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The tenth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet occurred, as determined by records by ancient Chinese astronomers.

In 2000 years of observations since 240 BCE, Chinese records have never missed a return of Halley's Comet. From those records, Cowell and Crommelin computed the dates of perihelion passage as:

 1. 15 May 240 BCE
 2. 20 May 163 BCE
 3. 15 August 87 BCE
 4. 8 October 12 BCE
 5. 26 January 66 CE
 6. 25 March 141 CE
 7. 6 April 218 CE
 8. 7 April 295 CE
 9. 13 February 374 CE
10. 3 July 451 CE
11. 15 November 530 CE
12. 26 March 607 CE
13. 26 November 684 CE
14. 10 June 760 CE
15. 25 February 837 CE
16. 17 July 912 CE
17. 2 September 989 CE
18. 25 March 1066 CE
19. 19 April 1145 CE
20. 10 September 1222 CE
21. 22.7 October 1301 CE
22. 8.8 November 1378 CE
23. 8.2 January 1456 CE
24. 25.8 August 1531 CE
25. 26.9 October 1607 CE
26. 14.8 September 1682 CE
27. 12.6 March 1758 CE
28. 15.9 November 1835 CE
29. 19.7 April 1910 CE
30. 9 February 1986 CE

Note that the precision of the dates from passage 21 onward could be computed with increased accuracy because of additional observations. However, at the time of their computation, the 1986 passage was still a future event. (The actual date was found from other sources.)

On 19 April 607, Comet 1P/607 H1 (Halley) approached within 0.0898 AU (13.5 million km, 8.4 million miles) of Earth. On 374-April-1.9, it had approached closer, having come within 0.0884 AU (13.2 million km, 8.2 million miles), and on 837-April-10.5, it became the third closest approach in history prior to 1900, passing within 0.0334 AU (5 million km, 3.1 million miles).

On 16 October 1982, astronomers David Jewitt and G. Edward Danielson using a CCD camera with the 5.1 m Hale telescope at Mt. Palomar Observatory were the first to detect Halley's Comet on its thirtieth recorded return.

See also The past orbit of Halley's Comet (SAO/NASA ADS)

See also Comet Close Approaches prior to 1900 (CNEOS)

See also History of Halley's Comet (Wikipedia)

See also Halley's Comet (CQ Press)

See also Comet 1P/Halley (Halley's Comet) (Smithsonian NASM)
ref: adsabs.harvard.edu

While still an undergraduate at St. John's College, Cambridge, England, John Couch Adams wrote a memorandum of his intent to determine the position of an unknown planet from the irregularities it caused in the motion of Uranus.
ref: adsabs.harvard.edu

Born, Albert Puellenberg, German rocket engineer, formed and led the Hannover Group of rocket experimenters 1931-1935, renewed German private citizen rocketry 1952-1964
ref: translate.google.com

C. Jackson discovered asteroid #1367 Nongoma.

Born, Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt PhD (at Santa Rita, New Mexico, USA), NASA astronaut (Apollo 17; 12d 13h 52m in spaceflight), twelfth person and only geologist to walk on the Moon
Astronaut Harrison H.
Astronaut Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt, NASA photo S71-52260 (1971)
Source: NASA Image and Video Library
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Norman Earl "Norm" Thagard MD (at Marianna, Florida, USA), Captain USMC Reserve, NASA astronaut (STS 7, STS 51-B, STS 30, STS 42, Mir 18; nearly 140d 13.5h total time in spaceflight)
Astronaut Norman Thagard MD, NASA photo (20 September 1978)Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable July 2019) 384px-Thagard-ne.jpg
Astronaut Norman Thagard MD, NASA photo (20 September 1978)
Source: Wikipedia (www.jsc.nasa.gov unavailable July 2019)
ref: www.nasa.gov

NASA and contractor technicians successfully conducted the final parachute drop test to qualify the Apollo CSM (Command and Service Module) Earth landing system. The Block II ELS was thus considered ready for manned flight.
ref: www.hq.nasa.gov

1969 20:18:32 GMT
USSR launched Zond L1S-2 from Baikonur, the second attempt to use an N-1 booster to launch a vehicle to the Moon, which destroyed the launch pad when engines were shut down before the rocket cleared the launch tower.
Two N1 Moon rockets on the pads at Baikonur, early July 1969 Booster number 5L is in the foreground Photo courtesy of NASA GPN-2002-000188.jpg
Two N1 Moon rockets on the pads at Baikonur, early July 1969
Booster number 5L is in the foreground
Photo courtesy of NASA

Zond L1S-2, launched 3 July 1969, was the second test of the USSR's powerful N-1 booster (SL-15/N-1). The payload, a Zond capsule with automatic cameras and a dummy lander, was supposed to be put into Lunar orbit. The cameras would have been used to record potential landing sites for future manned missions.

