Encyclopedia Astronautica
December 24


December 24 Chronology


1905 December 24 - .
  • Birth of Hendrik W Bode - . Nation: USA. Summary: American engineer, vice president of military development and systems engineering at Bell Telephone Laboratories 1958-1967. Worked for Bell from 1926 to 1967..

1910 December 24 - .
  • Birth of William H Pickering - . Nation: USA. Summary: New Zealand-American Chief Designer, Director JPL, 1954-1976. Under his leadership the first successful probes to earth orbit, the Moon, Venus, and Mars were designed, built, and flown (Explorer, Pioneer, Ranger, Mariner,Surveryor, Viking)..

1944 December 24 - . Launch Site: V-2 Battery 836. Launch Pad: 1./836. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • V-2 combat launch from Hachenburg - . Nation: Germany. Summary: Hachenburg, Hillscheid, rocket fired, (impact unknown)..

1950 December 24 - .
  • Birth of Michael Anthony Hamel - . Nation: USA. Summary: American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1979-1985..

1957 December 24 - . LV Family: R-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 missiles arrive in China. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Summary: A Red Army missile battalion with two R-2's and their launchers arrive in Beijing by rail. They are secretly moved to the premises of the Fifth Academy in the middle of the night..

1958 December 24 - . 04:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C. LV Configuration: Atlas C 3C.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi). Summary: First Atlas C flight (3C), successful..

1958 December 24 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7. FAILURE: Failure.
  • III-1 test - . Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1959 December 24 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1960 December 24 - . Launch Site: Chelkar. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5. LV Configuration: R-5 V-1000 target.
  • Target mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: OKB-30. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1960 December 24 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: R-14.
  • State trials launch - . Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 675 km (419 mi).

1962 December 24 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 48 km (29 mi).

1963 December 24 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 ground equipment construction authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Summary: Decree 'On ensuring the manufacture of ground equipment for the N1' was issued..

1963 December 24 - .
  • Deep Space Network commissioned. - . Nation: USA.

1963 December 24 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5B.
  • VAO Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: AN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1964 December 24 - .
  • Realignment within the Apollo Office of Manned Space Flight - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Debus. Program: Apollo. To strengthen the Agency's managerial organization, NASA announced a realignment within the Office of Manned Space Flight:

    • The post of Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight Operations was eliminated. (It had, in fact, been vacant since April 24, 1964, when Walter C. Williams had resigned. In its stead, the position of Mission Operations Director was created and filled by E. E. Christensen.
    • Two positions as mission directors were created under Christensen. Each director would have overall responsibility for a particular mission.
    • A new organization to coordinate ground support efforts was created, the Operations Support Requirements Office, headed by B. Porter Brown.
    Also included in this reorganization was a consolidation of activities at Cape Kennedy aimed at bringing assembly, checking, and launch responsibilities within the scope of a single organization. MSC's Florida Operations was absorbed; Kurt H. Debus assumed the title of Director of Launch Operations; and G. Merritt Preston, who had headed the local MSC group, became Debus' deputy.

1965 December 24 - .
  • Barwell Meteorite Fall (Hit Car, Buildings) - . Nation: UK.

1965 December 24 - . 21:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D SLV-2A/D. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2A Agena D 451 / Agena D SS-01B 1610.
  • KH-4A 1028 - . Payload: KH-4A s/n 1028 / Agena D 1610 / OPS 4639. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1966-01-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 1866 . COSPAR: 1965-110A. Apogee: 443 km (275 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 80.0000 deg. Period: 90.70 min. Summary: KH-4A. Cameras operated satisfactorily..

