Lunar Orbiter 3
The Lunar Orbiter 3 was a spacecraft launched by NASA in 1967 as part of the Lunar Orbiter Program. It was designed to photograph areas of the lunar surface for confirmation of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions, it was equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, micrometeoroid impact data. The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near-equatorial lunar orbit on February 8 at 21:54 UT; the orbit was 210.2 by 1,801.9 kilometres with an inclination of 20.9 degrees and a period of 3 hours 25 minutes. After four days of tracking the orbit was changed to 55 by 1,847 kilometres; the spacecraft acquired photographic data from February 15 to February 23, 1967, readout occurred through March 2, 1967. The film advance mechanism showed erratic behavior during this period resulting in a decision to begin readout of the frames earlier than planned; the frames were read out until March 4 when the film advance motor burned out, leaving about 25% of the frames on the takeup reel, unable to be read.
A total of 149 medium resolution and 477 high resolution frames were returned. The frames were of excellent quality with resolution down to 1 metre. Included was a frame of the Surveyor 1 landing site, permitting identification of the location of the spacecraft on the surface. Accurate data were acquired from all other experiments throughout the mission; the spacecraft was used for tracking purposes until it struck the lunar surface on command at 14.3 degrees N latitude, 97.7 degrees W longitude on October 9, 1967. Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Exploration of the Moon Lunar Orbiter 1 Lunar Orbiter 2 Lunar Orbiter 4 Lunar Orbiter 5 NSSDC Lunar Orbiter 3 page DESTINATION MOON: A history of the Lunar Orbiter Program 1976 Lunar Orbiter Photo Gallery - Mission 3 at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has the longest rotation period of any planet in the Solar System and rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets, it does not have any natural satellites. It is named after the Roman goddess of beauty, it is the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6 – bright enough to cast shadows at night and visible to the naked eye in broad daylight. Orbiting within Earth's orbit, Venus is an inferior planet and never appears to venture far from the Sun. Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" because of their similar size, proximity to the Sun, bulk composition, it is radically different from Earth in other respects. It has the densest atmosphere of the four terrestrial planets, consisting of more than 96% carbon dioxide; the atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of Earth, or the pressure found 900 m underwater on Earth.
Venus is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System, with a mean surface temperature of 735 K though Mercury is closer to the Sun. Venus is shrouded by an opaque layer of reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light, it may have had water oceans in the past, but these would have vaporized as the temperature rose due to a runaway greenhouse effect. The water has photodissociated, the free hydrogen has been swept into interplanetary space by the solar wind because of the lack of a planetary magnetic field. Venus's surface is a dry desertscape interspersed with slab-like rocks and is periodically resurfaced by volcanism; as one of the brightest objects in the sky, Venus has been a major fixture in human culture for as long as records have existed. It has been made sacred to gods of many cultures, has been a prime inspiration for writers and poets as the morning star and evening star. Venus was the first planet to have its motions plotted across the sky, as early as the second millennium BC.
As the planet with the closest approach to Earth, Venus has been a prime target for early interplanetary exploration. It was the first planet beyond Earth visited by a spacecraft, the first to be landed on. Venus's thick clouds render observation of its surface impossible in visible light, the first detailed maps did not emerge until the arrival of the Magellan orbiter in 1991. Plans have been proposed for rovers or more complex missions, but they are hindered by Venus's hostile surface conditions. Venus is one of the four terrestrial planets in the Solar System, meaning that it is a rocky body like Earth, it is similar to Earth in size and mass, is described as Earth's "sister" or "twin". The diameter of Venus is 12,103.6 km —only 638.4 km less than Earth's—and its mass is 81.5% of Earth's. Conditions on the Venusian surface differ radically from those on Earth because its dense atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide, with most of the remaining 3.5% being nitrogen. The Venusian surface was a subject of speculation until some of its secrets were revealed by planetary science in the 20th century.
Venera landers in 1975 and 1982 returned images of a surface covered in sediment and angular rocks. The surface was mapped in detail by Magellan in 1990–91; the ground shows evidence of extensive volcanism, the sulfur in the atmosphere may indicate that there have been recent eruptions. About 80% of the Venusian surface is covered by smooth, volcanic plains, consisting of 70% plains with wrinkle ridges and 10% smooth or lobate plains. Two highland "continents" make up the rest of its surface area, one lying in the planet's northern hemisphere and the other just south of the equator; the northern continent is called Ishtar Terra after Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love, is about the size of Australia. Maxwell Montes, the highest mountain on Venus, lies on Ishtar Terra, its peak is 11 km above the Venusian average surface elevation. The southern continent is called Aphrodite Terra, after the Greek goddess of love, is the larger of the two highland regions at the size of South America. A network of fractures and faults covers much of this area.
