Encyclopedia Astronautica
December 20


December 20 Chronology


1904 December 20 - .
  • Mt. Wilson Observatory founded. - . Nation: USA.

1934 December 20 - . 06:52 GMT - . Launch Vehicle: A2.
  • A2 rocket 'Moritz' successfully launched. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: von Braun. Apogee: 3.50 km (2.10 mi). Von Braun's German Ordnance group launches the second of two A-2 rockets ('Moritz') successfully to a height of 3.5 km on the Island of Borkum in the North Sea. Burnout is at 1.8 km, and the rocket ascends more vertically than the test the previous day, reaching a greater altitude and impacting 500 m from the launch point.

1939 December 20 - .
  • Ames Research Center founded - . Nation: USA.

1944 December 20 - . Launch Site: Heidekraut. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: V-2. LV Configuration: V-2 19845. FAILURE: Control failure at lift-off, reached 15 m altitude..
  • V-2 Ma272 306 P24 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: Wehrmacht. Summary: Planned range 225 km. .

1946 December 20 - .
  • XS-1 Flight 16 - . Crew: Goodlin. Payload: XS-1 # 2 flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goodlin. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: XS-1. Summary: Bell flight 6. Familiarization powered flight..

1950 December 20 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-2. Launch Vehicle: R-2. LV Configuration: R-2 12. FAILURE: Failed to reach target.
  • First series test launch - . Nation: USSR. Agency: Korolev. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi). Summary: Twelfth and final launch in prototype test series. All missiles failed to reach targets..

1954 December 20 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: FFAR. Launch Vehicle: FFAR.
  • D37 model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi).

1956 December 20 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1. LV Configuration: A-1.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1960 December 20 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC20. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 1. LV Configuration: Titan I J-9. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Mk 4 re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1960 December 20 - . 20:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 258 / Agena B 1101.
  • Discoverer 19 - . Payload: Midas test payload. Mass: 1,060 kg (2,330 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft: Midas. Decay Date: 1961-01-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 68 . COSPAR: 1960-Tau-1. Apogee: 359 km (223 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 83.4000 deg. Period: 90.00 min. Summary: Tested IR sensors for Midas program; did not carry camera or film capsule. .

1961 December 20 - .
  • International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Summary: The General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously adopted Resolution 1721 (XIV) on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space..

1961 December 20 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Douglas named contractor for Saturn S-IVB stage - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo Lunar Landing. NASA announced that Douglas Aircraft had been selected for negotiation of a contract to modify the Saturn S-IV stage by installing a single 200,000-pound-thrust, Rocketdyne J-2 liquid-hydrogen/liquid-oxygen engine instead of six 15,000-pound-thrust P. & W. hydrogen/oxygen engines. Known as S-IVB, this modified stage will be used in advanced Saturn configurations for manned circumlunar Apollo missions.

1961 December 20 - . 03:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 36E.
  • Research and development/Pod Test/Chemical release mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,800 km (1,100 mi).

1961 December 20 - . 22:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Silver Lake DZ. Launch Pad: 35.3 N x 116.1 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 003. LV Family: X-15. Launch Vehicle: X-15. LV Configuration: X-15 3-1-2.
  • X-15A MH-96 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; USAF. Apogee: 24 km (14 mi). Summary: First flight for X-15 # 3. Maximum Speed - 4026 kph. Maximum Altitude - 24700 m..

1962 December 20 - . Launch Site: Plattsburgh AFB. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • Atlas SMS 556 - last Atlas squadron - operational. - . Nation: USA. Summary: Plattsburgh AFB SMS 556 (last Atlas squadron) operational.

1962 December 20 - . 19:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Mud Lake DZ. Launch Pad: 37.9 N x 117.1 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: X-15. Launch Vehicle: X-15. LV Configuration: X-15 3-13-23.
  • X-15A VO Stab, MH-96 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; USAF. Apogee: 48 km (29 mi). Summary: Maximum Speed - 6103 kph. Maximum Altitude - 48900 m..

1963 December 20 - .
  • Boeing Company to build five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Lunar Orbiter. NASA selected The Boeing Company to build five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. Beginning in 1966, Lunar Orbiters would take close-range photographs of the moon and transmit them by telemetry back to earth. The spacecraft would also detect radiation and micrometeoroid density and supply tracking data on the gravitational field of the moon. Information derived from the project (managed by Langley Research Center) would aid in the selection of lunar landing sites.

