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This Day in Spaceflight History


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On August 17, 1877, astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Mars' moon Phobos.

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On August 17, 1958, the Pioneer 1 probe was launched with the first US lunar attempt. It was launched with a Thor/Able booster but exploded 77 seconds after liftoff because of an engine failure.

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On August 17, 1970, the Venera 7 probe was launched. It would study the Venusian atmosphere. While aerobraking, it deployed a small capsule that broke down to the surface on December 15. A parachute was deployed and slowed the descent. Signals from the probe were picked up for about 35 minutes. It was the first object to return data from another planet besides Earth.

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On August 17, 1996, Soyuz TM-24 launched with Valeriy Korzun, Aleksandr Kaleri, and French astronaut Claudie Andre-Deshays to the Mir space station. It docked with Mir on August 19. 

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Sorry for the late post yesterday, I was really busy in the morning and afternoon with schoolwork.

Edited by The Raging Sandwich
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On August 18, 1961, any further Mercury suborbital flights were cancelled. After the successful flight of Gus Grissom, all objectives NASA needed of the suborbital flights were achieved. The next Mercury missions would be to orbit Earth.

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On August 18, 1985, the Japanese probe SS-11 Suisei was launched. It was to rendezvous with comet Halley. It did so on March 8, 1986. It imaged the hydrogen coma and measured the amount of solar wind at the comet.

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On August 18, 1999the Cassini Saturn probe did a flyby of Earth. 

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On August 19, 1946, astronaut, test pilot, and Administrator of NASA Charles Bolden was born.

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On August 19, 1959, famous Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was born. He was the first Canadian astronaut to be the Commander of the ISS.

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On August 19, 1960, Sputnik V (Korabl-Sputnik-2) was launched. It was an unmanned spacecraft that carried two dogs, Strelka and Belka, into orbit. They ultimately returned to Earth alive.

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On August 19, 1979, Soyuz 34 returned to Earth.

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More posts coming later today

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On August 20, 1975, the Viking 1 Orbiter and Lander were launched in a combined mission. The Orbiter did an orbital insertion of Mars on June 19, 1976 with the Lander making a soft touchdown the next day. The Viking 1 Lander was the first ever spacecraft to land on Mars intact.

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On August 20, 1977, Voyager 2 was launched on the most spectacular mission ever attempted. It was a combined mission with Voyager 1. Voyager 2 made a flyby of Jupiter on July 9, 1979, a flyby of Saturn on August 26, 1981, a flyby of Uranus on January 24, 1986, and finally a Neptune flyby on August 25, 1989. It is now travelling out of the solar system and will soon be crossing into interstellar space like Voyager 1.

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On August 21, 1959, the Mercury Little-Joe test flight was scheduled. However, the escape rocket fired prematurely due to a faulty circuit.

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On August 21, 1965, Gemini 5 was launched with US astronauts Pete Conrad and Gordon Cooper. It was an eight day mission to test the rendezvous aspects of the spacecraft. Retrofire was initiated on their 121st orbit. Conrad and Cooper landed back at Earth on August 29th.

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On August 21, 2007, STS-118 landed at Cape Canaveral. The crew woke up to the song "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel.

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On August 22 1958, the third launch of the NOTS EV-1 Pilot took place. Pilot was the first air-launched and the first all-solid orbital vehicle, developed within a few months on a limited budget. Most Pilots suffered structural or engine failures during early flight, but Pilot-3 continued over the horizon, and an initial report of launch success was sent to the White House. This report was retracted after no radio contact was made, but it's possible the vehicle achieved orbit with a failed transmitter.

Pilot_%28NOTSnik%29_with_F4D-1_Skyray.jp

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On ‎20‎.‎08‎.‎2016 at 10:20 PM, The Raging Sandwich said:

The Viking 1 Lander was the first ever spacecraft to land on Mars intact.

Nationalist arguing INITIATE!

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Mars 3 lander became the first spacecraft to attain soft landing on Mars.

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By coincidence, a particularly large dust storm on Mars adversely affected the mission. When Mariner 9 arrived and successfully orbited Mars on 14 November 1971, just two weeks prior to Mars 2 and Mars 3, planetary scientists were surprised to find the atmosphere was thick with "a planet-wide robe of dust, the largest storm ever observed." The surface was totally obscured.

