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    Архив RU.SPACE.NEWS за 03 марта 1999


    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Если деньги на станцию "Мир" будут найдены, то следующими на Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Если деньги на станцию "Мир" будут найдены, то следующими на нее полетят Сергей Залетин и Александр Калери По сообщению РИА "Hовости", определены составы основного и дублирующего экипажей 28-й экспедиции на станцию "Мир". Командиром основного экипажа назначен Сергей Залетин, бортинженером - Александр Калери. По постановлению правительства, полет станции со второй половины 1999 года должен осуществляться за счет привлекаемых внебюджетных средств. Поиск инвесторов будет вестись до апреля, и если деньги не будут найдены, то в августе станция "Мир" будет затоплена в Тихом океане. Программа полета экипажа, находящегося сейчас на "Мире, предусматривает оба варианта развития событий. Если поиск денег будет успешным, то на станцию должен быть готов лететь новый экипаж, который сменит работающих сейчас Виктора Афанасьева, Сергея Авдеева и французского космонавта Жан-Пьера Эньере. Завершение их миссии запланировано на 23 августа. Александр Калери уже совершил два космических полета, Залетин был дублером вернувшегося накануне на Землю командира экипажа 26-й экспедиции Геннадия Падалки. Дублирующий экипаж - Салижан Шарипов и Павел Виноградов. Шарипов в январе прошлого года совершил полет в составе экипажа шаттла Endeavor, который состыковался с "Миром". Виноградов в 1997 г. входил в состав 24-й экспедиции на станцию "Мир". По словам только что вернувшегося со станции бортинженера Сергея Авдеева, состояние орбитального комплекса сейчас "очень хорошее". По мнению специалистов, станцию, находящуюся в полете 14-й год, можно эксплуатировать еще как минимум три года. Ежегодно на ее обслуживание требуется около 250 млн дол. Источник: InfoArt News Agency Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Экипаж станции "Мир" выращивает пшеницу Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Экипаж станции "Мир" выращивает пшеницу В обширной научной программе нынешнего экипажа станции "Мир" есть и сельскохозяйственные эксперименты. Сейчас экипаж собирается выращивать второе поколение "космической" пшеницы из семян, полученных в выросших ранее на станции колосьях. Космонавты Геннадий Падалка и Сергей Авдеев впервые в мире получили семена пшеницы, выросшей на орбите. Сбор урожая состоялся 26 февраля. Часть семян 28 февраля доставили на Землю Геннадий Падалка и словацкий космонавт-исследователь Иван Белла. Теперь их будут изучать в Институте медико-биологических проблем. Еще 10 "космических" семян оставшиеся на станции Виктор Афанасьев, Сергей Авдеев и француз Жан-Пьер Эньере посадят снова. Если они вырастут, то это будет второе поколение семян "космической" пшеницы. Раньше на "Мире" пытались выращивать разные растения, но семена получать не удавалось. Семена были получены только у пшеницы сорта "Апогей", который специально был создан для будущих систем жизнеобеспечения. Источник: InfoArt News Agency Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: Запущен российский спутник связи "Радуга-1" Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Запущен российский спутник связи "Радуга-1" 28 февраля в 7 ч 00 мин по московскому времени с космодрома Байконур стартовала ракета-носитель "Протон-К", которая вывела на геосинхронную орбиту спутник "Радуга-1". Спутник будет обеспечивать службы правительственной и военной связи. Hа орбите уже находятся несколько спутников такого класса. Это был второй запуск ракеты "Протон" в этом году. Две недели назад ракета "Протон" вывела на орбиту американский коммуникационный спутник Telstar-6. Следующий старт "Протона" будет коммерческим - на март намечен запуск спутника связи AsiaSat 3S. Источник: InfoArt News Agency Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews - 1 March 1999 [1/6] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... S P A C E V I E W S Issue 1999.03.01 1999 March 1 http://www.spaceviews.com/1999/03/ *** News *** NASA Considers Early Hubble Repairs at Budget Briefing NASA Continues to Wait on Service Module Russia Seeks More Money for ISS Work Soyuz Returns Two Cosmonauts to Earth Rotary Announces Roton Rollout Mars Global Surveyor Ready for Mapping Mission Delta, Ariane Launches Successful Canada, France Get Stable Space Budgets SpaceViews Event Horizon Other News *** Articles *** Spy in the Sky *** News *** NASA Considers Early Hubble Repairs at Budget Briefing NASA is considering plans to move up a shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope to keep the telescope operational, the space agency head told Congress Wednesday, February 24. During testimony before the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee, NASA administrator Dan Goldin said that problems with Hubble's gyros, used to maintain the telescope's orientation, may force NASA to move up a Hubble servicing mission planned for mid-2000 to as early as this October. A decision to move up the repair mission is under study and could be announced within the next few days, Goldin said when asked by Rep. George Brown (D-CA), ranking minority member of the subcommittee. Speaking on CNN early Thursday, Goldin said a decision on moving up the mid-2000 mission, or adding a separate mission devoted to just to replacing the faulty