Composition research. Launched at 1754 local time. Reached 49.1 km.
Solar spectrum research. Launched at 1125 local time. Reached 115 km.
U.S.S.R. fired a single-stage rocket to 294-mile altitude with 3,340 pounds of experiments for measuring ion composition of the atmosphere, pressure, temperature, micrometeorites, etc., according to the Soviet IGY Committee. References: 17 .
Mercury-Atlas 2 (MA-2) was launched from Cape Canaveral in a test to check maximum heating and its effects during the worst reentry design conditions. The flight closely matched the desired trajectory and attained a maximum altitude of 114.04 statute miles and a range of 1,431.6 statute miles. Inspection of the spacecraft aboard the recovery ship some 55 minutes after launch (actual flight time was 17.56 minutes) indicated that test objectives were met, since the structure and heat protection elements appeared to be in excellent condition. The flight control team obtained satisfactory data; and the complete launch computing and display system, operating for the first time in a flight, performed satisfactorily. References: 5 , 16 , 26 , 59 , 278 .
NASA Space Task Group selected John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, and Alan B. Shepard, Jr., to begin special training for first manned Mercury space flight. References: 18 .
A metal fragment, identified by numbers stamped on it as a part of the Atlas that boosted Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) into orbit, landed on a farm in South Africa after about 8 hours in orbit. References: 483 .
Decree 'On Introduction of Hydrogen in Rocket Space Technology' --future of liquid hydrogen stages' was issued. References: 474 .
N-1 serial number 3L was the first N-1 launched. The payload was the 7K-L1A adaptation of the 7K-L1 spacecraft. This had a modified engine block and a total mass of 6900 kg. The planned mission was a lunar orbital flight. The L3 assembly would have been placed into a 204 x 287 km orbit of the earth at 597 seconds after lift-off. Total mass in earth orbit would have been 70.56 tonnes (the Block G, Block D, and 7K-L1A). The launch window for the lunar launch was open from 18 to 21 February; the launch was made on the last possible day. The N1 had a total mass of 2762 tonnes at ignition and 2756 tonnes at lift-off. Lift-off thrust was measured at 4,590 tonnes. The propellants had been densified before loading by chilling the Lox to -191 deg C and the fuel to -15 deg C. The mission plan called for the Block G to put the Block D and 7K-L1A on a translunar trajectory. After a 3.5 coast to the moon, the Block D would fire and place the assembly into lunar orbit. After two days of photography of the lunar surface, the Block D would fire again and place the 7K-L1A on a trans-earth trajectory. The Block D would separate and the 7K-L1A would use its own engines for mid-course corrections on the return leg. After re-entry in the atmosphere, the 7K-L1A would be recovered on Soviet territory.
The vehicle ran into trouble immediately at lift-off. As a result of a rising high frequency oscillation in the gas generator of engine number two, some engine components tore off their mounts, resulting in a forced leak of propellants, setting in motion a fire in the tail compartment. The BKS engine monitoring system detected the fire, but then gave an incorrect signal, shutting down all engines at 68.7 seconds into the flight. The vehicle was destroyed by range safety 70 seconds into the flight. The escape tower did not work as designed. British intelligence detected the launch attempt, but the CIA's technical means for some reason missed it and they denied for years that it had ever occurred. In retrospect the launch team at Baikonur pointed to a grave mistake - at the christening of the first N1, the champagne bottle broke against the crawler-transporter rather than the hull of the rocket. References: 5 .
Soft X-ray telescope. Launching organization: Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science, University of Tokyo. Function: Observation of X-ray radiation of celestial bodies with good time resolution over a wide spectrum range. Characterstics: weight 96 kg, configuration regula r octagonal prism, height 0.66 m, diameter 0.76m, spin stabilized. Expected life 2 years. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Hinotori (ASTRO-A). Launching organisation: Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science, University of Tokyo. Investigation of solar flare by X-ray telescope and spectrograph. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 278 .
Transport of various cargoes to the Salyut-7 orbital station. Docked with Salyut 7 on 23 Feb 1984 08:21:00 GMT. Undocked on 31 Mar 1984 09:40:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 1 Apr 1984 18:18:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 3.43 days. Total docked time 37.05 days. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 275 .
Studied aurora borealis, auroral australis. EXOS-D (Akebono). Observation in high precision of behaviour and acceleration mechanism of aurora particles in Earth magnetosphere. Launching organization ISAS. Launch time 2330 GMT. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 23 Feb 1993 20:17:57 GMT. Undocked on 26 Mar 1993 06:50:00 GMT. Redocked with Mir on 1993-03-26 07:06:03 GMT. Final undocking on 1993-03-27 04:21:00 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 27 Mar 1993 10:25:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.33 days. Total docked time 31.32 days. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 275 .
Mir Expedition EO-21. Soyuz TM-23 docked with Mir at 14:20:35 on February 23. The spacecraft undocked on September 2 at 04:20 GMT, and made a small seperation burn at 04:24:40 GMT. Deorbit was at 06:47:20 GMT . The three modules separated at 07:14:36 and the parachute deployed at 07:26 GMT. The landing was at 07:41:40 GMT, 100 km SW of Akmola in Kazakstan with Yuri Onufrienko, Yuriy Usachyov and Claudie Andre-Deshays. This concluded the French 'Cassiopee' mission. References: 4 , 6 , 9 , 51 , 276 .
Kakehashi, meaning 'Bridge', was called Communuications and Broadcasting Experimental Test Satellite (COMETS) before launch. It contained Ka-band communications and inter-satellite data relay payloads. Premature shutdown 44 seconds into the H-II second stage second burn put the satellite into a much lower than planned orbit. The on-board Unified Propulsion System was used to raise it to a more useful orbit. References: 4 , 276 .