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Race To Space
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585 B.C.
The first known predicted solar eclipse occurred, predicted by Thales, while Alyattes was battling Cyaxares, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Carl Richard Nyberg, inventor (blowtorch)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

A. Borrelly discovered asteroid #99 Dike.

Born, Milutin Milankovic, Serbian astronomer, metorologist (climate change due to variations of insolation)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

P. Gotz discoverd asteroids #566 Stereoskopiab and #567 Eleutheria.

C. Jackson discovered asteroid #1712 Angola.

Robert Goddard's rocket designs were rejected by the US military.

Robert H. Goddard offered all his research data, patents, and facilities for use by the military services at a meeting with representatives of Army Ordnance, Army Air Corps, and Navy Bureau of Aeronautics arranged by Harry Guggenheim. Nothing resulted from this except an expression of possible use of rockets in jet-assisted take-offs of aircraft.
ref: www.spaceline.org

Born, Paul Desmond Scully-Power (at Sydney, Australia), NASA payload specialist astronaut (STS 41G; nearly 8d 5.5h in spaceflight)
Astronaut Paul D. Scully-Power, NASA photo Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable May 2019) Astronaut_paul_desmond_scully_power.jpg
Astronaut Paul D. Scully-Power, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable May 2019)
ref: www.nasa.gov

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

The RAND Corporation proposed a Lunar instrument carrier based on the Atlas booster.

The RAND Corporation issued the first of a series of reports on the feasibility of a Lunar instrument carrier, based on the use of an Atlas booster. A braking rocket would decelerate the vehicle before Lunar landing, and a penetration spike on the forward point of the instrument package would help to absorb the 500 feet per second impact velocity. Instruments would then transmit information on the Lunar surface to Earth.
ref: www.hq.nasa.gov

1959 07:35:00 GMT
The US Army launched Jupiter AM-18 with 2 "monkeynauts" named Able and Baker aboard, the first recovery of living creatures from a flight through near space.

The US Army launched Jupiter AM-18 on 28 May 1959 with 2 monkeys named Able and Baker aboard, to test the effects of cosmic radiation, increased gravity, and weightlessness on the live passengers and biomedical experiments of material housed in the nose cone. Able was a 7 pound (3.18 kilogram) American born rhesus monkey, Baker an 11 ounce (311.9 gram) squirrel monkey, and the biomedical experiments were yeast, corn, mustard seeds, fruit-fly larvae, human blood, mold spore, and fish eggs. The biomedical experiments were for NASA analysis. The animals were recovered unharmed within one and one-half hours after lift-off, after a sub-orbital flight that took 16 minutes. This milestone marked the first recovery of living creatures from a flight through near space.

Telemetry data disclosed that the responses of the animals were normal for the conditions they were experiencing. During the boost phase, when the higher g-loads were being sustained, body temperature, respiration, pulse rate, and heartbeat rose but were well within tolerable limits. During the weightless period along the trajectory arc, the physiological responses of Able and Baker approached normal - so near, in fact, that according to telemetry data, Baker appeared either to doze or to become drowsy. Upon reentry, the responses rose again, but at landing the animals were nearing a settled physiological state. This flight was another milestone proving that life could be sustained in a space environment.

The flight, also called the Jupiter Bioflight 2 Test/Ionosphere mission, impacted between 0.1 and 0.4 nm (185-740 m) from the target across a 1,302 nm (2411 km) range, with an apogee of 315,000 feet (96 km).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1962 03:07:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 5 (also called Sputnik 15) for monitoring artificial radiation, investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space, and development of elements in the design of spacecraft.

