|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1958 - Quarter 2|
|Previous Quarter||Next Quarter|
Maxime A. Faget and associates conceived the idea of using a contour couch to withstand the high g-loads attendant to acceleration and reentry forces of manned space flight. Fabrication of test-model contour couches was started in the Langley shops in May 1958, and the concept was proved feasible on July 30 of that same year. References: 483 .
A $61,000 contract was signed by the Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago, and the Air Force. Gerard P. Kuiper, principal investigator, was to produce a new lunar photographic atlas. The moon's visible surface would be divided into 44 areas, and each would be represented by at least four photographs taken under varying lighting conditions. Additional Details: Lunar photographic atlas begun. References: 16 .
Construction work begins on Angara (R-7) base at Plesetsk. References: 89 .
Decree 'On adoption of the R-11M into armaments' was issued. References: 474 .
The preliminary design indicated a mass of 5.0 to 5.5 tonnes, 8 to 9 G re-entry, spherical capsule, 2500 to 3500 deg C re-entry temperatures. The heat shield would weigh 1300 to 1500 kg, and the landing accuracy would be 100 to 170 km. Operating altitude was 250 km. The astronaut would eject from the spacecraft at an altitude of 8 to 10 km.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a message to Congress, proposed the establishment of a National Aeronautics and Space Agency into which the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics would be absorbed. The new agency would conduct the civilian space program through research in its own facilities or by contract and would also perform military research required by DOD. Projects primarily military in character would remain the responsibility of DOD. Additional Details: Eisenhower proposed the establishment of NASA. References: 16 .
Decree 'On creation of OKB-1 branch at Progress Plant' was issued. References: 474 .
Establishment of the U.S. Naval Missile Facility at Point Arguello, the southern portion of former Camp Cooke (facility formally commissioned on 10 May). References: 88 .
State Committee for Defence Technology (GKOT) Decree 'On creation of Branch No. 1 of OKB-456' was issued. References: 474 .
USAF Thor-Able missile was launched from Cape Canaveral in a reentry test; flew short of its goal and the nose cone was not recovered. The nose cone carried a mouse as a biomedical experiment. References: 17 .
Navy rocket sled attained speed of 2,827.5 mph at China Lake, Calif. References: 17 .
First successful launching and erection in space of a 12-foot inflatable sphere for air density measurements, using a Nike-Cajun booster system, by NACA Langley's PARD at Wallops Island, Va. References: 17 .
The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division published the first development plan for an Air Force manned military space systems program. The objective was to "achieve an early capability to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth." The program called for the start of a high priority effort (similar to that enjoyed by ballistic missiles), characterized by "concurrency" and single Air Force agency management. The complete program would be carried out in four phases: first, "Man-in-Space Soonest"; second, "Man-in-Space Sophisticated"; third, "Lunar Reconnaissance," exploring the moon by television camera and by a soft landing of an instrumented package on the moon's surface; and finally, "Manned Lunar Landing and Return," which would first test equipment by circumlunar flights returning to earth with instrumented capsules containing animals. Additional Details: US Air Force manned military space systems program. References: 16 .
Cruise stage tanks 2 and 3 were filled with water, the engine feed tank was filled with propellant, and tanks 1 and 4 were empty. Mass was reduced by 30% from that of a fully fueled stage. The boosters were fully fueled. A slightly different turbopump was installed on the engines in comparison to earlier flights. The flight was to demonstrate simultaneous control of the missile using both aerodynamic surfaces and exhaust vanes after T+50 seconds. The flight continued to T+81 seconds, when failure of an electric circuit led to premature cutoff of the boosters
Decision to move directly to early manned flights in orbit. Korolev, after a review with engineers, determines that planned three stage versions of the R-7 ICBM could launch a manned orbital spacecraft. Korolev advocates pursuit of manned spaceflight at the expense of the military's Zenit reconnsat program, putting him in opposition to Ustinov. References: 85 .
Four-stage rocket launched a 9-pound inflatable sphere to 50-mile altitude at NACA Wallops Island. References: 17 .
Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 578 m. References: 439 .
AM-5, carrying America's first tactical type re-entry nose cone, was fired from AMR at 0005 hours EST. This was also the first flight test. for first and second stage separation. Impact was 28.3 nm under and 15.6 nm to the right at a range of about 1,275 nm after approximately 960 seconds of flight. In less than five hours, the nose cone was recovered - the world's first recovery of an IRBM nose cone. References: 439 .
NACA-USAF Memorandum of Understanding signed, "Principles for Participation of NACA in Development and Testing of the Air Force System 464L Hypersonic Boost Glide Vehicle (Dyna-Soar I)." References: 17 .
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and the Air Force signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the principles in the development and testing of the Air Force's Hypersonic Boost Glide Vehicle (Dyna Soar I). The following principles would apply to the project: (1) The project would be conducted as a joint Air Force-NACA project. (2) Overall technical control of the project would rest with the Air Force, acting with the advice and assistance of NACA. (3) Financing of the design, construction, and Air Force test of the vehicles would be borne by the Air Force. (4) Management of the project would be conducted by an Air Force project office within the Directorate of Systems Management, Headquarters, Air Research and Development Command. NACA would provide liaison representation in the project office and provide the chairman of the technical team responsible for data transmission and research instrumentation. (5) Design and construction of the system would be conducted through a negotiated prime contractor. (6) Flight tests of the vehicle and related equipment would be accomplished by NACA, the USAF, and the prime contractor in a combined test program, under the overall control of a joint NACA-USAF committee chaired by the Air Force.
