|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1960 - Quarter 1|
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The study called for a two-crew waverider spacecraft powered by a second stage atop a British Blue Streak rocket. The group leaders of this project were H R Watson of Armstrong Whitworth, and Dr W F Hilton of Hawker Siddeley. The spacecraft design was by T R F Nonweiler.
ASSET ( 'Aerothermodynamic Elastic Structural Systems Environmental Tests') involved use subscale models of the X-20 Dynasoar to test materials prior to full-scale manned flights.
Aerojet project to evaluate the use of inflatable Rogallo wings for emergency return from orbit. The system would be stowed in a cylindrical package, docked to the external surface of a space station. In an emergency the escaping crew member would enter the coffin-sized cylinder, seal the back hatch, and be blown free of the station. The paraglider would then inflate and deploy. The crew member would use a gas stabilisation and control system to orient the spacecraft for retro-fire, and then to keep the glider at the correct attitude for re-entry.
In a letter sent by Korolev to the Central Committee of the Communist Part, he pledged to provide a comprehensive plan by the third quarter of 1960 comprehensive plans for development of the new projects.
A contract (NAS 1-430) was signed by NASA and the Western Electric Company in the amount of $33,058,690 for construction and engineering of the Mercury tracking network. References: 483 .
Soviet Air Froce Decree 'On creation of the Cosmonaut Training Centre' was issued. References: 474 .
President Dwight D. Eisenhower directed NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan "to make a study, to be completed at the earliest date practicable, of the possible need for additional funds for the balance of FY 1960 and for FY 1961 to accelerate the super booster program for which your agency recently was given technical and management responsibility." References: 16 .
Korolev signed the order for development of a four stage rocket based on the R-7.
Decree 'On adoption of the R-7 ICBM into armaments' was issued. References: 474 .
Little Joe 1-B (LJ-1B) was launched from Wallops Island with a rhesus monkey, 'Miss Sam,' aboard. Test objectives for this flight were the same as those for Little Joe 1 (LJ-1) in which the escape tower launched 31 minutes before the planned launch, and Little Joe 1-A (LJ-1A), wherein the dynamic buildup in the abort maneuver was too low. A physiological study of the primate, particularly in areas applying to the effects of the rapid onset of reverse acceleration during abort at maximum dynamic pressure, was also made. In addition, the Mercury helicopter recovery system was exercised. During the mission, all sequences operated as planned; the spacecraft attained a peak altitude of 9.3 statute miles, a range of 11.7 statute miles, and a maximum speed of 2,021.6 miles per hour. Thirty minutes from launch time, a Marine recovery helicopter deposited the spacecraft and its occupant at Wallops Station. 'Miss Sam' was in good condition, and all test objectives were successfully fulfilled. References: 483 .
Fired from AMR at 1948 hours EST to a prescribed range of: 1,299.4 nm. The nose cone impacted 0.04 nm over and 3.27 nm to the left. All missions were successfully accomplished despite elevated temperatures in the tail section. The primary mission of this flight was to test the two-way deflector launch section and to analyse elevated temperatures in the tail References: 439 .
Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 277 m. References: 439 .
In testimony before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Richard E. Horner, Associate Administrator of NASA, presented NASA's ten-year plan for 1960-1970. The essential elements had been recommended by the Research Steering Committee on Manned Space Flight. NASA's Office of Program Planning and Evaluation, headed by Homer J. Stewart, formalized the ten-year plan.
On February 19, NASA officials again presented the ten-year timetable to the House Committee. A lunar soft landing with a mobile vehicle had been added for 1965. On March 28, NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan described the plan to the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences. He estimated the cost of the program to be more than $1 billion in Fiscal Year 1962 and at least $1.5 billion annually over the next five years, for a total cost of $12 to $15 billion. Additional Details: NASA's Ten-Year Plan presented to Congress. References: 16 .
The Chance Vought Corporation completed a company-funded, independent, classified study on manned lunar landing and return (MALLAR), under the supervision of Thomas E. Dolan. Booster limitations indicated that earth orbit rendezvous would be necessary. A variety of lunar missions were described, including a two-man, 14-day lunar landing and return. This mission called for an entry vehicle of 6,600 pounds, a mission module of 9,000 pounds, and a lunar landing module of 27,000 pounds. It incorporated the idea of lunar orbit rendezvous though not specifically by name. References: 16 .
At a luncheon in Washington, Abe Silverstein, Director of the Office of Space Flight Programs, suggested the name "Apollo" for the manned space flight program that was to follow Mercury. Others at the luncheon were Don R. Ostrander from NASA Headquarters and Robert R. Gilruth, Maxime A. Faget, and Charles J. Donlan from STG. References: 16 .
Six chimpanzees were rated as being trained and ready to support Mercury-Redstone or Mercury-Atlas missions. Other chimpanzees were being shipped from Africa to enter the animal training program. References: 483 .
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency submitted to NASA the study entitled "A Lunar Exploration Program Based Upon Saturn-Boosted Systems." In addition to the subjects specified in the preliminary report of October 1, 1959, it included manned lunar landings. References: 16 .
As part of their training program, the astronauts received 2 days of instruction in star recognition and celestial navigation presented by Dr. James Balten at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The purpose of this training was to assist the astronaut in correcting spacecraft yaw drifts. Practical experience was gained in this task by using a motorized trainer that simulated the view of the celestial sphere through the spacecraft observation window. References: 483 .
The 28th R&D firing was from AMR at 1919 hours EST to a pre-calculated range of 1,299 nm. The flight successfully accomplished all primary and secondary missions. The nose cone impacted 0.65 nm short and 0.52 nm right of the intended target. References: 439 .