Cosmos 5, launched 28 May 1962, was one of a series of Soviet Earth satellites whose purpose was to study outer space, the upper layers of the atmosphere, and Earth. Scientific data and measurements were relayed to Earth by multichannel telemetry systems equipped with space borne memory units.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1964 17:02:00 GMT
NASA successfully launched Saturn SA-6, with the boilerplate Apollo Command Module BP-13 on the SA-6 Saturn I booster, to prove spacecraft/launch vehicle compatibility. No recovery was planned; the CM disintegrated on reentry on the 54th orbit.
Saturn SA-6 on the launch pad, NASA photo Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog apollo_sa6_prelaunch.jpg
Saturn SA-6 on the launch pad, NASA photo
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1965 17:43:00 GMT
NASA launched X-15A Radiometer/Scan/BLN Test/Aeronomy mission # 134 in which Air Force Colonel Joe Engle reached a maximum speed of 3754 mph (6041 kph, Mach 5.17) and a maximum altitude of 210,000 ft (63.886 km, 39.697 mi).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1971 15:26:30 GMT
USSR launched the Mars 3 orbiter and lander, the first soft-lander to reach the Martian surface.
Illustration of USSR's Mars 3 probe Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog mars3_iki.jpg
Illustration of USSR's Mars 3 probe
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

The Mars 2 and Mars 3 missions consisted of nearly identical spacecraft, each with a bus/orbiter module and an attached descent/lander module. The primary scientific objectives of the Mars 3 orbiter were to image the Martian surface and clouds, determine the temperature on Mars, study the topography, composition and physical properties of the surface, measure properties of the atmosphere, monitor the solar wind and the interplanetary and Martian magnetic fields, and act as a communications relay to send signals from the lander to Earth.

Mars 3 was launched towards Mars on 28 May 1971. A mid-course correction was made on 8 June. The descent module was released at 09:14 UT on 2 December 1971, 4 hours 35 minutes before reaching Mars. The descent module entered the Martian atmosphere, and through aerodynamic braking, parachutes, and retro-rockets, the lander achieved a soft landing and began operations. Meanwhile, the orbiter had suffered from a partial loss of fuel and did not have enough remaining to put itself into the planned 25 hour orbit. The engine instead performed a truncated burn, which put the spacecraft into a long 12 day, 19 hour period orbit about Mars with an inclination thought to be similar to that of Mars 2 (48.9 degrees).

Fifteen minutes after the Mars 3 descent module was released, the descent engine was fired to point the aeroshield forward. At 13:47 UT, the module entered the Martian atmosphere at 5.7 km/sec at an angle of less than 10 degrees. The braking parachute was then deployed, followed by the main canopy which was reefed until the craft dropped below supersonic velocity, when it was fully deployed, the heat shield was ejected, and the radar altimeter was turned on. At an altitude of 20 to 30 meters, at a velocity of 60-110 m/s, the main parachute was disconnected, and a small rocket propelled it off to the side. Simultaneously, the lander retrorockets were fired. The entire atmospheric entry sequence took a little over 3 minutes.

Mars 3 impacted the surface at 45 degrees S, 158 degrees W, at a reported velocity of 20.7 m/s (approximately 46 mph), at 13:50:35 UT. Shock absorbers inside the capsule were designed to prevent damage to the instruments. The four petal shaped covers opened and the capsule began transmitting to the Mars 3 orbiter at 13:52:05 UT, 90 seconds after landing. After 20 seconds, at 13:52:25, transmission stopped for unknown reasons, and no further signals were received at Earth from the Martian surface. It is not known whether the fault originated with the lander or the communications relay on the orbiter. A partial panoramic image returned showed no detail and a very low illumination of 50 lux. The cause of the failure may have been related to the extremely powerful Martian dust storm taking place at the time, which would also explain the poor image lighting. (It has also been suggested that the 20 second transmission never occurred and was simply propaganda to allow the Soviets to claim the first Mars soft landing.)

