|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1967 - Quarter 1|
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Fit tests at Tyuratam. Not launched (Interavia SD). References: 23 .
Planned Voskhod flight that would include EVA with test of the UPMK 'jet belt'. Cancelled in spring 1966. References: 94 .
Ministry of Defence Decree 15 'On transfer of Zenit-2 from the 8A92 to the 11A57 launcher' was issued. References: 474 .
First and only launch of a Castor/Scramjet from Vandenberg AFB. References: 88 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
The Saturn 503 S-IVB stage exploded and was destroyed at the Douglas Sacramento, Calif., Test Facility at 4:25 p.m. PST during a countdown. The exercise had progressed to 10 seconds before simulated launch (about 8 minutes before S-IVB ignition) when the explosion occurred. Additional Details: Apollo S-IVB stage for Saturn launch vehicle 503 exploded. References: 16 .
At a NASA Hq briefing, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller stated that NASA planned to form an 'embryonic space station' in 1968-69 by clustering four AAP payloads launched at different times. The first mission would be the launch of a manned spacecraft followed several days later by a spent S-IVB stage converted into an OWS. After the two spacecraft had docked, the crew would enter the Workshop through an airlock. Twenty-eight days later they would passivate the OWS and return to Earth in their spacecraft. In three to six months, a second manned spacecraft would be launched on a 56-day mission to deliver a resupply module to the OWS and to rendezvous with an unmanned ATM, the fourth and last launch of the series. The cluster would be joined together using the multiple docking adapter. Emphasizing the importance of manning the ATM, Mueller said that 'if there is one thing the scientific community is agreed on it is that when you want to have a major telescope instrument in space it needs to be manned.'
Representatives of 62 nations signed the space law treaty, "Treaty on Principles Covering the Activities of the States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies," at separate ceremonies in Washington, London, and Moscow. The treaty, which limited military activities in space, had been agreed upon by the U.S. and U.S.S.R. December 8, 1966, and unanimously approved by the United Nations General Assembly December 19. It was to become effective when ratified by the U.S., U.S.S.R., United Kingdom, and two other countries. References: 16 .
The first manned flight of the Apollo CSM, the Apollo C category mission, was planned for the last quarter of 1966. Numerous problems with the Apollo Block I spacecraft resulted in a flight delay to February 1967. The crew of Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee, was killed in a fire while testing their capsule on the pad on 27 January 1967, still weeks away from launch. The designation AS-204 was used by NASA for the flight at the time; the designation Apollo 1 was applied retroactively at the request of Grissom's widow. Additional Details: Apollo 204. References: 26 , 27 , 33 , 60 .
The Apollo 204 Review Board was established by NASA's Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., to investigate the Apollo 204 accident that had killed the 204 prime crew January 27. The Board would report to the NASA Administrator. Additional Details: Apollo 204 Review Board established to investigate the AS-204 accident. References: 16 .
Funeral services were held for the Apollo crewmen who died in the January 27 spacecraft 012 (Apollo 204 mission) flash fire at Cape Kennedy. All three were buried with full military honors: Virgil I. Grissom (Lt. Col., USAF), and Roger B. Chaffee (Lt. Cdr., USN), in Arlington, Va., National Cemetery; and Edward H. White II (Lt. Col., USAF), at West Point, N.Y. Memorial services had been held in Houston January 29 and 30. References: 16 .
A TWX from NASA Headquarters to MSC, MSFC, and KSC ordered checkout and launch preparation of AS-501 to proceed as planned, except that the CM would not be pressurized in an oxygen environment pending further direction. If AS-501 support, facility, or work force should conflict with the activities of the AS-204 Review Board, the Board would be given priority. References: 16 .
Soviet government approves plan to land cosmonaut on moon by end 1968. N-1 test plan approved, envisioning third quarter 1967 as beginning of flight hardware construction. Fall-back project would be manned circumlunar mission. First manned L1 mission imagined as early as June 1967. First N1 launch by March 1968. References: 72 .
MSC management directed contractors and other government agencies to stop all MSC-related manned testing in environments with high oxygen content. Additional Details: Stop of all Apollo manned testing in high oxygen environments. References: 16 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 115-46 'On the Progress of the Work on the Development of the UR500K-L1 --confirmation of schedule for piloted lunar missions' was issued. References: 474 .
Crashed into Moon; returned 182 photos of lunar surface. Selenocentric orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 278 .
After the self-destruction of the first Soyuz 7K-OK on re-entry, and the loss of the second one on the pad fire in December, the state commission ruled that the third 7K-OK model would be flown unpiloted on a solo mission. If this was successful then the fourth and fifth Soyuz would be flown on a manned docking mission. Once in orbit Cosmos 140 experienced attitude control problems due to a faulty star sensor resulting in excessive fuel consumption. The spacecraft couldn't keep the required orientation towards the sun to keep the solar panels illuminated, and the batteries discharged. Despite all of these problems the spacecraft remained controllable. An attempted manoeuvre on the 22nd revolution still showed problems with the control system. It malfunctioned yet again during retrofire, leading to a steeper than planned uncontrolled ballistic re-entry. The re-entry capsule itself had depressurised on separation from the service module due to a fault in the base of the capsule. A 300 mm hole burned through in the heat shield during re-entry. Although such events would have been lethal to any human occupants, the capsule's recovery systems operated and the capsule crashed through the ice of the frozen Aral Sea, 3 km from shore and 500 kilometres short of the intended landing zone. The spacecraft finally sank in 10 meters of water and had to be retrieved by divers. Still, the mission was deemed 'good enough' for the next mission to be a manned two-craft docking and crew transfer space spectacular. Mishin and Kamanin felt that a human crew could have sorted out the problems. They were also under intense pressure to achieve a manned circumlunar flight before the 50th Anniversary of the Soviet Revolution in October. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .
Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 'On approval of work on Almaz' was issued. References: 474 .
The Board of Inquiry into the January 20 S-IVB-503 explosion at the Douglas Sacramento Test Facility identified the probable cause as the failure of a pressure vessel made with titanium-alloy parent-metal fusion welded with commercially pure titanium. The combination, which was in violation of specifications, formed a titanium hydride intermetallic that induced embrittling in the weld nugget, thus significantly degrading the capabilities of a weldment to withstand sustained pressure loads. The Board recommended pressure limitations for titanium-alloy pressure vessels. References: 16 .
Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 'On construction of the N1 payload fairing by the Khrunichev Plant' was issued. References: 474 .
MOL major subcontractors announced by prime contractor Douglas: Republic for the waste management system; Marquardt for 45 kgf and 20 kgf orientation thrusters; IBM for computers; Garrett for ECS; Scientific Data Systems for ground support equipment. References: 128 .
NASA agrees to fly four Deparment of Defense experiments planned for MOL on Apollo Applications mission instead (later Skylab). These included an inflatable airlock experiment. NASA also provided the Gemini 6 capsule to the Air Force for MOL crew training. References: 128 .
The Chief Designer of OKB-1, Vasiliy Pavlovich Mishin, strongly disagreed with the Zvezda design. In the place of Kozlovís 7K-VI Mishin proposed an OIS consisting of a separately-launched orbital block and a transport Soyuz. This was the exact same concept as Kozlovís cancelled Soyuz-R system, but using Kaliningrad spacecraft in the place of Samara spacecraft.
The Institute of Medical-Biological Problems (IMBP) and the Zvezda design bureau (designer of the ejection seat, space suits, and environmental control system for the Vostok spacecraft) became partners with OKB-1 in developing the SOZh closed-loop environemental control system. An earth-based simulator - the Earth Experimental Complex (NEK) was built. V Ulibishev, G Manovtsev, and A Bozhko spent an entire year in this closed-environment test unit beginning on 5 March 1967. An analogous US experiment was conducted for only 90 days in July-September 1970.
NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller stated that the February completion of MSFC studies of the Saturn V launch vehicle's payload and structural capability would permit an official revision of the payload from 43,100 kilograms to 44,500 kilograms; the CM weight would be revised from 5,000 to 5,400 kilograms; and the LM from 13,600 to 14,500. References: 16 .
Protoype Soyuz 7K-L1P launched by Proton into planned highly elliptical earth orbit. The first flight four-stage Proton rocket began assembly on 21 November 1966, with mechanical assembly completed by 29 November. Electrical connections and tests were completed by 4 December 1966. Due to New Yearís holidays work did not resume until 28 January 1967. By 28 February the fully assembled booster / spacecraft unit was completed in the MIK, including the 7K-L1P boilerplate spacecraft. The launch tower was added on 2 March 1967 and the system was declared ready for launch. A serious potential problem during preparations was the discovery that fuel gases could lead to pump cavitation at the turbine exits. Tests on the ground showed that the problem was not the fuel itself, but in the monitoring equipment. The launch vehicle and Block D stage functioned correctly and put the spacecraft into a translunar trajectory. The spacecraft was not aimed at the moon, did not have a heat shield for reentry, and no recovery of was planned or attempted. A successful launch that created false confidence just before the string of failures that would follow. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 67 , 273 , 274 .
CIA reports accurately development of N-1, Almaz, Proton, etc.... even states 100,000 kg large space station in development for launch by N-1 by 1969. CIA does not expect lunar landing until early 1970's. References: 77 .
Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 42 'On search service for returning missions from the Moon' was issued. References: 474 .
First launch of 63SM/11K63 version of Kosmos launch vehicle; first launch from Raduga launch complex at Plesetsk. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 99 .
AFWTR assumed operational control of the range Instrumentation Ship, Vanguard References: 88 .
NASA announced it would use the Apollo-Saturn 204 launch vehicle to launch the first lunar module on its unmanned test flight. Since the 204 vehicle was prepared and was not damaged in the Apollo 204 fire in January, it would be used instead of the originally planned AS-206. References: 16 .
Weight growth of the MOL station forced the Air Force to consider upgrading of the Titan booster. Stretching of the booster core or use of 156 inch solid rocket motors was considered. The Air Force also dithered as to whether to compete the Titan booster contract. Eight months were spent making the decision, and at the end of it all the first manned MOL flight was delayed to 1970 and the projected total cost increased from $ 1.5 billion to $ 2.2 billion. References: 128 .
NASA Hq. Office of Manned Space Flight informed KSC, MSFC, and MSC of approved designations for Apollo and Apollo Applications missions:
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 270-105 'On Preparation of Cosmonaut-Testers and Cosmonaut Researchers --formation of group of research and test-cosmonauts to support future missions' was issued. References: 474 .
Ministry of Defence Decree 'On formation of Anti-Space and Anti-Missile Forces of the Air Defence Forces (PKO) to operate General Soviet ASAT systems' was issued. References: 474 .
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