|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1963 - Quarter 4|
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All-Russian Council of the National Economy (VSNKh) Decree 'Program for Space Investigations With Small Artificial Satellite, Launched on the Kosmos -- On course of work on small satellites at OKB-586' was issued. References: 474 .
Tereshkova announces in Havana that Gagarin head of lunar cosmonaut team. References: 72 .
After a receiving inspection (October 7) and Voltage Standing Wave Ratio Test (October 8), its instrument pallets were removed for laboratory test and checkout (October 9) while the spacecraft was being checked out, weighed, and balanced. Instrument pallets were reinstalled November 26. Individual and integrated communications, instrumentation, and environmental control systems were then performed. Final industrial area testing of the spacecraft concluded with a confidence level test on February 12, 1964.
Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 131 m. References: 439 .
NASA announced the appointment of Joseph F. Shea as ASPO Manager effective October 22. He had been Deputy Director (Systems) in OMSF. George M. Low, OMSF Deputy Director (Programs), would direct the Systems office as well as his own. Robert O. Piland, Acting Manager of ASPO since April 3, resumed his former duties as Deputy Manager. References: 16 .
A 'flying carpet' escape system from orbital space stations had been proposed by Douglas Aircraft Company. The escape system would be a saucer shape that would expand into a blunt-nosed, cone- shaped vehicle 7.6 m across at its base. The vehicle would act as its own brake as it passed through the atmosphere. Reentry heating problems would be met by using fabrics woven with filaments of nickel-based alloys.
The NASA-Industry Apollo Executives Group, composed of top managers in OMSF and executives of the major Apollo contractors, met for the first time. The group met with George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, for status briefings and problem discussions. In this manner, NASA sought to make executives personally aware of major problems in the program. References: 16 .
Stage I was erected in the complete vehicle erector October 28, stage II in the second stage erector October 29. The two stages were cabled together in the side-by-side configuration required for the Sequence Compatibility Firing scheduled for mid-December. A limited Electronic-Electrical Interference Test was completed November 7, and power was applied to the vehicle November 13.
KH-5; deployed ELINT subsatellite. Fourth film payload retrieved in ARGON program. Film comparable to that of 9058A. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
NASA canceled four manned earth orbital flights with the Saturn I launch vehicle. Six of a series of 10 unmanned Saturn I development flights were still scheduled. Development of the Saturn IB for manned flight would be accelerated and "all-up" testing would be started. This action followed Bellcomm's recommendation of a number of changes in the Apollo spacecraft flight test program. The program should be transferred from Saturn I to Saturn IB launch vehicles; the Saturn I program should end with flight SA-10. All Saturn IB flights, beginning with SA-201, should carry operational spacecraft, including equipment for extensive testing of the spacecraft systems in earth orbit.
Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller had recommended the changeover from the Saturn I to the Saturn IB to NASA Administrator James E. Webb on October 26. Webb's concurrence came two days later. References: 16 .
The first production F-1 engine for the Apollo Saturn V was flown from Rocketdyne's Canoga Park, Calif., facility, where it was manufactured, to MSFC aboard Aero Spacelines' "Pregnant Guppy." References: 16 .
NASA tentatively approved Project Luster, a program designed to capture lunar dust deflected from the moon by meteorites and spun into orbit around the earth. An Aerobee 150 sounding rocket containing scientific equipment built by Electro-Optical Systems, Inc., was scheduled for launch in late 1964. References: 16 .
ASAT interceptor control and propulsion test. Launched by Korolev R-7 because Chelomei's own UR-200 was not yet available. Purpose - elaboration of system providing for the extensive manoeuvring of space apparatuses. Flight was considered a great success. Micro-engine fired 350 times and main stabilizing engine fired 300 times. Orbit given is final orbit after manoeuvres. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 272 .
