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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
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Born, Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer (heliocentric solar system)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Charles Messier added M46-M49 to his catalog (galactic clusters in Puppis, Hydra and a galaxy in Virgo), only three days after presenting his original catalogue to the French Academy.
ref: www.messier-objects.com

Thomas Edison received a patent for the phonograph, a machine for recording and playing back sound.
ref: www.loc.gov

R. S. Dugan discovered asteroid #507 Laodica.

Died, Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist and philosopher (supersonic flow)
ref: plato.stanford.edu

F. L. Whipple discovered asteroid #1252 Celestia.

A. Bohrmann discovered asteroid #1733 Silke; and E. Delporte discovered asteroid #2713 Luxembourg; and Y. Vaisala discovered asteroid #3212.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #3282.

Born, Rodolfo Neri Vela PhD (at Chilpancingo, Mexico), NASA astronaut (STS 61B; over 6d 21h in spaceflight)
Astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela, NASA photo Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable February 2020) Mexico.RodolfoNeriVela.01.jpg
Astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable February 2020)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, G[eorge] David Low (at Cleveland, Ohio, USA), NASA astronaut (STS 32, STS 43, STS 57; over 29d 18h total time in spaceflight) (deceased)
Astronaut G. David Low, NASA photo Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable February 2020) Low_David.jpg
Astronaut G. David Low, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable February 2020)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

A two stage USAF rocket powered monorail sled attained Mach 4.1 (3090 mph, 4970 kph) at Holloman AFB, New Mexico.
ref: www.hq.nasa.gov

Contact with the USSR Venera 1 probe was lost as it was enroute to becoming the first spacecraft to pass Venus (20 May 1961).

Venera 1 was launched 12 February 1961, and was the first spacecraft to fly by Venus. The probe consisted of a cylindrical body topped by a dome, totaling 2 meters in height. Two solar panels extended radially from the cylinder. The probe was equipped with scientific instruments including a magnetometer attached to the end of a 2 meter boom, ion traps, micrometeorite detectors, and cosmic radiation counters. The dome contained a pressurized sphere which carried a Soviet pennant and was designed to float on the putative Venus oceans after the intended Venus impact. Venera 1 had no on-board propulsion systems, and temperature control was achieved with thermal shutters.

Venera 1 was launched along with an Earth orbiting launch platform (Tyazheliy Sputnik 5 (61-003C)). From the 229 x 282 km Earth orbit, Venera 1 was launched toward Venus. On 19 February, 7 days after launch and at a distance of about two million km from Earth, contact with the spacecraft was lost. On 20 May 1961, Venera 1 passed within 100,000 km of Venus and entered a heliocentric orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1969 06:48:15 GMT
USSR launched Luna E-8 No.201 (also known as Luna Ye-8 No.201, initially identified by NASA as Luna 1969A), an attempted Lunar rover (Lunakhod). The SL-12/D-1-e launcher exploded when the payload shroud collapsed at T+51 seconds.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1970 18:58:00 GMT
USSR launched their first-generation Molniya 1-13 communications satellite.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

L. Kohoutek discovered asteroided #2055 Dvorak, #2073 Janacek and #3109.

H. Kosai and K. Hurukawa discovered asteroid #3111 Misuzu.

A. Mrkos discovered asteroids #2747, #3313 and #3715; Harvard College discovered asteroid #3243; and Z. Vavrova discovered asteroids #2315 Czechoslovakia and #2321 Luznice.

Xinglong Station discovered asteroid #3481.

E. Bowell discovered asteroid #3414 Champollion.

1986 21:28:23 GMT
USSR launched the first component of the Mir space station, the core module.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1990 04:36:18 GMT
USSR Soyuz TM-8 landed, returning the EO-5 crew of Viktorenko and Serebrov from the Mir space station after over 166 days in space.

USSR launched Soyuz TM-8 from Baikonur to the Mir orbital station on 5 September 1989 for the Mir Expedition EO-05 mission, which docked with Mir on 8 September. Soyuz TM-8 transported a team consisting of A S Viktorenko, commander of the spacecraft, and A A Serebrov, on-board engineer, to carry out scientific and technological research and experiments. The flight cost 80 million rubles, and the Soviets expected a return of 25 million rubles net profit.

