|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1960 - Quarter 3|
|Previous Quarter||Next Quarter|
15 launches were in the flight test series, with 14 successes. These rockets were completed at Aviation Factory Number 1, 'Progress', in Kuibyshev (Samara).
Major expansion of Pacific Missile Range with acquisition of Eniwetok and Kwajalein Atolls in the Marshall Islands by the United States Navy for instrumentation complexes (in support of Air Force launches from Vandenberg AFB). References: 88 .
Soviet Tass announced that Russia last month successfully launched a new 4,400-pound-thrust rocket carrying a rabbit and two dogs to a reported altitude of 124.8 miles. References: 17 .
The House Committee on Science and Astronautics declared: "A high priority program should be undertaken to place a manned expedition on the moon in this decade. A firm plan with this goal in view should be drawn up and submitted to the Congress by NASA. Such a plan, however, should be completely integrated with other goals, to minimize total costs. The modular concept deserves close study. Particular attention should be paid immediately to long lead-time phases of such a program." The Committee also recommended that development of the F-1 engine be expedited in expectation of the Nova launch vehicle, that there be more research on nuclear engines and less conventional engines before freezing the Nova concept, and that the Orion project be turned over to NASA. It was the view of the Committee that "NASA's 10-year program is a good program, as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Furthermore the space program is not being pushed with sufficient energy." References: 16 .
Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 176 m. References: 439 .
Second experimental reactor (Kiwi-A Prime) in the Project Rover nuclear rocket program was successfully tested at full power and duration at Jackass Flats, Nev. References: 17 .
After reviewing proposals by 37 companies, NASA awarded contracts to the Hughes Aircraft Company, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, North American Aviation, Inc., and Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., for preliminary competitive design studies of an instrumented soft-landing lunar spacecraft, the Surveyor. The companies were scheduled to submit their reports in December. References: 16 .
NASA selected Hughes, North American, Space Technology Laboratory, and McDonnell to study designs for the first lunar soft-landing spacecraft. References: 17 .
The astronauts underwent a five and one half day course in 'desert survival' training at the Air Training Command Survival School, Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. The possibility of an arid-area landing was remote but did exist. So this training was accomplished to supply the astronaut with the confidence and ability to survive desert conditions until recovery. The course consisted of one and one half days of academics, one day of field demonstrations, and three days of isolated remote-site training. Survival equipment normally installed in the Mercury spacecraft was used to provide the most realistic conditions. References: 483 .
The third meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The question of a speedup of Saturn C-2 production and the possibility of using nuclear upper stages with the Saturn booster were discussed. The Office of Launch Vehicle Programs would plan a study on the merits of using nuclear propulsion for some of NASA's more sophisticated missions. If the study substantiated such a need, the amount of in-house basic research could then be determined. References: 16 .
NASA fired a Nike-Cajun sounding rocket from Fort Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, containing an instrumented payload to measure data on energetic particles during a period of low solar activity. References: 17 .
First flight of NASA's Iris sounding rocket successful, designed for 100-pound payloads to altitudes of about 200 miles, from Wallops Station. References: 17 .
NASA Director of Space Flight Programs Abe Silverstein notified Harry J. Goett, Director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, that NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan had approved the name "Apollo" for the advanced manned space flight program. The program would be so designated at the forthcoming NASA-Industry Program Plans Conference. References: 16 .
The first NASA-Industry Program Plans Conference was held in Washington, D.C. The purpose was to give industrial management an overall picture of the NASA program and to establish a basis for subsequent conferences to be held at various NASA Centers. The current status of NASA programs was outlined, including long-range planning, launch vehicles, structures and materials research, manned space flight, and life sciences.
NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden announced that the advanced manned space flight program had been named "Apollo." George M. Low, NASA Chief of Manned Space Flight, stated that circumlunar flight and earth orbit missions would be carried out before 1970. This program would lead eventually to a manned lunar landing and a permanent manned space station. Additional Details: Announcement of the Apollo program to American industry. References: 16 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Mercury-Atlas 1 (MA-1) was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range in a test of spacecraft structural integrity under maximum heating conditions. After 58.5 seconds of flight, MA-1 exploded and the spacecraft was destroyed upon impact off-shore. None of the primary capsule test objectives were met. The mission objectives were to check the integrity of the spacecraft structure and afterbody shingles for a reentry associated with a critical abort and to evaluate the open-loop performance of the Atlas abort-sensing instrumentation system. The spacecraft contained no escape system and no test subject. Standard posigrade rockets were used to separate the spacecraft from the Atlas, but the retrorockets were dummies. The flight was terminated because of a launch vehicle and adapter structural failure. The spacecraft was destroyed upon impact with the water because the recovery system was not designed to actuate under the imposed flight conditions. Later most of the spacecraft, the booster engines, and the liquid oxygen vent valve were recovered from the ocean floor. Since none of the primary flight objectives was achieved, Mercury-Atlas 2 (MA-2) was planned to fulfill the mission. References: 5 , 16 , 126 .
First Sparrowbee sounding rocket launched from Wallops Station, lifting 56-pound University of Michigan payload to 260-mile altitude. References: 17 .
Decree 'On naming June 2, 1955, as the birthday of NIIP-5' was issued. References: 474 .
Decree 'On training of cosmonauts only at the Cosmonaut Training Centre' was issued. References: 474 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Creation of the Rocket-Carrier 63S1 Based on the R-12 Missile, and the Development and Launch of Small Artificial Satellite--start of work on launcher and satellites at OKB-586' References: 474 .
Missile test failure. References: 439 .
Balloon; passively relayed TV and voice transmissions. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Maximum Speed - 2851 kph. Maximum Altitude - 41605 m. Established a new altitude record for a manned vehicle of 136,500 feet. This topped Captain Kincheloe's record altitude of 126,200 feet attained on September 7, 1956, in the X-2 rocket research aircraft. References: 38 , 49 , 97 .
Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton and Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker announced that the U.S. Geological Survey had completed the first known photogeological survey of the surface of the moon. Additional Details: First photo-geological survey of the surface of the moon. References: 16 .
NASA announced selection of Plasmadyne Corp. for contract negotiations on a 1-kilowatt electric arc jet rocket engine. References: 17 .
The Soviet Union launched its second unmanned test of the Vostok spacecraft, the Korabl Sputnik II, or Sputnik V. The spacecraft carried two dogs, Strelka and Belka, in addition to a gray rabbit, rats, mice, flies, plants, fungi, microscopic water plants, and seeds. Electrodes attached to the dogs and linked with the spacecraft communications system, which included a television camera, enabled Soviet scientists to check the animals' hearts, blood pressure, breathing, and actions during the trip. After the spacecraft reentered and landed safely the next day, the animals and biological specimens were reported to be in good condition.
Officially: Development of systems ensuring man's life functions and safety in flight and his return to Earth. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 175 .
All Russian technical advisers withdrawn from China. References: 87 .
McDonnell Aircraft Corporation proposed a one-man space station comprising a Mercury capsule plus a cylindrical space laboratory capable of supporting one astronaut in a shirtsleeve environment for 14 days in orbit. Gross weight of the combined vehicle at launch would be 7259 pounds (Mercury, as of October 25, 1960, was 4011 pounds), which would provide an 1100-pound, laboratory-test payload in a 150-nautical-mile orbit, boosted by an Atlas-Agena B. The result would be a 'minimum cost manned space station.'
Decree 866-361 'On the Status of Cosmonauts--medical requirements for cosmonauts' was issued. References: 474 .
The Goddard Space Flight Center GSFC conducted its industry conference in Washington, D.C., presenting details of GSFC projects, current and future. The objectives of the proposed six-month feasibility contracts for an advanced manned spacecraft were announced. Additional Details: Industry briefing on feasibility studies for the Apollo spacecraft. References: 16 .