gyros, would be made on Friday, February 26. No decision was announced, but a decision is expected this week. Hubble has six gyros, although only three are needed for normal telescope operations. Two of the gyros failed in the last two years, and a third is experiencing problems. Should two more gyros fail, Hubble would be put into a safe mode that would preserve the spacecraft until repairs could be made, but would prevent normal use of the telescope. "What we're concerned about is losing the scientific data stream for a year or so," Goldin said. Rumors of an early repair mission have been spread for weeks, although as recently as early February Goldin himself downplayed any chance for such a mission. The shuttle mission scheduled for June 2000 to Hubble is designed to not only replace the gyros but to replace older instruments on Hubble with new versions, including an advanced camera for deep-space surveys. The camera would not be ready for an October 1999 repair mission, but would have to wait for another repair mission in mid- to late-2000. Goldin was on Capitol Hill to discuss the planned fiscal year (FY) 2000 budget with members of the House. Despite an $87 million cut in funding for NASA in 2000 compared to FY1999, Goldin was optimistic about NASA's budget and its outlook. "[The FY2000 budget] is the first budget in five years which reflects an increase in the outyears," Goldin said, referring to projections for small increases in NASA funding after 2000. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), chair of the subcommittee, was less enthused about the budget, but focused his ire on the Clinton Administration, not NASA. "At a time when NASA has made real progress, this Administration's FY2000 budget seems ungrateful at best," he said. "I am concerned about the Administration's continuing approach to funding NASA relative to other agencies," Rohrabacher said, noting that overall civilian research and development funding is up 3 percent in the FY2000 budget. "Everyone but NASA seems to be reaping the rewards of a balanced budget." NASA Continues to Wait on Service Module NASA will continue to wait on the oft-delayed Service Module, a major stumbling block for space station assembly, rather than use a backup module system under development, space agency officials said Thursday, February 25. In testimony at a hearing of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee, NASA associate administrator Joseph Rothenberg said he was "confident" that the Service Module had overcome funding problems and would launch by the end of the year. NASA has worked with the Naval Research Labs to develop the Interim Control Module (ICM), a module that could be used to provide propulsion to the station should the Service Module continue to be delayed. However, Rothenberg said the ICM will be held back for possible future uses. Saying it was more cost effective not to use the ICM now, Rothenberg explained that if the ICM were attached to the current International Space Station assembly, the station's propulsion needs would be met, but no life support or other features needed for the station to be habitable would be available. Those features are provided by the Service Module, which would not be able to dock to the station with the ICM also attached without a special shuttle flight to "reconfigure the stack" by removing the ICM. NASA prefers to hold the ICM in reserve until later in the ISS project, as a contingency option should Russia be unable to provide the Progress spacecraft that would help reboost the station in addition to ferrying supplies. When asked by subcommittee chairman Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) if this was a change in policy from a year ago, Rothenberg agreed. Rothenberg said the Service Module is undergoing testing and will be shipped to the Baikonur launch site as early as mid-April, pending a general design review in early April. Delays in the testing phase of development, which Rothenberg said he was confident were just "typical integration and test problems", could delay the launch to as late as November or December of this year. With the first elements of the station in orbit, there seems little appetite in Congress to revamp or cut the station program. However, Rohrabacher, a long-time critic of putting Russia in the "critical path" of space station development, said that it was "prudent for us to take steps now so if the Russians go under we will not be dependent on them." Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews - 1 March 1999 [2/6] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Russia Seeks More Money for ISS Work The Russian Space Agency wants to sell the United States more equipment to help provide more money for its International Space Station commitments, officials said this week. NASA administrator Dan Goldin expressed an interest during Congressional testimony this week in purchasing equipment like extra Soyuz spacecraft, but has no money in the proposed fiscal year 2000 budget for those items. "We received indications that it is a possible area of interaction when we can provide some potential services for our partners," Alexei Krasnov, deputy head of the Russian Space Agency's international cooperation department, told Reuters after meeting with NASA officials. Those services, Krasnov said, "can help us out with the addition of