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GordonD

Ups and Downs for November

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1 NOVEMBER

 

1992 STS-52 landing

Crew: James Wetherbee (CDR); Michael Baker (P); Charles Veach, William Shepherd, Tamara Jernigan (MS); Steven MacLean [Canada] (PS)

Landing site: Kennedy Space Center

 

The mission had deployed the second Laser Geodynamics Satellite (LAGEOS II) and operated the US Microgravity Payload (USMP-1). Flight time was 9d 20h 56m and 159 orbits.

 

 


1993 STS-58 landing

Crew: John Blaha (CDR); Richard Searfoss (P); Rhea Seddon, Bill McArthur, David Wolf, Shannon Lucid (MS); Martin Fettman (PS)

Landing site: Edwards AFB

 

The second Spacelab Life Sciences mission (SLS-2). Flight time was 14d 0h 13m and 225 orbits.

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2 NOVEMBER

 

1978 Soyuz 31 landing

Crew: Vladimir Kovalyonok (CDR); Aleksandr Ivanchenkov (FE)

Landing site: 180 km SE of Dzheskasgan

 

The crew had formed Expedition 2 to Salyut 6 and had been launched aboard Soyuz 29 in June. They set a new duration record of 139d 14h 48m and 2,203 orbits.

 

 


2000 ISS Expedition 1 start

Crew: William Shepherd [USA] (ISS CDR); Yuri Gidzenko, Sergei Krikalev [both Russia] (FE)

 

The first ISS crew had been launched two days earlier aboard Soyuz TM-31 but it was only when docking took place that Expedition 1 truly began. Gidzenko had been in command of the ferry flight but now handed over the reigns to Shepherd to oversee the activation of the station's systems and the start of nineteen years (and counting) of unbroken occupancy. The current ISS residents are Expedition 61, a clear indication of how successful the ISS has been and continues to be,

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3 NOVEMBER

 

1957 Sputnik 2 launch

Passenger: Laika [dog]

 

With the United States already reeling from the news of the size of Sputnik 1, things got even worse when the 508kg Sputnik 2 went up a month later, making it obvious that the Soviets had already opened up a big lead in the space race. That lead was shown even more when it became known that Sputnik 2 was carrying a living creature: a Samoyed husky bitch called Laika (“Barker”). This news led to protests from dog-lovers, some of whom demonstrated outside Soviet embassies, though what none of them knew was that Laika was already dead. For nearly forty years, the Russians maintained the official line that Laika had easily adapted to weightlessness, the environment placing no undue strains on her body, and had only been painlessly put to sleep at the end of that time since there was as yet no way to recover a satellite from orbit. However in 1995 it was finally admitted that she had died six hours after orbital insertion due to a failure of the capsule’s insulation, presumably as the nose shroud was jettisoned, which led to her cabin overheating. But Laika’s place in history was assured, as the first of all living creatures to go into orbit.

 

 


1966 MOL test launch

Crew: none

 

In the early nineteen-sixties the US Air Force had plans to fly a series of modified Gemini spacecraft attached to cylindrical workshop modules, under the programme title of “Manned Orbiting Laboratory”, MOL for short. Missions would last up to a month, consisting primarily of Earth-resources and military reconnaissance as well as other scientific studies, before the Gemini returned to Earth and the lab was allowed to burn up in the atmosphere. The Air Force examined four different methods of crew transfer between Gemini and the workshop: rotating the spacecraft to bring its hatch adjacent to that of the laboratory; an inflatable tunnel connecting the two hatches; a hatch cut through the heat-shield providing direct access; and a standard EVA. The chosen method was the heat-shield hatch, which was considered to give the fastest means of getting back aboard the spacecraft in an emergency. To make sure that the heat-shield would still protect the crew during re-entry, even with a hatch cut through it, a test flight was carried out using the reconditioned Gemini 2 spacecraft mounted atop a dummy shell representing the laboratory. The launch vehicle was a Titan IIIC, essentially a Titan II core flanked by a pair of five-segment solid-fuel boosters for additional thrust. (When MOL flew for real, plans called for it to use seven-segment boosters in a configuration designated Titan IIIM, but this was still on the drawing board at the time of the test.) Although the flight was originally scheduled for late October, technical problems delayed it by six days, but by 3 November everything was set and the unique configuration climbed into the sky. A secondary test objective was to check out the vehicle’s structural integrity, and the results of these investigations gave no cause for concern as the boosters dropped away and the first stage of the core unit took over. At an altitude of around 100km the vehicle pitched its nose down and Gemini separated to begin its re-entry and landing sequence. The launcher now pitched up again and continued on into orbit, where it deployed three sub-satellites for an unrelated experiment. Meanwhile, the Gemini capsule had reached a maximum velocity of about 28,000km/hr before splashing down just 11km from the recovery ship. Post-flight analysis showed that the performance of the heat-shield had in no way been degraded by the access hatch cut through it, though as expected re-entry heating had welded the hatch shut. The flight had been a complete success, but as it turned out it was to be the only one in the MOL programme: the escalating cost of US involvement in the Vietnam War meant continuing cuts in the Air Force’s space budget and the scheduled date for the first manned MOL mission was pushed back from fiscal year 1968-69 to 1969-70. By 1968, further cuts meant that the date had slipped again, to 1971, and a year later the programme was cancelled outright. The Air Force had recruited its own astronaut groups to fly aboard MOL, and on its cancellation most were returned to active duty but seven men transferred to NASA as the civilian agency’s Group Seven intake in August 1969. All would eventually get into space aboard the Space Shuttle, including Bob Crippen, pilot on its maiden flight.

 

 


1994 STS-66 launch

Crew: Donald McMonagle (CDR); Curt Brown (P); Ellen Ochoa, Joseph Tanner, Jean-François Clervoy [France], Scott Parazynski (MS)

 

66th Shuttle mission; 13th flight of Atlantis

Carried the third Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Sciences (ATLAS-3), a pallet in the cargo bay equipped with instruments to measure the the energy of the Sun and how it affects Earth's climate. These 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 ozone monitor on the ageing 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 calibration reference for sister instrument on the 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 several years; Solar Spectrum Measurement (SOLSPEC), a French instrument that measured the Sun's radiation as a function of wavelength; and Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), which collected its highest precision solar ultraviolet radiation measurements in its 15-year lifetime. Millimetre Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS) collected nine hours of observations, measuring distribution of water vapour, chlorine monoxide and ozone at altitudes between 20 and 100 kilometres, before a computer malfunction halted instrument operations.

