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The Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to publicly recant his scientific view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe. (On 31 October 1992, the Vatican admitted it was wrong.)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

The Royal Greenwich Observatory was founded by order of King Charles II.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

G. Shajn discovered asteroid #1058 Grubba.

Born, Yuri Petrovich Artyukhin (at Pershutino, Moscow Oblast, Russian SFSR), Colonel Soviet AF Reserve, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 14; 15d 17.5h in spaceflight), member of the first USSR military space station mission (deceased)
Cosmonaut Yury Artyukhin portrayed on a USSR stampSource: Wikipedia Yury_Artyukhin.jpg
Cosmonaut Yury Artyukhin portrayed on a USSR stamp
Source: Wikipedia
ref: www.spacefacts.de

JPL fired the first of a series of 3,544 Loki solid-propellant antiaircraft missiles at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexio. The Loki rocket was later used in ONR Rockoon upper atmosphere balloon-launched rocket research soundings.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1959 20:16:00 GMT
NASA attempted launch of the Vanguard 3B radiation balance satellite from Cape Canaveral, but the rocket had a stage 2 propulsion malfunction, and only reached an apogee of 140 km (87 mi).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1960 05:54:00 GMT
The US Navy launched the Transit 2A navigation satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a flight which also carried the Solrad 1 satellite, which collected solar radiation data.
Transit 2A and SOLRAD 1 in launch configuration, NASA photo Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog transit_2a_solrad_1.jpg
Transit 2A and SOLRAD 1 in launch configuration, NASA photo
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1965 17:44:00 GMT
NASA and the US Air Force launched X-15A-2 Stability, ST, gear test mission # 137 in which John McKay reached a maximum speed of 3938 mph (6338 kph, Mach 5.64) and a maximum altitude of 155,900 ft (47.518 km, 29.526 mi).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1967 21:57:00 GMT
NASA and the US Air Force launched X-15A HT/Telemetry test mission # 183 in which William H. Dana reached a maximum speed of 3611 mph (5811 kph, Mach 5.34) and a maximum altitude of 82,200 ft (25.055 km, 15.568 mi).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1973 13:49:48 GMT
NASA's Skylab 2 (SL-2 mission, 73-032A) mission ended when astronauts Conrad, Kerwin, and Weitz returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after their stay in the Skylab space station.

Skylab 2, launched 25 May 1973, has been described as an "epic repair mission" which brought NASA's Skylab orbital laboratory into working order. Among the flight's events are such great moments as astronaut Pete Conrad being "flung through space by the whiplash" after heaving on a jammed solar panel just as the debris constraining it gave way, and deployment of a lightweight solar shield, developed in Houston in one week, which brought the internal temperatures down to tolerable levels. With this flight, the US again took the manned spaceflight duration record.

The spacecraft was almost identical to the Command and Service Module (CSM) used for the Apollo Moon missions. Modifications were made to accomodate the long duration Skylab missions, and to allow the spacecraft to remain semi-dormant while docked to the Skylab cluster. The mission of the spacecraft was to ferry a crew of three to the Skylab complex and return them to Earth.

The basic flight objectives were: operation of the orbital workshop as a habitable space structure for up to 28 days; acquisition of medical data on the crew for use in extending the duration of manned flight; and in-flight experiments. The mission was considered successful: The crew made repairs to the workshop damaged during launch (Skylab parasol), although they experienced some difficulty in performing the docking procedure.

Skylab 2, consisting of a modified Apollo CSM payload and a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into a 357 by 156 km Earth orbit approximately 10 minutes after liftoff. During the six hours following orbit insertion, four maneuvers placed the CSM into a 424 by 415 km orbit for rendezvous with the Skylab Orbital Workshop (OWS). Normal rendezvous sequencing led to stationkeeping during the fifth revolution, followed by a flyaround inspection of the damage to the OWS. The crew provided a verbal description of the damage in conjunction with 15 minutes of television coverage. The solar array system wing (beam) 2 was completely missing. The solar array system wing (beam) 1 was slightly deployed, restrained by a fragment of the meteoroid shield. Large sections of the meteoroid shield were missing. Following the flyaround inspection, the CSM soft-docked with the OWS at 5:56 pm EDT to plan the next activities. At 6:45 pm EDT, the CSM undocked and extravehicular activity was initiated to deploy the beam 1 solar array. The attempt failed. Frustration of the crew was compounded when eight attempts were required to achieve hard docking with the OWS. The hard dock was made at 11:50 pm EDT, terminating a Skylab 2 first day crew work period of 22 hours.

After the failed attempt to deploy the stuck solar panel, the astronauts set up the "parasol" as a replacement sunshade. The "fix" worked, and temperatures inside dropped low enough so that the crew could enter. Two weeks later, Conrad and Kerwin conducted a space-walk, and after a struggle, were able to free the stuck solar panel and begin electricity flowing to their new "home."

