|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1957 - Quarter 1|
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At the urging of S P Korolev, OKB-1 Section 12, led by M V Melnikov, started development of an ion engine. By 1959 it would be proposed that clusters of the 7.5 kgf thrust ion engine could take the TMK-E manned Mars spacecraft on a low acceleration spiralling trajectory away from the Earth until it finally reached escape velocity and headed toward Mars. But to power even such a limited engine solar panels with a total area of 36,000 square meters would be required - clearly beyond 1959 technology. Feoktistov's solution was to turn to the use of a nuclear reactor to power the ion engine.
Decree 61-39ss 'On creation of launch complex Angara at NIIP-53' was issued. References: 474 .
Decree 'On approval of flight-testing program for the R-7 ICBM' was issued. References: 474 .
The United States proposed before the United Nations Assembly that study be initiated toward international agreements assuring the use of outer space for peaceful purposes only. References: 483 .
Launched at 2037 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. Actual range was 61.6 nm; 400 meters left; and 0.21 nm ovar the intended impact point. The primary objective was to test the accuracy of the guidance system when the missile is fired in a short range trajectory at an extreme attitude to range ratio. The missile closely followed the predicted trajectory for a successful flight which terminated 70 meters beyond and 360 meters to the Left of the expected impact point at 61.553 nm range. The short range trajectory was programmed with an extreme altitude-to-range ratio so the guidance system would be subjected to the most difficult short range expected in future tactical application. Missed aimpoint by 400 m. References: 439 .
First attempted test flight of USAF Thor IRBM, only 13 months after first production contracts were signed, failed to launch.
Ethylene gas release (Firefly). Launched at 0105 local time. Reached 140.6 km.
First of a series of two-stage test vehicles (RM-10) to make heat transfer studies at high speed in free flight, was launched from NACA's Pilotless Aircraft Reserach Station at Wallops Island, Va. Vehicle was developed by PARD of Langley Laboratory. References: 17 .
NACA established "Round Three" Steering Committee to study feasiblity of a hypersonic boost-glide research airplane. "Round Three" was considered as the third major flight research program which started with the X-series of rocket-propelled supersonic research airplanes, and which considered the X-15 research airplane as the second major program. The boost-glide program eventually became known as DynaSoar. References: 17 .
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 171-83ss 'On Measures to Carry Out During the International Geophysical Year.--Launch of simple satellites in mid-1957' was issued. References: 474 .
The first Jupiter flight was fired at 1651 hours EST from AMR. The missile achieved a 48,000 foot altitude. Flight terminated at 7.4 seconds because of missile break-up. Failure was attributed to overheating in the tail section. The trajectory to this point was as predicted. References: 439 .
Studies were undertaken for military reconnaissance satellites. Code names for these studies were: Shchit - military reconnaissance systems; Osnova - military reconnaissance equipment; Ediniy KIK - military reconnaissance control systems.
In the spring of 1957 Korolev organised project section 9, with Tikhonravov at its chief, to design new spacecraft. By April they had completed a research plan to build a piloted spacecraft and an unmanned lunar probe, using the R-7 as the basis for the launch vehicle.
The first missile shipped directly from the Chrysler Factory to the test site to be flight tested was launched at 0312 hours EST from AMR The flight was successful. Actual range was 138.178 nm; 2.2 nm under; and 1250 meters left of the intended impact point. The missile functioned properly until 182 seconds when an unexplainable pitch deviation caused a slow tilting of the missile top section. The cut-off function at 120 seconds and the separation function at 135 seconds, after flight zero time, were both satisfactory. Missed aimpoint by 4,183 m. References: 439 .
As a result of guidance from the Secretary of Defense as to desired level of effort, the Atomic Energy Commission reduced its program on nuclear rocket propulsion to a single laboratory effort, phasing out work at the University of California Radiation Laboratory and concentrating AEC development efforts at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. References: 17 .
Launched at 2022 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful from the standpoint of missions accomplished, with cut-off time 112 seconds and separation time 126 seconds after range zero time. Impact point was 220 meters short and 320 meters to the right, a radial miss distance of 390 meters, primary objective was to test the accuracy of the guidance system when the missile was fired in a short range trajectory at an extreme altitude to range ratio. Missed aimpoint by 390 m. References: 439 .
Night sky research. Launched at 2151 local time. Reached 135 km.
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