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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
Visit RaceToSpaceProject.com to find out more!

Born, Luigi Galvani, Italian anatomist, physicist, discovered animal electricity, recognized as the pioneer of bioelectromagnetics

Luigi Galvani (9 September 1737 - 4 December 1798) was an Italian physician and physicist. While dissecting a frog at a table where he had been conducting experiments with static electricity, Galvani touched an exposed sciatic nerve of the frog with his metal scalpel, which had picked up a charge. At that moment, he saw the dead frog's leg kick as if in life. The observation made Galvani the first investigator to appreciate the relationship between electricity and animation (life). He is typically credited with the discovery of biological electricity.

Galvani's name also survives in the Galvanic cell, the galvanometer and "galvanize".
ref: en.wikipedia.org

The first steam engine arrived in the British American colonies which later became the USA, used to pump water from Colonel John Schuyler's copper mine in New Jersey.
ref: uh.edu

Born, William Cranch Bond, US astronomer, codiscovered Hyperion, first director of Harvard College Observatory
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Charles Durant was the first person to drop leaflets from the sky, and the first US citizen aeronaut, when he flew a balloon from Castle Garden, in New York City, to Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
ref: www.civilwarsignals.org

John Herschel took the first glass plate photograph, showing the mount of his father's 40-foot telescope. The photograph still exists (2022).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

H. Goldschmidt discovered asteroid #56 Melete.

H. Goldschmidt discovered asteroid #61 Danae.

C. H. F. Peters discovered asteroid #189 Phthia.

A. Charlois discovered asteroids #297 Caecilia and #298 Baptistina.

Edward Emerson Barnard discovered Jupiter's satellite Amalthea.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Orville Wright made the first airplane flight with a duration of over an hour, at Fort Myer, Virgina. It was his second flight of the day.
ref: wrightstories.com

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #938 Chlosinde.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1067 Lunaria.

M. Wolf discovered asteroid #1365 Henyey.

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #1160 Illyria.

In the first rocket-mail service, Schmiedl's Post Rocket R1, with 333 letters aboard, was launched 5 km from the Hochtroetsch (Austria) to Semriach. A month later, the first return service rocket was launched at night from Semriach to Hochtroetsch.
ref: www.nasa.gov

H. Van Gent discovered asteroids #1336 Zeelandia, #1337 Gerarda, #1383 Limburgia, #1384 Kniertje, #1670 Minnaert and #1925 Franklin-Adams.

Y. Vaisala discovered asteroid #1535 Paijanne.

"The first actual case of a (computer) bug being found" occurred when a moth became lodged in a relay of a Mark II computer at Harvard University, causing computational errors. Grace Hopper removed it with tweezers and taped it into the log.
ref: www.edn.com

Born, Lee Miller Emile Morin (at Manchester, New Hampshire, USA), Captain USN, NASA mission specialist astronaut (STS 110; nearly 10d 19.75h in spaceflight)
Astronaut Lee Morin, NASA photo jsc2010e177745 (30 August 2010) Source: NASA Johnson Photostream 9840335763_7f6c85c96d_n.jpg
Astronaut Lee Morin, NASA photo jsc2010e177745 (30 August 2010)
Source: NASA Johnson Photostream
ref: www.nasa.gov

The US Navy's Project Vanguard was chartered to develop and procure a satellite launch vehicle, place a scientific satellite in Earth orbit during IGY, and track the flight to demonstrate the satellite actually attained orbit.
ref: www.hq.nasa.gov

Born, Anatoli Pavlovich Artsebarsky (at Prosyanaya, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR), Colonel Russian AF Reserve, Soviet cosmonaut (Mir 9; over 144d 15.25h in spaceflight)
ref: www.spacefacts.de

K. Reinmuth and I. Groenevel discovered asteroid #1691 Oort.

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroid #2065 Spicer.

1959 08:19:00 GMT
NASA launched the successful ballistic Big Joe test flight of the Mercury capsule for evaluation of the heat-protection concept, aerodynamic shape, and recovery system.

