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Race To Space
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4004 B.C.
According to 17th century divine James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, the world was created on this day, a Saturday, at nightfall, or 6 PM.

Recent evidence indicates all of the "Bible-based" creation date calculations (generally determined to be ca. 4000 B.C.) are "slightly" off - by at least fifteen billion years.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Nicolas Appert, inventor (food canning, bouillon tablet)
ref: what-when-how.com

Born, Samuel Morey, inventor (internal combustion engine)

Samuel Morey (23 October 1762 - 17 April 1843), American inventor, was a pioneer in steamships who accumulated a total of 20 patents, including a patent for the internal combustion engine on 1 April 1826.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Blanche Scott became the first woman to fly solo in a public airplane flight.
ref: airandspace.si.edu

In the first use of aircraft in war, Captain Carlo Piazza, an Italian pilot, flew the world's first aerial reconnaissance mission, taking off from Libya to survey Turkish lines during the Turco-Italian War.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Mikhail Grigoryev, Soviet military officer, first Commander of Plesetsk (1957-1962), chaired the State Trials Commission for the Almaz military space station
ref: www.alamy.com

Died, John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish inventor, founder of the Dunlop rubber company. In 1888, he developed commercially practical pneumatic tires, at a crucial time in the development of automobile transportation.
ref: web.archive.org

K. Reinmuth discovered asteroid #987 Wallia.

W. Baade discovered asteroid #1036 Ganymed.

Jean and Jeanette Piccard (husband and wife) attained a record balloon height of 10.9 miles (17.5 km) in a flight over Lake Erie.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Goethe Link Observatory discovered asteroids #2024 McLaughlin and #2488 Bryan.

The first test firing of the full Vanguard satellite launch vehicle stack, TV-2, lifted a 2 ton dummy payload to 109 miles (175 km), traveling down range 335 miles (539 km), using two inert upper stages.
Vanguard TV-2 at liftoff, 23 October 1957, NASA photo Source: VANGUARD - A HISTORY, Chapter 10 p10-183.jpg
Vanguard TV-2 at liftoff, 23 October 1957, NASA photo
Source: VANGUARD - A HISTORY, Chapter 10
ref: en.wikipedia.org

The US Air Force Discoverer 33 satellite failed to achieve polar orbit because of a premature launch vehicle shutdown.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

US Air Force Major Robert A. Rushworth flew X-15A VO Stability test mission # 73 to an altitude of 134,500 ft (40.996 km, 25.473 mi) and a maximum speed of 3716 mph (5980 kph, Mach 5.47).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

USSR's Venera 10 entered orbit about Venus, and the landing probe separated from the orbiter, in preparation for its descent to the surface.

USSR launched Venera 10 from Baikonur on 14 June 1975, which entered Venus orbit and was separated from the lander on 23 October 1975. The orbiter served as a communications relay for the lander, and explored cloud layers and atmospheric parameters. Its instruments included a French 3500 angstrom UV photometer, a 4000-7000 angstrom photo-polarimeter, a 1.5-3 micron infrared spectrometer, and a 8-30 micron infrared radiometer. The orbiter also carried a magnetometer and charged particle traps. Some reports indicated a camera system was also aboard. The orbiter consisted of a cylinder with two solar panel wings and a high gain parabolic antenna attached to the curved surface. A bell-shaped unit holding propulsion systems was attached to the bottom of the cylinder, and mounted on top was a 2.4 m sphere which held the lander.

The descent craft/lander comprised a spherical body mounted by a series of struts on a toroidal landing platform and topped by a disk (the titanium aerobrake) and a cylindrical tower. The full entry probe, which included a 2.4 m aluminum heat shield and held the descent craft, had a mass of 1560 kg. The lander was 2 m high and had a mass of 660 kg. Data transmission would be at 256 bits/sec, through a helical antenna wrapped around the upper cylinder using the orbiter as a relay. It carried a panoramic imaging system mounted 90 cm above the base, a thermometer, barometer, anemometer, mass spectrometer, photometers, nephelometer, gamma-ray spectrometer, radiation densitometer, and accelerometers.

The Venera 10 lander touched down on Venus with the Sun near zenith at 05:17 UT on 25 October. A system of circulating fluid used to distribute the heat load, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 65 minutes after landing, until the orbiter was out of range to act as a relay. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by the protective hemispheric aeroshell heat shield, three parachutes (jettisoned at 49 km altitude), the disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion which also held many of the instruments. The landing was about 2,200 km distant from Venera 9. Preliminary results provided:

   1. profile of altitude (km)/pressure (Earth atmospheres)/temperature (degrees C) of 42/3.3/158, 15/37/363, and 0/92/465
   2. successful TV photography showing large pancake rocks with lava or other weathered rocks in between
   3. surface wind speed of 3.5 m/s

Venera 9 and 10 were the first probes to send back black and white pictures from the Venusian surface. They were supposed to make 360 degree panoramic shots, but on both landers one of two camera covers failed to come off, restricting their field of view to 180 degrees.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

Harvard College discovered asteroids #2051 Chang and #2549 Baker.

Paleontologist Elso Barghoorn announced that 3.4 billion year old one-celled fossils, the earliest known life forms, had been discovered.
ref: www.nytimes.com

A. Mrkos discovered asteroid #2559; Purple Mountain Observatory discovered asteroids #2903 and #3024; T. Seki discovered asteroid #2571 Geisei..

NASA's Apollo 9 Lunar Module ascent stage re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, twelve and a half years after its operational testing in Earth orbit.