In an organizational change within STG, Maxime A. Faget was appointed Chief of the Flight Systems Division and Robert O. Piland was named Assistant Chief for Advanced Projects. The Apollo Project Office was formed with Piland as Head of the Office; members included John B. Lee, J. Thomas Markley, William W. Petynia,and H. Kurt Strass. References: 16 .
Following the very critical review of the first M-48 spaceplane design by the expert commission, Myasishchev went back to the drawing board. In March to September 1960 this work resulted in definition of two alternative configurations. The first alternative was an unconventional faceted shock-wave riding design (see VKA-23 Design 1). The second Myasishchev VKA-23 design was an elegant-looking, porpoise-fuselaged winged vehicle.
NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan directed that an accelerated joint planning effort be made by persons at NASA Headquarters who were most familiar with the Saturn, Apollo, manned orbital laboratory, and unmanned lunar and planetary programs. They were to determine whether the Saturn and Saturn-use programs were effectively integrated and whether sufficient design study and program development work had been done to support decisions on projected Saturn configurations. Additional Details: Accelerated joint planning effort for NASA. References: 16 .
A NASA contract for approximately $44 million was signed by Rocketdyne Division of NAA for the development of the J-2 engine. References: 16 .
Decree 'On adoption of the R-7A into armaments' was issued. References: 474 .
Bidder's conference for circumlunar Apollo. Specification: Saturn C-2 compatability (6,800 kg mass for circumlunar mission); 14 day flight time; three-man crew in shirt-sleeve environment. References: 26 , 27 .
A formal agreement was signed by the United States and South Africa providing for the construction of a new deep-space tracking facility at Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg. It would be one of three stations equipped to maintain constant contact with lunar and planetary spacecraft. References: 16 .
An STG briefing was held at Langley Field, Va., for prospective bidders on three six-month feasibility studies of an advanced manned spacecraft as part of the Apollo program. A formal Request for Proposal was issued at the conference. References: 16 .
27 research rockets were launched by U.S. scientists as a part of the COSPAR International Rocket Interval for 1960. References: 17 .
Suborbital. Blue Scout first launch. USAF Blue Scout rocket fired from Cape Canaveral placed instrumented payload 16,600 miles above the earth, the first of 11 such tests, but no data were received due to radio malfunction. References: 5 .
Parachute designed to slow reentry speed of space capsules successfully tested at a speed of 2,000 mph after rocket boost to 30-mile altitude, over Eglin AFB, Fla. References: 17 .
In a memorandum to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Robert L. King, Executive Secretary, described the action taken on certain items discussed at the July 14-15 meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council. Among these actions was the awarding of a contract to The RAND Corporation to evaluate missions for which nuclear propulsion would be desirable. Included in the study would be the determination of availability dates, cost of development, operational costs, the safety aspects of the missions, and an evaluation of research requirements. References: 16 .
The fourth meeting of the Space Exploration Program Council was held at NASA Headquarters. The results of a study on Saturn development and utilization was presented by the Ad Hoc Saturn Study Committee. Objectives of the study were to determine (1) if and when the Saturn C-2 launch vehicle should be developed and (2) if mission and spacecraft planning was consistent with the Saturn vehicle development schedule. No change in the NASA Fiscal Year 1962 budget was contemplated. The Committee recommended that the Saturn C-2 development should proceed on schedule (S-II stage contract in Fiscal Year 1962, first flight in 1965). The C-2 would be essential, the study reported, for Apollo manned circumlunar missions, lunar unmanned exploration, Mars and Venus orbiters and capsule landers, probes to other planets and out-of- ecliptic, and for orbital starting of nuclear upper stages. Additional Details: Space Exploration Program Council. References: 16 .
Charles J. Donlan of STG, Chairman of the Evaluation Board which would consider contractors' proposals on feasibility studies for an advanced manned spacecraft, invited the Directors of Ames Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Flight Research Center, Lewis Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center to name representatives to the Evaluation Board. The first meeting was to be held on October 10 at Langley Field, Va. References: 16 .
|Previous Quarter||Next Quarter|