NASA successfully launched the Atlas D MA Big Joe spacecraft test mission from the Atlantic Missle Range (AMR) on 9 September 1959, in which a boilerplate model of the Mercury capsule was carried on an Atlas (Big Joe) missile to an altitude of 95 miles (153 km), and recovered in the South Atlantic after surviving reentry heat of more than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1965 17:55:00 GMT
NASA and the USAF launched X-15A IR scan,Abl TPS Test mission # 147 from above Edwards Air Force Base, California. Robert Rushworth reached 3534 mph (5687 kph, Mach 5.16) max. speed, and attained 97,200 ft (29.627 km, 18.409 mi) max. altitude.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

T. Smirnova discovered asteroid #2120 Tyumenia.

Died, Sergei Konstantinovich Tumansky, Russian Chief Designer and General Designer of OKB-300 1955-1973, specialized in aircraft turbine engines, also produced spacecraft attitude control engines
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1975 00:28:00 GMT
USSR launched Molniya 2-14 from Plesetsk for operation of the telephone and telegraph communication system within the USSR, and transmission of Central Television programs to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1975 05:30:00 GMT
Japan launched Kiku 1 (JETS-1, Japanese Engineering Test Satellite-1) from Tanegashima to confirm launch technologies, acquire satellite tracking and control technologies, test extendable antennas, and perform satellite measurements.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1975 18:39:00 GMT
NASA launched the Viking 2 Orbiter/Lander mission to Mars.
Viking 2 launch to Mars, NASA photoSource: NASA - September 1975 - Viking 2 Launched 1975_viking_2_launch.png
Viking 2 launch to Mars, NASA photo
Source: NASA - September 1975 - Viking 2 Launched

The Viking project consisted of launches of two separate spacecraft to Mars, Viking 1, launched on 20 August 1975, and Viking 2, launched on 9 September 1975. Each spacecraft consisted of an orbiter and a lander. After orbiting Mars and returning images used for landing site selection, the orbiter and lander detached and the lander entered the Martian atmosphere and soft-landed at the selected site. The orbiters continued imaging and other scientific operations from orbit while the landers deployed instruments on the surface. The fully fueled orbiter-lander pair had a mass of 3530 kg. After separation and landing, the lander had a mass of about 600 kg and the orbiter 900 kg. The lander was encased in a bioshield at launch to prevent contamination by terrestrial organisms.

Following launch and a 333 day cruise to Mars, the Viking 2 Orbiter began returning global images of Mars prior to orbit insertion. The orbiter was inserted into a 1500 x 33,000 km, 24.6 hr Mars orbit on 7 August 1976 and trimmed to a 27.3 hr site certification orbit with a periapsis of 1499 km and an inclination of 55.2 degrees on 9 August. Imaging of candidate sites was begun and the landing site was selected based on these pictures and the images returned by the Viking 1 Orbiter. The lander and its aeroshell separated from the orbiter on 3 September 19:39:59 UT. At the time of separation, the lander was orbiting at about 4 km/s. After separation rockets fired to begin lander deorbit. After a few hours, at about 300 km altitude, the lander was reoriented for entry. The aeroshell with its ablatable heat shield slowed the craft as it plunged through the atmosphere. During this time, entry science experiments were performed. At 6 km altitude at about 250 m/s the 16 m diameter lander parachutes were deployed. Seven seconds later the aeroshell was jettisoned, and 8 seconds after that the three lander legs were extended. In 45 seconds the parachute had slowed the lander to 60 m/s. At 1.5 km altitude, retro-rockets were ignited and fired until landing 40 seconds later at about 2.4 m/s. The landing rockets used an 18 nozzle design to spread the hydrogen and nitrogen exhaust over a wide area. It was determined that this would limit surface heating to no more than 1 degree C and that no more than 1 mm of the surface material would be stripped away.