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4 NOVEMBER

 

1959 Little Joe 1A

 

The first attempt to simulate a Mercury abort at the moment of Maximum Dynamic Pressure had failed when the escape rocket fired of its own accord about 35 minutes prior to launch. The second attempt was only partially successful: the LES fired two seconds late, by which time the dynamic pressure was down to only ten percent of the planned level. Although the spacecraft was recovered safely, it was never discovered why the abort had been delayed. Maximum altitude was 14.5km, and the capsule splashed down about 17.7km downrange.

 

 


1994 Soyuz TM-19 landing

Crew: Yuri Malenchenko (CDR); Talgat Musabeyev (FE); Ulf Merbold [Germany] (RC)

Landing site: 50° 54' N, 67° 36' E (88 km northeast of Arkalyk)

 

Malenchenko and Musabeyev had formed Mir Expedition 16 along with Valeri Polyakov, who still had four months to run of his marathon 437-day stint. Their own time aboard the station had lasted 125d 22h 54m and 1,993 orbits. Accompanying them for the trip down was German cosmonaut Ulf Merbold, who had arrived with their replacements on Soyuz TM-20 a month earlier. His time was 31d 12h 36m and 499 orbits.

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5 NOVEMBER

 

1995 STS-73 landing

Crew: Ken Bowersox (CDR); Kent Rominger (P); Catherine Coleman, Michael Lopez-Alegria, Kathy Thornton (MS); Fred Leslie, Albert Sacco (PS)

Landing site: Kennedy Space Center

 

Carried the second US Microgravity Laboratory (USML-2). Flight time was 15d 21h 52m and 255 orbits.

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6 NOVEMBER

 

1985 STS-61A landing

Crew: Henry Hartsfield (CDR); Steven Nagel (P); Bonnie Dunbar, James Buchli, Guion Bluford (MS); Reinhard Furrer, Willi Messerschmid [both West Germany], Wubbo Ockels [Netherlands] (PS)

Landing site: Edwards AFB

 

This had been Spacelab D-1, on behalf of the West German space agency. Spacelab operations had been controlled from Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, while those of the Orbiter itself remained with Houston. Flight time was 7d 0h 45m and 112 orbits.

 

This was the last complete flight of Challenger.

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7 NOVEMBER

 

1963 PA-1

 

The first test of a live Apollo Launch Escape System came with a simulated off-pad abort carried out at White Sands, using a boilerplate Command Module designated BP-6—one with no life-support or electronic equipment; effectively it was merely a shell that duplicated the size, shape, weight and centre of gravity, though it did carry telemetry apparatus to record flight data. During the countdown the spacecraft was mounted on a low frame­work structure that supported it clear of the ground, and was protected from the elements by a large shed of corrugated iron that split in half and could be lowered to the ground ready for launch. When the LES was triggered, it hauled the Command Module up to an altitude of one and a half kilometres before separating to allow the capsule to go into its recovery sequence. The Command Module landed safely in the scrubland some 1.4 kilometres downrange, having proved that it could protect its crew should they have to be snatched away from a launch vehicle exploding on the pad.

 

 


1998 STS-95 landing

Crew: Curtis Brown (CDR); Steven Lindsey (P); Stephen Robinson, Scott Parazynski, Pedro Duque [Spain] (MS); Chiaki Mukai [Japan]. John Glenn (PS)

Landing site: Kennedy Space Center

 

John Glenn's return to space at the age of 77 had dominated coverage of the mission, which had deployed and retrieved the SPARTAN free-flyer as well as carrying out numerous scientific experiments, as well as medical checks on Glenn himself, who appeared to be having the time of his life back in orbit. At launch, the door of the drag chute compartment had fallen off, and while mission managers did not feel this would cause a problem it was decided not to deploy the parachute on landing. Flight time was 8d 21h 44m and 134 orbits, a far cry from Glenn's three orbits and just short of five hours on Friendship 7!

 

 


2007 STS-120 landing

Crew: Pamela Melroy (CDR); George Zamka (P); Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Douglas Wheelock, Paulo Nespoli [Italy], Clayton Anderson (MS)

Landing site: Kennedy Space Center

 

This flight had delivered the Harmony Module to the ISS, as well as carrying out a partial crew exchange: Daniel Tani had replaced Clayton Anderson as part of Expedition 16. Anderson's flight time was 151d 18h 23m and 2,389 orbits; that of the remainder of Discovery's crew a more modest 15d 2h 23n abd 238 orbits.

 

 


2013 Soyuz TMA-11M launch

Crew: Mikhail Tyurin (CDR); Rick Mastracchio [USA], Koichi Wakata [Japan] (FE)

 

A multinational crew as well as a highly experienced one: Tyurin was making his third flight, Mastracchio and Wakata both on their fourth. They were ISS Expeditions 38/39 and docked with the station after only six hours, following the fast-track approach.

 

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8 NOVEMBER

 

1881 Birth of Robert Esnault-Pelterie

 

Esnault-Pelterie was a French aircraft designer and spaceflight theorist, considered to be one of the founders of modern rocketry ans astronautics: the French equivalent of Konstantin Tsilkovsky of Russia, Hermann Oberth of Germany and Robert Goddard of the United States. In 1913 he produced a paper that presented the rocket equation and calculated the energies required to reach the Moon and nearby planets. He proposed the use of atomic energy, using 400 kg of radium to power an interplanetary vehicle. His culminating work was L'Astronautique, published in 1930. He also proposed the idea of the ballistic missile for military bombardment. By 1930, he had persuaded the French War Department to fund a study of the concept. In 1931, he began experimenting with various types of rocket propulsion systems, including liquid propellants. The same year he ran a demonstration of a rocket engine powered with gasoline and liquid oxygen. During an experiment with a rocket design using tetra-nitromethane he lost three fingers from his right hand during an explosion. However, his work failed to create an interest in rocketry within France.

