Encyclopedia Astronautica
January 03


January 03 Chronology


1926 January 3 - . LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard 1.
  • Goddard test of liquid rocket. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Summary: Rocket again quivered for 17 sec..

1932 January 3 - .
  • Birth of Anatoli Petrovich Kuklin - . Nation: Russia. Summary: Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1963-1975. Left cosmonaut corps for medical reasons (heart problems) in July 1975 . Worked on the General Staff of the Soviet Air Force until retirement in 1987..

1945 January 3 - . Launch Site: Heidekraut. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: V-2. LV Configuration: V-2 20838. FAILURE: Air-burst of rocket but explosion of warhead at ground level..
  • V-2 Ma418 321 X14 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: Wehrmacht. Summary: Planned range 225 km. Air-burst of rocket but explosion of warhead at ground level 1.7 km to the left of the planned trajectory. Circular error 4.3 km from aim point..

1947 January 3 - .
1949 January 3 - .
1953 January 3 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Nike. Launch Vehicle: Nike. LV Configuration: Nike 303P.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1957 January 3 - .
  • X-1B Flight 16 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: X-1B. Summary: NACA flight 6. Mach 1.94 aerodynamic heating investigation (end of heating program)..

1959 January 3 - . Launch Vehicle: Alfa.
  • Switzerland decided to pursue development of nuclear weapons - . Nation: Switzerland.

1959 January 3 - .
1961 January 3 - .
  • NASA Space Task Group made official. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Summary: NASA's Space Task Group, charged with carrying out Project Mercury and other manned space flight programs, officially became a separate NASA field element..

1962 January 3 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Statement of Work for the procurement of Titan II launch vehicles for the Gemini program. - . Nation: USA. Manned Spacecraft Center prepared a Statement of Work to be accomplished by Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) in its role as contractor to NASA for the procurement of Titan II launch vehicles for the Gemini program. The launch vehicle would retain the general aerodynamic shape, basic systems, and propulsion concepts of the missile. Modifications, primarily for crew safety, were to be kept to a minimum. The Statement of Work accompanied a purchase request for $27 million, dated January 5, 1962, for 15 Titan launch vehicles. Pending ratification of the Gemini Operational and Management Plan, however, funding was limited to $3 million. To oversee this work, SSD established a Gemini Launch Vehicle Directorate, headed by Colonel Richard C. Dineen, on January 11. Initial budgeting and planning were completed by the end of March, and a final Statement of Work was issued May 14; although amended, it remained in effect throughout the program.

1962 January 3 - .
  • "Gemini" became the official designation of the Mercury Mark II program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. The name had been suggested by Alex P. Nagy of NASA Headquarters because the twin stars Castor and Pollux in constellation Gemini (the Twins) seemed to him to symbolize the program's two-man crew, its rendezvous mission, and its relation to Mercury. Coincidentally, the astronomical symbol (II) for Gemini, the third constellation of the zodiac, corresponded neatly to the Mark II designation.

1963 January 3 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Mercury MA-9 flight to go 22 orbits. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Summary: Tentative plans were made by NASA to extend the Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA-9) flight from 18 to 22 orbits..

1964 January 3 - .
  • Apollo contractors joint report on spacecraft test plan - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM; LM Descent Propulsion. North American, Grumman, and MIT Instrumentation Laboratory summarized results of a six-week study, conducted at ASPO's request, on requirements for a Spacecraft Development Program. Purpose of the study was to define joint contractor recommendations for an overall development test plan within resource constraints set down by NASA. ASPO required that the plan define individual ground test and mission objectives, mission descriptions, hardware requirements (including ground support equipment), test milestones, and individual subsystem test histories.

    Intermediate objectives for the Apollo program were outlined: the qualification of a manned CSM capable of earth reentry at parabolic velocities after an extended space mission; qualification of a manned LEM both physically and functionally compatible with the CSM; and demonstration of manned operations in deep space, including lunar orbit. The most significant basic test plan objective formulated during the study was the need for flexibility to capitalize on unusual success or to compensate for unexpected difficulties with minimum impact on the program.