1966 December 24 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • First session of State Commission for the L1 - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Tyulin; Mishin; Chelomei; Barmin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2; Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1. Tyulin chairs the meeting. Mishin, Chelomei and Barmin brief the status of the spacecraft, booster, and launch site. There is much to be done in order to fly cosmonauts around the moon by 7 November 1967 - the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. The first manned flight around the moon is planned for 26 June 1967. To achieve this, four flights of the L1 without a crew have to be completed first. The UR-500K booster should be capable of launching the L1 on a direct flight around the Moon and back to the earth. But since the UR-500K has not yet flown, and its 19-tonne low earth payload has not bee verified, Mishin plans to follow the podsadka scenario. The UR-500K will place in low earth orbit an L1 without a crew, and then a Soyuz booster will place a manned Soyuz 7K-OK Soyuz in orbit. The Soyuz crew will rendezvous and dock with the L1, and the crew for the circumlunar mission will spacewalk through open space from the 7K-OK into the L1. The spacecraft will then separate. The 7K-OK returns to earth, while the L1 is boosted on a circumlunar trajectory. After 4 to 6 launches of the UR-500K to verify its reliability and payload margins, it should be possible to make the direct flight to the moon on subsequent versions. For the time being it is necessary to develop both versions in parallel.

1968 December 24 - .
  • Cosmonauts ponder loss of the moon race - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Ustinov; Shatalov; Shonin; Khrunov; Yeliseyev; Volynov. Program: Apollo; Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8. The Soyuz 4 and 5 crews arrive at Tyuratam aboard an An-24. They work with their spacesuits at Area 31 until 23:00. On the bus back to the sleeping quarters Kamanin tells them of Ustinov's 'recommendation' that they do an automatic docking. They are against it, argue for a manual docking. If allowing enough time for the crew of the active spacecraft to adapt to zero-G is the issue, they propose switching the launch order of the active and passive spacecraft. This alternative is ruled out - it is too late and risky to modify the flight programs. Shatalov bursts out - 'Here we are debating this for the tenth time, while he Americans are orbiting the moon'. They call for the bus to stop. They exit out into the icy clear night and look at the moon. Thoughts came of the nine comrades who had died trying to put the USSR first to the moon, all to no avail.

1968 December 24 - .
  • Plans for television cameras aboard remaining Apollo missions - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 13; Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; CSM Block II; LM Television. ASPO Manager George M. Low apprised Program Director Samuel C. Phillips of MSC's plans for television cameras aboard remaining Apollo missions. With the exception of spacecraft 104 (scheduled for flight as Apollo 9), television cameras were to be flown in all CMs. Also, cameras would be included in all manned LMs (LM-3 through LM-14).

1969 December 24 - .
1969 December 24 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: MR-12. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 162 km (100 mi).

1970 December 24 - . 01:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • SSTTP M1-12 Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1971 December 24 - . 15:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Judi-Dart.
  • Starute,Datasonde Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 56 km (34 mi).

1973 December 24 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea-launched. Launch Pad: UNKO. Launch Platform: SHIR. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 91 km (56 mi).

1974 December 24 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC90/19. Launch Pad: LC90/pad?. LV Family: Tsiklon. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-2.
  • Cosmos 699 - . Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: EORSAT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: US-P. Decay Date: 1977-10-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 7587 . COSPAR: 1974-103A. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi). Perigee: 428 km (265 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 93.30 min. Summary: Ocean monitoring; exploded 4/17/75..

1974 December 24 - . 18:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: MR-12. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Chemical release/Plasma mission - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1975 December 24 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Molodezhnaya. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 83 km (51 mi).

1976 December 24 - . 14:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Antigua. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 63 km (39 mi).

1977 December 24 - . 01:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1979 December 24 - . 17:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA1. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. LV Configuration: Ariane 1 L01.
  • CAT 1 - . Payload: CAT 01. Mass: 1,602 kg (3,531 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: CAT. Decay Date: 1982-11-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 11645 . COSPAR: 1979-104A. Apogee: 14,047 km (8,728 mi). Perigee: 125 km (77 mi). Inclination: 17.8000 deg. Period: 259.10 min. Launch vehicle test. Technological Capsule (CAT). ESA registration number: ESA/79/2. Principal mission of the technological capsule (with ballast), which was equipped with batteries having a lifetime of approximately 8 orbits, was to transmit back to earth technological data on the first developmental flight L01 of the ARIANE launch vehicle. When the batteries were exhausted, the capsule ended its radio transmissions, and it is now inoperative but still in orbit.

