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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
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A. Marth discovered asteroid #29 Amphitrite; and R. Luther discovered asteroid #28 Bellona.

E. Remington and Sons started production of the first practical typewriter, in Ilion, New York.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #185 Eunike.

E. Millosevich discovered asteroid #306 Unitas.

M. Wolf discovered asteroids #385 Ilmatar and #386 Siegena.

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #711 Marmulla.

Captain Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane whose date is definitely known, possibly preceded by Grant Morton some time in 1911.
Albert Berry collapses his parachute after making the world's first successful parachute jump Source: Wikipedia Albert_Berry_parachute.jpg
Albert Berry collapses his parachute after making the world's first successful parachute jump
Source: Wikipedia
ref: en.wikipedia.org

F. Kaiser discovered asteroids #745 Mauritia and #746 Marlu.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #910 Anneliese.

Born, Donald "Deke" K. Slayton (at Sparta, Wisconsin, USA), Major USAF, NASA astronaut (Apollo-Soyuz; nearly 9d 1.5h in spaceflight), primarily responsible for Gemini and Apollo crew assignments (deceased)
Astronaut Deke Slayton, NASA photo (December 1973) Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021) 384px-Slayton.jpg
Astronaut Deke Slayton, NASA photo (December 1973)
Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021)

Donald K. 'Deke' Slayton (1 March 1924 - 13 June 1993) was the only one of the Mercury 7 astronauts chosen for America's first manned-space effort who did not fly in the Mercury program, due to an erratic heart rate (idiopathic atrial fibrillation). Slayton had been scheduled to fly in 1962 on the second orbital flight that was flown instead by Scott Carpenter.

A US Air Force pilot, Slayton resigned his commission in 1963 and worked for NASA as the civilian head of astronaut selection. In that capacity, he had the decisive role of choosing crews for the Gemini and Apollo programs, including who would be the first man to walk on the Moon.

A long medical program let him be restored to full flight status in 1973, when he was chosen as the Apollo docking module pilot for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. On 17 July 1975, an American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft docked in orbit, and astronauts Slayton, Thomas Stafford and Vance D. Brand conducted crew transfers and joint science activities with cosmonauts Aleksey A. Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov. Slayton logged 217 hours and 28 minutes in his first (and only) space flight.

Slayton retired from NASA in 1982. He was president of Space Services Inc., of Houston, Texas, a company he founded to develop rockets for small commercial payloads.

Slayton died 13 June 1993, in League City, Texas, from complications of a brain tumor.
ref: history.nasa.gov

L. Oterma discovered asteroid #2988.

The International Air Transport Association finalized a draft of the radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Died, Fritz Houtermans, Dutch-Austrian-German atomic and nuclear physicist (geochemistry, cosmochemistry)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

USSR's Venera 3 impacted on Venus, the first spacecraft to land on another planetary body.

Venera 3 was launched on 16 November 1965 from a Tyazheliy Sputnik (65-092B) toward Venus. Its mission was to land on the surface. The entry body contained a radio communication system, scientific instruments, and medallions bearing the coat of arms of the USSR. The vehicle impacted Venus on 1 March 1966, making Venera 3 the first spacecraft to impact on the surface of another planet. However, the communications systems had failed, so no planetary data could be returned.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1966 11:03:49 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 111, apparently intended as a Lunar orbiter but the spacecraft failed to escape from Earth parking orbit.

Cosmos 111, launched 1 March 1966, with orbital data similar to a manned flight, was originally thought to be a possible precursor to the 23 April 1967 flight of Soyuz 1. Later evidence indicated it was intended to go to the Moon, perhaps as a Lunar orbiter, similar to the Luna 10 mission. However, the spacecraft failed to escape from Earth parking orbit and was designated Cosmos 111.

Designation of this mission as an intended planetary probe is based on evidence from Soviet and non-Soviet sources and historical documents.

