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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 4

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Died (age 57), Johan Lulofs, Dutch physicist, philosopher, astronomer, promoted Copernicus' heliocentric world view by translating important documents to Dutch

E Stephan discovered asteroid #91 Aegina.

The first issue of the scientific journal Nature was published.

Prosper Henry discovered asteroid #154 Bertha.

The Prince of Wales formally opened the first underground rail station, Station Stockwell in London, England. Similar technology is proposed as the primary transportation system in space colonies.'s_Electrified_Subway

M Wolf discovered asteroids #392 Wilhelmina and #393 Lampetia.

R S Dugan discovered asteroid #497 Iva.

J H Metcalf discovered asteroid #655 Briseis; J Palisa discovered asteroid #652 Jubilatrix.

Born, Walter Cronkite, news commentator who many associated with NASA launch coverage, the only non-NASA recipient of a Moon-rock award

Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. (4 November 1916 - 17 July 2009) was an American journalist, best known for his work as a television news anchorman. During his tenure at CBS Evening News he was often called "the most trusted man in America."

For many growing up in the mid- to late-1960's, Cronkite is remembered as "the voice of the space program" for his coverage of American space missions, including the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon.

Born, Oscar Carl Holderer, German guided missile expert during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war, worked the remainder of his career with the rocket team, at Fort Bliss, White Stands, and Huntsville

J Hartmann discovered asteroid #965 Angelica.

G Neujmin discovered asteroid #1603 Neva.

K Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1249 Rutherfordia.

G Neujmin discovered asteroid #1459 Magnya.

1959 14:30:00 GMT
NASA launched the Little Joe LJ-1A maximum dynamic pressure abort test from Wallops Island with the same basic flight obejctives as LJ-1. The mission failed because the escape motor ignition was late and the primary objective was not met.

Little Joe 1-A (LJ-1A) was launched 4 November 1959 from Wallops Island, Virginia, planned as an abort test under high aerodynamic loads. The flight was a repeat of the Little Joe (LJ-1) launch on 21 August 1959 where the escape rocket fired 31 minutes before the intended launch of the Little Joe launch vehicle. After lift-off, the pressure sensing system was to supply a signal when the intended abort dynamic pressure was reached (about 30 seconds after launch). An electrical impulse was then sent to the explosive bolts to separate the spacecraft from the launch vehicle. Up to that point, the operation went as planned, but the impulse was also designed to start the igniter in the escape motor. The igniter activated, but pressure failed to build up in the motor for several seconds. Thus, the abort maneuver, the prime mission of the flight, was accomplished at a dynamic pressure that was too low to provide useful data. Consequently, a repeat of the test was planned. All other events from the launch through recovery occurred without incident. The flight attained an altitude of 9 statute miles (17 km), a range of 11.5 statute miles (21 km), and a speed of 2,021.6 mph.

1960 20:43:00 GMT
NASA and the USAF launched X-15A Stability/Control Test mission # 25 in which Robert Rushworth reached a maximum speed of 1287 kph (Mach 1.95), and attained a maximum altitude of 14.905 km.

Died, Mercury veteran Enos the chimp

Enos, the 6-year-old chimpanzee who made a two-orbit flight around the Earth aboard the Mercury-Atlas 5 (MA-5) spacecraft on 29 November 1961, died 4 November 1963 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The chimpanzee had been under night and day observation and treatment for 2 months before his death, afflicted with shigella dysentary, a type resistant to antibiotics, which caused his death. Officials at the Air Medical Research Laboratory stated that his illness and death were in no way related to his orbital flight the year before.

1962 15:35:15 GMT
USSR launched Sputnik 24 (also called Korabl 13, Mars 1962B and Beta Xi 1) from Baikonur, a Mars probe intended to make a soft landing on Mars which did not leave Earth orbit because of booster problems.

