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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
Visit RaceToSpaceProject.com to find out more!

Born, Francesco M. Grimaldi, mathematician, physicist (light defraction)
ref: www.faculty.fairfield.edu

Born, Erastus B. Bigelow, American industrialist; founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ref: en.wikipedia.org

H. Louis Fizeau and J. Leon Foucault took the first surviving daguerrotype photograph of the Sun.
ref: sunearthday.nasa.gov

R. Luther discovered asteroid #108 Hecuba.

Died, Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of Morse code
ref: en.wikipedia.org

S. I. Belyavskij discovered asteroids #851 Zeissia, #852 Wladilena and #853 Nansenia.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #2500.

Y. Vaisala discovered asteroid #1549 Mikko.

Died, Bernard F. Lyot, French astronomer (chronograph, Lyot-filter)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1963 08:04:00 GMT
USSR launched the Luna 4 spacecraft toward the Moon, the first successful spacecraft of their "second generation" Lunar program.

Luna 4, launched 2 April 1963, was the USSR's first successful spacecraft of their "second generation" Lunar program. The spacecraft, rather than being sent on a straight trajectory toward the Moon, was placed first in an Earth orbit from which an automatic interplanetary station was rocketed towards the Moon.

Luna 4 achieved the desired trajectory but because of a failed mid-course correction, it missed the Moon by 8336.2 km at 13:25 UT on 5 April 1963, and entered a barycentric 90,000x700,000 km Earth orbit. The actual intended mission of the probe is not known. However, it has been speculated the probe was designed to land on the Moon with an instrument package, based on the trajectory, on the later attempted landings of the Luna 5 and 6 spacecraft, and on the fact that a lecture program entitled "Hitting the Moon" was scheduled to be broadcast on Radio Moscow at 7:45 p.m. the evening of April 5 but was cancelled. The spacecraft transmitted at 183.6 MHz at least until 7 April.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1964 02:52:00 GMT
USSR launched the Zond 1 Venus flyby mission, communications failed 6 weeks after launch.
USSR Zond 1 Venus flyby probe, photo courtesy of NASA zond_1.jpg
USSR Zond 1 Venus flyby probe, photo courtesy of NASA

Zond 1 was launched 2 April 1964 from an Earth orbiting platform towards Venus. Communications from the spacecraft failed soon after 14 May 1964. It flew by Venus on 14 July 1964, at a distance of 100,000 km and entered a heliocentric orbit. The announced mission objectives were space research and testing of onboard systems and units.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1969 10:33:00 GMT
The USSR launched Mars 1969B which experienced an engine explosion at liftoff and crashed approximately 41 seconds later.
USSR Mars 1969B probe in assembly, photo courtesy of NASA Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog mars_1969.jpg
USSR Mars 1969B probe in assembly, photo courtesy of NASA
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

This Soviet Mars mission was never officially announced but has since been identified as a planned orbiter. It was launched 27 March 1969. The first stage of the Proton launcher failed almost immediately: At 0.02 seconds after liftoff, one of the six 11D43 first stage rockets exploded. The control system initially compensated for the lost engine and the launch proceeded on 5 engines until 25 seconds after liftoff at approximately 1 km altitude the rocket began to tip over to a horizontal position. The five remaining engines shut down and the rocket impacted and exploded 41 seconds after liftoff approximately 3 km from the launch pad.

The nominal mission plan was to use the first three stages of the Proton booster and the Block-D upper stage to place the spacecraft into an Earth parking orbit. The upper stage would then be reignited after one orbit to begin the escape sequence. The spacecraft main engine would then be used for the final boost to put the spacecraft into its Mars trajectory. The main engine would also be used for two trajectory correction maneuvers during the 6 month cruise to Mars. The main engine would then be used to put the spacecraft into a 1700x34,000 km capture orbit around Mars with an inclination of 40 degrees and a period of 24 hours. Photography and other experiments would take place from this orbit. Then the periapsis would be lowered to 500 to 700 km for a nominal three month session of imaging and data collection from orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

N. Chernykh discovered asteroids #2190 Coubertin and #2593 Buryatia.

A. Gilmore and P. Kilmartin discovered asteroid #3400.

P. Jensen discovered asteroid #3459 Bodil.

1992 06:23:08 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA's STS 45 (Atlantis 11, 46th Shuttle mission) flight ended after carrying the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-1 (ATLAS-1) experiment package to orbit.

The launch of STS 45 was originally set for 23 March 1992, but delayed one day when higher than allowable concentrations of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in the orbiter aft compartment were detected during pre-launch tanking operations. The leaks could not be reproduced during troubleshooting, leading engineers to believe that they resulted from the main propulsion system plumbing not being thermally conditioned to the supercold propellants. The launch was rescheduled for 24 March, when liftoff was delayed about 13 minutes due to low-level clouds at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle runway.

STS 45 marked the first flight of the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-1 (ATLAS-1) experiment package, mounted on nondeployable Spacelab pallets in the orbiter cargo bay. The United States, France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Japan provided 12 instruments designed to perform 14 investigations in four fields. Atmospheric science instruments/investigations were: Atmospheric Lyman-Alpha Emissions (ALAE); Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS); Grille Spectrometer (GRILLE); Imaging Spectrometric Observatory (ISO); Millimeter-Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS). Solar Science experiments were: Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM); Measurement of the Solar Constant (SOLCON); Solar Spectrum from 180 to 3,200 Nanometers (SOLSPEC); Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM). Space Plasma Physics experiments were: Atmospheric Emissions Photometric Imaging (AEPI); Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators (SEPAC). The sole ultraviolet astronomy investigation was the Far Ultraviolet Space Telescope (FAUST). On flight day six, mission managers determined enough onboard consumables remained to extend the flight one day to continue the science experiments.

Co-manifested with ATLAS-1, and also located in cargo bay was: Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet/A (SSBUV/A). A single Get Away Special (GAS) canister containing a crystal growth experiment was also flown.

The middeck payloads were: Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); Space Tissue Loss-01 (STL-01); Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III); Visual Function Tester-2 (VFT-2); Cloud Logic to Optimize Use of Defense System (CLOUDS); and Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX II).

STS 45 ended 2 April 1992 when Atlantis landed on revolution 143 on Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Rollout distance: 9,227 feet (2,812 meters). Rollout time: 60 seconds. Launch weight: 233,650 pounds. Landing weight: 205,042 pounds. Orbit altitude: 160 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 57 degrees. Mission duration: eight days, 22 hours, nine minutes, 28 seconds. Miles Traveled: 3.2 million.

The flight crew for STS 45 was: Charles F. Bolden, Commander; Brian Duffy, Pilot; Kathyrn D. Sullivan, Payload Commander; David C. Leestma, Mission Specialist 2; C. Michael Foale, Mission Specialist 3; Byron K. Lichtenberg, Payload Specialist 1; Dirk D. Frimout, Payload Specialist 2.
ref: www.nasa.gov

Died, George E. Mahlberg (at Zihuatanejo, Mexico), astrophysicist, Mt. Palomar/Mt. Wilson, California (1974-78), later worked in the entertainment industry
ref: www.imdb.com

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