 

 


1960 Little Joe 5

 

The previous Little Joe flight had proved that the Mercury escape system would operate at Max-Q on a Redstone launch: this time the object was to see if it would work on an Atlas mission under similar conditions. Originally scheduled for December 1959, delays in the construction of the spacecraft resulted in the launch slipping nearly a year. In the intervening time the flight profile changed: plans had been to fly a chimpanzee aboard the spacecraft but in the end priority was given to the evaluation of the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance. On 7 November bad weather caused a further delay but launch finally took place the following day. Just sixteen seconds into the flight, things went wrong: the clamp attaching capsule to launch vehicle was deflected by the air loads and the abort switch was triggered. The escape motors fired but the spacecraft failed to separate from the Little Joe and at burnout the tower jettison motor fired. However the tower itself did not separate either and after reaching a peak altitude of 16.25km the complete vehicle fell back into the Atlantic, impacting 21.9km downrange. Had a chimpanzee been aboard as originally planned it would almost certainly have been killed. Though much of the debris was recovered, post-flight analysis failed to reveal the cause of the problems and engineers finally concluded that the clamps had possibly been wired incorrectly.

 

 


1984 STS-51A launch

Crew: Rick Hauck (CDR); David Walker (P); Joe Allen, Anna Fisher, Dale Gardner (MS)

 

14th Shuttle mission; second flight of Discovery

This flight deployed two communications satellites, but retrieved two more: Palapa B2 and Westar VI, which had been deployed on STS-41B in February but which had failed to boost themselves into geostationary orbit. Plans were to bring them back to Earth and launch them again on a forthcoming flight. On 12 November a six-hour EVA was carried out by Allen and Gardner, with Allen flying the MMU, supported by Fisher inside the Shuttle operating the manipulator arm. Using a specially-built device attached to his chest, known as the “stinger”, Allen guided its probe into Palapa’s engine nozzle. Latches secured the satellite so that it could be manoeuvred down towards the Shuttle. Now, a frame should have been attached to Palapa, enabling Fisher to hold it in position with the arm while Gardner secured it in the payload bay. Unfortunately the frame would not fit and Allen was forced to hold the comsat in place while it was bolted down. This procedure took about 75 minutes, during which Allen had to keep the satellite steady, but it went so well that when Westar 6 was retrieved two days later the frame was dispensed with and the manual process was repeated. This time it was Gardner who chased after the satellite, bringing it back to Discovery, but Allen took over and repeated his earlier task of holding it in position while it was secured in the cargo bay. Westar was in place an hour ahead of schedule, at which point the astronauts held up a FOR SALE sign and the Lutine Bell was rung at Lloyds of London, the traditional indication of a salvage success.

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9 NOVEMBER

 

1967 Apollo 4

Crew: none

 

The first manned Apollo flight had been postponed until the extensive modifications demanded by the fire review board had been carried out, but in the meantime launcher development continued. Under previous policy it would have taken at least two, probably three flights before the complete Saturn V stack was launched: first a test of the S-IC with inert upper stages; next a launch of live first and second stages with a dummy S‑IVB; and only if all went well would the complete assembly be tested, though possibly still without the Apollo spacecraft, which might not fly until the fourth mission. Such an approach would have added several hundred million dollars and a year or more to the development programme. The Office of Manned Spaceflight felt that this was not the best way to proceed and decided instead to go for an “all-up” test, flying the complete three-stage vehicle plus the spacecraft on the very first launch, seen by many as a risky venture. The flight numbering system was to create much confusion: at the request of the astronauts’ widows, the name ‘Apollo 1’ had been permanently reserved for the ill-fated Grissom mission that never was; which meant that this flight should logically have been called Apollo 2. Instead, NASA’s Project Designation Committee announced that it would be known as Apollo 4, although the AS-201 and AS-202 unmanned launches would not be retrospectively renumbered to Apollo 2 and 3. The logic behind this was never really made clear, but whatever the Saturn V test was called, its success was vital for Apollo’s future: another failure, in the wake of the fire, might well have put an end to the whole lunar-landing project. As always in the American programme, the flight took place under the scrutiny of the media: there would be no hiding any failure. As the world watched, the first-stage engines burst into life as the countdown reached T-7 seconds. Gradually, the rocket climbed away from the pad, the vibrations shaking the VIP stand—nearly five kilometres away—and showering CBS reporter Walter Cronkite with debris from the ceiling of his broadcast booth. It was the loudest man-made noise ever heard with the exception of the atomic bomb. The Saturn performed flawlessly, the big first stage separating as planned two and a half minutes into the flight. The S-II second stage took over, carrying the spacecraft up towards orbit before it dropped away in turn. Stage three had already flown as the second stage of the Saturn IB and performed like the tried-and-tested veteran it was. Three hours after orbit insertion it fired again, though the burn was deliberately kept short of the duration required for escape velocity, instead increasing the spacecraft’s apogee to around 17,200km. Now, the CSM separated and went into a series of manoeuvres that culminated in a burn from the SPS to boost its own apogee to more than 18,000km. A second burn during the fall back towards Earth altered its trajectory to that of a spacecraft returning from the Moon. When the Command Module splashed down safely in the Pacific, bringing to an end an overwhelmingly successful mission, NASA could be proud of a job well done. The risky “all-up” test, which could have spelled disaster if it had failed, had instead worked better than anyone could have hoped, proving that the concept of the huge Saturn V was sound. And ten months after the fire, the Apollo project was moving forward again.

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10 NOVEMBER

 

1970 Luna 17 launch

 

Unlike its two immediate predecessors, Luna 17 was not intended to return soil samples from the Moon's surface, but instead carried the first wheeled vehicle, Lunokhod 1. This remote-controlled rover was designed to operate for three lunar days (around three months), returning photographs and testing the soil for density and mechanical properties.

 

 


1985 Buran Analogue flight 1

Crew: Rimantas Stankevičius (CDR); Igor Volk (P)

 

Like the American version, the Soviet Shuttle Orbiter was tested in the atmosphere before venturing into space. However, the Soviets built an "aerodynamic analogue" equipped with four AL-31 jet engines so it could take off under its own power rather then being lifted to altitude by a carrier aircraft. Following a series of taxi tests, the first flight took place from the Jubilee airfield at Baikonur. The vehicle climbed to an altitude of 1.5km, at which point the engines were cut to allow it to glide back to the runway. The flight lasted twelve minutes, the maximum speed reached being 480km/hr.