As in previous flight, cruise stage 30% below design weight, and propellant tanks mainly filled with water. The flight continued to T+120 seconds. The boosters worked normally and shut off at T+90.5 seconds, with the vehicle at 17.3 km altitude and flying at Mach 2.95-2.97. Simultaneously the ramjets of the cruise stage ignited. Stage separation was normal and the aerodynamic sensors and diffuser worked normally.
Gravity load of 83 g's for a fraction of a second withstood by Capt E. L. Breeding in deceleration of a rocket sled at Holloman AFB. References: 17 .
Boeing and Martin selected to conduct feasibility studies on Dynasoar. References: 26 .
The Redstone became the first large U.S. ballistic missile to be deployed overseas, joining the NATO Shield Force.
NACA representatives were assigned to the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Manned Satellite Committee. References: 483 .
Preliminary specifications of the first manned satellite vehicle were drafted by Langley Aeronautical Laboratory personnel under the supervision of Maxime Faget and Charles W. Mathews. After a number of revisions and additions, these specifications were used for the Project Mercury spacecraft contract with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. A working group of representatives from the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory and the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory was formed for the purpose of outlining a manned satellite program. References: 483 .
Competing manned projects. Korolev OKB-1 proposed Vostok ballistic capsule as quickest way to put a man in space while meeting Zenit project's reconnsat requirements. Under project VKA-23 (Vodushno Kosmicheskiye Apparat) Myasishchev OKB-23 proposed two designs, a faceted craft with a single tail, and a dual tail contoured version. Tsybin OKB-256 proposed seven man winged craft with variable wing dihedral. Contracts awarded to all three OKB's to proceed with construction of protoypes. R-7 booster to be used for suborbital launches. References: 83 .
Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 409 m. References: 439 .
After serving as a liaison officer of NACA and as a participating member of an Advanced Research Projects Agency panel, Maxime A. Faget reported to Dr. Hugh Dryden on resulting studies and attending recommendations on the subject of manned space flight. He stated that the Advanced Research Projects Agency panel was quite aware that the responsibility for such a program might be placed with the soon-to-be-created civilian space agency, although they recommended program management be placed with the Air Force under executive control of NACA and the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The panel also recommended that the program start immediately even though the specific manager was, as yet, unassigned. Several of the proposals put forth by the panel on the proposed development were rather similar to the subsequent evolvement. The system suggested by the Advanced Research Projects Agency was to be based on the use of the Atlas launch vehicle with the Atlas-Sentry system serving as backup; retrorockets were to be used to initiate the return from orbit; the spacecraft was to be nonlifting, ballistic type, and the crew was to be selected from qualified volunteers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. References: 483 .
Test firing of a full-scale upper stage rocket under simulated altitude conditions was made in an engine test cell at the USAF's Arnold Engineering Development Center at Tullahoma, Tenn. References: 17 .
Cruise stage tanks 2 and 3 and engine feed tank all filled with fuel. Tanks 1 and 4 were empty. The AVD Engine Cutoff System activated at T+6 seconds due to a problem in one of the chambers of the boosters. Launch did not occur.
Successfully fired at 2059 hours EST from AMR. The flight was a success in that all missions were accomplished with the exception of failure of the thrust governor. This failure was caused by human error before firing which caused excess velocity, thereby exceeding the predicted impact point by 8.36 nm. Programmed range to impact was 137.31 nm. All other missions were satisfactorily completed. Missed aimpoint by 14,917 m. References: 439 .
Phase I development contract for Dyna-Soar boost-glide orbital spacecraft awarded by USAF to two teams of contractors headed by Martin Co. (Bell, American Machine & Foundry, Bendix, Goodyear, and Minneapolis-Honeywell) and the Boeing Co. (Aerojet, General Electric, Ramo-Wooldridge, North American, and Chance Vought). References: 17 .
Formal establishment of the Navy's Pacific Missile Range (with its headquarters at Point Mugu and its major launch head at Point Arguello). References: 88 .
NACA personnel discussed the proposed space agency budget, including the manned satellite project, with Bureau of Budget officials. References: 483 .
The U.S. Air Force contracted with NAA, Rocketdyne Division, for preliminary design of a single-chamber, kerosene and liquid-oxygen rocket engine capable of 1 to 1.5 million pounds of thrust. During the last week in July, Rocketdyne was awarded the contract to develop this engine, designated the F-1. References: 16 .
Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 64 m. References: 439 .
In a US Air Force briefing a preliminary astronaut selection for the Man-In-Space Soonest project is made. The list consisted of USAF test pilots Robert Walker, Scott Crossfield, Neil Armstrong, Robert Rushworth, William Bridgeman, Alvin White, Iven Kincheloe, Robert White, and Jack McKay. References: 491 .
Meetings were held with NACA, AVCO, and Lockheed representatives in attendance to consider materials for thermal protection of satellite reentry vehicles. References: 483 .
First successful launching by NACA Langley's Aircraft Research Division of a Mach 18 five-stage rocket vehicle at Wallops Island, Va. References: 17 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Creation of pockets With Engines on the Basis of Nuclear Energy Applications--work on a draft project for rockets with nuclear engines' was issued. Competing engine designs were in development by Glushko’s OKB-456 and Bondaryuk’s OKB-670. Both designs used existing available reactors in cyldindrical housings, with the reactors operating at 3000 degrees K. The propellant was heated in the reactor and exhausted through four expansion nozzles. The Glushko engine operated with ammonia, while the Bondaryuk engine used a mixture of ammonia and alcohol. With such propellants a specific impulse of 430 seconds was achieved. References: 474 .
|Previous Quarter||Next Quarter|