Department of Defense transferred northern portion of Camp Cooke, Calif. (now Vandenberg AFB), to the Air Force to be used as first ICBM base. The Secretary of Defense directed the United States Army to transfer 64,000 acres of Camp Cooke's 86,000 acres to the Air Force. References: 17 , 278 .
Golovin Committe studies launch vehicles through summer, but found the issue to be completely entertwined with mode (earth-orbit, lunar-orbit, lunar-surface rendezvous or direct flight. Two factions: large solids for direct flight; all-chemical with 4 or 5 F-1's in first stage for rendezvous options. In the end Webb and McNamara ordered development of C-4 and as a backup, in case of failure of F-1 in development, build of 6.1 m+ solid rocket motors by USAF. References: 26 , 27 .
Third suborbital test of Saturn I. Saturn-Apollo 3 (Saturn C-1, later called Saturn I) was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range. Upper stages of the launch vehicle were filled with 23000 gallons of water to simulate the weight of live stages. At its peak altitude of 167 kilometers (104 miles), four minutes 53 seconds after launch, the rocket was detonated by explosives upon command from earth. The water was released into the ionosphere, forming a massive cloud of ice particles several miles in diameter. By this experiment, known as "Project Highwater," scientists had hoped to obtain data on atmospheric physics, but poor telemetry made the results questionable. The flight was the third straight success for the Saturn C-1 and the first with maximum fuel on board. References: 5 , 16 .
NASA test pilot Joseph A. Walker flew the LLRV for the second time. The first attempted liftoff, into a 9.26-km (5-nm) breeze, was stopped because of excessive drift to the rear. The vehicle was then turned to head downwind and liftoff was accomplished. While airborne the LLRV drifted with the wind and descent to touchdown was accomplished. Touchdown and resulting rollout (at that time the vehicle was on casters) took the LLRV over an iron-door-covered pit. One door blew off but did not strike the vehicle. References: 16 .
Venera 3 was launched towards the planet Venus. The mission was to land on the Venusian surface. The entry vehicle contained a radio communication system, scientific instruments, electrical power sources, and medallions bearing the coat of arms of the U.S.S.R. The station impacted Venus on March 1, 1966. However, the communications systems had failed before planetary data could be returned. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 64 , 296 .
Mishin's draft plan for the Soviet lunar landing was approved by an expert commission headed by Keldysh. The first N-1 launch was set for March 1968. At same meeting, Chelomei made a last ditch attempt to get his revised UR-700/LK-700 direct landing approach approved in its place. Although Chelomei had lined up the support of Glushko, and Mishin was in a weak position after Korolev's death, Keldysh managed to ensure that the N1-L3 continued. However continued design work on the LK-700, the UR-700 booster, and development of the RD-270 engine were authorised. References: 72 .
First launch of the Proton three-stage variant. The satellite studied the nature of high and ultra-high energy cosmic rays and their interaction with atomic nuclei. Scientific payload 12,500 kg; operated for 100 days in orbit. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 67 , 273 , 274 .
Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).
The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days. Additional Details: Skylab 4. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 33 , 60 .
Second ferry flight test, Edwards (4 hours, 17 minutes), Enterprise (OV-101) References: 15 .
Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
The Space Shuttle orbiter Enterprise arrived at Vandenberg AFB for a series of facility verification tests. References: 88 .
Replaced Molniya 1-60. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR; transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to stations in the Orbita network. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Carried descent module with greetings to American people. Delivery of a humanitarian cargo (messages to the American people, promotional materials of Russian and foreign firms, etc.) to the United States of America in connection with the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .
The Mars 96 spacecraft was launched into Earth orbit, but failed to achieve insertion into Mars cruise trajectory and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere at about 00:45 to 01:30 GMT on 17 November 1996 and crashed within a presumed 320 km by 80 km area which includes parts of the Pacific Ocean, Chile, and Bolivia. The Russian Mars 96 mission was designed to send an orbiter, two small autonomous stations, and two surface penetrators to Mars. References: 4 , 67 , 118 , 274 , 296 .