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Viewing message <4NOV199601525752@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov> 

From: Ron Baalke (baalke@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov)
Subject: This Month in Space History - November
Newsgroups: sci.astro, alt.sci.planetary, sci.space.shuttle, sci.space.history, sci.astro.amateur
View: Complete Thread (12 articles) | Original Format
Date: 1996/11/04
                         Compiled by Ron Baalke 

November 1
     In 1932, Wernher von Braun was named the head of the German liquid-fuel
     rocket program.

November 1
     In 1961, the US attempted to launch an unmanned Mercurcy capsule to
     test the Mercury Tracking Network. The first stage exploded 26 seconds
     after lifoff, and the Range Safety Officer blew up the remaining stages
     44 seconds after launch.

November 1
     In 1962, the USSR launched Mars 1 to Mars. The mission failed when
     contact was lost to the spacecraft when it was 105 million km from

November 1
     In 1963, the first Soviet satellite with extensive maneuver capability,
     Polyot 1, was launched.

November 1
     In 1994, the Wind spacecraft was launched to measure the solar wind
     plasma and magnetic field.

November 2
     In 1885, astronomer Harlow Shapley was born. Shapley was an American
     astronomer who helped determined distances to the stars and the center
     of the Milky Way.

November 2
     In 1917, the 100-inc telecopse at Mt. Wilson Observatory, California,
     saw first light.

November 2
     In 1978, the crew of Soyuz 29 returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 31.

November 3
     In 1957, Sputnik 2 was launched by the USSR. The second satellite to
     orbit the Earth, Sputnik 2 carried a dog named Laika. Laika died in the
     satellite a few days after launch, and Sputnik 2 burned up when it
     reentered the Earth's atmosphere in April 1958.

November 3
     In 1960, Explorer 8 was successfully launched and returned data on the
     Earth's ionosphere, and confirmed the existence of a helium layer in
     the upper atmosphere.

November 3
     In 1973, Mariner 10 was launched. Mariner 10 was the first mission to
     use the gravitational attraction of one planet to reach another, and
     the first spacecraft to encounter Mercury. Mariner 10 achieved a
     gravity assist of Venus on February 5, 1974. After the Venus flyby,
     Mariner's trajectory was bent in toward the Sun to accelerate and fling
     it out of Venus's gravitational field and onward to Mercury. Mariner 10
     reached Mercury on March 29, 1974, passing over the planet at just 705
     kilometers (438 miles) above the surface. Photographs revealed an
     intensely cratered, Moon-like surface and a faint atmosphere of mostly
     helium. After the flyby, Mariner entered solar orbit, flying by Mercury
     again on September 20-23, 1974, and photographing the sunlit side of
     the planet and the south polar region.

November 4
     In 1906, a meteorite struck a building in Diep River, South Africa.

November 4
     In 1962, the USSR attempted to launch a spacecraft to Mars. The
     spacecraft failed to leave Earth parking orbit.

November 4
     In 1981, the USSR launched Venera 14 to Venus. A lander was dropped off
     on March 5, 1982 and the mother spacecraft continued to flyby Venus.
     The lander lasted 57 minutes on the surface of Venus, and returned
     images and X-ray florescences analysis of the soil of Venus.

November 4
     In 1993, the Galileo spacecraft exited the asteroid belt for the second
     time on its way to Jupiter.

November 5
     In 1906, Fred Whipple was born in Iowa. Whipple proposed the "dirty
     snowball" model for comets.

November 5
     In 1967, the ATS-3 satellite is launched into Earth orbit and takes the
     first images of the full Earth from space.

November 5
     In 1994, the Ulysses spacecraft completed its first solar passage
     around the Sun.

November 7
     In 1670, a meteorite hit a house in China and broke the roof beam.

November 7
     In 1966, Lunar Orbiter 2 was launched to the Moon. After going in lunar
     orbit on Novemer 10, Lunar Orbit 2 returned hundreds of images
     including the Ranger 8 landing site.