The Viking 2 Lander touched down about 200 km west of the crater Mie in Utopia Planitia at 48.269 deg N latitude and 225.990 deg W longitude at a reference altitude of 4.23 km relative to a reference ellipsoid with an equatorial radius of 3397.2 km and a flatness of 0.0105 (48.039 deg N, 226.032 deg W planetographic) at 3 September 1976 22:58:20 UT (9:49:05 AM local Mars time). Approximately 22 kg of propellants were left at landing. Due to radar misidentification of a rock or highly reflective surface, the thrusters fired an extra time 0.4 seconds before landing, cracking the surface and raising dust. The lander settled down with one leg on a rock, tilted at 8.2 degrees. The cameras began taking images immediately after landing. The Viking 2 Lander operated on the surface for 1281 Mars days and was turned off on 11 April 1980 when its batteries failed.

The Viking 2 Orbiter's operating plan called for the structure connecting the orbiter and lander (the bioshield) to be ejected after separation, but because of problems with the separation the bioshield remained attached to the orbiter. The orbit inclination was raised to 75 degrees on 30 September 1976. The orbiter primary mission ended at the beginning of solar conjunction on 8 November 1976. The extended mission commenced on 14 December 1976 after solar conjunction. On 20 December 1976 the periapsis was lowered to 778 km and the orbit inclination raised to 80 degrees. Operations included close approaches to Deimos in October 1977. The periapsis was lowered to 300 km and the period changed to 24 hours on 23 October 1977. The orbiter developed a leak in its propulsion system that vented its attitude control gas. It was placed in a 302 x 33176 km orbit and turned off on 25 July 1978 after returning almost 16,000 images in 706 orbits around Mars.

The primary objectives of the Viking orbiters were to transport the landers to Mars, perform reconnaissance to locate and certify landing sites, act as a communications relays for the landers, and to perform their own scientific investigations. The orbiter, based on the earlier Mariner 9 spacecraft, was an octagon approximately 2.5 m across. The total launch mass was 2328 kg, of which 1445 kg were propellant and attitude control gas. The eight faces of the ring-like structure were 0.4572 m high and were alternately 1.397 and 0.508 m wide. The overall height was 3.29 m from the lander attachment points on the bottom to the launch vehicle attachment points on top. There were 16 modular compartments, 3 on each of the 4 long faces and one on each short face. Four solar panel wings extended from the axis of the orbiter, the distance from tip to tip of two oppositely extended solar panels was 9.75 m. Power was provided by eight 1.57 x 1.23 m solar panels, two on each wing, were made up of a total of 34,800 solar cells that produced 620 W of power at Mars. Power was also stored in 2 nickel-cadmium 30-amp-hr batteries.

The orbiter's main propulsion unit was mounted above the orbiter bus. Propulsion was furnished by a bipropellant (monomethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide) liquid-fueled rocket engine which could be gimballed up to 9 degrees. The engine was capable of 1323 N thrust, translating to a delta-V of 1480 m/s. Attitude control was achieved by 12 small compressed-nitrogen jets. An acquisition Sun sensor, a cruise Sun sensor, a Canopus star tracker and an inertial reference unit consisting of 6 gyroscopes allowed three-axis stabilization. Two accelerometers were also on board. Communications were accomplished through a 20-W S-band (2.3 GHz) transmitter and 2 20-W TWTA's. An X-band (8.4 GHz) downlink was also added specifically for radio science and to conduct communications experiments. Uplink was via S-band (2.1 GHz). A 2-axis steerable high-gain parabolic dish antenna with a diameter of approximately 1.5 m was attached at one edge of the orbiter base, and a fixed low-gain antenna extended from the top of the bus. Two tape recorders were each capable of storing 1280 Mbits. A 381 MHz relay radio was also available. Temperature control was achieved by multilayer insulation, thermally activated louvers, and electrical heaters.

Scientific instruments for conducting imaging, atmospheric water vapor, and infrared thermal mapping were enclosed in a temperature controlled, pointable scan platform extending from the base of the orbiter. The scientific instrumentation had a total mass of approximately 72 kg. Radio science investigations were also done using the spacecraft transmitter. Command processing was done by two identical and independent data processors, each with a 4096-word memory for storing uplink command sequences and acquired data.