1963 December 20 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-A. Launch Vehicle: Seagull.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1963 December 20 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1A. LV Configuration: Minuteman 1A 515.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1963 December 20 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC41/3. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • Military training launch - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1965 December 20 - .
  • Falling behind - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Gemini 7; Voskhod 3; Voskhod 4; Voskhod 5; Soyuz 1; Soyuz 2A; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Voskhod. Gemini 7 has landed. The Americans achieved every manned spaceflight objective they had set for themselves in 1965, and made 50% more launches than the Soviet Union. On the other side, the Russians have only been able to fly Voskhod 2. Korolev promised that three Voskhod and two Soyuz spacecraft would be completed in 1965, and that two of each would fly before November 7. The year has ended, and not a single spacecraft has been delivered. Kamanin calls Korolev, who says that the unfinished Voskhods will not be completed, and that the four completed spacecraft will be used for long-duration flights. All of his bureau's energies will be concentrated on developing Soyuz spacecraft to perfect space docking and to perform lunar flyby missions.

1965 December 20 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
1965 December 20 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure. LV Configuration: Centaure C130.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1965 December 20 - . 13:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576B2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D. LV Configuration: Atlas D 85D.
  • NTMP KX-31 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,800 km (1,100 mi).

1965 December 20 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: ETR Launch Area. Launch Platform: SSBN 640. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3. LV Configuration: Polaris A3P-188.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1966 December 20 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF09. Launch Pad: LF09?. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B. LV Configuration: Minuteman 1B 1227.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1966 December 20 - . 02:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. LV Family: Lambda. Launch Vehicle: Lambda 4S. LV Configuration: Lambda 4S L-4S-2. FAILURE: Fourth stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Ohsumi 2 - . Payload: L-4S-2. Mass: 26 kg (57 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Ohsumi. Decay Date: 1966-12-19 . COSPAR: F661220A. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1966 December 20 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: MR-12. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: AN. Apogee: 178 km (110 mi).

1967 December 20 - .
  • Feoktistov medical reports - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Feoktistov. Summary: Kamanin receives two medical reports on Feoktistov. Kamanin's summary - Feoktistov is a 'sick man'..

1968 December 20 - .
  • Volynov crew selection questioned - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Volynov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4; Soyuz 5; Soyuz 4/5. Summary: The Communist Party Central Committee meets to approve the crews for the upcoming Soyuz 4/5 flights. The committee is unhappy with the selection of Volynov - his mother is a Jew..

1968 December 20 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF08. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2. LV Configuration: Minuteman 2 2418.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1969 December 20 - . Launch Site: El Arenosillo. LV Family: INTA. Launch Vehicle: INTA-255. LV Configuration: INTA-255 2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Spain. Agency: INTA. Apogee: 73 km (45 mi).

1969 December 20 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. Launch Pad: LC132/pad?. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 315 - . Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Tselina. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Tselina-O. Decay Date: 1979-03-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 4273 . COSPAR: 1969-107A. Apogee: 542 km (336 mi). Perigee: 518 km (321 mi). Inclination: 74.0000 deg. Period: 95.30 min. Summary: Possible navigation satellite..

1970 December 20 - .
  • The payload shroud test article was successfully tested at the Plum Brook Facility of Lewis Research Center. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Apollo ATM. Summary: The purpose of the payload shroud would be to cover and protect the ATM MDA, and top portion of the AM as Skylab was launched into an Earth orbit..

1971 December 20 - . 01:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur SLV-3C. LV Configuration: SLV-3C Centaur AC-26 / Centaur D-1A 5006C.
  • Intelsat 4 F-3 - . Mass: 1,410 kg (3,100 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Intelsat. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 4. Completed Operations Date: 1984-02-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 5709 . COSPAR: 1971-116A. Apogee: 36,009 km (22,374 mi). Perigee: 35,930 km (22,320 mi). Inclination: 11.1000 deg. Period: 1,445.50 min. Over Atlantic. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 20-25 deg W in 1972-1976; over the Atlantic Ocean 34 deg W in 1976-1977; over the Atlantic Ocean 18-22 deg W in 1977-1980; over the Atlantic Ocean 53 deg W in 1981-1982; over the Atlantic Ocean 38-44 deg W in 1982-1983 As of 4 September 2001 located at 90.58 deg E drifting at 2.365 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 54.69E drifting at 2.365W degrees per day.

