|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1969 - Quarter 2|
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First Minuteman III flight test missile launched from Vandenberg AFB. References: 88 .
NASA solicited proposals for a Phase B Study of the Space Station from the aerospace industry. Two contracting teams, headed by McDonnell Douglas and North American Rockwell, were selected. Management of these teams was assigned to the Marshall Space Flight Center and the Manned Spacecraft Center respectively.
Mars probe intended to enter Martian orbit and comprehensively photograph Mars, together with a landing probe. Further Mars launches during the 1969 launch window were cancelled when this attempt resulted in a major accident, which almost wiped out all of the leaders of the space industry. The Proton rocket lifted off, but one engine failed. The vehicle flew at an altitude of 50 m horizontally, finally exploding only a few dozen metres from the launch pad, spraying the whole complex with poisonous propellants that were quickly spread by the wind. Everyone took off in their autos to escape, but which direction to go? Finally it was decided that the launch point was the safest, but this proved to be even more dangerous - the second stage was still intact and liable to explode. The contamination was so bad that there was no way to clean up - the only possibility was just had to wait for rain to wash it away. This didn't happen until the Mars launch window was closed, so the first such probe was not put into space until 1971. References: 5 , 67 , 118 , 274 , 296 , 445 .
Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 64 .
Primary experiments consisted of a satellite infrared spectrometer (SIRS) for determining the vertical temperature profiles of the atmosphere, an infrared interferometer spectrometer (IRIS) for measuring the emission spectra of the earth-atmosphere system, both high- and medium-resolution infrared radiometers (HRIR and MRIR) for yielding information on the distribution and intensity of infrared radiation emitted and reflected by the earth and its atmosphere, monitor of ultraviolet solar energy (MUSE) for detecting solar UV radiation, image dissector camera system for providing daytime cloudcover pictures in both real-time mode using the real time transmission system and tape recorder mode using the high data rate storage system, radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) SNAP-19 to assess the operational capability of radioisotope power for space applications, and an interrogation, recording and location system (IRLS) experiment designed to locate, interrogate, record, and retransmit meteorological and geophysical data from remote collection stations. Nimbus-3 was successful and performed normally until July 22, 1969, when the IRIS experiment failed. The HRIR and the SIRS experiments were terminated on January 25, 1970, and June 21, 1970, respectively. The remaining experiments continued operation until September 25, 1970, when the rear horizon scanner failed. Without this horizon scanner, it was impossible to maintain proper spacecraft attitude, thus making most experimental observations useless. All spacecraft operations were terminated on January 22, 1972. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Twenty-two astronauts trained in the MSC Flight Acceleration Facility during the week, for lunar reentry. Closed-loop simulation permitted the crews to control the centrifuge during the lunar reentry deceleration profiles. Each astronaut flew four different reentry angles, which imposed acceleration loads of from 4.57 to 9.3 g. References: 16 .
The Director of Apollo Test in the NASA Hq. Apollo Program Office, LeRoy E. Day, was detailed to head the MSF Space Shuttle Task Group. The group would provide NASA with material for a report on the Space Shuttle to the President's Space Task Group. References: 16 .
First test firing of seven segment solid rocket booster motor for Titan 3M for MOL. The test at Coyote Canyon, California, generated 0.7 million kgf for two minutes. References: 128 .
Planned second Soviet circumlunar flight. Cancelled after the success of the American Apollo 8. On 24 September 1968 Bykovskiy/Rukavishnikov were the prime candidates for the first Soviet circumlunar flight. When the crews were named, they had been bumped to the second flight.
ASPO reported a recent manned-test abort of the portable life support system had been caused by a nonfunctional lithium hydroxide canister. Quality control procedures were in existence and if properly implemented would have precluded the abort incident. To prevent similar incidents from occurring, all manned-test and flight equipment would be accompanied by complete documentation, would be visually inspected, and would be certified by quality assurance personnel before use. References: 16 .
The fifth and final drop test of LM-2 was made on May 7. The first four drop tests had been made to establish the proper functioning of all LM systems after a lunar landing. The fifth test was made to qualify the functioning of the pyrotechnics after landing. On May 8, the final test, physically separating the ascent stage, was conducted. References: 16 .
Spacecraft was very similar to Venera 4 / 1V (V-67) although the descent module was of a stronger design. When the atmosphere of Venus was approached, a capsule weighing 405 kg and containing scientific instruments was jettisoned from the main spacecraft. During descent towards the surface of Venus, a parachute opened to slow the rate of descent. For 53 minutes, while the capsule was suspended from the parachute, data from the Venusian atmosphere were returned. The spacecraft also carried a medallion bearing the coat of arms of the U.S.S.R. and a bas-relief of V.I. Lenin to the night side of Venus.
Final dress rehearsal in lunar orbit for landing on moon. LM separated and descended to 10 km from surface of moon but did not land. Apollo 10 (AS-505) - with crew members Thomas P. Stafford, Eugene A. Cernan, and John W. Young aboard - lifted off from Pad B, Launch Complex 39, KSC, at 12:49 p.m. EDT on the first lunar orbital mission with complete spacecraft. The Saturn V's S-IVB stage and the spacecraft were inserted into an earth parking orbit of 189.9 by 184.4 kilometers while the onboard systems were checked. The S-IVB engine was then ignited at 3:19 p.m. EDT to place the spacecraft in a trajectory toward the moon. One-half hour later the CSM separated from the S-IVB, transposed, and docked with the lunar module. At 4:29 p.m. the docked spacecraft were ejected, a separation maneuver was performed, and the S-IVB was placed in a solar orbit by venting residual propellants. TV coverage of docking procedures was transmitted to the Goldstone, Calif., tracking station for worldwide, commercial viewing.
