AEC announces satisfactory experiments in hydrogen-weapons research; eyewitnesses tell of blasts near Enewetak
At Santa Susana, Calif., a complete liquid-rocket engine assembly (Navaho) having a thrust in excess of 100,000 pounds was fired for the first time. References: 17 .
Solar spectrum research. Launched at 1540 local time. Reached 112.6 km.
First launching of a Nike-Deacon two-stage rocket for heat transfer studies at NACA Wallops Island. References: 17 .
Preston R. Bassett of the NACA Committee on Aerodynamics presented a resolution urging NACA to adopt an aggressive program in space research technology. References: 483 .
Second sodium-vapor-trail experiment in Nike-Asp launch from Wallops Island was not successful. References: 17 .
NASA announced the completion of the preliminary flight rating test of the Nation's first liquid-hydrogen rocket engine. The engine, the RL-10, was designed and developed by Pratt and Whitney, of United Aircraft, for the Marshall Space Flight Center, and 20 captive firings were competed within 5 days under simulated space conditions, consistently producing 15,000 pounds of thrust. RL-10, previously known as XLR-115, was initiated in October 1958 and over 700 firings were conducted in its development. References: 18 , 278 .
A Martlet 2C launched from the 16 inch L86 gun established the world altitude record for a sub-orbital gun-launched projectile. A Martlet 2C was fired to an altitude of 180 km with a flight time of over 400 seconds.
Decree 'On adoption of the R-36-O into armaments' was issued. References: 474 .
Explored lunar surface near LM and deployed ALSEP unmanned scientific station equipment. References: 66 .
Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On Co-operation of USSR and India on Space Research --USSR-India co-operation' was issued. References: 474 .
WSMC and ESMC redesignated 30th Space Wing and 45th Space Wing, respectively. Simultaneously, the word 'Test' was removed from the geographic designation, 'Western Test Range.' References: 88 .
Mission STS-80 carried the Orfeus astronomy satellite, the Wake Shield Facility, and spacewalk equipment. The Orfeus satellite was deployed on November 20. It carried an ultraviolet telescope and spectrographs. Wake Shield Facility was deployed on November 22 and retrieved on November 26 . On 1996 Nov 29, crewmembers Tamara Jernigan and Thomas Jones were to conduct the first of several planned EVAs. However the shuttle's exit hatch would not open and NASA cancelled this and the other planned spacewalks of the mission. On December 4 at the astronauts retrieved the Orfeus satellite using the RMS arm. Reentry attempts on Dec 5 and Dec 6 were called off due to bad weather. Columbia finally landed at 11:49 GMT December 7 on Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center, making STS-80 the longest shuttle mission to that date . Additional Details: STS-80. References: 4 , 7 , 276 .
Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir on 22 Nov 1996 01:01:30 GMT. Undocked on 6 Feb 1997 12:13:53 GMT. Thereafter in independent orbital flight in a 377 x 395 km x 51.65 deg orbit. Failed to redock with Mir on 4 Mar 1996. Destroyed in reentry on 12 Mar 1997 03:23:37 GMT. Total free-flight time 35.70 days. Total docked time 76.47 days. References: 4 , 275 , 276 .
Retrieved by OV-102 Dec 3. References: 4 .
OV-102 Columbia was launched on a microgravity science mission. Spartan 201 was released a day late on November 21. However the satellite did not start its automatic orientation maneuver because the crew failed to send it the correct commands prior to release.
Spartan was recaptured by hand, during a spacewalk by Takao Doi and Winston Scott on November 25. Tests of space station tools went well, but the free-flying Sprint camera subsatellite was not deployed due to lack of time.
NASA decided not to redeploy Spartan on this mission. During an EVA on Dec 3, Doi and Scott carried out more tests of the Space Station crane. They also deployed the AERCam/Sprint 'football' remote-controlled camera for a free flight in the payload bay.
The unmanned first test flight of a prototype of the Chinese Project 921-1 spacecraft took place 49 days after the planned date of October 1, 1999. Shenzhou separated from its launch vehicle and went into orbit about ten minutes after lift-off. The spacecraft was controlled from the new Beijing Aerospace Directing and Controlling Centre. The spacecraft did not manoeuvre during the flight.
The Yuanwang-3 tracking ship off the coast of Namibia picked up the signal at 18:49 UT, and commanded retro-fire. The spacecraft passed out of range of the tracking ship nine minutes later. Its trajectory arced over Africa, skimmed the coast of the Arabian peninsula, and then over Pakistan, before re-entering over Tibet.
Following re-entry, the drogue chute deployed at an altitude of 30 km with the capsules soft-landing rockets firing 1.5 m above the ground. The capsule landed at 41 deg N, 105 deg E, (415 km East of its launch pad and 110 km north-west of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia), at November 20 19:41 UT. The spacecraft had completed 14 orbits of the earth 21 hours and 11 minutes.