1972 December 20 - . 22:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5204A / Agena D A 2805.
  • Canyon 5 - . Payload: Canyon Improved / OPS 9390. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 6317 . COSPAR: 1972-101A. Apogee: 40,728 km (25,307 mi). Perigee: 31,012 km (19,269 mi). Inclination: 9.7000 deg. Period: 1,440.40 min. Summary: First launch of improved ELINT satellite. In comparison to earlier Canyon ELINT satellites, Improved Canyon had a similar but heavier payload which separated from the Agena D final stage..

1973 December 20 - . 15:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Starute, Datasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 64 km (39 mi).

1974 December 20 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Met Para, Datasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 64 km (39 mi).

1975 December 20 - . LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle.
  • First SSME 60-second duration test, NSTL - . Nation: USA. Program: STS.

1976 December 20 - . 14:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Antigua. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 67 km (41 mi).

1977 December 20 - . 15:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Cosmos 969 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MKM. Duration: 14.00 days. Decay Date: 1978-01-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 10527 . COSPAR: 1977-120A. Apogee: 317 km (196 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 62.8000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Summary: High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; maneuverable..

1978 December 20 - . 20:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M. LV Configuration: Kosmos 11K65M 47182-425.
  • Cosmos 1064 - . Mass: 1,025 kg (2,259 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Parus. Decay Date: 1989-11-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 11161 . COSPAR: 1978-119A. Apogee: 467 km (290 mi). Perigee: 333 km (206 mi). Inclination: 82.9000 deg. Period: 92.60 min. Summary: Probable failure. Military navigation satellite..

1979 December 20 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF03. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ABRES AMARV-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1979 December 20 - . 11:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: MR-12. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Solar Ultraviolet/Solar Extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1980 December 20 - . 17:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Siple. Launch Complex: Siple RAG. LV Family: Tomahawk Sandia. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk. LV Configuration: Nike Tomahawk NASA 18.204UE.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1981 December 20 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L04.
  • Tech. capsule - . Payload: CAT/Thesee. Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: CAT. Decay Date: 1988-11-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 13025 . COSPAR: 1981-122C. Apogee: 36,051 km (22,401 mi). Perigee: 199 km (123 mi). Inclination: 10.6000 deg. Period: 636.00 min. Ariane L-04 technological capsule, ESA designator ESA/81/04. The technological capsule, equipped with batteries for a lifetime of about 6 orbital revolutions (65h), transmits to earth technological data about test flight L-04 of Ariane. After discharge of the battery the capsule will stop its transmissions and remain in orbit in an inactive status. Frequency 136-138 MHz, projected time of reentry before 1990.
  • MARECS 1 - . Payload: MARECS A. Mass: 582 kg (1,283 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Program: MARECS. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. Completed Operations Date: 1996-08-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 13010 . COSPAR: 1981-122A. Apogee: 37,858 km (23,523 mi). Perigee: 36,782 km (22,855 mi). Inclination: 10.8000 deg. Period: 1,515.20 min. MARECS-A was a geostationary maritime communications satellite, which formed part of INMARSAT's world-wide maritime communications satellite network. MARECS-A moved to a new position on the geostationary orbit. Old position: 334E. New position: 22.5 E. The Marecs satellites were members of Inmarsat's first generation global maritime communications network. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 26 deg W in 1982-1986; 178 deg E in 1986-1991; 20 deg E in 1991-1992; 22 deg E in 1992-1996 As of 1 September 2001 located at 11.08 deg W drifting at 18.839 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 168.28W drifting at 18.837W degrees per day. Additional Details: MARECS 1.
  • CAT 4 - . Payload: MARECS 1 / CAT 4. Mass: 217 kg (478 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: CAT. USAF Sat Cat: 13011 . COSPAR: 1981-122B. Apogee: 30,744 km (19,103 mi). Perigee: 259 km (160 mi). Inclination: 10.4000 deg. Period: 536.80 min. Summary: Launch vehicle test payload. .

1982 December 20 - . 20:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1983 December 20 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg TP-01. Launch Vehicle: Peacekeeper. LV Configuration: Peacekeeper FTM-3.
  • 8 RVs to BOA-Guam - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1984 December 20 - .
  • Death of Dmitri Fedorovich Ustinov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Ustinov. Summary: Russian politician. Primary manager of the Soviet missile and space programs 1946-1976. In charge of development of Soviet rocketry 1946-1957. Chairman of the VPK 1957-1963. Secretary of Central Committee for Defence and Space 1965-1976..