Soyuz TM-8 landed 19 February 1990, returning Viktorenko and Serebrov to Earth after a mission elapsed time of 166 days, 6 hours, 58 minutes, 15 seconds.

See also Wikipedia
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Peter Collins discovered nova Cygni 1992.

1997 01:41:00 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA's STS 82 crew released the Hubble Space Telescope back into orbit after the second servicing mission.

STS 82 was originally planned for a 13 February 1997 launch, but the date was moved up to provide more range opportunities. The launch on 11 February followed a countdown that proceeded smoothly. The six member crew completed servicing and upgrading of the Hubble Space Telescope during four planned extravehicular activities (EVAs), then performed a fifth unscheduled space walk to repair insulation on the telescope, demonstrating anew the capability of the Space Shuttle to service orbiting spacecraft, as well as the benefits of human spaceflight.

The HST was retrieved for its second servicing at 3:34 a.m. EST 13 February, and positioned in the payload bay less than half an hour later.

EVA 1 began at 11:34 p.m. EST, 13 February, and lasted six hours, 42 minutes. One of Hubble's solar arrays was unexpectedly disturbed by a gust of air from Discovery's airlock when it was depressurized, but the array was not damaged. Lee and Smith removed the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS) and Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS), and replaced them with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), respectively.

EVA 2 began at 10:25 p.m., 14 February, and lasted seven hours, 27 minutes. Harbaugh and Tanner replaced a degraded Fine Guidance Sensor and a failed Engineering and Science Tape Recorder with new spares. They also installed a new unit called the Optical Control Electronics Enhancement Kit, to further increase the capability of the Fine Guidance Sensor. During this EVA, the astronauts noted cracking and wear on thermal insulation on the side of telescope facing sun and in the direction of travel.

EVA 3 began at 9:53 p.m., 15 February, and lasted seven hours, 11 minutes. Lee and Smith removed and replaced a Data Interface Unit on Hubble, and replaced an old reel-to-reel Engineering and Science Tape Recorder with a new digital Solid State Recorder (SSR) to allow simultaneous recording and playback of data. They also changed out one of the four Reaction Wheel Assembly units that use spin momentum to move telescope toward a target and maintain it in a stable position. After this EVA, mission managers decided to add EVA 5 to repair the thermal insulation on HST.

EVA 4 began at 10:45 p.m., 16 February, and lasted six hours, 34 minutes. Harbaugh and Tanner replaced a Solar Array Drive Electronics package which controls the positioning of Hubble's solar arrays. They also replaced covers over Hubble's magnetometers, and placed thermal blankets of multi-layer material over two areas of degraded insulation around the light shield portion of the telescope, just below the top of the observatory. Meanwhile, inside Discovery Horowitz and Lee worked on the middeck to fabricate new insulation blankets for the HST.

The final space walk, EVA 5, lasted five hours, 17 minutes. Lee and Smith attached several thermal insulation blankets to three equipment compartments at the top of the Support Systems Module section of the telescope which contains key data processing, electronics and scientific instrument telemetry packages.

The STS 82 EVA total of 33 hours, 11 minutes is about two hours shy of total EVA time recorded on first servicing mission.

Discovery's maneuvering jets were fired several times during mission to reboost the telescope's orbit by eight nautical miles. Hubble was redeployed 19 February at 1:41 a.m. at the highest altitude it has ever flown, a 335 by 321 nautical mile orbit.

STS 82 ended when Discovery landed 21 February 1997 on revolution 150 on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on the second opportunity after the first waved off due to low clouds. Rollout distance: 7,066 feet (2,154 meters). Rollout time: one minute, zero seconds. Orbit altitude: 360 statute miles. Orbit anclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: nine days, 23 hours, 37 minutes, nine seconds. Miles traveled: 4.1 million. This was the ninth night landing in the Shuttle program's history, and the fourth night landing at KSC.

