|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1966 - Quarter 2|
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Prior to cancellation of the Dynasoar project, the second unmanned flight was planned for the fifth flight test of the Titan 3C booster. References: 152 .
Proposed high altitude manned Vostok flight for extended scientific studies. Spacecraft would have been allowed to naturally decay to a re-entry after ten days. Purposes of these flights were to be: geophysical and astronomical research; photography of the solar corona; solar x-ray imagery; medical-biological research; detailed study of the effects of weightlessness on the human organism; dosimetry; and engineering tests of ion flow sensors to be used for orientation of later Soyuz spacecraft. All follow-on Vostok missions cancelled in Spring 1964. References: 283 , 294 .
Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., received a letter from John S. Foster, Jr., Director of Defense Research and Engineering, expressing pleasure that the agreement between the Department of Defense and NASA on extraterrestrial mapping, charting, and geodesy support had been consummated. He was returning a copy of the agreement for the NASA files. References: 16 .
Leonov announces that cosmonauts are in training for lunar missions. References: 72 .
Associate Administrator for Manned Space Fight George E. Mueller informed Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., of the Saturn/Apollo Applications Program Office's evaluation of a Lockheed proposal to launch space probes from orbit using Agena rockets launched from AAP stations in space. The proposal was feasible, Mueller advised, but did not seem a desirable mission for inclusion in the AAP. Additional Details: Evaluation of a Lockheed proposal to launch space probes from orbit using Agena rockets launched from AAP stations in space..
MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth summarized Houston's position expressed during discussions with Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller two days earlier. Gilruth cited NASA s need for a manned space flight goal other than 'using Apollo hardware' (and suggested a Mars flyby or landing mission as an in-house focus for planning.) Also, he repeated his concern over the imbalance between AAP goals and resources, as well as the extent of engineering redesign and hardware modification that had been forced upon the project. Though expressing his and MSC's desire to contribute to and be a part of AAP, Gilruth voiced concern that 'the future of manned space flight . . . is in jeopardy because we do not have firm goals, and because the present approach appears to us to be technically unsound.'
Spacecraft 007 and 011 were delivered to NASA by North American Aviation. Spacecraft 007 was delivered to Houston to be used for water impact and flotation tests in the Gulf of Mexico and in an environmental tank at Ellington AFB. It contained all recovery systems required during actual flight and the total configuration was that of a flight CM.
The CM of spacecraft 011 was similar to those in which astronauts would ride in later flights and the SM contained support systems including environmental control and fuel cell systems and the main service propulsion system. Spacecraft 011 was scheduled to be launched during the third quarter of 1966. References: 16 .
ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea and members of his organization were invited to attend the formal presentation by the Aeronutronic Division of Philco Corp. on a "Study of Lunar Worm Planetary Roving Vehicle Concept," at LaRC on May 3. The exploratory study to determine the feasibility of a bellows-concept mobile vehicle included a mobility and traction analysis for several kinds of bellows motion and several soil surfaces; analysis of both metallic and nonmetallic construction to provide the bellows structure; brief design studies of the concept as applied to a small unmanned vehicle, a supply vehicle, a small lunar shelter, a large lunar shelter; and an overall evaluation of the suitability of the concept for carrying out various missions as compared with other vehicles. References: 16 .
Decree 10 'On approving the work plan to build the p8loted spacecraft 7K-L1 -- approving the plan for for the UR-500K-L1 and terminating the UR-500K-LK-1' was issued. References: 474 .
Work on the TMK project continued, including trajectory trade-off studies and refinement of the design. In its final iteration, before Korolevís OKB was overwhelmed by N1-L3 development work, the design was known as the KK - Space Complex for Delivering a Piloted Expedition to Mars.
The ASAT facility at Kwajalein Atoll was replaced by the Program 437 ASAT.
MSC Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton and several astronauts (notably Joseph P. Kerwin) voiced concern regarding the purposes and proposed work statement for the S-IVB spent-stage experiment support module. As well as pointing out the general lack of experiment planning and hardware, Slayton and Kerwin noted a member of operational and safety concerns surrounding purging the stage's hydrogen tank to create a habitable structure in space.
MSC Deputy Director George M. Low recommended to Maxime A. Faget, MSC, that, in light of Air Force and Aerospace Corp. studies on space rescue, MSC plans for a general study on space rescue be discontinued and a formal request be made to OMSF to cancel the request for proposals, which had not yet been released. As an alternative, Low suggested that MSC should cooperate with the Air Force to maximize gains from the USAF task on space rescue requirements. References: 16 .
