Excerpts from Mike Gruntman's Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry , AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004 (Winner of 2006 Award from the International Academy of Astronautics IAA), Chapter 15 "Breakthrough."
(Book detailed table of contents; list of figures)
p. 345 – comparative sizes of first Soviet and American space launchers
p. 375 – comparative sizes and masses of Sputnik 1, Explorer 1, and Vanguard 1
p. 376 – timeline of major developments on the road to the ICBM and first satellites
The history of the words of science
astronautics and cosmonautics
and the space pioneers who introduced them
The Road to Space. The First Thousand Year (video)
Yuri A. Gagarin
Socks for the First Cosmonaut of Planet Earth
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Chapter 15. The Breakthrough (60 pages with 35 photos and figures; most figures not shown in the web version); from Blazing the Trail
Chapter 15 –contents:
Origins of Soviet ICBM. Mikhail Tikhonravov. Rocket packet. R-7 ICBM. Engines of Valentin Glushko. Vassilii Mishin and rocket suspension. Sergei Korolev. R-7 and Atlas. Difficult launches. Disintegrated warhead. Grigorii Kisunko. R-7 (SS-6) deployed. Artificial satellite. International Geophysical Year (IGY). Object D. “We are asking for permission …” Simplest satellite PS. Launch on 4 October 1957. Sputnik in orbit. Korolev under his real name. Two new stars. Chief designers of space systems. Unexpected Sputnik's radio frequencies. Crowning achievement. Rivalry in rocket and space establishment. Glushko's Energia-Buran. Veil of secrecy. Chief Designer Sergei Korolev and Chief Theoretician Mstislav Keldysh. Beginning of the R-7 Semyorka. Loadstar speaking for socialism. American reaction to Sputnik. Poor state of science education. Space Pearl Harbor. Soviet and American education and science. Chose to remain uninformed. Sputnik impact underestimated. Lack of priority. Chosen to be beaten. Object D launched. American rockets close the gap. Manned spaceflight. Soviet Vostok program. First man in space - Yurii Gagarin. Tireless care of Communist Party. Explorer and Vanguard. IGY. Project Orbiter. NRL proposal. Killian Report. President’s announcement and Soviet response. Stewart Committee. Selection of Vanguard and termination of Orbiter. NRL and Martin teams. New launch vehicle. Power plant. Comprehensive program. Minitrack. Worldwide network. Predecessor of STDN. Optical tracking system. Precise time. Computers for satellite tracking. Scientific instruments. Success of TV-0 and TV-1. Baby satellite. Solar cells. Attention focuses on Vanguard. Jupiter C. Hydyne. 20 September 1956. “Missed the boat in 1956.” TV-3 explodes. Army leaders at Redstone. Medaris charges ahead. Microlock. Discovery of radiation belts. Micrometeorite sensors. Passive thermal control. Spacecraft spin. Explorer 1 in orbit. Evolution of Explorer 1 spin axis. Dancing in the streets of Huntsville. Vanguard 1 in orbit. The oldest man-made object in orbit. Birth of NASA. Freedom of space accepted. National space effort. Presidential science advisor. National debate. Scientific-technological elite. National Aeronautics and Space Act. T. Keith Glennan. NACA centers. Transfer of JPL. Marshall Space Flight Center. Beltsville Space Center. Science and applications. Communication satellites. Echo satellites. Manned Spacecraft Center. Seven Mercury astronauts. Space report card for 1960. Kennedy challenges the nation. “I believe we should go to the Moon.”
The road to the American satellite was bumpy, to say the least. The early enthusiasm about Earth-orbiting satellites in the immediate after-the-war years had gradually dissipated as a result of lack of government support. Not all activities, fortunately, stopped: dedicated space enthusiasts continued to publish scientific articles advocating small research satellites, and RAND was evaluating the utility of spacecraft for overhead reconnaissance.
The same exigencies of the Cold War that had called for the ICBM pointed to satellite reconnaissance as a top national security priority. The studies performed by RAND with close participation of industrial contractors culminated in a report, issued in March 1954, on the Project Feed Back describing a military satellite equipped with a television camera. In addition, technology was rapidly advancing in many areas important for spacecraft, such as invention of the transistor in 1947 and practical (silicon-based with reasonable efficiency) solar cells in 1953, enabling significantly more efficient and capable satellites.