Sputnik 24 (also called Korabl 13, Mars 1962B and Beta Xi 1), launched 4 November 1962, was an attempted Mars lander mission. At T+260 seconds, a malfunction of the pressurization system of the central sustainer led to cavitation in the oxidizer pipeline and LOX pump, followed at T+292 seconds by failure of the fuel pump. The SL-6/A-2-e launcher put the spacecraft and the attached booster upper stage into a 197 x 590 km Earth orbit with an inclination of 64.7 degrees. Although the escape stage and payload reached orbit, the strong third stage vibrations shook a fuse loose from its mount in the main nozzle of the escape stage Block L's engine. The engine could not be ignited and remained in Earth orbit. The total mass of the booster and spacecraft complex (the Tyazheliy Sputnik) was roughly 6500 kg, the Mars spacecraft component comprising about 890 kg of this. The complex broke up during the burn to transfer to Mars trajectory. Five large pieces were tracked by the US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. The geocentric orbit of the presumed booster decayed on 25 December 1962, and the Mars spacecraft orbit decayed and it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on 19 January 1963.

This spacecraft was originally designated Sputnik 31 in the U.S. Naval Space Command Satellite Situation Summary.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #2653 Principia.

1965 17:11:00 GMT
NASA and the USAF launched X-15A Checkout mission # 156 in which William Dana reached a maximum speed of 4450 kph (Mach 4.22) and attained a maximum altitude of 24.445 km.

N Chernykh discovered asteroid #2867 Steins.

E F Helin discovered asteroid #1982 Cline and #2220 Hicks.

E F Helin and R S Dunbar discovered asteroid #3360.

1981 05:31:00 GMT
USSR launched the Venera 14 landing mission to Venus.

Venera 14, launched on 4 November 1981, consisted of a bus (81-110A) and an attached descent craft (81-110D). It was identical to Venera 13, the two spacecraft were built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched five days apart. After a four month cruise to Venus, the descent vehicle separated and plunged into the Venusian atmosphere on 5 March 1982. As it flew by Venus the bus acted as a data relay for the brief life of the descent vehicle, and then continued on into a heliocentric orbit. The bus was equipped with instrumentation including a gamma-ray spectrometer, retarding potential traps, UV grating monochromator, electron and proton spectrometers, gamma-ray burst detectors, solar wind plasma detectors, and two-frequency transmitters which made measurements before, during, and after the Venus flyby.

The Venera 14 descent craft/lander was a hermetically sealed pressure vessel which contained most of the instrumentation and electronics, mounted on a ring-shaped landing platform and topped by an antenna. It carried instruments to take chemical and isotopic measurements, monitor the spectrum of scattered sunlight, and record electric discharges during its descent through the Venusian atmosphere. The spacecraft utilized a camera system, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, a screw drill and surface sampler, a dynamic penetrometer, and a seismometer to conduct investigations on the surface.

After entering the atmosphere, a parachute was deployed. At an altitude of about 50 km the parachute was released and simple aerobraking was used the rest of the way to the surface. Venera 14 landed about 950 km southwest of Venera 13 near the eastern flank of Phoebe Regio at 13 deg 15 min S by 310 E on a basaltic plain. After landing an imaging panorama was started and a mechanical drilling arm reached to the surface and obtained a sample, which was deposited in a hermetically sealed chamber, maintained at 30 deg C and a pressure of about .05 atmospheres. The composition of the sample was determined by the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, showing it to be similar to oceanic tholeiitic basalts. The lander survived 57 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 465 deg C and a pressure of 94 Earth atmospheres.

USSR's Venera 14 Venus probe, photo courtesy of NASA

1994 11:18:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz TM-19 landed in Kazahkstan, returning three cosmonauts from Mir.

Soyuz TM-19 was a Russian spacecraft launched 1 July 1994 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to dock with the Mir space station, and deliver supplies and the cosmonaut team of Malenchenko and Musabayev to the station. The docking occurred on 3 July 1994. Designed and manufactured by RKK Energiya, the Soyuz TM was capable of carrying three cosmonauts and had a gross weight of just over seven metric tons, a length of seven meters, and a maximum diameter of 2.7 meters. The spacecraft consisted of three main sections: the orbital module, the command and reentry module, and the service module. Two solar arrays (10.6 meter span) provided electrical power for the typical 50-hour journey to Mir, and could be interconnected with the space station's electrical system to furnish additional 1.3 kW. The nominal flight time for Soyuz TM spaceship was 5-6 months.

