The Army Air Forces established Project RAND at the Santa Monica, California, plant of Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc. On 12 May, Project RAND, which had studied supersonic aircraft, guided missiles, and satellite applications, released a report on 'Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Space Ship' that argued the technical feasibility of building and operating an artificial Earth satellite.
First missile launched at Naval Air Facility, Point Mugu, Calif., a KVW-1 Loon, USN name for AAF robot bomb (JB-2) modeled on the German V-1. The inert Loon was launched from an XM-1 launcher, a split-tube catapult with seven sequentially fired powder chambers.
Bids were received in response to the USAAF request for proposal of the previous October. Vultee submitted proposals for two types (glide and ballistic) of 8000-km range missiles. North American proposed a three-year development program for a supersonic 800-km range missile, culminating in a production run of 50 missiles.
U.S. upper atmosphere research program initiated with captured German V-2 rockets. A V-2 panel of representatives of various interested agencies was created, and a total of more than 60 V-2's were fired before the supply ran out. The Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University then undertook to develop a medium-altitude rocket, the Aerobee, while the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) directed its efforts to the development of a large high-altitude rocket, first called the Neptune, later the Viking.
The MX-770 contract for an 800-km range boost-glide missile derived from the German A9 concept went to North American; this would evolve into the Navaho triple-sonic intercontinental cruise missile. Martin received a contract for development of the MX-771, a subsonic ground-launched cruise missile with an 800-km range; it would evolve into the Matador and Mace missiles. Curtiss-Wright and Republic received contracts for the MX-772 and MX-773 surface-to-surface missiles; they never advanced beyond the initial study stage. Convair received the contract for long-range rocket-powered missiles; this evolved into the Atlas ICBM. Northrtop received the MX-775 contract for a 5000-km range cruise missile; this eventually flew as the Snark. Bell receives a contract to develop the MX-776, a 160-km range rocket-powered supersonic missile to be launched from B-29 bombers. This would evolve into the Rascal. McDonnell received a study contract for the MX-777 air-to-surface missile; this evolved into the anti-submarine 'hydrobomb' concept and was eventually transferred to the Navy. Goodyear received contracts for the MX-778 and MX-779 air-to-surface missiles; these never advanced beyond the preliminary study stage. Concurrently, the USAAF had the GARPA surface-to-air missile project underway, which would evolve into Bomarc; the USA Army the Corporal and Hermes (later Redstone) surface-to-surface missiles and the Nike and Hermes A1 surface-to-air missiles; and the Navy a range of missile technology development projects (Regulus, Bat, Kingfisher, Little Joe, Lark, Bumblebee, Gorgon, Dove).
BuAer Committee for Evaluating the Feasibility of Space Rocketry (CEFSR) held joint meeting with AAF representatives to work out joint satellite development program based on BuAer proposal. Nothing resulted until a subsequent Project Rand report and Navy CEFSR proposal were presented to RDB, Committee on Guided Missiles, Technical Evaluation Group in March 1948.
Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc., completed an engineering study on the feasibility of designing a man-carrying satellite. The study showed that if a vehicle could be accelerated to a speed of 27 360 km per hr and aimed properly it would revolve on a circular orbit above the Earth's atmosphere as a new satellite. Such a vehicle would make a complete circuit of the Earth approximately every hour and a half. Additional Details: here....
Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 1017-419ss 'Questions of Reactive Armaments-formation of Special Committee for Reactive Technology (later Special Committee No. 2) of Council of Ministers for the co-ordination of work on missiles' was issued. This decree set up a number of new research institutes to exploit German rocket technology.
Groettrup team in Nordhausen completes design of the K1 (R-1). The design uses some parts manufactured in reopened factories in the German east zone. Factory 88 at Podlipki (later Kaliningrad, then Korolev) 16 km north-west of Moscow, and Factory 456, at Khimki, 7 km north-west of Moscow, are to be the first two Soviet rocket assembly factories.
The payload requirement was increased to 1360 kg. North American was also to be provided with captured V-1 or American-built JB-1 Loon cruise missiles, Wasserfall or American Hermes C-2 missiles, and captured V-2 missiles. The company was also to produce as part of its development program an Americanised subscale V-2, the Nativ.
American test pilot astronaut 1978-1994. Grew up in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, son of an Air Force officer. Flew 339 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia 4 spaceflights, 26.9 days in space. Flew to orbit on STS-51I (1985), STS-26, STS-38, STS-61.
Launched 12:18 local time. Reached 104.8 km. Carried cosmic and soalr radiaiton, winds, photography experiments for Applied Physics Lab, John Hopkins University. The John Hopkins camera took motion pictures of the earth at over 100 km altitude (pictures covered 100,000 square km.)
The NII-1 NKAP research institute was formed with Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh as its head to investigate and develop the German Saenger-Bredt design. It was clear from the preliminary study that an immense amount of work needed to be done before a draft project of a feasible design could be prepared - it would take until the mid-1950's.