Several converging developments in the early 1950s would lead to the American satellite. In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions approved the concept of the International Geophysical Year. Subsequently, the National Academy of Sciences formed the United States National Committee for the IGY. The Committee was chaired by Joseph Kaplan who headed the University of California's Institute of Geophysics, later known as Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), since its foundation in 1944.
An American scientist, Lloyd V. Berkner, was a key figure in formulating and advancing the concept of the IGY. Subsequently he served as vice president of a special international committee arranging and coordinating the IGY activities. At its meeting in Rome, Italy, in October 1954, the committee accepted a proposal by American scientists (Berkner, Kaplan, Fred Singer, Homer E. Newell, Jr., James Van Allen, and several others) to recommend "that the thought be given to the launching of small satellite vehicles, to their scientific instrumentation, and to the new problems associated with the satellite experiments ..." (Green and Lomask 1971, 23). The National Academy of Sciences actively advocated and lobbied through various parts of the Eisenhower administration the idea of preparing and launching American scientific satellites as part of the IGY.
Thus by the middle of 1955, there had been satellite programs under consideration by the National Academy of Sciences, by the Army, and by the Navy. In addition, the Air Force continued studies of large and complex reconnaissance satellite systems. Launching a satellite was also supported by the American Rocket Society that in November 1954 approached the director of the National Science Foundation, Alan T. Waterman, suggesting a study of the utility of an Earth-circling vehicle.
On 14 February 1955, the Technological Capabilities Panel (of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Office of Defense Mobilization) headed by James R. Killian, Jr., issued a report "Meeting the Threat of Surprise Attack." This was the same Killian Report that played an important role in accelerating development of the ICBM. The report recommended an immediate initiation of a program aimed at launching an American scientific satellite with the goal of asserting the principle of freedom of space.
By May 1955 the National Security Council endorsed and President Eisenhower approved a decision to launch artificial satellites as a U.S. contribution to the International Geophysical Year. The new policy specifically required that satellites should not distract resources from the Air Force's top-priority ICBM. Testing the principle of freedom of space by a scientific satellite was considered critically important for future satellite reconnaissance, and the new program had to demonstrate the right of overflight by spacecraft. Satellite reconnaissance became a top national security priority especially in the light of the rejection of the Eisenhower's open skies proposal by the Soviet leader Khrushchev at the Geneva summit of the Big Four powers in July 1955.
American plans to launch scientific satellites were announced on 29 July 1955, when President's Press Secretary James C. Haggerty made the following statement: "On behalf of the President, I am now announcing that the President has approved plans for this country for going ahead with the launching of small earth-circling satellites as part of the United States participation in the International Geophysical Year." The statement avoided any link to the national security rationale and designated the civilian National Science Foundation to direct the program, with "logistic and technical support" of the Department of Defense. American scientific satellites were thus clearly decoupled from any military applications.
American government deliberately played down the role of satellites in the future and in funding priorities. The military particularly had been instructed to avoid any mentioning of military space applications in public in order not to trigger debate over freedom of space. Many years later Bernard Schriever was still fuming about this policy and its consequences. "In 1957," recalled Schriever in 1972,
I made a speech at a joint symposium in San Diego about how the missile program was really creating the foundation for space. The day after I made the speech I got a wire signed by Secretary [of Defense] Wilson telling me never to use the word space again in any of my speeches. In October , Sputnik came along, and for the next 18 months or so after, I was going back and forth to Washington at least four times a month testifying before committees or meeting in the Pentagon as to why we couldn't move faster in the missile program. (Schriever 1972, 60)
Although it might have been a wise policy for assuring the acceptance of future space reconnaissance missions, the Eisenhower administration clearly underestimated the prestige, national pride, and psychological factors of a satellite launch.