November 7
     In 1967, Surveyor 6 was launched and landed on the Moon 3 days later.
     It returned 11,524 images from the lunar surface. Its rocket was also
     fired briefly to hop the spacecraft 8 feet from its original landing
     site, the first liftoff ever from the surface of the Moon.

November 8
     In 1656, astronomer Edmond Halley was born.

November 8
     In 1895, X-rays were discovered.

November 8
     In 1958, the US attempted to send a spacecraft, Pioneer 2, to the Moon.
     Pioneer 2 did not achieve the required velocity for a Moon trajectory
     because of a launch vehicle malfunction - the third stage failed to
     ignite. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 1550 km before burning up
     in the Earth's atmosphere after a 412 minute flight. Pioneer 2 did
     return some data that indicated the Earth's equatorial region has
     higher flux and energy levels than previously believed.

November 8
     In 1960, Little Joe 5 was launched on a suborbital flight to qualify
     the Mercury capsule system.

November 8
     In 1968, Pioneer 9 was launched into solar orbit. The spacecraft
     carried six solar radiation experiments.

November 8
     In 1982, a 6 pound meteorite fell through the roof of a house in
     Wethersfield, Connecticut. The meteorite fell into the living room,
     bounced off the floor into the dining room, ricocheted off the ceiling
     and knocked over a chair. It finally came to rest underneath the dining
     room table and had broken into two pieces. Interestingly, another
     meteorite had also hit a house in Wethersfield in 1971.

November 8
     In 1984, space shuttle Discovery is launched on the STS-51A mission. On
     board is Anna Fisher who becomes the first mother in space.

November 8
     In 1992, the Geotail spacecraft made its third flyby of the Moon.

November 9
     In 1934, Carl Sagan was born.

November 9
     In 1967, Apollo 4 was launched in an unmanned test, and the powerful
     Saturn 5 rocket is launched for the first time.

November 9
     In 1970, the OFO-1 satellite (Orbiting Frog Otolith) was launched.
     OFO-1 carried frogs which were used to study the effects of
     weightlessness on the inner ear.

November 10
     In 1823, a meteorite hit a house in Waseda, Japan.

November 10
     In 1918, Robert Goddard demonstrated tube-launched solid propellant
     rockets in Aberdeen, Maryland.

November 10
     In 1968, the USSR launched Zond 6 which circled the Moon and returned
     back to Earth.

November 10
     In 1970, the USSR launched Luna 17 which landed on the Moon seven days
     later in the Sea of Rains. The first Moon rover, Lunokhod 1, was then
     deployed and remote-controlled by a 5-man team from Earth. The rover
     traveled over the lunar surface for 11 months, transmitted photos and
     analyzed soil samples.

November 11
     In 1572, a 25 year old Tycho Brahe observed the bright supernova in
     Cassiopeia. This moved him so deeply that he decided to devote the rest
     of his life to astronomy.

November 11
     In 1875, Vesto Slipher was born. Slipher was the first to measure the
     galaxy redshifts.

November 11
     In 1935, the first photo of the Earth's curvature was taken from a
     balloon, Explorer 2, in South Dakota. The balloon had reached an
     altitude of 72,000 feet, which also set an altitude record.

November 11
     In 1966, Gemini 12 was launched carrying Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin.
     This was the final Gemini flight and included a then record 5.5 hour
     spacewalk. The first solar eclipse photos were taken from space.

November 11
     In 1982, Space Shuttle Columbia was launched on the first operational
     flight of the Space Shuttle. Two satellites were deployed during the
     STS-5 mission.

November 11
     In 1988, cosmonauts Vladmir Titov and Musa Manarov set a space
     endurance record of 326 days in space onboard the space station Mir.
     They would extend the record to 366 days.

November 11
     In 1995, the Space Shuttle Atlantic docked with the Mir space station
     for the second time during the STS-74 mission.