For scientific experiments (most mounted in a hermetically sealed compartment) the Mars 3 orbital bus carried: a 1 kg infrared radiometer with an 8- to 40-micron range to determine the temperature of the Martian surface to -100 degrees C; a photometer to conduct spectral analysis by absorption of atmospheric water vapor concentrations in the 1.38-micron line; an infrared photometer; an ultraviolet photometer to detect atomic hydrogen, oxygen, and argon; a Lyman-alpha sensor to detect hydrogen in the upper atmosphere; a visible range photometer covering six narrow ranges between 0.35 and 0.70 microns; a radiotelescope and radiometer instrument to determine the reflectivity of the surface and atmosphere in the visible (0.3 to 0.6 microns) and the radio-reflectivity of the surface in the 3.4 cm range and the dielectric permeability to give a temperature estimate to a depth of 35 to 50 cm below the surface; and an infrared spectrometer to measure the 2.06 micron carbon dioxide absorption band, allowing an estimate of the abundance along a line of sight to determine the optical thickness of the atmosphere and hence the surface relief. The Mars 3 orbiter also carried a French-built experiment which was not carried on Mars 2. Called Spectrum 1, the instrument measured solar radiation at metric wavelengths in conjunction with Earth-based receivers to study the cause of solar outbursts. The Spectrum 1 antenna was mounted on one of the solar panels.

Additionally, the craft carried a phototelevision unit with one 350 mm focal length 4 degree narrow angle camera and one 52 mm focal length wide angle camera, on the same axis and having several light filters, including red, green, blue, and UV. The imaging system returned 1000x1000 element scanned pictures with a resolution of 10 to 100 meters by facsimile after development in an automatic onboard laboratory. Radio occultation experiments were also performed when communications transmissions passed through the Martian atmosphere, in which the refraction of the signals gave information on the atmospheric structure. During the flight to Mars, measurements were made of galactic cosmic rays and solar corpuscular radiation. Eight separate narrow angle electrostatic plasma sensors were on board to determine the speed, temperature, and composition of the Solar wind in the range 30 to 10,000 eV. A three axis magnetometer to measure the interplanetary and Martian fields was mounted on a boom extending from one of the solar panels.

The Mars descent module consisted of a spherical 1.2 m diameter landing capsule, a 2.9 m diameter conical aerodynamic braking shield, a parachute system, and retro-rockets. The entire descent module had a fueled mass of 1210 kg, the spherical landing capsule accounted for 358 kg of this. An automatic control system consisting of gas micro-engines and pressurized nitrogen containers provided attitude control. Four "gunpowder" engines were mounted on the outer edge of the cone to control pitch and yaw. The main and auxiliary parachutes, the engine to initiate the landing, and the radar altimeter were mounted on the top section of the lander. Foam was used to absorb shock within the descent module. The landing capsule had four triangular petals which opened after landing, righting the spacecraft and exposing the instrumentation.

The lander was equipped with two television cameras with a 360 degree view of the surface as well as a mass spectrometer to study atmospheric composition; temperature, pressure, and wind sensors; and devices to measure mechanical and chemical properties of the surface, including a mechanical scoop to search for organic materials and signs of life. It also contained a pennant with the Soviet coat of arms. Four aerials protruded from the top of the sphere to provide communications with the orbiter via an onboard radio system. The equipment was powered by batteries which were charged by the orbiter prior to separation. Temperature control was maintained through thermal insulation and a system of radiators. The landing capsule was sterilized before launch to prevent contamination of the Martian environment.

The Mars 2 and 3 landers carried a small walking robot called PROP-M. The robot had a mass of 4.5 kg and was tethered to the lander by a cable for direct communication. The rover was designed to "walk" on a pair of skis to the limit of the 15 m cable length. The rover carried a dynamic penetrometer and a radiation densitometer. The main PROP-M frame was a squat box with a small protrusion at the center. The frame was supported on two wide flat skis, one extending down from each side elevating the frame slightly above the surface. At the front of the box were obstacle detection bars. The rover was planned to be placed on the surface after landing by a manipulator arm, and to move in the field of view of the television cameras and stop to make measurements every 1.5 meters. The traces of movement in the Martian soil would also be recorded to determine material properties.