Decree 138-48 'On termination of work on the La-350 Burya at OKB-301' was issued. Project finally cancelled based on availability and invulnerability of R-7, R-9, and R-16 ICBM's. Flight test for technology purposes of already-built missiles was allowed to the end of the year. References: 474 .
The first meeting of the NASA Space Exploration Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The objective of the Council was "to provide a mechanism for the timely and direct resolution of technical and managerial problems . . . common to all NASA Centers engaged in the space flight program." Additional Details: NASA Space Exploration Council. References: 16 .
Study issued by Huntsville of lunar landing alternatives using Saturn systems. Huntsville transferred from Army to NASA. Vought study on modular approach to lunar landing. Internally NASA decides on lunar landing as next objective after Mercury. References: 26 , 27 .
Planned to fly complete course with astronavigation system. Missile successfully flew 5,500 km.
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 236-89 'On creation of the State Commission for the R-16 ICBM' was issued. References: 474 .
First test launch of Army's Pershing tactical missile from Cape Canaveral. References: 17 .
100-foot-diameter inflatable sphere successfully launched on third suborbital test to an altitude of 225 miles, from NASA Wallops Station, Va. Radio transmissions were reflected via the sphere from Holmdel, N.J., to Round Hill, Mass. References: 17 .
Eleven companies submitted contract proposals for the Saturn second stage (S-IV): Bell Aircraft Corporation; The Boeing Airplane Company; Chrysler Corporation; General Dynamics Corporation, Convair Astronautics Division; Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc.; Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation; Lockheed Aircraft Corporation; The Martin Company; McDonnell Aircraft Corporation; North American Aviation, Inc.; and United Aircraft Corporation. References: 16 .
The London Daily Mail presented the Space Vehicle at its 1960 Ideal Home Exhibition, and an estimated 150 000 to 200 000 people passed through the vehicle. Additional Details: London Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition Space Vehicle..
These tests were completed at the end of July 1960. As a part of the qualification program, three escape-rocket motors were successfully fired on a spacecraft model at conditions corresponding to approximately 100,000 feet altitude in the Lewis Research Center altitude wind tunnel. One motor was tested on a four-component balance system to determine thrust misalignment of the rocket motor. According to test results, the rocket motor appeared to meet operational requirements. References: 483 .
At a NASA staff conference at Monterey, Calif., officials discussed the advanced manned space flight program, the elements of which had been presented to Congress in January. The Goddard Space Flight Center was asked to define the basic assumptions to be used by all groups in the continuing study of the lunar mission. Some problems already raised were: the type of heatshield needed for reentry and tests required to qualify it, the kind of research and development firings, and conditions that would be encountered in cislunar flight. Additional Details: Advanced manned space flight program. References: 16 .
Korolev believed it would be truly possible with backing from the very top to have a large rocket in the USSR in a very short span of time. Unfortunately at the meeting Korolev made a slip of the tongue he would always regret, admitting that his plan had not been agreed among all of the Chief Designers. This resulted in Khrushchev throwing the matter back for a consensus plan.
Planned to fly complete course with astronavigation system. Engine operation was rough due to high angle of attack (5-8°) of the diffuser. As a result, the flight was terminated at T+26 minutes after the missile had flown 1,500 km.
Pioneer V, launched as a probe of the space between Earth and Venus, began to provide invaluable information on solar flare effects, particle energies and distributions and magnetic phenomena. Pioneer V continued to transmit such data until on June 26, 1960, when at a distance of 22.5 million miles from Earth, it established a new communications record. References: 483 .
Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 295 m. References: 439 .
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency's Development Operations Division and the Saturn program were transferred to NASA after the expiration of the 60-day limit for congressional action on the President's proposal of January 14. (The President's decision had been made on October 21, 1959.) By Executive Order, the President named the facilities the "George C. Marshall Space Flight Center." Formal transfer took place on July 1. References: 17 , 27 .
VANGUARD I still in orbit and transmitting on its second anniversary after traveling 131,318,211 miles. NASA reported that VANGUARD I orbit was being altered by solar pressure. References: 17 .
United States-Spanish agreement on Project Mercury tracking station in Canary Islands was announced (1 of 16 similar agreements with other nations). References: 17 .
Thomas E. Dolan of the Chance Vought Corporation prepared a company-funded design study of the lunar orbit rendezvous method for accomplishing the lunar landing mission. References: 16 .
Missile test failure. Missed aimpoint by 315 m. References: 439 .
USAF Titan fired 5,000 statute miles / 8000 km and data capsule recovered. References: 17 .
Planned to fly complete course from Vladimirovka to Cape Ozerniy. Launch mass of the booster stage was 97,215 kg, and that of the crusie stage 34,680 kg. The second stage ignited at Mach 2.85. The booster stage engines cut-off at Mach 3.2. Stage separation occurred normally at T+101.3 seconds. The cruise stage astronavigation system acquired its guide stars at T+114 seconds. The cruise stage began level flight at 18 km altitude. The vehicle flew along its assigned 6,500 km route for 2 hours 4 minutes at an altitude of 18-24.5 km at Mach 3.2-3.15. At T+118 minutes, with the fuel completely exhausted, the ramjet flamed out. At T+121 minutes power was transferred to the emergency batteries and the vehicle was issued a destruct command, but the rudders did not work. Flight with a steady loss of altitude continued to T+124 minutes.
Aerobee 150-A, a new type, fired from new launch tower at Wallops Station, reached an altitude of 140 km and achieved rocket performance objectives as well as micrometeorite impact counts. References: 17 .
Between March 28,1960 and April 1, 1960, the astronauts received their first open-water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, in cooperation with the Navy's School of Aviation Medicine. The training was conducted in conditions of up to 10-foot swells, and no problems were experienced. The average egress time was about 4 minutes from a completely restrained condition in the spacecraft to being in the life raft. References: 483 .
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