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Race To Space
Someone will win the prize...
               ... but at what cost?
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Died, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, German philosopher, scientist, mathematician (calculus (independently from Newton), mathematical functions)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Robert Fulton, US engineer, inventor (first commercially successful steam-powered ship)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

A. Charlois discovered asteroid #302 Clarissa.

Born, Leonid Ivanovich Sedov, Russian scientist who chaired the Commission for Promotion of Interplanetary Flights, public spokesman for the Soviet space program
ref: en.wikipedia.org

The first airplane flight from a ship was made by Eugene Ely in a Curtiss pusher biplane, taking off from a makeshift wooden runway built above the forward deck of the light cruiser USS Birmingham, at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
ref: airandspace.si.edu

Born, Kerim Aliyevich Kerimov, Russian military rocket forces officer, chaired the State Commission for Soyuz (1966-1991), supervised the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (ASTP) mission in 1975

Kerim Aliyevich Kerimov (14 November 1917 - 29 March 2003) was a Russian military officer involved in creating the earliest rocket units in the Soviet Union. Ascending positions in the rocket forces throughout the 1950's culminated in assignment as Commander of the Third Directorate of the Main Directorate of Missile Weapons (GURVO) in September 1960. Kerimov was First Commander of TsUKOS (1964-1965), Directorate Chief of Ministry of General Machine Building (1965-1974), and chaired the State Commission for Soyuz (1966-1991).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

O. Struve discovered asteroid #992 Swasey.

Born, Edward Higgins "Ed" White II (at San Antonio, Texas, USA), Lt Colonel USAF, NASA astronaut (Gemini 4; nearly 4d 2h in spaceflight), first American to walk in space (deceased, Apollo 1 fire)
Astronaut Ed White II, NASA photo S66-35219 (12 May 1966)Source: NASA Image and Video Library S66-35219~small.jpg
Astronaut Ed White II, NASA photo S66-35219 (12 May 1966)
Source: NASA Image and Video Library

Edward Higgins "Ed" White II (14 November 1930 - 27 January 1967) was an American astronaut. He was chosen with the second group of astronauts in 1962. As pilot of Gemini 4, he was the first American to make a spacewalk. White was also the backup command pilot for Gemini 7. He had been selected to be the Command Module pilot for the first Apollo program flight. He died with fellow astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee in the Apollo 1 fire at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Fred Wallace Haise Jr (at Biloxi, Mississippi, USA), NASA astronaut (Apollo 13, STS T-1, STS T-3, STS T-5; nearly 5d 23h time in spaceflight), altitude record (401,056 km, Apollo 13)
Astronaut Fred Haise Jr, NASA photo S69-62238 (1969)Source: NASA Image and Video Library S69-62238~small.jpg
Astronaut Fred Haise Jr, NASA photo S69-62238 (1969)
Source: NASA Image and Video Library
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Born, Kenneth Duane "Ken" Bowersox (at Portsmouth, Virgina, USA), Captain USN, NASA astronaut (STS 50, STS 61, STS 73, STS 82, ISS 6 (Commander); nearly 211d 14.25h total time in spaceflight)
Astronaut Ken Bowersox, ISS EO-6 mission commander, NASA photo (October 1987) Source: NASA Image and Video Library S87-45887~small.jpg
Astronaut Ken Bowersox, ISS EO-6 mission commander, NASA photo (October 1987)
Source: NASA Image and Video Library
ref: en.wikipedia.org

1963 19:19:00 GMT
NASA and the USAF launched X-15A CO/Opt Deg/Systems Test/Technology mission # 95 in which Joe Engle reached a maximum speed of 3286 mph (5288 kph, Mach 4.75), and attained a maximum altitude of 90,800 ft (27.676 km, 17.197 mi).
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Died, Allen B. DuMont, inventor (perfected the commercially practical cathode ray tube)
ref: en.wikipedia.org

During the 0h 55m Gemini 12-3 "stand up" EVA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin photographed the Earth's limb and stars in ultraviolet light.

