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1954 in spaceflight

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1954 in spaceflight
Viking-10.jpg
Viking 10 was launched in May
National firsts
Spaceflight France
Rockets
Maiden flights FranceVéronique-NA
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10b
Soviet UnionA-1
Soviet UnionR-1D
Retirements FranceVéronique-NA
Soviet UnionR-1D

The year 1954 saw the conception of Project Orbiter, the first practicable satellite launching project, utilizing the Redstone SRBM. Rockoons, Viking, and Aerobee, as well as derivatives of the Soviet R-1 missile, continued to return scientific data from beyond the 100 kilometres (62 mi) boundary of space (as defined by the World Air Sports Federation).[1] The French also launched their first sounding rocket into space, the Véronique-NA. The United States prioritized the development of its Atlas ICBM while the Soviet Union authorized the draft proposal for the R-7 Semyorka, its first ICBM.

Space exploration highlights

U.S. Navy

Ten months of salvage, testing, and troubleshooting followed the failed launch of Viking 10. On 30 June, 1953, the rebuilt rocket was once again ready for launch. A successful static firing took place at the end of April 1954, and launch was scheduled for 4 May. Control issues revealed in the static firing as well as gusty, sand-laden winds caused a delay of three days. At 10:00 AM local time, Viking 10 blasted off from its pad at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, reaching an altitude of 136 mi (219 km) -- a tie with the highest altitude ever reached by a first-generation Viking (Viking 7 on 7 August 1951). Data was received from the rocket for all stages of the flight, and its scientific package returned the first measurement of positive ion composition at high altitudes.[2]

Viking 11, which was ready for erection on 5 May, also had a successful static test and was ready for launch, 24 May 1954. Again, the countdown went without hold, and Viking 11, the heaviest rocket yet in the series, was launched at 10:00 AM. Forty seconds into the flight, several puffs of smoke issued from the vehicle, but these accidental excitations of the rocket's roll jets did no harm. Viking 11 ultimately reached 158 mi (254 km) in altitude, a record for the series, snapping the highest altitude photographs of the Earth to date. Both Vikings 10 and 11 carried successful emulsions experiments, measuring cosmic rays at high altitudes.[2]

Three more Viking flights were scheduled, one of which would fly in 1955,[2] the other two later incorporated into the subsequent Project Vanguard.[3]

American civilian efforts

For the third summer in a row, members of the State University of Iowa (SUI) physics department embarked 15 July 1954 on an Atlantic expedition to launch a series of balloon-launched Deacon rockets (rockoons), this time aboard the icebreaker, USS Atka. Once again, a Naval Research Laboratory team accompanied them to launch their own rockoons. Beginning with the fourth SUI launch on 21 1954 off the northern tip of Labrador, eleven rockoon launches (seven of them successful) over a five-day period probed the heart of the auroral zone at high altitude. Each rockoon carried two geiger counters with different thicknesses of shielding; two of the flights determined that aurorae produced detectable "soft" (lower energy/penetrative) radiation.[4]

Scientific results

By 1954, the array of Viking, Aerobee, V-2, Deacon Rockoon, and other high altitude sounding rocket flights had returned a bonanza of knowledge about the upper atmosphere. Previously, it had been believed that, at altitudes above 20 mi (32 km), Earth's atmosphere was highly stratified and peaceful, an indefinite continuation of the stratosphere. Rocket research discovered winds, turbulence, and mixing up to heights of 80 mi (130 km), and wind velocities of 180 mph (290 km/h) were measured 125 mi (201 km) above the Earth's surface. The density of the upper atmosphere was found to be thinner than expected: the estimated average distance an air atom or molecule must travel before colliding with another (mean free path) was refined to .5 mi (0.80 km). Ionized particles were discovered in what were previously thought to be distinct gaps between the E and F layers in the ionosphere.[2]