Eisenhower's approval of launching scientific satellites had thus set the American policy, and the Department of Defense was charged with its implementation. Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald A. Quarles appointed a special panel, the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Special Capabilities, under JPL's Homer J. Stewart, to consider satellite proposals from the Army, based on Project Orbiter, and from the NRL, based on advancement of its Viking sounding rocket. (The Air Force also offered the Atlas B as a launcher should other satellite proposals be found unacceptable to meet the IGY goals. The Committee shelved this suggestion because of the danger of interference with the top-priority ICBM program.) In a contentious five-to-two vote in the early August, the Stewart Committee selected the NRL proposal, which would become known as the Vanguard program.
Classic space movies and videos Models of spacecraft and rocke ts
Project Orbiter advocated by ABMA's John Medaris and Wernher von Braun had thus been terminated. As Medaris described it later in Senate hearings, "the decision was made that the national satellite effort would be the Vanguard effort, and no funds were available for any further work [by the Army Ordnance]" (Hearings 1958, 1699). When Medaris was asked whether it was "correct that at one point when expressed orders were sent down to the Army not to launch a satellite, auditors ... checked on your agency [ABMA] to make certain that the orders were obeyed," he replied that "there were some people who came down [to Huntsville] to take a look and be sure that I was not fudging" (Hearings 1958, 557).
The NRL was assigned the role of technical direction of the Vanguard program, with the Glenn L. Martin Company that built the Viking sounding rockets responsible for the new space launch vehicle. The NRL selected John P. Hagen, a superintendent of the NRL's Astronomy and Astrophysics Division, to head the Vanguard. Hagen was assisted by a number of leading NRL specialists: J. Paul Walsh (deputy director), Milton W. Rosen (technical director), Homer E. Newell (science programs coordinator), Thomas Jenkins (budget), Leopold Winkler (mechanical design), James M. Bridger (launch vehicle and senior NRL representative at the Martin Co.), Kurt R. Stehling (power plant), Frank H. Ferguson (control and guidance), Daniel G. Mazur (telemetry), John T. Mengel (tracking and guidance), Joseph W. Siry (orbital mechanics), James Flemming (data processing), and Robert Mackey (electronic instrumentation). At the peak of the program, the entire NRL group included 180 people.
Figure 15.16 (from: M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004). Launch sequence of the three-stage Vanguard rocket. Figure from Hearings (1958, 174).
The Martin team responsible for providing the Vanguard launch vehicle was led by N. Elliot Felt, Jr. (operations manager), Donald J. Markarian (project engineer), Robert Schlechter (head of field tests), Leonard Arnowitz (flight-path control), Mel Ruth (manufacturing manager), Guy Cohen (quality control), Joseph E. Burghardt, Russell Walters, and Sears Williams. The relations between the NRL and Martin were initially characterized by sharp differences on how the program should be structured and how much supervision the NRL team should exercise. Financially, the space launch vehicle was not especially attractive to Martin, particularly after it won a major Air Force contract in September 1955 to build the Titan ICBM. The company began promptly relocating many its best men to a new facility in Colorado.
The new Vanguard was unique among the early Soviet and American space launchers that deployed satellites in the late 1950s. It was the only rocket that did not emerge from the military missile programs and was specifically designed as a space launcher. The Vanguard launch vehicle consisted of three stages with the total fully-fueled mass 22,600 lb (10,250 kg).
Figure 15.9 (from: M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004). The first Soviet ICBM R-7 was significantly larger and heavier than the first American ICBM Atlas. The modified R-7 deployed the first artificial Earth satellite Sputnik and later launched the first cosmonaut Yurii Gagarin. The first American satellite Explorer I was put into orbit by the Juno-1, a variant of the Jupiter C modified for satellite launch. By the end of 1958, all three shown American rockets, Juno-1, Vanguard, and modified Atlas, launched satellites into Earth orbit. Figure courtesy of Mike Gruntman.
Early in the program, Martin's engineers decided to switch to a new liquid-propellant engine for the first stage, the General Electric's X-405, instead of the engines built by Reaction Motors, Inc., for the Viking. The X-405 was a regeneratively cooled turbopump-fed gimballed engine that used kerosene and liquid oxygen to produce 27,000 lbf (120 kN) thrust. Kerosene was used for regenerative cooling and decomposition of hydrogen peroxide powered the turbopump. The contract for the second stage was awarded to Aerojet. The Aerojet engine AJ10-118 provided 7500 lbf (33.4 kN) thrust and used pressure-fed unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine as fuel and white fuming nitric acid as oxidizer. The second stage also carried the Vanguard's guidance and control system manufactured by the Aeronautical and Ordnance Division of the Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company.
