space exploration

Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

On September 22, 1905, Austrian rocket propulsion engineer Eugen Sänger was born. Sänger is best known for his contributions to lifting body and ramjet technology. Sänger also perfected a “regeneratively cooled” liquid-fueled rocket engine that used its own fuel, circulating around the combustion chamber, to control engine temperatures. By Rocket into Planetary Space After the early loss of his father, Eugen Sänger attended elementary schools in Budapest and Kelenföld. As early as 1918, Sänger…
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Walter Dornberger and the Spaceplane

Walter Dornberger and the Spaceplane

On September 6, 1895, German Mechanical Engineer and Army artillery officer Walter Dornberger was born. Dornberger is known as a leader of Nazi Germany‘s V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center. After World War II Dornberger played a major role on the creation of the X-15 aircraft and was a key consultant for the X-20 Dyna-Soar project. He also had a role on the creation of ideas…
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The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

On July 17, 1975, the US-American Apollo Command/Service Module docked with the Soviet Soyuz 19 in the course of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project, the first joint U.S.–Soviet space flight, as a symbol of the policy of détente that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time. Cold War – Automated vs Human Control Due to the tense relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, space cooperation between both countries was…
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The Ariane 5 Flight 501

The Ariane 5 Flight 501

On June 4, 1996, European heavy lift launch vehicle Ariane 5‘s first test flight failed with the rocket self-destructing 37 seconds after launch because of a malfunction in the control software. A data conversion from 64-bit floating point value to 16-bit signed integer value to be stored in a variable representing horizontal bias caused a processor trap (operand error) because the floating point value was too large to be represented by a…
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Luna 10 – the First Artificial Satellite of the Moon

Luna 10 – the First Artificial Satellite of the Moon

On March 31, 1966, Soviet Luna program, robotic spacecraft mission was launched. Luna 10 was the first artificial satellite of the Moon. In 1959 the Soviet Union started its lunar exploration program with Luna 1 and continued the program until 1976 with Luna 24. The Luna Programme The Luna programme consisted of a series of robotic spacecraft missions sent to the Moon by the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1976. Fifteen out…
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Walter Schirra – the only Man to fly Mercury, Gemini and Apollo

Walter Schirra – the only Man to fly Mercury, Gemini and Apollo

On March 12, 1923, American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and astronaut Walter Marty “Wally” Schirra was born. Schirra was one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, United States first effort to put humans in space. He flew the six-orbit, nine-hour Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962, becoming the fifth American, and the ninth human, to ride a rocket into space. He was the only astronaut…
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Pioneer 5 and the Interplanetary Magnetic Fields

Pioneer 5 and the Interplanetary Magnetic Fields

On March 11, 1960, NASA space probe Pioneer 5 was launched from Cape Canaveral. Pioneer 5 as part of the NASA Pioneer program was used to investigate interplanetary space between the orbits of Earth and Venus. As this, it was in one of the first in-depth attempts to study the solar system. Among other accomplishments, the probe confirmed the existence of interplanetary magnetic fields. The NASA Pioneer Program Pioneer 5 was part…
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Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – the Father of Practical Astronautics

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – the Father of Practical Astronautics

On January 12, 1907, lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race Sergei Korolev was born. Korolev is regarded by many as the “father of practical astronautics“. He was involved in the development of the R-7 Rocket, Sputnik 1,[1] launching Laika, Belka and Strelka and the first human being, Yuri Gagarin,[2] into space. “Today we are witnesses to the fulfillment of the dream that occupied some outstanding people, among them…
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Mariner 9 – The first Spacecraft to Orbit another Planet

Mariner 9 – The first Spacecraft to Orbit another Planet

On November 14, 1971, U.S. spacecraft Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet – only narrowly beating the Soviets’s Mars 2 and Mars 3, which both arrived within a month. After months of dust storms it managed to send back clear pictures of Mars’ surface. The Exploration of Mars Many unmanned space probes have been sent to Mars, some of which were successful. About half of the missions ended…
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Reaching the Edge of Outer Space – the X-15 Rocket Space Plane

Reaching the Edge of Outer Space – the X-15 Rocket Space Plane

On October 3, 1967, the X-15 rocket plane achieved a world record speed of Mach 6.7, which is 7,274 km/h (4,520 mph or over a mile per second) with U.S. Air Force pilot Pete Knight. As by today, this record still holds for the highest speed ever reached by a manned, powered aircraft. Among the notable pilots of the X-15 was also Neil Armstrong,[4] later a NASA astronaut and first man to set…
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