The flight crew for STS 82 was: Kenneth D. Bowersox, Commander; Scott J. Horowitz, Pilot; Mark C. Lee, Mission Specialist; Steven A. Hawley, Mission Specialist; Gregory J. Harbaugh, Mission Specialist; Steven L. Smith, Mission Specialist; Joseph R. Tanner, Mission Specialist.
ref: www.nasa.gov

1998 09:10:00 GMT
Russia's Soyuz TM-26 landed in Kazakstan at 50 deg 11 N, 67 deg 31 E with cosmonauts Solovyov and Vinogradov, and French astronaut Eyharts aboard, returning from the Mir space station.

Soyuz TM-26 was a Russian spacecraft which ferried cosmonauts and supplies to the Mir space station. It was launched on 5 August 1997 by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome as Mir Expedition EO-24. The main mission was to transport two specially trained cosmonauts, Anatoliy Solovyov and Pavel Vinogradov, to repair or salvage the troubled space station. Soyuz TM-26 docked with Mir on 7 August under manual control. Over the next six months, the crew undertook seven internal and external spacewalks to repair the crippled space station. They repaired the power cable and harness/connectors in the severely damaged SPEKTR module and restored much of the lost power. They also repaired and replaced the oxygen generators in Mir. The hole(s) in the SPEKTR module which caused total depressurization of the station could not be located during their "space walk" inside that module. Repairing or replacing the segments of the solar panels on SPEKTR and sealing the hole(s) was delayed until later missions.

Solovyov and Vinogradov, together with French astronaut Eyharts (launched aboard Soyuz TM-27), undocked from the forward port on Mir at 05:52 GMT on 19 February 1998, fired their deorbit engines at 08:16 GMT, and landed in Kazakstan at 50 deg 11 N, 67 deg 31 E the same day.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter began its science mapping mission, mapping the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.

NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey is the remaining part of the Mars Surveyor 2001 Project, which originally consisted of two separately launched missions, The Mars Surveyor 2001 Orbiter and the Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander. The lander spacecraft was cancelled as part of the reorganization of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA. The orbiter, renamed the 2001 Mars Odyssey, was nominally planned to orbit Mars for three years with the objective of conducting a detailed mineralogical analysis of the planet's surface from orbit and measuring the radiation environment. The mission had as its primary science goals to gather data to help determine whether the environment on Mars was ever conducive to life, to characterize the climate and geology of Mars, and to study potential radiation hazards to possible future astronaut missions. The orbiter also acted (and is acting, as of 2022) as a communications relay for [future] missions to Mars. It has enough propellant to function until 2025.

The 2001 Mars Odyssey was launched aboard a Delta II 7425 on 7 April 2001. In August, during the cruise to Mars, the MARIE instrument failed to respond during a routine data transfer and was put into hibernation. (Attempts to revive the instrument were successful in March 2002, and MARIE began taking scientific data from orbit on 13 March 2002.) After a seven month cruise the spacecraft reached Mars on 24 October 2001. The spacecraft used a 19.7 minute propulsive maneuver to transfer into an 18.6 hour elliptical capture orbit and used aerobraking until 11 January 2002, when the spacecraft pulled out of the aerobraking orbit into a 201 x 500 km orbit. This orbit was trimmed over the next few weeks until it became a 2-hour, approximately 400 x 400 km polar science orbit on 30 January 2002. The science mapping mission began on 19 February 2002, and on 28 May 2002, NASA reported that Odyssey's GRS had detected large amounts of hydrogen, a sign that there must be ice lying within a meter of the planet's surface. The Orbiter acts as a communications relay for the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) which arrived in January 2004, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, and will possibly also do so for other future missions. Data was collected from orbit until the end of the 917 day nominal mission in July 2004, and the mission was first extended for another Martian year, until September 2006.

One of the orbiter's three flywheels failed in June 2012. However, Odyssey's design included a fourth flywheel, a spare carried against exactly this eventuality. The spare was spun up and successfully brought into service. Since July 2012, Odyssey has been back in full, nominal operation mode following three weeks of 'safe' mode on remote maintenance.