    Only one major issue in the test plan remained unresolved - lunar descent radar performance and actual lunar touchdown. Two possible solutions were suggested:

    1. Landing of an unmanned spacecraft. If this failed, however, there would be little or no gain, since there was not yet a satisfactory method for instrumenting the unmanned vehicle for necessary failure data. If the landing were successful, it would prove only that the LEM was capable of landing at that particular location.
    2. Designing the LEM for a reasonably smooth surface. This would avoid placing too stringent a requirement on the landing criteria to accommodate all lunar surface unknowns. A block change to the LEM design could then be planned for about mid-1966. By that time, additional lunar data from Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter flights would be available. The group agreed the second solution was more desirable.
    The contractors recommended:

    1. ASPO concur with the proposed plan as a planning basis for implementation;
    2. ASPO issue a Development Test Plan to all three contractors (preferably within 30 to 60-days);
    3. each contractor analyze the effect of the plan upon spacecraft, facility, and equipment contracts; and
    4. ASPO and the contractors conduct periodic reviews of the plan once it was formalized.
    In addition, the test plan should be coordinated with the lunar landing mission study, as well as development testing and systems engineering for the complete Apollo program.

    The complete findings of this joint study were contained in a five-volume report issued by North American and submitted to MSC early in February 1964. (This document became known informally as the "Project Christmas Present Report.")


1965 January 3 - .
  • Kosberg dies - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kosberg. Summary: On the same day that rocket engine designer Kosberg is killed in an automobile crash, Lebedinskiy, Director of the IMBP, dies. The unexpected death of Kosberg, who's engines have reliably taken nine Soviet cosmonauts into orbit, is a particular blow..

1965 January 3 - .
  • Death of Semyon Ariyevich Kosberg - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kosberg. Summary: Russian chief designer. Chief Designer 1941-1965 of OKB-154. Led work on engines for ICBMs and launchers..

1965 January 3 - .
1966 January 3 - .
  • Operational constraints for Apollo experimenters - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. An OMSF memorandum spelled out operational constraints for Apollo experimenters to prevent experiment-generated operational problems. The author, E. E. Christensen, investigated the area at the request of NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller and developed some general conclusions, based on experience gained in the Gemini experiments program.

    Christensen said the following items should be considered:

    1. The experimenter should be required to produce all hardware and paperwork on schedule or resign himself to the fact that the experiment would be deferred to a later flight.
    2. Training hardware should be identical to flight hardware except for flight certification documentation.
    3. The experimenter should be informed that control fuel and power resources are limited aboard the spacecraft and his requirements should specify minimum usage.
    4. The experimenter should be informed that recording and telemetry facilities are definitely limited and he should provide for alternate modes of data collection.
    5. The experimenter should be requested to submit, as early as possible, detailed operational requirements, including timeline data, to MSC for inclusion in the flight plan and to allow a maximum time for solution of operational problems.
    6. The experimenter should indicate both minimum and optimum experiment data requirements to allow mission planners some latitude in mission design.
    7. The experimenter should be informed that every effort would be made to fly assigned experiments, but that certain prime mission requirements might be generated in flight and take precedence. In this event NASA would make every effort to reassign a deleted experiment to a later mission.
    8. The experimenter should be informed that flight crew prime mission time demands can be exacting and that experiments requiring conscious efforts on the part of the crew may have to be compromised so as not to interfere with primary mission objectives.
    Christensen suggested that NASA Headquarters could assist by providing guidance to MSC regarding the assignment of experiment priorities on each mission and the extent of allowable degradation of experimentation. He indicated that he felt the following experiments appeared to contain potential operational problems: S5, Synoptic Terrain Photography; M9A, Human Otolith Function; S14, Frog Otolith Function; S16, Trapped Particles Asymmetry; S17, X-ray Astronomy; and S18, Micrometeorite Collection.

1967 January 3 - .
1968 January 3 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 74 km (45 mi).

1969 January 3 - .
  • Mission preparation for Apollo 9 continued on schedule - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Mission preparation for Apollo 9 continued on schedule. Rollout of the space vehicle from the Vehicle Assembly Building, KSC, began. Mission Control Center simulations checkout, which began at MSC on December 20, 1968, was proceeding on schedule. Also, a series of thermal vacuum tests was completed, with the Apollo 9 crew using extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) flight equipment. Wind up of these tests completed the required EMU testing for the Apollo 9 flight.

1970 January 3 - . 20:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Greely. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Met Para, Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 55 km (34 mi).

1971 January 3 - .
  • Skylab Orbital Workshop dynamic test article delivered. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Skylab. The Orbital Workshop dynamic test article arrived at the Clear Lake Creek Basin adjacent to MSC aboard the barge Orion. It was offloaded on 7 January and moved to the MSC acoustic test facility where it was set up for vibroacoustic testing scheduled to start on 20 January. The acoustic test facility had been checked out previously, and the acoustic environments generated met simulated conditions surrounding the Skylab during Skylab I liftoff and Skylab 1 maximum gravity.