1980 December 24 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1981 December 24 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 89 km (55 mi).

1982 December 24 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM 314-01. FAILURE: Stage 1 - vehicle failed at launch.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Raduga s/n 22L - . Payload: Raduga s/n 22L. Mass: 1,940 kg (4,270 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: UNKS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Raduga. Decay Date: 1982-12-24 . COSPAR: F821224A.

1984 December 24 - . 12:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Ascension. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 61 km (37 mi).

1985 December 24 - . 18:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC43/4. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M-ML.
  • Molniya 3-27 - . Payload: Molniya-3 s/n 40. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-3. USAF Sat Cat: 16393 . COSPAR: 1985-117A. Apogee: 38,555 km (23,956 mi). Perigee: 1,554 km (965 mi). Inclination: 64.5000 deg. Period: 712.80 min. Summary: Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR; transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and within the framework of international cooperation. .

1985 December 24 - . 21:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 334-02.
  • Cosmos 1710 - . Payload: Glonass s/n 22L. Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Glonass . USAF Sat Cat: 16396 . COSPAR: 1985-118A. Apogee: 19,146 km (11,896 mi). Perigee: 19,112 km (11,875 mi). Inclination: 66.3000 deg. Period: 675.70 min. Summary: Glonass. Testing components and apparatus from the space navigation system being set up to determine the position of Soviet civil aircraft and vessels in the Soviet merchant marine and fishing fleet. Three satellites launched by a single rocket. .
  • Cosmos 1711 - . Payload: Glonass s/n 23L. Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Glonass. USAF Sat Cat: 16397 . COSPAR: 1985-118B. Apogee: 19,150 km (11,890 mi). Perigee: 19,108 km (11,873 mi). Inclination: 66.3000 deg. Period: 675.70 min. Summary: Glonass. Testing components and apparatus from the space navigation system being set up to determine the position of Soviet civil aircraft and vessels in the Soviet merchant marine and fishing fleet. Three satellites launched by a single rocket..
  • Cosmos 1712 - . Payload: Glonass Dummy. Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Glonass. USAF Sat Cat: 16398 . COSPAR: 1985-118C. Apogee: 19,154 km (11,901 mi). Perigee: 19,135 km (11,889 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 676.30 min. Summary: Glonass. Testing components and apparatus from the space navigation system being set up to determine the position of Soviet civil aircraft and vessels in the Soviet merchant marine and fishing fleet. Three satellites launched by a single rocket..

1986 December 24 - . 12:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Ascension. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 65 km (40 mi).

1988 December 24 - . Launch Site: Haikou. Launch Vehicle: Zhinui. LV Configuration: Zhinui ZN-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1996 December 24 - . 13:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC43/4. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U. LV Configuration: Soyuz 11A511U PVB15000-050.
  • Bion No. 11 - . Payload: Bion No. 11. Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Class: Biology. Type: Biology satellite. Spacecraft: Bion. Duration: 15.00 days. Decay Date: 1997-01-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 24701 . COSPAR: 1996-073A. Apogee: 375 km (233 mi). Perigee: 216 km (134 mi). Inclination: 62.8000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Summary: Biological research. Carried monkeys Lalik and Multik..

1997 December 24 - .
  • U.S. company launches first commercial spy satellite - . Nation: USA.

1997 December 24 - . 13:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1.
  • Early Bird - . Payload: EarlyBird. Nation: USA. Agency: DigitalGlobe. Manufacturer: McLean. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Early Bird. Decay Date: 2000-07-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 25123 . COSPAR: 1997-085A. Apogee: 488 km (303 mi). Perigee: 479 km (297 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.10 min.

