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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 10

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Born, John Bevis, English physician and astronomer (discovered the Crab Nebula, 1731, compiled the Uranographia Britannica star catalog/atlas, 1750)

Born, Robert T A Innes (at Edinburgh, Scotland), astronomer (discovered Proxima Centauri, 1915, a red dwarf that is the closest star to Earth)

Born, Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev, Russian aircraft builder, Chief Designer and General Designer of (OKB-156 1943-1972)

Granville T Woods patented an electric railway system.

Born, John Knudsen "Jack" Northrop, aircraft designer

B Jekhovsky discovered asteroid #988 Appella.

Born, Mikhail Fedorovich Reshetnev, Russian Chief Designer and General Designer of OKB-10 (1961-1996), Korolev protege, led work on communications satellites

Mikhail Fedorovich Reshetnev (10 November 1924 - 26 January 1926), was the Russian Chief Designer and General Designer of OKB-10 (1961-1996), a Korolev protege, and led work on communications satellites.

Reshetnev was assigned a Filial of Korolev's OKB-1 at Plant 1001 in Krasnoyarsk on 4 June 1959. He was tasked with developing the first Soviet communications satellite, the Molniya. In December 1961, the Filial was upgraded to an independent OKB-10 with Reshetnev at its head. He went on to become the primary Soviet designer of communications and navigation satellites. He made one foray into launch vehicle integration in the 1960's (the Kosmos-1/65S3).

Born, Ronald Ellwin "Ron" Evans (at St. Francis, Kansas, USA), Captain US Navy, astronaut (Apollo 17) (deceased)

Ronald E. Evans (10 November 1933 - 6 April 1990) was a NASA astronaut who occupied the Command Module pilot seat of Apollo 17, the last manned Apollo mission to the Moon. He holds the record of more time in Lunar orbit than anyone else in the world, as of 2015.

Captain Evans was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 7 and Apollo 11 flights, and as backup Command Module pilot for Apollo 14. Evans was also backup Command Module pilot for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission. He retired from the United States Navy on 30 April 1976, and remained active as a NASA astronaut involved in the development of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. He served as a member of the operations and training group, within the astronaut office, responsible for launch and ascent phases of the Shuttle flight program.

Evans retired from NASA in March 1977 to become a coal industry executive.

Apollo 17 astronaut Ron Evans, NASA photo

Born, Igor Dmitrievich Novikov, Russian astrophysicist, cosmologist (Novikov self-consistency principle, important to the theory of time travel)

Igor Dmitrievich Novikov (10 November 1935 - ) is a Russian theoretical astrophysicist and cosmologist. He formulated the Novikov self-consistency principle in the mid-1980s, an important contribution to the theory of time travel.

Novikov gained his Ph.D in astrophysics in 1965 and Doctoral Degree in astrophysics in 1970. From 1974 to 1990 he was head of the Department of Relativistic Astrophysics at the Space Research Institute in Moscow. Before 1991 he was head of the Department of Theoretical Astrophyics at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow and has been a professor at Moscow State University. Since 1994 he has been director of the Theoretical Astrophysics Center (TAC) of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is currently also a professor of astrophysics at the Observatory of the University of Copenhagen, where he has been since 1991. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1998.

Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service began in the United States.

Direct-dial, coast-to-coast telephone service was launched on 10 November 1951 when Mayor M. Leslie Denning of Englewood, New Jersey, picked up his phone handset and called his counterpart in Alameda, California, Mayor Frank Osborne. The 10-digit North American Numbering Plan for area codes was also introduced at the same time.

NASA's Lunar Orbiter 2 entered orbit around the Moon.

The Lunar Orbiter 2 spacecraft, launched 6 November 1966, was designed primarily to photograph smooth areas of the Lunar surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions. It was also equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, and micrometeoroid impact data. The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near-equatorial Lunar orbit for data acquisition after 92.5 hours flight time, on 10 November 1966. The initial orbit was 196 km x 1850 km at an inclination of 11.8 degrees. The perilune was lowered to 49.7 km five days later after 33 orbits. A failure of the amplifier on the final day of readout, 7 December, resulted in the loss of six photographs. On 8 December 1966 the inclination was altered to 17.5 degrees to provide new data on Lunar gravity.