Gemini 12 was the tenth and final flight of the Gemini series, which bridged the Mercury and Apollo programs. This mission, carrying astronauts Jim Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, was scheduled to perform rendezvous and docking with the Agena target vehicle, to conduct three ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) operations, to conduct a tethered stationkeeping exercise, to perform docked maneuvers using the Agena propulsion system to change orbit, and to demonstrate an automatic reentry. There were also 14 scientific, medical, and technological experiments on board.

Gemini 12 was launched from Complex 19 on 11 November 1966 at 3:46:33 PM EST (20:46:33.419 UT) and inserted into a 160.8 x 270.6 km Earth orbit at 3:52:40 PM EST. At 7:32 PM EST, rendezvous was achieved with the Gemini Agena Target Vehicle (GATV), which had been launched an hour and a half before Gemini 12. Docking with the GATV was accomplished 28 minutes later, at 4:14 Ground Elapsed Time (GET) on the third orbit, relying heavily on visual sightings due to problems with the onboard radar. During insertion of the GATV into orbit, an anomaly was noted in the primary propulsion system, so the plan to use the GATV to lift the docked spacecraft into a higher orbit was abandoned. Instead, two phasing maneuvers using the GATV secondary propulsion system were accomplished to allow the spacecraft to rendezvous with the 12 November total eclipse visible over South America at about 9:20 AM EST, with the crew taking pictures through the spacecraft windows.

The first standup EVA took place with the hatch opening at 11:15 AM EST (19:29 GET) on 12 November and Aldrin standing on his seat with his upper body out of the hatch. The EVA lasted 2 hours 29 minutes during which Aldrin mounted a camera to the side of the spacecraft and collected a micrometeorite experiment, with the hatch closing at 1:44 PM.

At 7:16 AM on 13 November, the crew reported little or no thrust was available from two of the maneuvering thrusters.

At 10:34 AM on 13 November (42:48 GET), the hatch was opened for the second EVA. Aldrin was outside the spacecraft at 10:38, attached to a 9 meter umbilical cord. He first worked in the hatch and nose area, and then moved along a handrail he had installed to the adapter section where he used foot restraints and tethers to position himself in front of a work panel mounted on the rear of the adaptor where he performed 17 relatively simple manual tasks. He then moved to the target vehicle adapter area and carried out another series of tasks, including use of a torque wrench while tethered. He attached a 30 meter long tether stowed in the GATV adapter to the Gemini adapter bar. About a dozen two-minute rest periods were scheduled during the EVA to prevent Aldrin from becoming overtaxed as happened to previous spacewalkers. Aldrin reentered the capsule at 12:33 PM and closed the hatch at 12:40 PM. All tasks were accomplished, and total EVA time was 2 hours 6 minutes.

At 3:09 PM Gemini 12 undocked from the GATV, moved to the end of the tether connecting the two vehicles, and began the tether experiment by moving in a circular orbit about the GATV. The tether tended to remain slack, but the crew believed the two craft slowly attained gravity-gradient stabilization. The tether was released at 7:37 PM. On 14 November the hatch was opened at 9:52 AM (66:06 GET) and Aldrin began the second standup EVA which included photography, additional experiments and jettison of unused equipment. The EVA ended after 55 minutes when the hatch was closed at 10:47 AM. Minor fuel cell and thruster problems were reported, but did not affect the remainder of the mission.

The automatically controlled reentry sequence began with retrofire at the end of revolution 59 on 15 November at 1:46:31 PM EST, 94 hours after liftoff. Splashdown occurred at 2:21:04 PM EST in the western Atlantic at 24.58 N, 69.95 W, 4.8 km from target point. The crew was picked up by helicopter and brought aboard the USS Wasp at 2:49 PM, and the spacecraft was picked up at 3:28 PM. Total mission elapsed time was 94:34:31. All primary mission goals were successfully accomplished except performance of maneuvers using the Agena propulsion system due to fluctuations in the system noticed by ground controllers. There were minor fuel cell and attitude control thruster problems during the mission. The successfully performed scientific experiments were (1) frog egg growth under zero-g, (2) synoptic terrain photography, (3) synoptic weather photography, (4) nuclear emulsions, (5) airglow horizon photography, (6) UV astronomical photography, and (7) dim sky photography. Two micrometeorite collection experiments, as well as three space phenomena photography experiments, were not fully completed.
ref: en.wikipedia.org
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

USSR Zond 6 flew around the Moon, capturing photos of the far side.