1997 December 24 - . 23:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2M. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2M (DM3) 394-01. FAILURE: DM-3 Stage failed, leaving spacecraft in geosynchronous transfer orbit.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Asiasat 3 - . Payload: HGS-1. Nation: China. Agency: Asiasat. Manufacturer: El Segundo. Program: Asiasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: HS 601. USAF Sat Cat: 25126 . COSPAR: 1997-086A. Apogee: 35,964 km (22,346 mi). Perigee: 35,612 km (22,128 mi). Inclination: 5.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. The spacecraft was left in a high inclination useless orbit by a failure of the DM-3 stage and became an insurance writeoff. Two trips around the Moon to remove the inclination under its new owner (Hughes) saw it back into very limited service (as HGS-1) by August 1998 over the Indian Ocean and available for sale at bargain rates. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 150-154 deg W in 1998; 60 deg W in 1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 59.68 deg W drifting at 0.024 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 169.58W drifting at 0.011W degrees per day.

1998 December 24 - . 20:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 2361 - . Mass: 825 kg (1,818 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Manufacturer: Polyot. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Parus. USAF Sat Cat: 25590 . COSPAR: 1998-076A. Apogee: 1,013 km (629 mi). Perigee: 967 km (600 mi). Inclination: 82.9000 deg. Period: 104.90 min. Summary: A Parus navigation satellite in the same orbital plane as Cosmos 2233..

1999 December 24 - . 19:06 GMT - .
  • EVA STS-103-2 - . Crew: Foale; Nicollier. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.34 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Foale; Nicollier. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Flight: STS-103. Spacecraft: Discovery; HST. Summary: Installed in the Hubble space telescope a new 486/25 mhz computer and replaced Fine Guidance Sensor FGS-2..

2002 December 24 - . 12:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC16/2. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M-2BL 77045-865.
  • Cosmos 2393 - . Mass: 1,900 kg (4,100 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Manufacturer: Lavochkin. Class: Military. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft: Oko. USAF Sat Cat: 27613 . COSPAR: 2002-059A. Apogee: 39,722 km (24,682 mi). Perigee: 542 km (336 mi). Inclination: 62.9000 deg. Period: 716.00 min. Summary: Launch delayed from September, then October 22..

2003 December 24 - .
  • Stardust, Aerogel Grid Deployed, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Stardust.

2004 December 24 - .
  • Cassini, Huygens Probe Release, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 December 24 - . 11:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32/2. LV Family: Tsiklon. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3. LV Configuration: Tsiklon-3 701. FAILURE: Launch vehicle control system failure during third stage apogee kick burn..
  • Sich-1M - . Payload: Okean O1-N9. Mass: 2,263 kg (4,989 lb). Nation: Ukraine. Agency: NKAU. Manufacturer: Yuzhnoye. Program: Okean. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources radar satellite. Spacecraft: Okean-O1. Decay Date: 2006-04-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 28505 . COSPAR: 2004-052A. Apogee: 650 km (400 mi). Perigee: 280 km (170 mi). Inclination: 82.5559 deg. Summary: Ukranian-built remote sensing satellite. Originally tagged by USAF SpaceCom as Cosmos 2412. Third stage apogee kick burn was too short, raising the perigee of the orbit from 78 km to 280 km, rather than the 650 km planned..
  • Mikron - . Payload: MK-1TS. Mass: 66 kg (145 lb). Nation: Ukraine. Agency: NKAU. Manufacturer: Yuzhnoye. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: MS-1. Decay Date: 2005-09-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 28507 . COSPAR: 2004-052C. Apogee: 650 km (400 mi). Perigee: 280 km (170 mi). Inclination: 82.5559 deg. The Mikron microsatellite was equipped with a small visible range video camera. The information from the satellite was to be used to provide remote sensing of topography and meteorology. However the main purpose of the experimental satellite was to test the MS-1 microsatellite bus created under the Ukrainian National Space Program. The satellites spectral range was from 0.45 to 0.90 mm; swath width was 253-391 km; resolution 124-191 m.

