|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1956 - Quarter 1|
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Myasishchev was just completing project design of his Buran design, while Lavochkin was already completing construction of the first Burya.
This first serious examination in the Soviet Union of manned flight to Mars was initiated by M Tikhonravov's section of Korolev's OKB-1. The Martian Piloted Complex (MPK), would be assembled in low earth orbit. Using conventional liquid propellants, it would fly a Hohmann trajectory, enter Martian orbit, and a landing craft would descend to the surface. After just over a year of surface exploration, the crew would return to earth. It was calculated that the initial mass of the MPK would be 1,630 tonnes, and a re-entry vehicle of only 15 tonnes could be returned to earth at the end of the 30 month mission. At the planned N1 payload mass of 75 to 85 tonnes, it would take 20 to 25 N1 launches to assemble the MPK.
Personnel of the NACA were studying the possibilities of utilizing existing ballistic missile boosters, which were then under development, for manned orbital space flight. References: 483 .
The series of 5 launches began on 11 January 1956 with launch of a dummy warhead.
USAF Northrop Snark launched from Cape Canaveral on 2,000-mile flight. References: 17 .
Symposium on "The Scientific Uses of Earth Satellites" held at the University of Michigan under sponsorship of the Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel, James A. Van Allen of the State University of Iowa, Chairman. References: 17 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 149882 'On creation of the Object D artificial satellite' was issued. References: 474 .
Design work starts on the Zenit, the first military photo-reconnaisance satellite. The necessary subsystems were defined incrementally throughout 1956 in a series of specification documents. In April the specifications for a redundant restartable engine and appropriate satellite guidance and control systems were released. In May the technical requirements document was issued for a satellite that could be oriented in orbit. In July tests began of appropriate heat shield materials.
Army activated the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala., to weaponize the Redstone and to develop the Jupiter IRBM. References: 17 .
USAF issues request for industry proposals for Project 7969 Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System. Two year study period. References: 26 .
Tsien Hsue-shen submits proposal to State Council for ballistic missile development. References: 87 .
The R-5M successfully launched an 80 kiloton (300 kiloton according to some sources) warhead over a 1200 km range - from Kaputsin Yar Area 4N to a point near Priaralsk Karakum, 150 km north-east of the Aral Sea. References: 98 .
Project 7969, entitled 'Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System,' was initiated by the Air Force with a stated task of recovering a manned capsule from orbital conditions. By December of that year, proposal studies were received from two companies, and the Air Force eventually received some 11 proposals. The basis for the program was to start with small recoverable satellites and work up to larger versions. The Air Force Discoverer firings, which effected a successful recovery in January 1960, could be considered as the first phase of the proposed program. The Air Force program was based upon a requirement that forces no higher than 12g be imposed upon the occupant of the capsule. This concept required an additional stage on the basic or 'bare' Atlas, and the Hustler, now known as the Agena, was contemplated. It was proposed that the spacecraft be designed to remain forward during all phases of the flight, requiring a gimballed seat for the pilot. Although the Air Force effort in manned orbital flight during the period 1956-58 was a study project without an approved program leading to the design of hardware, the effort contributed to manned space flight. Their sponsored studies on such items as the life-support system were used by companies submitting proposals for the Mercury spacecraft design and development program. Also, during the 2-year study, there was a considerable interchange of information between the NACA and the Air Force. References: 483 .
Nitric oxide attempt to produce sporadic E research. Launched at 1415 local time. Reached 95 km.
Nitric oxide attempt to recombine atomic oxygen research. Launched at 0145 local time. Reached 106.2 km.
The first Jupiter A launching, by ABMA at Cape Canaveral. RS-18 was launched at 1936 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The scheduled launching date of this missile was 13 March. Three holds were called because of LOX difficulties, telemetry difficulties, and replacement of a gate valve. The actual range was 133.58 nm; 10.3 nm under; and 5.66 nm right of the intended impact point. Separation occurred before the missile gained its correct velocity. Improper assumption of propellant flow for the trajectory calculation was primarily responsible for the incorrect cut-off. The primary test objectives were to test the complete guidance and control system to establish the performance qualities of the complete missile system. Missed aimpoint by 19,100 m. References: 439 .
Decree 'On means to ensure testing or the R-7' was issued. References: 474 .
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