Zond 6 was launched 10 November 1968 on a Lunar flyby mission from a parent satellite (68-101B) in Earth parking orbit. It carried scientific probes including cosmic-ray and micrometeoroid detectors, cameras, and a biological payload, and was intended a precursor to manned missions.

Zond 6 made a midcourse correction on 12 November and flew around the Moon on 14 November 1968, at a minimum distance of 2420 km. It went behind the Moon at 05:49:37, and emerged at 06:21:11. Zond 6 took spectacular photos of the Moon's limb with the Earth in the background. 5x7 inch (12.70 by 17.78 cm) photographs of the Lunar near and far side were obtained with panchromatic (black and white) film. Some of the views allowed for stereo pictures. They were taken from distances ranging from approximately 11,000 km to 3300 km.

On the return leg, on 14 November, the hydrogen peroxide temperature aboard the L1 capsule fell from +20 deg C to -2 deg C. By the following morning, it was down to -5 deg C and in danger of disassociating into oxygen and water, so the capsule's orientation thrusters would not be able to function for re-entry. A color television camera was supposed to have been included in the cabin. If it was there, it could have been turned on to warm the capsule, but Mishin had insisted to the State Commission that it be deleted. The spacecraft could also be oriented so that the Sun would shine directly over the peroxide tank and warm it, but that might damage the 100K star sensor, which was mounted right next to it. A proposal was made that an attempt be made to orient the spacecraft using the ONA gyroscope package as flywheels, but Mishin and his deputies didn't want to try anything. Also during the return flight, a gasket failed on 16 November, leading to cabin depressurization, which would have been fatal to a human crew.

In spite of the problems, the 7K-L1 made the first successful double skip trajectory, dipping into the Earth's atmosphere over Antarctica, slowing from 11 km/sec to suborbital velocity, then skipping back out into space before making a final re-entry onto Soviet territory. The landing on 17 November 1968 was only 16 km from the pad from which it had been launched toward the Moon. After the re-entry, the main parachute ejected prematurely, ripping the main canopy, leading to the capsule being destroyed on impact with the ground. One negative was recovered from the camera container, a small victory obtained over the Americans, but the criteria for a manned flight had obviously not been met. Mishin's only hope to beat the Americans was a failure or delay in the Apollo 8 flight set for December, the next Zond test was set for January.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1969 16:22:00 GMT
NASA launched Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.
Apollo 12 launch, NASA photo Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog apollo_12_launch.jpg
Apollo 12 launch, NASA photo
Source: NSSDCA Master Catalog

Apollo 12, launched on 14 November 1969 under cloudy, rain-swept skies, was the second mission in which humans walked on the Lunar surface and returned to Earth. On 19 November 1969, two astronauts (Apollo 12 Commander Charles P. "Pete" Conrad and LM Pilot Alan L. Bean) landed on the Moon in the Lunar Module (LM) within walking distance (182.88 meters) of Surveyor 3, in Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms). Meanwhile, the Command and Service Module (CSM) continued in Lunar orbit with CM pilot Richard F. Gordon aboard. During their stay on the Moon, the astronauts examined Surveyor 3 (which had landed on the Moon 2.5 years earlier, on 20 April 1967) and removed pieces for later examination on Earth, set up scientific experiments, took photographs, and collected Lunar samples on two moonwalk EVA's. The LM took off from the Moon on 20 November, and the astronauts returned to Earth on 24 November.

Apollo 12 was launched on Saturn V SA-507 on 14 November 1969 at 16:22:00 UT (11:22:00 AM EST) from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The spacecraft was struck by lightning 36 seconds after launch and again 52 seconds after launch, which momentarily shut off electrical power and cut out telemetry contact. The first strike was visible to spectators at the launch site. Power was automatically switched to battery backup while the crew restored the primary power system. There were no further problems with the power system and the spacecraft entered planned Earth parking orbit at 11 minutes 44 seconds after liftoff.