On May 19 the crew elected not to make the first of a series of midcourse maneuvers. A second preplanned midcourse correction that adjusted the trajectory to coincide with a July lunar landing trajectory was executed at 3:19 p.m. The maneuver was so accurate that preplanned third and fourth midcourse corrections were canceled. During the translunar coast, five color TV transmissions totaling 72 minutes were made of the spacecraft and the earth.
At 4:49 p.m. EDT on May 21 the spacecraft was inserted into a lunar orbit of 110.4 by 315.5 kilometers. After two revolutions of tracking and ground updates, a maneuver circularized the orbit at 109.1 by 113.9 kilometers. Astronaut Cernan then entered the LM, checked all systems, and returned to the CM for the scheduled sleep period.
On May 22 activation of the lunar module systems began at 11:49 a.m. EDT. At 2:04 p.m. the spacecraft were undocked and at 4:34 p.m. the LM was inserted into a descent orbit. One hour later the LM made a low-level pass at an altitude of 15.4 kilometers over the planned site for the first lunar landing. The test included a test of the landing radar, visual observation of lunar lighting, stereo photography of the moon, and execution of a phasing maneuver using the descent engine. The lunar module returned to dock successfully with the CSM following the eight-hour separation, and the LM crew returned to the CSM.
The LM ascent stage was jettisoned, its batteries were burned to depletion, and it was placed in a solar orbit on May 23. The crew then prepared for the return trip to earth and after 61.5 hours in lunar orbit a service propulsion system TEI burn injected the CSM into a trajectory toward the earth. During the return trip the astronauts made star-lunar landmark sightings, star-earth horizon navigation sightings, and live television transmissions.
Apollo 10 splashed down in the Pacific at 12:52 p.m. EDT on May 26, 5.4 kilometers from the recovery ship. The crew was picked up and reached the recovery ship U.S.S. Princeton at 1:31 p.m. All primary mission objectives of evaluating performance and support and the detailed test objectives were achieved. Additional Details: Apollo 10. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 26 , 27 , 33 , 60 .
MSFC was authorized to proceed with development of a manned lunar roving vehicle for use on the Apollo missions beginning in mid-1971. A meeting was scheduled for June 6 in Washington to establish requirements for development of the vehicle. References: 16 .
Original planned date for first test of LK in earth orbit. References: 72 .
OGO 6 was a large observatory instrumented with 26 experiments designed to study the various interrelationships between, and latitudinal distributions of, high-altitude atmospheric parameters during a period of increased solar activity. On June 22, 1969, the spacecraft potential dropped significantly during sunlight operation and remained so during subsequent sunlight operation. This unexplained shift affected seven experiments which made measurements dependent upon knowledge of the spacecraft plasma sheath. During October 1969, a string of solar cells failed, but the only effect of the decreased power was to cause two experiments to change their mode of operation. Also during October 1969, a combination of manual and automatic attitude control was initiated, which extended the control gas lifetime of the attitude control system. In August 1970, tape recorder (TR) no. 1 operation degraded, so all recorded data were subsequently taken with TR no. 2. By September 1970, power and equipment degradation left 14 experiments operating normally, 3 partially, and 9 off. From October 14, 1970, TR no. 2 was used only on Wednesdays (world days) to conserve power and extend TR operation. In June 1971, the number of 'on' experiments decreased from 13 to 7, and on June 28, 1971, the spacecraft was placed in a spin-stabilized mode about the yaw (Z) axis and turned off due to difficulties with spacecraft power. OGO 6 was turned on again from October 10, 1971, through March 1972, for operation of experiment 25 by The Radio Research Laboratory, Japan. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Studies were being conducted to determine the feasibility of intentionally impacting an S-IVB stage and an empty LM stage on the lunar surface after jettison, to gather geological data and enhance the scientific return of the seismology experiment. Data would be obtained with the ALSEP seismographic equipment placed on the lunar surface during the Apollo 11 or Apollo 12 flight. MSFC and Bellcomm were examining the possibility of the S-IVB jettison; MSC, the LM ascent stage jettison. Intentional impacting of the ascent stage for Apollo 11 was later determined not to be desirable. References: 16 .
Department of Defense announced cancellation of the planned Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program from Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg AFB. The cancellation was expected to save $ 1.5 billion of the projected total $ 3.0 billion program costs. The SLC-6 launch facility at Vandenberg, 90% complete, would be finished and mothballed. MOL reconnaisance systems useful on unmanned satellites would be completed for a total cost of $ 225 million. Ten thousand aerospace workers were laid off as a result of the cancellation. References: 26 .
Draft project OIS 11F730, was issued by TsKBEM and filial 3 jointly. In the course of 1969 complete drawings were released for the OIS project including modules for the spacecraft 7K-S, 7K-S-I, and 7K-S-II.
Biological capsule reentered 7/7/69. The intent had been to fly a 6 kg male pig-tailed monkey (Macaca nemestrina) named Bonnie in Earth-orbit for 30 days. However, after only 8.8 days in orbit, the mission was terminated because of the subject's deteriorating health. High development costs were a strong incentive for maximising the scientific return from the mission. Because of this, the scientific goals had become exceedingly ambitious over time, and a great many measurements were conducted on the single research subject flown. Although the mission was highly successful from a technical standpoint, the science results were apparently compromised. Additional Details: Biosatellite 3. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 297 .
Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 232 'On start of work on the UR-700M rocket' was issued. The decree allowed development of an advanced project for a manned Mars expedition using the UR-700M booster and MK-700 spacecraft. The TTZ specification document was written by the TsNIIMASH and NIITI institutes, and the project was given the code name 'Aelita'. References: 474 .
No competing US project any more, huge obstacles in getting Tu-144 SST to fly at Mach 2 sustained let alone Mach 4 sustained for Tupolev's Spiral first stage. References: 83 .
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