Cosmic radiation research. Launched at 1020 local time. Reached 117.5 km.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the recommendations of his Advisory Committee on Government Organization that the "leadership of the civil space effort be lodged in a strengthened and redesignated National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics," and that legislation be enacted to "give NACA the authority and flexibility" to carry out its expanded responsibilities. References: 16 .
The Joint Navy-Air Force (Burke-White) Agreement was completed. This agreement defined the areas of responsibility between the projected Pacific Missile Range and Cooke Air Force Base. References: 88 .
NASA announced an American agreement with Australia, signed on February 26, that permitted the space agency to build and operate several new tracking stations "down under." A key link in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's network of Deep Space Instrumentation Facilities would be constructed in Tidbinbilla Valley, 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Canberra. Equipment at this site included a 26-meter (85-foot) parabolic dish antenna and electronic equipment for transmitting, receiving, and processing radio signals from spacecraft. Tracking stations would be built also at Carnarvon and Darwin. References: 16 .
Last launch of a Titan I from Vandenberg AFB (first launch on 3 May 1961). References: 88 .
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.
President Nixon, at a White House ceremony, announced the nomination of Acting Administrator Thomas O. Paine to be the NASA Administrator. References: 16 .
Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. References: 279 .
AMSAT-OSCAR 8 was launched piggyback with LandSat 3 (ERTS 3) and PIX. The third phase 2 satellite (Phase II-D). Weight 27.2 kg. Box shaped, 33 cm high, 38 x 38 cm. Circularly polarized VHF canted turnstile, UHF quarter wave monopole, and HF half-wave dipole antenna system. Another cooperative international effort (United States, Canada, Germany and Japan). AO-8 had a similar store-and-forward service as AO-7 and carried Mode A (145.850-900 MHz uplink and 29.400-500 MHz downlink) and Mode J (145.900-146.000 MHz uplink and 435.100 MHz downlink (inverted)) linear transponders and telemetry beacons on 435.095 MHz and 29.402 MHz. AO-8's primary mission was for educational applications and amateur communications. It was in operation for six years until the battery failed on June 24, 1983. 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 .
X-38 atmospheric test vehicle V-132 was dropped from carrier plane NB-52 # 8 at 16:17 GMT. The V-132 subscale version of the X-38 successfully deployed its parafoil and glided to a landing on the lakebed after a 9 minute flight. V-132 tested the rudders and flaps; the simpler V-131, which made two drop tests earlier, tested the parafoil control system.
NASA's long-delayed WIRE (Wide Field Infrared Explorer) astronomy satellite was the fifth Small Explorer (SMEX) mission managed by NASA-Goddard. The L-1011 Stargazer launch aircraft took off from Vandenberg's runway 30/12 at 01:55 GMT on March 2 for the first launch attempt. The planned 02:56 GMT launch was cancelled at T-46 seconds due to a problem with the tail fin release mechanism of the Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The second attempt was successful, with the Pegaus XL being dropped at 36 degrees N x 123 degrees W over the Pacific Ocean at 02:56 GMT. However the WIRE ran into serious trouble shortly after orbit injection. The cover of the solid hydrogen telescope ejected prematurely, and the cryogenic coolant evaporated and vented, spinning the satellite out of control. WIRE was going to make an infrared photometry survey, generating a large catalog of galaxies and quasars. References: 4 .