November 12
     In 1960, a US satellite called Discoverer 17 was launched into Earth
     orbit. A capsule was ejected from Discoverer 17 which reentered into
     the Earth's atmosphere and parachuted. The capsule was recovered in the
     mid-air as it was descending by a US Air Force plane.

November 12
     In 1965, the USSR launched Venera 2 on a Venus flyby mission. The
     spacecraft flew by Venus, but did not return any data.

November 12
     In 1980, Voyager 1 flew by Saturn and gathered a treasure trove of new
     information on the planet. The G Ring was discovered, "spokes" are
     observed on the B Ring, and braiding is seen in the F Ring.
     Additionaly, three new moons are discovered. Prometheus and Pandora are
     the first shepherding moons ever discovered. Some of the moons are
     found sharing the same orbit, and these are called co-orbitals. The
     rings are found to be made up of thousands of ringlets.

November 12
     In 1981, space shuttle Columbia is launched on the second shuttle
     flight, STS-2, carrying Joe Engle and Richard Truly. The shuttle's
     robot arm is tested for the first time. This also marked the first time
     that a spacecraft has been launched twice.

November 13
     In 1831, James Maxwell was born. Maxwell was a pioneer in
     electromagnetism and the nature of light.

November 13
     In 1978, the HEAO-2 satellite was launched. HEAO-2 mapped X-ray sources
     and discovered the most distant and brightest quasar.

November 14
     In 1971, Mariner 9 became the first man-made object to go into orbit
     around another planet when it went into orbit around Mars.

November 14
     In 1969, Apollo 12 was launched to the Moon. Lightning hit the escape
     tower just seconds after launch, momentarily knocking out electrical
     systems, but the flight continued. Carrying Charles Conrad, Richard
     Gordon and Alan Bean, the second-ever manned Moon landing occurred five
     days later. 74 pounds of lunar rock samples was returned.

November 15
     In 1738, astronomer William Herschel was born in Hanover, Germany.
     Herschel would discover Uranus in 1781.

November 15
     In 1988, the USSR launched their first space shuttle, Buran, using
     their powerful Energia rocket. The unmanned spacecraft circled the
     Earth twice and successfully landed after a 3 hour 20 minute flight.

November 15
     In 1988, NRAO's 300-foot radio telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia

November 16
     In 1965, the USSR launched Venera 3 towards Venus. The mission failed
     when contact was lost from the spacecraft just prior to its arrival on
     March 1, 1966. The spacecraft did impact Venus and became the first
     man-made object to reach the surface of another planet.

November 16
     In 1973, the final launch to Skylab was performed carrying astronauts
     Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue. They set a US space
     endurance record of 84 days on Skylab and also had a record 7 hour

November 16
     In 1974, the first intentional interstellar message was sent from the
     radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico towards the globular cluster

November 17
     In 1597, German astronomer Henry Gellibrand was born.

November 17
     In 1966, the Leonids meteor shower became a meteor storm as 150,000
     meteors per hour were observed.

November 18
     In 1923, Alan Shepard was born. Shepard was the first American to go
     into space, and walked on the Moon during the Apollo 14 mission.

November 18
     In 1962, Ranger 2 was launched as a flight test of spacecraft systems
     for future lunar and interplanetary missions. The launch vehicle
     attitude control system failed, resulting in a low Earth orbit, and the
     spacecraft reentered into Earth's atmosphere two days later.

November 18
     In 1989, COBE was launched to study the stars and collect data for the
     Big Bang theory.

November 19
     In 1947, the 200-inch mirror for the Hale telescope arrived at Mt.

November 20
     In 1602, Otto von Guericke was born. Von Guericke is known as the
     inventor of nothing (he was the first to create a vacuum).

November 20
     In 1889, astronomer Edwin Hubble was born in Marshfield, Missouri.

November 21
     In 1967, the USSR attempted to launch a Zond spacecraft to the Moon,
     but it failed to reach Earth orbit.

November 22
     In 1983, the IRAS spacecraft ran out of helium coolant and became
     inoperative. IRAS discovered dust around the sun between Mars and
     Jupiter, and discoverd numerous new asteroids and comets.