After 1.5 orbits, the S-IVB stage was re-ignited at 19:15:14 UT for a translunar injection burn of 5 minutes 45 seconds, putting the spacecraft on course for the Moon. The CSM separated from the S-IVB stage containing the LM 25 minutes later, turned around and docked with the LM at 19:48:53 UT. After achieving trajectory towards the Moon, the LM and CSM decoupled from the S-IVB at 20:35 UT on 14 November 1969 and made a course correction to head for Lunar orbit. Propellants were fired to target the SIVB stage past the Moon and into solar orbit, but the stage did not go close enough to the Moon to permit escape, and it ended in a highly elliptical Earth orbit due to an error in the instrument unit.

During Lunar coast, the LM was checked out to ensure no electrical damage had been caused by the lightning. Astronauts Conrad and Bean transferred to the LM one-half hour earlier than planned in order to obtain full TV coverage through the Goldstone tracking station. The 56-minute TV transmission showed excellent color pictures of the CSM, the intravehicular transfer, the LM interior, the Earth, and the Moon. A midcourse correction was made on 16 November at 02:15 UT.

A six minute SPS burn on 18 November at 03:47:23 UT put the Apollo 12 into Lunar orbit of 312.6 x 115.9 kilometers. Two orbits later, a second burn circularized the orbit with a 122.5 kilometer apolune and a 100.6 kilometer perilune. Conrad and Bean again entered the LM, where they perfomed housekeeping chores, a voice and telemetry test, and an oxygen purge system check. They then returned to the CM.

Conrad and Bean entered the LM, checked out all systems, and separated from the CSM at 04:16:03 UT on 19 November with a reaction control system thruster burn. The LM descent engine fired for 29 seconds at 05:47 UT, and the LM landed at 06:54:35 UT (1:54:35 a.m. EST) in the Oceanus Procellarum area at 3.0124 S latitude, 23.4216 W longitude (IAU Mean Earth Polar Axis coordinate system) within about 180 meters of the Surveyor 3 spacecraft.

Conrad and Bean took two moonwalks with a total duration of 7 hours 45 minutes, covering a total traverse distance of 1.35 km. The first was from 11:32:35 to 15:28:38 UT and involved deployment of the ALSEP. Conrad, shorter than Neil Armstrong (first man on the moon, 20 July 1969), had a little difficulty negotiating the last step from the LM ladder to the Lunar surface. When he touched the surface at 6:44 AM EST on 19 November, he exclaimed, "Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small step for Neil, but that's a long one for me." Bean joined Conrad on the surface at 7:14 AM EST. They immediately collected a 1.9 kilogram contingency sample of Lunar material, and later a 14.8 kilogram selected sample. They also deployed an S-band antenna, solar wind composition experiment, and the American flag. An Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package with a SNAP-27 atomic generator was deployed about 182 meters from the LM. After 3 hours 56 minutes on the Lunar surface, the two astronauts entered the Intrepid to rest and check plans for the next EVA.

To improve the television pictures from the Moon, a color camera was taken on Apollo 12, unlike the monochrome camera used on Apollo 11. Unfortunately, when Bean carried the camera to the place near the Lunar Module where it was to be set up, he inadvertently pointed it directly into the Sun, destroying the vidicon tube. Television coverage of this mission was thus terminated almost immediately.

The Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) consisted of a set of scientific instruments emplaced at the landing site by the astronauts. The instruments were arrayed around a central station which supplied power to run the instruments and relayed data collected by the experiments to Earth. The central station was a 25 kg box with a stowed volume of 34,800 cubic cm. Thermal control was achieved by passive elements (insulation, reflectors, thermal coatings) as well as power dissipation resistors and heaters. Communications with Earth were achieved through a 58 cm long, 3.8 cm diameter modified axial-helical antenna mounted on top of the central station, pointed towards Earth by the astronauts. Transmitters, receivers, data processors and multiplexers were housed within the central station. Data collected from the instruments were converted into a telemetry format and transmitted to Earth. The ALSEP system and instruments were controlled by commands from Earth. The uplink frequency for all Apollo mission ALSEP's was 2119 MHz, the downlink frequency for the Apollo 12 ALSEP was 2278.5 MHz.