The absence of evidence of lava flow accompanying any of the visible calderas remains an enigma. The planet has few impact craters, demonstrating that the surface is young 300–600 million years old. Venus has some unique surface features in addition to the impact craters and valleys found on rocky planets. Among these are flat-topped volcanic features called "farra", which look somewhat like pancakes and range in size from 20 to 50 km across, from 100 to 1,000 m high; these features are volcanic in origin. Most Venusian surface features are named after mythological women. Exceptions are Maxwell Montes, named after James Clerk Maxwell, highland regions Alpha Regio, Beta Regio, Ovda Regio; the latter three features were named before the current system was adopted by the International Astronomical Union, the body which oversees planetary nomenclature. The longitudes of physical features on Venus are expressed relative to its prime meridian; the original prime meridian passed through the radar-bright spot at the centre o
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is an installation of the United States Air Force Space Command's 45th Space Wing. CCAFS is headquartered at the nearby Patrick Air Force Base, located on Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida, CCAFS; the station is the primary launch head of America's Eastern Range with three launch pads active. Popularly known as "Cape Kennedy" from 1963 to 1973, as "Cape Canaveral" from 1949 to 1963 and from 1973 to the present, the facility is south-southeast of NASA's Kennedy Space Center on adjacent Merritt Island, with the two linked by bridges and causeways; the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip provides a 10,000-foot runway close to the launch complexes for military airlift aircraft delivering heavy and outsized payloads to the Cape. A number of American space exploration pioneers were launched from CCAFS, including the first U. S. Earth satellite in 1958, first U. S. astronaut, first U. S. astronaut in orbit, first two-man U. S. spacecraft, first U. S. unmanned lunar landing, first three-man U.
S. spacecraft. It was the launch site for all of the first spacecraft to fly past each of the planets in the Solar System, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars and roam its surface, the first American spacecraft to orbit and land on Venus, the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, to orbit Mercury, the first spacecraft to leave the Solar System. Portions of the base have been designated a National Historic Landmark for their association with the early years of the American space program; the CCAFS area had been used by the United States government to test missiles since 1949, when President Harry S. Truman established the Joint Long Range Proving Ground at Cape Canaveral; the location was among the best in the continental United States for this purpose, as it allowed for launches out over the Atlantic Ocean, is closer to the equator than most other parts of the United States, allowing rockets to get a boost from the Earth's rotation. On June 1, 1948, the United States Navy transferred the former Banana River Naval Air Station to the United States Air Force, with the Air Force renaming the facility the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Base on June 10, 1949.
On October 1, 1949, the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Base was transferred from the Air Materiel Command to the Air Force Division of the Joint Long Range Proving Ground. On May 17, 1950, the base was renamed the Long Range Proving Ground Base, but three months was renamed Patrick Air Force Base, in honor of Army Maj. Gen. Mason Patrick. In 1951, the Air Force established the Air Force Missile Test Center. Early American sub-orbital rocket flights were achieved at Cape Canaveral in 1956; these flights occurred shortly after sub-orbital flights launched from White Sands Missile Range, such as the Viking 12 sounding rocket on February 4, 1955. Following the Soviet Union's successful Sputnik 1, the United States attempted its first launch of an artificial satellite from Cape Canaveral on December 6, 1957. However, the rocket carrying Vanguard TV3 exploded on the launch pad. NASA was founded in 1958, Air Force crews launched missiles for NASA from the Cape, known as Cape Canaveral Missile Annex.
Redstone, Pershing 1, Pershing 1a, Pershing II, Thor, Atlas and Minuteman missiles were all tested from the site, the Thor becoming the basis for the expendable launch vehicle Delta rocket, which launched Telstar 1 in July 1962. The row of Titan and Atlas launch pads along the coast came to be known as Missile Row in the 1960s. NASA's first manned spaceflight program was prepared for launch from Canaveral by U. S. Air Force crews. Mercury's objectives were to place a manned spacecraft in Earth orbit, investigate human performance and ability to function in space, safely recover the astronaut and spacecraft. Suborbital flights were launched by derivatives of the Army's Redstone missile from LC-5. Orbital flights were launched by derivatives of the Air Force's larger Atlas D missile from LC-14; the first American in orbit was John Glenn on February 20, 1962. Three more orbital flights followed through May 1963. Flight control for all Mercury missions was provided at the Mercury Control Center located at Canaveral near LC-14.
