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Race To Space
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One of the first scientifically recorded meteorites landed in Possil, in north Glasgow, Scotland.
ref: web.archive.org

A. De Gasparis discovered asteroid #24 Themis.

J. Palisa discovered asteroid #257 Silesia.

A. Kopff discovered asteroid #632 Pyrrha.

Born, Mikhail Sergeyevich Ryazanskiy, Russian Chief Designer of Nll-885 (1946-1951 and 1955-1987), specialized in radio control systems for Soviet rocketry and spacecraft
ref: books.google.com

S. Belyavskij and G. Neujmin discovered asteroid #749 Malzovia.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #2235 Vittore.

C. Jackson discovered asteroid #1116 Catriona.

Born, Donald Lynden-Bell, British astrophysicist best known for his theories that galaxies contain massive black holes at their center and that such black holes are the principal source of energy in quasars
ref: en.wikipedia.org

H. Alikoski discovered asteroid #2714 Matti.

Born, Judith A. "Judy" Resnik PhD (at Akron, Ohio, USA), NASA astronaut (STS 41D, STS 51L-Challenger 10; nearly 6d 1h in spaceflight) (deceased)
Astronaut Judy Resnik, NASA photo (21 September 1978)Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable January 2020) 384px-Judith_A._Resnik%2C_official_portrait.jpg
Astronaut Judy Resnik, NASA photo (21 September 1978)
Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable January 2020)

Judith Arlene Resnik (5 April 1949 - 28 January 1986) was an astronaut who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion during the launch of the mission STS 51-L.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Dr. Resnik received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1970, and a doctorate in that field in 1977 at the University of Maryland. After graduation from Carnegie-Mellon, she was employed at RCA where she was a design engineer, and later worked with various NASA projects contracted to the company. While working toward her doctorate, Dr. Resnik was affiliated with the National Institutes of Health as a biomedical engineer. She later worked as a systems engineer with Xerox Corporation.

Dr. Resnik was selected for the astronaut program in January 1978, and had served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Space Shuttle Discovery (STS 41-D), August-September 1984. She was likewise a mission specialist aboard the Challenger.

in honor of her work, a crater on Venus and Asteroid 3356 ware named after her.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Franklin R. Chang-Diaz PhD (at San Jose, Costa Rica), NASA astronaut (STS 61C, STS 34, STS 46, STS 60, STS 75, STS 91, STS 111; 66d 18.25h total time in spaceflight)
Astronaut Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz, NASA photo Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021) 384px-Changdiaz.jpg
Astronaut Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia (spaceflight.nasa.gov killed 25 Feb 2021)
ref: www.nasa.gov

1962 18:04:00 GMT
NASA civilian pilot Neil A. Armstrong flew the X-15A MH-96 test mission # 49 to an altitude of 180,000 ft (54.864 km, 34.090 mi) with a maximum speed of 2850 mph (Mach 4.12, 4587 kph) in a test of a new automatic control system.

NASA's X-15 mission # 49 was flown 5 April 1962 by civilian test pilot Neil Armstrong in a test of a new automatic control system that was to be used in the Dyna-Soar and Apollo spacecraft. The previous electronic control system had been automatic only while the X-15 was in the atmosphere; the new system was automatic in space as well. X-15 # 56-6672 was air dropped over the Hidden Hills drop zone at Edwards AFB by NB-52 003. The aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 54.864 km (34.091 mi) and a maximum speed of 4587 kph (2850 mph) during the flight.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1975 11:04:54 GMT
The USSR launched the Soyuz 18 flight with cosmonauts Lazarev and Makarov aboard that was aborted shortly less than five minutes after launch.

The Soviets launched the original Soyuz 18 mission on 5 April 1975 carrying commander Vasili Lazarev (an Air Force major) and flight engineer Oleg Makarov (a civilian), intending for them to visit the Salyut 4 space station. However, the mission was aborted because of a launch vehicle malfunction: The launch proceeded according to plan until T+288.6 seconds at an altitude of 192 kilometers, when the second and third stages of the booster began separation. Only three of the six locks holding the stages together released, and the third stage's engine ignited with the second stage still attached below it. The third stage's thrust broke the remaining locks, throwing the second stage free but putting the booster under an unanticipated strain that caused it to deviate from the standard trajectory. At T+295 seconds, the deviation became severe enough that an automatic safety system separated the Soyuz spacecraft from the third stage booster, and then separated the orbital capsule of the spacecraft.

When the safety system initiated separation, the spacecraft was already pointed downward toward Earth, which accelerated its descent significantly. Instead of the pre-calculated load factor in such an emergency situation of 15 G (147 m/s/s), the cosmonauts experienced up to 21.3 G (209 m/s/s). Despite very high overloading, however, the recovery parachutes opened properly and slowed the craft to a successful landing after a flight of only 21 minutes.