All ALSEP instruments were deployed on the surface by the astronauts and attached to the central station by cables. The Apollo 12 ALSEP instruments consisted of: (1) a passive seismometer, designed to measure seismic activity and physical properties of the Lunar crust and interior; (2) a suprathermal ion detector, designed to measure the flux, composition, energy, and velocity of low-energy positive ions; (3) a cold cathode ion gauge, designed to measure the atmosphere and any variations with time or solar activity such atmosphere may have; (4) a Lunar dust detector, to measure dust accumulation, radiation damage to solar cells, and reflected infrared energy and temperatures; (5) a Lunar surface magnetometer (LSM), designed to measure the magnetic field at the Lunar surface; and (6) a solar wind spectrometer, which measured the fluxes and spectra of the electrons and protons that emanate from the Sun and reach the Lunar surface. The central station, located at 3.0094 S latitude, 23.4246 W longitude, was turned on at 14:21 UT on 19 November 1969 and shut down along with the other ALSEP stations on 30 September 1977.

On the second moonwalk, on 20 November from 03:54:45 to 07:44:00 UT, Conrad and Bean retrieved the Lunar module TV camera for return to Earth for a failure analysis, obtained photographic panoramas, core and trench samples, a Lunar environment sample, and assorted rock, dirt, bedrock, and molten samples. The crew then examined and retrieved about 10 kg of parts of Surveyor 3, including the TV camera and soil scoop. After 3 hours 49 minutes on the Lunar surface during the second EVA, the two crewmen entered the LM at 2:44 AM EST on 20 November. Meanwhile, astronaut Gordon, orbiting the moon in the Yankee Clipper, had completed a Lunar multispectral photography experiment and photographed proposed future landing sites.

The LM lifted off from the Moon on 20 November at 14:25:47 UT after 31 hours 31 minutes on the Lunar surface with 34.4 kilograms of Lunar samples. Rendezvous maneuvers went as planned. The last 24 minutes of the rendezvous sequence was televised. After docking with the CSM at 17:58:22 UT, the crew transferred the samples, equipment, and film to the Yankee Clipper. The LM was jettisoned at 20:21:30 and intentionally crashed into the Moon at 22:17 UT (5:17 PM EST), striking at 3.94 S, 338.80 E, about 72.2 kilometers southeast of the seismic station at the Apollo 12 landing site, creating the first recorded artificial moonquake. The seismometers the astronauts had left on the Lunar surface registered the vibrations for more than an hour.

Transearth injection began at 20:49:16 UT on 21 November with a firing of the CSM main engine after 89 hours 2 minutes in Lunar orbit. During the transearth coast, views of the receding Moon and the interior of the spacecraft were televised, and a question and answer session with scientists and the press was conducted. A mid-course correction was made on 22 November. The CM separated from the SM on 24 November at 20:29:21. Apollo 12 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 24 November 1969 at 20:58:24 UT (3:58:24 PM EST) after a mission elapsed time of 244 hours, 36 minutes, 24 seconds. The splashdown point was 15 deg 47 min S, 165 deg 9 min W, near American Samoa and 6.9 km (4.3 mi) from the recovery ship USS Hornet.

Performance of the spacecraft, the first of the Apollo H-series missions, was very good for all aspects of the mission. The primary mission goals of an extensive series of Lunar exploration tasks, deployment of the ALSEP, and demonstration of the ability to remain and work on the surface of the Moon for an extended period were achieved. Conrad was a Navy Commander on his third spaceflight (previously on Gemini 5 and 11, later to fly on Skylab 2), Bean was a Navy Lt. Commander on his first flight (he later flew on Skylab 3), and Gordon was a Navy Commander on his second flight (Gemini 11). The backup crew for this mission was David Scott, Alfred Worden, and James Irwin.

The Apollo 12 Command Module "Yankee Clipper" is on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, Virginia. The returned Surveyor 3 camera is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

NASA's Mariner 9 became the first man-made spacecraft to orbit another planet when it went into orbit about Mars.

