Encyclopedia Astronautica


North Korean Launch Site - North Korean Unha 3 Launch Vehicle!

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A Brief History of the HARP Project - Canadian 1960's project to launch satellites from a 16 inch gun......
Saturn V - American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the "too large" Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture....
Cape Canaveral - America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida; and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean....
Space Suits - To explore and work in space, human beings must take their environment with them because there is no atmospheric pressure and no oxygen to sustain life. Inside the spacecraft, the atmosphere can be controlled so that special clothing is not needed. But in order to work outside the spacecraft, humans need the protection of a spacesuit....
Apollo 11 - Crew: Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins. First manned lunar landing. The end of the moon race and public support for large space programs. The many changes made after the Apollo 204 fire paid off; all went according to plan, virtually no problems....
Women of Space - The female conquerors of space!...
Soviets Recovered an Apollo Capsule! - The truth only emerged 32 years later - the Soviets recovered an Apollo space capsule in 1970......
Apollo 13 - Crew: Haise, Lovell, Swigert. Altitude (401,056 km) record. Fuel cell tank exploded en route to the moon, resulting in loss of all power and oxygen. Only through use of the still-attached LM as a lifeboat could the crew survive to return to earth...
Apollo 18 - Crew: Gordon, Brand, Schmitt. Apollo 18 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in the moon's Schroter's Valley, a riverlike channel-way. The original February 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970....
International Space Station - International but American-led manned space station. Development from 1994. Assembled in orbit 1998-2010...
Shuttle - American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster...
N1 - The N1 launch vehicle, developed by Russia in the 1960's, was to be the Soviet Union's counterpart to the Saturn V. The largest of a family of launch vehicles that were to replace the ICBM-derived launchers then in use, the N series was to launch Soviet cosmonauts to the moon, Mars, and huge space stations into orbit. In comparison to Saturn, the project was started late, starved of funds and priority, and dogged by political and technical struggles between the chief designers Korolev, Glushko, and Chelomei. The end result was four launch failures and cancellation of the project five years after Apollo landed on the moon. Not only did a Soviet cosmonaut never land on the moon, but the Soviet Union even denied that the huge project ever existed....
Baikonur - Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union....
Buran - Russian manned spaceplane. One launch, 1988.11.15. Soviet copy of the US Space Shuttle. Unlike the Shuttle, the main engines were not mounted on Buran and were not reused....
The Real Moon Landing Hoax - How the Soviet Union fooled the world into believing it wasn"t in the moon race....
Tereshkova - (1937-) Russian cosmonaut. First woman in space, aboard Vostok 6. But the flight was propaganda and future spaceflight opportunities did not develop. Was married to cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev. Later a leading Communist politician....
Russia - Russian Federation Space Systems...
LK - Russian manned lunar lander. 3 launches, 1970.11.24 (Cosmos 379) to 1971.08.12 (Cosmos 434). The LK ("Lunniy korabl" - lunar craft) was the Soviet lunar lander - the Russian counterpart of the American LM Lunar Module....
The Hard Road to Space - One third of manned spaceflights suffer major problems that threaten completion of the mission and the life of the astronauts. Five crews - 2% of missions - have perished in their spacecraft....SPACEFLIGHT IS NOT "ROUTINE"...
Shenzhou - Chinese manned spacecraft. Operational, first launch 1999.11.19. The Chinese Shenzhou manned spacecraft resembled the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, but was of larger size and all-new construction....
Apollo CSM - American manned lunar orbiter. 22 launches, 1964.05.28 (Saturn 6) to 1975.07.15 (Apollo (ASTP)). The Apollo Command Service Module was the spacecraft developed by NASA in the 1960's as a standard spacecraft for earth and lunar orbit missions....
Gagarin - (1934-1968) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Vostok 1. First person in space. Due to his fame, the Soviet leadership did not want to risk him on another flight, but later relented. Died in a 1968 MiG trainer crash while requalifying for flight status....
Energia - The Energia-Buran Reusable Space System (MKS) began development in 1976 as a Soviet booster that would exceed the capabilities of the US shuttle system. Following extended development, Energia made two successful flights in 1987-1988. But the Soviet Union was crumbling, and the ambitious plans to build an orbiting defense shield, to renew the ozone layer, dispose of nuclear waste, illuminate polar cities, colonize the moon and Mars, were not to be. Funding dried up and the Energia-Buran program completely disappeared from the government's budget after 1993....
V-2 - The V-2 ballistic missile (known to its designers as the A4) was the world's first operational liquid fuel rocket. It represented an enormous quantum leap in technology, financed by Nazi Germany in a huge development program that cost at least $ 2 billion in 1944 dollars. 6,084 V-2 missiles were built, 95% of them by 20,000 slave labourer in the last seven months of World War II at a unit price of $ 17,877. As many as 3,225 were launched in combat, primarily against Antwerp and London. Despite the scale of this effort, the inaccurate missile did not change the course of the war and proved to be an enormous waste of resources. The British, Americans, and Russians launched a further 86 captured German V-2's in 1945-1952. Personnel and technology from the V-2 program formed the starting point for post-war rocketry development in America, Russia, and France....
Dynasoar - American manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1963. The X-20A Dyna-Soar (Dynamic Soarer) was a single-pilot manned reusable spaceplane, really the earliest American manned space project to result in development contracts....
Soviet Space History - The previously unrevealed history of the Soviet space program......
MOL - American manned space station. Cancelled 1969. MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory) was the US Air Force's manned space project after Dynasoar was cancelled, until it in turn was cancelled in 1969. The earth orbit station used a helium-oxygen atmosphere....
Vostok 1 - Crew: Gagarin. First manned spaceflight, one orbit of the earth. Strap attaching service module failed to separate from capsule, leading to wild ride before it burned through during re-entry...
Road to the Stars - One man in Russia filmed the future - before Sputnik! Did Kubrick copy his work?...
Soyuz 1 - Crew: Komarov. Space disaster that put back Soviet lunar program 18 months. Soyuz 1 was to dock with Soyuz 2 and transfer crew. Instead Soyuz 1 solar panel didn"t deploy; manual reentry; tangled parachute lines; astronaut killed on impact with earth...
Apollo 8 - Crew: Anders, Borman, Lovell. First manned flight to lunar orbit. Speed (10,807 m/s) and altitude (378,504 km) records. Mission resulted from audacious decision to send crew around moon to beat Soviets on only second manned Apollo CSM mission and third Saturn V launch. ..
Babylon Gun - From March of 1988 until the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Iraq contracted with Gerard Bull to build three superguns: two full sized "Project Babylon" 1000 mm guns and one "Baby Babylon" 350 mm prototype. Nine tonnes of special supergun propellant could fire a 600 kg projectile over a range of 1,000 kilometres, or a 2,000 kg rocket-assisted projectile. The 2,000 kg projectile would place a net payload of about 200 kg into orbit at a cost of $ 600 per kg. The 1000 mm guns were never completed. After the war UN teams destroyed the guns and gun components in Iraqi possession....
Armstrong - (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 8, Apollo 11. First person to step onto the moon. Member of first crew to dock in space....
Apollo - The successful US project to land a man on the moon....
Atlas V - American orbital launch vehicle. The Atlas V launch vehicle system was a completely new design that succeeded the earlier Atlas series. Atlas V vehicles were based on the 3.8-m (12.5-ft) diameter Common Core Booster (CCB) powered by a single Russian RD-180 engine. These could be clustered together, and complemented by a Centaur upper stage, and up to five solid rocket boosters, to achieve a wide range of performance....
Chinese Lunar Base - Chinese manned lunar base. Beginning in 2000, Chinese scientists began discussing preliminary work on a Chinese manned lunar base....
Polyus - Russian military anti-satellite system. One launch, 1987.05.15. The Polyus military testbed was put together on a crash basis as an answer to America's Star Wars program....
R-7 Soyuz - Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was inaugurated in 2011. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch....
Space Station Freedom - American manned space station, replaced by International Space Station. Design as of 1988. NASA's first detailed cost assessment for the US space station caused a political uproar in Congress, where many politicians had started to express doubt about the project....
V-3 - German gun-launched missile. The V-3 Hochdruckpumpe was a supergun designed by Saar Roechling during World War II. The 140 m long cannon was capable of delivering a 140 kg shell over a 165 km range. Construction began of a bunker for the cannons in September 1943 at Mimoyecques, France. The site was damaged by Allied bombing before it could be put into operation and was finally occupied by the British at the end of August 1944. Two short-length (45 m long) V-3's were built at Antwerp and Luxembourg in support of the Ardennes offensive in December 1944. These were found to be unreliable and only a few shots were fired without known effect....
Navstar - The Navstar GPS (Global Positioning System) program was a joint service effort directed by the United States Department of Defence. Navstar GPS is a space-based radio-positioning system nominally consisting of a 24-satellite constellation that provides navigation and timing information to military and civilian users worldwide. Originally envisioned as primarily a military system, GPS was found to have a wide variety of civilian applications, many of them never conceived by the original system's designers....
Atlas - The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and "balloon tank" design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career....
China - The amazing history of rocket and space development in China....
Sea Dragon - American sea-launched heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Sea Dragon was an immense, sea-launched, two-stage launch vehicle designed by Robert Truax for Aerojet in 1962. It was to be capable of putting 1.2 million pounds (550 tonnes) into low Earth orbit. The concept was to achieve minimum launch costs through lower development and production costs. This meant accepting a larger booster with a lower performance propulsion system and higher stage dead weight then traditional NASA and USAF designs....
Gemini - American manned spacecraft. 12 launches, 1964.04.08 (Gemini 1) to 1966.11.11 (Gemini 12). It was obvious to NASA that there was a big gap of three to four years between the last Mercury flight and the first scheduled Apollo flight....
Mars Expeditions - Since Wernher von Braun first sketched out his Marsprojekt in 1946, a succession of designs and mission profiles were seriously studied in the United States and the Soviet Union. By the late 1960's Von Braun had come to favour nuclear thermal rocket powered expeditions, while his Soviet counterpart Korolev decided that nuclear electric propulsion was the way to go. All such work stopped in both countries in the 1970's, after the cancellation of the Apollo program in the United States and the N1 booster in the Soviet Union....
Your Flight Has Been Cancelled.... - The long saga of cancelled manned spaceflights. Is what might have been better than what was?...
Almaz - The only manned military space station to have ever flown, it served only to prove that manned stations provided no cost-effective substitute to unmanned military satellites. Derivatives of the design continue in service into the 21st Century as modules of the Salyut, Mir, and International Space Stations....
Delta - American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new "existing" technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with "more rationale" alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced....
Apollo LM - American manned lunar lander. 10 launches, 1968.01.22 (Apollo 5) to 1972.12.07 (Apollo 17)....
Skylab - American manned space station. One launch, 1973.05.14. First US space station. The project began life as the Orbital Workshop- outfitting of an S-IVB stage with a docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches....
Bulava - Russian solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile, equipped with up to ten multiple independently targeted warheads. The first post-Soviet Russian ballistic missile, it was designed to provide Russia's submarine-launched deterrent by the third decade of the 21st Century....
