|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1957 - Quarter 4|
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Project Vanguard world-wide tracking system (minitrack) became operational. References: 17 .
Launched at 1429 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful, the impact point was 445 metres long and 452 meters to the right of the predicted impact point, giving a radial miss distance of. 634 meters. This was the first flight test of the NAA A-6 engine with a sea level thrust of 78,000 pounds. Missed aimpoint by 572 m. References: 439 .
First artificial satellite; transmitted signals for 21 days. Launching of first ever artificial satellite of the Earth; physical study of the atmosphere; remained in orbit until January 4, 1958. This event began the space race by galvanizing interest and action on the part of the American public to support an active role in space research, technology, and exploration. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 177 .
Von Braun briefs Secretary of Defence McElroy on Jupiter-C/Redstone for immediate US satellite launch. Promises launch in 60 days. Medaris says 90. References: 86 .
President Eisenhower in a White House press release congratulated the Soviet scientists on SPUTNIK I. He gave a brief history of the development of the U.S.-IGY satellite program and pointed to the separation of Project Vanguard from work on ballistic missiles. References: 17 .
Thor missile launched at Cape Canaveral, the second tested, achieved its designed 1,500-mile range. References: 17 .
USAF and NACA reviewed preliminary studies dating from 1954 on a boost-glide research vehicle to follow the X-15; all studies were combined into a single plan which was accepted by the Air Force and later designated as Dyna-Soar. References: 17 .
The Rocket and Satellite Research Panel, established in 1946 as the V-2 Upper Atmosphere Research Panel and renamed the Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel in 1948, together with the American Rocket Society proposed a national space flight program and a unified National Space Establishment. The mission of such an Establishment would be nonmilitary in nature, specifically excluding space weapons development and military operations in space. By 1959, this Establishment should have achieved an unmanned instrumented hard lunar landing and, by 1960, an unmanned instrumented lunar satellite and soft lunar landing. Manned circumnavigation of the moon with return to earth should have been accomplished by 1965 with a manned lunar landing mission taking place by 1968. Beginning in 1970, a permanent lunar base should be possible. References: 16 .
Russian and China sign New Defense Technical Accord, whereby Russia will supply China with protoype atomic bomb and two R-2 missiles, and related technical data. References: 87 .
A 'Round 3' conference involving studies for a follow-on to the X-15 program, which subsequently led to the X-20 Dyna Soar, was held at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory. During the course of the meeting, Alfred J. Eggers, Jr., of Ames advanced several proposals for possible manned satellite vehicle development projects. References: 483 .
USAF successfully launched pellets at a speed faster than 15 km/sec (some 3.5 km/sec faster than the velocity necessary to escape from the earth) by an Aerobee rocket to a height of 56 km; the nose section then ascended to a height of 87 km where shaped charges blasted the pellets into space. It is claimed that the Superschmidt Telescope at Sacremento Peak photographed the trajectory with a rotating shutter. These little metal pellets would therefore be the first objects to be shot into interplanetary space, months before the first launch to escape velocity (Luna 1, January 1959). But also see August 1957 nuclear test that may have blasted a manhole cover to escape velocity. References: 91 .
The fifth Jupiter was fired from the AMR at 2007 hours EST. This was the first flight with a heat protected nose cone. The ST-90 inertial guidance stabilised platform was operated with partially closed circuits. Cut-off was effected by the guidance system at 170.37 seconds. Since fuel was not depleted, flight time was 9.5 seconds longer than had been predicted for an approximate 1,100 nm range. The range error was 10.2 nm with a 3.4 nm lateral error. The nose cone survived re-entry and impacted in the general vicinity of the predicted impact point. Again, a successful flight. References: 439 .
IGY Vanguard prototype (TV-2) with simulated second and third stage successfully met test objectives, by reaching 109-mile altitude and 4,250 mph. References: 17 .
Stripped down Thor long-range flight test successful from AMR, impacting 4400 km downrange.
