid #3176 Paolicchi.

D J Tholen discovered asteroid #3124 Kansas; F Borngen and K Kirsch discovered asteroids #2861 Lambrecht and #3499 Hoppe.

During EVA Salyut 7 EO-2-2, cosmonauts Lyakhov and Aleksandrov completed installation of the auxiliary solar array.

1990 14:40:00 GMT
USSR launched Gorizont 21 from Baikonur for telephone and telegraph communications and transmission of television programs, positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 90 deg E 1990-1993; at 145 deg E 1993-1999 after being replaced by Gorizont 28.

Died, Leon Theremin, Russian inventor (electronic musical instruments, video interlacing technique, espionage equipment)

A total solar eclipse occurred, visible over South America and the south Atlantic Ocean (4 minutes 23 seconds).,_1994

Died, Ralph Walter Graystone Wyckoff, Sr., American pioneer in x-ray crystallography

Dutch and British astronomers announced they had discovered the nearby spiral nebula Dwingeloo 1, hidden behind the Milky Way.

1994 11:59:43 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA launched STS 66 (Atlantis 13, Shuttle 66) carrying ATLAS-3 and CRISTA-SPAS experiments to space.

The STS 66 launch set for 11:56 AM EST on 3 November 1994 was delayed slightly while Shuttle managers assessed the weather at the transoceanic abort landing sites. The liftoff was the first for Atlantis since an extended checkout and modification period at the Rockwell plant in Palmdale, California: Atlantis departed KSC October 1992 and returned May 1994. The orbiter was returned to KSC outfitted with improved nosewheel steering, internal plumbing and electrical connections to accommodate an Extended Duration Orbiter pallet, and electrical wiring to enable OV-104 to be fitted with the Orbiter Docking System for docking with the Russian Space Station Mir.

STS 66 further advanced the comprehensive effort to collect data about the Sun's energy output, chemical makeup of the Earth's middle atmosphere, and how these factors affect global ozone levels. Seven instruments on the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-3 (ATLAS-3) also flew on the first two ATLAS flights. No other collection of space-based instruments provided the same extensive range of atmospheric measurements. Also considered a primary payload on the flight was the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite (CRISTA-SPAS), continuing the joint NASA-DARA (German Space Agency) series of scientific missions. ATLAS-3 and CRISTA-SPAS were considered as a joint mission with a single set of science objectives. During the mission, the crew was divided into two teams for around-the-clock research.

ATLAS-3 instruments, mounted on a Spacelab pallet in cargo bay, included Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS), which collected more data on trace gases in the atmosphere than on all three of its previous flights combined; Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Spectrometer (SSBUV), which took ozone measurements to calibrate the ozone monitor on the aging NOAA-9 satellite as well as cooperative measurements with other ATLAS-3 instruments; Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM), which took extremely precise measurements of the Sun's total radiation for 30 orbits as a calibration reference for a sister instrument on Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) launched in 1991; Measurement of the Solar Constant (SOLCON), provided by Belgium, which also measured solar radiation but as reference point to track changes over the years; Solar Spectrum Measurement (SOLSPEC), a French instrument, measured the Sun's radiation as function of wavelength; and Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), which collected its highest precision solar ultraviolet radiation measurements in its 15 year lifetime. Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS) collected nine hours of observations, measuring distribution of water vapor, chlorine monoxide and ozone at altitudes between 12 and 60 miles (20-100 kilometers), before a computer malfunction halted the instrument's operations.

CRISTA-SPAS was released from the orbiter's Remote Manipulator System arm on the second day of the mission. Flying at distance of about 25-44 miles (40-70 kilometers) behind Shuttle, the payload collected data for more than eight days before being retrieved and returned to the cargo bay. The CRISTA instrument gathered the first global information about medium- and small-scale disturbances in trace gases in the middle atmosphere, which could lead to better models of the atmosphere and the Earth's energy balance. The second CRISTA-SPAS instrument, the Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph Investigation (MAHRSI), measured the amounts of ozone-destroying hydroxyl and nitric oxide in the middle atmosphere and lower thermosphere from 24-72 miles (40-120 kilometers). MAHRSI yielded the first complete global maps of hydroxyl in the atmosphere.

For retrieval of CRISTA-SPAS, a different approach method to the spacecraft was successfully tested as prelude to upcoming US Shuttle/Russian Space Station Mir docking flights. Called an R-Bar approach, it is expected to save propellant while reducing risk of contamination to Mir systems from orbiter thruster jet firings.

