First static firing of Thor rocket engine at AFFTC, Edwards AFB. References: 17 .
The Argus series were the only clandestine nuclear tests ever conducted by the United States. The rocket-launched nuclear warheads were set off at very high altitudes over the South Atlantic, 1800 km south-west of Capetown, South Africa. The purpose was to determine the effects of nuclear explosions on the Earth's magnetic field and the impact to military radar, communications, satellites and ballistic missiles electronics. The earth's magnetic field is not only off-axis from the earth, but also off centre from the earth's core. This means the Van Allen Radiation belts are closest to the earth in the region known as the 'South Atlantic Anomaly'. This made the selected launch point the ideal place for launching a rocket into the lower belt where the particles and radiation from the explosion would be trapped.
The 1.7 kiloton W-25 warhead used had been developed and previously tested for the Genie air-to-air missile. The first test was launched from 38.5 deg S, 11.5 deg. W, and exploded at an altitude of 160 km. The initial flash was followed by an auroral luminescence extending upward and downward along the magnetic lines where the burst occurred. The experiment verified the predicitons made in the original October 1957 proposal by N. C. Christofilos of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore.
Fired from AMR at 1815 hours EST. The countdown was normal. Operations were interrupted by one hold -- a 15 minute delay for minor adjustments. Ignition, main-stage, and lift-off were normal. The missile followed the pre-selected trajectory closely during powered flight, though cut-off was effected by fuel depletion rather than by pre-set guidance cut-off. The nose cone impacted 39 nm short and 15.7 nm to the left of the pre-calculated range of 1,246 nm. Jupiter 7 was the first flight test of the warhead and fuse system. This also marked the second flight test of the :Jupiter all-inertial guidance system, the fourth flight test of the NAA S-3D engine operating at 150,000 pounds thrust, and the first flight test of the solid propellant spin rocket and vernier motor. References: 439 .
The Soviet Communist Party organ, Pravda, explained why Russian space techniques and the names of spaceship designers were kept secret as follows: "A corrupt capitalist society, by it very nature, is extremely capable of turning the greatest peaceful achievements of mankind into the total means of destruction of mankind. This is why it is risky to open even the smallest loopholes in the world of Soviet rocket technique for the gentlemen who are lagging considerably behind as far as their technique is concerned, but who become militarily agitated and distracted from an honest program of general and complete disarmament and who mumble something about the right of inspection of neighbors' orchards and storerooms. That is why the wonderful group of heroes who insured the mastering of the cosmos remain nameless until now." References: 18 .
Mariner 2 was the first spacecraft to successfully flyby another planet. It was a backup for the Mariner 1 mission which failed shortly after launch to Venus. After launch and termination of the Agena first burn, the Agena-Mariner was in a 118 km altitude Earth parking orbit. The Agena second burn injected the Mariner 2 spacecraft into a geocentric escape hyperbola at 26 minutes 3 seconds after lift-off. Solar panel extension was completed about 44 minutes after launch. On 29 August 1962 cruise science experiments were turned on. A midcourse maneuver was initiated at 22:49:00 GMT on 4 September and completed at 2:45:25 GMT 5 September. On 8 September at 17:50 GMT the spacecraft suddenly lost its attitude control, which was restored by the gyroscopes 3 minutes later. The cause was unknown but may have been a collision with a small object. On October 31 the output from one solar panel deteriorated abruptly, and the science cruise instruments were turned off. A week later the panel resumed normal function and instruments were turned back on. The panel permanently failed on 15 November, but Mariner 2 was close enough to the Sun that one panel could supply adequate power. On December 14 the radiometers were turned on. Mariner 2 approached Venus from 30 degrees above the dark side of the planet, and passed below the planet at its closest distance of 34,773 km at 19:59:28 GMT 14 December 1962. After encounter, cruise mode resumed. Spacecraft perihelion occurred on 27 December at a distance of 105,464,560 km. The last transmission from Mariner 2 was received on 3 January 1963 at 07:00 GMT. Mariner 2 remains in heliocentric orbit. Scientific discoveries made by Mariner 2 included a slow retrograde rotation rate for Venus, hot surface temperatures and high surface pressures, a predominantly carbon dioxide atmosphere, continuous cloud cover with a top altitude of about 60 km, and no detectable magnetic field. It was also shown that in interplanetary space the solar wind streams continuously and the cosmic dust density is much lower than the near-Earth region. Improved estimates of Venus' mass and the value of the astronomical unit were made. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 278 , 296 .