The spacecraft acquired photographic data from 18-25 November 1966, and readout occurred through 7 December 1966. A total of 609 high resolution and 208 medium resolution frames were returned, most of excellent quality with resolutions down to 1 meter. These included a spectacular oblique picture of Copernicus crater which was dubbed by the news media as one of the great pictures of the century. Accurate data were acquired from all other experiments throughout the mission. Three micrometeorite impacts were recorded. The spacecraft was used for tracking purposes until it impacted the Lunar surface on command at 3.0 degrees N latitude, 119.1 degrees E longitude (selenographic coordinates) on 11 October 1967.

1967 01:01:06 GMT
NASA Surveyor 6 landed on the Moon.

NASA's Surveyor 6 mission was launched on 7 November 1967. It made a soft landing on the Moon on 10 November at 0101:06 UT, at Latitude 0.46 N, Longitude 358.63 E in Sinus Medii, photographed the Lunar surface, sampled Lunar soil, and used its propulsion system to briefly lift off of the Lunar surface.

Surveyor 6 was the fourth of the Surveyor series to successfully achieve a soft landing on the Moon. The primary objectives of the Surveyor program, a series of seven robotic Lunar soft landing flights, were to support the coming crewed Apollo landings by: (1) developing and validating the technology for landing softly on the Moon; (2) providing data on the compatibility of the Apollo design with conditions encountered on the Lunar surface; and (3) adding to the scientific knowledge of the Moon. The specific primary objectives for this mission were to perform a soft landing on the Moon in the Sinus Medii region and obtain postlanding television pictures of the Lunar surface. The secondary objectives were to determine the relative abundance of the chemical elements in the Lunar soil by operation of the alpha-scattering instrument, obtain touchdown dynamics data, obtain thermal and radar reflectivity data, and conduct a vernier-engine erosion experiment.

The basic Surveyor spacecraft structure consisted of a tripod of thin-walled aluminum tubing and interconnecting braces providing mounting surfaces and attachments for the power, communications, propulsion, flight control, and payload systems. A central mast extended about one meter above the apex of the tripod. Three hinged landing legs were attached to the lower corners of the structure. The legs held shock absorbers, crushable, honeycomb aluminum blocks, and the deployment locking mechanism and terminated in footpads with crushable bottoms. The three footpads extended out 4.3 meters from the center of the Surveyor. The spacecraft was about 3 meters tall. The legs folded to fit into a nose shroud for launch.

A 0.855 square meter array of 792 solar cells was mounted on a positioner on top of the mast and generated up to 85 Watts of power which was stored in rechargeable silver-zinc batteries. Communications were achieved via a movable large planar array high gain antenna mounted near the top of the central mast to transmit television images, two omnidirectional conical antennas mounted on the ends of folding booms for uplink and downlink, two receivers and two transmitters. Thermal control was achieved by a combination of white paint, high IR-emittance thermal finish, and a polished aluminum underside. Two thermally controlled compartments, equipped with superinsulating blankets, conductive heat paths, thermal switches and small electric heaters, were mounted on the spacecraft structure. One compartment, held at 5-50 degrees C, housed the communications and power supply electronics. The other, held between -20 and 50 degrees C, housed the command and signal processing components. The TV survey camera was mounted near the top of the tripod. Strain gauges, temperature sensors, and other engineering instruments were incorporated throughout the spacecraft. One photometric target was mounted near the end of a landing leg and one on a short boom extending from the bottom of the structure.