The lander consisted of a 6-sided aluminum base with alternate 1.09 m and 0.56 m long sides, supported on three extended legs attached to the shorter sides. The leg footpads formed the vertices of an equilateral triangle with 2.21 m sides when viewed from above, with the long sides of the base forming a straight line with the two adjoining footpads. Instrumentation was attached to the top of the base, elevated above the surface by the extended legs. Power was provided by two radioisotope thermal generator (RTG) units containing plutonium 238 affixed to opposite sides of the lander base and covered by wind screens. Each generator was 28 cm tall, 58 cm in diameter, had a mass of 13.6 kg and provided 30 W continuous power at 4.4 volts. Four wet-cell sealed nickel-cadmium 8-amp-hour, 28 volt rechargeable batteries were also onboard to handle peak power loads.

The lander's propulsion was provided for deorbit by a monopropellant hydrazine (N2H4) rocket with 12 nozzles arranged in four clusters of three that provided 32 N thrust, giving a delta-V of 180 m/s. These nozzles also acted as the control thrusters for translation and rotation of the lander. Terminal descent and landing was achieved by three (one affixed on each long side of the base, separated by 120 degress) monopropellant hydrazine engines. The engines had 18 nozzles to disperse the exhaust and minimize effects on the ground, were throttleable from 276 N to 2667 N. The hydrazine was purified to prevent contamination of the Martian surface. The lander carried 85 kg of propellant at launch, contained in two spherical titanium tanks mounted on opposite sides of the lander beneath the RTG windscreens, for a total launch mass of 657 kg. Control was achieved through the use of an inertial reference unit, four gyros, an aerodecelerator, a radar altimeter, a terminal descent and landing radar, and the control thrusters.

Lander communications were accomplished through a 20 W S-band transmitter and two 20 W TWTA's. A 2-axis steerable high-gain parabolic antenna was mounted on a boom near one edge of the lander base. An omnidirectional low-gain S-band antenna also extended from the base. Both these antennae allowed for communication directly with the Earth. A UHF (381 MHz) antenna provided a one-way relay to the orbiter using a 30 W relay radio. Data storage was on a 40 Mbit tape recorder, and the lander computer had a 6000 word memory for command instructions.

The lander carried instruments to achieve the primary scientific objectives of its mission: to study the biology, chemical composition (organic and inorganic), meteorology, seismology, magnetic properties, appearance, and physical properties of the Martian surface and atmosphere. Two 360-degree cylindrical scan cameras were mounted near one long side of the base. From the center of this side extended the sampler arm, with a collector head, temperature sensor, and magnet on the end. A meteorology boom, holding temperature, wind direction, and wind velocity sensors extended out and up from the top of one of the lander legs. A seismometer, magnet and camera test targets, and magnifying mirror are mounted opposite the cameras, near the high-gain antenna. An interior environmentally controlled compartment held the biology experiment and the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. The X-ray flourescence spectrometer was also mounted within the structure. A pressure sensor was attached under the lander body. The scientific payload had a total mass of approximately 91 kg.

See also the Viking 2 Lander page.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Harvard College discovered asteroid #2267 Agassi; N. Chernykh discovered asteroids #3233 Krisbarons and #3409.

1978 03:25:39 GMT
USSR launched the Venera 11 lander to Venus.
Venera 11 descent stage being prepared for launch Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog venera_11_descent.jpg
Venera 11 descent stage being prepared for launch
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

Venera 11 was part of a two-spacecraft mission (Venera 11 and Venera 12) to study Venus and the interplanetary medium. Each of the two spacecraft consisted of a flight platform and a lander probe. Identical instruments were carried on both spacecraft. The flight platform had instruments to study solar-wind composition, gamma-ray bursts, ultraviolet radiation, and the electron density of the ionosphere of Venus. The lander probe carried instruments to study the characteristics and composition of the atmosphere of Venus.

