|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1975 - Quarter 3|
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This flight marked the culmination of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a post-moon race 'goodwill' flight to test a common docking system for space rescue. 15 July 1975 began with the flawless launch of Soyuz 19. Apollo followed right on schedule. Despite a stowaway - a 'super Florida mosquito' - the crew accomplished a series of rendezvous manoeuvres over the next day resulting in rendezvous with Soyuz 19. At 11:10 on 17 July the two spacecraft docked. The crew members rotated between the two spacecraft and conducted various mainly ceremonial activities. Stafford spent 7 hours, 10 minutes aboard Soyuz, Brand 6:30, and Slayton 1:35. Leonov was on the American side for 5 hours, 43 minutes, while Kubasov spent 4:57 in the command and docking modules.
After being docked for nearly 44 hours, Apollo and Soyuz parted for the first time and were station-keeping at a range of 50 meters. The Apollo crew placed its craft between Soyuz and the sun so that the diameter of the service module formed a disk which blocked out the sun. This artificial solar eclipse, as viewed from Soyuz, permitted photography of the solar corona. After this experiment Apollo moved towards Soyuz for the second docking.
Three hours later Apollo and Soyuz undocked for the second and final time. The spacecraft moved to a 40 m station-keeping distance so that the ultraviolet absorption (UVA MA-059) experiment could be performed. This was an effort to more precisely determine the quantities of atomic oxygen and atomic nitrogen existing at such altitudes. Apollo, flying out of plane around Soyuz, projected monochromatic laser-like beams of light to retro-reflectors mounted on Soyuz. On the 150-meter phase of the experiment, light from a Soyuz port led to a misalignment of the spectrometer, but on the 500-meter pass excellent data were received; on the 1,000-meter pass satisfactory results were also obtained.
With all the joint flight activities completed, the ships went on their separate ways. On 20 July the Apollo crew conducted earth observation, experiments in the multipurpose furnace (MA-010), extreme ultraviolet surveying (MA-083), crystal growth (MA-085), and helium glow (MA-088). On 21 July Soyuz 19 landed safely in Kazakhstan. Apollo continued in orbit on 22-23 July to conduct 23 independent experiments - including a doppler tracking experiment (MA-089) and geodynamics experiment (MA-128) designed to verify which of two techniques would be best suited for studying plate tectonics from earth orbit.
After donning their space suits, the crew vented the command module tunnel and jettisoned the docking module. The docking module would continue on its way until it re-entered the earth's atmosphere and burned up in August 1975. Apollo splashed down about 7,300 meters from the recovery ship New Orleans. However the flight of the last Apollo spacecraft was marred by the fact that the crew almost perished while the capsule was descending under its parachute.
A failure in switchology led the automatic landing sequence to be not armed at the same time the reaction control system was still active. When the Apollo hadn't begun the parachute deployment sequence by 7,000 metres altitude, Brand hit the manual switches for the apex cover and the drogues. The manual deployment of the drogue chutes caused the CM to sway, and the reaction control system thrusters worked vigorously to counteract that motion. When the crew finally armed the automatic ELS 30 seconds later, the thruster action terminated.
During that 30 seconds, the cabin was flooded with a mixture of toxic unignited propellants from the thrusters. Prior to drogue deployment, the cabin pressure relief valve had opened automatically, and in addition to drawing in fresh air it also brought in unwanted gases being expelled from the roll thrusters located about 0.6 meter from the relief valve. Brand manually deployed the main parachutes at about 2,700 meters despite the gas fumes in the cabin.
By the time of splashdown, the crew was nearly unconscious from the fumes, Stafford managed to get an oxygen mask over Brand's face. He then began to come around. When the command module was upright in the water, Stafford opened the vent valve, and with the in-rush of air the remaining fumes disappeared. The crew ended up with a two-week hospital stay in Honolulu. For Slayton, it also meant the discovery of a small lesion on his left lung and an exploratory operation that indicated it was a non-malignant tumour. Additional Details: Apollo (ASTP). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 33 , 60 , 452 .