A Sun sensor, Canopus tracker and rate gyros on three axes provided attitude knowledge. Propulsion and attitude control were provided by cold-gas (nitrogen) attitude control jets during cruise phases, three throttlable vernier rocket engines during powered phases, including the landing, and the solid-propellant retrorocket engine during terminal descent. The retrorocket was a spherical steel case mounted in the bottom center of the spacecraft. The vernier engines used monomethyl hydrazine hydrate fuel and MON-10 (90% N2O2, 10% NO) oxidizer. Each thrust chamber could produce 130-460 N of thrust on command, one engine could swivel for roll control. The fuel was stored in spherical tanks mounted to the tripod structure. For the landing sequence, an altitude marking radar initiated the firing of the main retrorocket for primary braking. After firing was complete, the retrorocket and radar were jettisoned and the doppler and altimeter radars were activated. These provided information to the autopilot which controlled the vernier propulsion system to touchdown.

With a payload virtually identical to that of Surveyor 5, this spacecraft carried a television survey camera, a small bar magnet attached to one footpad to detect magnetic material, an alpha-scattering instrument to study surface composition, and convex auxilliary mirrors mounted on the frame to view the surface under the spacecraft, as well as the necessary engineering equipment. The main differences were that Surveyor 6 had polarizing filters on the TV camera, a different type of glare hood, and had 3 auxilliary mirrors instead of 2. Surveyor 6 had a mass of 1006 kg at launch and 299.6 kg on landing.

Surveyor 6 was launched 7 November 1967 from launch complex 36B of the Eastern Test range at Cape Kennedy, Florida. The Atlas-Centaur booster put the spacecraft into an initial Earth parking orbit from which it was injected into a Lunar-transfer trajectory at 8:03:30 UT. A midcourse correction manuever was performed at 2:20:00 UT on 8 November 1967. Surveyor 6 touched down on the Lunar surface on 10 November 1967 at 01:01:06 UT (8:01:06 EST 9 November) in Sinus Medii, a flat, heavily cratered mare region, at 0.49 N, 358.60 E (selenographic), the center of the Moon's visible hemisphere.

At 10:32 UT on 17 November 1967, the vernier engines were fired for 2.5 seconds, causing Surveyor to lift off the Lunar surface 3 to 4 meters and land about 2.4 meters west of its original position. This Lunar "hop" represented the first powered takeoff from the Lunar surface, and furnished new information on the effects of firing rocket engines on the Moon, allowed viewing of the original landing site, and provided a baseline for stereoscopic viewing and photogrammetric mapping of the surrounding terrain. The mission transmitted images until a few hours after sunset on 24 November, returning a total of 29,952 images. The alpha-scattering experiment acquired 30 hours of data on the surface material.

The spacecraft was placed into hibernation for the Lunar night on 26 November. Contact with the spacecraft was resumed on 14 December for a short period, but no useful data were returned and the last transmission was received at 19:14 UT on 14 December 1967. The results of the experiments showed that the surface had a basaltic composition, similar to that found at the Surveyor 5 landing site. Engineering and soil mechanics data indicated the bearing strength of the surface was more than adequate to support human landings. This spacecraft accomplished all planned objectives. The successful completion of this mission also satisfied the Surveyor program's obligation to the Apollo project.

1967 17:53:00 GMT
A Thor Delta launched from Vandenberg, California, carried the ESSA 6 (TOS-D) satellite into polar orbit, which returned cloud cover images.

ESSA 6, launched 10 November 1967, was a Sun-synchronous operational meteorological satellite designed to provide real-time Earth cloud cover TV pictures to properly equipped ground receiving stations for use in weather analysis and forecasting. The satellite had essentially the same configuration as that of a TIROS spacecraft, i.e., an 18-sided right prism, 107 cm across opposite corners and 56 cm high, with a reinforced baseplate carrying most of the subsystems and a cover assembly (hat). Electrical power was provided by approximately 10,000 1- by 2-cm colar cells that were mounted on the cover assembly and by 21 nickel-cadmium batteries. Two redundant wide-angle Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) cameras were mounted on opposite sides of the spacecraft, with their optical axes perpendicular to the spin axis. Projecting downward from the baseplate were a pair of crossed-dipole command reception antennas. A monopole telemetry (136.500 MHz) and tracking (136.770 MHz) antenna extended outward from the top of the cover assembly. The satellite spin rate was controlled by means of a Magnetic Attitude Spin Coil (MASC), with the spin axis maintained normal to the orbital plane (cartwheel orbit mode) to within plus or minus 1 deg. The MASC was a current-carrying coil mounted in the cover assembly. The magnetic field induced by the current interacted with the Earth's magnetic field to provide the torque necessary to maintain a desired spin rate of 10.9 rpm. The satellite performed normally after lanuch. The APT system was turned operationally off on 25 July 1969, and reactivated on 11 September 1969. The spacecraft was deactivated on 4 November 1969.