 

 


2002 Soyuz TM-34 landing

Crew: Sergei Zalyotin (CDR); Yuri Lonchakov, Frank De Winne [Belgium] (FE)

Landing site: 50° 59' N, 67° 35' E (81 km north-northeast of Arkalyk)

 

This was the fourth ISS Taxi Flight: the crew had been launched aboard the newly upgraded Soyuz TMA-1 but returned in the older version, making its final flight. The mission lasted 10d 20h 53m and 171 orbits.

 

 


2014 Soyuz TMA-13M landing

Crew: Maksim Surayev (CDR); Greg Wiseman [USA], Alexander Gerst [Germany] (FE)

Landing site: 51°03'18,12"N 67°18'13,8"E (94 km northeast of Arkalyk)

 

ISS Expeditions 40/41. Flight time was 165d 8h 1m, 2,566 orbits.

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11 NOVEMBER   :poppy:

 

1966 Gemini XII launch

Crew: Jim Lovell (CDR); Buzz Aldrin (P)

 

This was the last flight in the Gemini programme and it was the one where EVA techniques were finally mastered. Previous spacewalkers had found it difficult to carry out any useful work but once it was realised that as long as the astronaut was properly secured he would not have to waste energy fighting Newton's Third Law, things became much easier. The spacecraft was fitted with handholds and other restraints, and Aldrin had done extensive underwater training. Docking with the Agena target was achieved despite a failure of the rendezvous radar: fortunately of all the astronauts in NASA’s ranks the one man who was most qualified to get around the problem happened to be sitting in the pilot’s seat. During the preparations for Gemini VI, Aldrin had prepared a series of charts to help the astronauts in just such a situation, and he was now able to put that work to good use. Gemini XII made its rendezvous on time and was docked four hours into the flight. Signs of a pressure loss in Agena’s thrust chamber prompted NASA to cancel the boost to higher orbit but this had the advantage of enabling the astronauts to photograph a solar eclipse, an activity included in the original flight plan but cancelled when the launch was delayed. Lovell and Aldrin managed to take two pictures of the eclipse, but were unable to manoeuvre the spacecraft in time to get images of the Moon’s shadow on the surface of the Earth. Aldrin then carried out a 2½-hour Stand-up EVA, securing numerous fine astronomical photographs, but the real high-spot of the flight came on Day Two when he made another EVA lasting more than two hours, during which he worked on a test panel of bolts, levers and electrical connectors on the Agena. This, in addition to another SEVA on Day Three, brought Aldrin’s cumulative time outside the spacecraft to a record five hours and twenty-six minutes. The astronauts also repeated the tether experiment carried out on Gemini XI, cartwheeling the two spacecraft around their common centre of mass before allowing them to slow down into a gravity-stabilised position.

 

 


1982 STS-5 launch

Crew: Vance Brand (CDR); Robert Overmyer (P); Joe Allen, Bill Lenoir (MS)

 

Fifth Shuttle mission; fifth flight of Columbia

The Space Transportation System’s first operational mission was also the first four-man space flight and the first to carry Mission Specialist astronauts. STS-5 also carried two communications satellites in the payload bay, the Shuttle’s first commercial cargo. The bulky pressure suits worn on the development flights were gone: instead, the astronauts wore ordinary blue coveralls with oxygen-fed helmets which would enable them to breathe in case of a pressure loss. Much of the development flight instrumentation was removed, as was the RMS arm, which would not be used on this flight. Launch was on time, but headwinds depressed the launch trajectory slightly, with the result that SRB separation took place about 1.2km lower than normal. This time there was no repetition of the parachute problem of STS-4, and both boosters were recovered. Columbia ended up in a parking orbit of 296 x 298km at T-plus 2hrs 5min, following two OMS burns. Six hours later, the first of the communications satellites was launched. SBS 3 was owned by Satellite Business Systems, a consortium composed of Aetna Life and Casualty, Comsat and IBM, who had paid NASA $10 million to deploy it. The satellite was mounted on a spin table, which was rotated at 50 rpm to make sure it was perfectly stable. Next, explosive bolts fired and springs pushed the satellite clear of the cargo bay. Columbia then backed away around 30km for safety before the satellite’s PAM-D booster fired to carry it up to geosynchronous orbit. The following day, in a similar manner, the Canadian Anik C3 satellite was launched. The other highlight of Day Two should have been the first American EVA for nine years, but Bill Lenoir had been slightly space-sick and the operation was delayed by twenty-four hours. On Day Three, Lenoir and Allen put on the new pressure suits and started the 3½-hour breathing exercise necessary to avoid the “bends”, but just as they were about to open the inner airlock door, problems developed with the life-support backpacks. The cooling fan in Allen’s backpack was running noisily, while Lenoir’s oxygen regulator would not pressurise above 3.8psi. Repairs were attempted, but to no avail and the EVA was cancelled, much to the disappointment of everyone concerned.

 

 


2013 Soyuz TMA-09M landing

Crew: Fyodor Yurchikhin (CDR); Luca Parmitano [Italy], Karen Nyberg [USA] (FE)

Landing site: 47°18'54,599"N,69°27'34,788"E (142 km southeast of Dzheskasgan)

 

ISS Expeditions 36/37. Flight time was 166d 6h 18m and 2,581 orbits.

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12 NOVEMBER

 

1981 STS-2 launch

Crew: Joe Engle (CDR); Dick Truly (P)

 

Second Shuttle mission; second flight of Columbia

The second flight of the Space Shuttle was in many ways even more important than the first, proving the reusability concept which was the whole point of the Space Transportation System. The flight was delayed by a month after a spillage of nitrogen tetroxide from the RCS thrusters loosened some of the tiles on the Orbiter’s nose. On 4 November, the countdown was at T-minus 31 sec when the launch computer called a hold after detecting that an oxygen tank in one of Columbia’s fuel cells was below pressure. Almost at the same time, one of the Orbiter’s Auxiliary Power Units also malfunctioned. The launch controllers tried to over-ride the hold, believing that the faults would clear themselves, but the computer would have none of it and the flight was postponed until 12 November: Truly’s 44th birthday. The spacecraft’s total lift-off weight was 2,029,528kg: 5735.5kg higher than STS-1, mainly due to the OSTA-1 experimental package and the Remote Manipulator System, fitted for the first time. During launch, minor debris from the External Tank was observed striking the Orbiter, but this was not considered to be a problem. More serious trouble was developing elsewhere, however: one of the three APUs malfunctioned again, and one of the fuel cells started to overload with water. Sally Ride, the first female CAPCOM, told the astronauts to shut down the fuel cell, which under mission regulations meant that Columbia could remain in orbit for no longer than two days and the flight had to be curtailed. Fortunately the most important parts of the work programme had been scheduled for the early part of the mission, in case it did have to be cut short, and little of real consequence was lost. The Canadian-built RMS arm was tested for the first time, though not to the extent planned, as the backup drive broke down. Engle had been scheduled to wear the new EVA suit in the spacecraft’s airlock, but this activity had to be cancelled when the mission was cut short. The OSTA-1 science package in the cargo bay did perform flawlessly, however, with much vital Earth-resources data being gathered. The Shuttle Multispectral Infra-Red Radiometer detected an area rich in ore deposits in the Mexican desert, while the Shuttle Imagine Radar located previously-unknown river channels below the eastern Sahara Desert.

