|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1964 - Quarter 2|
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Decree 'On appointing KB TM as main space launch pad design organization' was issued. References: 474 .
MSC negotiated a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract, valued at $1.65 million, with Hamilton Standard for 27 prototype Apollo space suits and 12 pairs of gloves. References: 16 .
The two LLRV's were shipped from Bell to the NASA FRC, with program emphasis on vehicle No. 1. It was first readied for captured flight on a tilt table constructed at the FRC to test the engines without actually flying.
A study to recommend, define, and substantiate a logical approach for establishing a rotating manned orbital research laboratory for a Saturn V launch vehicle was made for MSC. The study was performed by the Lockheed-California Company, Burbank, California. It was based on the proposition that a large rotating space station would be one method by which the United States could maintain its position as a leader in space technology. Additional Details: Rotating manned orbital research laboratory for a Saturn V launch vehicle..
Korolev proposed further manned Vostok flights after Vostok 6. The first was to be a high altitude flight into the lower Van Allen radiation belt for radiological-biological studies. Spacecraft would have been allowed to naturally decay to a re-entry after ten days. A training group for these flights was assigned on 17 September 1963: Belyayev, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Komarov, Leonov, Shonin, Volynov, and Zaikin. By 25 January 1964 this had changed to Belyayev, Beregovoi, Khrunov, Komarov, Leonov, and Volynov. All follow-on Vostok missions were cancelled in spring 1964 when the decision was made to proceed with conversion of Vostok to the multi-crew Voskhod configuration. References: 283 , 294 .
Space Technology Laboratories (STL) began using its new San Juan Capistrano, Calif., test facility to static fire the firm's LEM descent engine. Hereafter, the bulk of STL's development firings were made at this site. References: 16 .
Bell Aerosystems Company completed the first of two lunar landing research vehicles, to be delivered to the NASA Flight Research Center for testing. References: 16 .
The first Gemini mission, Gemini-Titan I, was launched from Complex 19 at Cape Kennedy at 11:00 a.m., e.s.t. This was an unmanned flight, using the first production Gemini spacecraft and a modified Titan II Gemini launch vehicle (GLV). The mission's primary purpose was to verify the structural integrity of the GLV and spacecraft, as well as to demonstrate the GLV's ability to place the spacecraft into a prescribed earth orbit. Mission plans did not include separation of the spacecraft from the second stage of the vehicle, and both were inserted into orbit as a unit six minutes after launch. The planned mission encompassed only the first three orbits and ended about four hours and 50 minutes after liftoff. No recovery was planned for this mission, but Goddard continued to track the spacecraft until it reentered the atmosphere on the 64th orbital pass over the southern Atlantic Ocean (April 12) and disintegrated. The flight qualified the GLV and its systems and the structure of the spacecraft. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 26 .
This Air Force conducted test program contributed significantly to the development of the Gemini launch vehicle; the Gemini malfunction detection system was tested on five flights, Gemini guidance components on three, and the longitudinal oscillation fix on four. In addition to flight testing these (and other) critical components, these flights also enhanced confidence in the use of the Titan II as a launch vehicle. Thirty-two Titan II test flights were analyzed to determine whether any characteristic of the flight would have demanded a Gemini abort; 22 were adjudged successful from the standpoint of a Gemini mission, nine would have required Gemini to abort, and one resulted in a prelaunch shutdown.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of work on four Voskhods and five EVA-equipped Vykhods' was issued. Work on the 3KV (three crew) and 3KD (two crew plus inflatable airlock) versions of the basic Vostok spacecraft began. References: 474 .
FIRE was a subscale model of the Apollo capsule used to verify the spacecraft's hypersonic flight and thermal characteristics. An Atlas D launch vehicle lifted a Project Fire spacecraft from Cape Kennedy in the first test of the heat that would be encountered by a spacecraft reentering the atmosphere at lunar-return velocity. During the spacecraft's fall toward earth, a solid-fuel Antares II rocket behind the payload fired for 30 seconds, increasing the descent speed to 40,501 kilometers (25,166 miles) per hour. Instruments in the spacecraft radioed temperature data to the ground. The spacecraft exterior reached an estimated temperature of 11,400 K (20,000 degrees F). About 32 minutes after launch, the spacecraft impacted into the Atlantic Ocean. The mission, sponsored by Langley Research Center, provided reentry heating measurements needed to evaluate heatshield materials and information on the communications blackout during reentry. References: 5 , 16 , 26 , 27 , 278 .
Firings at the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) and at Aerojet-General Corporation's Sacramento test site completed Phase I development tests of the SM propulsion engine. The last simulated altitude test at AEDC was a sustained burn of 635 seconds, which demonstrated the engine's capability for long-duration firing. Preliminary data indicated that performance was about three percent below specification, but analysis was in progress to see if it could be improved. References: 16 .
MSC Crew Systems Division representatives attended a demonstration at Grumman of Apollo Phase B and Gemini space suits using the LEM TM-1 mockup and a mockup portable life support system. Tests demonstrated ingress egress capability through the forward and top hatches, operation of controls and displays, and methods of getting out on the lunar surface and returning to the spacecraft. Generally, the A7L Space Suit proved sufficiently mobile for all these tasks, though there was no great difference between its performance and that of the Gemini suit during these trials. References: 16 .
Joseph F. Shea, ASPO Manager, in a letter to North American's Apollo Program Manager, summarized MSC's review of the weight status of the Block I and the design changes projected for Block II CSM's.