1968 19:11:31 GMT
USSR launched Zond 6 on a Lunar flyby mission.

Zond 6 was launched 10 November 1968 on a Lunar flyby mission from a parent satellite (68-101B) in Earth parking orbit. It carried scientific probes including cosmic-ray and micrometeoroid detectors, cameras, and a biological payload, and was intended a precursor to manned missions.

Zond 6 made a midcourse correction on 12 November and flew around the Moon on 14 November 1968, at a minimum distance of 2420 km. It went behind the Moon at 05:49:37, and emerged at 06:21:11. Zond 6 took spectacular photos of the Moon's limb with the Earth in the background. 5x7 inch (12.70 by 17.78 cm) photographs of the Lunar near and far side were obtained with panchromatic (black and white) film. Some of the views allowed for stereo pictures. They were taken from distances ranging from approximately 11,000 km to 3300 km.

On the return leg, on 14 November, the hydrogen peroxide temperature aboard the L1 capsule fell from +20 deg C to -2 deg C. By the following morning, it was down to -5 deg C and in danger of disassociating into oxygen and water, so the capsule's orientation thrusters would not be able to function for re-entry. A color television camera was supposed to have been included in the cabin. If it was there, it could have been turned on to warm the capsule, but Mishin had insisted to the State Commission that it be deleted. The spacecraft could also be oriented so that the Sun would shine directly over the peroxide tank and warm it, but that might damage the 100K star sensor, which was mounted right next to it. A proposal was made that an attempt be made to orient the spacecraft using the ONA gyroscope package as flywheels, but Mishin and his deputies didn't want to try anything. Also during the return flight, a gasket failed on 16 November, leading to cabin depressurization, which would have been fatal to a human crew.

In spite of the problems, the 7K-L1 made the first successful double skip trajectory, dipping into the Earth's atmosphere over Antarctica, slowing from 11 km/sec to suborbital velocity, then skipping back out into space before making a final re-entry onto Soviet territory. The landing on 17 November 1968 was only 16 km from the pad from which it had been launched toward the Moon. After the re-entry, the main parachute ejected prematurely, ripping the main canopy, leading to the capsule being destroyed on impact with the ground. One negative was recovered from the camera container, a small victory obtained over the Americans, but the criteria for a manned flight had obviously not been met. Mishin's only hope to beat the Americans was a failure or delay in the Apollo 8 flight set for December, the next Zond test was set for January.

1970 14:44:01 GMT
USSR launched Luna 17 carrying Lunokhod 1, the first (robotic) Lunar rover.

Luna 17 was launched 10 November 1970 to the Moon via an Earth parking orbit, and entered Lunar orbit on 15 November 1970. It soft landed on the Moon on 17 November 1970, in the Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Rains) region. The spacecraft had dual ramps by which the payload, Lunokhod 1 (an exploratory rover with eight independently powered wheels), descended to the Lunar surface.

Lunokhod was powered by a solar cell array, and equipped with four television cameras and special extendable devices to impact the Lunar soil for soil density and mechanical property tests. An x-ray spectrometer, an x-ray telescope, cosmic-ray detectors, and a laser device were also included in the instrumentation package. The rover was intended to operate through three Lunar days but actually operated for eleven Lunar days (Earth months). The operations of Lunokhod officially ceased on 4 October 1971, the anniversary of Sputnik 1. By that time, Lunokhod had traveled 10.54 km, had transmitted more than 20,000 TV pictures, sent more than 200 TV panoramas, and had conducted more than 500 Lunar soil tests.