Venera 11 was launched 9 September 1978 into a 177 x 205 km, 51.5 degree inclination Earth orbit from which it was propelled into a 3.5 month Venus transfer orbit. After ejection of the lander probe, the flight platform continued on past Venus in a heliocentric orbit. Near encounter with Venus occurred on 25 December 1978, at approximately 34,000 km altitude. The flight platform acted as a data relay for the descent craft for 95 minutes until it flew out of range, after which it continued to return its own measurements on interplanetary space. The platform was equipped with a gamma-ray spectrometer, retarding potential traps, UV grating monochromator, electron and proton spectrometers, gamma-ray burst detectors, solar wind plasma detectors, and two-frequency transmitters.

The Venera 11 descent craft carried instruments designed to study the detailed chemical composition of the atmosphere, the nature of the clouds, and the thermal balance of the atmosphere. After separating from its flight platform on 23 December 1978, it entered the Venus atmosphere two days later at 11.2 km/sec (approximately 25,000 mph). During the descent, it employed aerodynamic braking followed by parachute braking and ending with atmospheric braking. It made a soft landing on the surface at 06:24 Moscow time (03:24 GMT) on 25 December after a descent time of approximately 1 hour. The touchdown speed was 7-8 m/s (15-18 mph). Information was transmitted to the flight platform for retransmittal to Earth until the latter moved out of range 95 minutes after touchdown.

Both Venera 11 and 12 landers failed to return the planned color television views of the surface, and to perform soil analysis experiments. All of the camera protective covers failed to eject after landing (the cause was not established). Some US literature noted that the imaging system "failed" but did return some data. The soil drilling experiment was apparently damaged by a leak in the soil collection device, the interior of which was exposed to the high Venusian atmospheric pressure. The leak had probably formed during the descent phase because the lander was less aerodynamically stable than had been thought.

Two other experiments on the lander also failed, and their failure was acknowledged by the Soviets at the time.

Among the instruments on board were a gas chromatograph to measure the composition of Venus' atmosphere, instruments to study scattered solar radiation and soil composition, and a device named Groza which was designed to measure amospheric electrical discharges. Results reported included evidence of lightning and thunder, a high Ar36/Ar40 ratio, and the discovery of carbon monoxide at low altitudes.

See also the Venera 11 Descent Craft page.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1980 11:02:00 GMT
USSR launched the Meteor 2-6 weather satellite from Plesetsk to gather meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1980 22:27:00 GMT
NASA launched the GOES 4 weather satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida, which was positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 98 deg W 1980-1981; 135 deg W 1981-1983; 135-143 deg W 1983; 139 deg W 1984-1985; 10 deg W 1985; 44 deg W 1985-1988.