November 22
     In 1987, a conjuction of Venus, Mars, Saturn and the Moon occurred.

November 23
     In 1960, Tiros II, a weather satellite was launched into Earth orbit
     and returned over 36,000 photos of Earth's cloud cover.

November 23
     In 1977, the European Space Agency launched its first satellite,
     Meteosat 1.

November 25
     In 1933, the first USSR liquid-fueled rocket reached an altitude of 260

November 26
     In 1885, the very first photograph of a meteor trail was taken in
     Prague, Czechoslovakia.

November 26
     In 1959, the US attempted to send a Pioneer spacecraft to the Moon. The
     payload shroud broke away 45 seconds after liftoff and the spacecraft
     did not achieve Earth orbit.

November 26
     In 1963, Explorer 18 was launched into a lower than expected Earth
     orbit, but discovered a new high radiation region beyond the Van Allen

November 26
     In 1965, France launched its first satellite, Asterix 1, and became the
     fourth space faring nation.

November 26
     In 1971, Mariner 9 returned the first close-up image of Deimos while in
     orbit around Mars.

November 26
     In 1989, Kvant-2 was launched by the USSR to dock with the Mir space
     station. Kvant-2 is as large as Mir itself, and docked with the space
     station on December 6.

November 27
     In 1701, Swedish astronomer and chemist, Anders Celsius, was born.

November 27
     In 1971, the USSR's Mars 2 arrives at Mars. A small lander was deployed
     which failed and crashed on the surface. The Mars 2 orbiter went into
     orbit successfully around the red planet.

November 28
     In 1659, Huygens recorded the first markings on the planet Mars.

November 28
     In 1963, the Cape Canaveral space center in Florida was renamed to the
     Kennedy Space Center in honor of John F. Kennedy who had been
     assassinated 6 days earlier.

November 28
     In 1964, Mariner 4 is launched towards Mars. Mariner 4 would become the
     first spacecraft to successfully flyby Mars on July 15, 1965. Mariner 4
     gave scientists their first glimpse of Mars at close range, passing
     over the planet at an altitude of 9,846 kilometers (6,118 miles) above
     the surface and putting to rest the myths of the late 19th century that
     the planet may have harbored an advanced civilization.

November 28
     In 1983, space shuttle Columbia was launched with Spacelab 1 in its
     cargo bay on the STS-9 mission (also known as STS-41A).

November 29
     In 1803, Christian Doppler was born, discoverer of the Doppler Effect
     (color shift of moving objects).

November 29
     In 1961, the US launched Mercury 5 into Earth orbit carrying a
     chimpanzee named Enos. After 3 orbits, Enos was returned safely back to

November 29
     In 1967, the first Australian satellite, Wresat 1, was launched.

November 29
     In 1971, Mariner 9 returned the first close-up image of Phobos while in
     orbit around Mars.

November 30
     In 1954, a 8.5 pound meteorite fell through the roof of a house in
     Sylacauga, Alabama. The meteorite crashed through the roof into the
     living room and bounced off a radio, and then struck Elizabeth Hodges
     as she was sleeping on the couch. The radio was broken from the
     meteorite hit, but fortunately Mrs. Hodges only suffered bruises on her
     hip and leg.

November 30
     In 1964, the USSR launched Zond 2 on a Mars flyby mission. The mission
     failed when contact was lost enroute to the planet. Zone 2 did flyby by
     Mars in August 1965, but no data was returned.

     ___    _____     ___   
    /_ /|  /____/ \  /_ /|      Ron Baalke     | baalke@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov
    | | | |  __ \ /| | | |  Jet Propulsion Lab |
 ___| | | | |__) |/  | | |__   Pasadena, CA    | I am doing basic research, when
/___| | | |  ___/    | |/__ /|                 | I don't know what I'm doing.
|_____|/  |_|/       |_____|/                  | Wernher Von Braun

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