Titan II development flight N-25 was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range. It carried the oxidizer surge chamber and fuel accumulator kit intended to reduce the amplitude of longitudinal vibration which had characterized earlier flights. NASA regarded 0.25g as the maximum level tolerable in manned space flight; this flight achieved a level of 0.22g, the first to fall within acceptable limits. Although the kit had been tested on only one flight, Gemini Project Office had sufficient confidence in it to decide, on November 6, to procure several more such kits for subsequent installation in Gemini launch vehicles. Two later Titan II development flights (N-29 on December 12, 1963, and N-31 on January 15, 1964) and the flight of Gemini-Titan 1 confirmed the validity of this decision. The required kits for the remaining Gemini launch vehicles were then procured.
First launch in the Advanced Ballistic Reentry System (ABRES) program at Vandenberg AFB. Vehicle used for this mission was an Atlas D. References: 88 .
Apollo Pad Abort Mission I (PA-1), the first off-the-pad abort test of the launch escape system (LES), was conducted at WSMR. PA-1 used CM boilerplate 6 and an LES for this test.
All sequencing was normal. The tower-jettison motor sent the escape tower into a proper ballistic trajectory. The drogue parachute deployed as programmed, followed by the pilot parachute and main parachutes. The test lasted 165.1 seconds. The postflight investigation disclosed only one significant problem: exhaust impingement that resulted in soot deposits on the CM. References: 16 .
Grumman issued a go-ahead to RCA to develop the LEM radar. Negotiations on the $23.461 million cost- plus-fixed-fee contract were completed on December 10. Areas yet to be negotiated between the two companies were LEM communications, inflight test, ground support, and parts of the stabilization and control systems. References: 16 .
MSFC directed Rocketdyne to develop an uprated H-1 engine to be used in the first stage of the Saturn IB. In August, Rocketdyne had proposed that the H-1 be uprated from 85,275 to 90,718 kilograms (188,000 to 200,000 pounds) of thrust. The uprated engine promised a 907-kilogram (2,000 pound) increase in the Saturn IB's orbital payload, yet required no major systems changes and only minor structural modifications. References: 16 .
NASA awarded a $19.2 million contract to Blount Brothers Corporation and M. M. Sundt Construction Company for the construction of Pad A, part of the Saturn V Launch Complex 39 at LOC. References: 16 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of the schedule of work for the N1 launch complexes' was issued. References: 474 .
President Kennedy shot and killed by sniper in Dallas, Tex. Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President same day
North American issued the final report of its study for MSC on extended missions for the Apollo spacecraft. In stressing the supreme importance of man's role in the exploration of space-and the uncertainties surrounding the effects of prolonged exposure to the zero-gravity environment of space-the company suggested that an Earth-orbital laboratory would be an ideal vehicle for such long-term experimental evaluation, with missions exceeding a year's duration. Additional Details: North American final report on extended missions for the Apollo spacecraft..
At its Santa Susana facility, Rocketdyne conducted the first long-duration (508 seconds) test firing of a J-2 engine. In May 1962 the J-2's required firing time was increased from 250 to 500 seconds. References: 16 .
In honor of the late President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated six days earlier, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that LOC and Station No. 1 of the Atlantic Missile Range would be designated the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), ". . . to honor his memory, and the future of the works he started . . . ," Johnson said. On the following day, he signed an executive order making this change official. With the concurrence of Florida Governor Farris Bryant, he also changed the name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy. References: 16 .
Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. References: 93 .
MSC directed Grumman to halt work on LEM test article 9, pending determination of its status as a tethered flight vehicle. As a result, the proposed flight demonstration of the tether coupler, using an S-64A Skycrane helicopter, was canceled. References: 16 .
The 7K-OK earth-orbit version of Soyuz was developed in accordance with the design made under the prior decree of 16 April 1962. It was to be capable of automatic rendezvous and docking with other spacecraft.
Decree 'On approval of work on the Soyuz 7K-9K-11K circumlunar complex' was issued. This elaborated on the Soyuz design made under the prior decree of 16 April 1962. Initial design work was authorised on the Soyuz 7K earth orbit basic version - capable of automatic rendezvous and docking with other spacecraft; and the 9K and 11K tanker / refuelable rocket blocks to put the 7K in high altitude or circumlunar orbits. References: 474 .
Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara announced cancellation of the X-20 Dyna Soar project at a news briefing at the Pentagon. McNamara stated that fiscal resources thereby saved would be channeled into broader research on the problems and potential value of manned military operations in space, chiefly the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) project. These decisions on the X-20 and MOL had been discussed and coordinated with NASA, and, although the Air Force received responsibility for the MOL project, NASA would continue to provide technical support.
McNamara announces start of MOL, cancellation of Dynasoar. References: 26 .
NASA Headquarters approved a $48,064,658 supplement to the Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., contract for 10 additional S-IVB stages, four for the Saturn IB and six for the Saturn V missions. References: 16 .
NASA canceled five Ranger flights (numbers 10 through 14) designed to take high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface before impact. (Five Rangers had thus far been launched.) OSS Associate Administrator Homer E. Newell stated that NASA would depend on the remaining four Rangers, the Lunar Orbiters, and the Surveyors for information about the lunar surface. Cancellation of the flights promised to save $90 million. References: 16 .
MSC and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Medical Division completed a joint manned environmental experiment at Brooks Air Force Base, Tex. After spending a week in a sea-level atmospheric environment, the test subjects breathed 100 percent oxygen at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5 psi) at a simulated altitude of 8,230 meters (27,000 feet) for 30 days. They then reentered the test capsule for observation in a sea-level environment for the next five days. This experiment demonstrated that men could live in a 100 percent oxygen environment under these conditions with no apparent ill effects. References: 16 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
12 foot dia. balloon; identical to Explorer 9; atmospheric density studies. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Pratt and Whitney Aircraft delivered the first three prototype-A fuel cells to North American. References: 16 .
NASA Hq advised the centers regarding the agency's official position vis-a-vis the Defense Department's Manned Orbiting Laboratory project. Both NASA and DOD viewed MOL as a project designed to fulfill immediate military requirements. The project could not be construed as meeting the much broader objectives and goals of a national space station program being studied by both organizations under post-Apollo research and development program policy agreements between NASA Administrator James E. Webb and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (dated 14 September 1963).
NASA selected The Boeing Company to build five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. Beginning in 1966, Lunar Orbiters would take close-range photographs of the moon and transmit them by telemetry back to earth. The spacecraft would also detect radiation and micrometeoroid density and supply tracking data on the gravitational field of the moon. Information derived from the project (managed by Langley Research Center) would aid in the selection of lunar landing sites. References: 16 .
Decree 'On ensuring the manufacture of ground equipment for the N1' was issued. References: 474 .
MSFC Director Wernher von Braun described to Apollo Spacecraft Program Manager Joseph F. Shea a possible extension of Apollo systems to permit more extensive exploration of the lunar surface. Huntsville's concept, called the Integrated Lunar Exploration System, involved a dual Saturn V mission (with rendezvous in lunar orbit) to deliver an integrated lunar taxi/shelter spacecraft to the Moon's surface. Additional Details: Extension of Apollo systems to permit more extensive exploration of the lunar surface..
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth apprised George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, of recent discussions with officers from the Air Force's Space Systems Division regarding MSC's joint participation in the MOL project in the area of operational control and support. Such joint cooperation might comprise two separate areas: manning requirements for the control center and staffing of actual facilities. Gilruth suggested that such joint cooperation would work to the benefit of both organizations involved. Furthermore, because a number of unidentified problems inevitably existed, he recommended the creation of a joint NASA Air Force group to study the entire question so that such uncertainties might be identified and resolved.
NASA announced the appointment of Air Force Brig. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips as Deputy Director of the NASA Headquarters Apollo Program Office. General Phillips assumed management of the manned lunar landing program, working under George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator of Manned Space Flight and Director of the Apollo Program Office. References: 16 .
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