For nearly a month, astronauts Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr. (Commander), Paul J. Weitz (Pilot), and Joseph P. Kerwin (Science Pilot) made further repairs to the OWS, conducted medical experiments, gathered solar and Earth science data, and used some 29,000 frames of film with a total of 392 hours of experiments. They spent 26 days, 16 hours working in the OWS before returning to Earth on 22 June 1973 (total flight time 28+ days: 672 hours 49 minutes 49 seconds). Skylab 2 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean 9.6 km from the recovery ship, USS Ticonderoga.

The Skylab 2 astronauts spent 28 days in space, which doubled the previous US record. The mission set the records for the longest duration manned spacelight, greatest distance travelled, and greatest mass docked in space, and Conrad set the record for most time in space for a single astronaut.

The Skylab2 Command Module is displayed at the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida.

See also NASA's Skylab Operations Summary at the Internet Archive
ref: history.nasa.gov

1976 18:04:00 GMT
USSR launched the Salyut 5 orbital research laboratory from Baikonur.

Salyut 5, launched 22 June 1976, was the second successful flight of the USSR Almaz manned military space station. Structurally similar to Salyut 3, it had a total mass of approximately 18-19 tons. It had two solar panels laterally mounted on the center of the station, and a detachable recovery module, for the return of research data and materials. Tracking ships with Academician Sergei Korolev and Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin were stationed in the Atlantic and Caribean to provide communications when out of tracking range of the USSR. Salyut 5 operated for 409 days, during which the crews of Soyuz 22 (7 July - 24 August 1976) and 24 (8 February 8 - 25 February 1977) visited the station. Soyuz 23 was also to have docked (15 October 1976), but its long distance rendezvous system failed. Soyuz 25 was planned, but the mission would have been incomplete due to low orientation fuel on Salyut 5, so it was cancelled.

During the flight of Salyut 5 a "parallel crew" worked in a duplicate station on the ground. They conducted the same operations in support of over 300 astrophysical, geophysical, technological, and medical/biological experiments. Astrophysics studies included an infrared telescope-spectrometer in the 2-15 micrometer range, which also obtained solar spectra. Earth resources studies were conducted as well as Kristall, Potok, Diffuziya, Sfera, and Reatsiya technology experiments. Presumably Salyut 5 was equipped with a SAR side-looking radar for reconnaissance of land and sea targets even through cloud cover.

The film capsule was ejected 22 February 1977, the station was deorbited on 8 August 1977. In addition to the human crew, two Russian tortoises (Testudo horsfieldi) and Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were flown.

The results of the Salyut 3 and 5 flights showed that manned reconnaissance was not worth the expense. There was minimal time to operate the equipment after the crew took the necessary time for maintenance of station housekeeping and environmental control systems. The experiments themselves showed good results, especially the value of reconnaissance of the same location in many different spectral bands and parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

James W. Christy of the U.S. Naval Observatory discovered Pluto's moon Charon while examining photographic plates taken observing the planet.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

A satellite (SPAS-01) was retrieved from orbit using the Space Shuttle remote manipulator system for the first time during the STS 7 mission.

The launch of STS 7 on 18 June 1983 proceeded as scheduled with no delays.

Flying on STS 7, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space. The flight also represented the first use of the robotic arm remote manipulator system (RMS) to deploy and retrieve a satellite. Two communications satellites were deployed, ANIK C-2 for TELESAT Canada, and PALAPA-B1 for Indonesia, both attached to Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D) motors. Seven Get Away Special (GAS) canisters in the cargo bay held a variety of experiments including ones studying effects of space on the social behavior of an ant colony in zero gravity. Ten experiments mounted on the Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01) performed research in forming metal alloys in microgravity and the use of a remote sensing scanner. The orbiter's small control rockets fired while SPAS-01 was held by the remote manipulator system to test movement on the extended arm. Experiments to investigate space sickness were carried out. The other payloads on the flight were: Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications-2 (OSTA-2); Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES); Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR); and one Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiment.

STS 7 ended on 24 June 1983 when Challenger landed on revolution 98 on Runway 15, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 10,450 feet. Rollout time: 75 seconds. Launch weight: 249,178 pounds. Mission duration: six days, two hours, 23 minutes, 59 seconds. Orbit altitude: 160-170 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.5 degrees. Miles traveled: 2.5 million. The planned landing at Kennedy Space Center was scrubbed due to poor weather conditions, and the mission was extended two revolutions to facilitate the landing at Edwards. The orbiter was returned to KSC on 29 June 1983.

The flight crew for STS 7 was: Robert L. Crippen, Commander; Frederick H. Hauck, Pilot; John M. Fabian, Mission Specialist; Dr. Sally K. Ride, Mission Specialist, the first American woman in space; Norman E. Thagard, Mission Specialist.
ref: www.nasa.gov

1995 19:58:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched STEP 3 (Space Test Experiment Platform) from Vandenburg, California on a Pegasus XL booster, but after the second stage failure, it was destroyed by range safety.
ref: space.skyrocket.de

Died, Thomas Gold (at Ithaca, New York, USA), British/American astrophysicist, proposed the steady-state theory of the universe with Hoyle and Bondi, proponent of abiogenic origin of petroleum
ref: en.wikipedia.org

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