|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1956 - Quarter 3|
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Tikhonravov's unit of OKB-1 completed the preliminary design of the ISZ satellite (launched as Sputnik 3). The Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence had meanwhile completed a draft project for the KIK ground control system. Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, but the R-7 was ready before the satellite, so it was preceded by Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. The ISZ was a miniature physics laboratory, but was launched with a known faulty recorder, limiting data to that received when the spacecraft was over Soviet tracking stations. As a result, the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered by the United States rather than Russia.
Magnetic belt, night airglow research. Launched at 0052 local time. Reached 162 km.
First Nike-Cajun research rocket successfully fired at Wallops Island, a cooperative NACA-University of Michigan project, attaining an altitude of 425,000 feet. References: 17 .
Rocket performance test. Launched at 0815 local time. Reached 188 km.
Decree 'On approval of work on the R-11A missile for the IGY' was issued. References: 474 .
CC-13 was launched at 0345 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 142.457 nm; .780 nm over the intended impact point. This was the first Chrysler fabricated and assembled missile. Missed aimpoint by 1,071 m. References: 439 .
Day airglow research. Launched at 1756 local time. Reached 128.8 km.
The decree formally authorised design of a military reconnaissance satellite. In October the specification was issued for a comprehensive research program leading to manoeuvrable spacecraft. By April 1957 the military issued a requirements document for experimental solar cell panels. Design bureau work on the reconnaissance satellite began in 1957 in Section 3 of OKB-1 (Tikhonravov and Ryazanov). This spacecraft was initially sized at 1.5 tonnes total for launch by the basic R-7 rocket.
MO 4-NII (Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence) completed the draft project for the KIK satellite tracking and control system and use of satellites for military purposes.
The RS design was modified to the more modest RSR configuration, which was air launched, cruised at 2800 km/hour at 26,700 m with a 1700 km radius of action.
Solar spectrum and atmospheric composition research. Launched at 0556 local time. Reached 2.4 km.
RS-20 was launched at 0325 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 139.72 nm; 0.3 nm over the intended impact point. The primary teat objectives were to test the accuracy of the guidance system and to acquire data for the establishment of design criteria for the Jupiter. This was the first time that the combustion chamber pressure was controlled. Missed aimpoint by 175 m. References: 439 .
Largest U.S. test stand for rocket motors was completed at Redstone Arsenal, slated for Jupiter IRBM. References: 17 .
Composition research. Launched at 0853 local time. Reached 85.5 km.
Composition research. Launched at 0822 local time. Reached 85.9 km.
Decree 310 'On separation of OKB-1 from NII-88' was issued. References: 474 .
A five-stage, solid-fuel rocket test vehicle, the world's first, was launched to a speed of mach 15 from Wallops Island, Va. by the NACA Langley Aeronautical Laboratory's Pilotless Aircraft Research Division. References: 483 .
First static firing of Thor rocket engine at AFFTC, Edwards AFB. References: 17 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On creation of the State Commission for the R-7' was issued. References: 474 .
Lavochkin experienced a major setback in when the payload requirement for the nuclear warhead was increased from 2,100 to 2,350 kg.
Decree 1241-632 '0n creation or the Command Measurement Complex' was issued. The decree marked the beginning of development of the KIK satellite tracking system. This network was put together using a combination of PVO (Air Defence) and ICBM tracking systems. Trajectory information was fed into the KIK Centre for orbital calculations. The Centre was staffed by 680 officers and 151 civilian scientists of the Soviet Army in four sections. References: 474 .
12th powered flight. Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe (USAF) set new unofficial altitude record for manned flight at Edwards AFB, Calif., piloting a Bell X-2 rocket-powered aircraft to a height of 38,491 m, top speed Mach 1.7. References: 49 , 97 .
First Jupiter C (a three-stage ABMA-JPL Redstone missile) was launched at Cape Canaveral, Fla., attained an altitude of 1096 km and traveled 5,300 km downrange. The first three-stage re-entry missile, was fired at 0145 hours EST from AMR. This missile attained an estimated range of 3,335 ST miles, an altitude of 682 ST miles, and reached Mach 18 velocity. The primary objective of the firing was the propulsion and separation tart of a multi-stage vehicle. The missile was a four-stage configuration with the last stage inactive. The first stage was an elongated Redstone missile, the second and third stages were up of 11 and 3 six-inch scaled SERGEANT rockets, respectively. The payload consisted of approximately 20 pounds of instrumentation attached to the inactive fourth stage. The flight was successful and the sequence of operations occurred as programmed. This vehicle could have obtained sufficient velocity to place it in orbit, if the last stage had been activated. First deep penetration of space. Serial number coding for early Redstones and related vehicles used the following substitution cipher: 1234567890 = HUNTSVILLEX References: 439 .
First flight test of a Terrapin sounding rocket at Wallops Island, which consisted of a Deacon and T55 rocket and carried a payload of 8 pounds to 400,000-feet altitude. References: 17 .
After having been launched from a B-50 bomber over the Mojave Desert in California, Capt. Milburn G. Apt (USAF), flying an X-2 rocket-powered plane on its 13th powered flight, set a record speed of 3,377 kph, or Mach 3.196 at 19,977 m. Subsequent loss of control from inertial coupling led to the destruction of the aircraft and the death of the pilot. References: 49 , 97 .
After having been launched from a B-50 bomber over the Mojave Desert in California, Capt. Milburn G. Apt (USAF), flying an X-2 rocket-powered plane on its 13th powered flight, set a record speed of 2,094 mph, or Mach 3.196. In the course of the flight the aircraft crashed and the pilot was killed. References: 17 .
Decree 'On approval of the draft project for Object D' was issued. The decree gave the go-ahead for Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ physics satellite to be launched by the new R-7 ICBM during the International Geophysical Year . The ISZ, a miniature physics laboratory,.was to have been the first artificial satellite of the earth. In the event, it was preceded by Sputniks 1 and 2. References: 474 .
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