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Race To Space
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               ... but at what cost?
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Born, Eadweard Muybridge, photographer, motion picture pioneer
ref: en.wikipedia.org

H. P. Tuttle discovered asteroid #66 Maja.

Born, Charles Proteus Steinmetz (at Breslau, Prussia), experimented with lightning and AC electricity
ref: edisontechcenter.org

Born, James Smith McDonnell, aviation pioneer, founder of McDonnell Aircraft Corporation (later McDonnell Douglas, subsequently bought by Boeing)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

P. Lowell discovered asteroid #793 Arizona.

Born, J. Presper Eckert, inventor of the ENIAC computer
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Milburn G. Apt (at Buffalo, Kansas, USA), Captain USAF, test pilot (deceased, X-2 in-flight failure)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1180 Rita.

H. Alikoski discovered asteroid #1715 Salli.

Y. Vaisala discovered asteroid #2639 Planman.

Born, Kenneth D. Cockrell (at Austin, Texas, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (STS 56, STS 69, STS 80, STS 98, STS 111; nearly 64d 12.5h total time in spaceflight)
Astronaut Ken Cockrell, STS-98 mission commander, NASA photo 9774362081_97a60d6838_n.jpg
Astronaut Ken Cockrell, STS-98 mission commander, NASA photo
ref: www.nasa.gov

NASA announced the first seven US astronauts, introducing the "Mercury Seven" at a press conference.
The original Mercury Seven astronauts, NASA press photo Source: NASA's
The original Mercury Seven astronauts, NASA press photo
Source: NASA's "The Mercury Astronauts" page

The first seven Mercury program astronauts chosen by NASA were announced to the public on 9 April 1958 at a press conference in Washington, D.C. All were experienced test pilots. They were: Air Force Captain L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., Air Force Captain Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Air Force Captain Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, Marine Lieutenant Colonel John H. Glenn, Jr., Navy Lieutenant M. Scott Carpenter, Navy Lieutenant Commander Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and Navy Lieutenant Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

All seven eventually flew in space. Alan Shepard was the first American in space and became the only Mercury astronaut to go to the Moon. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, and became the oldest person (to date, in 2021) to fly in space. Gus Grissom died in a launch pad fire during a test for the upcoming first Apollo flight.
ref: www.nasa.gov

NASA's Explorer 9 re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Explorer 9, launched 16 February 1961, was the first spacecraft placed in orbit by an all-solid rocket, and the first spacecraft successfully launched from Wallops Island. It was the first in a series of 12 foot (3.66 m) inflatable spheres successfully placed into orbit for the determination of atmospheric densities. The spacecraft consisted of alternating layers of aluminum foil and Mylar polyester film. Uniformly distributed over the aluminum surface were 2 inch (5.1 cm) diameter dots of white paint for thermal control. The sphere was packed in a tube 8.5 inches (21.6 cm) in diameter and 19 inches (48.3 cm) long and mounted in the nose of the fourth stage of the launch vehicle. Upon separation of the third and fourth stages, a nitrogen gas bottle inflated the sphere and a separation spring ejected it out into its own orbit.

The two hemispheres of aluminum foil were separated with a gap of Mylar at the spacecraft's equator and served as the antenna. A 136 MHz, 15 mW beacon, powered by solar cells and rechargable batteries, was carried for tracking purposes. The beacon failed on the first orbit, so the SAO Baker-Nunn camera network had to be relied upon for tracking.

Explorer 9 reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 9 April 1964.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Born, Serena Maria Aunon-Chancellor MD (at Indianapolis, Indiana, USA), NASA astronaut (ISS 56/57; over 196d 17.75h in spaceflight)
Astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor MD, NASA photo aunon_serena_m.jpg?itok=fevKgfOC
Astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor MD, NASA photo
ref: www.nasa.gov

1980 13:38:00 GMT
USSR Soyuz 35 carried cosmonauts Leonid Popov and Valeri Ryumin to the Salyut 6 space station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1983 10:53:42 PST (GMT -8:00:00)
NASA's STS 6 (Challenger 1, 6th Shuttle mission) ended after carrying the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-1 (TDRS-1) to orbit, and after the first Shuttle space walk.