2006 December 24 - . 08:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC43/4. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz ST. LV Configuration: Soyuz-2-1A/Fregat 76033135.
  • Meridian 1 - . Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Manufacturer: Reshetnev. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Meridian. USAF Sat Cat: 29668 . COSPAR: 2006-061A. Apogee: 39,093 km (24,291 mi). Perigee: 1,264 km (785 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 717.80 min. Launch rescheduled twice due to Soyuz 2 software problems. The Meridian satellite was designed to provide communication between vessels and airplanes involved in ice surveillance in the North Sea area, and coastal stations on the ground, as well as to expand a network of satellite communications in the northern regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East.

2006 December 24 - . 20:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM-2 410-15.
  • Cosmos 2424 - . Payload: Glonass-M s/n 715. Mass: 2,480 kg (5,460 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: KNITs. Manufacturer: Reshetnev. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Glonass. USAF Sat Cat: 29670 . COSPAR: 2006-062C. Apogee: 19,176 km (11,915 mi). Perigee: 19,083 km (11,857 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 675.70 min. Three Glonass satellites are lofted in a single launch in support of restoring the Glonass navigation satellite constellation to full military and commercial functionality. They were placed in Glonass orbit plane 2, beginning its population. At the time of launch the constellation consisted of 11 operational spacecraft, and five more on-orbit spares. A fully operational constellation would consist of 24 satellites - eight in each of three orbital planes. Only two planes were populated by 2006 - the full complement of 24 satellites was not to be reached until 2009. This was the first launch to repopulate plane 2; planes 1 and 3 had satellites operational.
  • Cosmos 2425 - . Payload: Glonass-M s/n 716. Mass: 2,480 kg (5,460 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: KNITs. Manufacturer: Reshetnev. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Glonass. USAF Sat Cat: 29671 . COSPAR: 2006-062A. Apogee: 19,187 km (11,922 mi). Perigee: 19,073 km (11,851 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 675.70 min.
  • Cosmos 2426 - . Payload: Glonass-M s/n 717. Mass: 2,480 kg (5,460 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: KNITs. Manufacturer: Reshetnev. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Glonass. USAF Sat Cat: 29672 . COSPAR: 2006-062B. Apogee: 19,183 km (11,919 mi). Perigee: 19,077 km (11,853 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 675.70 min.

2007 December 24 - .
  • ISS On-Orbit Status 12/24/07 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Malenchenko; Tani; Whitson; Williams, Dave. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-16; ISS EO-16-1. Underway: Week 10 of Increment 16.

    Merry Christmas and Great Holidays to everyone!

    Progress M-62/27P is continuing its 3-day flight to the ISS for docking Wednesday morning (12/26) at ~3:25am EST at the DC1 nadir port. All onboard tests (TV, KURS, TORU), performed today during RGS (Russian ground site) passes, were without issues.

    Before breakfast, FE-2 Dan Tani and CDR Peggy Whitson completed their daily access of the SLEEP experiment (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy & Light Exposure during Spaceflight) software for data logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the experiment's laptop session file on the HRF-1 laptop for downlink. (To monitor the crewmembers' sleep/wake patterns and light exposure, Dan and Peggy wear a special Actiwatch device which measures the light levels encountered by him as well as his patterns of sleep and activity throughout the Expedition. The log entries are done within 15 minutes of final awakening for seven consecutive days, as part of the crew's discretionary 'job jar' task list.) Additional Details: ISS On-Orbit Status 12/24/07.


2009 December 24 - . 06:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Dombarovskiy. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: R-36M2.
  • RV x 10? - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Summary: Test.

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