The Mars 2 and 3 orbiters sent back a large volume of data from December 1971 to March 1972, although transmissions continued through August. It was announced Mars 2 and 3 had completed their missions by 22 August 1972, after 362 orbits completed by Mars 2 and 20 orbits by Mars 3. The probes sent back a total of 60 pictures. The images and data revealed mountains as high as 22 km, atomic hydrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere, surface temperatures ranging from -110 degrees C to +13 degrees C, surface pressures of 5.5 to 6 mb, water vapor concentrations 5000 times less than in Earth's atmosphere, the base of the ionosphere starting at 80 to 110 km altitude, and grains from dust storms as high as 7 km in the atmosphere. The data enabled creation of surface relief maps, and gave information on the Martian gravity and magnetic fields.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

USSR's Salyut 2 space station re-entered the Earth's atmosphere after an unsuccessful mission.

The Salyut 2 space station, launched 4 April 1973, was designed for scientific research and testing of onboard systems and units. Salyut 2 was intended for service as a space station for experiments and observations. On 11 April 1973, a suspected thruster problem caused craft to tumble out of control, resulting in four solar panels being torn loose from the space station, and cutting off all power to the space station. The craft reentered the Earth's atmosphere 28 May 1973.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

E. F. Helin discovered asteroid #2050 Francis.

1975 00:28:00 GMT
USSR launched a single Kosmos 11K65M booster from Plesetsk carrying eight communications satellites, Cosmos 732 - Cosmos 739, into orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1984 14:12:00 GMT
USSR launched Progress 22 to the Salyut 7 space station.

Progress 22 was launched 28 May 1984 to transport various cargoes to the Salyut 7 orbital station. It docked with Salyut 7 on 30 May 1984 at 15:47:00 GMT, undocked on 15 Jul 1984 at 13:36:00 GMT, and was destroyed in reentry on 15 Jul 1984 at 18:52:00 GMT. Total free-flight time: 2.28 days. Total docked time: 45.91 days.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1984 21:52:00 GMT
USSR launched a single Kosmos 11K65M booster from Plesetsk carrying eight communications satellites, Cosmos 1559 - Cosmos 1566, into orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Cosmonauts Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Soloviyov performed the 3h 40m PE-6 EVA 1 at the USSR Salyut 7 space station to install a truss while visiting from Mir.
ref: www.spacefacts.de

1986 07:50:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 1746 from Plesetsk, a third generation, high resolution Soviet photo surveillance satellite, "for investigation of the natural resources of the Earth."
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

During the 21 minute (internal) "EVA" Mir EO-18-4, cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennadi Strekalov repositioned a docking adapter at the Mir space station to support relocation of the Kristall module.
ref: www.spacefacts.de

1997 09:23:00 PDT (GMT -7:00:00)
Linda Finch completed Amelia Earhart's attempted around-the-world flight.
ref: www.sfgate.com

1999 23:24:00 CDT (GMT -5:00:00)
NASA's STS 96 (Discovery) docked at the International Space Station (ISS), the first docking of the Shuttle to the ISS.

On 27 May 1999, NASA launched the space shuttle Discovery as STS 96 to visit the new International Space Station (ISS) for six days of docked activities. This flight was the first shuttle docking at the fledgling space outpost. Its configuration at the time consisted of the PMA-2 docking port, NASA's Unity node, the NASA-owned, Russian-built Zarya module, and the PMA-1 docking unit connecting Unity and Zarya. Discovery docked at the PMA-2 end of the International Space Station on 29 May 1999.

The major objective of the mission was the transfer of almost two tons of logistical supplies to the ISS. The supplies were used to not only continue the outfitting of the Unity and Zarya modules already joined together in orbit, but for use by a subsequent Shuttle assembly crew to set up the Russian Service Module for occupancy by a three man crew early in 2000.

The seven crew members also collected data from an experiment designed to test the amount of vibration imparted on shuttle-based payloads, and began to demonstrate the effect of shuttle technological upgrades, through the use of orbiter health monitoring devices designed to improve the quality of life aboard future shuttles while making their use more efficient.