1984 December 20 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/2. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M. LV Configuration: Kosmos 11K65M 47134-127.
  • Cosmos 1615 - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Taifun-1Yu. Decay Date: 1990-04-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 15446 . COSPAR: 1984-127A. Apogee: 362 km (224 mi). Perigee: 328 km (203 mi). Inclination: 65.8000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. Summary: Radar calibration mission..

1988 December 20 - . Launch Site: Haikou. Launch Vehicle: Zhinui. LV Configuration: Zhinui ZN-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1989 December 20 - . 03:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U2 T15000-039?.
  • Progress M-2 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 202. Mass: 7,300 kg (16,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir EO-5. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 51.18 days. Completed Operations Date: 1990-02-09 07:56:10 . Decay Date: 1990-02-09 07:56:10 . USAF Sat Cat: 20373 . COSPAR: 1989-099A. Apogee: 392 km (243 mi). Perigee: 390 km (240 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir; carried US microgravity payload. Delivered various cargoes to the Mir orbital station, including scientific apparatus produced in the United States of America and intended, pursuant to a commercial agreement, for the conduct of experiments on space biotechnology. Docked with Mir on 22 Dec 1989 05:41:21 GMT. Undocked on 9 Feb 1990 02:33:07 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 9 Feb 1990 07:56:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.31 days. Total docked time 48.87 days.

1990 December 20 - . 11:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 361-01.
  • Raduga 26 - . Payload: Raduga s/n 37L. Mass: 1,965 kg (4,332 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Raduga . Completed Operations Date: 1993-10-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 21016 . COSPAR: 1990-112A. Apogee: 35,823 km (22,259 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 7.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.80 min. Stationed at 85 deg E. Radio telephone and telegraph communications and transmission of television programmes. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 85 deg E in 1991-1993. Raduga 26 then began a series of small maneuvers coincident with the launch of Raduga 30, and was placed in a graveyard orbit. As of 1 September 2001 located at 93.34 deg E drifting at 0.101 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 52.76E drifting at 0.024W degrees per day.

1991 December 20 - . 21:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC175/2. Launch Pad: LC175/pad?. LV Family: UR-100N. Launch Vehicle: Rokot. LV Configuration: Rokot-K No. 3L.
  • Grand Prix test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: VKS. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1993 December 20 - . 16:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde. LV Configuration: AN/DMQ-9.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 94 km (58 mi).

1994 December 20 - . 05:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 2298 - . Mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: Strela. Class: Communications. Type: Military store-dump communications satellite. Spacecraft: Strela-2M. USAF Sat Cat: 23431 . COSPAR: 1994-083A. Apogee: 810 km (500 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 74.0300 deg. Period: 100.83 min. Summary: Replaced Cosmos 2150. Final operational constellation was Cosmos 2208, 2251, and 2298..

1994 December 20 - . 08:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk Yu-1. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Topol M. LV Configuration: Topol-M 1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1995 December 20 - . 00:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC90/19. Launch Pad: LC90/pad?. LV Family: Tsiklon. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-2.
  • Cosmos 2326 - . Payload: US-PM s/n 7. Mass: 3,150 kg (6,940 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: EORSAT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: US-PU. Duration: 660.00 days. Decay Date: 1997-11-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 23748 . COSPAR: 1995-071A. Apogee: 415 km (257 mi). Perigee: 406 km (252 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 87.20 min. Summary: EORSAT, placed in 215 degree ascending node orbital slot. Ocean surveillance; also performed astrophysics research..

1996 December 20 - . 06:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 2336 - . Mass: 825 kg (1,818 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Parus. USAF Sat Cat: 24677 . COSPAR: 1996-071A. Apogee: 1,012 km (628 mi). Perigee: 979 km (608 mi). Inclination: 82.9000 deg. Period: 105.00 min. Summary: Military navigation satellite. Positioned in plane 4 of constellation. Signals at 149.97 and 399.92 MHz..