Lox/Kerosene - Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. In January 1953 Rocketdyne commenced the REAP program to develop a number of improvements to the engines being developed for the Navaho and Atlas missiles. Among these was development of a special grade of kerosene suitable for rocket engines, resulting in 1954 in the standard US kerosene rocket fuel RP-1. In Russia, similar specifications were developed for kerosene under the specifications T-1 and RG-1. The Russians also developed a compound of unknown formulation in the 1980's known as 'sintin", or synthetic kerosene....
Shepard - (1923-1998) First American in space. Flew on Mercury MR-3, Apollo 14. Grounded due on medical grounds during Gemini, but reinstated, becoming fifth person to walk on the moon. Millionaire entrepreneur on the side....
Hermes - French manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1992. The Hermes spaceplane would have provided independent European manned access to space. Hermes was designed to take three astronauts to orbits of up to 800 km altitude on missions of 30 to 90 days in space....
Vandenberg - Vandenberg is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll....
Why did the Soviet Union lose the Moon Race? - The reasons the Americans were first on the moon, as given by the major Soviet participants....
Proton - The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes....
Lox/LH2 - Liquid hydrogen was identified by all the leading rocket visionaries as the theoretically ideal rocket fuel. It had big drawbacks, however - it was highly cryogenic, and it had a very low density, making for large tanks. The United States mastered hydrogen technology for the highly classified Lockheed CL-400 Suntan reconnaissance aircraft in the mid-1950's. The technology was transferred to the Centaur rocket stage program, and by the mid-1960's the United States was flying the Centaur and Saturn upper stages using the fuel. It was adopted for the core of the space shuttle, and the Delta IV core and Centaur stages still fly today....
Titan - American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space....
Otrag - $200 million was spent from 1975-1987 by Lutz Kayer in a serious attempt to develop a low-cost satellite launcher using clusters of mass-produced pressure-fed liquid propellant modules. The project was finally squelched by the German government under pressure from the Soviet and French....
Solid - Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems...
Germany - German space history...
Atlantis - American manned spaceplane. 33 launches, 1985.10.03 to 2011.07.08. The space shuttle Atlantis was the fourth orbiter to become operational at Kennedy Space Center, and the last of the original production run....
Sputnik 2 - Russian biology satellite, delivered first animal (Laika the dog) into space. One launch, 1957.11.03....
Gun-launched - Artillery dominated military ballistics from the earliest use of gunpowder. In 1865 Jules Verne could only realistically consider a cannon for a moon launch in his influential novel. Even after the rocket established its primacy as a method of accessing space, Canadian Gerald Bull began a life-long struggle to use guns for cheap access to space. His successes could not generate funding to continue. Others since then have pursued the technology, convinced it was the only way for low-cost delivery of payloads to orbit....
Saturn I - American orbital launch vehicle. Von Braun launch vehicle known as "Cluster's Last Stand" - 8 Redstone tanks around a Jupiter tank core,powered by eight Jupiter engines. Originally intended as the launch vehicle for Apollo manned circumlunar flights. However it was developed so early, no payloads were available for it....
Nova - American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. Nova was NASA's ultimate launch vehicle, studied intently from 1959 to 1962. Originally conceived to allow a direct manned landing on the moon, in its final iteration it was to put a million-pound payload into low earth orbit to support manned Mars expeditions. It was abandoned in NASA advanced mission planning thereafter in favor of growth versions of the Saturn V....
Was the Soyuz Design Stolen? - To engineers from General Electric, there was something awfully familiar looking about the Soyuz spacecraft, the most successful in history.......
Apollo 7 - Crew: Cunningham, Eisele, Schirra. First manned test of the Apollo spacecraft. Although the systems worked well, the crew became grumpy with head colds and talked back to the ground. As a result, NASA management determined that none of them would fly again....
Soyuz 7K-LOK - Russian manned lunar orbiter. 2 launches, 1971.06.26 (N-1 6L) to 1972.11.23 (LOK). The two-crew LOK lunar orbiting spacecraft was the largest derivative of Soyuz developed....
Soyuz - The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011....
HL-20 - American manned spaceplane. Study 1988. The HL-20 was a NASA Langley design for a manned spaceplane as a backup to the space shuttle (in case it was abandoned or grounded) and as a CERV (Crew Emergency Return Vehicle) for the Freedom space station....
Russian SAMs and ABMs - Perhaps no missiles ever produced had as much historical influence as the surface-to-air missiles of the Soviet Union. Originally conceived to provide a defence against the American bomber fleets of the early Cold War, they decisively affected the turn of events when they shot down American U-2 reconnaissance aircraft over Russia and Cuba. Soviet-provided missiles accounted for a hundred American aircraft over North Vietnam and set the terms of the air battle. A new generation of missiles presented a huge technological surprise and took an awful toll of Israeli aircraft in the 1973 war. To this day, Russian surface-to-air missiles provide the only defence available to most countries against American bombers, and Russian man-portable anti-aircraft missiles are a major part of the terrorist threat....
STS - The Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) was conceived originally as a completely reusable system that would provide cheap, routine access to space and replace all American and civilian military launch vehicles. Crippled by technological overreach, political compromise, and budget limitations, it instead ended up costing more than the expendable rockets it was to have replaced. STS sucked the money out of all other NASA projects for half a century. The military abandoned its use after the Challenger shuttle explosion in the 1980's....
STS-41-G - Crew: Crippen, Garneau, Leestma, McBride, Ride, Scully-Power, Sullivan. First spaceflight to include two women. First American woman to walk in space. First Canadian astronaut. Record crew size aboard a single spacecraft. Deployed Earth Radiation Budget Satellite; performed high resolution Earth imagery....
N2O4/UDMH - Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance....
Jemison - (1956-) African-American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-47...
ISS - Finally completed in 2010 after a torturous 25-year development and production process, the International Space Station was originally conceived as the staging post for manned exploration of the solar systrem. Instead, it was seemed to be the death knell of manned spaceflight....
By Gemini to the Moon! - The Gusmobile might have gotten on the moon faster, quicker, cheaper (but not better...)...
Apollo 20 - Crew: Roosa, Lind, Lousma. Apollo 20 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in Crater Copernicus, a spectacular large crater impact area. Later Copernicus was assigned to Apollo 19, and the preferred landing site for Apollo 20 was the Marius Hills or Tycho....
F-1 - Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 7740.5 kN. Isp=304s. Largest liquid rocket engine ever developed and flown. Severe combustion stability problems were solved during development and it never failed in flight...
Early Russian Ballistic Missiles - The true configuration of the world's first ICBM, the R-7, was revealed only in 1967, ten years after its first test. The Soviet N1 moon rocket was only revealed in 1990, 21 years after its first launch. At the same time, other Russian ballistic missiles were routinely paraded before the cameras of the world press even before they went into service. The extraordinary sensitivity of the Soviet leadership over these Korolev designs may be traced to the fact that they derived from the work of the Groettrup German rocket engineering team....
UR-700 - Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The UR-700 was the member of Vladimir Chelomei's Universal Rocket family designed in the 1960's to allow direct manned flight by the LK-700 spacecraft to the surface of the moon. However Korolev's N1 was the selected Soviet super-booster design. Only when the N1 ran into schedule problems in 1967 was work on the UR-700 resumed. The draft project foresaw first launch in May 1972. But no financing for full scale development was forthcoming; by then it was apparent that the moon race was lost....
Astronaut Statistics - The right stuff - Who's flown the most hours in space? Who's the fastest man alive?...
The Wrong Stuff - A Catalogue of Launch Vehicle Failures - The hard road to space......
Kourou - After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected for Europe's orbital launch site. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle....
Skylab - First and only US space station to date. Project began life as Apollo Orbital Workshop - outfitting of an S-IVB stage with docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches. Curtailment of the Apollo moon landings meant that surplus Saturn V's were available, so the pre-equipped, five times heavier, and much more capable Skylab resulted....
Apollo - The Apollo was supposed to be a multipurpose spacecraft, and a stunning range of derivatives were proposed for every imaginable space mission....
Venera - Russian series of spacecraft that explored the planet Venus. Venera spacecraft made the first soft landings on the surface of Venus and returned the first images from the surface....
Lunar Bases - The Lunar Base never seemed to be a high priority to space visionaries, who were mainly interested in getting on to Mars. It was usually seen as a proving ground for Mars vehicle technology, or as a place to mine propellant for use in a larger space infrastructure....
Peenemuende - First launch site in the world, used for development of the V-1, A-4/V-2, Wasserfall, and other missiles. Among many major facilities, engine test stands were built that were capable of accommodating planned engines for the A-10 intercontinental missile. 296 known launches were made from the site between 1937 and 1945....
Composite Solid Propellants - The detailed chemistry and development of composite solid propellants...
SHARP - American gun-launched test vehicle. The SHARP (Super High Altitude Research Project) light gas gun was developed by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California. The L-shaped gun consisted of the 82 m long, 36 cm calibre pump tube and the 47 m long, 10 cm calibre gun barrel. SHARP began operation in December 1992 and demonstrated velocities of 3 km/sec with 5 kg projectiles. However the $ 1 billion funding to elevate the tube and begin space launch tests of smaller projectiles at speeds of up to 7 km/sec was not forthcoming. By 1996 the gun was relegated to occasional test of sub-scale Mach 9 scramjet models....
Soyuz 7K-L1 - Russian manned lunar flyby spacecraft. 12 launches, 1967.03.10 (Cosmos 146) to 1970.10.20 (Zond 8). The Soyuz 7K-L1, a modification of the Soyuz 7K-OK, was designed for manned circumlunar missions, but development difficulties meant it was beaten to the moon by Apollo 8 by only a matter of weeks....
Kapustin Yar - Russia's first missile test range and used for satellite launches of smaller Kosmos vehicles. V-2's launched from here in 1946 were the first ballistic missiles fired on Soviet territory. It was greatly expanded as the test site for innumerable Soviet intermediate and short range missile projects in the 1950's.. Kapustin Year was also headquarters of the first operational R-1/R-2 units, 1950-1953, and later a base for 12 operational R-14 missile launchers. Kapustin Yar was known to have been used for over 3519 major launches from 1946 to 2007....
Gemini 8 - Crew: Armstrong, Scott. First docking of two spacecraft. After docking with Agena target, a stuck thruster aboard Gemini resulted in the crew nearly blacking out before the resulting spin could be stopped. An emergency landing in the mid-Pacific Ocean followed...
Lunar Landers - Lunar lander design started with the British Interplanetary Society's concept of 1939, followed by Von Braun's 3964 tonne monster of 1953. It then settled down to more reasonably-sized variants. Landers came in three main types: two stage versions, with the first stage being a lunar crasher that would brake the spacecraft until just above the lunar surface, then separate, allowing the second stage to land on the surface; two stage versions consisting of a descent stage that went all the way to the surface, and an ascent stage that would take the crew from the surface to lunar orbit or on an earth-return trajectory; and single stage versions, using liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen propellants....
Apollo 9 - Crew: McDivitt, Schweickart, Scott. First manned test of the Lunar Module. First test of the Apollo space suits. First manned flight of a spacecraft incapable of returning to earth. If rendezvous of the Lunar Module with the Apollo CSM had failed, crew would have been stranded in orbit...