Stage II of Gemini launch vehicle (GLV) 2 was deerected and stored; the erector was lowered to horizontal, and stage I was lashed in its vertical position. Stage II was reerected September 1. Power was applied to the launch vehicle September 2, and Subsystem Functional Verification Tests (SSFVT) began September 3. When forecasts indicated that Hurricane Dora would strike Cape Kennedy, both stages of GLV-2 were deerected on September 8 and secured in the Missile Assembly Building. Hurricane Ethel subsequently threatened the area, and both stages remained in the hanger until September 14, when they were returned to complex 19 and reerected. SSFVT, begun again on September 18, ended successfully October 5.
Tass announces water landing exercises; Leonov involved. References: 72 .
George M. Low, ASPO Manager, set forth the rationale for using LTA-B (as opposed to some other LM test article or even a full-blown LM) as payload ballast on the AS-503 mission. That decision had been a joint one by Headquarters, MSFC, and MSC. Perhaps the chief reason for the decision was Marshall's position that the Saturn V's control system was extremely sensitive to payload weight. Numerous tests had been made for payloads of around 38,555 kilograms but none for those in the 29,435- to 31,750-kilogram range. MSFC had therefore asked that the minimum payload for AS-503 be set at 38,555 kilograms. Additional Details: Decision to use Apollo LTA-B as payload ballast on the AS-503 flight. References: 16 .
Apollo Soyuz Test Project Program Director Chester M. Lee, Office of Manned Space Flight, NASA Hq., was assigned as the management official to take actions necessary for the final phaseout of the Apollo program. All Apollo program inquiries, activities, and actions not covered by specific delegations of authority would be referred to Lee for appropriate decision and disposition. References: 16 .
Reaction control system/orbital maneuvering system pods (simulated), approach and landing tests, on dock, Palmdale, Enterprise References: 15 .
3rd generation, high resolution photo surveillance; film capsule; maneuverable; also performed earth resources tasks. Investigation of the natural resources of the earth in the interests of various branches of the national economy of the USSR and international cooperation. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .
Replaced Molniya 3-13. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR; transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and within the framework of international cooperation. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Manned five crew. Launched Aussat 1, ASC 1, Leasat 4; repaired Leasat 3. Payloads: Deploy ASC (American Satellite Company)-1 with Payload Assist Modue (PAM)-D. Deploy AUSSAT (Australian communications satellite)-1 with PAM-D. Deploy Syncom IV-4 communications satellite with its unique stage. Retrieve Leasat-3 communications satellite, repair and deploy by extravehicular activity (EVA) astronauts. Physical Vapor Transport Organic Solids (PVTOS) experiment. Additional Details: STS-51-I. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 33 .
Released by STS 51I 8/27/85. Aussat A1 was decommissioned in early 1993 at the ned of its nominal life. It is currently in a non-synchronous graveyard orbit.. It spent its active life at 160 deg. E. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Released by STS 51I 8/29/85; 178 deg E; leased by U.S. government. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Suborbital test of 1/8 scale model of Buran. Typical trajectory: ascent to 120 km; pitch down to drive model in atmosphere at 45 degree at Mach 18.5. None were reflown but at least 4 were recovered. References: 81 .
Stationed at 150 deg E. ETS-V (Kiku-5). Establishment of basic technology for bus systems needed for 3-axis stabilized geostationary satellites. Accumulation of key technologies required for high performance in the next generation of applications satellites; Experiment of mobile satellite communications for the control of aircrafts over the Pacific Ocean, and for the communication, navigational aid, search and rescue of ships. H-I (3-stage) launch vehicle. Launching organization NASDA. Launch time 0920 GMT. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
British DBS; 31 deg W. Direct broadcasting system. Expected operational life, 10 years. Owner/operator: British Satellite Broadcasting Ltd, The Marcopolo Building, Chelsea Bridge, Queenstown Rd, London SW8 4NQ. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Built by Hughes/El Segundo for Panamsat. The satellite carried 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders to provide US/Caribbean coverage, and was to have replaced the ageing SBS-5 satellite at 123 deg West. Replenishing the Galaxy/PAS constellation was a high priority for Panamsat following the loss of Galaxy 4 and problems with Galaxy 7. Galaxy 11 was not scheduled to go up until the first launch of the Sea Launch Zenit-3SL in early 1999, and this booster was in limbo due to legal problems with unauthorised transfer of technical data from Boeing to Russia. In addition there were several PAS satellites awaiting launch over the next year on Proton and Ariane vehicles.