 

 


1995 STS-74 launch

Crew: Kenneth Cameron (CDR); James Halsell (P); Chris Hadfield [Canada], Jerry Ross, Bill McArthur (MS)

 

73rd Shuttle mission; 15th flight of Atlantis

Second Shuttle/Mir docking: delivered a pair of solar arrays and the Russian-built Docking Module, which was left attached to the station's Kristall module. Without this, for each Shuttle docking, Kristall would have had to be moved to Mir's longitudinal axis to provide enough clearance. As this port was normally used by Progress freighters, it was not an ideal location for Kristall; in addition, it was obviously undesirable to continually shift that module around. Docking took place on 15 November and when the Shuttle crew boarded Mir it marked the first time that astronauts from four different countries were aboard the station: Russia, the USA, Canada and Germany (Thomas Reiter was part of Mir Expedition 20).

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13 NOVEMBER

 

1999 Death of John Stapp

 

John Stapp was a flight surgeon with the US Air Force whose work pioneered many later developments in the space programme. One of his early assignments was research into oxygen systems in unpressurised aircraft, resolving the problem of the bends at high altitude. However his most famous work involved rocket sleds to study the effects of sudden deceleration on the human body. Stapp himself was the test subject on many runs, frequently suffering injuries like broken ribs, lost fillings and even temporary blindness due to bleeding in his retinas. On 10 December 1954 the rocket sled reached a speed of 1,017 km/h, breaking the land speed record and making him the fastest man on Earth. Stapp was subjected to forces of 46.2G. The result of these experiments was the development of the five-point restraint harness used in modern aircraft. He also participated in wind-blast experiments, in which he flew at high speeds to determine whether or not it was safe for a pilot to remain with his aircraft if the canopy should accidentally blow off. Stapp stayed with his aircraft at a speed of 920 km/h with the canopy removed, and suffered no injurious effects from the wind blasts. He is also credited with being the author of the final form of Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". In spite of all the unnatural stresses that his body was subjected to throughout his career, he died peacefully at home at the age of 89.

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14 NOVEMBER

 

1969 Apollo 12 launch

Crew: Pete Conrad (CDR); Alan Bean (LMP); Dick Gordon (CMP)

 

Second lunar landing

CSM: Yankee Clipper; LM: Intrepid

Apollo 12 came closer to an in-flight abort than any other mission in the programme. On launch day, Cape Kennedy was hit by a severe thunderstorm but it was decided that this would not pose a problem and the lift-off proceeded. As it turned out, this was the wrong decision: 36 seconds after launch, lightning discharged down the rocket’s exhaust trail and red warning lights flashed all over the place in the Command Module. Conrad reported: “Okay, we just lost the platform, gang. I don’t know what happened, we had everything in the world drop out!” He added: “I got three fuel cell lights, an AC bus light, fuel cell disconnect, AC bus overload 1 and 2, main bus A and B out!” The loss of all three fuel cells put the CSM entirely on batteries, which were unable to maintain normal 75-amp launch loads. These power supply problems lit nearly every warning light on the control panel and caused much of the instrumentation to malfunction. EECOM John Aaron remembered the telemetry failure pattern from an earlier test when a power supply malfunctioned in the CSM Signal Conditioning Equipment (SCE), which converted raw signals from instrumentation to standard voltages for the spacecraft instrument displays and telemetry encoders. Aaron made a call, "Try SCE to aux," which switched the SCE to the auxiliary power supply. The switch was fairly obscure, and neither Conrad, Flight Director Gerry Griffin nor CAPCOM Gerald Carr  immediately recognised it. Al Bean, however, remembered the SCE switch from a training incident a year earlier when the same failure had been simulated. Aaron's quick thinking and Bean's memory saved what could have been an aborted mission, and earned Aaron the reputation of a "steely-eyed missile man". Apollo 12 limped into orbit, giving the crew time to reset the systems and confirm that everything was back under control. But the incident had taught NASA a valuable lesson about weather conditions: never again would a flight be launched in the rain. TLI passed off smoothly in comparison to the scare everyone had received at launch, and the astronauts then set a record by taking only nine minutes for transposition and docking, The LM was opened up early to allow Conrad and Bean to check it for damage stemming from the lightning discharge, but there was none.

 

 

 

1981 STS-2 landing

Crew: Joe Engle (CDR); Dick Truly (P)

Landing site: Edwards AFB

 

The Shuttle's second mission had to be cut short after a problem with the fuel cells though most of the planned activities were achieved. Re-entry was followed by a series of manoeuvres which helped the engineers to evaluate the effectiveness of Columbia’s stability and control systems. Landing was switched to an alternate runway at almost the last minute after John Young, who was flying a T-38 to check on weather conditions, reported excessive crosswinds, but this change of plan caused no problems aboard the Orbiter. The autoland system was used from an altitude of 3 km down to around 600 metres before Engle took over for the final touchdown which brought the Shuttle’s second flight to a successful end. Flight time was 2d 6h 13m and 37 orbits.

 

 


1994 STS-66 landing

Crew: Donald McMonagle (CDR); Curt Brown (P); Ellen Ochoa, Joseph Tanner, Jean-François Clervoy [France], Scott Parazynski (MS)

Landing site: Edwards AFB

 

This mission had carried the ATLAS-3 laboratory. Landing was switched to Edwards due to high winds and rain at Kennedy. Flight time was 10d 22h 34m and 174 orbits.