Thiokol found the requirements to a solid-propellant motor of the third stage unrealistic, and the Grand Central Rocket Company was subsequently selected to build the motor with 2800 lbf (12.5 kN) thrust. In addition, the Allegany Ballistic Laboratory developed a backup solid motor that flew in the last launched Vanguard vehicle in September 1959. The third stage was mounted on a turntable that was spun up by small solid-propellant thrusters produced by the Atlantic Research Corporation. The Allegany's solid motor, known as the Altair X-248, and Aerojet's AJ10-118 would become the basis of the third and second stages, respectively, of the new Delta space launcher in the early 1960s.
The Army's ABMA was practically excluded from the Vanguard development, and Wernher von Braun was not even invited as a consultant. Other Army components, however, such as the Signal Corps and Corps of Engineers significantly contributed to the program by building the network of satellite tracking stations and even operating some of them. The Air Force provided services and facilities at its missile test range at Cape Canaveral supporting the preparation and launches of the Vanguards.
As John Hagen described it, the goals of the project Vanguard were "first, to put a satellite in an orbit within the time of the IGY; second, to so instrument it and so arrange here on the earth that it could be observed and proven to be in an orbit and third, to so instrument it that useful scientific work could be done in the satellite" (Hearings 1958, 143). The Vanguard was a large, comprehensive program that established many procedures, infrastructure, and the framework for space exploration of the future. For example, a new type of contracting between the government and the industry was worked out. In the scientific payloads, the criteria for selection of satellite experiments were formulated; a special panel solicited proposals for scientific investigations and selected the experiments for first Vanguard satellites.
More than 30 scientific experiments were proposed to the Vanguard program. The selected four scientific instrumentation packages focused on study of the solar ultraviolet radiation, cosmic rays, Earth's magnetic field, and radiometry in support of meteorological research. The requirements for the instrumentation were much more stringent then those used for sounding rocket experiments and placed a premium on miniaturization, power efficiency, and reliability. Particularly, the electronics had to be transistorized to the maximum degree possible. In 1957, the Van Allen's cosmic-ray instrumentation package would be transferred to the Explorer I and replaced by a meteorological experiment of the Army's Signal Engineering Laboratory. The originally planned Vanguard satellites were designed as 20–25-lb (9–11-kg) spheres with a 20-in. (50-cm) diam convenient for optical tracking.
Development of the Vanguard launch vehicle, an entirely new rocket system, progressed in a methodical fashion. The first test vehicle (TV), the TV-0, was successfully launched on 8 December 1956, from Cape Canaveral to an altitude 126.5 miles (203.5 km). The TV-0 was a familiar one-stage Viking, and its launch allowed the NRL-Martin team to establish the project infrastructure at Cape Canaveral and familiarize with the requirements and operations of the Air Force missile test range. In addition, the flight demonstrated reception of Minitrack signals for telemetry and tracking purposes.
The next test vehicle, TV-1, consisted of the last available old Viking rocket as the first stage and a prototype of the new third-stage motor built by the Grand Central Rocket Company. The solid-propellant motor served as the second stage of the TV-1. The launch fully succeeded on 1 May 1957. The original Vanguard plan called for the first attempt to launch a satellite only on the test vehicle TV-4. In July 1957, however, the NRL, encouraged by the success of the TV-1, decided that beginning with the TV-3 all Vanguard test launches should carry a satellite that could be deployed in orbit as a bonus.
The primary objective of TV test launches was to validate the vehicle design and evaluate its performance; therefore, these vehicles carried additional instrumentation. Consequently, the NRL designed a new smaller and lighter "baby satellite" that weighed only 3.25 lb (1.5 kg) and was 6.4 in. (162 mm) in diameter. The actual flight weights of the first launched Vanguard satellite (Vanguard I) and the separation mechanism would be 3.211 lb (1457 g) and 0.830 lb (376 g), respectively. The decision to design and build the new smaller satellite was made already in January 1957. To meet the tight schedule, the satellites had to be fabricated in the NRL's machine shops, which were not equipped to machine the originally planned magnesium. Consequently, the satellite spheres were made of aluminum.
