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1928 Chronology

1928 - .
  • Hermann Noordung published Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums (The Problem of Space Flight). - . Nation: Austria. Related Persons: Noordung. Spacecraft: Noordung.

    Hermann Noordung (the pseudonym for Captain Potocnik of the Austrian Imperial Army) published Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums (The Problem of Space Flight), which included one of the first serious attempts to put on paper the design of a manned space station. Noordung's proposed design consisted of a doughnut-shaped structure for living quarters, a power generating station attached to one end of the central hub, and an astronomical observation station. He was among the first to suggest a wheel-shaped design for a space station to produce artificial gravity, and also argued the scientific value of such a station in a synchronous orbit above the Earth.


1928 - .
  • Von Pirquet writes on manned space travel. - . Nation: Austria.

    Writing in the monthly journal Die Rakete, Baron Guido von Pirquet presented broad arguments in favor of the scientific possibility of manned space travel and the velocities required for orbital and interplanetary flight, of which orbital speed was by far the more difficult to attain. Von Pirquet suggested several different space stations for diverse functions: one in a near-Earth orbit as primarily an observation site and another station in a much higher orbit that would be more suitable as an orbital refueling station for escape vehicles.


1928 - . Launch Vehicle: Valier-Oberth Moon Gun.
  • Von Pirquet Moon Gun - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Ley, Oberth, Valier.

    Further improvements to the Valier-Oberth gun were suggested by Willy Ley and Baron Guido von Pirquet of Vienna. To achieve the necessary muzzle velocity, it would be necessary to construct the gun with angled lateral chambers. These design concepts would be put to military use in the V-3 Hochdruckpumpe cannon of World War II.


1928 January 21 - .
  • Birth of Valentin Gavriyilovich Yershov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Yershov. Russian scientist cosmonaut, 1967-1974..

1928 February 1 - .
  • International Astronautics Prize - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Esnault-Pelterie.

    Robert Esnault-Peltrie and banker Andre Hirsch establish an International Astronautics Prize of 5000 Francs to be awarded annually for the best scientific, theoretical or experimental work in rocketry and space travel. The prize is discontinued after its value is wiped out in the financial crisis of the early 1930's.


1928 February 23 - .
  • Birth of Vasili Grigoryevich Lazarev - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Lazarev. Russian physician cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 12, Soyuz 18-1. Survived first manned spaceflight abort during launch..

1928 February 26 - .
  • Birth of Anatoli Vassilyevich Filipchenko - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Filipchenko. Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 7, Soyuz 16..

1928 March 14 - .
  • Birth of Frank Frederick II Borman - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 7, Apollo 8. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and first to orbit the moon..

1928 March 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • First rocket car - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Opel, Valier.

    Max Valier campaigned to get automobile magnate Fritz von Opel interested in rocket-powered automobiles. Valier proposed to use different combinations of compressed black powder rockets manufactured by Friedrich Wilhelm Sander of Wesermuende. Sander's rockets were 80 cm long, 12.5 cm in diameter, and could came in two versions. The centre-bore rockets provided 180 kgf for 3 seconds, while the end-burners provided 20 kgf for 30 seconds. Valier proposed to use combinations of these motors to first boost an automobile to high speed with the high-thrust rockets, then use low-thrust units to maintain velocity. This had no practical application but would demonstrate the potential of rockets to the German public, at the same time giving Opel publicity. The first secret test, at Ruesselsheim, used a one high thrust and one low thrust motor in a small stock Opel. The results were unimpressive - the vehicle went only 140 m in 35 seconds.


1928 March 25 - .
  • Birth of James Arthur Jr 'Shaky' Lovell - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Lovell. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and first to orbit the moon. Altitude (401,056 km) record..

1928 April 12 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Opel, Valier.

    After two tests the day before, which showed that a good fraction of Brander's rockets would either fail to ignite or explode, Valier made the first official rocket car run for the press. Of 12 rockets attached to the 'Rak' vehicle (a motor car stripped of engine and brakes), five failed to function, but the vehicle reached 110 kph and the press was mightily impressed. Opel received an unexpected amount of free publicity and funded Valier in further rocket car development.