1996 December 20 - . 18:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4E. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 404A. LV Configuration: Titan 404A K-13 (45J-5).
  • USA 129 - . Mass: 19,600 kg (43,200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Improved Crystal. USAF Sat Cat: 24680 . COSPAR: 1996-072A. Apogee: 949 km (589 mi). Perigee: 153 km (95 mi). Inclination: 97.9000 deg. Summary: Optical reconnaisance satellite built for the US National Reconnaissance Office..

1997 December 20 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Progress M-37 - . Payload: Progress M s/n 236. Mass: 7,040 kg (15,520 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Manufacturer: Korolev. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Mir NASA-5; Mir EO-24. Spacecraft: Progress M. Duration: 61.69 days. Decay Date: 1998-03-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 25102 . COSPAR: 1997-081A. Apogee: 403 km (250 mi). Perigee: 363 km (225 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Docked with Mir at the rear Kvant port on 22 Dec 1997 10:22:20 GMT. Undocked on 30 Jan 1998 12:00:00 GMT. Redocked with Mir on 23 Feb 1998 09:42:28 GMT. Final undocking 15 Mar 1998 19:16:01 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 15 Mar 1998 23:04:00 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.23 days. Total docked time 59.47 days.

1997 December 20 - . 13:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920-XC. LV Configuration: Delta 7920-10C D251.
  • Iridium 45 - . Payload: Iridium s/n SV045. Mass: 689 kg (1,518 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Iridium. Manufacturer: Lockheed; Motorola. Program: Iridium. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: LM 700. USAF Sat Cat: 25104 . COSPAR: 1997-082A. Apogee: 779 km (484 mi). Perigee: 776 km (482 mi). Inclination: 86.4000 deg. Period: 100.40 min. Summary: Plane 2. Ascending node 199.4 degrees..
  • Iridium 46 - . Payload: Iridium s/n SV046. Mass: 689 kg (1,518 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Iridium. Manufacturer: Lockheed; Motorola. Program: Iridium. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: LM 700. USAF Sat Cat: 25105 . COSPAR: 1997-082B. Apogee: 779 km (484 mi). Perigee: 776 km (482 mi). Inclination: 86.4100 deg. Period: 100.40 min. Summary: Plane 2. Ascending node 199.4 degrees. Should be 25105..
  • Iridium 48 - . Payload: Iridium s/n SV048. Mass: 689 kg (1,518 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Iridium. Manufacturer: Lockheed; Motorola. Program: Iridium. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: LM 700. Decay Date: 2001-05-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 25107 . COSPAR: 1997-082D. Apogee: 780 km (480 mi). Perigee: 775 km (481 mi). Inclination: 86.4000 deg. Period: 100.40 min. Summary: Plane 2. Ascending node 199.4 degrees..
  • Iridium 49 - . Payload: Iridium s/n SV049. Mass: 689 kg (1,518 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Iridium. Manufacturer: Lockheed; Motorola. Program: Iridium. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: LM 700. USAF Sat Cat: 25108 . COSPAR: 1997-082E. Apogee: 780 km (480 mi). Perigee: 776 km (482 mi). Inclination: 86.4000 deg. Period: 100.40 min. Summary: Plane 2. Ascending node 199.4 degrees..
  • Iridium 47 - . Payload: Iridium s/n SV047. Mass: 689 kg (1,518 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Iridium. Manufacturer: Lockheed; Motorola. Program: Iridium. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: LM 700. USAF Sat Cat: 25106 . COSPAR: 1997-082C. Apogee: 779 km (484 mi). Perigee: 776 km (482 mi). Inclination: 86.4000 deg. Period: 100.40 min. Summary: Plane 2. Ascending node 199.4 degrees..

1999 December 20 - . 00:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-103.
  • STS-103 - . Call Sign: Discovery. Crew: Brown; Kelly, Scott; Smith, Steven; Grunsfeld; Foale; Nicollier; Clervoy. Payload: Discovery F27. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brown; Kelly, Scott; Smith, Steven; Grunsfeld; Foale; Nicollier; Clervoy. Agency: NASA Houston. Manufacturer: North American. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-103. Spacecraft: Discovery. Duration: 7.97 days. Decay Date: 1999-12-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 25996 . COSPAR: 1999-069A. Apogee: 609 km (378 mi). Perigee: 563 km (349 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 96.40 min. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing mission SM-3A, delayed repeatedly by technical problems with the shuttle fleet after the near-disastrous previous launch. Finally launched after the last possible day to avoid Y2K computer problems; one spacewalk was cancelled so that the shuttle could return by December 28. Hubble was in a 591 km x 610 km x 28.5 deg orbit at launch. After separation of the external tank ET-101 the Orbiter was in a 56 km x 587 km x 28.5 deg transfer orbit. The OMS 2 burn at 0134 UTC raised the orbit to 313 km x 582 km. The payload bay contained:

    • Bay 1-2: External airlock/ODS
    • Bay 7-8: ORU Carrier (Spacelab pallet). Carried Hubble replacement spares arranged as follows: COPE protective enclosure with three RSU gyros, a new solid state recorder, and an S-band transmitter; LOPE enclosure with an HST-486 computer and voltage improvement kit; ASIPE enclosure with a spare HST-486 and spare RSU; FSIPE enclosure with a replacement FGS-2 fine guidance sensor; and NPE enclosure with New Outer Blanket Layer insulation.
    • Bay 11: Flight Servicing System (FSS). Contained the BAPS (Berthing and Positioning System) used to dock with the aft end of the Hubble Space Telescope.
    • Bay 8: APC carrier with foot restraint
    • Bay 12: APC carrier with HST foot retstraint

    Hubble was grabbed by the shuttle's robot arm at 0034 UTC on December 22. Following completion of repairs HST was released on December 25 at 2303 UTC. The deorbit burn at 2248 UTC on Dec 27 placed the orbiter in a 50 km x 616 km descent orbit. Discovery landed on runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center at 0001 UTC on December 28.

2000 December 20 - .
  • Death of Friedrich Duerr - . Nation: Germany; USA. Related Persons: Duerr. Summary: German engineer in WW2, member of the Rocket Team in the United States thereafter..

2000 December 20 - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-6 (64).
  • Beidou 1B - . Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CNSA. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Beidou. USAF Sat Cat: 26643 . COSPAR: 2000-082A. Apogee: 35,821 km (22,258 mi). Perigee: 35,753 km (22,215 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Second Beidou geosynchronous navigation satellite. The CZ-3A rocket's third stage put Beidou in geostationary transfer orbit at around 1642 GMT. The Beidou satellite was based on the DFH-3 comsat and had a mass of around 2200 kg including its FY-25 solid apogee motor. On December 25 Beidou was in a 190 x 41870 km x 25.0 deg transfer orbit. The launch of this second Beidou completed the prototype two-satellite navigational system which was to provide positional information for highway, railway and marine transportation. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 80 deg E, still maintaining its position within 0.1 deg as of 2007.

2000 December 20 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V138 (508).
  • Astra 2D - . Mass: 1,414 kg (3,117 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: SES. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Astra. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 376. USAF Sat Cat: 26638 . COSPAR: 2000-081A. Apogee: 35,895 km (22,304 mi). Perigee: 35,886 km (22,298 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,441.41 min. Astra 2D was a Boeing 376HP spin-stabilised satellite, with a dry mass of around 700 kg. It was owned by the Luxembourg-based company SES and was to broadcast to the British Isles. Astra 2D was in a 292 x 35835 km x 2.2 deg transfer orbit on December 22 and was subsequently boosted into geosynchronous orbit by its Star 30 apogee kick motor. The 825 kg (dry mass) satellite carried 16 Ku-band transponders to provide direct-to-home voice, video, and data transmissions to Britain and neighboring countries after parking over 28.2 deg-E longitude. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 28 deg E in 2001 As of 3 September 2001 located at 28.17 deg E drifting at 0.014 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 28.17E drifting at 0.014W degrees per day.
  • LDREX - . Mass: 1,414 kg (3,117 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: NASDA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: LDREX. Decay Date: 2010-03-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 26640 . COSPAR: 2000-081C. Apogee: 30,257 km (18,800 mi). Perigee: 241 km (149 mi). Inclination: 2.4000 deg. Period: 527.50 min. Ariane V138's EPS upper stage carried an ASAP5 small payload attachment ring with a special camera system and the LDREX experimental antenna for Japan's NASDA space agency. LDREX (Large-scale Deployable Reflector EXperiment) was a 6-m diameter antenna which was to have deployed 40 minutes after launch, to test the deployment mechanism for the larger antenna to be used on the ETS-8 satellite. After the test the antenna was to have been jettisoned. However the experiment failed and no deployment or jettison took place.
  • GE 8/Aurora III - . Payload: Aurora 3. Mass: 1,414 kg (3,117 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: GE Americom. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Americom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 2100. USAF Sat Cat: 26639 . COSPAR: 2000-081B. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,784 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.25 min. GE 8 was a C-band TV and data distribution satellite for GE Americom. The Lockheed Martin A2100A spacecraft had a launch mass of 2015 kg, a dry mass of 919 kg, and was equipped with 24 C-band transponders. By December 26 GE 8 had reached an 18656 x 35760 km x 0.4 deg orbit on its way to geostationary orbit. It was jointly owned by AT&T Alascom for Alaskan communications, and was also called Aurora III. Americom and Alascom were originally both RCA subsidiaries. Alascom continued to use the Americom network while GE operated the satellite. The 2.2 tonne (with fuel) spacecraft carried 24 C-band transponders to provide voice, video, and broadband data communications to the contiguous USA, Alaska, and the Caribbean after parking over 139 deg-W longitude. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 146 deg W in 2001 As of 5 September 2001 located at 139.01 deg W drifting at 0.000 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 139.03W drifting at 0.003E degrees per day.