 

 


2011 Soyuz TMA-22 launch

Crew: Anton Shkaplerov (CDR); Anatoli Ivanishin, Daniel Burbank [USA] (FE)

 

ISS Expeditions 29/30. Docking took place after a two-day approach and the crew joined Volkov, Furukawa and Fossum aboard the station.

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15 NOVEMBER

 

1966 Gemini XII splashdown

Crew: Jim Lovell (CDR); Buzz Aldrin (P)

Splashdown point: 24° 35' N, 69° 57' W (Atlantic Ocean, 1,130 km southeast of Cape Kennedy)

 

The Gemini programme came to a triumphant end with a computer-controlled re-entry. Splashdown was only 5.5 km from the recovery vessel, the USS Wasp. Flight time was 3d 22h 34m and 59 orbits.

 

 


1988 Buran 1K1

Crew: none

Landing site: Yubileyniy Airfield, Baikonur Cosmodrome

 

The Soviet Shuttle made its one and only flight without a crew aboard, something the American version was not capable of. Carried by an Energia launch vehicle, Buran was placed in a temporary orbit before separating and boosting itself to its operational height. Two orbits later the retro-rockets fired and the spacecraft glided back to its launch site, touching down on the runway just three metres laterally and ten metres longitudinally from its target mark, despite crosswinds of 61 km/hr. The flight had lasted 3h 25m and two orbits.

Unfortunately the programme was cancelled before any further flights were carried out, and Buran itself was destroyed on 12 May 2002 when its hangar collapsed in a storm, killing several maintenance workers.  The Energia launch vehicle would never fly again either.

 

 


1990 STS-38 launch

Crew: Dick Covey (CDR); Frank Culbertson (P); Carl Meade, Robert Springer, Sam Gemar (MS)

 

37th Shuttle mission; 7th flight of Atlantis

A classified DoD mission which deployed the satellite Magnum-3, also known as USA-67. Though it was initially believed that the satellite's purpose was to monitor events during the first Gulf War, some observers have speculated that it was actually a secret military communications satellite. There were also rumours that a second satellite named Prowler was deployed, and the detection of an unknown satellite in geostationary orbit may confirm this.

 

 


2008 STS-126 launch

Crew: Christopher Ferguson (CDR); Eric Boe (P); Donald Pettit, Stephen Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Robert Kimbrough, Sandra Magnus (MS)

 

124th Shuttle mission; 22nd flight of Endeavour

Partial crew rotation on the ISS, with Sandra Magnus replacing Greg Chamitoff as part of Expedition 18. The Leonardo Module was carried on its fifth flight, temporarily berthed to the station then retrieved before the trip home.

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16 NOVEMBER

 

1962 SA-3

 

The first two Saturn C-1 missions had been flown with only partially-filled propellant tanks in the first stage. For the third launch, the decision was taken to supply a full propellant load, thus giving an increased burn time and a higher terminal velocity. Once more, around 100 tonnes of water ballast was jettisoned at altitude in Project High Water II, the ice cloud blossoming from the exploding launch vehicle and providing a dramatic sight for the watchers below. Solid-fuel retro-rockets on the first stage were also test-fired: these were intended to decelerate the S-I at the moment of separation to avoid the risk of it colliding with the upper stage as it pulled away. This time around, of course, the S-I was not intended to separate, but the test proved that the retros worked.

 

 


1973 Skylab 4 launch

Crew: Gerald Carr (CDR); Ed Gibson (SPT); Bill Pogue (P)

 

Though designated 'Skylab 4' this was the third and final expedition to the OWS. Its original planned duration had been 56 days, with the potential for a three-day extension (as was ultimately done on Skylab 3), but the in-flight repairs had been so successful that the mission planners were sufficiently confident to extend the flight to nearly three months. Launch was delayed by six days after tiny cracks were found in the first stage stabilising fins: these had to be replaced one at a time before the flight could proceed. Finally, however, the mission got under way, the Command Module crammed with concentrated food bars that would enable the astronauts to remain in orbit beyond the 70-day limit for which there were supplies aboard the Workshop, as well as a portable treadmill to help them keep their leg muscles in good condition. Once again there were docking problems, Carr only succeeding at the third attempt. The first night in orbit was spent aboard the Command Module, ensuring that the men were rested before they began powering up the Workshop. On Day 7 they carried out an EVA lasting 6½ hours, during which they performed several minor repair jobs, like freeing a jammed telescope cover, installing film in the ATM cameras, and setting up particle collection experiments. But the next day one of Skylab’s three attitude-control gyroscopes seized up and had to be switched off. There was some concern about the chances of keeping the Workshop stable with only two gyros operating: if a second one broke down, the Service Module’s attitude thrusters could control the assembly for about three weeks, but after that the mission would have to be terminated. In a real emergency there would be a rescue capability for the first time: a modified Command Module, with room for five astronauts, could be launched with two men on board to dock at Skylab’s auxiliary port and bring back the three “passengers”. Fortunately, it was not needed. Aboard the Workshop, though, there was trouble of a different kind as the astronauts began to complain about the heavy workload that Mission Control was demanding of them, and ill-feeling gradually built up over the next few weeks. As on Apollo 7, the situation was exaggerated by the media, but things finally came to a head when the astronauts effectively went on strike, maintaining that Sunday was a rest day and they were not going to follow orders. A frank exchange of views cleared the air, and relationships were much smoother after that. But the Workshop itself was limping along: a second gyro had indeed begun to cause problems, as feared, though the crew were able to nurse it along to the end of the mission. On Christmas Day Carr and Pogue performed an EVA lasting just over seven hours, during which they carried out observations of Comet Kohoutek. Four days later Carr and Gibson made further observations as the comet passed perihelion.

 

 


1982 STS-5 landing

Crew: Vance Brand (CDR); Robert Overmyer (P); Joe Allen, Bill Lenoir (MS)

Landing site: Edwards AFB

 

The first 'operational' flight came to a successful conclusion with a safe landing at Edwards. Though the ejection seats for Commander and Pilot were still fitted, they were inactive: the pyrotechnics had been removed as the two Mission Specialist seats had no escape facility and no pilot would have ejected leaving passengers behind. Flight time was 5d 2h 14m and 81 orbits.