Apollo 9, launched 3 March 1969, was the third crewed Apollo flight and the first crewed flight to include the Lunar Module (LM). The crew was Commander James McDivitt, Command Module (CM) pilot David Scott, and LM pilot Russell Schweickart. The primary objective of the mission was to test all aspects of the Lunar Module in Earth orbit, including operation of the LM as an independent self-sufficient spacecraft and performance of docking and rendezvous manuevers. The goal was to simulate maneuvers which would be performed in actual Lunar missions. Other concurrent objectives included overall checkout of launch vehicle and spacecraft systems, crew, and procedures. A multispectral photographic experiment was also performed.

On 7 March at 13:03 UT, the LM ("Spider"), carrying McDivitt and Schweickart, separated from the CSM ("Gumdrop"). It was put into a circular orbit about 20 km higher than the CSM. The LM descent stage was jettisoned and for the first time in space the ascent stage engine was fired, lowering the LM orbit to 16 km below and 120 km behind the CSM. A simulated rendezvous of the LM returning from a Lunar mission with the orbiting CSM culminated in docking at 19:02 UT. The crew transferred back to the CSM, The LM ascent stage (1969-018C) was jettisoned and its ascent engine was commanded to fire to fuel depletion, into an Earth orbit of 235 x 6970 km. The LM ascent stage orbit decayed on 23 October 1981, the LM descent stage (1969-018D) orbit decayed 22 March 1969. The remaining four days of the Apollo 9 flight included more orbital manuevers and a landmark tracking exercise. All systems on all spacecraft worked nearly normally during the mission, and all primary objectives were accomplished.

Apollo 9 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on 13 March 1969 after a mission elapsed time of 241 hrs, 0 mins, 54 secs. The splashdown point was 23 deg 15 min N, 67 deg 56 min W, 180 miles east of Bahamas and within sight of the recovery ship USS Guadalcanal. The Apollo 9 Command Module is on display at the San Diego Aerospace Museum in San Diego, California.

The Apollo program included a large number of uncrewed test missions and 12 crewed missions: three Earth orbiting missions (Apollo 7, 9 and Apollo-Soyuz), two Lunar orbiting missions (Apollo 8 and 10), a Lunar swingby (Apollo 13), and six Moon landing missions (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). Two astronauts from each of these six missions walked on the Moon, the only humans to have set foot on another solar system body (as of 2022). Total funding for the Apollo program was approximately $20,443,600,000, an average bill of only about $100 per person for the population of the United States at the time.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

B. A. Skiff discovered asteroid #3637; C. and E. Shoemaker discovered asteroid #3700 Geowilliams.

1989 09:33:01 PDT (GMT -7:00:00)
NASA's STS 34 (Atlantis 5, Shuttle 31, 62nd US manned mission) ended after carrying the Galieo Jupiter probe and the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment to orbit.

The STS 34 launch set for 12 October 1989 was rescheduled due to a faulty main engine controller on main engine number two. The launch set for 17 October was rescheduled due to weather constraints for a return-to-launch-site landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility.

The primary payload, the Galileo/Jupiter spacecraft and attached Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), was deployed six hours, 30 minutes into the flight. The IUS stages fired, placing Galileo on a trajectory for its six-year trip to Jupiter via gravitational boosts from Venus and Earth and possible observational brushes with asteroids Gaspra and Ida.

The secondary payloads aboard STS 34 included the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment carried in cargo bay, and in the crew cabin, Growth Hormone Crystal Distribution (GHCD); Polymer Morphology (PM), Sensor Technology Experiment (STEX); Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE); IMAX camera; Shuttle Student Involvement Program (SSIP) experiment that investigated ice crystal formation in zero-gravity; and ground-based Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment.

STS 34 ended on 23 October 1989 when Atlantis landed on revolution 80 on Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 9,677 feet. Rollout time: 60 seconds. Launch weight: 257,569 pounds. Landing weight: 195,954 pounds. Orbit altitude: 185 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 34.3 degrees. Mission duration: four days, 23 hours, 39 minutes, 21 seconds. Miles traveled: 2 million. Atlantis was returned to the Kennedy Space Center on 29 October 1989.

The flight crew for STS 34 was: Donald E. Williams, Commander; Michael J. McCulley, Pilot; Franklin R. Chang-Diaz, Mission Specialist 1; Shannon W. Lucid, Mission Specialist 2; Ellen S. Baker, Mission Specialist 3.
ref: www.nasa.gov

On a Saturday afternoon, Brazil launched its first space vehicle, the two-stage rocket VSB-30 (Brazilian Exploration Vehicle), to an apogee of 240 km from the Alcantara launch site in Maranhao, about 1,700 miles north of Rio de Janeiro.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

2004 00:36:00 GMT
The International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 9 crew and their visitor returned to Earth in Soyuz TMA-4.

International Space Station Expedition 9 commander Gennady Padalka and NASA science officer Michael Fincke lived aboard the station from 21 April 2004 through 23 October 2004. They returned to Earth in their Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft which landed at 8:36 PM EDT (0036 GMT). Russian Space Forces cosmonaut Yuri Shargin, an ISS visitor, also rode with them in the Soyuz return flight.

Padalka and Fincke returned home after an eventful 188-day tour in space that began on with their launch on 18 April 2004. They made some unexpected repairs and conducted four spacewalks, including one of the shortest on record and another that marked the first use of Russian spacesuits for a US segment operation.
ref: www.nasa.gov

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