The N1 was a massive rocket which stood over 100 meters tall, comparable to the American Saturn V, designed to send 95 tons of payload into low Earth orbit. It also had a very complex engine arrangement and propellant plumbing. In the rush to production, and to save money, its thirty NK-15 rocket motors were never ground tested in combination, only as individual units. Consequently, complex and destructive vibrational modes (which ripped apart propellant lines and turbines) and exhaust plume fluid dynamic problems (causing vehicle roll, vacuum cavitation, and other problems) were not discovered and worked out before flight.

N-1 serial number 5L began to fail at 0.25 second after liftoff when the oxidizer pump of engine number 8 ingested a foreign object carried through a pipeline, suspected of being either a steel diaphragm from a pulse sensor which broke free from vibration, or a slag fragment from the oxidizer tank. The oxygen pump exploded, damaging some of the engines and electrical circuitry, and a fire ensued, causing the engines to be automatically shut down, and acceleration dropped below 1 G. 5-9 seconds after liftoff, at an altitude of 150 to 200 meters, just as the N-1 was clearing the launch tower, all of the engines shut down. The escape tower fired at the top of the brief trajectory, taking the Zond capsule away from the pad, and it landed 1 km away. The N1 crashed back on the launch pad at a 45 degree angle 18 seconds after liftoff, exploding on impact of the base of the N1 with the pad, destroying launch pad 110 east, and damaging the nearby launch pad 2 and an N1 engineering model (1M1) stationed there. Thus ended the last slight Soviet hope of upstaging the US Apollo 11 Moon landing.
ref: astronomy.activeboard.com

L. Chernykh discovered asteroid #3702.

1974 18:51:00 GMT
USSR launched Soyuz 14 ("Berkut" - "Golden Eagle") from Baikonur with cosmonauts Pavel Popovich and Yury Artukhin aboard, which docked with the Salyut 3 space station for 15 days, 17 hours.

Soyuz 14 was launched 3 July 1974 as a test of Salyut's engineering systems and energy supply. On 4 July, Soyuz 14 docked with the Salyut 3 space station after 15 revolutions of the Earth. The planned experimental program included manned military reconnaissance of the Earth's surface, assessing the fundamental value of such observations, and some supplemental medico-biological research. Soyuz 14 landed on 19 July 1974 following 15 days, 17 hours docked at Salyut 3. After the crew's return to Earth, research continued in development of the on-board systems and the principles of remote control of such a station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died, Aleksei Ivanovich Shakhurin, Soviet state figure, People's Commissar for Aviation Industries 1940-1946
ref: encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com

Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson set a hot air balloon distance record after going 907 miles in their 3400 mile Atlantic crossing, the first by hot air balloon.

Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand lifted off Thursday morning 3 July 1987 from a ski resort at Carrabassett Valley, Maine in the Virgin Atlantic Flyer, a hot air balloon approximately 21 stories tall. They covered the first 1,000 miles of their 3,400-mile journey in a little more than 10 hours, traveling far faster than expected with the aid of the jet stream. They broke the distance mark for hot-air balloons at 907 miles while passing about 140 miles southeast of St. John's, Newfoundland on the afternoon of 3 July.

Their balloon got into trouble soon after it crossed the Irish coast. Low clouds forced the pair to bring the balloon down and seek a landing spot even though they believed the wind would have carried them to their goal, the Mull of Kintyre, a peninsula on the Scottish coast. After descending from 27,000 feet, they hit the ground near Limavady in Northern Ireland, scraping along the ground and losing two fuel tanks.