 

 


1984 STS-51A landing

Crew: Rick Hauck (CDR); David Walker (P); Joe Allen, Anna Fisher, Dale Gardner (MS)

Landing site: Kennedy Space Center

 

With the two failed comsats retrieved by the crew firmly attached in the cargo bay, Discovery landed back at KSC after a flight lasting 7d 23h 45m and 127 orbits. In February 1985 the crew flew aboard Concorde to London, where they were presented with the Lloyd's Silver Medal for Meritorious Salvage Operations.

 

 


2009 STS-129 launch

Crew: Charles Hobaugh (CDR); Barry Wilmore (P); Randolph Bresnik, Michael Foreman, Lee Melvin, Bobby Satcher (MS)

 

129th Shuttle mission; 31st flight of Atlantis

Delivered supplies and equipment to the ISS, including two spare gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly and a spare 'end effector' for the station's robotic arm. These were carried in a pair of ExPRESS Logistics Carriers (ELCs), platforms designed to support external payloads mounted to the ISS truss. Each pallet spans the entire width of the shuttle's payload bay, carries science experiments, and serves as a parking place for spare hardware that can be replaced robotically once on-orbit. This was the first time that ELCs had been flown. Docking with the station was achieved after a two-day approach and when the hatches were opened ISS resident Nicole Stott officially became a member of the Shuttle crew. She would return to Earth aboard Atlantis at the end of the mission, the last ISS crew member to do so.

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17 NOVEMBER

 

1970 Lunokhod 1 lunar landing

Landing site: 38.2378°N 35.0017°W (Mare Imbrium)

 

A week after launch, Luna 17 touched down safely some 60 km south of the Promontorium Heraclides. It was carrying Lunokhod 1, the first remote-controlled roving vehicle on another world. The rover had an almost Victorian look, with a 2.3 metre-long bathtub-shaped body and eight independently-driven wheels. It also had a large convex lid with solar panels on the underside, which would open to charge its batteries during the two-week lunar day then close at night so that a radioisotope heater unit could keep the internal components at operating temperature. The rover was designed to operate for three lunar days (three earth months) but actually continued to operate for eleven days. Contact was finally lost on 14 September 1971 and the mission was declared over on 4 October, the anniversary of Sputnik 1. Lunokhod had travelled 10.5 km and sent back more than 20,000 photographs and 206 high-resolution panoramas. In addition, it performed 25 lunar soil analyses and penetrated the ground at 500 different locations.

 

 


1975 Soyuz 20 launch

Crew: none

 

This was a long-duration test of improved on-board systems of the Soyuz capsule. It docked automatically with the vacant Salyut 4, simulating an extended space station mission. Re-entry took place on 16 February 1976 after ninety days.

 

 


2016 Soyuz MS-03 launch

Crew: Oleg Novitsky (CDR); Thomas Pesquet [France}, Peggy Whitson [USA] (FE)

 

ISS Expeditions 51/52. Originally it was planned that all three cosmonauts would remain aboard the station for around six months, but schedule changes meant that Peggy Whitson would stay behind when the others returned home, extending her mission to a new female record of nearly ten months. The transit to the ISS took two days, at the end of which docking was achieved and the crew joined the existing station residents Ryzhikov, Borisenko and Kimbrough.

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18 NOVEMBER

 

2016 Shenzhou XI landing

Crew: Jing Haipeng (CDR); Chen Dong (Op)

Landing site: 42°29'11.7" N, 112°42'57.36" E (Inner Mongolia)

 

Tiangong-2 Expedition 1. The flight lasted 32d 6h 29m and completed 507 orbits. Landing was 100 km east of the target area.

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19 NOVEMBER

 

1969 Apollo 12 lunar landing
LM: Intrepid
Crew: Pete Conrad (CDR); Alan Bean (LMP)
Landing site: 3° 0' 44.60" S 23° 25' 17.65" W (Ocean of Storms)

 

After the success of Apollo 11, NASA was confident enough to attempt a pinpoint landing on Apollo 12: within walking distance of the Surveyor 3 probe, which had reached the Moon on 20 April 1967. In the event, the two craft were only 180 metres apart. As Conrad stepped onto the lunar surface at the start of the first EVA, he said, "Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me." This was not an off-the-cuff remark: Conrad had made a $500 bet with reporter Oriana Fallaci that he would say these words, after she had queried whether NASA had instructed Neil Armstrong what to say as he stepped onto the Moon. Conrad later said he was never able to collect the money. During this EVA, Conrad and Bean deployed an S-band antenna, solar wind composition experiment, the American flag and most important, the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) with a SNAP-27 atomic generator, a more advanced scientific package than that carried on Apollo 11. To improve the quality of television pictures from the Moon, a colour camera was carried. Unfortunately, when Bean carried it to the place where it was to be set up, he inadvertently pointed it directly into the Sun, destroying the SEC tube. Television coverage of this mission was thus terminated almost immediately. Despite this, thjs, the EVA was a success, lasting 3h 39m.

 

 


1996 STS-80 launch

Crew: Ken Cockrell (CDR); Kent Rominger (P); Tamara Jernigan, Thomas Jones, Story Musgrave (MS)

 

80th Shuttle mission; 21st flight of Columbia

Story Musgrave set two records with this mission: at 61 years 92 days at launch, he became the oldest man in space, though the following year John Glenn would top this by sixteen years. Additionally, though this was his sixth flight it was his first aboard Columbia, making him the only man to fly aboard all five Shuttle Orbiters. The main objective this time round was to deploy and retrieve two free-flying satellites: the German-built Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrograph-Shuttle Pallet Satellite II (ORFEUS-SPAS II) and the Wake Shield Facility, both making their third flights. In addition, Jones and Jernigan were supposed to perform two EVAs to evaluate construction techniques for the ISS, but these had to be cancelled as the outer airlock hatch jammed and could not be opened.

 

 

 
1997 STS-87 launch

Crew: Kevin Kregel (CDR); Steven Lindsey (P); Kalpana Chawla, Winston Scott, Takao Doi [Japan] (MS); Leonid Kadenyuk [Ukraine] (PS)

 

88th Shuttle mission; 24th flight of Columbia

Principal payload was the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-4). The mission also deployed the SPARTAN 201 free-flyer but things did not go according to plan: the crew failed to send it the correct commands prior to release, resulting in the pallet failing to start its automatic orientation manoeuvre. When Chawla attempted to retrieve it with the manipulator arm, it was left tumbling and the Orbiter moved off to a safe distance. On 24 November Doi and Scott carried out an unplanned EVA to capture the satellite, manually taking hold of it then allowing Chawla to berth it back in the payload bay with the manipulator arm. It was decided not to redeploy SPARTAN on this mission, though the pallet was lifted out of the payload bay without releasing it from the arm.

