General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Vice Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, approved a policy calling for the development of earth satellites at the proper time. References: 483 .
Cosmic radiation research. Launched at 2345 GMT. Reached 72.4 km.
4751st Air Defense Missile Wing to develop and conduct training program for Bomarc units, and the 864th Strategic Missile Squadron to be equipped with Jupiter IRBM, were both activated. References: 17 .
The Air Force received 11 unsolicited industry proposals for Project 7969, and technical evaluation was started. Observers from NACA participated. References: 26 .
Korolev signed the order for development of a four stage rocket based on the R-7.
The Apollo Spacecraft Project Office (ASPO) was established at MSC. Charles W. Frick was selected as Manager of the new Office, to assume his duties in February. Frick had been Chief of Technical Staff for General Dynamics Convair. Robert O. Piland was appointed Deputy Manager of ASPO and would serve as Acting Manager until Frick's arrival. ASPO would be responsible for the technical direction of NAA and other industrial contractors assigned to work on the Apollo spacecraft. Additional Details: Apollo Spacecraft Project Office established. References: 16 .
Director Robert R. Gilruth of Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) appointed James A. Chamberlin, Chief of Engineering Division, as Manager of Gemini Project Office (GPO). The next day MSC advised McDonnell, by amendment No. 1 to letter contract NAS 9-170, that GPO had been established. It was responsible for planning and directing all technical activities and all contractor activities within the scope of the contract.
The 'polyblock' design was chosen as most advantageous, following studies that indicated improved wind loads and bending moment characteristics compared to the conventional 'monoblock' design. References: 273 .
The first fuel cell module delivered by Pratt and Whitney Aircraft to North American was started and put on load. The module operated normally and all test objectives were accomplished. Total operating time was four hours six minutes, with one hour at each of four loads-20, 30, 40, and 50 amperes. The fuel cell was shut down without incident and approximately 1,500 cubic centimeters (1.6 quarts) of water were collected. References: 16 .
MSC and Bellcomm agreed upon a plan for testing the Apollo heatshield under reentry conditions. Following Project Fire and Scout tests, the Saturn IB would be used to launch standard "all-up" spacecraft into an elliptical orbit; the SM engine would boost the spacecraft's velocity to 8,839 meters
(29,000 feet) per second. Additional Details: Plans for testing the Apollo heatshield under reentry conditions. References: 16 .
Following completion of feasibility studies of an extended Apollo system at MSC, Edward Z. Gray, Advanced Manned Missions Program Director at Headquarters, told MSC's Maxime A. Faget, Director of Engineering and Development, to go ahead with phase II follow-on studies. Gray presented guidelines and suggested tasks for such a study, citing his desire for two separate contracts to industry to study the command and service modules and various concepts for laboratory modules.
Commander Volynov shuttled the EVA crew of Yeliseyev and Khrunov into earth orbit. A day later Soyuz 4 docked with Soyuz 5. The Soyuz 4 active spacecraft was equipped with a long docking probe, designated 'Shtir'. The Soyuz 5 target spacecraft was equipped with the 'Konus' receptacle. The symbology lead Volynov to joke that he 'was being raped' when the hard docking was accomplished. Khrunov and Yeliseyev transferred to and returned in Soyuz 4, the feat they had hoped to accomplish in the cancelled Soyuz 2 flight almost two years earlier. Officially the flight conducted scientific, technical and medico-biological research, checking and testing of onboard systems and design elements of space craft, docking of piloted space craft and construction of an experimental space station, transfer of cosmonauts from one craft to another in orbit.
Volynov remained behind to live through the most unbelievable re-entry in the history of spaceflight. The service module of the Soyuz failed to separate after retrofire. Once the Soyuz started reaching the tendrils of the atmosphere, the combined spacecraft sought the most aerodynamically stable position - nose forward, with the heavy descent module with its light metal entry hatch at the front, the less dense service module with its flared base to the back. Luckily the struts between the descent and service modules broke off or burned through before the hatch melted through and the descent module righted itself, with the heat shield to the rear, before being consumed. Due to a failure of the soft-landing rockets the landing was harder than usual and Volynov broke his teeth. Recovered January 18, 1969 07:58 GMT. Additional Details: Soyuz 5. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 32 , 33 , 60 .
First launch of new Strela-3 store-dump military communications satellite. Six Strelas are put into medium earth orbits with each launch. In the first two launches, four of the satellites are mass-model mockups. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 105 .
Host base responsibilities for Vandenberg AFB transferred from Strategic Air Command to Air Force Space Command. References: 88 .
Experimental commsat; 13.2 deg E. ITALSAT is a body stabilized geostationary satellite and it is proposed to provide pre-operational domestic telecommunications services on the 20/30 GHz bands. Geographic longitude 13.2 deg E. Longitudinal tolerance +/- 0.1 deg. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Stationed at 10 deg E. Telecommunications satellite. Registered by France in ST/SG/SER.E/234 and 239 until EUTELSAT can register the satellite. EUTELSAT is the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
At first thought not to have reached orbit. Later reentry vehicle was discovered in Ghana having reentered and deployed its parachute on Jan 15. References: 5 .
Tested tools and techniques for extravehicular activity. References: 66 .