RSA - South African orbital launch vehicle. Israel and South Africa collaborated closely in rocket technology in the 1970's and 1980's. South Africa provided Israel with the uranium and test facilities it needed for its strategic weapons programmes. In exchange Israel provided aerospace technology. This included the capability of building the ten-tonne solid propellant rocket motors designed for the Israeli Jericho-2 missile. These motors were the basis of two space launchers for an indigenous "R5b" space programme. It seems that South Africa also planned to use these motors in a series of missiles to provide a nuclear deterrent....
Lenticular Vehicles - For a brief period in 1959-1964, NASA and the US Air Force actively considered launching manned flying saucers into space. Although very much in tune with UFO mania and science fiction films of the times, the concept lost out to other aerodynamic concepts....
Gnom - Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. Gnom was a unique design which represented the most advanced work ever undertaken on an air-augmented missile capable of intercontinental ranges or orbital flight. Although cancelled in 1965 before flight tests could begin, Gnom was the closest the world aerospace engineering community ever came to fielding an orbital-capable launcher of less than half of the mass of conventional designs....
Sputnik 1 - Russian technology satellite, first artificial satellite of the earth. launched 1957.10.04. Tikhonravov's 1.4 metric ton ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, during the International Geophysical Year....
S-300 - Russian surface-to-air missile. Third generation family of surface-to-air missiles developed in the 1970's based on new principles. The same launch system could use either 5V55 or 48N6 series missiles, of both mid- and long-range types....
Apollo 17 - Crew: Cernan, Evans, Schmitt. Final Apollo lunar landing mission. First geologist to walk on the moon...
Standard SM-3 - American surface-to-air missile with anti-ballistic missile capability using the LEAP homing vehicle for use by AEGIS naval vessels. Modification for anti-satellite use demonstrated in 2008....
Shuguang 1 - Chinese manned spacecraft. Cancelled 1972. Shuguang-1 (Dawn-1) was China's first manned spacecraft design. The two-man capsule would have been similar to the American Gemini capsule and been launched by the CZ-2 booster....
Apollo 10 - Crew: Cernan, Stafford, Young. Speed record (11,107 m/s). Final dress rehearsal in lunar orbit for landing on moon. LM separated and descended to 10 km from surface of moon but did not land...
Cuxhaven - As the only site in Germany with an unrestricted over-water firing sector over the North Sea, Cuxhaven was once touted as "the Cape Canaveral of Germany". Primarily known to space historians for the three post-war V-2 launches under project Backfire, it played an important role in the nascent post-World War II German rocketry. A nearly completely unknown series of scientific sounding rocket launches were made from the area in 1957-1964 before the launch site was closed on (purportedly) safety and (actually) military grounds....
Apollo 12 - Crew: Bean, Conrad, Gordon. Second manned lunar landing. Precision landing near Surveyor 3 that landed in 1967. Lightning struck the booster twice during ascent. Decision was made to press on to moon, despite possibility landing pyrotechnics damaged...
Soyuz TMA - Russian three-crew manned spacecraft. Operational, first launch 2002.10.30. Designed for use as a lifeboat for the International Space Station. After the retirement of the US shuttle in 2011, Soyuz TMA was the only conveying crews to the ISS. Except for the Chinese Shenzhou, it became mankind's sole means of access to space....
Salyut - The world's first space station, developed in one year by the Soviet Union on the basis of Chelomei's Almaz station, in an attempt to upstage the American Skylab after the loss of the moon landing race to the Americans....
Sputnik Plus 50 - The real story of the early race to space...
A9/A10 - German intercontinental boost-glide missile. The A9/A10 was the world's first practical design for a transatlantic ballistic missile. Design of the two stage missile began in 1940 and first flight would have been in 1946. Work on the A9/A10 was prohibited after 1943 when all efforts were to be spent on perfection and production of the A4 as a weapon-in-being. Von Braun managed to continue some development and flight tests of the A9 under the cover name of A4b (i.e. a modification of the A4, and therefore a production-related project). In late 1944 work on the A9/A10 resumed under the code name Projekt Amerika, but no significant hardware development was possible after the last test of the A4b in January 1945....
Kliper - Russian manned spaceplane. Study 2004. The Kliper manned spacecraft replacement for Soyuz was first announced at a Moscow news conference on 17 February 2004....
Navaho - The Navaho intercontinental cruise missile project was begun just after World War II, at a time when the US Army Air Force considered ballistic missiles to be technically impractical. The Navaho required a large liquid propellant rocket engine to get its Mach 3 ramjet up to ignition speed. This engine, derived with German assistance from that of the V-2, provided the basis for the rockets that would later take Americans into space....
Bio-Suit - American space suit, study of 2001. Novel approach that used biomedical breakthroughs in skin replacement and materials to replace the bulky conventional balloon spacesuit with a second skin approach....
Vostok - Russian manned spacecraft. 13 launches, 1960.05.15 (Korabl-Sputnik 1) to 1963.06.16 (Vostok 6). First manned spacecraft. Derivatives were still in use in the 21st Century for military surveillance, earth resources, mapping, and biological missions....
Manned Space Firsts - Who did what when ? -- a list of manned space firsts......
Soyuz 11 - Crew: Dobrovolsky, Patsayev, Volkov. First space station mission. Record flight duration. Main telescope inoperative. Fire in space station put out. Fail-safe valve opening during re-entry, resulted in decompression and death of entire crew...
Challenger - American manned spaceplane. 10 launches, 1983.04.04 (STS-6) to 1986.01.28 (STS-51-L)....
Big Gemini - American manned spacecraft. Reached mockup stage 1967....
Columbia - American manned spaceplane. 28 launches, 1981.04.12 (STS-1) to 2003.01.16 (STS-107). Columbia, the first orbiter in the Shuttle fleet, was named after the sloop that accomplished the first American circumnavigation of the globe....
CEV - American manned spacecraft. Study 2006. The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) was NASA's planned manned spacecraft intended to carry human crews from Earth into space and back again from 2012 on....
Sriharikota - India's primary space launch center, located on the east coast of the peninsula with a firing sector over the Bay of Bengal. In use from 1971 to present....
LM Descent Propulsion - LM Descent Propulsion Development Diary...
Mir - Russian manned space station. One launch, 1986.02.20. Improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station with one aft docking port and five ports in a spherical compartment at the forward end of the station....
The Podsadka Problem - What was the secret configuration of the Soviet L1 manned circumlunar spacecraft?...
Lunar Rovers - Lunar rovers were studied in a dizzying variety of sizes and shapes by NASA in the 1960's - including crawlers, trains, hoppers, and even worms. Two rovers designed for manned use actually traveled the lunar surface in the 1970's - the American two-man Lunar Rover, and the Soviet Lunokhod, which traveled the moon in robotic mode but was originally designed as emergency cosmonaut transportation....
Gemini - Gemini was conceived as an "upgraded Mercury" to test essential orbital manoeuvring, rendezvous, docking, lifting re-entry, and space walking techniques in the four years between the last Mercury flight and the first scheduled Apollo flight. If fulfilled this mission, and numerous variants that never reached production would have serviced manned space stations and taken Americans around and to the moon - at lower cost and earlier than Apollo....
Von Braun - In 1948, with the US Army's V-2 test project winding down, Wernher Von Braun was ensconced in isolated Fort Bliss. He had, unusually, some time on his hands. He occupied himself by writing a novel concerning an expedition to Mars, grounded on accurate engineering estimates. As an appendix to the novel he documented his calculations....
Apollo 14 - Crew: Mitchell, Roosa, Shepard. Third manned lunar landing. Only Mercury astronaut to reach moon. Five attempts to dock the command module with the lunar module failed for no apparent reason - mission saved when sixth was successful. Hike to Cone Crater frustrating; rim not reached...
Almaz - Russian manned space station. 3 launches, 1973.04.03 (Salyut 2) to 1976.06.22 (Salyut 5). Chelomei's Almaz space station was designed to conduct orbital research into the usefulness of manned observation of the earth....
Beidou - Chinese navigation satellite. Operational, first launch 2000.10.30. Beidou ("Big Dipper") was the satellite component of an independent Chinese satellite navigation and positioning system....
Redstone - Redstone was the first large liquid rocket developed in the US using German V-2 technology. Originally designated Hermes C. Redstones later launched the first US satellite and the first American astronaut into space....
Gemini - The Gusmobile could have conquered space - faster, better cheaper. An endless number of Gemini derivatives would have performed tasks in earth orbit, and flown around and landed on the moon. Could the US have won the moon and space station races at a fraction of the expense? Browse through the many might-have-been Geminis!...
LK-700 - Russian manned lunar lander. Chelomei's direct-landing alternative to Korolev's L3 manned lunar landing design. Developed at a low level 1964 to 1974, reaching mockup and component test stage....
Korea South - South Korea's goal is to be among the top ten spacefaring nations by 2015. It was decided to leapfrog the technology by contracting with Russian companies. First launch of the KSLV-I launch vehicle from the new space centre took place in 2010....
Komarov - (1927-1967) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Voskhod 1, Soyuz 1. First person to die during spaceflight when the parachute lines of Soyuz 1 tangled and it crashed to earth...
US Space Stations - Wernher von Braun brought Noordung's rotating station design with him from Europe. This he popularized in the early 1950's in selling manned space flight to the American public. By the late 1950's von Braun's team favoured the spent-stage concept - which eventually flew as Skylab. By the mid-1960's, NASA was concentrating on modular, purpose-built, zero-G stations. These eventually flew as the International Space Station....
What did the CIA know and when did they know it? - Fifty years of declassified American National Intelligence Estimates, compared to what we now know was really happening in Soviet programs......
AJ-260-2 - Aerojet 260 inch diameter solid rocket booster, largest solid propellant engine ever fired. 17,695.3 kN. Isp=263s. The version tested and also proposed for use as a first stage with the Saturn IVB....
X-33 - American winged rocketplane. NASA-sponsored suborbital unmanned prototype for a single-stage-to-orbit rocketplane. The Lockheed Martin vehicle would have used a linear aerospike engine, metallic insulation, and other features similar to their Starclipper shuttle proposal of 1971. In 1999 catastrophic failure of the composite fuel tank during static test brought into question the technical feasiblity of the design. The program was cancelled in 2001 before any flight articles were completed and after over $1.2 billion had been expended....
Aldrin - Aldrin, Edwin Eugene "Buzz" (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 12, Apollo 11. Second person on the moon....
Russian Rocketplanes - The story of rocketplanes and spaceplanes in the Soviet Union was one of constant setbacks due to internal politics, constant struggle with little result....
Delta IV - American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta IV was the world's first all-Lox/LH2 launch vehicle and represented the only all-new-technology launch vehicle developed in the United States since the 1970's. It was the winner of the bulk of the USAF EELV orders and was based on the all-new RS-68-powered Lox/LH2 cryogenic Common Booster Core (CBC). This could be used with new Delta cryogenic upper stages powered by the RL10 engine but unrelated to previous Centaur upper stages. It could be flown without augmentation, or use 2-4 large GEM-60 solid rocket boosters. The heavy lift version used two core vehicles as a first stage, flanking the single core vehicle second stage....
Mercury - American manned spacecraft. 18 launches, 1960.01.21 (Mercury LJ-1B) to 1963.05.15 (Mercury MA-9). America's first man-in-space project. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the orbital payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas....
RD-180 - Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 4152 kN. Atlas III, Atlas V stage 1. In production. Isp=337s. First flight 2000. Two-thrust-chamber derivative of the four-chamber RD-170 used on Zenit....
