|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1954 - Quarter 3|
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The two services and NACA signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint project in Dec. 1954. In 1952 the NACA had begun preliminary research into space flight and associated problems.
After 2 years' study of problems that might be encountered in manned space flight, a joint group - NACA, Air Force, and Navy - met in Washington to discuss the need for a hypersonic research vehicle and to decide on the type of aircraft that could attain these objectives. The NACA proposal was accepted in December 1954, and a formal memorandum of understanding was signed to initiate the X-15 project. Technical direction of the project was assigned to the NACA. On November 9, 1961, the X-15 reached its design speed of over 4,000 miles per hour and achieved partial space conditions on July 17, 1962, when it reached an altitude of 314,750 feet. By the latter date, the Mercury spacecraft had made two manned orbital flights. References: 483 .
NACA met with USAF and Navy BuAer representatives to propose the X-15 as an extension of the cooperative rocket research aircraft program. The NACA proposal was accepted as a joint effort and a memorandum of understanding was signed on December 23 naming NACA as technical director of the project, with advice from a joint Research Airplane Committee. References: 17 .
Decree 'On appointment of M. K. Yangel as Chief Designer of OKB-586' was issued. References: 474 .
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On adoption of the R-11 into armaments' was issued. References: 474 .
Temperature, aspect research. Launched at 0855 local time. Reached 91.8 km.
Through February 1955 the state acceptance trials for the production missile were conducted. 19 launches were made, 10 of which passed the acceptance criteria, 5 did not, and 4 were used for test of the new radio-correction guidance system. This used the R-5R variant of the missile; one of those four tests was unsuccessful.
The Air Force School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, Texas, received the first specifically built space cabin simulator. References: 483 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On establishment of OKB-52 at Reutov' was issued. References: 474 .
Ionosphere research. Launched at 1025 local time. Reached 91.8 km.
Decree 'On the Creation and preparation of the R-12 (8K63) missile--start of work an the R-12' was issued. References: 474 .
Von Braun report 'A Minimum Satellite Vehicle Based on Components Available from Developments of the Army Ordnance Corps' in response to June Pentagon meeting proposes $ 100,000 to launch satellite by Redstone. References: 86 .
Missile test failure. Missed aimpoint by 19,200 m. References: 439 .
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On approval of work on the R-11M missile' was issued. References: 474 .
Solar radiation research. Launched at 1731 local time. Reached 94.7 km.
Moscow radio reprted U.S.S.R. sent rockets to 240-miles height; claimed rocket for interplanetary travel designed and flight principles worked out. References: 17 .
Army Ordnance awarded contract for Redstone missile to Chrysler Corp. References: 17 .
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