The Block II design arose from the need to add docking and crew transfer capability to the CM. Reduction of the CM control weight (from 9,500 to 9,100 kilograms (21,000 to 20,000 pounds)) and deficiencies in several major subsystems added to the scope of the redesign. Additional Details: Apollo changes for Block II. References: 16 .
NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) were planning a scientist-astronaut program. The screening-for-selection process could be scheduled for February 1965. Additional Details: Apollo scientist-astronaut program planned. References: 16 .
Grumman conducted manned drop tests to determine the LEM crew's ability to land the spacecraft from a standing position. All tests were run with the subject in an unpressurized suit in a "hands off" standing position with no restraint system or arm rests. References: 16 .
NASA selected IBM, Federal Systems Division, to develop and build the instrument units (IU) for the Saturn IB and Saturn V launch vehicles. (IBM had been chosen by NASA in October 1963 to design and build the IU data adapters and digital guidance computers and to integrate and check out the IUs.) Under this new contract, expected to be worth over $175 million, IBM would supply the structure and the environmental control system. NASA would furnish the telemetry system and the stabilized platform (ST-124M) of the guidance system. MSFC would manage the contract. References: 16 .
Radiation monitoring. References: 279 .
Rocketdyne conducted the first firing of the prototype thrust chamber assembly for its LEM descent engine. References: 16 .
The NASA Manned Space Science Division was planning a scientific experiments program for manned and unmanned earth orbital flights. The manned program would be a direct outgrowth of the Gemini experiments program. References: 16 .
Representatives from a number of elements within MSC (including systems and structural engineers, advanced systems and rendezvous experts, and two astronauts, Edward H. White II and Elliot M. See, Jr.) discussed the idea of deleting the LEM's front docking capability (an idea spawned by the recent TM-1 mockup review). Rather than nose-to-nose docking, the LEM crew might be able to perform the rendezvous and docking maneuver, docking at the spacecraft's upper (transfer) hatch, by using a window above the LEM commander's head to enable him to see his target. Additional Details: Deletion of the Apollo LEM's front docking capability. References: 16 .
C. Howard Robins, Jr., and others in the MSC Advanced Spacecraft Technology Division investigated the suitability of and formulated a tentative mission flight plan for using a Gemini spacecraft to link up with an orbiting vehicle to achieve a long-duration space mission (dubbed the 'Pecan' mission). The two crewmen were to transfer to the Pecan for the duration of the mission. As with similar investigations for the application of Apollo hardware, the scheme postulated by Robins and his colleagues emphasized maximum use of existing and planned hardware, facilities, and operational techniques.
Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) accepted the first Agena D (AD-71) for the Gemini program. The Agena D was a production-line vehicle procured from Lockheed by SSD for NASA through routine procedures. Following minor retrofit operations, the vehicle, now designated Gemini Agena target vehicle 5001, entered the manufacturing final assembly area at the Lockheed plant on May 14. There began the conversion of the Agena D into a target vehicle for Gemini rendezvous missions. Major modifications were installation of a target docking adapter (supplied by McDonnell), an auxiliary equipment rack, external status displays, a secondary propulsion system, and an L-band tracking radar.
Swiss military joint staff issued a recommendation to have 250 nuclear weapons, including 100 on rockets, by 1980.
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On termination of work on the Kosmoplan and Raketoplan at OKB-52 and approval for the LK-1' was issued. References: 474 .
Apollo Saturn Mission A-101, using CM BP-13 atop SA-6 Saturn I launch vehicle, launched at Cape Kennedy, Fla., to prove spacecraft/launch vehicle compatibility. Boilerplate CSM, LM adapter, LES. LES jettison demonstrated. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 26 , 27 .
The last test flights of the Martlet 3B were performed in mid-1964 after which no further work was performed by HARP on sub-calibre gun-launched rocket vehicles.
Boeing and Douglas received Phase I contracts for further refinement of MORL station designs. The recommended concept was now for a 13.5 tonne 'dry' space station, launched by Saturn IB, with Gemini or Apollo being used for crew rotation. The 6.5 meter diameter and 12.6 meter long station included a docking adapter, Hangar section, airlock, and a dual-place centrifuge.
The system had a two week reaction time - the missiles and nuclear warheads were stored in kits at Vandenberg and had to be deployed to the Johnson Atoll launch site.
Proposed second high altitude manned flight into the lower Van Allen radiation belt for radiological-biological studies. Spacecraft would have been allowed to naturally decay to a re-entry after ten days. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in Spring 1964. References: 283 , 294 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Secretary of the Air Force Eugene M. Zuckert announced that three firms, Douglas Aircraft Company, General Electric Company, and The Martin Company, had received authorization to begin work on space station studies. Zuckert predicted also that the Titan III would be test-flown that summer and would launch the Manned Orbiting Laboratory sometime in 1967 or 1968.
Decree 'On approval of work on Voskhod and Vykhod' was issued. References: 474 .
Ministry of Defence Decree 'On military space programs for 1964-69, including the R spaceplane' was issued. The decree was issued by Defence Ministry Marshal Rodiono Yakovlevich Malinovksiy. Included in this plan were new versions of the automatic Zenit, More-1 (US series) spacecraft, the Spiral spaceplane, the Soyuz-R manned combat spacecraft, and others. Chelomei's Raketoplan spaceplane was cancelled. References: 474 .
Decree 'On termination of work on the R-56 launch vehicle and on schedule of the testing for the N1' was issued. References: 474 .
General Dynamics finished the installation and checkout of equipment in the Launch Operations Building on July 20. Lockheed equipment in the Launch Operations Building was installed and checked out by July 31.
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