On November 29, 1963, following the death of President John F. Kennedy, his successor Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11129 renaming both NASA's Merrit Island Launch Operations Center and "the facilities of Station No. 1 of the Atlantic Missile Range" as the "John F. Kennedy Space Center", he had convinced Gov. C. Farris Bryant to change the name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy; this resulted in some confusion in public perception. NASA Administrator James E. Webb clarified this by issuing a directive stating the Kennedy Space Center name applied only to Merrit Island, while the Air Force issued a general order renaming the Air Force Station launch site Cape Kennedy Air Force Station; this name was used through the Gemini and early Apollo programs. However, the geographical name change proved to be unpopular, owing to the historical longevity of Cape Canaveral. In 1973, both the Air Force Base and the geographical Cape names were reverted to Canaveral after the Florida legislature passed a bill changing the name back, signed into law by Florida governor Reubin Askew.
Soyuz 1 was a manned spaceflight of the Soviet space program. Launched into orbit on 23 April 1967 carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov, Soyuz 1 was the first crewed flight of the Soyuz spacecraft; the flight was plagued with technical issues, Komarov was killed when the descent module crashed into the ground due to a parachute failure. This was the first in-flight fatality in the history of spaceflight; the original mission plan was complex, involving a rendezvous with Soyuz 2 and an exchange of crew members before returning to Earth. However, the launch of Soyuz 2 was called off due to thunderstorms. Mass: 6,450 kg Perigee: 197 km Apogee: 223 km Inclination: 50.8° Period: 88.7 minutes Soyuz 1 was the first manned flight of the first-generation Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft and Soyuz rocket, designed as part of the Soviet lunar program. It was the first Soviet manned spaceflight in over two years, the first Soviet manned flight following the death of the Chief Designer of the space program Sergei Korolev.
Komarov was launched on Soyuz 1 despite failures of the previous unmanned tests of the 7K-OK, Cosmos 133 and Cosmos 140. A third attempted test flight was a launch failure; the escape system pulled the spacecraft to safety. Prior to launch, Soyuz 1 engineers are said to have reported 203 design faults to party leaders, but their concerns "were overruled by political pressures for a series of space feats to mark the anniversary of Lenin's birthday." It is not clear how much of this pressure resulted from wanting to continue beating the United States in the Space Race and to have Soviets first on the Moon, or to take advantage of the recent setbacks in the U. S. space program with the Apollo 1 disaster. Yuri Gagarin was the backup pilot for Soyuz 1, was aware of the design problems and the pressures from the Politburo to proceed with the flight, he attempted to "bump" Komarov from the mission, knowing that the Soviet leadership would not risk a national hero on the flight. At the same time, Komarov refused to pass on the mission though he believed it to be doomed.
He explained. Mission planners intended to launch a second Soyuz flight the next day carrying cosmonauts Valery Bykovsky, Yevgeny Khrunov, Aleksei Yeliseyev, with Khrunov and Yeliseyev scheduled to do an EVA over to Soyuz 1. Soyuz 1 was launched on 23 April 1967 at 00:32 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying Komarov, the first Soviet cosmonaut to fly in space twice. Problems began shortly after launch when one solar panel failed to unfold, leading to a shortage of power for the spacecraft's systems. Further problems with the orientation detectors complicated maneuvering the craft. By orbit 13, the automatic stabilization system was dead, the manual system was only effective; the crew of Soyuz 2 modified their mission goals, preparing themselves for a launch that would include fixing the solar panel of Soyuz 1. However, that night, thunderstorms at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan affected the booster's electrical system, causing the mission to be called off; as a result of Komarov's report during the 13th orbit, the flight director decided to abort the mission.