Sounding rockets returned the first measurements of extraterrestrial X-rays, blocked from observation from the ground by the lower layers of the atmosphere. It was determined that these X-rays were one of the major producers of atmospheric ionization. Ultraviolet radiation was extensively observed as well as its contribution to the ozone layer. Solar radiation data determined that the Sun was hotter than had been calculated from strictly earthbound measurements. Cosmic rays were found to consist mainly of protons, alpha particles, and heavier atomic nuclei; the range of measured elements extended to iron, with greater abundance in even mass numbered elements.[2]

Vehicle development

U.S. Air Force

On February 1, 1954,[5] the Strategic Missiles Evaluation Committee or 'Teapot Committee', comprising eleven of the top scientists and engineers in the country, issued a report recommending prioritization of the development of the Atlas, the nation's first ICBM. Trevor Gardner, special assistant for research and development to Secretary of the Air Force, Harold Talbott, selected Ramo Wooldridge (R-W) to handle the systems engineering and technical direction for the entire project, a considerable expansion of duties for the year-old company, which had hitherto been contracted by the Air Force to advise and perform research.[6]:178–9 From spring 1954 through the end of the year, R-W's work was confined to the evaluation of the project and the accumulation of personnel to handle development of the ICBM.[6]:185 Convair, which had been developing the Atlas for the prior eight years, remained the manufacturer of the missile proper.[5]

The public first became aware of the Atlas project with the publication of the 8 March 1954 issue of Aviation Weekly, in which appeared the short item: "Convair is developing a long range ballistic missile known as the Atlas. Its development was begun in the era when Floyd Odlum's Atlas Corp. was the controlling stockholder in Convair."[5]

Before the Teapot commission had determined the likely weight of a thermonuclear payload, the Atlas specification had called for a missile 90 ft (27 m) long and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide, carrying five rocket engines, and a full-scale wooden model as well as a metal test example of the tank were built in 1954. By the time the design was frozen at the end of the year, the specifications had been downscaled to 75 ft (23 m) long, retaining the same width, and the number of engines was reduced to three.[5]

Project Orbiter

At a meeting of Project Orbiter on March 16, 1954, Fred C. Durant is seen seated at the table, second from the left.
At a meeting of Project Orbiter on March 16, 1954, Fred C. Durant is seen seated at the table, second from the left.

By 1954, there was growing consensus in the United States that rocket technology had evolved to the point the launch of an Earth orbiting satellite was becoming feasible. A 16 March meeting in Washington D.C. involving several of the nation's leading space specialists was arranged by past president of the American Rocket Society Frederick C. Durant III. They included Fred Singer, proposer of the "MOUSE" (Minimum Orbiting Unmanned Satellite of the Earth), rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, David Young of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Commander George Hoover and Alexander Satin of the Air Branch of the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and noted astronomer, Fred Whipple. They determined that a slightly modified Redstone (a 200 miles (320 km)) range surface-to-surface missile developed the prior year)[7] combined with upper stages employing 31 Loki solid-propellant rockets could put a 5 lb (2.3 kg) satellite into orbit, which could be tracked optically.[8]

Whipple approached the National Science Foundation (NSF) to sponsor a conference for further study of the idea, particularly to develop instrumentation for a satellite. The NSF took no immediate action. Hoover, however, was able to secure interest from the ONR, and by November 1954, a satellite-launching plan had been developed. Dubbed Project Orbiter, the "no-cost satellite" would be built largely from existing hardware; the Army would design and construct the booster system (using Redstone and Loki) while the Navy would handle creation of the satellite, tracking facilities, and the acquisition and analysis of data. By the end of the year, ONR had let $60,000 in three contracts for feasibility studies and initial design.[8]

Soviet Union

The R-5 missile, able to carry the same 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb) payload as the R-1 and R-2 but over a distance of 1,200 kilometres (750 mi)[9]:242 underwent its third series of test launches, beginning 12 August 1954 and continuing through 7 February 1955. These tests confirmed the soundness of the design and cleared the way for nuclear and sounding rocket variants.[10]:120, 138