Ilyushin - Russian test pilot. Most tangible phantom cosmonaut, purported first man in orbit according to French press report two days before Gagarin. A real person and test pilot, but no evidence he ever flew in space or trained as a cosmonaut....
Apollo (ASTP) - Crew: Brand, Slayton, Stafford. First international joint manned space mission; first docking between two spacecraft launched from different countries. Crew nearly killed by toxic propellant vapours dumped into the cabin air supply during re-entry...
Vostok - World's first manned spacecraft, it was later developed into the Voskhod, and numerous versions of Zenit recoverable reconnaisance, materials, and biological research satellites which remained in service into the 21st Century....
Korolev - (1907-1966) Soviet Chief Designer, responsible for creating the first long range ballistic missiles, the first space launchers, the first artificial satellite, and putting the first man in space. After his premature death the Soviets lagged in space....
Apollo 15 - Crew: Irwin, Scott, Worden. First use of lunar rover on moon. Beautiful images of crew prospecting at edge of Hadley Rille. One of the three main parachutes failed, causing a hard but survivable splashdown..
Soyuz 7K-OK - Russian manned spacecraft. 17 launches, 1966.11.28 (Cosmos 133) to 1970.06.01 (Soyuz 9). Development of a three-manned orbital version of the Soyuz, the 7K-OK was approved in December 1963....
Iran - Iran, following a thirty year effort to acquire foreign technology however possible, launched its first satellite in 2009....
TKS - Russian manned spacecraft, tested but never flown manned due to internal Soviet politics. 4 launches, 1977.07.17 (Cosmos 929) to 1985.09.27 (Cosmos 1686)....
New Generation Crewed - The world is facing a minimum five year period, beginning in 2011, when the venerable Russian Soyuz spacecraft will provide the only means of ferrying crews to the International Space Station. America's new Orion spacecraft, beset by delays, is unlikely to be arriving at the ISS until 2018 at the earliest - which was NASA's original date for retirement of the ISS. China has its slow-motion Shenzhou manned program, but so far they have shown no interest in involvement in the ISS program, or in sharing their hard-won independent space technology with outsiders....
White Sands - White Sands Missile Range occupies an area 160 x 65 km in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico, across the Sacramento Mountain range from Roswell. In the 1930's, Robert Goddard, after surveying weather conditions and population densities, had selected Roswell for his pioneering rocket tests. White Sands, a true desert area, was even more unpopulated than Roswell. German advances in rocketry during World War II impelled the US Army to begin programs to exploit this technology. The White Sands Proving Ground was established for testing German and American long-range rockets on 9 July 1945...
SpaceShipOne - American privately-funded manned suborbital spaceplane. 14 launches, 2003.05.20 to 2004.05.13 . X-Prize suborbital spaceplane concept of Scaled Composites, Mojave, California....
Hydrazine - Hydrazine (N2H4) found early use as a fuel, but it was quickly replaced by UDMH. It is still used as a monopropellant for satellite station-keeping motors...
SSME - Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 2278 kN. Isp=453s. Space Shuttle Main Engines; only high-pressure closed-cycle reusable cryogenic rocket engine ever flown. Three mounted in the base of the American space shuttle. First flight 1981....
Mir - The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps....
UR-700M - Russian heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. In 1969 the Soviet Union began project Aelita, studying the best method to beat the Americans in landing a man on Mars. Chelomei's team reached the conclusion that a Mars expedition would best be launched by an immense vehicle would allow their MK-700 Mars spacecraft to be orbited in two launches. The proposed UR-700M launch vehicle had a gross lift-off mass of 16,000 metric tons and could deliver 750 metric tons to orbit. By 1972 the Nixon administration had cancelled NASA's plans for manned Mars missions. Perhaps not coincidentally, a Soviet expert commission the same year concluded that the Mars project - and the UR-700M booster - were beyond the technical and economical capabilities of the Soviet Union and should be shelved indefinitely....
N2O4/MMH - Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's...
Mir-2 - Russian manned space station. Study 1989. The Mir-2 space station was originally authorized in the February 1976 resolution setting forth plans for development of third generation Soviet space systems....
von Braun - (1912-1977) German-American chief designer, leader of the "Rocket Team"; developed the V-2, Redstone, Jupiter, and the Saturn rockets that took US to the moon. He made the idea of space travel popular in the 1950's and a reality in the 1960's....
Delta IV Heavy - American orbital launch vehicle. Heavy lift all-cryogenic launch vehicle using two Delta-4 core vehicles as first stage flanking a single core vehicle as second stage. A heavy upper stage is carried with a 5 m diameter payload fairing....
Resnik - (1949-1986) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-D, STS-51-L. Died in Challenger accident....
Man-high - American manned balloon. Study 1955. Project Manhigh was established in December 1955 to obtain scientific data on the behavior of a balloon in an environment above 99% of the earth's atmosphere and to investigate cosmic rays and their effects on man....
Mars 5NM - Russian Mars lander. Cancelled 1974. The 5NM was the first attempt by the Lavochkin bureau to design and fly a Soviet Martian soil return mission. Design and development was undertaken from 1970 to 1974....
Taming the Fire - The story of the making of the 1972 Soviet film that took viewers inside the life of Sergei Korolev and the Baikonur cosmonaut -- they thought!
X-15A - American manned spaceplane. 174 launches, 1959.06.08 (X-15 Flight 1) to 1968.10.24 (X-15 Flight 199). The X-15 was the first USAF and NASA project for manned spaceflight, initiated years before Mercury....
Almaz OPS - Russian manned space station. 3 launches, 1973.04.03 (Salyut 2) to 1976.06.22 (Salyut 5). Vladimir Chelomei's Almaz OPS was the only manned military space station ever actually flown....
Jules Verne Moon Gun - French gun-launched orbital launch vehicle. Jules Verne's moon gun, as described in his 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, was located in Florida. Although some errors were made, Verne used real engineering analysis to arrive at the design of his cannon and manned moon projectile. As a result, at the time of Apollo 8 and 11 missions it was noted that Verne had made an astonishing number of correct predictions about the actual missions.......
Plesetsk - Plesetsk was the Soviet Union's northern cosmodrome, used for polar orbit launches of mainly military satellites, and was at one time the busiest launch centre in the world. Upgrades to existing launch facilities will allow advanced versions of the Soyuz rocket and the new Angara launch vehicle to be launched from Plesetsk....
J-2 - Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1033.1 kN. Isp=421s. Used in Saturn IVB stage in Saturn IB and Saturn V, and Saturn II stage in Saturn V. Gas generator, pump-fed. First flight 1966....
CZ - Chinese launch vehicle family. China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit...
Discovery - American manned spaceplane. 39 launches, 1984.08.30 to 2011.02.24....
CXV - American manned spacecraft. Study 2012. Crew Transfer Vehicle proposed by `t/Space and Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle requirement....
Barbarian MM - American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The Zenith Star space-based chemical laser missile defence weapon required a launch vehicle capable of placing a 45,000 kg payload into low earth orbit. The Martin Barbarian was a 4.57 m diameter Titan vehicle with four LR-87 engines on the first stage, and a single LR-87 engine on the second stage....
Lucid - (1943-) American biochemist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-G, STS-34, STS-43, STS-58, Mir NASA-1. First American woman to make a long-duration space station mission....
L1 Launch Windows - The simple constraint on Soviet L1 manned circumlunar mission launch dates....
Ares - American heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle. The design selected to boost America's Orion manned spacecraft into space in the 21st Century was a family of launch vehicles dubbed Ares. Originally sold as being derivatives of space shuttle technology, tinkering by NASA engineers and necessary changes during development quickly resulted in the designs being essentially all-new. Following inevitable cost growth and schedule slippage, it was cancelled in 2010....
Skylon - British single-stage-to-orbit, horizontal-takeoff-horizontal-landing turborocket orbital launch vehicle design of the mid-1990's. The novel lightweight structural design was based on lessons learned in the many iterations of the HOTOL concept. The classified Sabre turbojet-rocket combined-cycle engine was taken to a high level of test by Alan Bond at Rolls Royce. Despite the extreme promise of the design, neither British government or private financing was forthcoming....
Apollo Lunar Landing - American manned lunar expedition. Begun in 1962; first landing on the moon 1969; sixth and final lunar landing 1972. The project that succeeded in putting a man on the moon....
Ariane 5 - French orbital launch vehicle. The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000....
German Diaspora - How German rocket engineers carried the technology for the world's space and missile programs to America, Russia, England, and France...
Tiangong - Chinese man-tended space laboratory. Operational, first launch 2011.09.29. A series of three of these laboratories will be visited by a series of Shenzhou manned spacecraft between 2011 and 2018. The 8.5-ton design will then be extended to a 13-ton cargo carrier for resupply of the Chinese multi-module space station after 2020....
A9/A10/A11/A12 - German orbital launch vehicle. The A12 has been named as the designation for a true orbital launch vehicle, as sketched out at Peenemuende. It would have been a four-stage vehicle consisting of the A9+A10+A11+A12 stages. Caluclation suggest it could have placed 10 tonnes into low earth orbit....
Titan 2 - American intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM, developed also as the launch vehicle for the manned Gemini spacecraft in the early 1960's. When the ICBM's were retired in the 1980's they were refurbished and a new series of launches began....
MiG 105-11 - Russian manned spaceplane. 8 launches, 1976.10.11 to 1978.09.15 . Atmospheric flight test version of the Spiral OS manned spaceplane. The 105-11 incorporated the airframe and some of the systems of the planned orbital version....
Tsien - (1911-) Father of Chinese spaceflight. Leading rocket theoretician, expelled from USA as Red in 1955. Created China's space industry from scratch, results: China's first ballistic missiles, 1960s; first satellite, 1970; and first astronaut, 2003....
Shuttle MMU - American space mobility device, tested 1984. The MMU Manned Maneuvering Unit was designed for maneuvering by astronauts untethered from the shuttle. It was used on several satellite retrieval missions in the early 1980's....
Yang Liwei - (1965-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 5. First Chinese man in space....
Salyut 1 - Russian manned space station. 2 launches, 1971.04.19 (Salyut 1) and 1972.07.29 (Zarya s/n 122). Salyut 1 was the first DOS long duration orbital station....
Voskhod 3 - Crew: Shonin, Volynov. World-record 18-day space endurance mission, tasked primarily with testing ballistic missile detection equipment. Deferred just 15 days before launch in May 1966. Never formally cancelled, it just faded away in Brezhnev-era stagnation...
A7L - American pressure suit, operational 1968. Hamilton Standard had overall development responsibility for the Apollo suit and associated portable life support system..
The Space Explorers - A curious marriage of pre-war German filmmaking and 1950's low-rent kiddie show syndicated quickies....
Moon Race! - Side-by-side chronology of the major events of the race to the moon....
German Civilian Rocketry - A German rocket craze seized the country from 1928 to 1933, inspiring a generation of young engineers and scientists that manned spaceflight could be a reality in their lifetime. The Nazi government put an end to this civilian effort, instead putting the engineers to work developing military rockets. After the war, an attempt was made to revive German civilian rocketry, but safety fears resulted in all further work being shut down in 1964....