Beginning in 1962, the Soviets gave the name Cosmos to any spacecraft which remained in Earth orbit, regardless of whether that was their intended final destination. Soviet planetary missions were typically put initially into an Earth parking orbit as a launch platform with a rocket engine and attached probe. The probes were then launched toward their targets with an engine burn of roughly 4 minutes. If the engine misfired or the burn was not completed, the probes remained in Earth orbit, and were given a Cosmos designation.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died (F-4 ejection seat malfunction), Michael V. Love, NASA X-24 test pilot
ref: thetartanterror.blogspot.com

H. Debehogne discovered asteroids #2788, #3016, #3308 Ferreri and #3740; and S. J. Bus discovered asteroid #3029, #3030 Vehrenberg, #3042, #3058 Delmary, #3075, #3135, #3472 Upgren, #3498, #3503, #3685 and #3725.

USSR's Venera 13 landed on Venus and returned pictures of the surface.
Venera lander, image courtesy of NASA Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog venera13_lander_iki.gif
Venera lander, image courtesy of NASA
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

Venera 13, launched 30 October 1981, consisted of a bus (81-106A) and an attached descent craft (81-106D). It was identical to Venera 14, the two spacecraft were built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched five days apart. After launch and a four month cruise to Venus, the descent vehicle separated and plunged into the Venus atmosphere on 1 March 1982. As it flew by Venus, the bus acted as a data relay for the brief life of the descent vehicle, and then continued on into a heliocentric orbit. The bus carried instruments built by Austrian and French specialists, as well as Soviet scientific equipment, equipped with instrumentation including a gamma-ray spectrometer, retarding potential traps, UV grating monochromator, electron and proton spectrometers, gamma-ray burst detectors, solar wind plasma detectors, and two-frequency transmitters which made measurements before, during, and after the Venus flyby.

The Venera 13 descent craft/lander was a hermetically sealed pressure vessel, which contained most of the instrumentation and electronics, mounted on a ring-shaped landing platform and topped by an antenna, a design similar to the earlier Venera 9-12 landers. It carried instruments to take chemical and isotopic measurements, monitor the spectrum of scattered sunlight, and record electric discharges during its descent phase through the Venusian atmosphere. The spacecraft utilized a camera system, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, a screw drill and surface sampler, a dynamic penetrometer, and a seismometer to conduct investigations on the surface.

After entering the atmosphere, a parachute was deployed. At an altitude of 47 km the parachute was released and simple aerobraking was used the rest of the way to the surface. Venera 13 landed about 950 km northeast of Venera 14 at 7 deg 30 min S, 303 E, just east of the eastern extension of an elevated region known as Phoebe Regio. The area was composed of bedrock outcrops surrounded by dark, fine-grained soil. After landing an imaging panorama was started, and a mechanical drilling arm reached to the surface and obtained a sample. The sample was deposited in a hermetically sealed chamber, maintained at 30 degrees C and a pressure of about .05 atmospheres. The composition of the sample determined by the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer put it in the class of weakly differentiated melanocratic alkaline gabbroids. The lander survived for 127 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 457 degrees C (855 degrees F) and a pressure of 84 Earth atmospheres. The descent vehicle transmitted data to the bus, which acted as a data relay as it flew by Venus.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

E. Bowell discovered asteroids #3066 McFadden and #3420 Standish.

1984 17:59:00 GMT
Landsat 5, a NASA/NOAA Earth resource satellite, was launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg AFB, California on a Delta rocket that also carried the Oscar 11 ham radio satellite.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1984 17:59:00 GMT
Oscar 11 (UOSAT 2), an amateur radio (ham) satellite, was launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg AFB, California on a Delta rocket that also carried the Landsat 5 Earth resource satellite.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died, Edwin H. Land, US inventor (Polaroid)

Edwin Herbert Land (7 May 1909 - 1 March 1991) was the inventor of the Polaroid Land Camera, which pioneered "instant" (self-developing) film photography. Land received the Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to a US citizen. He also received over 500 patents. He developed a new kind of polarizer, which he called Polaroid, by aligning and embedding crystals in a plastic sheet. He received numerous awards and honorary degrees.

During World War II, Land invented infrared filters, dark-adaptation goggles, and target finders; and patented the Polaroid Land Camera.