1928 April 12 - .
  • Birth of Russell Lee Rogers - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rogers. American test pilot astronaut, 1962-1963..

1928 May 23 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak II - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Oberth, Opel, Valier.

    Fritz von Opel personally drives rocket-car Opel Rak II, equipped with 24 Brander powder rockets, to 200 kph at Berlin. The same day Oberth is debating the German scientific establishment, trying to overturn their belief that space flight using liquid rockets is theoretically impossible. The VfR regard Valier's experiments with Opel as publicity stunts, threatening the credibility of their society.


June 1928 - . Launch Vehicle: Schmiedl.
  • Schmiedl attempts launch of balloon-lofted rockets. - . Nation: Austria. Related Persons: Schmiedl. The first attempted launch of instrumented rockets from stratospheric balloons. These V1 and V2 rockets failed to ignite but Schmiedl's work anticipated the Van Allen Rockoon concept by twenty years..

1928 June 1 - .
  • Birth of Georgi Timofeyevich Dobrovolsky - . Nation: Russia, Ukraine. Related Persons: Dobrovolsky. Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 11. Member of first crew to stay aboard a space station, however perished during landing..

1928 June 11 - . LV Family: German Rocketplanes. Launch Vehicle: Me-163.
  • First manned rocket-powered aircraft flight. - . Crew: Stamer. Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Lippisch, Opel, Stamer.

    A rocket-boosted glider is flown by Friedrich Stamer from the Rhoen Mountains in Western Germany. The development was funded by Opel, the canard-layout glider designed by Hans Lippisch, and the powder rockets developed by Sander. As in the Opel ground vehicles, a boost rocket (360 kgf for 3 seconds) was to accelerate the glider down the launch ramp. A sustainer rocket (20 kgf for 30 seconds) would keep the aircraft in flight. It was hoped to develop a method of launching gliders that would allow the pilot to get airborne without assistance - that did not require a tow aircraft or the eight-man crew needed to pull back the rubber band on existing rail launchers. Tests with smaller motors in models showed the high-thrust motors were too powerful, so the full-scale tests used a standard rubber-band rail launcher with only the low thrust motors installed. After two attempted flights, Stamer finally made a successful flight, firing two 20 kgf motors one after the other. The glider flew about 1.5 km in 70 seconds. On the second flight the first motor exploded, setting the aircraft on fire. Stamer landed successfully but further attempts were abandoned.


1928 June 23 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak III - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Opel, Valier. The third Opel rocket-car is mounted on railroad tracks near Celle. The first run, with 10 rockets, reached 290 kph. A second run, with 24 rockets, jumped the tracks and demolished the vehicle..

1928 June 24 - .
  • Birth of Lawrence Albert Skantze - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Skantze. American engineer payload specialist astronaut, 1985-1985..

Summer 1928 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak IV - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Opel, Valier. The fourth Opel rocket-car is destroyed when one motor explodes, setting off all off the other motors simultaneously. The car jumps off the tracks at the start. Rail authorities prohibit further experiments and Opel Rak V never runs..

1928 July 2 - .
  • Birth of Iven Carl Kincheloe - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. American test pilot, 1956-1958. Flew the X-2; killed in an F-104 crash in 1958..

1928 July 18, September 29, October 10, October 20 - . LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard 3. FAILURE: Tipped and caught in tower.
  • Launch attempts of Goddard third rocket design - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Goddard's third rocket design started to rise, but tipped and caught in tower every time..

1928 November 1 - .
  • Birth of Richard Martin - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Martin, Richard. American engineer. Structural dynamicist for all versions of the Atlas..

1928 December 26 - . Launch Site: Auburn. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard 3.
  • Third flight of a Goddard liquid rocket. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 0.0050 km (0.0031 mi). Range: 0.0620 km (0.0385 mi).

    Rose out of tower rapidly and tipped, passing over observation shelter; distance 204.5 ft; speed about 60 mph. This flight was followed by a series of static tests, to develop liquid 'curtain cooling' for inside of combustion-chamber wall, a regenerative system, and better stability in flight.



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