Kamanin Diaries - Day-by-day first-hand accounts of the space race from the Soviet side - a principal source in Soviet space history...
Apollo 16 - Crew: Duke, Mattingly, Young. Second Apollo mission with lunar rover. CSM main engine failure detected in lunar orbit. Landing almost aborted..
Soyuz TM - Russian manned spacecraft. 34 launches, 1986.05.21 (Soyuz TM-1) to 2002.04.25 (Soyuz TM-34)....
V-2 VTOHL - Chinese manned spaceplane. Study 1988. The V-2 vertical takeoff / horizontal landing two-stage reusable space shuttle was proposed by Beijing Department 11 of the Air Ministry in 1988....
Enterprise - American manned spaceplane. Enterprise was the first Space Shuttle Orbiter. It was rolled out on September 17, 1976....
Luna - Soviet lunar probe series. Lunas were the first manmade objects to attain of escape velocity; to impact on the moon; to photograph the far side of the moon; to soft land on the moon; to retrieve and return lunar surface samples to the earth; and to deploy a lunar rover on the moon's surface....
Minotaur - American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Minotaur was developed for the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) as a low-cost, four-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) using a combination of government-supplied surplus Minuteman II ICBM motors and proven Orbital space launch technologies. The Minotaur 4 version used surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages....
Paris Gun - German gun-launched missile. The Paris Gun of World War I could hurl a 120 kg shell with 7 kg of explosive to a range of 131 km and an altitude of 40 km....
Raketenflugplatz - The world's first rocket port, an abandoned German Army storage facility in the northern suburbs of Berlin. Used for 6 launches from 1931 to 1931, reaching up to 1 kilometer altitude....
Tu-2000 - Russian manned spaceplane. Study 1986. In reaction to US X-30 project, government decrees of 27 January and 19 July 1986 ordered development of a Soviet equivalent....
H-2 HTOHL - Chinese manned spaceplane. Study 1988. The H-2 horizontal takeoff / horizontal landing two-stage reusable space shuttle was proposed by Institute 601 of the Air Ministry in 1988....
Tian Jiao 1 - Chinese manned spaceplane. Study 1988. The Tian Jiao 1 (Pre-eminent in Space 1) manned spaceplane was proposed by the First Academy (now the China Academy of Launch Technology) in 1988....
DC-X - American VTOVL test vehicle. The DC-X was an experimental vehicle, 1/3 the size of a planned DC-Y vertical-takeoff/vertical-landing, single stage to orbit prototype. It was not designed as an operational vehicle capable of achieving orbital flight. Its purpose was to test the feasibility of both suborbital and orbital reusable launch vehicles using the VTOVL scheme. The DC-X flew in three test series. The first series ran from August 18 to September 30, 1993, before the initial project funding ran out in late October 1993. Additional funding was provided and a second series was conducted June 1994-July 1995....
Molniya-1 - Russian military communications satellite. 37 launches, 1964.06.04 (Molniya-1 s/n 2 Failure) to 1975.09.02 (Molniya 1-31). This was the first Soviet communications satellite, using the twelve-hour elliptical orbit later dubbed a "Molniya orbit"....
Cooper - (1927-2004) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MA-9, Gemini 5. First American to spend over a day in space. High spirited, and reportedly denied an Apollo assignment....
Project Orion: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth - 20,000 tonne Mars Expeditions Using Atom Bomb Propulsion - We could have sent whole cities there by 1970..
Ley - (1906-1969) German-American writer, extremely effective populariser of the idea of space flight - first in Germany and then in the United States....
Vostok 6 - Crew: Tereshkova. Joint flight with Vostok 5. First woman in space. Tereshkova did not reply during several communications sessions. To this day it is not known if she was paralysed with fear, or if there was an equipment failure...
CEV - NASA's manned spacecraft for the 21st Century, a throwback to the Apollo capsule, a shuttle replacement with an uncertain future....
Grissom - (1926-1967) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MR-4, Gemini 3. Second American in space and first Gemini commander. Flew 100 combat missions in Korea. Died in on-pad fire of Apollo 1....
MOOSE - American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1963. MOOSE was perhaps the most celebrated bail-out from orbit system of the early 1960's. The suited astronaut would strap the MOOSE to his back, and jump out of the spacecraft or station into free space....
DSE-Alpha - Russian manned lunar flyby spacecraft. Study 2005. Potential commercial circumlunar manned flights were offered in 2005, using a modified Soyuz spacecraft docked to a Block DM upper stage....
STS-1 - Crew: Crippen, Young. First rocketplane flight to orbit. First flight of space shuttle. The only time a new spacecraft was launched manned on its first flight. Many thought it would be a disaster....
Mercury - Mercury was America's first man-in-space project. Setting the precedent for the later Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle programs, any capsule configuration proposed by the contractors was acceptable as long as it was the one NASA's Langley facility, and in particular, Max Faget, had developed. McDonnell, at that time a renegade contractor of innovative Navy fighters that had a history of problems in service, received the contract. The capsule had to be as small as possible to match the payload capability of America's first ICBM, the Atlas, which would be used for orbital missions. The resulting design was less than a third of the weight of the Russian Vostok spacecraft, and more limited as a result....
Black Mesa - Military testing range. Known to have been used for 80 launches from 1963 to 1970, reaching up to 250 kilometers altitude....
Jiuquan - China's first launch center, also known as Shuang Cheng Tzu. It was China's first ballistic missile and satellite launch centre....
Project 921-2 - Chinese manned space station. Study 2007. Phase 2 of China's Project 921 was to culminate in orbiting of an 8-metric ton man-tended mini-space station....
Shenzhou-5 - Quick Facts - Trivia and quick facts about the Shenzhou manned spacecraft...
LK-3 - Russian manned lunar lander. Reached mock-up stage, 1972. The LK-3 was Chelomei's preliminary design for a direct-landing alternative to Korolev's L3 manned lunar landing design....
Mars 5M - Russian Mars lander. Cancelled 1978. The 5M was a second attempt by the Lavochkin bureau to design and fly a Soviet Martian soil return mission. Design and development was undertaken from 1974 to 1978....
MK-700 - Russian manned Mars flyby. Study 1972. Chelomei was the only Chief Designer to complete an Aelita draft project and present it to the Soviet government....
CZ-NGLV - Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's family of new generation expendable launch vehicles began development in 2000. Boosters of various capabilities would be assembled from three modular stages of 2.25 m, 3.35 m and 5.0 m diameter. These would be powered by new variable-thrust 120 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engines or 50 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engines....
Ride - (1951-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-7, STS-41-G. First American woman in space...
Key Meetings in Soviet Spaceflight - The key meetings, the main decisions that led to the Soviet loss of the moon race and shuttle race....
S-400 - Russian surface-to-air missile. Fourth generation surface-to-air missile system that replaced the Army's S-300V (SA-12) and the Air Defence Force's S-300PMU (SA-10). The system would feature twice the engagement area of the S-300PMU. Initial service was by the end of 2007....
NK-33 - Kuznetsov Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 1638 kN. N-1F, Kistler stage 1, Taurus II stage 1. Isp=331s. Modified version of original engine with multiple ignition capability. Never flown and mothballed in 1975 after the cancellation of the N1. Resurrected for Kistler, then for Taurus....
Gemini Lunar Surface Rescue Spacecraft - American manned lunar lander. Study 1966. This version of Gemini would allow a direct manned lunar landing mission to be undertaken in a single Saturn V flight, although it was only proposed as an Apollo rescue vehicle....
X-30 - American SSTO winged orbital launch vehicle. Air-breathing scramjet single stage to orbit. Second attempt after study of similar proposal in early 1960's. Cancelled due to cost, technical challenges....
X-38 - American manned spaceplane. 2 launches, 1972.02.16 (HL-10 LB Test?) to 1972.05.20 (HL-10 LB Test?). Lifting body reentry vehicle designed as emergency return spacecraft for International Space Station crew....
BOR-4 - Russian manned spaceplane. 4 launches, 1982.06.04 (Cosmos 1374) to 1984.12.19 (Cosmos 1614). BOR-4 were subscale test versions of the Spiral manned spaceplanes....
TMK-1 - Russian manned Mars flyby. Study 1959. In 1959 a group of enthusiasts in OKB-1 Section 3 under the management of G U Maksimov started engineering design of this first fantastic project for manned interplanetary travel....
DLB Lunar Base - Russian manned lunar base. Substantial development activity from 1962 to cancellation in 1974. The N1 draft project of 1962 spoke of "establishment of a lunar base and regular traffic between the earth and the moon"....
Chang Cheng 1 - Chinese manned spaceplane. Study 1988. Vertical takeoff / horizontal landing two-stage compromise design; three expendable liquid oxygen/kerosene modular boosters and a winged reusable second stage....
R-7 - Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. The world's first ICBM and first orbital launch vehicle. The 8K71 version was never actually put into military service, being succeeded by the R-7A 8K74....
Pegasus - American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher....
PSLV - Indian third-generation launch vehicle, large enough to carry polar-orbiting earth resources satellites....
Orion - American manned spacecraft. In development. NASA's Crew Excursion Vehicle for the 21st Century...
Salyut 7 - Russian manned space station. One launch, 1982.04.19. Salyut 7 was the back-up article for Salyut 6 and very similar in equipment and capabilities....
Soyuz - The Soyuz spacecraft was designed in 1962 for rendezvous and docking operations in near earth orbit, leading to piloted circumlunar flight. Versions remained in production into the 21st Century as a space station ferry, resupply craft, and lifeboat. After the retirement of the American space shuttle in 2011, it became the only means for regular human access to space....
Kummersdorf - German Army firing range, on the rail line 46 km south of Berlin. The German Army conducted rocket firing tests here from 1930 to 1945, and von Braun's rocket team worked here at first while developing the V-2. Actual launches of the rockets, after the earliest tests, moved to Greifswalder Oie and then Peenemuende on the Baltic....
Uragan Space Interceptor - Russian manned combat spacecraft. 2 launches, 1987.08.01 (Cosmos 1871) to 1987.08.28 (Cosmos 1873). Russian sources continue to maintain that the Uragan manned spaceplane project never existed....
Lunar L3 - The Soviet program to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth....
Chertok's Memoirs - Summary of a principal source in Soviet space history...
USA - USA...
Apollo Spacecraft Systems Development Diaries - Detailed chronologies of development of Apollo spacecraft systems, arranged by system and configuration........
Von Braun Mars Expedition - 1952 - American manned Mars expedition. Study 1952. Wernher von Braun made the first engineering analysis of a manned mission to Mars in 1948....
Mars Direct - American manned Mars expedition. Study 1991. In 1991 Martin Marietta and NASA Ames (Zubrin, Baker, and Gwynne) proposed "Mars Direct" - a Mars expedition faster, cheaper, and better than the standard NASA plan....
Gemini 4 - Crew: McDivitt, White. First American space walk. First American long-duration spaceflight. Astronaut could barely get back into capsule after spacewalk. Failure of spacecraft computer resulted in high-G ballistic re-entry...
Gemini 3 - Crew: Grissom, Young. First spacecraft to maneuver in orbit. First manned flight of Gemini spacecraft. First American to fly twice into space. Manual reentry, splashed down 97 km from carrier....
Priroda - Russian manned space station. One launch, 1996.04.23. Priroda was the last Mir module launched. It was originally an all-Soviet remote sensing module for combined civilian and military surveillance of the earth...