GOES 4, launched 9 September 1980, was the sixth in a series of NASA-developed, NOAA-operated, geosynchronous operational spacecraft. The spin-stabilized spacecraft carried (1) a VISSR (visible infrared spin scan radiometer) atmospheric sounder (VAS) to provide high quality day/night cloudcover data, to take radiance-derived temperatures of the Earth/atmosphere system, and to determine atmospheric temperature and water vapor content at various levels, (2) a meteorological data collection and transmission system to relay processed data from central weather facilities to APT-equipped regional stations and to collect and retransmit data from remotely located Earth-based platforms, and (3) a space environment monitor (SEM) system to measure proton, electron, and solar X-ray fluxes and magnetic fields. The cylindrically shaped spacecraft measured 190.5 cm in diameter and 230 cm in length, exclusive of a magnetometer that extended an additional 83 cm beyond the cylindrical shell. The primary structural members were a honeycombed equipment shelf and thrust tube. The VISSR telescope was mounted on the equipment shelf and viewed the Earth through a special aperture in the side of the spacecraft. A support structure extended radially from the thrust tube and was affixed to the solar panels, which formed the outer walls of the spacecraft to provide the primary source of electrical power. Located in the annulus-shaped space between the thrust tube and the solar panels were stationkeeping and dynamics control equipment, batteries, and most of the SEM equipment. Proper spacecraft attitude and spin rate (approximately 100 rpm) were maintained by two separate sets of jet thrusters mounted around the spacecraft equator and activated by ground command. The spacecraft used both UHF-band and S-band frequencies in its telemetry and command subsystem. A low-power VHF transponder provided telemetry and command during launch and then served as a backup for the primary subsystem once the spacecraft had attained synchronous orbit. When GOES 5 VAS experienced a failure on 30 July 1984, GOES 4 was reactivated by NOAA to provide GOES 1 VISSR data relay services to western users.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1982 02:12:00 GMT
An Ariane 1 launched from Kourou suffered a Stage 3 turbopump failure, and could not deliver its ESA payloads to orbit, Marecs B (intended for maritime communications, planned for lease to Inmarsat) and Sirio 2.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1982 10:17:00 GMT
SSI and DLR launched Conestoga 1 (using surplus Minuteman I parts, the first private commercial rocket) from Matagorda Island, for publicity. It reached an apogee of 192 mi (309 km), unrelated to Space Service's other launch vehicles also named Conestoga.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1988 10:40:00 GMT
USSR launched Cosmos 1968, a Resurs landsat, from Plesetsk for investigation of the natural resources of the Earth in the interests of various branches of the national economy of the USSR, and international cooperation.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1988 23:33:40 GMT
USSR launched the Progress 38 unmanned resupply vessel from Baikonur to Mir.

USSR launched Progress 38 to Mir on 9 September 1988. During the launch, the first test of the Buran ejection seat was made during ascent to orbit. The K-36M.11F35 seat was installed in an "experimental droppable compartment" installed in place of the Launch Escape Tower engine on top of the shroud. Progress 38 docked with Mir on 12 Sep 1988 01:22:28 GMT, delivered 2,000 kg of supplies including 300 kg of food, and refuelled Mir. Progress 38 undocked from Mir on 23 Nov 1988 12:12:46 GMT, and was destroyed in reentry on 23 Nov 1988 19:06:58 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.36 days. Total docked time 72.45 days.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1992 08:57:00 GMT
The US Air Force launched Navstar 2A-06 (USA 84) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a GPS 2A-15 satellite component of the Global Positioning System, placed in Plane A Slot 4.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

During the 5h 06m Mir EO-16-1 EVA, cosmonauts Malenchenko and Musabayev repaired the station's external insulation, and checked the docking port.
ref: www.spacefacts.de

1994 00:29:44 GMT
An Ariane 42L launched from Kourou carried the Telstar 402 communications satellite into a 292 x 19,340 km orbit. The spacecraft could not be contacted soon after launch and was subsequently replaced by Telstar 402-R in 1995.

TELSTAR 402, an AT&T geostationary communications spacecraft, was launched 9 September 1994 by an Ariane rocket from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana. The spacecraft could not be contacted soon after launch: During pressurization of the satellite's propulsion system shortly after separation from its Ariane 4 launch vehicle, a pyrovalve firing created a leak that made the US$ 200 million satellite a total loss. Its backup, now named TELSTAR 402-R, was launched 24 September 1995 and suffered an on-orbit failure on 19 September 2003.

At launch time, Telstar 402 was considered one of the biggest, most powerful, most capable communications satellites ever built. It had a launch mass of 3,331 kg and a total on-board power of 6.4 kW at the beginning of its 12-year design life, and was equipped with 24 C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders.

The satellite re-entered the Earth's atmosphere approximately ten years after it had failed, on 14 November 2004.

See also the Satellite News Digest failure report page.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1994 18:22:55 EDT (GMT -4:00:00)
NASA launched STS 64 (Discovery 19, 64th Shuttle mission) carrying the LITE and SPARTAN-201 experiment platforms to space.

STS 64 was launched 9 September 1994 in a two and a half hour launch window that opened at 4:30 PM EDT. The liftoff was delayed due to weather concerns.