Regaining altitude, the billowing black and silver craft proceeded east. But once over water again, it began bouncing along the sea near Rathlin Island, losing its flotation bags after an unsuccessful attempt to land on a beach on the island. The two adventurers jumped into the sea as the disabled balloon went down within sight of their landing target on the coast of western Scotland. They were pulled from the sea by Royal Navy rescue teams about 37 hours after they took off from Maine. Branson was quickly picked up by a helicopter, but Lindstrand, without a life vest, spent more than two hours swimming against strong currents in the cold water before he was found.
ref: www.nytimes.com

1992 14:19:00 GMT
NASA launched SAMPEX (Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer) from Vandenburg, California, the first Small Explorer mission.
Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX), NASA photo Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog sampex.jpg
Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX), NASA photo
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

The Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX), launched 3 July 1992, was the first of a series of spacecraft launched under NASA's Small Explorer (SMEX) mission of low cost spacecraft. The main objectives of SAMPEX experiments were to obtain data for several continuous years on the anomalous components of cosmic rays, on energetic particle emissions from the Sun, and on the precipitating magnetospheric relativistic electrons. It carried four science instruments: (1) low energy ion composition analyzer (LICA); (2) heavy ion large telescope (HILT); (3) mass spectrometer telescope (MAST); and (4) proton electron telescope (PET). The spacecraft used an on-board 3-axis stabilized solar pointed/momentum bias system, with the pitch axis pointed to the Sun. Solar panels provided operational power, including 16.7 W for the science instruments. The estimated useful lifetime of the spacecraft was about three years. An on-board DPU preprocessed the science and other data and stored them in an RPP unit of about 65 Mb, before transmitting in S-band at a rate of 1.5 Mb/s over Wallops Island, Virginia or a back-up station. The command memory could store at least a thousand commands.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1993 17:45:00 GMT
Russia's Soyuz TM-17 docked at the Mir space station's front port only 20 minutes after Progress M-18 undocked from the same port.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1994 08:00:00 GMT
China launched the second Fanhui Shi Weixing, FSW-2, from Jiuquan, for a 15 day orbital mission.

China launched FSW-2 on 3 July 1994 into an orbit of 173 km x 343 km x 63.0 deg. The spacecraft remained in orbit 15 days, making four small maneuvers before successfully returning to Earth. The payload included Earth observation systems, a biological experiment, and microgravity research instruments. The retrievable capsule was recovered in China on 18 July.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1994 13:55:01 GMT
Russia's Soyuz TM-19 docked at the Mir space station for Mir Expedition EO-16.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1996 10:47:00 GMT
China launched the Apstar 1A communications satellite with 24 C-band transponders from Xichang, which operated in geosynchronous orbit at 134 deg E in 1996-1999.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1998 18:12:00 GMT
With the launch of the Nozomi (PLANET-B) orbiter toward Mars, Japan became the third nation to launch a planetary mission.
Japan's Nozomi probe in orbit at Mars, illustration courtesy of NASA Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog planet_b.gif
Japan's Nozomi probe in orbit at Mars, illustration courtesy of NASA
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

Nozomi (Japanese for Hope, and known before launch as Planet-B), launched 3 July 1998, was planned as a Mars orbiting aeronomy mission designed to study the Martian upper atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind, and to develop technologies for use in future planetary missions. Specifically, instruments on the spacecraft were to measure the structure, composition and dynamics of the ionosphere, aeronomy effects of the solar wind, the escape of atmospheric constituents, the intrinsic magnetic field, the penetration of the solar wind's magnetic field, the structure of the magnetosphere, and dust in the upper atmosphere and in orbit around Mars. The mission would have also returned images of Mars' surface.

The third stage and payload entered a 146 x 417 km x 31.1 deg parking orbit. The KM-V1 kick (fourth) stage then fired to place the spacecraft into a circumlunar 359 x 401491 km x 28.6 deg orbit. Nozomi made multiple Lunar and Earth gravity assist passes to increase its energy for solar orbit insertion and the cruise to Mars. The spacecraft used a Lunar swingby on 24 September and another on 18 December 1998 to increase the apogee of its orbit. It swung by Earth on 20 December at a perigee of about 1000 km. The gravitational assist from the swingby, coupled with a 7 minute burn of the bipropellant engine, put Nozomi into an escape trajectory towards Mars. It was scheduled to arrive at Mars on 11 October 1999 at 7:45:14 UT, but the Earth swingby left the spacecraft with insufficient acceleration, and two course correction burns on 21 December used more propellant than planned, leaving the spacecraft short of fuel. A new plan was developed for Nozomi to remain in heliocentric orbit for an additional four years, and encounter Mars at a slower relative velocity in December 2003. However, the attempt to fire its thrusters to orient the craft for a Mars orbit insertion burn failed on 9 December 2003. Smaller thrusters were successfully fired, Nozomi flew past Mars at a distance of 1000 km on 14 December 2003 and went into a heliocentric orbit with a period of roughly two years, after efforts to put the spacecraft into Martian orbit were abandoned.

