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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
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Born, Thomas Davenport, American inventor (first DC electrical motor, 1834; small model electrical railway, 1835)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, George Darwin, theorized the Moon was pulled out of the Pacific Ocean
ref: en.wikipedia.org

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #199 Byblis.

L. Carnera discovered asteroid #487 Venetia.

Born, John Howard Casper (at Greenville, South Carolina, USA), Colonel USAF, NASA astronaut (STS 36, STS 54, STS 62, STS 77; nearly 34d 10h total time in spaceflight)
Astronaut John H. Casper, NASA photo Source: Wikipedia 379px-John_Casper.jpg
Astronaut John H. Casper, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia
ref: en.wikipedia.org

NASA Lewis Research Center operated a research model of an ion rocket in a newly completed electric rocket test facility designed for basic investigations into the problems associated with a reliable ion rocket with a minimum life of one year.
ref: www.hq.nasa.gov

1962 09:00:09 GMT
Starfish Prime, an experiment in Operation Dominic and the highest altitude nuclear blast ever performed (400 km, 250 mi), created a temporary radiation belt.

The controversial US Operation Dominic succeeded, after two previous attempts in June, in exploding a megaton-plus hydrogen device at more than 200-mile altitude over Johnston Island in the Pacific on 8 July 1962. Carried aloft by a Thor rocket, and synchronized with the approach of a TRAAC satellite, this highest thermonuclear blast ever achieved was designed to test the influence of such an explosion on the Van Allen radiation belts. The sky above the Pacific Ocean from Wake Island to New Zealand was illuminated by the blast. Later observations by probes and satellites showed another artificial radiation belt to have been created by this series of nuclear tests.

See also an animation of the 2053 nuclear explosions that occurred from 1945 through 1998 (including the two weapons "fired in anger" by the US against Japan during World War 2).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1963 20:12:00 GMT
NASA and the USAF launched X-15A Opt Deg/TravP/RAS Technology/Test mission # 88 in which Joe Walker reached a maximum speed of 3631 mph (5844 kph, Mach 5.07) and achieved a maximum altitude of 226,400 ft (69.007 km, 42.879 mi).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1974 14:38:00 GMT
USSR launched the Meteor 1-18 weather satellite which conducted experimental work in studying the natural resources of the Earth, and also tested a plasma engine.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

L. Chernykh discovered asteroid #2530 Shipka.

NASA's Voyager 2 passed Jupiter, flying within 650,000 km (405,000 mi) of the cloud tops.
Jupiter and Io photographed by the Voyager 2 probe on 9 July 1979, NASA photoSource: Wikipedia 320px-Voyager_2_Jupiter_Io.jpg
Jupiter and Io photographed by the Voyager 2 probe on 9 July 1979, NASA photo
Source: Wikipedia

The Voyager 2 spacecraft, originally planned as Mariner 12 of the Mariner program, was launched on 20 August 1977 on a mission to explore the outer planets of the solar system. It is identical to its sister Voyager program craft, Voyager 1. Voyager 2 followed a somewhat different trajectory during its Saturn encounter, however, bypassing a close encounter with Titan in favor of taking advantage of a gravitational slingshot to travel on to Uranus and Neptune. It became the first probe to visit those two planets.

Voyager 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. The closest approach to Jupiter occurred on 9 July 1979. On 25 August 1981, Voyager 2 took pictures of Saturn's moon Titan showing the structure of the moon's atmosphere, and it flew past Saturn at a distance of 63,000 miles (100,000 km). Its closest approach to Uranus was on 24 January 1986, and its closest approach to Neptune occurred on 25 August 1989, after a 12 year, 4 billion mile journey, when it flew over the planet's cloud tops and those of its moon Triton, sending back photographs of 'swamps' from a distance of 5000 km. Voyager 2 imagery returned on 22 August 1989 confirmed the rings around Neptune are complete, although they are much more faint than those of Saturn.

On 5 November 2018, As Voyager 2 probe left the heliosphere, its CRS (Cosmic Ray Subsystem) recorded an abrupt change in particle energies.