Paralleling developments in the United States, 1954 marked the authorization of the R-7 Semyorka ICBM (on 20 May). Mikhail Tikhonravov, whose team at had completed the ICBM studies that formed the conceptual framework for the R-7, on 27 May, at the urging of OKB-1 Chief Designer Sergei Korolev, submitted a memorandum entitled, "A Report on an Artificial Satellite of the Earth" to Deputy Minister of Medium Machine Building Vasiliy Rabikov and Georgiy Pashkov, Rabikov's department chief in charge of missiles. This memorandum, containing summaries of both Soviet research of recent years as well as translations of Western articles on satellites, served as the catalyst for the Soviet satellite program.[10]:139–144

Launches

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks

February

2 February
18:35
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesWhite Sands - Launch Complex 35 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSunfollower NRL Suborbital Solar 2 February Successful
Apogee: 101 kilometres (63 mi)[11]
20 February FranceVéronique-NA[13] FranceHammaguir Bechar FranceLRBA
LRBA Suborbital Test flight 20 February Launch failure
Apogee: 29 kilometres (18 mi)[12]
21 February FranceVéronique-NA[13] FranceHammaguir Bechar FranceLRBA
LRBA Suborbital Test flight 21 February Successful
Apogee: 135 kilometres (84 mi), first French spaceflight[12]

March

11 March GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 11 March Successful[14]
16 March GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 16 March Successful[14]
16 March GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 16 March Successful[14]
20 March GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 20 March Successful[14]

April

10 April
09:00
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesWhite Sands - Launch Complex 35 United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Spectrometry 9 April Successful
Apogee: 143 kilometres (89 mi)[11]
23 April GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 23 April Successful[14]
24 April GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 24 April Successful[14]
26 April GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 26 April Successful[14]
29 April GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 29 April Successful[14]

May

1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
1 May GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 May Successful[15]
3 May GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 3 May Successful[14]
4 May GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 4 May Successful[14]
4 May GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 4 May Successful[14]
7 May
17:00
United StatesViking United StatesWhite Sands White Sands Army Launch Area 1 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesViking 10 (second model) NRL Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 7 May Successful
Apogee: 219 kilometres (136 mi)[16]
7 May GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 7 May Successful[14]
11 May
15:00
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesARDC
ARDC Suborbital Beacon test 11 May Successful
Apogee: 98.2 kilometres (61.0 mi)[11]
21 May GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 21 May Successful[14]
24 May
17:00
United StatesViking United StatesWhite Sands Army Launch Area 1 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesViking 11 (second model) NRL Suborbital REV test/photography 24 May Successful
Apogee: 254 kilometres (158 mi)[16]
26 May
14:24
GermanySoviet UnionA-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
MVS Suborbital Ionospheric 26 May Successful
Apogee: 106 kilometres (66 mi), maiden flight of A-1[17]

June

2 June
16:10
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesARDC
ARDC Suborbital Solar ultraviolet spectrum test 2 June Successful
Apogee: 93.4 kilometres (58.0 mi)[11]
8 June GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 8 June Successful[15]
9 June GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 9 June Successful[15]
11 June GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 11 June Successful[14]
12 June GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 12 June Successful[14]
14 June GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 14 June Successful[14]
26 June
13:24
GermanySoviet UnionR-1D Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Test / biology / ionosphere / aeronomy 26 June Successful
Apogee: 106 kilometres (66 mi), maiden flight of R-1D[18]