Replying to a suggestion by MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth that AAP capitalize on Apollo hardware to an even greater extent by using refurbished CSMs, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller deferred any action toward implementing a competitive effort for such work. This was necessary, he said, because of the present unsettled nature of AAP planning. Additional Details: Refurbished CSMs proposed for AAP..
TV, IR cloud cover photos. The spacecraft carried an advanced vidicon camera system for recording and storing remote cloud cover pictures, an automatic picture transmission camera for providing real-time cloudcover pictures, and both high- and medium-resolution infrared radiometers (HRIR and MRIR) for measuring the intensity and distribution of electromagnetic radiation emitted by and reflected from the earth and its atmosphere. The spacecraft and experiments performed normally after launch until July 26, 1966, when the spacecraft tape recorder failed. Its function was taken over by the HRIR tape recorder until November 15, 1966, when it also failed. Some real-time data were collected until January 17, 1969, when the spacecraft mission was terminated owing to deterioration of the horizon scanner used for earth reference. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Decree 144 'On assessing preparations for flights of the 7K-OK spacecraft' was issued. References: 474 .
High resolution photo reconnaissance mission. References: 279 .
Decree 43/47 '0n creation of the Civilian detachment of cosmonauts' was issued. References: 474 .
Suborbital. References: 5 .
AS-500-F, the Pathfinder first full-scale Apollo Saturn V launch vehicle and spacecraft combination, was rolled out from Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad, for use in verifying launch facilities, training crews, and developing test procedures. The 111-meter, 227,000-kilogram vehicle was moved by a diesel-powered steel-link-tread crawler-transporter exactly five years after President John F. Kennedy asked the United States to commit itself to a manned lunar landing within the decade. Meanwhile, schedule for Saturn V threatened by continued problems in development of S-II stage (inability to get sustained 350-second burns without instrumentation failures, shutoffs, minor explosions). References: 16 .
Surveyor 1 soft landed on the moon in the Ocean of Storms and began transmitting the first of more than 11,150 clear, detailed television pictures to Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Facility, Goldstone, Calif. The landing sequence began 3,200 kilometers above the moon with the spacecraft traveling at a speed of 9,700 kilometers per hour. The spacecraft was successfully slowed to 5.6 kilometers per hour by the time it reached 4-meter altitude and then free-fell to the surface at 13 kilometers per hour. The landing was so precise that the three footpads touched the surface within 19 milliseconds of each other, and it confirmed that the lunar surface could support the LM. It was the first U.S. attempt to soft land on the moon. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 278 .
NASA originally planned to fly four early manned Apollo spacecraft on Saturn I boosters. The decision was made to conduct all Apollo CSM tests on the more powerful Saturn IB booster. These flights were cancelled in October 1963, before crews were selected. This series of four partial-system lightweight Apollos would have run from fall 1965 to the end of 1966, concurrent with the Gemini program.
The ATDA achieved a near-circular orbit (apogee 161.5, perigee 158.5 nautical miles). One hour and 40 minutes later, the scheduled launch of Gemini IX-A was postponed by a ground equipment failure which prevented the transfer of updating information from Cape Kennedy mission control center to the spacecraft computer. The mission was recycled for launch on June 3, following a prepared 48-hour recycle plan. Anomalous telemetry indicated some sort of problem with the target, but it was not until Gemini IX rendezvoused with it in orbit that it was seen that fairing separation had failed. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 26 , 278 .
Elliot See and Charlie Bassett were the prime crew for Gemini 9. On February 28, 1966, they were flying in NASA T-38 trainers to visit the McDonnell plant in St Louis, where their spacecraft was in assembly. Bassett misjudged his landing approach, and in pulling up from the runway hit Building 101 where the spacecraft was being assembled. See, following in on Bassett's tail, followed in, and also hit the building. Both astronauts were killed, and 14 persons on the ground were injured. As a result, the Gemini 9 backup crew became the prime crew, and all subsequent crew assignments were reshuffled. This ended up determining who would be the first man on the moon.... References: 344 .
Planned duration 19 days. Biological endurance mission cancelled after near-disaster with Voskhod 2. Initial Orbit was to have been 175 km X 500 km at 65 deg. Follow-on missions with journalist, physician, and all-female crews also cancelled. Original Prime Crew was Katys, Volynov; Backup Crew: Beregovoi, Demin; Support Crew: Artyukhin, Shatalov. These assignments were reshuffled to those shown when Katys had to be dropped from the prime crew. References: 94 .