Challenger's first launch was originally set for 20 January 1983, but was postponed due to a hydrogen leak into the number one main engine aft compartment discovered during a 20 second Flight Readiness Firing (FRF) on 18 December 1982. Cracks in the number one main engine were confirmed to be the cause of the leak during the second FRF performed 25 January 1983. All three main engines were removed while the Shuttle was on the pad and the fuel line cracks were repaired. Main engines two and three were reinstalled following extensive failure analysis and testing, while the number one main engine was replaced. An additional delay was caused by contamination to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-1 (TDRS-1) during a severe storm. The launch of STS 6 on 4 April 1983 then proceeded as scheduled.

The primary payload for STS 6 was the first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-1). A malfunction of the Inertial Upper Stage booster resulted in placement of the spacecraft into an improper but stable orbit. Additional propellant aboard the satellite was used over the next several months to gradually place TDRS-1 into its properly circularized orbit.

The first space walk of the Shuttle program was performed on 7 April 1983 by Peterson and Musgrave, lasting about four hours, 17 minutes.

Other payloads on STS 6 were: Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR), Radiation Monitoring Experiment (RME), Night/Day Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL), and three Get Away Special (GAS) canisters. This mission used the first lightweight external tank and lightweight solid rocket booster casings.

STS 6 ended on 9 April 1983 when Challenger landed on revolution 81 on Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 7,244 feet. Rollout time: 49 seconds. Orbit altitude: 184 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.5 degrees. Mission duration: five days, zero hours, 23 minutes, 42 seconds. Miles Traveled: 2.1 million. The orbiter was returned to Kennedy Space Center 16 April 1983.

The flight crew for STS 6 was: Paul J. Weitz, Commander; Karol J. Bobko, Pilot; Donald H. Peterson, Mission Specialist; F. Story Musgrave, Mission Specialist.
ref: www.nasa.gov

1994 07:05:00 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA launched STS 59 (Endeavour 6, 62nd Shuttle mission) carrying the Space Radar Laboratory on the SRL-1 mission.

The STS 59 launch originally set for 7 April 1994 was postponed at the T-27 hour mark for one day to allow for additional inspections of metallic vanes in the SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engine) high pressure oxidizer preburner pumps. The launch on 8 April was scrubbed due to weather: high crosswinds and low clouds at the Shuttle Launch Facility and clouds at the launch pad. The countdown 9 April 1994 proceeded smoothly.

The primary payload for STS 59 was the Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-1), located in the payload bay; it was activated by the crew and operated by teams on the ground. SRL-1 included the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C and the X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR), and an atmospheric instrument called Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellites (MAPS). The German Space Agency (DARA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) provided the X-SAR instrument. SIR-C/X-SAR covered approximately 38.5 million square miles of the Earth, the equivalent of 20 percent of the planet. More than 400 sites were imaged, including 19 primary observation sites (supersites) in Brazil, Michigan, North Carolina and Central Europe. Thirteen countries were represented in the project with 49 principal investigators and more than 100 scientists, coordinated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Some 133 hours of data were collected. The MAPS experiment measured the global distribution of carbon monoxide in the troposphere, or lower atmosphere.

Get Away Special (GAS) experiments were sponsored by New Mexico State University, Matra Marconi Space (France), and the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies.

The Consortium for Materials Development in Space Complex Autonomous Payload-IV (CONCAP IV), carried in GAS hardware in the payload bay, was developed by the University of Alabama-Huntsville. It produced crystals and thin films through physical vapor transportation.

Middeck experiments included the Visual Function Tester-4 (VFT-4), Space Tissue Loss-4 and -5; and the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).

The mission also marked the first flight of the Toughened Uni-Piece Fibrous Insulation, known as TUFI, an improved thermal protection tile. Several test tiles were placed on the orbiter's base heat shield between the three main engines.

STS 59 ended on 20 April 1994 when Endeavour landed on revolution 183 on Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California. The landing originally was planned for Kennedy Space Center on 19 April, but two landing opportunities were waved off due to low clouds and possible thunderstorms in the area. An early landing opportunity on 20 April was also waved off in favor of landings at Edwards. Rollout distance: 10,691 feet (3,259 meters). Rollout time: 54 seconds. Orbit altitude: 121 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 57 degrees. Mission duration: 11 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, 30 seconds. Miles Traveled: 4.7 million. The orbiter was returned to the Kennedy Space Center by the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft on 2 May 1994.

The flight crew for STS 59 was: Sidney M. Gutierrez, Commander; Kevin P. Chilton, Pilot; Linda M. Godwin, Payload Commander; Jay Apt, Mission Specialist 1; Michael R. Clifford, Mission Specialist 2; Thomas D. Jones, Mission Specialist 4.
ref: www.nasa.gov

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