off-budgetary, above-budget resources that can be used for the [ISS] program." Last fall, NASA agreed to purchase Russia's share of research time on the station during the assembly phase for $60 million. The deal came after plans to purchase one or more Soyuz spacecraft, which can be used as crew return vehicles, fell through. However, NASA officials told Reuters that the Soyuz spacecraft may be on the table again, as well as the backup to the Zarya control module, which could be adapted for use as a cargo module for ISS. "We're trying to get a proposal, I guess you would call it, from them on what their plan is for the Mir and how they plan to support that, how it affects ISS resources," Mike Baker of NASA's Moscow office told Reuters. "And then if we can, armed with that information, we can purchase some crew return vehicles or something like that." In a prepared opening statement before the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee Wednesday, February 24, administrator Goldin said NASA was open to purchasing more equipment from Russia. While the current budget includes $100 million for Russian purchases, "this [2000] budget includes no provision for purchases from Russia in FY 2000 and beyond." However, in later questioning, Goldin said NASA's other international partners need to step up and support Russia financially as well. "Our partners need to reach out and help the Russians," he said, pointing to one small agreement between ESA and Russia as an example. Soyuz Returns Two Cosmonauts to Earth A Russian Soyuz capsule safely returned to Earth late Saturday, February 27, carrying two cosmonauts from the Mir space station. The Soyuz TM-28 capsule touched down on the snow-covered steppes of Kazakhstan at 9:14 pm EST February 27 (0214 UT Feb. 28), a little more than three hours after the capsule undocked from Mir. The two cosmonauts on the capsule, Russian Gennady Padalka and Slovak Ivan Bella, were reported in good condition after the landing. Padalka had spent six months on Mir as station commander, while Bella had only been on Mir since Monday, February 22 as a guest cosmonaut. Bella performed a number of experiments as part of the Stefanik scientific program, named after a Slovak scientist and politician of the early 20th century. Those experiments included studying quail eggs that hatched on the station and other biological experiments. Remaining on Mir are new commander Viktor Afanasyev and French guest cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Haignere, who arrived at Mir Monday with Bella in Soyuz TM-29, and flight engineer Sergei Avdeyev, who was been on Mir since last August. This three-man crew is likely the last to remain on the station. Russian officials have indicated that they would like to extend the life of the station, but cannot afford to do so without private investors. Energia, the company that operates Mir for the Russian Space Agency, claimed in December to have found a foreign investor, but that investor has since apparently backed out. The identity of the investor was never revealed. The current crew will remain on Mir until August. If no additional support is found for Mir the station will be deorbited shortly thereafter. Rotary Announces Roton Rollout Rotary Rocket will roll out the first test version of its Roton reusable launch vehicle on Monday, March 1, the company announced this week. Rotary will roll out the Roton Atmospheric Test Vehicle (ATV) at a ceremony at Rotary's facility at the Mojave, California, airport. It will be the first public display of the 19-meter (63-foot) tall vehicle. The ATV will be used to test the flight characteristics of the Roton in the atmosphere, using its unique -- for a spacecraft -- rotors, powered by small rocket engines near the tips of the blades. Piloted flight tests are slated to begin in a few weeks. The ATV lacks the rocket engines that will be used to boost the spacecraft into orbit. Rotary is planning another test vehicle, the PTV, that will test the spacecraft's rockets. Assembly of the PTV is scheduled to begin this summer, with test flights early next year. The operational version of the Roton, known as the Roton C-9, will be able to place 3,200 kg (7,000 lbs.) into low Earth orbit at a cost of $2,200 per kg ($1,000 per lb.), significantly less than current expendable launch vehicles. The Roton C-9 is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2000. "The rollout of the Roton represents the beginning of a new era in access to space," said Rick Tumlinson, president of the Space Frontier Foundation, one of the cosponsors of the rollout ceremony. "If this project is successful it will open the high frontier not just to astronauts, but for ticket purchasing passengers -- and within a couple of years -- not decades." The rollout ceremony will feature speeches by government and industry officials, including Patti Smith, FAA associate administrator for commercial space transportation; Lori Garver, NASA associate administrator for policy and plans; and author Tom Clancy, a leading investor in Rotary Rocket. The rollout will be broadcast on the Web from 2-4 pm EST (1900-2100 UT) at the site http://rollout.org. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews - 1 March 1999 [3/6] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... Mars Global Surveyor Ready for Mapping Mission The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) successfully entered its final mapping orbit February 19, and will soon begin to return detailed images and other data of the Martian surface and atmosphere. Mission controllers at JPL, though, are taking precautions to return some data before undertaking the somewhat risky maneuver to deploy the spacecraft's high-gain antenna. A thruster burn at 5:20 pm EST (2220 UT) February 19 lowered the spacecraft into its final orbit 367 kilometers (229 miles) above the surface. The spacecraft had been in a slightly higher orbit, 405 km (253 mi.), since the end of aerobraking earlier in the month. The Sun-synchronous mapping orbit means that the spacecraft will pass over the equator of the planet, traveling south to north, at 2 p.m. local time. This orbit will permit accurate comparisons of different regions of the planet, since they will all be viewed at the same local time and Sun angle. After fine-tuning the orbit and calibrating the spacecraft's instruments, MGS will begin returning science data on March 8. For the first three weeks MGS will keep its high-gain antenna in its stowed position, requiring the spacecraft to stop collecting data so that the spacecraft and antenna can turn to face the Earth and transmit data. Controllers are hesitant to immediately deploy the antenna, which would then be able to transmit data to Earth without turning the rest of the spacecraft, because of possible problems with the antenna's deployment system. A large spring on MGS is designed to push the antenna out, with dampers in place to limit the speed of deployment. Engineers, though, have noticed problems with similar damper structures used to deploy solar panels on other spacecraft. Should the dampers fail, the antenna or spacecraft could be damaged, endangering the spacecraft's capability to return data. Antenna deployment is scheduled for March 29, pending a mid-March decision on the deployment from NASA headquarters. When the problem was first noticed last year, project officials considered delaying the deployment by up to nine months, so the MGS would be able to serve as a radio relay for the two Deep Space Two microprobes, as planned. Regardless of the antenna concerns, those involved with the project are very happy to be in the final mapping orbit, one year later than planned after problems with a loose solar panel delayed the aerobraking phase of the mission. "Reaching our mapping orbit has been a long time coming for all involved," said MGS project scientist Arden Albee. "We are delighted to finally be able to do this mission as it was designed." Delta, Ariane Launches Successful The eleventh time was the charm for a Delta 2 rocket that finally launched a payload of three satellites early Tuesday, February 23, while an Ariane booster lifted off several days later. The Delta 2 lifted off at 5:30 am EST (1030 UT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch was delayed briefly by a problem with the launch range, but no problems were reported with the launch, and all three satellites s were successfully deployed in orbit. This was the eleventh launch attempt for the Delta 2 since January 15. Most of the launch attempts were scrubbed by poor weather. A launch attempt January 28 was aborted less than two seconds before launch when a valve failed to open in one of the steering engines on the booster. The last launch attempt, February 13, was called off when a momentary spike was observed in one of the power systems for the rocket's electronics. The primary payload of the Delta 2 is the Air Force's Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite (ARGOS) Its nine payloads will perform upper atmospheric observations and technology demonstrations. Experiments will range from tests of sensors planned for use on the International Space Station to studies of orbital debris. Two smaller satellites were also launched on the Delta. The Oersted satellite, from Denmark, will study the Earth's magnetic fields and electrical properties. Sunsat, a microsatellite built by the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, will perform remote sensing and amateur radio experiments. An Ariane 44L lifted off on schedule at 5:44 pm EST (2244 UT) Friday, February 26, from Kourou, French Guiana. No problems were reported with the launch or the deployment of the Arabsat 3A and Skynet 4E satellites. Arabsat 3A will provide direct TV broadcasts, phone, and data services in an area that includes the countries of the Arab League as well as southern Europe. Skynet 4E will be used to provide strategic and tactical communications for Great Britain's armed forces. The next Ariane launch is scheduled for April 2, when an Ariane 42P will launch the Insat 2E communications and weather satellite for the Indian Space Research Organization. Canada, France Get Stable Space Budgets Both Canada and France, two key partners in the International Space Station and other international projects, will get relatively stable space budgets in 1999, with Canada in particular avoiding devastating cuts, according to budget figures released earlier in the month. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which will mark its tenth anniversary March 1, will get C$350 million (US$233 million) in the 1999 budget, a small increase from the C$346 million (US$231 million) the CSA got in 1998. More importantly, however, are revised projections for future CSA budgets. A 1997 plan called for drastic cuts in the CSA's budget, reducing the agency to a mere C$50 million (US$33 million) by 2002. Those budgets, if enacted, would have threatened Canada's role in the International Space Station and other projects. However, as part of an initiative to build a strong economy through "knowledge and innovation", the Canadian government has increased the CSA's budget by a total of C$430 million (US$287 million) over the next three years. Those increases, and planned increased in future years, will allow CSA's budget to level out at around C$300 million (US$200 million). Hugues Gilbert, director of strategic development for CSA, told Space News that without the new money it would have been "almost impossible" to continue to be a part of ISS. He said there are no definite plans for spending the additional funding the agency will get in future budgets. Meanwhile, the budget for Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, will get 1.39 billion euros (US$1.53 billion), an increase of 0.8% over 1998's budget, according to CNES documents released in February. The bulk of CNES's budget is focused on two projects. Earth observation studies, in particular the Spot-5 satellite under development, will get 437.1 million euros ($480 million), while planned upgrades for the Ariane 5 will cost 425.6 million euros ($468 million). Smaller amounts are devoted to scientific research, telecommunications systems, and operations. CNES officials told Space News that the agency is working to transform itself from a government-like bureaucracy to something akin to an innovative high-tech company, by partnering with French companies on satellite projects such as Alcatel's SkyBridge communications satellite project. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews - 1 March 1999 [4/6] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... SpaceViews Event Horizon March 1 Pegasus XL launch of the WIRE science satellite at 9:51 pm EST (0251 UT March 2) from off the coast of Vandenberg AFB, California March 1 Rollout of the Roton ATV, Mojave Airport, California March 7-13 Spaceweek -- simultaneous pro-space events around the globe March 10 Soyuz launch of of Progress M-41 resupply spacecraft from Baikonur, Kazakhstan March 11 Soyuz-Ikar launch of four Globalstar satellites from Baikonur, Kazakhstan March 14 Zenit 3SL launch of a dummy payload from the Sea Launch platform in the Pacific Ocean March 21-26 ProSpace March Storm, Washington, DC April 5-8 National Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colorado April 22-24 Space Access '99, Phoenix, Arizona Other News China Plans Manned Launch: China is making "advanced preparations" for a manned space flight, the BBC reported last week. Three tracking ships have been overhauled and assigned to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans to track what Chinese TV describes as a "new type of spacecraft." The tracking fleet has never been deployed this way before, leading to speculation that a manned flight, using a capsule derived from the Russian Soyuz, may come in the near future. Proton Launch: A Russian Proton rocket launched a military communications satellite February 28. The Proton-K launched the Raduga-1 satellite at 11:00 pm EST Feb. 27 (0400 UT Feb. 28) from Baikonur. The satellite will join a series of geosynchronous communications satellites used for military and government communications. The Proton launch was the second in less than two weeks: a Proton launched the American Telstar-6 satellite February 15. X-34, Shuttle News: The first X-34 test vehicle has been shipped to the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, NASA announced February 26. This test article will be used in ground tests and "captive carry" tests when it will be flown, but not released, from its L-1011 carrier aircraft. Flight tests of the X-34, using a different vehicle, are planned for later this year from White Sands in New Mexico and later from Kennedy Space Center... While the X-34 tests technologies for future RLVs, the current RLV, the shuttle, will be the subject of a conference this June to discuss upgrades to keep the shuttle flying through the next decade and beyond, if necessary. The conference, sponsored by shuttle operations contractor United Space Alliance and NASA, will take place June 10-11 near Houston. Satellite Sale Denied: The Clinton Administration has rejected the planned $600 million sale of communications satellites by Hughes to China, fearing technology transfer concerns. While the Commerce Department supported the sale, officials at the State and Defense Departments rejected approval of the sale. Satellite industry officials expressed concern that the rejected sale could hurt future U.S. business with China. Two Views of Mars: As reported last month, Brian DePalma has signed on to direct "Mission to Mars", a movie about the second human expedition to Mars, seeking to understand why radio contact was lost with the first just as they landed. DePalma was selected because he has an "overwhelming passion for the study of Mars", Variety reported. The movie, starring Don Cheadle and Gary Sinise (Ken Mattingly in "Apollo 13"), will likely be one of Disney's major movies for the summer of 2000... One person you may not see in line for its premiere, though, is Dan Goldin. Towards the end if his Congressional