See also nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov
ref: www.isas.jaxa.jp

Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop, in a balloon, landing in Queensland, Australia.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

2002 06:47:41 GMT
NASA launched the ill-fated CONTOUR (Comet Nucleus Tour) probe toward comets Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann 3.
CONTOUR observing a comet nucleus, NASA artwork Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog contour_comet.jpg
CONTOUR observing a comet nucleus, NASA artwork
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

The CONTOUR (Comet Nucleus Tour) probe, a NASA Discovery class mission, was successfully launched on 3 July 2002. Built and operated by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), it began its five year mission to explore three comets, using repeated encounters with the Earth to modify its orbit in order to reach each target. Its primary objective was close fly-bys of two comet nuclei (Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann-3) with the possibility of a fly-by of a third known comet (d'Arrest) or an as yet undiscovered comet. It was hoped that a new comet would be discovered that would be in the inner solar system between 2006 and 2008, in which case the spacecraft trajectory would have been changed if possible to rendezvous with the new comet. Scientific objectives included imaging the nuclei at resolutions of 4 meters, performing spectral mapping of the nuclei at resolutions of 100-200 meters, and obtaining detailed compositional data on gas and dust in the near-nucleus environment, with the goal of improving our knowledge of the characteristics of comet nuclei.

The first burn of the second stage was completed at 0659 UTC, putting the spacecraft in a 185 x 197 km x 29.7 deg parking orbit. At 0746 UTC, the second stage restarted for a short 4 second burn to adjust the orbit to 185 x 309 km x 29.7 deg, and then separated once the PAM-D (ATK Star 48B) solid third stage was spun up. The 1.5 minute burn of the third stage motor at 0748 UTC put it and CONTOUR in a 90 x 106689 km x 30.5 deg phasing orbit. By 8 July, CONTOUR's orbit was 214 x 106686 km x 29.8 deg. CONTOUR was to stay in the phasing orbit until 15 August, when it was to be injected into solar orbit using its internal ATK Star 30 solid motor. Flyby of the first target, comet 2P/Encke, was scheduled for November 2003.

CONTOUR was presumed lost on 15 August 2002 after numerous attempts to contact the probe failed. The spacecraft was scheduled to ignite its STAR 30 solid rocket engine at 0849 UTC (4:49 am EDT). This firing was to take CONTOUR out of Earth orbit and put it on a heliocentric trajectory. However, following the scheduled firing time, no further contact was made with the craft. Telescopic surveys were made under the assumption that the firing took place on schedule, and three objects were identified near the expected position of CONTOUR, leading investigators to believe that the firing took place and that these objects were parts of the spacecraft and rocket engine. An investigation board concluded that the most likely cause of the mishap was structural failure of the spacecraft due to plume heating during the solid rocket motor burn. Alternate possible, but less likely, causes determined were catastrophic failure of the solid rocket motor, collision with space debris, and loss of dynamic control of the spacecraft.

If successful, the engine burn would have put CONTOUR in the proper trajectory for an Earth fly-by in August 2003 followed by an encounter with comet Encke on 12 November 2003 at a distance of 100 to 160 km, and a fly-by speed of 28.2 km/sec, 1.07 AU from the Sun and 0.27 AU from Earth. Three more Earth fly-bys were to follow, in August 2004, February 2005, and February 2006. On 18 June 2006, CONTOUR would then encounter comet Schwassmann-Wachmann-3 at 14 km/sec, 0.95 AU from the Sun and 0.33 AU from Earth. Two more Earth fly-bys were scheduled in February of 2007 and 2008, and a fly-by of comet d'Arrest was possible on 16 August 2008 at a relative velocity of 11.8 km/sec, 1.35 AU from the Sun and 0.36 AU from Earth. All comet fly-bys had a planned closest encounter distance of about 100 km, and would have occurred near the period of maximum activity for each comet. After the comet Encke encounter, CONTOUR could have been retargeted towards a new comet if one was discovered with the desired characteristics (e.g. active, brighter than absolute magnitude 10, perihelion within 1.5 AU).
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died (heart attack), Andriyan Grigoryevich Nikolayev, Soviet cosmonaut, (Vostok 3, Soyuz 9; 21d 15h total in spaceflight), first to fly more than a day in space, married Valentina Tereshkova, fathered the first child whose parents had both flown in space
ref: en.wikipedia.org

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