Soyuz TM-19 undocked from Mir with the crew of Malenchenko, Merbold and Musabayev aboard at 07:29 GMT on 4 November 1994. The Soyuz instrument module (PAO, priborno-agregatniy otsek) fired its deorbit engine, and was jettisoned together with the orbital module (BO, bitovoy otsek) at 10:51 GMT, with entry interface for the descent module (SA, spuskaemiy apparat) at 10:54. It landed 170 km northeast of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan.

1995 14:22:00 GMT
A Delta 7000 launched from Vandenberg, California, carried Canada's Radarsat 1 Earth imaging satellite with a synthetic aperture radar and NASA's SURFSAT test satellite for the Deep Space Network into orbit.

1996 17:08:56 GMT
A Pegasus XL launched from an L-1011 flight originating at Wallops Island, Virginia, carried NASA's HETE 1 astronomy satellite and Argentina's SAC-B into orbit. The rocket functioned perfectly but the seperation system failed to release the payload.

The High Energy Transient Experiment (HETE 1) was an international mission led by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), launched into orbit on 4 November 1996. Its prime objective was to carry out the first multiwavelength study of gamma ray bursts (GRBs) with UV, X-ray, and gamma ray instruments. A unique feature of the mission was its capability to localise bursts with several arcsecond accuracy, in near real-time aboard the spacecraft. These positions were to be transmitted to the ground, and picked up by a global network of primary and secondary ground stations (SGS), enabling sensitive follow-up studies. The mission failed, however, when the booster rocket functioned perfectly but the seperation system failed to release the payload and due to its inability to deploy the solar panels, HETE 1 lost power several days after launch.

1998 05:12:00 GMT
The Panamsat 8 communications satellite was launched from Baikonur with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific at 166 deg E.

Died, August Wilhelm Schulze, German guided missile expert during World War II, member of the German Rocket Team in the US after the war, at Fort Bliss, White Stands, and Huntsville, Chief, Reliability Office, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (1960)

The largest solar flare measured with instruments in modern times was recorded, initially estimated as X28 magnitude, later estimated as X45 magnitude based on ionospheric events.

NASA's Deep Impact probe performed a successful flyby of comet Hartley 2.

The goals of the Deep Impact mission were to rendezvous with comet 9P/Tempel 1 and launch a projectile into the comet nucleus. This objective was achieved on 4 July 2005 at approximately 0545 GMT. Observations were made of the ejecta (much of which represented pristine material from the interior of the comet), the crater formation process, the resulting crater, and any outgassing from the nucleus, particularly the newly exposed surface. The scientific objectives of the mission were to: improve the knowledge of the physical characteristics of cometary nuclei and directly assess the interior of cometary nucleus; determine properties of the surface layers such as density, strength, porosity, and composition from the crater and its formation; study the relationship between the surface layers of a cometary nucleus and the possibly pristine materials of the interior by comparison of the interior of the crater with the surface before impact; and improve our understanding of the evolution of cometary nuclei, particularly their approach to dormancy, by comparing the interior and the surface. The project was selected as a Discovery class mission in July 1999.

Deep Impact was launched on 12 January 2005 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a Delta II booster. The spacecraft transferred into a heliocentric orbit to rendezvous with comet P/Tempel 1 on 4 July 2005. Deep Impact was about 880,000 km from the comet on 3 July 2005, moving at 10.2 km/s relative to the comet, when the projectile was released and the flyby spacecraft executed a maneuver to slow down by 120 m/s and divert by 6 m/s. On 4 July, the impactor struck the sunlit side of the comet nucleus approximately 24 hours after release, at 0545 UT. At 10.2 km/s velocity, the impactor had an impact energy of about 19 gigajoules, and was expected to form a crater roughly 25 meters deep and 100 meters wide. (The estimate was based on models of comet structure and subject to large uncertainty.) Material from the nucleus were ejected into space, and the impactor and much of the ejecta vaporized.

