Launched 23:43 local time. Reached 133.9 km. Carried Ionosphere, sky brightness, solar radiation, composition, photo experiments for Air Research and Development Command.
First Germans sent back to Germany. Were not used to generate new designs after the G-4 References: 86 .
Objective was limited to test of operation of first stage boosters. The second stage was a mass model (the tanks were filled with sand). The flight was planned to last 96 seconds. The flight continued only to T+63 seconds. Severe vibrations were encountered and the missile was unstable in flight. At T+60 seconds, the autopilot put the missile into a dive.
Suborbital. References: 5 .
Missile test failure. Missed aimpoint by 315 m. References: 439 .
First DF-2 launch. A failure. Redesigned for reduced thrust. References: 87 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On preparation of proposals on launches of Vostok spacecraft' was issued. References: 474 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of work on the Soyuz complex' was issued. References: 474 .
First flight of Raketoplan Chelomei, launched at 16:40 Moscow Time. The reentry vehicle is destroyed during reentry. Maximum Altitude - 400 km. Maximum Speed - 14,400 kph. Distance of free flight - 1900 km. References: 98 , 290 .
Ranger 9, last of the series, returned 5814 images before lunar impact. The target was Alphonsus, a large crater about 12 degrees south of the lunar equator. The probe was timed to arrive when lighting conditions would be at their best. The Atlas- Agena B booster injected the Agena and Ranger 9 into an Earth parking orbit at 185 km altitude. A 90 second Agena 2nd burn put the spacecraft into lunar transfer trajectory. This was followed by the separation of the Agena and Ranger. The initial trajectory was highly accurate; uncorrected, the craft would have landed only 650 km north of Alphonsus. 70 minutes after launch the command was given to deploy solar panels, activate attitude control, and switch from the omni-directional antenna to the high-gain antenna. The accuracy of the initial trajectory enabled delay of the planned mid-course correction from 22 March to 23 March when the manoeuvre was initiated at 12:03 GMT. After orientation, a 31 second rocket burn at 12:30 GMT, and reorientation, the manoeuvre was completed at 13:30 GMT. Ranger 9 reached the Moon on 24 March 1965. At 13:31 GMT a terminal manoeuvre was executed to orient the spacecraft so the cameras were more in line with the flight direction to improve the resolution of the pictures. Twenty minutes before impact the one-minute camera system warm-up began. The first image was taken at 13:49:41 at an altitude of 2363 km. Transmission of 5,814 good contrast photographs was made during the final 19 minutes of flight. The final image taken before impact has a resolution of 0.3 meters. The spacecraft encountered the lunar surface with an incoming asymptotic direction at an angle of -5.6 degrees from the lunar equator. The orbit plane was inclined 15.6 degrees to the lunar equator. After 64.5 hours of flight, impact occurred at 14:08:19.994 GMT at approximately 12.83 S latitude, 357.63 E longitude in the crater Alphonsus. Impact velocity was 2.67 km/s. Millions of Americans followed the spacecraft's descent via real time television coverage provided to the three networks of many of the F-channel images (primarily camera B but also some camera A pictures) were provided for this flight.
The pictures showed the rim and floor of the crater in fine detail: in those just prior to impact, objects less than a foot in size were discernible.
A panel of scientists presented some preliminary conclusions from Ranger IX at a press conference that same afternoon. Crater rims and ridges inside the walls, they believed, were harder and smoother than the moon's dusty plains, and therefore were considered likely sites for future manned landings. Generally, the panel was dubious about landing on crater floors however. Apparently, the floors were solidified volcanic material incapable of supporting a spacecraft. Investigators believed several types of craters were seen that were of nonmeteoric origin. These findings reinforced arguments that the moon at one time had experienced volcanic activity. Later the images were shown to the press as a continuous-motion movie, leading astronaut Wally Schirra to yell ‘bail out you fool!’ just before the final frame. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 16 , 278 , 296 .
A report by the Military Operations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Operations recommended combining NASA's Apollo Applications Program with the Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory. 'Inasmuch as both programs are still research and development projects without definitive operational missions,' stated the Committee's report, 'there is reason to expect that with earnest efforts both agencies could get together on a joint program incorporating both unique and similar experiments of each agency.'
The lunar landing research vehicle was operating and training was being conducted, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth wrote Langley Research Center's Acting Director Charles J. Donlan. MSC intended to conduct a second class for LLRV pilots and one of the first requirements for checkout was a familiarization program on Langley's Lunar Landing Research Facility. He requested that a program be conducted for not less than four nor more than six MSC pilots between April 15 and May 15. References: 16 .
Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; deployed high energy gamma ray experiment capsule. First flight of modernised Zenit-2 area survey reconnaissance satellite. References: 1 , 2 , 6 .
This was to be the first 20 second Energia main engine firing test. It was terminated at 2.58 seconds when the automatic control system detected a slow spool up of an engine turbine. In a the first attempt at a full-duration test helium leaks contaminated electro-hydraulic systems, leading to a situation where the tanks could not be drained. An engineering brigade had to work on the fuelled booster for 55 minutes, attach another helium tank, which led to successful de-fuelling of the vehicle.
Cost was estimated at $ 9 billion for 840 Ka band low earth orbit satellites.
A replacement for Asiasat 3, placed in the wrong orbit by a Proton launch in 1997, Asiasat 3S carried C and Ku band transponders. The Blok DM3 upper stage placed it a 9,677 km x 35,967 km x 13.1 deg geosynchronous transfer orbit. Asiasat's on-board R4D apogee engine was to be used to raise perigee to geostationary altitude. Mass in transfer orbit was 3,463 kg, down to 2,500 kg after insertion in geostationary orbit. Stationed at 105 deg E.
Worldspace's second digital radio satellite. Joinef Afristar in orbit with a mission of providing radio broadcasting to the developing world. Stationed at 105 deg E.
Replaced the lost Insat 2D and carried a pure telecommunications payload of C, Ku and S band transponders. Stationed at 83 deg E.