At the first launch attempt, while the crew waited buttoned up in the spacecraft on the pad, their Agena docking target field blew up on the way to orbit. NASA decided to use an Atlas to launch an Agena docking collar only. This was called the Augmented Target Docking Adapter. Ths was successfully launched and the Gemini succeeded in rendezvousing with it. However, the ATDA shroud had not completely separated, thus making docking impossible. However three different types of rendezvous were tested with the ATDA. Cernan began his EVA, which was to include flight with a USAF MMU rocket pack but the Gemini suit could not handle heat load of the astronaut's exertions. Cernan's faceplate fogs up, forcing him to blindly grope back into the Gemini hatch after only two hours.
Seventh manned and third rendezvous mission of the Gemini program. Major objectives of the mission were to rendezvous and dock with the augmented target docking adapter (ATDA) and to conduct extravehicular activities (EVA). These objectives were only partially met. After successfully achieving rendezvous during the third revolution - a secondary objective - the crew discovered that the ATDA shroud had failed to separate, precluding docking - a primary objective - as well as docking practice - another secondary objective. The crew was able, however, to achieve other secondary objectives: an equi-period rendezvous, using onboard optical techniques and completed at 6 hours 36 minutes ground elapsed time; and a rendezvous from above, simulating the rendezvous of an Apollo command module with a lunar module in a lower orbit (completed at 21 hours 42 minutes ground elapsed time). Final separation maneuver was performed at 22 hours 59 minutes after liftoff. EVA was postponed because of crew fatigue, and the second day was given over to experiments. The hatch was opened for EVA at 49 hours 23 minutes ground elapsed time. EVA was successful, but one secondary objective - evaluation of the astronaut maneuvering unit (AMU) - was not achieved because Cernan's visor began fogging. The extravehicular life support system apparently became overloaded with moisture when Cernan had to work harder than anticipated to prepare the AMU for donning. Cernan reentered the spacecraft, and the hatch was closed at 51 hours 28 minutes into the flight. The rest of the third day was spent on experiments. Following the third sleep period, the crew prepared for retrofire, which was initiated during the 45th revolution. The spacecraft landed within a mile of the primary recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. The crew remained with the spacecraft, which was hoisted aboard 53 minutes after landing. Additional Details: Gemini 9. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 26 , 33 , 60 .
Attempted to test USAF Astronaut Manoeuvring Unit. Cancelled when Cernan's faceplate fogged over. References: 66 .
Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 3. All 21 experiments returned good data. At the time, this was the largest experimental complement ever put into orbit. There were 4 cosmic ray instruments (1 of which included a gamma-ray spectrometer), 4 plasma, 2 trapped radiation, 2 magnetic fields, 5 ionosphere, 3 radio/optical, and 1 micrometeoroid detectors. OGO 3 maintained 3-axis stabilization for 46 days. At that point, an attitude controller failed and the spacecraft was put into a spin on 23 July 1966. The spin period varied from 90-125 seconds. By June 1969, data acquisition was limited to 50% of the orbital path. Routine spacecraft operation was discontinued on December 1, 1969, after which only data from Heppner's experiment (Rubidium + Fluxgate magnetometer) was acquired. By March 1971 spacecraft perigee had increased to 16,400 km and the inclination had increased to 75.8 deg. All spacecraft support terminated on February 29, 1972. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 278 .
OKB-1 Decree 144 'On preparation of crews ior the 7K-OK Spacecraft and civilian cosmonauts' was issued. References: 474 .
De Gaulle was shown a Vostok launch vehicle, scientific satellites, a Zenit-2 reconnaissance satellite, and viewed launches of an R-16 ICBM and Vostok space launcher. This was the first view by westerners of these systems. All such visits entailed a major effort by staff to fix up the cosmodrome, prepare illustrated materials, clean and paint all facilities, and so on.
Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On long-range military use of space in 1966-70' was issued. References: 474 .
The PAGEOS (Passive Geodetic Earth Orbiting Satellite) spacecraft was a 30.48-m inflatable sphere, and had no instrumentation on board. It was the second (following GEOS 1) NASA satellite in the National Geodetic Satellites Program. The launch, orbit, separation, inflation and initial operation were nominal, with more than 40 ground stations participating in the observation program. The orbit was generally considered too high for drag-density study, although some work was done in this area by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Additional Details: Pageos 1. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Lozino-Lozinsky was selected as project manager. The Spiral system consisted of three main components: the GSR reusable hypersonic air-breathing launch aircraft; RB expendable two stage rocket; and the OS orbital spaceplane.
Nation's initial launch of a satellite by a Titan IIIB/Agena space booster (first launch of a Titan III from Vandenberg AFB). References: 88 .
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