After 18 orbits, Soyuz 1 reentered the Earth's atmosphere. Despite the technical difficulties up to that point, Komarov might still have landed safely. To slow the descent, first the drogue parachute was deployed, followed by the main parachute. However, due to a defect, the main parachute did not unfold. Komarov activated the manually deployed reserve chute, but it became tangled with the drogue chute, which did not release as intended; as a result, the Soyuz reentry module fell to Earth in Orenburg Oblast entirely unimpeded, at about 40 m/s. A rescue helicopter spotted the descent module lying on its side with the parachute spread across the ground; the retrorockets started firing which concerned the rescuers since they were supposed to activate a few moments prior to touchdown. By the time they landed and approached, the descent module was in flames with black smoke filling the air and streams of molten metal dripping from the exterior; the entire base of the capsule burned through. By this point, it was obvious that Komarov had not survived, but there was no code signal for a cosmonaut's death, so the rescuers fired a signal flare calling for medical assistance.
Another group of rescuers in an aircraft arrived and attempted to extinguish the blazing spacecraft with portable fire extinguishers. This proved insufficient and they instead began using shovels to throw dirt onto it; the descent module completely disintegrated, leaving only a pile of debris topped by the entry hatch. When the fire at last ended, the rescuers were able to dig through the rubble to find Komarov's remains strapped into the center couch. Doctors pronounced the cause of death to be from multiple blunt-force injuries; the body was transported to Moscow for an official autopsy in a military hospital where the cause of death was verified to match the field doctors' conclusions. The Soyuz 1 crash site coordinates are 51.3615°N 59.5622°E / 51.3615. This is about 275 km east-southeast of Orenburg. There is a memorial monument at the site in the form of a black column with a bust of Komarov at the top, in a small park on the roadside. Eight years after Komarov's death, a story began circulating that Komarov cursed the engineers and flight staff, spoke to his wife as he descended, these transmi
Lunar Orbiter 4
Lunar Orbiter 4 was an unmanned U. S. spacecraft, part of the Lunar Orbiter Program, designed to orbit the Moon, after the three previous orbiters had completed the required needs for Apollo mapping and site selection. It was given a more general objective, to "perform a broad systematic photographic survey of lunar surface features in order to increase the scientific knowledge of their nature and processes, to serve as a basis for selecting sites for more detailed scientific study by subsequent orbital and landing missions", it was equipped to collect selenodetic, radiation intensity, micrometeoroid impact data. The spacecraft was placed in a cislunar trajectory and injected into an elliptical near polar high lunar orbit for data acquisition; the orbit was 2,706 by 6,111 kilometres with an inclination of 85.5 degrees and a period of 12 hours. After initial photography on May 11, 1967 problems started occurring with the camera's thermal door, not responding well to commands to open and close.
Fear that the door could become stuck in the closed position covering the camera lenses led to a decision to leave the door open. This required extra attitude control maneuvers on each orbit to prevent light leakage into the camera which would ruin the film. On May 13 it was discovered that light leakage was damaging some of the film, the door was tested and closed; some fogging of the lens was suspected due to condensation resulting from the lower temperatures. Changes in the attitude raised the temperature of the camera and eliminated the fogging. Continuing problems with the readout drive mechanism starting and stopping beginning on May 20 resulted in a decision to terminate the photographic portion of the mission on May 26. Despite problems with the readout drive the entire film was transmitted; the spacecraft acquired photographic data from May 11 to 26, 1967, readout occurred through June 1, 1967. The orbit was lowered to gather orbital data for the upcoming Lunar Orbiter 5 mission. A total of 419 high-resolution and 127 medium-resolution frames were acquired, covering 99% of the Moon's near side at resolutions from 58 to 134 metres.
Accurate data was acquired from all other experiments throughout the mission. Radiation data showed increased dosages due to solar particle events producing low energy protons; the spacecraft was used for tracking until it struck the lunar surface due to the natural decay of the orbit no than October 31, 1967, between 22–30 degrees W longitude. Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Exploration of the Moon Lunar Orbiter 1 Lunar Orbiter 2 Lunar Orbiter 3 Lunar Orbiter 5 DESTINATION MOON: A history of the Lunar Orbiter Program 1976 Lunar Orbiter Photo Gallery - Mission 4 at the Lunar and Planetary Institute
1966 in spaceflight
The year 1966 saw the peak and the end of the Gemini program. The program proved that docking in human EVA's could be done safely, it saw the first launch of the Saturn IB rocket, an important step in the Apollo program, the launch of Luna 9, the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on a celestial object
Mariner 2, an American space probe to Venus, was the first robotic space probe to conduct a successful planetary encounter. The first successful spacecraft in the NASA Mariner program, it was a simplified version of the Block I spacecraft of the Ranger program and an exact copy of Mariner 1; the missions of Mariner 1 and 2 spacecraft are together sometimes known as the Mariner R missions. Original plans called for the probes to be launched on the Atlas-Centaur, but serious developmental problems with that vehicle forced a switch to the much smaller Agena B stage; as such, the design of the Mariner R vehicles was simplified. Far less instrumentation was carried than on the Soviet Venera probes of this period, including no TV camera as the Atlas-Agena B had only half as much lift capacity as the Soviet 8K78 booster; the Mariner 2 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral on August 27, 1962 and passed as close as 34,773 kilometers to Venus on December 14, 1962. The Mariner probe consisted of a 100 cm diameter hexagonal bus, to which solar panels, instrument booms, antennas were attached.