STS 66 ended on 14 November 1994 when Atlantis landed on revolution 174 on Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 7,657 feet (2,334 meters). Rollout time: 49 seconds. Orbit altitude: 164 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 57 degrees. Mission duration: 10 days, 22 hours, 34 minutes, two seconds. Miles traveled: 4.5 million. The landing was diverted to California due to high winds, rain and clouds in Florida caused by Tropical Storm Gordon, and was the fourth diverted landing in 1994 and the third in a row.

The flight crew for STS 66 was: Donald R. McMonagle, Commander; Curtis L. Brown Jr, Pilot; Ellen Ochoa, Payload Commander; Scott E. Parazynski MD, Mission Specialist; Joseph R. Tanner, Mission Specialist; Jean-Francois Clervoy, Mission Specialist.

During EVA Mir EO-24-4, Mir cosmonauts Solovyov and Vinogradov removed a solar array from the Kvant module, and hand-launched the Sputnik 40 1/3 scale model of Sputnik 1.

The Spartan 201 satellite was retrieved by STS 95 (Discovery 25) from its fifth mission to observe the solar corona. The mission data was used to recalibrate the SOHO satellite which had recently resumed observation of the Sun following loss of control.

STS 95 was launched 29 October 1998 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The flight of STS 95 provoked more publicity for NASA than any other flight in years, due to the presence of ex-astronaut Senator John Glenn on the crew which also included the first Spanish astronaut, Pedro Duque.

During STS 95, the crew of Discovery spent nine days in orbit successfully completing a large variety of experiments, including investigations in the astronomical, human physiology and physical science fields. A SPACEHAB module in the shuttle's payload bay provided a complete pressurized laboratory and work space for the crew's science activities.

One highlight of the mission was the free-flight of SPARTAN 201, an experiment package that was carried to orbit in Discovery's cargo bay. Mission Specialist Stephen Robinson used the shuttle's robotic arm to lift the payload from its berth and gently release it to fly on its own on 1 November 1998. The spacecraft spent two days gathering data before being retrieved and stored on the shuttle on on 3 November 1998. Researchers used the SPARTAN data to better understand the solar wind, a phenomenon that sometimes can cause widespread disruptions of communications and power supplies on Earth.

A payload carried in Discovery's cargo bay verified the flight readiness of hardware destined for the Hubble Space Telescope maintenance mission to be carried out a year later.

STS 95 carried former US Senator John Glenn to space. In 1962, Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. At the age of 77, he added another milestone to NASA's history by becoming the oldest human to fly in space.

Glenn's first flight - aboard the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7 - lasted less than five hours. Thirty-five years later, his second flight lasted almost nine days. During STS 95, Glenn conducted a series of investigations into the physiology of the human aging process: Scientists recognize several parallels between the effects of space flight on the human body and the natural changes that take place as a person ages. Glenn's experiments were designed to test how his body responded to the microgravity environment.

Cargo Bay payloads flown on STS 95 were: SPACEHAB, SPARTAN 201-5, HST Orbital Systems Test Platform (HOST), International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-3), Cryogenic Thermal Storage Unit (CRYOTSU), Space Experiment Module-4 (SEM-4), four Getaway Special (GAS) cannisters: G-467 (Capillary Pumped Loop), G-779 (Hearts in Space), and two experiments, G-238 and G-764, that were part of the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH)-03 payload. The In-Cabin payloads were: Biological Research In Canisters (BRIC) and Electronic Nose (E-NOSE).

STS 98 ended on 7 November 1998 when Discovery landed on Runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, completing its 8 day 21 hour 44 minute, 3.6 million mile mission flown with an orbit altitude of 300 nautical miles and an orbit inclination of 28.5 degrees. For Payload Specialist Glenn, the landing was a gentler return home than he experienced more than 36 years earlir when he splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean in his Friendship 7 capsule after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth: Glenn experienced only about 3 g's of acceleration during the shuttle reentry, half of what he experienced during his Mercury capsule mission in 1962.

The flight crew for STS 95 was: Curtis L. Brown, Commander; Steven W. Lindsey, Pilot; Stephen K. Robinson, Mission Specialist 1; Scott E. Parazynski, Mission Specialist 2; Pedro Duque (ESA, Spain), Mission Specialist 3; Chiaki Mukai (NASDA), Payload Specialist 1; John H. Glenn, Payload Specialist 2.

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