Reports differ about where the capsule landed: Some reports indicate it was in a rocky area of the northwestern part of China near Gorno Altaisk, less than a mile (1.6 km) from the Mongolian border and around 50 miles (80 km) from the Soviet border. Other reports indicate it was southwest of Gorno-Altaisk at a point 829 kilometres (515 mi) north of the Chinese border. The capsule reportedly landed on a snow-covered slope and began rolling downhill towards a 152 m (499 ft) sheer drop before it was stopped by the parachutes' becoming snagged on vegetation. The crew was evacuated by Soviet helicopter a few hours after landing, without China being notified. In Brezhnev's time it was not typical to disclose anything about Soviet failures, and so the first detailed publication about the realities of the flight was not made until 1983 in the Army newspaper "Red Banner".

The Soyuz 18"a" flight was the only case to date (2016) of a manned booster accident at high altitude, and the first abort of a manned mission. The mission is referred to in the literature as Soyuz 18-1 or Soyuz 18a, since the following Soyuz mission was also numbered 18 to disguise the accident.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Died, Howard Hughes, film producer, inventor, recluse

Howard Robard Hughes (24 December 1905 - 5 April 1976) was at times a pilot, a movie producer, a playboy, an eccentric, a recluse, and one of the wealthiest people in the world. As a teenager, he declared that his goals in life were to become the world's best golfer, the world's best pilot, and the world's best movie producer. In 1923 while attending Rice University he inherited the highly profitable Hughes Tool Company from his father, Howard R. Hughes, Sr., who invented the diamond-studded drill bit for oil wells. He dropped out of Rice and became CEO of Hughes Tool in 1924 at the age of 19. In aviation, Hughes set many world records, and designed and built aircraft through his Hughes Aircraft company.

One of his most famous projects was the Spruce Goose, a massive flying boat completed just after the end of World War II. The Spruce Goose only flew once, with Hughes at the controls, in 1947. Because of metal rationing during the war, the plane was built largely from wood (birch, rather than spruce as its name would imply). The plane was on display alongside the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California for many years before being moved to McMinnville, Oregon.

On 19 January 1937 Hughes set an air record by flying from Los Angeles to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds. Also, on 10 July 1938, he set another record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Felix Aguilar Observatory discovered asteroid #2928.

E. Bowell discovered asteroided #2383 Bradley and #2433 Sootiyo.

A. Mrkos discovered asteroid #3364.

1990 19:10:17 GMT
The first launch of a Pegasus aircraft-release rocket was performed, and the Pegsat satellite was inserted into polar orbit.
ref: www.northropgrumman.com

Died (commercial airplane crash while on NASA business travel), Sonny Carter, NASA astronaut (STS 33; 5d 6m in spaceflight)

Manley Lanier "Sonny" Carter, Jr. (15 August 1947 - 5 April 1991) was a NASA astronaut who flew on STS-33. He was also selected to fly on STS-42 as a mission specialist at the time of his death in the crash of Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 2311 in Brunswick, Georgia while on travel for NASA.
ref: www.nasa.gov

1991 09:22:44 EST (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA launched STS 37 (Atlantis 8, 39th Shuttle mission) carrying the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) to orbit.

STS 37 was launched 5 April 1991 after a brief delay due to low level clouds in area. Its primary payload, the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), the heaviest shuttle-launched payload to date, was deployed on flight day three (7 April 1991). The GRO high-gain antenna failed to deploy on command; it was finally freed and manually deployed by Ross and Apt during an unscheduled contingency space walk, the first since April 1985. The following day, the two astronauts performed the first scheduled space walk since November 1985 to test means for astronauts to move themselves and equipment about while maintaining the Space Station Freedom, then still in the planning stage. Several times during the flight, Atlantis passed within view of the Mir station. The crew attempted to contact their Soviet conterparts via ham radio, but were unsuccessful.

The GRO science instruments were the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE), Imaging Compton Telescope (COMPTEL), Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) and Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSEE). Secondary payloads on STS 37 included Crew and Equipment Translation Aids (CETA), which involved a scheduled six hour space walk by astronauts Ross and Apt (see above); Ascent Particle Monitor (APM); Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX II); Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Bioserve/Instrumentation Technology Associates Materials Dispersion Apparatus (BIMDA); Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III); and the Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

STS 37 ended on 11 April 1991 when Atlantis landed on revolution 93 on Runway 33, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 6,364 feet. Rollout time: 54 seconds. Launch weight: 255,824 pounds. Landing weight: 190,098 pounds. Orbit altitude: 248 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Mission duration: five days, 23 hours, 32 minutes, 44 seconds. Miles Traveled: 2.5 million. The landing was originally scheduled for 10 April, but was delayed one day due to weather conditions at Edwards and KSC. The orbiter was returned to Kennedy Space Center on 18 April 1991.

The flight crew for STS 37 was: Steven R. Nagel, Commander; Kenneth D. Cameron, Pilot; Jerry L. Ross, Mission Specialist 1; Jay Apt, Mission Specialist 2; Linda M. Godwin, Mission Specialist 3.
ref: www.nasa.gov

NASA's Galileo probe made its third Ganymede flyby during its seventh orbit of Jupiter.
ref: web.archive.org

Died (natural causes), Vitali Ivanovich Sevastyanov (at Moscow, Russian Federation), Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 9, Soyuz 18; over 80d 16.25h total time in spaceflight)
ref: www.spacefacts.de

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