The flyby spacecraft was approximately 10,000 km away at the time of impact and began imaging 60 seconds earlier. At 600 seconds after impact, the spacecraft was about 4000 km from the nucleus and observations of the crater began and continued up to a range of about 700 km, about 50 seconds before closest approach. At this point (about 961 seconds after impact), imaging ended as the spacecraft reoriented itself by 45 degrees to optimize protection from dust damage as it flew by the nucleus. Closest approach to the nucleus was at a distance of about 500 km. At 1270 seconds, the crossing of the inner coma was complete and the spacecraft oriented itself to look back at the comet and begin imaging again. At 3000 seconds, the spacecraft began playback of data to Earth at 20 to 200 kilobits per second. The comet and spacecraft were about 0.89 AU from Earth and 1.5 AU from the Sun during the encounter. Selected impactor and flyby images and spectra were returned in real time to Earth during the encounter. Primary data was returned over the first day after encounter, with a 28 day supplemental data return period. Earth-based observatories also studied the impact. The spacecraft ranged over a distance of 0.93 to 1.56 AU from the Sun during the mission.

The end of the mission was originally scheduled for August 2005, and a subsequent extended mission included another comet flyby and observations of planets around other stars that lasted from July 2007 to December 2010. After almost 9 years in space and the return of approximately 500,000 images of celestial objects, the project team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, reluctantly pronounced the mission at an end on 20 September 2013 after being unable to communicate with the spacecraft for over a month. The last communication with the probe was Aug. 8. Deep Impact was history's most traveled comet research mission, going about 4.71 billion miles (7.58 billion kilometers).

The Deep Impact spacecraft consisted of a 370 kg cylindrical copper impactor attached to a 650 kg flyby bus. The spacecraft was a box-shaped honeycomb aluminum framework with a flat rectangular Whipple debris shield mounted on one side to protect components during close approach to the comet. Body-mounted on the framework were one high- and one medium-resolution instrument, each consisting of an imaging camera and an infrared spectrometer, used to observe the ejected ice and dust. The medium resolution camera had a field of view (FOV) of 0.587 degrees and a resolution of 7 m/pixel at 700 km distance and was used for navigation and context images. The high resolution camera had a FOV of 0.118 degrees and a resolution of 1.4 m/pixel at 700 km. The infrared spectrometers covered the range from 1.05 to 4.8 micrometers with FOV of 0.29 degrees (hi-res) and 1.45 degrees (lo-res). The total flyby bus instrument payload had a mass of 90 kg and used an average of 92 W during encounter.

The impactor projectile was made of primarily copper (49%) and 24% aluminum, so it would be easily identifiable in the observed collision debris, and minimize contamination in the spectra after the projectile was largely vaporized and mixed in with the comet ejecta on impact. The impactor was a short hexagonal cylinder built above the copper cratering mass with a small hydrazine propulsion system for targeting which could provide delta-V of 25 m/s. Targeting was accomplished using a high-precision star-tracker, auto-navigation algorithms, and the Impactor Targeting Sensor (ITS), a camera which provided images for autonomous control and targeting. The ITS was operated until impact, and images were sent back to Earth via the flyby spacecraft. The impactor was mechanically and electrically connected to the flyby spacecraft until 24 hours prior to encounter. After separation, it ran on internal battery power.

Comet 9P/Tempel 1 is a periodic comet which orbits the Sun every 5.51 years. It has a semi-major axis of 3.12 astronomical units (AU, the distance from the Sun to the Earth) and a perihelion distance of 1.5 AU, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, in an orbit inclined 10.5 degrees to the ecliptic. The orbit has changed in the past, but its perihelion has been within 10 AU for at least 300,000 years. The nucleus is estimated to be roughly 14 km long and 4 km wide. Perihelion for the current orbit occured on 5 July 2005, the day after the encounter. The comet was discovered on 3 April 1867 by Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel, and was first recognized to be periodic in May of that year by C. Bruhns.

To view a movie of the collision, from the impactor's perspective, see

See also
See also

Montage of comet Hartley 2 images taken by NASA's EPOXI mission
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD image

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