On 11 February 2014, mission control accelerated Odyssey's drift toward a morning-daylight orbit to "enable observation of changing ground temperatures after sunrise and after sunset in thousands of places on Mars". The desired change occurred gradually until the intended orbit geometry was reached on 12 November 2015 when another maneuver was conducted to halt the drift. The new observations could yield insight about the composition of the ground and about temperature-driven processes, such as warm-season flows observed on some slopes, Martian morning clouds seen by the Viking Orbiter 1 in 1976, and geysers fed by spring thawing of carbon dioxide (CO2) ice near Mars' poles.

The 2001 Mars Odyssey carries star cameras, the Mars Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE), which measures the near-space radiation environment as related to the radiation-related risk to human explorers, the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), which maps the mineralogy of the Martian surface using a high-resolution camera and a thermal infrared imaging spectrometer, and the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (GRS), which maps the elemental composition of the surface and determines the abundance of hydrogen in the shallow subsurface.

The main body of the 2001 Mars Odyssey is a box of 2.2 meters x 1.7 meters x 2.6 meters. The orbiter is divided into two modules, the upper equipment module and the lower propulsion module. The equipment module holds the equipment deck which supports the engineering components and the science instruments. Above the equipment module, connected by struts, is the science deck, holding the star cameras, high energy neutron detector, UHF antenna, the THEMIS instrument and a deployable 6 meter boom holding the gamma sensor head for the GRS. A set of solar array panels extends out from one side of the main bus. A parabolic high-gain dish antenna is mounted on a mast extending from one corner of the bottom of the bus. The MARIE instrument is mounted inside the spacecraft. In the propulsion module are the fuel, oxidizer and helium pressurization tanks, and the main engine. The main engine is a hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide rocket which can produce 65.3 kg thrust, mounted in the bottom part of the propulsion module. The spacecraft had a launch mass of 725.0 kg, including 348.7 kg of fuel.

Attitude control is provided by four 0.1 kg thrusters and the spacecraft can be turned using four 2.3 kg thrusters. The spacecraft is three-axis stabilized using three primary reaction wheels and one backup. Navigation is provided by a Sun sensor, a star camera, and an inertial measurement unit. Power is provided by the gallium arsenide solar cells in the solar panel and a 16 amp-hr nickel hydrogen battery. Communications between the orbiter and Earth are in X-band via the high-gain antenna, and communications between the orbiter and any Mars landers are via the UHF antenna. Thermal control is achieved using a system of heaters, radiators, louvers, insulating blankets and thermal paint. Command and data handling is through a RAD6000 computer with 128 Mbytes RAM and 3 Mbytes of non-volatile memory.

See also the NASA/JPL 2001 Mars Odyssey Home Page
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died (hemorrhagic stroke), Dale Allan Gardner (at Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA), Commander USN, NASA mission specialist astronaut (STS 8, STS 51-A; nearly 14d 1h total time in spaceflight)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Died (natural causes), Valeri Nikolayevich Kubasov (at Moscow, Russian Federation), Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 6, Soyuz 19 (the Apollo-Soyuz mission), Soyuz 36/Salyut 6; nearly 18d 18h total time in spaceflight)

Valeri Nikolayevich Kubasov (7 January 1935 - 19 February 2014) was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on two missions as a flight engineer in the Soyuz program, Soyuz 6 and Soyuz 19 (the Apollo-Soyuz mission), and commanded Soyuz 36 in the Intercosmos program. He was also involved in the development of the Mir space station. He retired from the Soviet space program in March 1993.

Kubasov "cheated death" twice during his space career: He was part of the crew originally intended to fly Soyuz 2, which was found to have the same faulty parachute sensor that resulted in Vladimir Komarov's death on Soyuz 1 and was later launched without a crew. Later, he was grounded for medical reasons before the Soyuz 11 flight, whose back-up crew was killed when the capsule was accidentally depressurized by a faulty valve.

Kubasov was later deputy director of RKK Energia.

Kubasov died in Moscow of natural causes.

See also Wikipedia
ref: www.spacefacts.de

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