July

2 July GermanySoviet UnionR-1D Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Test / biology / ionosphere / aeronomy 2 July Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi); pyload, instruments, left and right animal containers all recovered. Smoke container failed. Carried dogs Lyza and Ryjik[18]
7 July GermanySoviet UnionR-1D Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Test / biology / ionosphere / aeronomy 7 July Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi); payload recovered; left animal container, smoke container.[18]
14 July
13:55
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesARDC
ARDC Suborbital UM wind vanes Aeronomy mission 14 July Successful
Apogee: 91.8 kilometres (57.0 mi)[11]
16 July
12:13
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS <i>Atka</i>, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 1 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-24 State University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 16 July Launch failure[19]
Apogee: 11 kilometres (6.8 mi)[4]
16 July
21:58
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 1 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-25 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 16 July Launch failure
Apogee: 11 kilometres (6.8 mi)[19]
19 July
16:00
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 11, Launch Point 14 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesNRL Rockoon 7 Aeronomy mission Naval Research Laboratory Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 19 July Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[19]
19 July
20:30
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 2 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-26 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 19 July Spacecraft failure[4]
Apogee: 43 kilometres (27 mi)[19]
20 July
02:55
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 11, Launch Point 15 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesNRL Rockoon 8 Aeronomy mission Naval Research Laboratory Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 20 July Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[19]
21 July
09:03
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 3 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-27 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 27 July Successful[4]
Apogee: 60 kilometres (37 mi)[19]
21 July
12:45
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 4 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-28 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 28 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]
21 July
20:49
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 5 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-29 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 21 July Launch failure
Apogee: 40 kilometres (25 mi)
22 July GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 22 July Successful[15]
23 July
14:46
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 6 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-30 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 23 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)
23 July
17:09
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 11, Launch Point 16 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesNRL Rockoon 9 Aeronomy mission Naval Research Laboratory Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 23 July Successful
Apogee: 70 kilometres (43 mi)[19]
23 July
17:54
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 8 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-31 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 23 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]
23 July
19:37
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 7 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-32 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 23 July Launch failure
Apogee: 23 kilometres (14 mi)[19]
24 July
08:57
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 9 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-33 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 24 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]
24 July
13:16
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 10 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-34 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 24 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]
25 July
06:51
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 11 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-35 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 25 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]
25 July
12:36
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 12 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-36 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 25 July Successful [4]
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]
25 July
15:30
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 12 Launch Point 13 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesSUI-37 University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 25 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]
25 July
17:09
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 11, Launch Point 17 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesNRL Rockoon 10 Aeronomy mission Naval Research Laboratory Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 25 July Successful
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi)[19]
26 July
00:29
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 11, Launch Point 18 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesNRL Rockoon 11 Aeronomy mission NRL Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 26 July Launch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)[19]
26 July
11:02
United StatesDeacon Rockoon United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean Launch Site 11, Launch Point 19 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesNRL Rockoon 12 Aeronomy mission NRL Suborbital Ionospheric/Aeronomy 26 July Successful
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[19]

August

1 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 August Successful
First Phase 3 trials launch[20]
1 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 August Successful[20]
2 August GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 2 August Successful[14]
11 August
17:25
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesARDC
ARDC Suborbital AF / Utah D-layer Ionosphere mission 11 August Successful
Apogee: 91.8 kilometres (57.0 mi)[11]
12 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 12 August Partial failure
First flight of range test series[21]
17 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 17 August Successful
[21]
19 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 19 August Successful[21]
24 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 24 August Successful[21]
25 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 25 August Successful[21]
27 August GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 27 August Successful[14]
27 August GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 27 August Successful[14]

September

5 September Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 5 September Successful[21]
8 September Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 8 September Successful[21]
17 September
14:31
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman AFB Launch Complex A United StatesARDC
ARDC Suborbital Solar flux Solar ultraviolet mission 17 September Successful
Apogee: 94.7 kilometres (58.8 mi)[11]
30 September GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 September Successful[15]

October

1 October GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 October Successful[15]
5 October
18:15
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10b United StatesWhite Sands - Launch Complex 35 United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Remote sensing 5 October Successful
Returned first images of a complete hurricane from 161 kilometres (100 mi) altitude[22][23]
5 October GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 5 October Successful[15]
9 October Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 9 October Successful
airborne destruction of warhead[21]
14 October
21:20
United StatesNike-T40-T55 United StatesWallops Island United StatesNACA
NACA Suborbital Hypersonic research 14 October Successful
Apogee: 352 kilometres (219 mi)
16 October GermanySoviet UnionR-2 (missile) Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 16 October Successful[15]
17 October FranceVéronique-NA[13] FranceHammaguir Bechar FranceLRBA
LRBA Suborbital Test / ionosphere mission 17 October Launch failure
Apogee: 39 kilometres (24 mi)[12]
19 October Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet UnionLKI-III OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 19 October Successful
End of range test series[21]
29 October FranceVéronique-NA[13] FranceHammaguir Bechar FranceLRBA
LRBA Suborbital Test flight 29 October Successful
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[12]
30 October GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful[14]