Soyuz 19 initial orbital parameters were 220.8 by 185.07 kilometres, at the desired inclination of 51.80°, while the period of the first orbit was 88.6 minutes. On 17 July the two spacecraft docked. The crew members rotated between the two spacecraft and conducted various mainly ceremonial activities. Leonov was on the American side for 5 hours, 43 minutes, while Kubasov spent 4:57 in the command and docking modules.
After being docked for nearly 44 hours, Apollo and Soyuz parted for the first time and were station-keeping at a range of 50 meters. The Apollo crew placed its craft between Soyuz and the sun so that the diameter of the service module formed a disk which blocked out the sun. After this experiment Apollo moved towards Soyuz for the second docking.
Three hours later Apollo and Soyuz undocked for the second and final time. The spacecraft moved to a 40 m station-keeping distance so that an ultraviolet absorption experiment could be performed. With all the joint flight activities completed, the ships went on their separate ways. Soyuz 19 landed safely July 21, 1975 10:51 GMT, 87 km north-east of Arkalyk, 9. 6 km from its aim point. Additional Details: Soyuz 19 (ASTP). References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 32 , 33 , 60 , 452 .
Eighth CERS/ESRO satellite, first European Space Agency satellite. Launch time 0147:59 GMT. Argument of perigee 344.7 deg. Also registered by the United States in A/AC.105/INF.331 as 1975-72A, category B satellite with orbit 2203.9 min, 442 x 99002 km x 9 0.3 deg. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Combined Mars orbiter and lander mission; orbiter inserted in Mars orbit 6/19/76; lander soft landed on Martian surface 7/20/76Mars. Mars Orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Start final assembly and closeout system installation, Enterprise (OV-101) References: 15 .
Jointly registered by the Federal Republic of Germany (A/AC.105/INF.329) and France (A/AC.105/INF.330). Symphonie flying model no II. Experimental telecommunications satellite. Orbit: geostationary. Also registered by the United Stat es in A/AC.105/INF.331 as 1975-77A, category C, with orbit 1427.4 min, 35364 x 35870 km x 0.0 deg References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
First test flight of Italian submarine- and ship-launched ballistic missile. Dummy second stage. Successful 57 second flight.
Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Maximum Altitude - 502 km. References: 98 .
Third Yantar-2K second generation reconnaissance flight, the first with the new Kondor attitude control system. This system experienced problems and failed on the second day of flight. The spacecraft's destruct package was activated by ground command and the spacecraft was destroyed on 6 September 1975 in its second day of flight. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 69 .
Aft fuselage on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise (OV-101) References: 15 .
JETS-1 (Japanese Engineering Test Satellite -1, national name 'Kiku') is intended for preliminary experiments for confirmation of the launching technologies, acquiring the satellite tracking and control technologies, and for extension tests of the extenda ble antennas, measurement of satellite environment, measurement of satellite attitudes, etc. Launch time 0530 GMT. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Combined Mars orbiter and lander mission; orbiter inserted in Mars orbit 8/7/76; lander soft landed on Martian surface 9/3/76Mars. Mars Orbit. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Decree 'On USSR-France co-operation In space' was issued. References: 474 .
Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule. Third successful test of SpK small film return capsule planned for Yantar. SpK capsule FEU-170-13 No. 5L successfully recovered. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 69 .
Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 278 .
Solar UV radiation experiments. Study of solar and stellar ultraviolet radiation. 1. Spectral analysis of small and large sources located close to the plane of the ecliptic. Responsible organization: Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, Traverse du Siphon, 13000- Marseille (France). 2. St udy of solar ultraviolet radiation and its absorption by the earth's atmosphere. Responsible organization: Laboratoire de Physique Stellaire et Planetaire, Meudon, France. Weight 106.6 kg. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Unmanned military Soyuz 7K-S test flight. Recovered October 3, 1975 4:10 GMT. Unsuccessful mission. Transmitted only on 166 MHz frequency, at none of the other usual Soyuz wavelengths.
193 km X 270 km orbit to 195 km X 300 km orbit. Delta V: 8 m/s
196 km X 300 km orbit to 196 km X 328 km orbit. Delta V: 8 m/s
Total Delta V: 16 m/s References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 21 , 121 .
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