Lunar Orbiters - Manned lunar orbiters and orbiting stations were rarely designed for this purpose alone, but usually used in a lunar-orbit rendezvous lunar landing scenario together with a separate lunar lander. They were more powerful than circumlunar manned spacecraft in that they required substantial propellant to brake into and get out of lunar orbit....
Jupiter - American intermediate range ballistic missile. Developed for the US Army; stationed in Turkey and Italy in the early 1960's. First stage of the relatively unsuccessful Juno II launch vehicle; tooling and engines were used to build the much larger Saturn I launch vehicle....
Black Brant - The Black Brant sounding rocket originated in a 1957 Canadian government requirement for a military sounding rocket. The lighter production version was renamed Black Brant. Later versions were used into the 21st Century with a variety of booster and upper stages to supplement the original single-stage vehicle....
Winged spacecraft - In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane....
Navaho - The Navaho intercontinental cruise missile project was begun just after World War II, at a time when the US Army Air Force considered ballistic missiles to be technically impractical. The Navaho required a large liquid propellant rocket engine to get its Mach 3 ramjet up to ignition speed. This engine, derived with German assistance from that of the V-2, provided the basis for the rockets that would later take Americans into space..
Saturn IB - American orbital launch vehicle. Improved Saturn I, with uprated first stage and Saturn IVB second stage (common with Saturn V) replacing Saturn IV. Used for earth orbit flight tests of Apollo CSM and LM....
Tsiklon - Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-36 ICBM was the largest ever built and the bogeyman of the Pentagon throughout the Cold War. Dubbed the "city buster", the 308 silos built were constantly held up by the US Air Force as an awesome threat that justified a new round of American missile or anti-missile systems. Derivatives of the R-36 included the R-36-O orbital bombing system, the Tsiklon-2 and -3 medium orbital launch vehicles, and the replacement R-36M missiles. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the design and manufacturing facility ended up in independent Ukraine. Accordingly the missile was finally retired in the 1990's, conveniently in accordance with arms reduction agreements with the Americans....
Voskhod 2 - Crew: Belyayev, Leonov. First space walk. Speed and altitude records. A disaster: astronaut unable to reenter airlock due to spacesuit stiffness; cabin flooded with oxygen; manual reentry, landed in mountains, crew not recovered until next day. Further Voskhod flights cancelled...
RD-170 - Glushko Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 7903 kN. Energia strap-on. Developed 1973-1985. Isp=337s. First flight 1987. Used one-plane gimablling versus the two-plane gimablling required on the RD-171 of the Zenit launch vehicle. Designed for 10 reuses....
Rescue - In the early 1960's, in the hey-day of the X-20 Dynasoar, it seemed that the US military would naturally keep building military aerospacecraft that would just keep going higher and faster. It was also supposed that the pilot would have to be given the equivalent of an ejection seat - some means of bailing out of the spacecraft in case of catastrophic failure or enemy attack....
Apollo LRV - American manned lunar rover. 3 launches, 1971.07.26 (LRV-1) to 1972.12.07 (LRV-3)....
Leonov - (1934-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. First person to walk in space. Flew on Voskhod 2, Soyuz 19 (ASTP). Cancelled missions included command of first Soviet circumlunar flight in 1969 and first military space station mission in 1973....
Manned Circumlunar - Boosting a manned spacecraft on a loop around the moon, without entering lunar orbit, allows a trip to be made near the moon with a total low earth orbit mass of as little as 20 tonnes. This was attractive during the space race as a manned mission that could be accomplished early with limited booster power. Gemini, Apollo, and Soyuz were all supposed to have made circumlunar flights. Only Soyuz reached the circumlunar flight-test stage under the L1 program. Any L1 manned missions were cancelled after the Americans reached lunar orbit with Apollo 8. The idea was resurrected in 2005 when a $100 million commercial flight around the moon was proposed, again using Soyuz....
Space Station 1984 - American manned space station. Design as of 1984. President Reagan finally approved a space station project for NASA in January 1984....
Gemini 7 - Crew: Borman, Lovell. Record flight duration (14 days) to that date. Incredibly boring mission, made more uncomfortable by the extensive biosensors. Monotony was broken just near the end by the rendezvous with Gemini 6...
VLS - Brazilian satellite launcher building on successful family of sounding rockets....
Lunokhod - Russian lunar rover. The Lunokhod lunar rover was delivered to the surface by the Ye-8 robotic lander....
A9/A10/A11 - German winged orbital launch vehicle. The A11 was planned at Peenemuende to use the A9/A10 transoceanic missile atop the tubby A11 stage to form the basis for launching the first earth satellite - or as an ICBM.......
Insat - Insat (Indian National Satellite System) was a multipurpose satellite system for telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology and search and rescue services....
Aries - American target missile. Space Vector Corporation developed and flew the Aries test vehicle (based on the Minuteman 1 second stage) for Strategic Defence Initiative payloads....
Gemini 6 - Crew: Schirra, Stafford. First rendezvous of two spacecraft. Originally was to dock with an Agena target, but this blew up on way to orbit. Decision to rendezvous with upcoming Gemini 7 instead. Mission almost lost when booster ignited, then shut down on pad...
RD-0120 - Kosberg lox/lh2 rocket engine. 1961 kN. Energia core stage. Design 1987. Isp=455s. First operational Russian cryogenic engine system, built to the same overall performance specifications as America's SSME, but using superior Russian technology....
Tu-2000 - Russian winged orbital launch vehicle. This Soviet equivalent to the US X-30 single-stage-to-orbit scramjet aerospaceplane began development in1986. Three versions were planned: a Mach 6 test vehicle, under construction at cancellation of the program in 1992; a Mach 6 intercontinental bomber; and a single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle....
R-16 - Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The Soviet Union's first practical ICBM, a two stage vehicle using storable propellants. Development began in 1956 and the missile was in service from 1962 to 1974. Peak deployment consisted of 186 launchers, about a third of them in missile silos, the rest in fixed 'soft" installations....
Mercury MR-3 - Crew: Shepard. First American in space, less than a month after Gagarin, but only on a 15 minute suborbital flight. First manual orientation of a manned spacecraft...
IMIS 1968 - American manned Mars expedition. Study 1968. In January 1968 Boeing issued a report that was the result of a 14 month study on manned Mars missions....
Double Base Solid Propellants - The detailed chemistry and development of double base propellants..
Apollo 19 - Crew: Haise, Pogue, Carr. Apollo 19 was originally planned to land in the Hyginus Rille region, which would allow study of lunar linear rilles and craters.The original July 1972 landing date was extended when NASA cancelled the Apollo 20 mission in January 1970...
Man-In-Space-Soonest - The beginning of the Air Force's Man-In-Space-Soonest program has been traced back to a staff meeting of General Thomas S Power, Commander of the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) in Baltimore on 15 February 1956. Power wanted studies to begin on manned space vehicles that would follow the X-15 rocketplane. These were to include winged and ballistic approaches - the ballistic rocket was seen as being a militarily useful intercontinental troop and cargo vehicle....
RS-68 - Rocketdyne lox/lh2 rocket engine. 3312 kN. In production. Isp=420s. First new large liquid-fueled rocket engine developed in America in more than 25 years. Powered the Delta IV booster. First flight 2002....
Nerva - DoE nuclear/lh2 rocket engine. 266 kN. Study 1968. Early version of Nerva engine proposed for use in Saturn and RIFT configurations in 1961. Isp=800s....
X-43 - American spaceplane. Study 1997. NASA's X-43 Hyper-X program demonstrated an integrated hypersonic scramjet engine briefly at Mach 10 on its third and final flight....
Von Braun Mars Expedition - 1969 - American manned Mars expedition. Study 1969. Von Braun's final vision for a manned expedition to Mars was a robust plan that eliminated much of the risk of other scenarios. Two ships would fly in convoy from earth orbit to Mars and back....
Burya - A government decree on 20 May 1954 authorised the Lavochkin aircraft design bureau to proceed with full-scale development of the Burya trisonic intercontinental cruise missile. Burya launches began in July 1957. The project was cancelled, but the team was allowed final tests in 1961 that demonstrated a 6,500 km range at Mach 3.2 with the 2,350 kg payload. In cancelling Burya the Russians gave up technology that Lavochkin planned to evolve into a manned shuttle-like recoverable launch vehicle....
Mercury Space Suit - American space suit, operational 1960. The Mercury spacesuit was a custom-fitted, modified version of the Goodrich U.S. Navy Mark IV high altitude jet aircraft pressure suit....
R-1 - Russian short range ballistic missile. Stalin did not decide to proceed with Soviet production of this copy of the German V-2 until 1948. Despite the threatening supervision of the program by Stalin's secret police chief, Beria, and the assistance of German rocket engineers, it took eight years for the German technology to be absorbed and the missile to be put into service. It was almost immediately superseded by later designs, but the effort laid the groundwork for the Soviet rocket industry. Surplus R-1's were converted to use as a sounding rockets for military and scientific research missions....
Voskhod 1 - Crew: Feoktistov, Komarov, Yegorov. First three-crew spaceflight. First crew to fly without spacesuits. First non-pilot crew (engineer that designed the spacecraft and a physician) ...
Gemini 9 - Crew: Cernan, Stafford. Third rendezvous mission of Gemini program. Agena target blew up on way to orbit; substitute target's shroud hung up, docking impossible. EVA almost ended in disaster when astronaut's face plate fogged over; barely able to return to spacecraft...
Lunar Flyers - Lunar flyers would use rocket power to get crew or cargo quickly from one point on the lunar surface to another. The larger versions could act as rescue vehicles to get crew members to lunar orbit for pick-up and return to earth. Their horrendous fuel requirements meant that they were mainly considered for one-use rescue missions - for example to return a crew from a disabled lunar rover, beyond walking distance back to their lander. Some Apollo variants proposed using leftover propellant from the Lunar Module descent stage to fuel such flyers....
RD-0410 - Kosberg nuclear/lh2 rocket engine. 35.3 kN. Experimental nuclear engine, propellant LH2. Developed 1965-94. Isp=910s. Tested at Semipalatinsk test range in 1980s and was "the only operational nuclear engine in the USSR"....
R-2 - Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. The Soviet R-2 ballistic missile was developed in 1947-1953, nearly in parallel with the R-1 from which it derived. It incorporated many detailed improvements, had double the range of the R-1 and V-2, and was equipped with a deadly radiological warhead. The ethyl alcohol used in the V-2 and R-1 was replaced by methyl alcohol in the R-2, eliminating the problem of the launch troops drinking up the rocket fuel. Versions of the R-2 for suborbital manned flight were studied by Korolev in 1956-1958, but it was decided instead to move directly to orbital flights of the Vostok. However some equipment tested on the R-2 found its way onto canine flights of Sputnik and Vostok. The R-2 design was transferred to China in 1957 to 1961, providing the technical basis of the Chinese rocket industry....
MAKS - Russian air-launched winged orbital launch vehicle. The MAKS spaceplane was the ultimate development of the air-launched spaceplane studies conducted by NPO Molniya. Development of MAKS was authorised but cancelled in 1991. At the time of the cancellation, mock-ups of both the MAKS orbiter and the external tank had been finished. MAKS was to have flown by 1998....