A booster engine turbopump failed at T+30 seconds. Booster acceleration dropped and the flight was terminated
Launched at 2352 hours EST from AMR. The flight was unsuccessful. Actual range was 48 nm, whereas the predicted range wee 130.588 nm. At 68 seconds, a disturbance occurred in the lateral accelerometer and computer systems. Erroneous guidance instructions were transmitted to the control systems, causing a sharp yaw at 70 seconds. Cut-off was initiated at 98.1 seconds. One of the objectives was to indoctrinate troops for participation in the tactical portions of the countdown. Missed aimpoint by 151,000 m. References: 439 .
Snark intercontinental missile launched from Cape Canaveral first flew 5,000 miles, to a target near Ascension Island. References: 17 .
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On termination of work on the 40 Buran intercontinental cruise missile' was issued. Buran was being prepared for its first flight when Myasishchev's project was cancelled. After successful flight tests of Lavochkin’s Burya missile, the Soviet leadership did not see any need for continued development of a parallel ramjet design. Following the cancellation, Myasishchev sought approval for test of an air-launched version.
A presentation on manned orbital flight was made by Maxime A. Faget. The concept included the use of existing ballistic missiles for propulsion, solid-fuel retrorockets for reentry initiation, and a nonlifting ballistic shape for the reentering capsule. This concept was considered to be the quickest and safest approach for initial manned flights into orbit. References: 483 .
Carried dog Laika. 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). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 177 .
Ministry of Aviation Industry (MAP) Decree 'On subordinating OKB-52 to GSNII-642' was issued. References: 474 .
President Eisenhower in major address on science and security announced that scientists had solved the problem of ballistic missile reentry and showed the nose cone of an Army Jupiter-C missile which was intact after a flight through space. He announced the creation of the office of Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and the appointment of James R. Killian, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the new post. References: 17 .
Secretary of Defense Neil McElroy directed the Army to proceed with the launching of the Explorer earth satellites. This order, in effect, resumed the Orbiter project that had been eliminated from the IGY satellite planning program on September 9, 1955. Von Braun was to modify two Jupiter-C missiles (modified Redstones) and attempt to place an artificial earth satellite in orbit by March 58. References: 86 .
At a meeting of the NACA Subcommittee on Fluid Mechanics, it was stated that many aspects of space flight and astronautics would depend heavily on research advances in the field that had been broadly termed fluid mechanics. Research in this area involved internal and external gas flows associated with high-speed flights within the atmosphere and reentry into the atmosphere of spacecraft vehicles. The subcommittee recommended to NACA that research in these matters be intensified. References: 483 .
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 1148 (XII), calling, in part, for "the joint study of an inspection system designed to ensure that the sending of objects through outer space shall be exclusively for peaceful and scientific purposes." References: 16 .
Preston R. Bassett of the NACA Committee on Aerodynamics presented a resolution urging NACA to adopt an aggressive program in space research technology. References: 483 .
Over one-half of the NACA Propulsion Conference was devoted to the discussion of possible space propulsion systems. Three particular systems appeared to afford excellent choices for such purposes. These were: the chemical rocket, the nuclear rocket, and the nuclear-electric rocket. It was the considered opinion of the conference members that the chemical rocket would be quite adequate for a round trip to the moon. References: 483 .
The Rocket and Satellite Research Panel recommended the creation of a National Space Establishment in the Executive Branch of the Government. According to the proposal, activities of this agency would be under civilian leadership, and the organization would be charged with formulating and supervising a space research program. An annual budget of $1 billion for a period of 10 years was recommended. References: 483 .
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics established a Special Committee on Space Technology to study and delineate problem areas that must be solved to make space flight a practical reality and to consider and recommend means for attacking these problems. Dr. H. Guyford Stever of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named chairman. References: 483 .
First hydrogen-fluorine rocket engine successfully operated at NACA Lewis Laboratory, demonstrating a 40-percent performance improvement over other propellant combinations. References: 17 .
Deployment of the R-5M in 1956 caused the Sixth Directorate of the Ministry of Military Forces of the USSR's First Military Subdivision, consisting of two brigades, to be formed. The need for a new arrangement for safeguarding nuclear weapons deployed with field units led to a decree replacing the Sixth Directorate with a Twelfth General Directorate of the Ministry of Defence, charged with the development, trials, deployment, and security of nuclear warheads.