His daughter later inspired him to make the pictures develop faster when she, as an impatient 6 year-old, asked him why it took so long for them to develop.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

2002 01:07:59 GMT
ESA's Envisat environmental satellite was successfully launched to orbit nearly 800 kilometers (500 miles) above Earth, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8211 kilograms (18,102 lb).
Full-scale model of ESA's Envisat. See scaffolding and person near left gold solar panel for size reference.Source:Wikipedia 20121209105221!Envisatmod.jpg
Full-scale model of ESA's Envisat. See scaffolding and person near left gold solar panel for size reference.

Envisat was ESA's successor to ERS. It was launched 1 March 2002 from Kourou, French Guiana, at 22:07:59 hrs Kourou time (02:07:59 hrs CET) with 10 instruments aboard, and was the largest civilian Earth observation satellite at the time (and still was on 1 March 2015). At launch, it weighed 8211 kg (18,102 lb), including 319 kg (703 lb) of fuel and a 2,118 kg (4,669 lb) instrument payload. The spacecraft bus was 10 m (33 ft) long, its solar array spanned 26 m (85 ft), and it was 5 m (16 ft) tall. The mission cost 2.3 billion euros (US$3 billion) to develop and launch, including 3 million euros for five years of operation.

Envisat's "spectacular" night-time launch also marked the return to business for Europe's Ariane 5 launcher. It's upper stage had undergone over 300 tests since the previous summer, following the failure of flight Ariane 510 to insert two satellites, including ESA's Artemis, in the correct orbits.

More advanced imaging radar, radar altimeter and temperature-measuring radiometer instruments extended the ERS data sets. Envisat had new instruments including a medium-resolution spectrometer sensitive to both land features and ocean color. It also carried two atmospheric sensors monitoring trace gases.

European controllers lowered Envisat's orbit in 2010 to reduce the craft's fuel usage to prolong the mission until the end of 2013. The extended mission was planned to overlap the first launches of a series of Sentinel satellites designed to ensure data continuity from Envisat and the European Remote Sensing missions, which concluded in 2011.

The Envisat mission ended on 8 April 2012 following the unexpected loss of contact with the satellite when it was supposed to be in contact with a ground station in Kiruna, Sweden. Its five-year baseline mission ended in 2007, but the satellite had continued collecting data since then in an extended mission. As of April 2012, Envisat had orbited Earth more than 50,000 times at an altitude of nearly 500 miles. Given Envisat's orbit and its area-to-mass ratio, it will take about 150 years for the satellite to be gradually pulled into the Earth's atmosphere. As of March 2015, Envisat was orbiting in an environment where 2 catalogued objects pass within about 200 meters (660 ft) of it every year.

See also ESA - Observing the Earth - A warmer world awaits - Fact or fiction?
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

2002 05:22:00 CST (GMT -6:00:00)
NASA launched STS 109 (Columbia 27) for the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

STS 109 was launched 1 March 2002 as the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Its crew performed a total of five spacewalks on five consecutive days to service and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Grunsfeld and Linnehan conducted the mission's first, third and fifth EVAs; while Newman and Massimino performed the second and fourth spacewalks. Currie operated the shuttle's robot arm to assist the spacewalkers, as Carey and Altman documented the EVA activities with video and still images.

The spacewalks installed new solar arrays, a new camera, a new Power Control Unit, a Reaction Wheel Assembly and an experimental cooling system for Hubble. The crew accumulated a total of 35 hours, 55 minutes of EVA time. Through STS 109, a total of 18 spacewalks have been conducted during the four Shuttle missions to service Hubble, for a total of 129 hours, 10 minutes by 14 different astronauts.

STS 109 ended on 12 March 2002 when Columbia landed at Kennedy Space Center after a 10 day, 22 hour, 10 minute mission.

The flight crew for STS 109 was: Scott Altman, Commander; Duane Carey, Pilot; Nancy Currie, Mission Specialist 1; John Grunsfeld, Mission Specialist 2; Rick Linnehan, Mission Specialist 3; Mike Massimino, Mission Specialist 4; Jim Newman, Mission Specialist 5.
ref: www.nasa.gov

Died (complications from liver cancer), John Michael "Mike" Lounge (at Burlington, Colorado, USA), NASA astronaut (STS 51-I, STS 26, STS 35; nearly 20d 2.5h total time in spaceflight)
ref: www.nasa.gov

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