The Vanguard baby satellite carried a transistorized transmitter at the frequency of 108.00 MHz with the power output of 10 mW. The transmitter was powered by a set of seven Mallory mercury-cell batteries in a hermetically sealed case. The set was designed to last for two weeks. The second transmitter worked at the frequency 108.03 MHz and had the output power 5 mW. The power for this transmitter was supplied by solar cells provided by the Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. Six clusters of the solar cells that would become the first ever used in space were distributed over the satellite sphere. Six 12-in. (30.5-cm) antennas were pointed at mutually perpendicular directions. Four antennas were connected to the battery-powered transmitter, and the remaining two antennas were connected to the solar-powered transmitter. Two thermistors to measure internal and surface temperatures were also carried onboard. The heaviest parts of the satellite were the solar cells (0.557 lb or 253 g) and the batteries (0.670 lb or 304 g).
The next launch of the Vanguard test vehicle was rapidly approaching. The TV-2 consisted of the new first stage with the X-405 engine and dummy upper stages. As the preparation for launch progressed at Cape Canaveral, the Soviet Union placed Sputnik into orbit. Suddenly, the American space program, and the Vanguard in particular, had been catapulted into the focus of the nation's attention. The TV-2 successfully went up on 23 October 1957, to an altitude 109 miles (175 km) and distance 335 miles (540 km) downrange. But this was not enough — the American public now demanded the Earth-orbiting satellite.
.... In the meantime, the Vanguard team was preparing for the first flight test of the fully assembled launch vehicle with a baby satellite. This TV-3 test was the first launch of the complete Vanguard vehicle with all three live stages and with the complete guidance and control system. It was also the first time that the second stage was to fly. Obviously, the probability of success for such an untried new and complex vehicle was low. But in the wake of the Sputnik shock, the media brought the nation's attention to Cape Canaveral and to the launch, fueling the expectations. Words of caution had been offered by some, however, prior to launch. The New York Times, 6 December 1957, for example, on p. 33 quoted the warning by Martin's Vice President George S. Trimble, Jr. that "failure usually results at least three times out of seven" with testing of the type of the Vanguard launch.
On 6 December 1957, the TV-3 rocket raised a few feet over the launchpad when the first-stage engine lost thrust. The rocket then settled back and exploded on the pad in a fireball. A low pressure in the fuel tank allowed some of the high-temperature gases to enter the fuel system through the injector head from the combustion chamber, causing fire and destruction of the injector and a consequent complete loss of thrust.
Newspaper headings next day were gloomy, and the public felt humiliated. The New York Times proclaimed on the front page that "Failure to Launch Test Satellite Assailed as Blow to U.S. Prestige." The lead article in The Los Angeles Times was titled "Vanguard Fiasco Deals Heavy Blow to American World Prestige." A wire service reported that "news from Cape Canaveral, Fla., about the rocket failure hit the State Department with a kind of sickening thud. Officials had been watching for two or three days a buildup of ridicule in Europe of the [technical problems during the preparation to the] satellite test launching" (Los Angeles Times, p. 2, 7 December 1957). Perhaps most clearly the sentiments manifested at the New York Stock Exchange. "The Martin Company, prime contractor for the Vanguard missile," reported The New York Times next day
had the most violent reactions of any stock ... . Following the report of the failure of the satellite firing, a flood of sell-orders caused governors of the exchange to suspend trading in Martin stock at approximately 11:50 A.M. ... Trading was resumed at 1:23 P.M. ... It was the most actively traded issue on the Big Board. With the exception of Lockheed Aircraft ... other aircraft and missile stocks also showed losses. (New York Times, p. 8, 7 December 1957)
... The new attempt to launch the TV-3BU failed on 5 February 1958. After 57 s of nominal flight, the missile disintegrated as a result of a malfunctioning control system. The spurious electric signals overwhelmed the control system, and the vehicle broke up after exceeding an angle of attack of 45 deg. The launch of the Army's second Explorer followed on March 5, but the vehicle's fourth stage failed, and the satellite was lost.