The scientific instruments on board the Mariner spacecraft were two radiometers, a micrometeorite sensor, a solar plasma sensor, a charged particle sensor, a magnetometer. These instruments were designed to measure the temperature distribution on the surface of Venus, as well as making basic measurements of Venus' atmosphere; the primary mission was to receive communications from the spacecraft in the vicinity of Venus and to perform radiometric temperature measurements of the planet. A second objective was to measure the interplanetary magnetic field and charged particle environment. En route to Venus, Mariner 2 measured the solar wind, a constant stream of charged particles flowing outwards from the Sun, confirming the measurements by Luna 1 in 1959, it measured interplanetary dust, which turned out to be scarcer than predicted. In addition, Mariner 2 detected high-energy charged particles coming from the Sun, including several brief solar flares, as well as cosmic rays from outside the Solar System.
As it flew by Venus on December 14, 1962, Mariner 2 scanned the planet with its pair of radiometers, revealing that Venus has cool clouds and an hot surface. The Mariner 2 spacecraft was designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, it consisted of a hexagonal base, 1.04 meters across and 0.36 meters thick, which contained six magnesium chassis housing the electronics for the science experiments, data encoding, computing and attitude control, the power control and battery charger, as well as the attitude control gas bottles and the rocket engine. On top of the base was a tall pyramid-shaped mast on which the science experiments were mounted, which brought the total height of the spacecraft to 3.66 meters. Attached to either side of the base were rectangular solar panel wings with a total span of 5.05 meters and width of 0.76 meters. Attached by an arm to one side of the base and extending below the spacecraft was a large directional dish antenna.
The power system of Mariner 2 consisted of two solar cell wings, one 183 cm by 76 cm and the other 152 cm by 76 cm, which powered the craft directly or recharged a 1000 watt-hour sealed silver-zinc cell battery. This battery was used before the panels were deployed, when the panels were not illuminated by the Sun, when loads were heavy. A power-switching and booster regulator device controlled the power flow. Communications consisted of a 3-watt transmitter capable of continuous telemetry operation, the large high gain directional dish antenna, a cylindrical omnidirectional antenna at the top of the instrument mast, two command antennas, one on the end of either solar panel, which received instructions for midcourse maneuvers and other functions. Propulsion for midcourse maneuvers was supplied by a monopropellant 225 N retro-rocket; the hydrazine was ignited using nitrogen tetroxide and aluminum oxide pellets, thrust direction was controlled by four jet vanes situated below the thrust chamber.
Attitude control with a 1 degree pointing error was maintained by a system of nitrogen gas jets. The Sun and Earth were used as references for attitude stabilization. Overall timing and control was performed by Sequencer. Thermal control was achieved through the use of passive reflecting and absorbing surfaces, thermal shields, movable louvers. Only 40 pounds of the spacecraft could be allocated to scientific experiments. Summary of instruments: Microwave radiometer Infrared radiometer Three axis fluxgate magnetometer Cosmic ray detector Cosmic dust detector Solar plasma spectrometer Particle detectorThe following scientific instruments were mounted on the instrument mast and base: A two-channel microwave radiometer of the crystal video type operating in the standard Dicke mode of chopping between the main antenna, pointed at the target, a reference horn pointed at cold space, it was used to determine the absolute temperature of Venus' surface and details concerning its atmosphere through its microwave-radiation characteristics, including the daylight and dark hemispheres, in the region of the terminator.
Measurements were performed in two frequency bands of 13.5 mm and 19 mm. The total weight of the radiometer was 22 pounds, its average power consumption was its peak power consumption 9 watts. A two-channel infrared radiometer to measure the effective temperatures of small areas of Venus; the radiation, received could originate from the p