1972 January 3 - . 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).

1973 January 3 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Molodezhnaya. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 89 km (55 mi).

1974 January 3 - .
  • Second Skylab mission capability would be retained until NASA planning for the FY 1976. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab B. Flexibility to conduct a second Skylab mission would be retained until such time as NASA planning for the FY 1976 budget was complete. To accomplish this, NASA issued the following guidelines. Launch umbilical tower 2 would be retained in its present status for possible Skylab usage until a decision was made to prepare for a Skylab launch or to begin modifications for the Shuttle Program. Action would be continued to place in storage existing hardware (including appropriate backups and spares) required for conduct of a Skylab mission. The Skylab Program would fund the activities required to place the hardware in minimum cost storage and the storage costs through June 1974.

1975 January 3 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 55 km (34 mi).

1976 January 3 - . 01:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 74 km (45 mi).

1977 January 3 - .
  • Start assembly vertical stabilizer, Columbia - . Nation: USA. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Columbia.

1978 January 3 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 62 km (38 mi).

1979 January 3 - . 19:44 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde. LV Configuration: AN/DMQ-9.
  • - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1980 January 3 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Koroni. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 84 km (52 mi).

1983 January 3 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea-launched. Launch Pad: UNKO. Launch Platform: VOKV. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 91 km (56 mi).

1984 January 3 - . 15:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Ascension. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 59 km (36 mi).

1985 January 3 - . 15:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC47. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 73 km (45 mi).

1986 January 3 - .
  • Stephen Synnott's Discovery of Uranus Moons Juliet & Portia - . Nation: USA.

1986 January 3 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur Jubilee.
1987 January 3 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea-launched. Launch Pad: UNKO. Launch Platform: SHIR. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100B.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 77 km (47 mi).

1989 January 3 - . 11:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea-launched. Launch Pad: UNKO. Launch Platform: PRILIV. Launch Vehicle: MMR-06.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USSR. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 55 km (34 mi).

1990 January 3 - . 00:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100B.
  • - . Nation: USSR. Apogee: 84 km (52 mi).

1997 January 3 - .
  • Mir News 339: Solar-orbit - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Mir NASA-2; Mir EO-22. As of 1.01.1997 the Mir-complex will remain in a so called solar-orbit for 1 week. This means that the Mir remains in the sunlight and has no shadow periods. While large areas on the Northern Hemisphere experience very low temperatures these are high on board the space-station. The cosmonauts and the astronaut have to wear airy clothing. Periods like this are very good for the execution of space-walks (EVA-s), but regretfully there are no more EVA-s planned for this expedition.

    Communications: Now and then the (almost) geostationary satellite Cosmos-2054 (Altair-1) is used for the TsUP-Mir communications. This satellite is standing over 16 dgs West. Sometimes the satellite is used for phone only, but more often to exchange TV-transmissions. On 27.12.1996 during orbit 62024 Korzun explained the experiment Volna and the behaviour of liquids in this instrument could be seen. They use the Altair-1 satellite also for interviews, press-conferences and Packet radio for reception and transmission of radiograms. In the near future the DLR-ground facility in Oberpfaffenhofen will use this satellite for direct contacts with European astronauts.

    Radio-amateurism: On 1.01.1997 the crew changed the frequencies for radio-amateur traffic in the 145 Mc band. They now also use duplex (split) for Packet radio traffic. They changed the frequencies as follows: Uplink (transmissions to Mir) for Phone and P/R 145.200 Mc; downlink (from Mir to Earth, for Phone as well as for P/R 145.800 Mc. Changes like this can always be expected: the change which is suitable for 1 region might be unfavourable for other regions. This change is very good for the amateur-satellite band between 145.800-146 Mc as strong ground stations no longer hamper weak Oscar downlink signals around 145.800 Mc.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202


1999 January 3 - .
  • US Says Chinese Obtained Secrets - . Nation: China. A special House committee found that technology transfers to China by Hughes Electronics and Loral Space and Communications harmed U.S. national security. The 700-page, five-volume report was classified. The Chinese government sharply denied allegations that it had mounted a 'serious and sustained' effort over the last 20 years to obtain militarily useful U.S. technology.