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After 14.5 seconds, at 13:52:25, transmission on both data channels stopped for unknown reasons and no further signals were received at Earth from the Martian surface. It is not known whether the fault originated with the lander or the communications relay on the orbiter. The cause of the failure may have been related to the extremely powerful martian dust storm taking place at the time which may have induced a coronal discharge, damaging the communications system.

The Red Planet really hated the Reds. Even when they named an operation after it back in WWII, they ended up with well over a hundred thousand people sent into the meat grinder.

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6 hours ago, Kryten said:

On August 22 1958, the third launch of the NOTS EV-1 Pilot took place. Pilot was the first air-launched and the first all-solid orbital vehicle, developed within a few months on a limited budget. Most Pilots suffered structural or engine failures during early flight, but Pilot-3 continued over the horizon, and an initial report of launch success was sent to the White House. This report was retracted after no radio contact was made, but it's possible the vehicle achieved orbit with a failed transmitter.

Pilot_%28NOTSnik%29_with_F4D-1_Skyray.jp

Hold your horses! I'm a bit busy today, I'll get to posting a bit later.

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On August 23, 1961, the Lunar probe Ranger 1 was launched. Due to misfiring of the Agena B rocket, it didn't even leave orbit. It was to test a future probe that would crashland on the Moon. It burned up on reentry on August 29.

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On August 23, 1989, the first Progress spacecraft was launched to Mir. It is an unmanned cargo spacecraft modeled after Soyuz to resupply space stations and is still used today. It docked with Mir on August 25.

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On August 25, 1962, Sputnik 19 was launched. It was attempted to launch it towards Mars but the second stage of the rocket cut off prematurely leaving the probe in orbit.

On August 25, 1989, the Voyager 2 probe did a flyby of Neptune, the final phase of its mission.

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On August 25, 1998, The Soyuz TM-27 spacecraft and its crew returned to Earth from the Mir space station.

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On August 26, 1921, Maxime Faget was born. He was the American chief designer for manned spacecraft and designed the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and STS spacecraft.

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On August 26, 1974, Soyuz 15 was launched with its crew of cosmonauts Demin and Sarafonov. The spacecraft was supposed to dock with the Salyut 3 space station but failed to do so because of Igla rendezvous system failure. It was a 2 day mission. The rendezvous system could not be modified before the space station's orbit decayed.

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On August 26, 1978, Soyuz 31 was launched with its crew of Bykovsky and Jaehn. It docked with the Salyut 6 space station.

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On August 27, 1962, Mariner 2 was launched. It fulfilled Mariner 1's mission to become the first spacecraft to flyby another planet. It flew below Venus on December 14, 1962. Mariner 2's last transmission was recieved on January 3 the following year.

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On August 27, 1982, Soyuz T-5 and its crew of cosmonauts Popov, Savitskaya, and Serebov landed back at Earth.

On August 27, 1985, STS-51-I launched with its crew of Covey, Engle, Fisher, William, Lounge, and van Hoften. It deployed its payloads of a military communications satellite Aussat A1, a civilian communications satellite ASC-1 and Syncom IV-4. It repaired Leasat 3 which was already in orbit.

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On August 28, 1789, William Herschel discovered Saturn's moon Enceladus.

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On August 28, 1993, the Galileo probe did a flyby of asteroids Ida and Dactyl on its way to Jupiter.

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On August 28, 1999, Soyuz TM-29 landed with its crew of Afanasyev, Avdeyev, and Haignere. It undocked with Mir on August 27 and landed in Kazakhstan the next day. For the first time since 1989 there were no humans in space.

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21 minutes ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

On August 28, 1999, Soyuz TM-29 landed with its crew of Afanasyev, Avdeyev, and Haignere. It undocked with Mir on August 27 and landed in Kazakhstan the next day. For the first time since 1989 there were no humans in space.

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It looks a little bit fiery...Is that just a side effect of the retrorockets or was there something wrong?

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2 hours ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

Because Soyuz capsules land on dry ground, they need small rockets to ease the contact with the ground. 

 

Ok good. I knew about them using retrorockets, but I thought they'd be done firing them and have a minute or two before the trucks get there. Looks like the Russians have almost Kerbal-fast recovery! :D

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