STS 64 marked the first flight of the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE), and first untethered US extravehicular activity (EVA) in 10 years. The LITE payload employed LIDAR, which stands for LIght Detection And Ranging, a type of optical "radar" using laser pulses instead of radio waves, to study the Earth's atmosphere. The first lidar spaceflight was a highly successful technology test. The LITE instrument operated for 53 hours, yielding more than 43 hours of high-rate data. Unprecedented views were obtained of cloud structures, storm systems, dust clouds, pollutants, forest burning and surface reflectance. Sites studied included the atmosphere above northern Europe, Indonesia and the south Pacific, Russia and Africa. Sixty-five groups from 20 countries made validation measurements with ground-based and aircraft instruments to verify the LITE data. The LITE science program is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth.

Mission Specialists Lee and Meade completed the 28th EVA of the Space Shuttle program on 16 September. During the six-hour, 15-minute EVA, they tested a new backpack called Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), designed for use in event a crew member becomes untethered while conducting an EVA.

On the fifth day of the mission, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201) free flyer was released using the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm. Making its second flight on the Shuttle, SPARTAN-201 was designed to collect data about the acceleration and velocity of the solar wind, and to measure aspects of Sun's corona. Data was recorded for playback after return to Earth. SPARTAN-201 was retrieved after two days of data collection.

Other cargo bay payloads on STS 64 were: Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX), a 33-foot (10-meter) long instrumented extension for the Shuttle robot arm, SPIFEX was designed to collect data about the orbiter Reaction Control System (RCS) thrusters to aid understanding about potential effects of thruster plumes on large space structures, such as the Mir space station or the International Space Station; Robot Operated Processing System (ROMPS) was the first US robotics system operated in space, mounted in two Get Away Special (GAS) canisters attached to the cargo bay wall. A GAS bridge assembly in the cargo bay carried 12 cans, 10 holding self-contained experiments.

Middeck experiments on STS 64 included: Biological Research in Canister (BRIC) experiment to investigate effects of spaceflight on plant specimens; Military Application of Ship Tracks (MAST) to take high-resolution imagery of ship tracks and to analyze wake formation and dissipations; Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) to supply information on flame propagation over fuels in space; Radiation Monitoring Equipment III (RME III) to measure ionizing radiation; Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment II (SAREX II) to demonstrate feasibility of short-wave radio contacts between the orbiter and ground based amateur radio operators; and the Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) test, which required no onboard hardware.

STS 64 ended on 20 September 1994 when Discovery landed on revolution 176 on Runway 04, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 9,656 feet (2,943 meters). Rollout time: 60 seconds. Orbit altitude: 140 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 57 degrees. Mission duration: ten days, 22 hours, 49 minutes, 57 seconds. Miles traveled: 4.5 million. The mission, already extended one day, was extended again after the first landing opportunities at the Kennedy Space Center on 19 September were waved off due to stormy weather. Two additional opportunities at KSC on 20 September were also waved off, and the orbiter was diverted to California. Discovery was returned to KSC on 27 September, and towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility on 28 September 1994.

The flight crew for STS 64 was: Richard N. Richards, Commander; L. Blaine Hammond, Jr., Pilot; Jerry M. Linenger, Mission Specialist 1; Susan J. Helms, Mission Specialist 2; Carl J. Meade, Mission Specialist 3; Mark C. Lee, Mission Specialist 4.
ref: www.nasa.gov

Died (airplane crash), Reinhard Alfred Furrer PhD, Austrian payload specialist astronaut (STS 61-D; nearly 7d 0.75h in spaceflight)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1998 20:29:00 GMT
A Zenit-2 booster launched from Baikonur carrying twelve Globalstar communications satellites suffered a computer error that caused a very premature engine shutdown during the second stage burn, and the vehicle fell in Siberia, rather than going to orbit.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1999 18:00:00 GMT
Russia launched Foton 12 from Plesetsk, carrying European microgravity experiments to space for fifteen days.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Died, Herbert Friedman, American astronomer, pioneer in using sounding rockets to study solar physics, aeronomy and astronomy
ref: en.wikipedia.org

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