Voyager 2 is expected to keep transmitting into the 2030s.

Voyager 2 carries with it a golden record (Voyager Golden Record) that contains pictures and sounds of Earth, along with symbolic directions for playing the record. The contents of this record were selected by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan.

As of 24 August 2003, Voyager 2 was at a distance of 10.6 billion kilometers (71 AU) and was escaping the solar system, diving below the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 48 degrees and at a speed of about 3.3 AU per year (ca. 15 km/s, 470 million kilometers (about 290 million miles) a year). On 8 July 2018 it was more than 17.65 billion km (10.97 billion miles, nearly 118 AU) from the Sun. (See Where Are The Voyagers Now? for distance, speed, and other interesting information.) It will be approximately 40,000 years before Voyager 2 approaches another planetary system.

See also NSSDCA Master Catalog
See also Wikipedia
ref: voyager.jpl.nasa.gov
ref: voyager.jpl.nasa.gov

1992 07:42:27 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA's STS 50 (Columbia 12, 48th Shuttle mission) ended after carrying the US Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1) package to orbit.

NASA launched STS 50 on 25 June 1992. The liftoff was delayed five minutes due to weather. It was the first flight of Columbia after its scheduled checkout and extensive modification period at the Rockwell plant in California in which more than 50 modifications were completed, including the installation of a drag chute for use during landing. Columbia was the first orbiter outfitted with Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) hardware, including the EDO cryogen pallet.

The primary payload, US Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1), made its first flight on STS 50, which featured a pressurized Spacelab module. USML-1 was the first in a planned series of flights to advance the US microgravity research effort in several disciplines. Experiments conducted were: Crystal Growth Furnace (CGF); Drop Physics Module (DPM); Surface Tension Driven Convection Experiments (STDCE); Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG); Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Glovebox Facility (GBX); Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS); Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (GBA); Astroculture-1 (ASC); Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project (EDOMP); and the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE).

Secondary experiments performed during the STS 50 flight were: Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX II); and the Ultraviolet Plume Instrument (UVPI).

STS 50 ended on 9 July 1992 when Columbia landed on revolution 221 on Runway 33, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Rollout distance: 10,674 feet (3,253 meters). Rollout time: 59 seconds. Launch weight: 257,265 pounds. Landing weight: 228,127 pounds. Mission duration: 13 days, 19 hours, 30 minutes, four seconds. Orbit altitude: 160 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.45 degrees. Miles Traveled: 5.8 million. The drag chute was deployed, again with the nosegear down. The landing was delayed one day due to rain at the primary landing site, Edwards AFB. This was the first landing of Columbia at KSC, and the first with the new synthetic tread tires. The mission's duration eclipsed all previous US manned space flights to date except the three Skylab space station flights in 1973 and 1974.

The flight crew for STS 50 was: Richard N. Richards, Commander; Kenneth D. Bowersox, Pilot; Bonnie J. Dunbar, Payload Commander; Lawrence J. DeLucas, Payload Specialist 1; Ellen S. Baker, Mission Specialist 2; Carl J. Meade, Mission Specialist 3; Eugene H. Trinh, Payload Specialist 2.
ref: www.nasa.gov

1992 22:42:19 GMT
An Ariane 44L launched from Kourou carried India's Insat 2A communications/weather/direct broadcast/Search and Rescue satellite and the European Eutelsat II F4 communications satellite to orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1994 10:32:00 GMT
Soyuz TM-18 landed 110 km north of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan, with the crew of Afanasyev and Usachyov aboard, returning from the Mir space station.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1996 22:24:55 GMT
An Ariane 44L launched from Kourou carried the Arabsat 2A communications satellite and Turkey's Turksat 1C communications satellite to orbit, which were positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 26 deg E and 31 deg E, respectively.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1997 13:04:00 GMT
A Delta booster launched from Vandenburg, California, carried five Iridium satellites (Iridium 15, 17, 18, 20 and 21) to orbit.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

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