Mariner 9 was launched 30 May 1971 on a 398 million km direct ascent trajectory to Mars. A planned midcourse maneuver was executed on 5 June. Mariner 9 arrived at Mars on 14 November 1971 after a 167 day flight. A 15 minute 23 second rocket burn put the spacecraft into Mars orbit, making Mariner 9 the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. The insertion orbit had a periapsis of 1398 km and a period of 12 hr, 34 min. Two days later a 6 second rocket burn changed the orbital period to just under 12 hours with a periapsis of 1387 km. A correction trim maneuver was made on 30 December on the 94th orbit which raised the periapsis to 1650 km and changed the orbital period to 11:59:28 so that synchronous data transmissions could be made to the Goldstone 64 m Deep Space Network antenna.

The Mariner Mars 71 mission was planned to consist of two spacecraft on complementary missions. Mariner 8 was to map 70% of the Martian surface, and Mariner 9 was to study temporal changes in the Martian atmosphere and on the Martian surface. The launch failure of Mariner 8 forced Mariner 9 to combine the mission objectives of both. For the survey portion of the mission, the planetary surface was to be mapped with the same resolution as planned for the original mission, although the resolution of pictures of the polar regions would be decreased due to the increased slant range. The variable features experiments were changed from studies of six given areas every 5 days to studies of smaller regions every 17 days.

Imaging of the surface of Mars by Mariner 9 was delayed by a dust storm which started on 22 September 1971 in the Noachis region. The storm quickly grew into one of the largest global storms ever observed on Mars. By the time the spacecraft arrived at Mars, no surface details could be seen except the summits of Olympus Mons and the three Tharsis volcanoes. The storm abated through November and December, and normal mapping operations began. The spacecraft gathered data on the atmospheric composition, density, pressure, and temperature and also the surface composition, temperature, gravity, and topography of Mars.

The Mariner 9 mission resulted in a global mapping of the surface of Mars, including the first detailed views of the Martian volcanoes, Valles Marineris, the polar caps, and the satellites Phobos and Deimos. It also provided information on global dust storms, the triaxial figure of Mars, and the rugged gravity field as well as evidence for surface aeolian activity. A total of 54 billion bits of scientific data were returned, including 7329 images covering the entire planet.

After depleting its supply of attitude control gas, the spacecraft was turned off on 27 October 1972. Mariner 9 was left in an orbit which should not decay for at least 50 years, after which the spacecraft will enter the Martian atmosphere.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1973 20:38:00 GMT
USSR launched Molniya 1-25 from Baikonur for operation of the long range telephone and telegraph communication system, and transmission of USSR Central Television programs to the stations of the Orbita network.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1975 19:14:00 GMT
USSR launched Molniya 3-3 from Plesetsk to operate the long-range telephone and telegraph communication system within the Soviet Union, and to transmit USSR central television programs to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

1981 13:23:11 PST (GMT -8:00:00)
NASA's STS 2 (Columbia 2, Shuttle 2), the first spacecraft launched twice, returned to Earth after carrying the Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications-1 (OSTA-1) experiment platform to space.

The STS 2 launch set for 9 October 1981 was rescheduled when a nitrogen tetroxide spill occurred during loading of the forward reaction control system. The launch on 4 November was delayed, and then scrubbed, when the countdown computer called for hold in the count due to an apparent low reading on fuel cell oxygen tank pressures. During the hold, high oil pressures were discovered in two of the three auxiliary power units (APUs) that operate the hydraulic system. The APU gear boxes were flushed and the filters replaced, forcing the launch to be rescheduled. The launch on 12 November 1981 was delayed two hours 40 minutes to replace a multiplexer/demultiplexer, and an additional nine minutes 59 seconds to review systems status. The modifications to the launch platform to overcome the previously observed solid rocket booster overpressure problem were found to be effective.

The planned five-day mission was cut nearly three days due to failure of one of the three fuel cells that produce electricity and drinking water, but 90 percent of the mission objectives achieved, including the first time remote manipulator system tests. Mission scientists were satisfied with data from the Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications-1 (OSTA-1) Earth observation experiments mounted on Spacelab pallet in the payload bay. No tiles were lost during the flight, but about a dozen were damaged.

