The MX-324, first U.S. military rocket-powered plane built by Northrop, was flown by test pilot Harry Crosby, at Harper Dry Lake, Calif. References: 17 .
Magnetic belt, night airglow research. Launched at 0052 local time. Reached 162 km.
The House Committee on Science and Astronautics declared: "A high priority program should be undertaken to place a manned expedition on the moon in this decade. A firm plan with this goal in view should be drawn up and submitted to the Congress by NASA. Such a plan, however, should be completely integrated with other goals, to minimize total costs. The modular concept deserves close study. Particular attention should be paid immediately to long lead-time phases of such a program." The Committee also recommended that development of the F-1 engine be expedited in expectation of the Nova launch vehicle, that there be more research on nuclear engines and less conventional engines before freezing the Nova concept, and that the Orion project be turned over to NASA. It was the view of the Committee that "NASA's 10-year program is a good program, as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Furthermore the space program is not being pushed with sufficient energy." References: 16 .
First orbital test Saturn IB; no spacecraft. AS-203 lifted off from Launch Complex 37, Eastern Test Range, at 10:53 a.m. EDT in the second of three Apollo-Saturn missions scheduled before manned flight in the Apollo program. All objectives - to acquire flight data on the S-IVB stage and instrument unit - were achieved.
The uprated Saturn I - consisting of an S-IB stage, S-IVB stage, and an instrument unit - boosted an unmanned payload into an original orbit of 185 by 189 kilometers. The inboard engine cutoff of the first stage occurred after 2 minutes 18 seconds of flight and the outboard engine cutoff was 4 seconds later. The S-IVB engine burned 4 minutes 50 seconds. No recovery was planned and the payload was expected to enter the earth's atmosphere after about four days. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 26 , 27 .
A board was appointed by MSC White Sands Test Facility Manager Martin L. Raines to determine the cause of a fire that had occurred at Test Stand 403 on July 3. The board was to submit its findings by July 17. References: 16 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 64 .
Start long-lead fabrication aft fuselage, Discovery (OV-103) References: 15 .
3rd generation, medium resolution photo surveillance; film capsule; also performed earth resources tasks. Investigation of the natural resources of the earth in the interests of various branches of the national economy of the USSR and international cooperation. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .
Military cartographic satellite; returned film capsule. Also investigation of the natural resources of the earth in the interests of various branches of the national economy of the USSR and international cooperation. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .
Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 7 Jul 1997 05:59:24 GMT. Undocked on 6 Aug 1997 11:46:45 GMT. Redocked with Mir on 18 Aug 1997 12:52:48 GMT. Final undocking on 7 Oct 1997 12:03:49 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 7 Oct 1997 17:23:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.30 days. Total docked time 80.21 days. References: 4 , 275 , 276 .
Carried a Russian Defence Ministry communications satellite. First attempted flight of the Khrunichev Briz-M upper stage in place of the usual Block DM. After the second stage explosion the remainder of the vehicle survived for 45 seconds before breaking up. Debris landed near Karaganda. As a result of this accident the Kazakh government suspended launches from Baikonur pending Russian agreement to pay back part of rent owed.