Fired from AMR at 2110 hours EST. Main stage, lift-off, and powered flight were normal. The missile passed through the critical dynamic pressure period and followed the prescribed trajectory until 202 seconds of flight when the engine thrust was terminated. From an analysis covering the period before thrust termination, mechanical failure of the turbo-pump stopped the flow of propellants to the combustion chamber causing a complete loss of thrust. Telemetry signals ceased at 232 seconds. The missile was at an altitude of 65,000 feet when an explosion was observed from the Test Centre above the horizon. The long range mission of this flight was not accomplished; however, other primary and secondary missions were considered successful. References: 439 .
Thor and Jupiter IRBM's ordered into production for ultimate deployment by the USAF. References: 17 .
Maxime Faget of NACA Langley proposed ballistic shape of Mercury capsule, while A. Eggers of Ames and E. S. Love and J. V. Becker of Langley proposed glider configurations of manned spacecraft later incorporated in Dyna-Soar and Apollo studies. References: 17 .
The Martin Company proposed to the Department of Defense (DOD) that a stage of the Titan intercontinental ballistic missile be combined with the Vanguard rocket to provide a launch vehicle capable of placing an instrument package into lunar orbit and, ultimately, on the lunar surface. References: 16 .
The final show Walt Disney / Wernher Von Braun program was broadcast after the launchi of Sputnik 1 but before Von Braun's own Explorer 1 was orbited. It treated a mass audience to Von Braun's plans for a manned expedition to Mars.
The American Rocket Society's proposal for an Astronautical Research and Development Agency, which was presented to President Eisenhower on October 14, 1957, was announced. References: 17 .
An announcement was made that an Advanced Research Projects Agency would be created in the Department of Defense to direct its space projects. References: 483 .
On 6 December 1957 an agreement was signed to license production of the R-2 to China. A huge team of Russian rocket engineers and technicians went to Beijing to set up the production line. This rocket provided the technological base for the subsequent Chinese rocket programs.
The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Ad Hoc Committee on Space Technology recommended acceleration of specific military projects and a vigorous space program with the immediate goal of landings on the moon because "Sputnik and the Russian ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) capability have created a national emergency." References: 16 .
The Air Force created a Directorate of Astronautics to manage and coordinate astronautical research programs, including work on satellites and antimissile-missile weapons. Brigadier General Homer A. Boushey was named to head the office. Later in the month the order was rescinded by James H. Douglas, Secretary of the Air Force, who considered the creation of such a group before the activation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency to be premature. References: 483 .
Successfully fired at 1936 hours EST from AMR. The missile followed the trajectory very closely and impacted on target. All missions were successfully accomplished. The predicted impact range was 141.895 nm. The miss distance has bean certified as 153 meters radial, 94 meters over, and 121 meters to the left of the predicted impact point. The primary objective of the rest was to flight test Hardtack adaptation kit components as passengers. Missed aimpoint by 209 m. References: 439 .
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency completed and forwarded to higher authority the first edition of A National Integrated Missile and Space Vehicle Development Program, which had been in preparation since April 1957. Included was a "short-cut development program" for large payload capabilities, covering the clustered-engine booster of 1.5 million pounds of thrust to be operational in 1963. The total development cost of $850 million during the years 1958-1963 covered 30 research and development flights, some carrying manned and unmanned space payloads. One of six conclusions given in the document was that "Development of the large (1520 K-pounds thrust) booster is considered the key to space exploration and warfare." Later vehicles with greater thrust were also described. References: 16 .
Central Committee and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On creation of the Military-Industrial Commission on the basis of the Special Committee of the Council of Ministers and on change of the defence industry system from ministries to State Committees' References: 474 .
Fired from AMR at 1507 hours EST. The main-stage, lift-off, and powered flight were normal. The missile followed the prescribed trajectory. Thrust ended abruptly at 116.87 seconds of flight which resulted in a short-range impact. Failure was again attributed to turbo-pump malfunction. The long-range mission. was not accomplished; however, other primary and secondary missions were successfully accomplished. The abrupt shutdown of the power plant resulted in a range of approximately 149 nm and an altitude of approximately 50 nm. References: 439 .
A Thor missile, the eighth tested and the fourth successfully, completed the first fully-guided Thor IRBM flight using an all-inertial guidance system.
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