Von Braun Station - American manned space station. In the first 1946 summary of his work during World War II, Wernher von Braun prophesied the construction of space stations in orbit....
Collins - (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 10, Apollo 11. First space walk from one spacecraft to another....
Gemini 5 - Crew: Conrad, Cooper. First American flight to seize duration record from Soviet Union. Mission plan curtailed due to fuel cell problems; mission incredibly boring, spacecraft just drifting to conserve fuel most of the time. Splashed down 145 km from aim point...
Apollo LM Truck - American lunar logistics spacecraft. Cancelled 1968. The LM Truck was an LM Descent stage adapted for unmanned delivery of payloads of up to 5,000 kg to the lunar surface in support of a lunar base using Apollo technology....
Vanguard - American orbital launch vehicle. Vanguard was the "civilian" vehicle developed by the US Navy to launch America's first satellite as part of the International Geophysical Year. The Army / von Braun Jupiter-C instead launched the first US satellite after Sputnik and Vanguard's public launch failure. The second stage design led to the Able upper stage for Thor/Atlas, and then to the Delta upper stage still in use in the 21st Century...
Apollo D-2 - American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1962. The General Electric design for Apollo put all systems and space not necessary for re-entry and recovery into a separate jettisonable "mission module", joined to the re-entry vehicle by a hatch....
Zenit - Zenit was to be a modular new generation medium Soviet launch vehicle, replacing the various ICBM-derived launch vehicles in use since the 1960's (Tsiklon and Soyuz). A version of the first stage was used as strap-ons for the cancelled Energia heavy booster. But it was built by Yuzhnoye in the Ukraine; when the Soviet Union broke up planned large-scale production for the Soviet military was abandoned (Angara development was begun as an indigenous alternative). However the vehicle found new life as a commercial launch vehicle, launched from a sea platform by an American/Ukrainian consortium....
Chawla - (1961-2003) Indian-American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-87, STS-107. She perished with the rest of the crew of the shuttle Columbia on 1 February 2003....
R-5 - Russian intermediate range ballistic missile. The R-5 was the first Soviet missile to be armed with a nuclear warhead, the first for which the new southern facility at Dnepropetrovsk took over full design and production responsibility. It was also the end of the road in being the ultimate extrapolation of German V-2 technology. Later missiles of both Yangel and Korolev would use other propellants and engine designs....
Space Cruiser - American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1973. The space cruiser was a US Navy design for a single-place crewed space interceptor designed to destroy Soviet satellites used to track the location of US warships....
R-11 - First Russian ballistic missile using storable propellants, developed from the German Wasserfall SAM by Korolev's OKB. The design was then spun off to the Makeyev OKB for development of Army (R-17 Scud) and SLBM (R-11FMA) derivatives....
Winkler - (1897-1947) German engineer. Rocket enthusiast, launched first liquid rocket in Europe on 1931.02.21....
Space Station - American manned space station. Study 1969....
Spiral OS - Russian manned spaceplane, developed 1965-1980s, including subscale flight article tests. Evolved into the MAKS spaceplane. The Spiral was an ambitious air-launched manned space system designed in the 1960's....
Winged Gemini - American manned spaceplane. Study 1966. Winged Gemini was the most radical modification of the basic Gemini reentry module ever considered....
Chang-Diaz - (1950-) Costa Rican-American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-C, STS-34, STS-46, STS-60, STS-75, STS-91, STS-111. Held record of seven spaceflights....
Young - Young, John Watts (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 3, Gemini 10, Apollo 10, Apollo 16, STS-1, STS-9. Only astronaut to fly Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle. Ninth person to walk on the moon. Space speed record (11,107 m/s)....
Lovell - Lovell, James Arthur Jr 'shaky" (1928-) 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....
Meteosat - European earth weather satellite. 7 launches, 1977.11.23 (Meteosat 1) to 1997.09.02 (Meteosat 7)....
Luch - Russian military communications satellite. 5 launches, 1985.10.25 (Cosmos 1700) to 1995.10.11 (Luch 1)....
GSLV - Indian mixed-propulsion orbital launch vehicle for geosynchronous satellites using a Lox/LH2 upper stage developed from Russian technology....
R-36M - Ukrainian intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-36M replaced the R-36 in 288 existing silos and was additionally installed in 20 new super-hardened silos....
Shuttle C - American orbital launch vehicle. NASA Marshall design for a cargo version of the shuttle system. The shuttle orbiter would be replaced by an unmanned recoverable main engine pod. The same concept was studied earlier as the Interim Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (IHLLV) and as the Class I Shuttle Derived Vehicle (SDV). The Phase I two-SSME configuration would have a payload of 45,000 kg to low earth orbit. Design carried to an advanced phase in 1987-1990, but then abandoned when it was found the concept had no cost advantage over existing expenable launch vehicles....
Goddard - Robert H. Goddard was the father of American rocketry. In a series of rockets flown between World War I and World War II, he solved all of the fundamental problems of guided liquid propellant rockets....
Swigert - Swigert, John Leonard Jr "Jack" (1931-1982) American pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 13. Survived first emergency beyond low earth orbit. Altitude (401,056 km) record. Died of complications from cancer....
Rombus - American SSTO VTOVL orbital launch vehicle. Bono original design for ballistic single-stage-to-orbit (not quite - it dropped liquid hydrogen tanks on the way up) heavy lift launch vehicle. The recoverable vehicle would re-enter, using its actively-cooled plug nozzle as a heat shield....
Cost, Price, and the Whole Darn Thing - Why the cost of a space launch vehicle has little if any relation to the launch price....
Voyager - American outer planets probe. 2 launches, 1977.08.20 (Voyager 2) and 1977.09.05 (Voyager 1). The twin Voyager spacecraft were designed to perform close-up observations of the atmospheres, magnetospheres, rings, and satellites of Jupiter and Saturn....
Bomarc - USAF Mach 3 ramjet surface-to-air missile; later converted to target missiles and launched from Vandenberg AFB....
Glonass - Russian navigation satellite. Operational, first launch 1982.10.12. Glonass was a Soviet space-based navigation system comparable to the American GPS system....
Nike Hercules - American surface-to-air missile..
Gemini Lunar Lander - American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. A direct lunar lander design of 1961, capable of being launched to the moon in a single Saturn V launch through use of a 2-man Gemini re-entry vehicle instead of the 3-man Apollo capsule....
Gemini 12 - Crew: Aldrin, Lovell. First completely successful space walk. Final Gemini flight. Docked and redocked with Agena, demonstrating various Apollo scenarios including manual rendezvous and docking. Successful EVA without overloading suit by use of suitable restraints...
Echo - American passive communications satellite. 2 launches, 1960.05.13 (Echo 1) and 1960.08.12 (Echo 1). The Echo satellites were NASA's first experimental communications satellite project....
Soviet Mars Propulsion - Nuclear Thermal - Soviet Mars Propulsion - Nuclear Thermal...
Terrier - Standard US Navy solid propellant two-stage extended-range surface-to-air missile. Developed in the 1950's, in service until replaced by the Standard ER in the 1980's. Modified Terrier missiles were used as sounding rockets, sometimes supplemented with upper stages....
Nebel - (1894-1978) German rocket enthusiast. Worked for Oberth; helped found VfR; built largest prewar German test rockets. Work shut down by government in 1934. Did not work on rockets during WW2. Promoted civilian rebirth of German rocketry in 1950's....
Rockoon - American balloon-launched sounding rocket; consisted of a small high-performance sounding rocket launched from a balloon above most of the atmosphere. A variety of upper stage rocket stages were used....
European Space Stations - Europe could have gone independently rather than jion the ISS project...
Titov - (1935-2000) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Vostok 2. Second person in orbit. Youngest person in space. Left cosmonaut team for brilliant career in the space forces after deciding his future spaceflight prospects were nil....
Shuttle EMU - American space suit, operational 1980. Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit reusable suit. For a particular crew member and mission it was tailored from a stock of standard-size parts. Certified for eight EVA's....
ESRO - European technology satellite. 5 launches, 1967.05.30 (ESRO 2A) to 1972.11.22 (ESRO 4). The ESRO series were small Scout-launched probes of near-earth space....
Pioneer 10-11 - American outer planets probe. 2 launches, 1972.03.03 (Pioneer 10) to 1973.04.06 (Pioneer 11). Pioneers 10 and 11 were the first spacecraft to fly by Jupiter (Pioneer 10 and 11) and Saturn (Pioneer 11 only)....
A4b - German intermediate range boost-glide missile. Winged boost-glide version of the V-2 missile. The A4b designation was used to disguise work on the prohibited A9 program....
Orlan - Russian space suit, operational 1978. The Orlan spacesuit was used for Russian EVA's on Salyut, Mir, and the International Space Station. It was designed by the Zvezda OKB, and derived from the Kretchet suit intended for use on the lunar surface....
Aerobee - American sounding rocket, developed as lower cost American-built replacement for the German V-2, derived from the Aerojet Wac Corporal and the Bumblebee missile...
Saturn V - America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the "too large" Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. Despite the study of innumerable variants, production was ended after only 12 were built and America spent the next fifty years in a pointless slow-motion withdrawal from manned space exploration....
Apollo 204 - Crew: Chaffee, Grissom, White. The first manned flight of the Apollo CSM, the Apollo C category mission. Crew killed in a fire while testing their capsule on the pad on 27 January 1967, still weeks away from launch. Set back Apollo program by 18 months...
White - (1930-1967) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 4. First American to walk in space. Died in on-pad fire of Apollo 1....
Gemini Agena Target Vehicle - American space tug. 6 launches, 1965.10.25 (GATV 6) to 1966.11.11 (Gemini 12 Agena Target)....
RL-10 - Pratt and Whitney lox/lh2 rocket engine. 66.7 kN. First production American high performance engine, still in production in the 21st Century...
UR-100N - Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. The UR-100N was designed as a replacement for the UR-100 at the end of its ten year storage life. Although it could be installed in the same silos, it was 50% heavier. The competing design of Yangel, the MR-UR-100, was also put into production when the Soviet hierarchy deadlocked and could not pick one design over the other....
Soyuz 5 - Crew: Volynov. Two crew transferred to and returned in Soyuz 4. Remaining astronaut barely survived nose-first reentry of Soyuz 5, still attached to its service module. ..
Mercury MA-9 - Crew: Cooper. Final Mercury mission, After 22 orbits, virtually all capsule systems failed. Nevertheless the astronaut was able to manually guide the spacecraft to a pinpoint landing...
H2O2/Kerosene - Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as an oxidizer..
Belokonyov - (-1962) Russian phantom cosmonaut, reported died in orbit 1962.05.15. Judica-Cordiglia reported radio trasnmission 1962.11. Named in 1959.10 Ogonyok article on high altitude equipment test. Basis for 1969 novel Autopsy for a Cosmonaut....
Luna Ye-8 - Russian lunar rover. 3 launches, 1969.02.19 (Ye-8 s/n 201) to 1973.01.08 (Luna 21)....
Mattingly - (1936-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 16, STS-4, STS-51-C....
Surveyor - American lunar lander. 13 launches, 1963.11.27 (Atlas Centaur 2) to 1968.01.07 (Surveyor 7). Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Surveyor series soft-landed on the moon, provided images of the lunar surface, and tested the characteristics of the lunar soil....