Finally, the test vehicle TV-4 successfully put in orbit the Vanguard I baby satellite and the 53-lb (24-kg) third-stage motor case on 17 March 1958. The battery-powered transmitter worked for two weeks, and the sun-powered transmitter provided signals for seven years. In addition, the spacecraft was tracked by the worldwide network of optical telescopes. The nearly spherical shape of the satellite made it a perfect tool to probe atmospheric densities and their variations
in the low-Earth orbit environment from the evolution of the spacecraft orbital parameters.
Vanguard I orbital parameters Initial In 2003
Perigee altitude, km (mile) 660 (410) 655 (407)
Apogee altitude, km (mile) 3958 (2460) 3841 (2387)
Eccentricity 0.190 0.185
Period, minute 134.3 132.9
Fig. 15.30 (from: M. Gruntman, Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, AIAA, Reston, Va., 2004). Comparative sizes and masses of the first three Earth satellites, Sputnik 1, Explorer I, and Vanguard I. Figure courtesy of Mike Gruntman.
The Vanguard I satellite, the oldest man-made object in space, is still in orbit. The orbit apogee changes with time most notably caused by drag by the tenuous Earth's upper atmosphere and ionosphere. The orbit inclination, in contrast, changes very little. Because drag is higher at lower altitudes (near perigee), its effect is especially pronounced in lowering apogee and decreasing orbit eccentricity, making the orbit more circular. As the satellite orbit lowers, the air drag effect is increasing. It is expected that Vanguard will reenter the atmosphere in a couple hundred years. .............
Chapter 15. The Breakthrough – List of figures (significantly abridged captions)
Fig. 15.1. Air Force Colonel Mikhail K. Tikhonravov, ca. 1951.
Fig. 15.2. The first ICBM R-7 at the Tyuratam missile test range in May–June 1957.
Fig. 15.3. Sergei P. Korolev was the main driving force behind the first ICBM, first artificial satellite, first manned spaceflight, and many other first Soviet satellite systems.
Fig. 15.4. The R-7 ICBM being readied for launch at Tyuratam in May–June 1957.
Fig. 15.5. First artificial satellite Sputnik 1.
Fig. 15.6. Chief designers of space systems on 4 October 1957, in Tyuratam, after the launch of the first artificial satellite of the Earth, Sputnik.
Fig.15.7. The Energia–Buran vehicle combination engraved on the tombstone of Valentin P. Glushko.
Fig. 15.8. Monuments to Sergei P. Korolev and Mstislav V. Keldysh in Moscow.
Fig. 15.9. Comparative sizes of R-7, Atlas, Juno-1 (a variant of the Jupiter C) , and Vanguard.
Fig. 15.10. Vostok rocket that launched the first man into space.
Fig.15.11. First cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin in Tyuratam on 12 June 1963.
Fig. 15.12. Redstone and Jupiter C missiles.
Fig. 15.13. Donald A. Quarles, 1894–1959, being sworn in as Secretary of the Air Force on 15 August 1955.
Fig. 15.14. Director of Project Vanguard Dr. John P. Hagen with the staff members of Project Vanguard.
Fig. 15.15. Project engineer Donald J. Markarian and operations manager N. Elliot Felt, Jr..
Fig. 15.16. Launch sequence of the three-stage Vanguard rocket.
Fig. 15.17. Minitrack station near Quito, Ecuador.
Fig. 15.18. Baby satellite (Vanguard I).
Fig. 15.19. Juno 1, a modified Jupiter C rocket with an elongated Redstone as the first stage ready for launch of the first U.S. satellite Explorer I on 31 January 1958.
Fig. 15.20. Second and third stages of Jupiter C.
Fig. 15.21. An attempt to launch the Vanguard test vehicle TV-3 ends in failure on 6 December 1957 at Cape Canaveral.
Fig. 15.22. Members of the Army team with a model of Explorer I.
Fig. 15.23. Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory William H. Pickering (1910–2004) holds a prototype of the Army satellite Explorer I, December 1957.