testimony last week, Goldin commented about how he had seen people at NASA and elsewhere wearing buttons like "Mars or Bust". "I'd like these people to take them off," he said with more than a hint of frustration, because he believes getting the International Space Station done is a far higher priority. In Brief: Another launch site has been proposed for Australia, the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) reported February 25. The United Space Launch Company International would like to set up a site near Gladstone, Queensland to launch Unity boosters, a Russian design not yet tested. A public announcement of the launch site plans is expected in the next few weeks, a company spokesman told ABC... They're at it again. About 20 people gathered outside the gates of the Kennedy Space Center Saturday, February 27, to protest the use of plutonium on spacecraft, Florida Today reported. They expressed their concerns about Cassini, which will make a not-so-close flyby of Earth in August, and future missions that might use radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Another protest is scheduled for June 12. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews - 1 March 1999 [5/6] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... *** Articles *** Spy in the Sky by Andrew J. LePage The Advanced Reconnaissance System As the Cold War deepened in the 1950s, Americans developed an ever worsening case of paranoia about the Soviet Union. These fears were heightened not only by Soviet propaganda but also by the lack of any substantive information about Soviet forces deep behind the borders of this enormous and secretive country. Based on the sobering conclusions drawn during White House meetings between Eisenhower and his top science advisors, the USAF issued General Operational Requirement No. 80 on March 16, 1955. This document authorized the development several new systems to obtain photographs over Soviet territory. One of the systems to be developed was called "Aquatone". Better known as the U-2, this jet-powered aircraft was designed to photograph the Soviet Union while flying out of reach of their air defense systems. While flights starting in July of 1956 returned much valuable intelligence, the aircraft was tracked from the start by Soviet radar and MiG fighters. USAF and CIA officials knew it would only be a matter of time before an incident stopped U-2 flights over the Soviet Union. With this and the threat of Soviet protests blowing the cover on this classified (and technically illegal) effort, Eisenhower eventually authorized only two dozen missions over Soviet territory until 1960. The next new reconnaissance program became known as WS-117L (Weapon System-117L). Eventually run by the USAF's Western Development Division of the Air Research and Development Command under General Bernard A. Schriever, this program called for the development of a reconnaissance satellite capable of returning detailed images of the Soviet Union from orbit. Since the end of World War II there had been a number of studies performed on satellites and their uses including reconnaissance. The one that had the greatest impact was the classified "Project Feed Back" study of the Rand Corporation published on March 1, 1954. The culmination of a series of USAF-sponsored studies at Rand, the report outlined the development a television-equipped satellite that would orbit 480 kilometers (300 miles) above the Earth taking images that were 600 kilometers (375 miles) across with a resolution of 44 meters (144 feet). As this detailed study circulated through the USAF, it generated much interest and convinced many that a recon satellite was actually feasible. America's First Satellite Program With the need for more advanced studies, one year contracts were awarded to Lockheed, Glenn L. Martin Co., and RCA under the codename "Pied Piper" in 1955. By July 1956 the development plan for the covert WS-117L program (also known as the Advanced Reconnaissance System) was approved. This was two months before Vanguard was publicly chosen as America's "official" satellite program making WS-117L the nation's first (albeit secret) satellite program. In October 1956 Lockheed, who had also built the U-2, received the contract to develop the new recon satellite. But with an initial allocation of only $3 million, satellite reconnaissance was obviously still a low priority with military leaders. Despite the lack of funds, the planning and system development for WS-117L proceeded. After it was shown that a television-based system would be inadequate for reconnaissance, the clearly preferred option became a film readout system launched on an Atlas ICBM. This system would expose its film and develop it in orbit for subsequent scanning and transmission to Earth. The satellite would also carry a signal intelligence package and later infrared sensors would be added to detect missile launches. A relatively easy to develop, spin-stabilized photographic system was also studied. Launched on a Thor IRBM, this spacecraft would return exposed film inside a small return capsule and could provide an interim reconnaissance capability. These recon payloads would be attached to a Lockheed-built propulsion system that would also serve as the final stage of the launch system. This propulsion system would employ a modified Bell 8000-series rocket engine