The first major task for the shuttle astronauts was a spacewalk to outfit the Zarya and Unity Modules and the mating adapter to which they are attached. Astronauts Tamara Jernigan and Daniel Barry conducted a 7 hour, 55 minute spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly on 30 May 1999. Their assignments included installing foot restraints, handrails and tool bags for use by future spacewalkers on the station. They also installed two cranes and an insulating cover, and then inspected an early communications system on the Unity Module: The ODS/EAL docking/airlock truss carried two TSA (Tool Stowage Assembly) packets with space walk tools. The Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC), built by Energia and DASA-Bremen, carried parts of the Strela crane and the US OTD crane, as well as the SHOSS box containing three bags of tools and equipment to store on ISS's exterior.

After the EVA, the crew focused on transferring nearly 1,360 kilograms (3,000 pounds) of equipment from the shuttle to the ISS for use by future station crews. They transferred equipment from the Spacehab Logistics Double Module in the shuttle's payload bay to the interior of the station. The crew also replaced battery recharge controller modules in the six batteries stored inside the Zarya Module. A power distribution unit and transceiver in the Unity Module was replaced, enabling controllers from Mission Control in Houston, Texas to send comands to the station via an Early Communications System.

Discovery undocked from the ISS on 3 June, leaving the station without a crew aboard, as planned.

On 5 June, the astronauts deployed a small satellite from the payload bay called STARSHINE, which was observed by international students on Earth as they calculated its precise orbit and the rate of its orbital decay over time.

STS 96 ended on 6 June 1999 when Discovery landed on Runway 15 at the Shuttle Landing Facility, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. It was the eleventh night landing in the shuttle program history as Discovery completed a 6.4-million kilometer (4-million mile) trek to resupply the ISS. Orbit altitude: 210 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 51.6 degrees.

The flight crew for STS 96 was: Kent V. Rominger, Commander; Rick D. Husband, Pilot; Tamara E. Jernigan, Mission Specialist 1; Ellen Ochoa, Mission Specialist 2; Daniel T. Barry, Mission Specialist 3; Julie Payette, Mission Specialist 4; Valery Tokarev, Mission Specialist 5.
ref: www.nasa.gov

NASA announced that the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter's Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) had detected large amounts of hydrogen, a sign that there must be ice lying within a meter of the planet's surface.

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

2002 18:15:00 GMT
Russia launched the Cosmos 2389 navigation satellite from Plesetsk. The Parus navigation satellite was placed in Plane 4, probably replacing Cosmos 2336; it was between the planes of Cosmos 2366 and Cosmos 2361.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died (heart attack), Oleg Makarov, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 12, Salyut 6 EP-1, Salyut 6 EO-5, survived the first manned spaceflight abort during launch, Soyuz 18-1; over 20d 17.25h total time in spaceflight)

Oleg Grigorievich Makarov (6 January 1933 - 28 May 2003) was a Russian cosmonaut. He was selected for cosmonaut training in 1966. At first he did work on the Soviet Lunar program, and was training with Aleksei Leonov for a circumlunar flight. However after the success of Apollo 8 the flight was cancelled. His first spaceflight was Soyuz 12 in 1973, a test flight to check the changes made to the Soyuz spacecraft after the Soyuz 11 disaster. His second flight was Soyuz 18a, aborted shortly after launch with an emergency landing in north-west China. With his third launch on Soyuz 27 he flew to space station Salyut 6, and landed 5 days later with the Soyuz 26 spacecraft. His last mission was Soyuz T-3, during which several repairs on Salyut 6 were done. He was also in backup crews for the flight Soyuz 17 and Soyuz T-2. Altogether he spent 20 days 17 hours 44 minutes in space. After his final spaceflight he continued to work for Energia, both in the Mir space station program as well as the Energia-Buran development.

He died in Moscow, Russia, on 28 May 2003 from a heart attack.
ref: www.spacefacts.de

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