Lunokhod mission profile, illustration courtesy of NASA

1972 01:14:00 GMT
The Canadian Anik 1 commsat was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 114 deg W 1973-1976; at 104 deg W 1976-1982.

Anik 1 (Anik A, Telesat 1, Telesat-A) was a Canadian telecommunications satellite launched into geostationary orbit on 10 November 1972 with an anticipated life of seven years. It was about 1.83 meters in diameter, 3.35 meters high, and weighed 1240.59 lb. The satellite communication system provided 12 C-band channels, two of which were protection channels for the ten traffic carrying channels. Uplink transmission was in the 5.925-6.425 GHz band, and the down link operated in three 3.7-4.2 GHz bands. Telemetry, tracking, and command functions required for satellite stationkeeping and positioning were also provided in those frequency bands.

The satellite acted as a space repeater capable of receiving transmissions from Earth stations and retransmitting them to other Earth stations in Canada. The antenna coverage provided the capability of serving virtually all of Canada. The RF channels were each capable of transmitting a color television signal or up to 900 one-way voice channels.

Died, Leonid I Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union (1965-1982), Soviet leader during the entire manned Lunar landing program, made key decisions leading to the development of a succession of Soviet space stations built in the 1970s

Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroid #3613.

1984 01:14:15 GMT
An Ariane 3 launched from Kourou carried the US Spacenet F2 and European MARECS 2 communications satellites into space, which were initially positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 69 deg W and 177 deg E, respectively.

The first OK-GLI Buran analog flight was made from the Zhukovskiy test flight center near Moscow, used to duplicate the anticipated Buran (Soviet space plane) handling and test systems software.

Died, William A. "Willy" Higinbotham, physicist, credited with creating one of the first video games, Tennis For Two (similar to Pong) on an oscilloscope in 1958, while Head of the Instrumentation Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory

1998 19:30:00 GMT
On a space walk from Mir, cosmonauts Padalka and Avdeyev hand-launched the Sputnik-41 amateur radio mini-satellite. Sputnik-41, also designated RS-18, was another scale model of Sputnik 1, which was launched over 41 years earlier.

On a space walk from Mir on 10 November 1998, Padalka and Avdeyev hand-launched the Sputnik-41 amateur radio mini-satellite, which had been brought to space from Baikonur aboard Progress M-40 on 25 October 1998. Sputnik-41, also designated RS-18, was another scale model of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, launched a bit more than 41 earlier. It carried a small transmitter, and was sponsored by Aero Club de France, AMSAT-France, and the Astronautical Federation of Russia. A similar model was launched in 1997 for the fortieth anniversary of Sputnik. On that occasion, two flight models were carried to Mir but only one was launched. The second Sputnik-40 flight model was still aboard Mir as of 1998. At the time, it was felt the second Sputnik-40 would perhaps be deployed prior to the abandonment of Mir in 1999.

2000 17:14:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched Navstar 49 (USA 154) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a GPS Block 2R satellite component of the Global Positioning System, placed in Plane F Slot 1 of the constellation.

2002 00:04:00 GMT
Russia's Soyuz TM-34 landed in Kazakstan, returning the EP-4 visiting crew of three astronauts to Earth from their ten day stay at the International Space Station (ISS).

Died, Valeri Aleksandrovich Yazdovsky, Russian spacecraft engineer, cosmonaut candidate

Valeri Aleksandrovich Yazdovsky (8 June 1930 - 10 November 2012) was a Soviet cosmonaut candidate, selected in the Korolyov Group TsKBEM-1 on 27 May 1968. Originally a miner, he studied engineering and graduated from Moscow Aviation Institute in 1954. He was involved in the development of Vostok, Voskhod and Soyuz space capsules. Yasdovsky was assigned as the flight engineer on Soyuz 13 but the prime crew was grounded he and his crewmate Commander Lev Vorobiyov had personal differences. He retired as a cosmonaut on 01 July 1982, then worked as an engineer at NPOE until his death.

The next transit of Earth across the Sun, as seen from Mars, will be visible to Mars residents.

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