Archive for January 2018

Space Rocket History #43 – Ranger-7, Nimbus-1, European Space Organizations, and Christmas From the Moon

January 13, 2018 @ 9:52 am

You may recall from episode 32 Ranger- 4 was the first  U.S. spacecraft to reach another celestial body. However, Ranger-4 failed it primary mission of returning pictures from the moon…

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Space Rocket History #42 – Satellite Killer – Polyot-1

January 13, 2018 @ 9:42 am

The Space Age had barely begun when Soviet engineers started planning ways to destroy enemy satellites. Some Western analysts have speculated that a design for an anti-satellite weapon system was started at Korolev’s OKB-1 bureau as early as 1956…

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Space Rocket History #41 – The First Woman in Space, Vostok 5 & 6 with Bykovsky and Tereshkova – Part 3

January 12, 2018 @ 9:21 pm

During re-entry plasma enveloped Vostok-6. Tereshkova saw pieces of burning material fly past her window and she also smelled smoke entering the cabin…

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Space Rocket History #40 – The First Woman in Space, Vostok 5 & 6 with Bykovsky and Tereshkova – Part 2

January 12, 2018 @ 9:11 pm

Vostok 5’s orbit turned out to be lower than the expected 181 by 235 km. The actual orbit was 175 by 222 km.  Initial calculations indicated the orbit of Vostok 5 would not decay for 10 or 11 days, however more conservative estimates, taking into account the increased solar activity and the resulting expanding of the upper atmosphere showed that the orbit could decay after only 8 days. With no way of predicting where Vostok 5 might land, the planned eight-day mission was now in question…

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Space Rocket History #39 – The First Woman in Space, Vostok 5 & 6 with Bykovsky and Tereshkova – Part 1

January 12, 2018 @ 9:02 pm

In June of 1963, the Soviet Union performed an encore of the Vostok 3 and 4 missions with two manned spaceships orbiting the Earth simultaneously. However, Vostok 5 and 6 was more than a simple repetition.  Vostok 5’s objective was to beat the flight-duration record. But Vostok-6 would carrying the first woman into space.  The 26 year old Valentina Tereshkova….

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Space Rocket History #38 – Syncom 1,2,3, and TIROS 8

January 5, 2018 @ 2:51 pm

Geosynchronous satellites have the advantage of remaining permanently in the same area of the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth. Geostationary satellites have the special property of remaining permanently fixed in the exact same position in the sky at all times, meaning that ground-based antennas do not need to track them but can remain fixed in one direction…

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Space Rocket History #37 – Flight of Faith 7, Mercury-Atlas 9 with Gordon Cooper

January 5, 2018 @ 2:22 pm

Mercury-Atlas 9 was the fourth and final manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The flight objectives were to:
(1) evaluate the effects on the astronaut of approximately one day in orbital flight;
(2) verify that man can function for an extended period in space as a primary operating system of the spacecraft; and,
(3) evaluate in a manned one-day mission the combined performance of the astronaut and a Mercury spacecraft specifically modified for the mission…

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Space Rocket History #36 – Mariner 2 and Relay 1

January 5, 2018 @ 2:09 pm

During the summer of 1962 final preparations were underway for the first U.S. attempt to reach another planet.  The planet was Venus, Earth’s closest planetary neighbor.  This first flight would be accomplished by the JPL built Mariner 2 spacecraft…

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