Nowak - (1963-) American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-121. US Navy test pilot....
Sullivan - (1951-) American geologist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-G, STS-31, STS-45. Geologist, first American woman to walk in space. As of 1999 Ms Sullivan was Director of the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio....
V-2 - The V-2 ballistic missile (known to its designers as the A4) was the world's first operational liquid fuel rocket. It represented an enormous quantum leap in technology, financed by Nazi Germany in a huge development program that cost at least $ 2 billion in 1944 dollars. 6,084 V-2 missiles were built, 95% of them by 20,000 slave labourer in the last seven months of World War II at a unit price of $ 17,877....
UR-100 - Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. The UR-100 lightweight ICBM was the Soviet answer to the US Minuteman and was deployed in larger numbers than any other in history. It remained an enigma outside of intelligence circles in the West until after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It allowed the Soviet Union to match, and then surpass the United States in strategic deterrent capability. As such it was Vladimir Chelomei's crowning legacy to his country....
Gemini 11 - Crew: Conrad, Gordon. Speed (8,003 m/s) and altitude (1,372 km) records. First docking with another spacecraft on first orbit after launch. First test of tethered spacecraft...
Sputnik 3 - Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1958.04.27 (Sputnik failure) to 1958.05.15 (Sputnik 3). In July 1956 OKB-1 completed the draft project for the first earth satellite, designated ISZ (Artificial Earth Satellite)....
HOTOL - This single-stage-to-orbit winged horizontal takeoff/horizontal landing launch vehicle concept was powered by the unique Rolls-Royce RB545 air / liquid hydrogen / liquid oxygen rocket engine. HOTOL development was conducted from 1982 to 1986 before the British government withdrew funding. It was superseded by the Interim HOTOL design which sought to reduce development cost through use of existing Lox/LH2 engines....
Topol - Russian containerised all-solid propellant intercontinental ballistic missile designed for launch from mobile and silo launchers. Replaced UR-100/UR-100NU in silos....
Gemini LOR - American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. Original Mercury Mark II proposal foresaw a Gemini capsule and a single-crew open cockpit lunar lander undertaking a lunar orbit rendezvous mission, launched by a Titan C-3....
Apollo ALSEP - American lunar scientific station. 7 launches, 1969.07.16 (EASEP) to 1972.12.07 (ALSEP). ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package) was the array of connected scientific instruments left behind on the lunar surface by each Apollo expedition....
Chinese Manned Spacecraft - Varied history of Chinese manned spacecraft designs...
Zarya - Russian manned spacecraft. Cancelled 1989. 'super Soyuz" replacement for Soyuz and Progress....
McAuliffe - (1948-1986) American teacher payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-L. Was to have been the first teacher in space. Died in Challenger accident....
Nitric acid/UDMH - Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960..
LK-1 - Russian manned lunar flyby spacecraft. Cancelled 1965. The LK-1 was the spacecraft designed by Chelomei for the original Soviet manned lunar flyby project....
Salyut 6 - Russian manned space station. One launch, 1977.09.29. The Salyut 6 space station was the most successful of the DOS series prior to Mir. It was aloft for four years and ten months, completing 27,785 orbits of the earth....
A3 - German test vehicle. The A3 was the first large rocket attempted by Wernher von Braun's rocket team. It was equipped with an ambitious guidance package consisting of three gyroscopes and two integrating accelerometers. The rocket was intended as a subscale prototype for the propulsion and control system technology planned for the much larger A4. All of the launches were failures, and a total redesign, the A5, was developed....
Progress - Russian logistics spacecraft. 43 launches, 1978.01.20 (Progress 1) to 1990.05.06 (Progress 42). Progress took the basic Soyuz 7K-T manned ferry designed for the Salyut space station and modified it for unmanned space station resupply....
Anders - (1933-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 8. Member of first crew to orbit the moon....
Kosmos 3 - Russian orbital launch vehicle. In 1961 Isayev and Reshetnev developed the Voskhod space launch system on the basis of the R-14 IRBM. The initial version of the two stage rocket was designated Kosmos-1. The first "Voskhod" launch complex was at Baikonur, a modification of one of the pads at the R-16 ICBM launch complex 41....
Apollo Direct 2-Man - American manned lunar lander. A direct lunar lander design of 1961, capable of being launched to the moon in a single Saturn V launch through use of a 75% scale 2-man Apollo command module....
Black Powder Solid Propellants - The detailed chemistry and development of black powder propellants...
Woomera - After World War II British government recognized the need for a large range to test the incredible array of long-range missile systems then planned. After considering sites in Canada, it was decided that Australia would best meet the projected needs. The Long Range Weapons Establishment was created on 1 April 1947 as a joint British/Australian enterprise. 23 days later the name Woomera (an aboriginal word of axtlaxtl, or spear thrower) was selected for the new town to be built as its administrative center. Woomera town peaked at a population of 6,000 in the 1960's. Thereafter the progressive cancellation of British missile and space projects put Woomera went into sustained decline. However it played a key role in the history of rocketry, including orbital launches or launch attempts by Black Arrow, Sparta, and Europa boosters....
Soyuz A - Russian manned spacecraft. Study 1962. The 7K Soyuz spacecraft was initially designed for rendezvous and docking operations in near earth orbit, leading to piloted circumlunar flight....
Ariane - First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros....
Whitson - (1960-) American biochemist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on ISS EO-5, ISS EO-16. Biochemist, first female space station commander, American and female record for cumulative days in space, female record for number of spacewalks. 376 cumulative days in space....
China - China's space programs
USAF - United States Air Force, agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft...
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration, American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. ...
Korolev - Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia....
Baikonur LC1 - R-7 launch complex....
Rocketdyne - Rocketdyne, American manufacturer of rocket engines....
France - France...
Soyuz 11A511U - Russian standardised man-rated orbital launch vehicle derived from the original R-7 ICBM of 1957. It has been launched in greater numbers than any orbital launch vehicle in history. Not coincidentally, it has been the most reliable as well. After over 40 years service in Russia, ESA built a new launch pad at Kourou which will keep it in service from three launch sites in three countries well into the mid-21st Century....
Spacelab - American manned space station module. 20 launches, 1983.11.28 (Spacelab 1) to 1998.04.17 (Neurolab)....
Von Braun - American rocket team, designers of rockets and spacecraft...
Dual Keel Space Station - 1985 - American manned space station. Study 1985. NASA radically changed its Space Station baseline design in October 1985 following frequent complaints from users and astronauts....
USSR - USSR...
Lunar L1 - The Soviet program to put a man on a circumlunar flight around the moon....
Buran - The Energia-Buran Reusable Space System (MKS) had its origins in NPO Energia studies of 1974 to 1975 for a 'space Rocket Complex Program"....
Power Tower Space Station - 1984 - American manned space station. Study 1984. The NASA Concept Definition Team eventually selected the Boeing/Grumman "Power Tower" design as its baseline....
Flight Telerobotic Servicer - American logistics spacecraft. Study 1987. NASA decided to develop a $288-million Flight Telerobotic Servicer in 1987 after Congress voiced concern about American competitiveness in the field of robotics....
Japan - Japan...
STS-51-L - Crew: Jarvis, McAuliffe, McNair, Onizuka, Resnik, Scobee, Smith. First shuttle launch from pad LC-39B. An O-ring failure in a solid rocket booster led to leaking of hot gases against the external tank; exploded 73 seconds after launch, all seven crew, with no means of escape, were killed when crew cabin hit the ocean....
Wallops Island - Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revived in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010....
Soviet Manned Lunar Projects - The failed Soviet lunar program, and the follow-on lunar base projects that came to nothing....
MOM - Ministry of General Machine Building, Soviet agency overseeing development of spacecraft and missiles..
US-A - Russian military naval surveillance radar satellite. 38 launches, 1965.12.28 (Cosmos 102) to 1988.03.14 (Cosmos 1932). The US-A (later known as RLS) was a nuclear powered RORSAT (Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite)....
Space Station Fred - American manned space station. Following the collapse of the Space Station Freedom project, NASA unveiled its new Space Station design in March 1991....
Voskhod - The Voskhods were adaptations of the single place Vostok spacecraft meant to conduct flights with up to three crew and for space walks in advance of US Gemini program. Work on the 3KV and 3KD versions of the basic Vostok spacecraft began with the decree issued on 13 April 1964. In order to accommodate more than one crew, the seats were mounted perpendicular to the Vostok ejection seat position, so the crew had to crane their necks to read instruments, still mounted in their original orientation. The Elburs soft landing system replaced the ejection seat and allowed the crew to stay in the capsule. It consisted of probes that dangled from the parachute lines. Contact with the earth triggered a solid rocket engine in the parachute which resulted in a zero velocity landing....
Kosmos 11K65M - Russian orbital launch vehicle. Definitive and prolific production version of satellite launcher based on Yangel R-14 IRBM. After further development at NPO Polyot (Omsk, Chief Designer A S Klinishkov), the modified Kosmos-3M added a restartable second stage with an orientation system. This booster was launched form two "Cusovaya" launch complexes from 1967. The second stage used low thrust rockets using gas generator output to adjust the final velocity of the stage...
ALSS Lunar Base - American manned lunar base. Cancelled 1968. The ALSS (Apollo Logistics Support System) Lunar Base would require a new development, the LM Truck, to allow delivery of up to 4100 kg in payload to the lunar surface....
HS 601 - American communications satellite bus. First launch 1990.01.09. 3-axis unified ARC 22 N and one Marquardt 490 N bipropellant thrusters, Sun and Barnes Earth sensors and two 61 Nms 2-axis gimbaled momentum bias wheels....
HS 376 - American communications satellite. 56 launches, 1980.11.15 (SBS 1) to 2003.09.27 (E-Bird). Mass 654 kg at beginning-of-life in geosynchronous orbit. Spin stabilized at 50 rpm by 4 hydrazine thrusters with 136 kg propellant....
F-1A - Rocketdyne Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 9189.6 kN. Ultimate derivative of the F-1, designed for booster applications, would have been used if Saturn V production had continued. Gas generator, pump-fed. Isp=310s....
ESA ACRV - European manned spacecraft. Study 1992. As Hermes gradually faded into oblivion, the European Space Agency started to take a closer a look at cheaper and less complicated manned space capsules....
X-Prize - The X-Prize competition was an attempt to promote commercial civilian spaceflight in a manner similar to the prizes handed out in the early days of aviation. Ten million dollars was to go to the first team to fly a vehicle capable of launching three people into space (defined as an altitude of 100 km in a suborbital trajectory), twice in a two-week period. The vehicle had to be 90% reusable by dry mass. For purposes of the two flights, the competition accepted flight by one person and ballast equivalent to two others at 90 kg per passenger....
Phantom Cosmonaut - Over the years the Western press named a number of cosmonauts that were never acknowledged by the Soviet Union. Most were said to have died in space....
Chinese Space Station - In 2009-2011 Chinese authorities announced firm plans to assemble a 60 metric ton, three-module space station by 2010....
Project Horizon - The project summary of the US Army's 1959 plan to place a military base on the moon by 1965!...
Chinese Cargo Spaceship - Unmanned space station resupply spacecraft being developed to resupply the planned Chinese Space Station, which as of 2011 was not due to be completed until 2020....

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