STS 2 ended 14 November 1991 when Columbia landed on revolution 37 on Runway 23, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 7,711 feet. Rollout time: 53 seconds. Launch weight: 320,708 pounds. Orbit altitude: 157 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 38.0 degrees. Mission duration: two days, six hours, 13 minutes, 12 seconds. Miles traveled: 1.075 million. The mission was shortened by approximately three days due to the number one fuel cell failure. The orbiter was returned to the Kennedy Space Center on 25 November 1981.

The flight crew for STS 2 was: Joseph H. Engle, Commander; Richard H. Truly, Pilot.
ref: www.nasa.gov

H. Kosai and K. Hurukawa discovered asteroids #3291 Dunlap and #3320 Namba.

During the 5h 42m STS-51-A-2 EVA, Discovery astronauts Allen and Gardner plucked a second satellite from orbit, retrieving the Westar-VI satellite.

The STS 51-A shuttle mission launch attempt on 7 November 1984 was scrubbed during a built-in hold at T-20 minutes due to wind shears in the upper atmosphere. The countdown 8 November 1984 proceeded as scheduled.

The Canadian communications satellite TELESAT-H (ANIK), attached to a Payload Assist Module-D (PAM-D), was deployed into geosynchronous orbit on flight day two. On the third flight day, the defense communications satellite SYNCOM IV-1 (also known as LEASAT-1) was deployed. Allen and Gardner, wearing jet-propelled manned maneuvering units, retrieved two malfunctioning satellites: PALAPA-B2 and WESTAR-VI, both deployed on Mission 41-B. Fisher operated the remote manipulator system, grappling the satellites and depositing them in payload bay. The middeck payloads were the Diffusive Mixing of Organic Solutions (DMOS) and Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME) experiments.

STS 51-A ended on 16 November 1984 when Discovery landed on revolution 127 on Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Rollout distance: 9,454 feet. Rollout time: 58 seconds. Launch weight: 263,324 pounds. Landing weight: 207,505 pounds. Orbit altitude: 185 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 28.5 degrees. Mission duration: seven days, 23 hours, 44 minutes, 56 seconds. Miles traveled: 3.3 million.

The crew for STS 51-A was: Frederick H. Hauck, Commander, David M. Walker, Pilot, and Mission Specialists Anna L. Fisher (the first "mom" in orbit), Dale A. Gardner, and Joseph P. Allen.
ref: en.wikipedia.org
ref: www.nasa.gov

1984 00:34:00 GMT
The NATO 3-D military communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, which was positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 30 deg W 1985; 50 deg W 1985-1986; 21 deg W 1986-1991; 30 deg W 1991-1993; 21 deg W 1993-1997; 18 deg W 1997-1999.
ref: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov

P. Jensen and K. Augustesen discovered asteroid #3596 Meriones.

1994 19:33:45 PST (GMT -8:00:00)
NASA's STS 66 (Atlantis 13, Shuttle 66) landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, after carrying the ATLAS-3 and CRISTA-SPAS experiments to space.

The STS 66 launch set for 11:56 AM EST on 3 November 1994 was delayed slightly while Shuttle managers assessed the weather at the transoceanic abort landing sites. The liftoff was the first for Atlantis since an extended checkout and modification period at the Rockwell plant in Palmdale, California: Atlantis departed KSC October 1992 and returned May 1994. The orbiter was returned to KSC outfitted with improved nosewheel steering, internal plumbing and electrical connections to accommodate an Extended Duration Orbiter pallet, and electrical wiring to enable OV-104 to be fitted with the Orbiter Docking System for docking with the Russian Space Station Mir.

STS 66 further advanced the comprehensive effort to collect data about the Sun's energy output, chemical makeup of the Earth's middle atmosphere, and how these factors affect global ozone levels. Seven instruments on the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-3 (ATLAS-3) also flew on the first two ATLAS flights. No other collection of space-based instruments provided the same extensive range of atmospheric measurements. Also considered a primary payload on the flight was the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite (CRISTA-SPAS), continuing the joint NASA-DARA (German Space Agency) series of scientific missions. ATLAS-3 and CRISTA-SPAS were considered as a joint mission with a single set of science objectives. During the mission, the crew was divided into two teams for around-the-clock research.