Fig. 15.24. Explorer I satellite with the fourth-stage scaled-down Sergeant rocket, January 1958.
Fig. 15.25. Juno 1 on a launching pad on 31 January 1958.
Fig. 15.26. A model of Explorer I displayed by jubilant William H. Pickering (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), James A. Van Allen (State University of Iowa), and Wernher von Braun (Army Ballistic Missile Agency).
Fig. 15.27. Simple model of Explorer I.
Fig. 15.28. This perfect launch from Cape Canaveral on 17 March 1958 deployed the Vanguard I satellite in orbit and demonstrated the new space launch vehicle.
Fig. 15.29. NRL personnel on the top of the gantry crane with the Vanguard I satellite at Cape Canaveral in early 1958.
Fig. 15.30. Comparative sizes and masses of the first three Earth satellites, Sputnik 1, Explorer I, and Vanguard I.
Fig. 15.31. Timeline of major developments on the road to the ICBM and first satellites.
Fig. 15.32. T. Keith Glennan, 1905–1995, became the first NASA administrator in 1958.
Fig. 15.33. A 100-ft (30.5-m)-diam passive communication satellite Echo I during the inflation test in 1959.
Fig. 15.34. The original seven Mercury astronauts were selected in 1959.
Fig. 15.35. Alan B. Shepard in the Freedom-7 Mercury spacecraft before launch on 5 May 1961.
Fig. 15.36. President John F. Kennedy with Wernher von Braun, 19 May 1963.
Chapter 15 contents:
Origins of Soviet ICBM. Mikhail Tikhonravov. Rocket packet. R-7 ICBM. Engines of Valentin Glushko. Vassilii Mishin and rocket suspension. Sergei Korolev. R-7 and Atlas. Difficult launches. Disintegrated warhead. Grigorii Kisunko. R-7 (SS-6) deployed. Artificial satellite. International Geophysical Year (IGY). Object D. “We are asking for permission …” Simplest satellite PS. Launch on 4 October 1957. Sputnik in orbit. Korolev under his real name. Two new stars. Chief designers of space systems. Unexpected Sputnik's radio frequencies. Crowning achievement. Rivalry in rocket and space establishment. Glushko's Energia-Buran. Veil of secrecy. Chief Designer Sergei Korolev and Chief Theoretician Mstislav Keldysh. Beginning of the R-7 Semyorka. Loadstar speaking for socialism. American reaction to Sputnik. Poor state of science education. Space Pearl Harbor. Soviet and American education and science. Chose to remain uninformed. Sputnik impact underestimated. Lack of priority. Chosen to be beaten. Object D launched. American rockets close the gap. Manned spaceflight. Soviet Vostok program. First man in space - Yurii Gagarin. Tireless care of Communist Party. Explorer and Vanguard. IGY. Project Orbiter. NRL proposal. Killian Report. President’s announcement and Soviet response. Stewart Committee. Selection of Vanguard and termination of Orbiter. NRL and Martin teams. New launch vehicle. Power plant. Comprehensive program. Minitrack. Worldwide network. Predecessor of STDN. Optical tracking system. Precise time. Computers for satellite tracking. Scientific instruments. Success of TV-0 and TV-1. Baby satellite. Solar cells. Attention focuses on Vanguard. Jupiter C. Hydyne. 20 September 1956. “Missed the boat in 1956.” TV-3 explodes. Army leaders at Redstone. Medaris charges ahead. Microlock. Discovery of radiation belts. Micrometeorite sensors. Passive thermal control. Spacecraft spin. Explorer 1 in orbit. Evolution of Explorer 1 spin axis. Dancing in the streets of Huntsville. Vanguard 1 in orbit. The oldest man-made object in orbit. Birth of NASA. Freedom of space accepted. National space effort. Presidential science advisor. National debate. Scientific-technological elite. National Aeronautics and Space Act. T. Keith Glennan. NACA centers. Transfer o f JPL. Marshall Space Flight Center. Beltsville Space Center. Science and applications. Communication satellites. Echo satellites. Manned Spacecraft Center. Seven Mercury astronauts. Space report card for 1960. Kennedy challenges the nation. “I believe we should go to the Moon.”