originally designed for a RATO (Rocket Assisted Take-Off) and auxiliary power system for the B-58 "Hustler" bomber. This stage, which along with its engine was also initially nicknamed "Hustler", would burn the storable, hypergolic propellants UDMH (unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine) and IRFNA (inhibited red fuming nitric acid). Eventually this adaptable propulsion system design would be employed as an upper stage in other programs under its eventual designation, Agena. But as planning for WS-117L crawled along through 1957, it was becoming clear that the program was moving too slowly. Along with the anxiety generated by the first Sputnik launches, the project's security was compromised with press reports referring to the supposedly secret project as "Big Brother" and "Spy in the Sky". Wanting to avoid public discussion about the sensitive subject of overhead reconnaissance while at the same time accelerating recon satellite development, the Eisenhower administration had to take drastic action to get the program back on track and under wraps. Project Corona Over the course of the 1958, the satellite reconnaissance program was totally restructured. Along with all the other military space programs, ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) took control of WS-117L when it was founded in February of 1958. In a bid to get a satellite reconnaissance capability at the earliest possible date, ARPA secretly spun-off the interim Thor-based film-return part of WS-117L on February 28 as a separate, highly classified program. Called "Project Corona", it would operate under the joint management of the CIA represented by Richard Bissell, Jr. and the USAF represented by Major General Osmond Ritland. Lockheed would continue as the prime contractor of this smaller, more focused effort. Itek was eventually chosen as the subcontractor for the camera while General Electric got the nod to develop the return capsule or SRV (Satellite Reentry Vehicle). In the end spin stabilization was dropped in favor of a three-axis stabilized design. At the bottom of the stack was the Agena stage that would place the payload in orbit and provide attitude control during the mission. Next was an unpressurized compartment weighing about 115 kilograms (250 pounds) and shaped like a truncated cone that would house the model "C" camera. The Itek-built camera would take 70-degree wide photographic swaths with a resolution of 12 meters (40 feet) from an orbit with a perigee of about 190 kilometers (120 miles). As the camera's acetate film was exposed, it would be fed into the SRV at the top of the stack. With a diameter of 83 centimeters(33 inches) a height of 69 centimeters (27 inches) and weighing about 135 kilograms (300 pounds), the SRV carried stabilizing spin rockets and a solid propellant retrorocket to start its descent from orbit. The exterior of the bowl-shaped SRV was coated with ablative material to serve as a heatshield during a nose first reentry. Inside was a "bucket" plated in gold to reflect heat away from the cargo of film. After reentry, a parachute would open and pull the bucket clear of the heatshield for the final leg of the descent. Like the manned space program, a water recovery was preferred but there was a danger that Soviet submarines might get to the payload before American naval forces. To avoid this, recovery by air was proposed. A C-119 cargo plane trailing a special rig would grab onto the parachute of the descending SRV and haul it inside. All together, the first Corona recon satellites would have an orbital mass of as much as 770 kilograms (1,700 pounds). Because of payload limitations, only enough film and other consumables were carried for a one-day mission. Launch would take place south over the Pacific from a modified Thor launch pad at the missile facilities at Cooke Air Force Base (renamed Vandenberg AFB in October 1958) into a near-polar orbit that allowed Corona to view Soviet territory in daylight during southward passes. This orbit also permitted the return command to be given as Corona passed over Alaska with the tricky air-recovery taking place in the Pacific south of Hawaii. Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=
    Дата: 03 марта 1999 (1999-03-03) От: Alexander Bondugin Тема: SpaceViews - 1 March 1999 [6/6] Привет всем! Вот, свалилось из Internet... The First Discoverer Launches As the USAF continued with the more complex WS-117L surveillance systems, development of the now independent Corona program proceeded at a frantic pace. While the small size of the Corona team made it easier to conceal the program from the public, by early 1959 launches would begin making it impossible to easily hide the program any longer. A cover story was needed and on December 3, 1958 ARPA announced the Discoverer program. According to ARPA, Discoverer was a test program to develop new technologies required for the future and study the space environment. Biomedical experiments would also be flown and techniques to recover payloads from orbit perfected. The first Discoverer was ready for launch on January 21, 1959. This first flight was meant to test the new Thor-Agena combination with only a light engineering payload. With an orbital mass of only about 590 kilograms (1,300 pounds), no SRV was carried on this flight and no recovery would be attempted. But as the countdown reached T-60 