ATLAS-3 instruments, mounted on a Spacelab pallet in cargo bay, included Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS), which collected more data on trace gases in the atmosphere than on all three of its previous flights combined; Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Spectrometer (SSBUV), which took ozone measurements to calibrate the ozone monitor on the aging NOAA-9 satellite as well as cooperative measurements with other ATLAS-3 instruments; Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor (ACRIM), which took extremely precise measurements of the Sun's total radiation for 30 orbits as a calibration reference for a sister instrument on Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) launched in 1991; Measurement of the Solar Constant (SOLCON), provided by Belgium, which also measured solar radiation but as reference point to track changes over the years; Solar Spectrum Measurement (SOLSPEC), a French instrument, measured the Sun's radiation as function of wavelength; and Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), which collected its highest precision solar ultraviolet radiation measurements in its 15 year lifetime. Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS) collected nine hours of observations, measuring distribution of water vapor, chlorine monoxide and ozone at altitudes between 12 and 60 miles (20-100 kilometers), before a computer malfunction halted the instrument's operations.

CRISTA-SPAS was released from the orbiter's Remote Manipulator System arm on the second day of the mission. Flying at distance of about 25-44 miles (40-70 kilometers) behind Shuttle, the payload collected data for more than eight days before being retrieved and returned to the cargo bay. The CRISTA instrument gathered the first global information about medium- and small-scale disturbances in trace gases in the middle atmosphere, which could lead to better models of the atmosphere and the Earth's energy balance. The second CRISTA-SPAS instrument, the Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph Investigation (MAHRSI), measured the amounts of ozone-destroying hydroxyl and nitric oxide in the middle atmosphere and lower thermosphere from 24-72 miles (40-120 kilometers). MAHRSI yielded the first complete global maps of hydroxyl in the atmosphere.

For retrieval of CRISTA-SPAS, a different approach method to the spacecraft was successfully tested as prelude to upcoming US Shuttle/Russian Space Station Mir docking flights. Called an R-Bar approach, it is expected to save propellant while reducing risk of contamination to Mir systems from orbiter thruster jet firings.

STS 66 ended on 14 November 1994 when Atlantis landed on revolution 174 on Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Rollout distance: 7,657 feet (2,334 meters). Rollout time: 49 seconds. Orbit altitude: 164 nautical miles. Orbit inclination: 57 degrees. Mission duration: 10 days, 22 hours, 34 minutes, two seconds. Miles traveled: 4.5 million. The landing was diverted to California due to high winds, rain and clouds in Florida caused by Tropical Storm Gordon, and was the fourth diverted landing in 1994 and the third in a row.

The flight crew for STS 66 was: Donald R. McMonagle, Commander; Curtis L. Brown Jr, Pilot; Ellen Ochoa, Payload Commander; Scott E. Parazynski MD, Mission Specialist; Joseph R. Tanner, Mission Specialist; Jean-Francois Clervoy, Mission Specialist.
ref: www.nasa.gov

Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo and David L. Rabinowitz discovered 90377 Sedna, a Trans-Neptunian object described as a cold planetoid, perhaps as large as 2/3 the size of Pluto.

90377 Sedna is a Trans-Neptunian object discovered by Mike Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David L. Rabinowitz (Yale University) on 14 November 2003. Its discovery was the farthest distance at which any natural object in the solar system has ever been observed. Sedna is described as a cold planetoid, perhaps as large as 2/3 the size of Pluto. Because of its cold, distant nature, and because all other extraterrestrial planets are named after (Roman) gods, the scientists who discovered it unofficially named it after Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea, who was believed to live in the cold depths of the Arctic Ocean.

Sedna has a highly elliptical orbit estimated to take about 11,487 years, with its aphelion estimated at 942 AU and its perihelion at about 76.1 AU. At its discovery, it was about 90 AU from the Sun. This is the furthest from the sun that any solar system object has been observed. It will reach perihelion in 2075 or 2076. Sedna has an estimated diameter of between 1180 and 1800 kilometres (730 to 1470 miles), and may be the largest object found in the solar system since Pluto was discovered in 1930.
ref: en.wikipedia.org

Telstar 402 re-entered the Earth's atmosphere approximately ten years after it had failed during launch on 9 September 1994.

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

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