1999 January 3 - . 20:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. Launch Pad: SLC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7425-9.5. LV Configuration: Delta 7425-9.5 D265.
  • Mars Polar Lander - . Mass: 576 kg (1,269 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Manufacturer: Martin. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Mars Polar Lander. Decay Date: 1999-12-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 25605 . COSPAR: 1999-001A. The Mars Polar Lander was placed by the first burn of the second stage into a 157 x 245 km x 28.35 deg parking orbit. The second stage restarted at 20:55 GMT and shut down in a 226 x 740 km x 25.8 deg Earth orbit. The solid rocket third stage (a Star 48B with a Nutation Control System and a yo-yo despin device) then ignited and put the spacecraft into solar orbit, separating at 21:02 GMT. Mars Polar Lander was to land near the south pole of Mars on December 3, 1999, and conduct conduct a three month mission, trenching near its landing site and testing for the presense of frozen water and carbon dioxide. Attached were two Deep Space 2 Microprobes, penetrators which would impact the Martian surface separately from the lander and return data on subsurface conditions from widely spaced points.

    When the spacecraft reached Mars on December 3, the lander separated from the cruise stage at 19:51 UTC and the two penetrators, Scott and Amundsen, were to separate about 20 seconds later. No further communications were ever received from the spacecraft. Landing had been expected at 20:01 UTC at 76.1S 195.3W, with the penetrators landing a few kilometres from each other at 75.0S 196.5W.

    This failure resulted in a review and reassessment of NASA's 'faster, better, cheaper' approach to planetary missions.

  • DS2 Microprobe 2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Douglas. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Decay Date: 1999-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 25607 . COSPAR: 1999-001C. Apogee: 645 km (400 mi). Perigee: 220 km (130 mi). Inclination: 25.8000 deg. Period: 93.23 min.
  • DS2 Microprobe 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: Douglas. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. USAF Sat Cat: 25606 . COSPAR: 1999-001B.

2000 January 3 - .
  • Galileo, Europa 26 Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Galileo.

2001 January 3 - .
  • Advent completes construction of full-scale propulsion system. - . Nation: USA. Program: X-Prize. Summary: Advent Launch Systems (Houston, Texas, USA) completes construction of full-scale propulsion system..

2002 January 3 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ-1. Launch Vehicle: CZ-1D. FAILURE: Launch vehicle failure..
  • CZ-1 Missile Technology Test - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Summary: Chinese People's Liberation Army test launch with dummy warhead. Suborbital - failure. Delayed from early November 2001..

2003 January 3 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report #03-1 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bowersox; Budarin; Pettit; Ross. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-6. The Year 2003 began quietly for the International Space Station Expedition 6 crew. Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit crossed the international date line 15 times during the last day of 2002, officially greeting the new year at midnight Greenwich Mean Time during their sleep shift. The first day of the new year involved only a few routine maintenance tasks, exercise and time off for the crew. Additional Details: International Space Station Status Report #03-1 .

2003 January 3 - .
  • Death of Charles H Feltz - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Feltz. Summary: Leading American space engineer. At North American 1940-1981. Chief Engineer on X-15, Apollo, and Space Shuttle. 1974-1981 served as Rockwell corporate trouble-shooter..

2004 January 3 - .
  • Spirit Rover Mars Landing - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: MER.

2006 January 3 - .
  • Death of Stuart Row Childs. After a brief illness. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Childs. Summary: American test pilot. Flew the X-1B..

2008 January 3 - .
  • ISS On-Orbit Status 01/03/08 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Love; Malenchenko; Tani; Whitson; Williams, Dave. Program: ISS. Flight: ISS EO-16; ISS EO-16-1. CDR Whitson and FE-2 Tani started out with the daily reading of SLEEP (Sleep-Wake Actigraphy and Light Exposure during Spaceflight) experiment data accumulated during the night, for logging and filling in questionnaire entries in the SLEEP 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.)

    Dr. Whitson conducted her first clinical blood analysis of the US PHS (Periodic Health Status) with Blood Labs exam. Afterwards, all PHS hardware was stowed again. (The PHS exam, with PCBA (Portable Clinical Blood Analyzer) analysis and clinical evaluation, is guided by special software (IFEP, in-flight examination program) on the MEC (Medical Equipment Computer). While PCBA analyzes total blood composition, the blood's hematocrit is particularly measured by the Russian MO-10 protocol.) Additional Details: ISS On-Orbit Status 01/03/08.


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