 

 


2012 Soyuz TMA-05M landing

Crew: Yuri Malenchenko (CDR); Sunita Williams [USA], Akihiko Hoshide [Japan] (FE)

Landing site: 51°03'13,3"N, 67°08'24,6"E (91 km NE of Arkalyk)

 

ISS Expeditions 32/33. Flight time was 126d 23h 13m.

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20 NOVEMBER

 

1969 Apollo 12 lunar liftoff
LM: Intrepid
Crew: Pete Conrad (CDR); Alan Bean (LMP)

 

The high point of Apollo 12's second EVA was the visit to Surveyor 3. Conrad and Bean removed various components including the camera to bring them back to Earth for analysis: the probe had been exposed on the Moon for two and a half years and scientists were keen to see what effect this had had on it. Back on Earth, scientists were excited to find traces of the bacterium Streptococcus mitis on the camera, believing that it had survived the lunar environment after inadequate sterilisation procedures before launch. However, it was later suggested that the camera had been contaminated after its return to Earth as the scientists had not been fully covered during the examination process. However, with this still in the future astronauts returned to the LM and ultimately its ascent stage lifted off successfully for the rendezvous with Dick Gordon aboard the CSM.

 

 

 

1990 STS-38 landing

Crew: Dick Covey (CDR); Frank Culbertson (P); Carl Meade, Robert Springer, Sam Gemar (MS)

Landing site: Kennedy Space Center

 

This had been a classified DoD flight and as such was shorter than the normal science-based missions. Flight time was a mere 4d 21h 54m and 79 orbits.

 

 


1995 STS-74 landing

Crew: Kenneth Cameron (CDR); James Halsell (P); Chris Hadfield [Canada], Jerry Ross, Bill McArthur (MS)

Landing site: Kennedy Space Center

 

The second Shuttle/Mir docking, though no crew exchange took place on this occasion. Flight time for all five astronauts was 8d 4h 31m and 128 orbits.

 

 


1998 Zarya launch

 

Zarya, or Sunrise, also known as the Functional Cargo Block or FGB (from the Russian: "Функционально-грузовой блок", 'Funktsionalno-gruzovoy blok' or ФГБ) was the first component of the International Space Station to be sent into orbit. It was based on the modules designed for the Salyut programme and would provide electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance to the ISS during the initial stage of assembly. As the station expanded, its function became less critical and it is now used primarily for storage. The name was chosen to symbolise the dawn of a new era of international co-operation in space. Though built and launched by the Russians, it is owned by the United States.

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21 NOVEMBER

 

1960 MR-1

 

Mercury-Redstone 1 was supposed to be the first test of the combination that would take an American astronaut into space, though on a sub-orbital flight. However as the countdown reached zero, the launch vehicle’s engine roared into life—then shut down again just one second later. As the Redstone settled back onto the pad, the escape tower rocketed clear of the spacecraft. Then, as the engineers watched in stunned disbelief, the capsule’s parachute container was jettisoned (descending under its own drogue ‘chute) and the main landing parachute was deployed, flopping limply down the side of the launch vehicle. Finally the spacecraft switched on its recovery beacon. Though there was concern that wind would catch the parachute and pull the rocket over, the engineers were unable to approach the vehicle until its batteries ran down. Investigation later revealed that as the rocket began to climb, one of the two plugs supplying electrical power had disconnected a split-second before the other, which created an unexpected circuit and prompted the computer to shut down the engine. The spacecraft detected the shutdown and went into its programmed routine, jettisoning the escape tower and then deploying the recovery parachute when it sensed its low altitude (at which, sitting on top of the Redstone, it undoubtedly was!). Only spacecraft separation had been omitted. Though the capsule was undamaged, it was yet another setback for NASA.

 

 


1985 Soyuz T-14 landing

Crew: Vladimir Vasyutin (CDR); Viktor Savinykh (FE); Aleksandr Volkov (RC)

Landing site: 180 km SE of Dzheskasgan

 

At the beginning of October the fifth expedition to Salyut 7 appeared to be going well. The previous crew had carried out essential repairs after the station suffered a major failure in its attitude control system, and the first partial crew exchange then took place, Savinykh remaining behind while the maintenance team, plus Georgi Grechko who had been launched on Soyuz T-14, returned home. The Soviets announced that the Vasyutin-Savinykh-Volkov crew had been intended for the next extended mission until the need for a repair flight disrupted the schedule, but things were now back on track. On 2 October the expansion module Kosmos 1686 had docked with Salyut, effectively doubling the habitable room. However as the month went on unloading of the supplies and equipment the module was carrying appeared to be falling behind schedule, but this was not considered serious. It was around 27 October that the problems began: though few noticed at the time, the mission progress reports from that date omitted any reference to the health of the crew. These reports were issued until 18 November, but by then it was clear that something was wrong: for four days Mission Control and the space station had been exchanging scrambled radio signals. On 21 November it was announced that the flight had been cut short because Vasyutin had fallen ill. He had contracted an infection of the urinary tract, though some sources erroneously reported that he had suffered a nervous breakdown. Although the flight had been allowed to continue in the hope that his condition would improve, the doctors had finally called a halt, leading to the first case of a mission being terminated early due to ill-health. The crew mothballed Salyut and returned to Earth, coming down in the usual recovery zone in Kazakhstan; presumably the availability of a landing window had been a factor in the decision when exactly to end the flight. After a six-week course of antibiotics Vasyutin made a full recovery, though he would never fly in space again. In 1988 Volkov said that the mission had been intended to last until the following March, which would have given Savinykh 282 days in orbit, a new duration record: as it was, he had been aloft for 168d 3h 51m and 2,661 orbits; Vasyutin and Volkov for 64d 21h 52m and 1,027 orbits.

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22 NOVEMBER

 

2011 Soyuz TMA-02M landing

Crew: Sergei Volkov (CDR); Satoshi Furukawa [Japan], Michael Fossum [USA] (FE)

Landing site: 51°02'55.08" N, 67°11'03.54" E (90 km north of Arkalyk)

 

The landing brought to an end ISS Expeditions 28/29. Flight time was 167d 6h 12m and 2,614 orbits.

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