November

27 November GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 27 November Successful[15]
30 November GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 November Successful[14]

December

1 December GermanySoviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Successful[14]
1 December GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Successful[15]
6 December GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 6 December Successful[15]
9 December GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 9 December Successful[15]
23 December GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 23 December Successful[15]
25 December GermanySoviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 25 December Successful[15]
30 December Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar GTsP-4 Soviet UnionOKB-1
Soviet Union OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 December Successful
Start of validity test series[21]

Suborbital launch summary

By country

France: 4Soviet Union: 59USA: 29Circle frame.svg
Country Launches Successes Partial failures Failures Unknown Remarks
 France 4 2 0 2 0
 Soviet Union 59 58 0 1 0
 United States 29 16 1 0 8

By rocket


Rocket Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Unknown Remarks
Viking (second model)  United States 2 2 0 0 0
Aerobee RTV-N-10  United States 2 2 0 0 0
Aerobee RTV-N-10b  United States 1 1 0 0 0
Aerobee RTV-A-1a  United States 5 5 0 0 0
UoI Deacon rockoon  United States 14 1 4 1 8
NRL Deacon rockoon  United States 5 5 0 0 0
R-1  Soviet Union 22 22 0 0 0
A-1  Soviet Union 1 1 0 0 0 Maiden flight
R-1D  Soviet Union 3 3 0 0 0 Maiden flight
R-2  Soviet Union 23 23 0 0 0
R-5  Soviet Union 10 9 0 1 0

References

  1. ^ Voosen, Paul (24 July 2018). "Outer space may have just gotten a bit closer". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aau8822. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Milton W. Rosen (1955). The Viking Rocket Story. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 221–236. OCLC 317524549.
  3. ^ Ordway, Frederick I.; Wakeford, Ronald C. International Missile and Spacecraft Guide, N.Y., McGraw-Hill, 1960, p. 208
  4. ^ a b c d e George Ludwig (2011). Opening Space Research. Washington D.C.: geopress. pp. 36–37. OCLC 845256256.
  5. ^ a b c d John L. Chapman (1960). Atlas The Story of a Missile. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 73–77. OCLC 492591218.
  6. ^ a b Davis Dyer (1998). TRW: Pioneering Technology and Innovation since 1900. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. OCLC 1064465832.
  7. ^ "Installation History 1953 - 1955". U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command. 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  8. ^ a b Constance Green and Milton Lomask (1970). Vanguard — a History. Washington D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-1-97353-209-5. OCLC 747307569. SP-4202.
  9. ^ Boris Chertok (June 2006). Rockets and People, Volume II: Creating a Rocket Industry. Washington D.C.: NASA. OCLC 946818748.
  10. ^ a b Asif A. Siddiqi. Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974 (PDF). Washington D.C.: NASA. OCLC 1001823253.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Wade, Mark. "Aerobee". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d Wade, Mark. "Veronique". Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d Gunter Krebs. "Veronique Family". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Wade, Mark. "R-1 8A11". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Wade, Mark. "R-2". Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  16. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "Viking Sounding Rocket". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  17. ^ Wade, Mark. "A-1 (R-1)". astronautix.com. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  18. ^ a b c Wade, Mark. "R1-D". astronautix.com. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Wade, Mark. "Deacon Rockoon". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  20. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "R-5". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Asif Siddiqi (2021). "R-5 Launches 1953-1959". Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  22. ^ NASA History Office - Aeronautics and Astronautics Chronology, 1950-1954
  23. ^ NOAA Photo Library - View of tropical cyclone centred near Del Rio, Texas


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