2002 December 20 - .
  • Nozomi, Earth Flyby - . Nation: Japan. Spacecraft: Nozomi.

2002 December 20 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC109. Launch Pad: LC109/95. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: Dnepr.
  • LatinSat 1 - . Payload: AprizeSat 3. Mass: 12 kg (26 lb). Nation: Argentina. Agency: Aprize. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AprizeSat. USAF Sat Cat: 27605 . COSPAR: 2002-058A. Apogee: 679 km (421 mi). Perigee: 635 km (394 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 97.90 min. Summary: Messaging satellite..
  • Rubin 2 - . Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: Makeyev. Manufacturer: Bremen. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Rubin. USAF Sat Cat: 27609 . COSPAR: 2002-058E. Apogee: 645 km (400 mi). Perigee: 639 km (397 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 97.60 min. Summary: Messaging technology satellite..
  • LatinSat 2 - . Payload: AprizeSat 4. Mass: 12 kg (26 lb). Nation: Argentina. Agency: Aprize. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AprizeSat. USAF Sat Cat: 27606 . COSPAR: 2002-058B. Apogee: 702 km (436 mi). Perigee: 632 km (392 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 98.10 min. Summary: Messaging satellite..
  • SaudiSat 1S - . Payload: SaudiSat 2. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: Saudi Arabia. Agency: RSRI. Manufacturer: KACST. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SaudiSat. USAF Sat Cat: 27607 . COSPAR: 2002-058C. Apogee: 690 km (420 mi). Perigee: 633 km (393 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 98.00 min. Summary: Amateur store-forward communications payload..
  • UniSat 2 - . Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: Italy. Agency: Makeyev. Manufacturer: La Sapienza. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: UniSat. USAF Sat Cat: 27608 . COSPAR: 2002-058D. Apogee: 667 km (414 mi). Perigee: 636 km (395 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 97.80 min.

2005 December 20 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Terrier. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion. LV Configuration: Terrier Orion NASA 12.63GT.
  • Water recovery test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

2006 December 20 - .
2007 December 20 - . 20:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. Launch Pad: SLC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925. LV Configuration: Delta 7925-9.5 D331.
  • USA 199 - . Payload: GPS 2R-5M / Navstar 61. Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Navstar. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: GPS Block 2R. USAF Sat Cat: 32384 . COSPAR: 2007-062A. Apogee: 20,283 km (12,603 mi). Perigee: 20,082 km (12,478 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Period: 718.00 min. Summary: Fifth GPS SV with L2C capability..

2008 December 20 - . 22:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ECA.
  • Hot Bird 9 - . Mass: 4,880 kg (10,750 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: Eutelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 3000. USAF Sat Cat: 33459 . COSPAR: 2008-065A. Apogee: 35,792 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Ku-band satellite slated to replace Hot Bird 3 at 13 deg E..
  • Eutelsat W2M - . Payload: Insat. Mass: 3,460 kg (7,620 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: Eutelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 33460 . COSPAR: 2008-065B. Apogee: 35,843 km (22,271 mi). Perigee: 35,735 km (22,204 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Summary: Ku-band satellite designed to operate at 10 deg E. It used the Indian Insat I3K bus and was the first foreign sale of an Indian-built satellite. It made it to geosynchronous orbit but suffered a power system and was written off eight days after launch..

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use