minutes, the launch was aborted when explosive bolts holding the Thor and Agena together accidentally detonated and the Agena's ullage rockets fired. While the incident left the rocket and payload intact, there was enough damage to scrub the mission. The next flight, nicknamed "Flying Yankee", finally made it off the pad on February 28, 1959. As in the first attempt, Discoverer 1 was a simple engineering test and no recovery would be attempted. Everything seemed to have gone as planned but no transmissions from Discoverer 1 were ever received. Radar tracking hinted that it had achieved a 283 by 835 kilometer (176 by 519 mile) orbit and some engineers believed that the satellite's antennae were damaged when the payload shroud failed to cleanly separate. Despite this, it is now generally believed that Discoverer 1 failed to achieve orbit and crashed near the South Pole instead. The next mission, Discoverer 2, was launched on April 15, 1959. Discoverer 2 was not equipped with a camera but it did have an SRV carrying a biomedical payload. For the first time, an attempt would be made to recover a payload from orbit. The SRV was ejected after 17 orbits as planned but a programming error caused the retrorocket to fire early bringing the capsule down near Norway's Spitsbergen Islands. Reportedly some residents of the island saw the descending capsule. There are also strong indications that the Soviets were able to quickly find and recover the capsule for themselves. Subsequent American-sponsored searches found nothing and were finally abandoned on April 23. Discoverer 3, launched on June 3 carried a "crew" of four black mice but the countdown was stopped when the humidity inside the capsule read 100%. After it was determined that in fact the mice had urinated on the sensor (thus yielding a false reading), the launch proceeded. Unfortunately the Agena guidance system failed during ascent and Discoverer 3 never made it into orbit. Partly because of protests from animal rights activist over the death of these mice and other animals launched into space, this would be the last Discoverer mission to carry live passengers. Bad luck continued to haunt the Corona/Discoverer program for the rest of 1959. Discoverer 4, launched on June 25, was the first to carry a camera but it failed to reach orbit when the Agena shutdown too early. Discoverer 5 launched on August 13 attempted the mission again. While the spacecraft made it into orbit, low temperatures caused the camera's battery to fail. The attempt to recover the SRV also failed. The spin rockets meant to stabilize the SRV did not ignite and the retrorocket fired in the wrong direction. Several months later the SRV was found in an elongated orbit around the Earth. During the Discover 6 mission six day later, the camera malfunctioned after two orbits and the SRV failed to separate for recovery. Discoverer 7 launched on November 7 went out of control when the Agena's attitude control propellant ran out after only two orbits. Discoverer 8 launched on November 20 did only slightly better. The Agena guidance system malfunctioned and placed Discoverer 8 into a highly eccentric orbit. Once again the camera failed but the SRV did attempt to come home after 15 orbits. Unfortunately the parachute failed and the capsule was lost again. With a string of mission failures caused by a variety of malfunctions, many improvements would have to be made to the Corona/Discoverer spacecraft design. With much work ahead of them, a two month standdown was in effect until the reliability of this potential intelligence tool was improved. Bibliography Dwayne A. Day, "Corona: America's First Spy Satellite Program", Quest, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp.4-21, Summer 1995 Curtis Peebles, The Corona Project: America's First Spy Satellites, Naval Institute Press, 1997 Kevin C. Ruffner (editor), Corona: America's First Satellite Program, CIA, 1995 Author Drew LePage is a physicist and freelance writer specializing in astronomy and the history of spaceflight. He can be reached at lepage@visidyne.com. This has been the March 1, 1999, issue of SpaceViews. SpaceViews is also available on the World Wide web from the SpaceViews home page: http://www.spaceviews.com/ or via anonymous FTP from ftp.seds.org: ftp://ftp.seds.org/pub/info/newsletters/spaceviews/text/19990301.txt To unsubscribe from SpaceViews, send mail to: majordomo@spaceviews.com In the body (not subject) of the message, type: unsubscribe spaceviews For editorial questions and article submissions for SpaceViews, including letters to the editor, contact the editor, Jeff Foust, at jeff@spaceviews.com For questions about the SpaceViews mailing list, please contact spaceviews-approval@spaceviews.com. ____ | "SpaceViews" (tm) -by Boston Chapter // \ // | of the National Space Society (NSS) // (O) // | Dedicated to the establishment // \___// | of a spacefaring civilization. - To NOT receive future newsletters, send this message to our NEW address: - To: majordomo@SpaceViews.com - Subject: anything - unsubscribe SpaceViews - E-Mail List services provided by Northern Winds: www.nw.net - SpaceViews (tm) is published for the National Space Society (NSS), - copyright (C) Boston Chapter of National Space Society - www.spaceviews.com www.nss.org (jeff@spaceviews.com) Hа сегодня все, пока! =SANA=

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