1966 in spaceflight

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1966 in spaceflight
Gemini 8 docking.jpg
Gemini 8 about to dock with its Agena target vehicle, the first time two spacecraft dock in orbit.
Orbital launches
First 7 January
Last 29 December
Total 131
Successes 111
Failures 13
Partial failures 7
Catalogued 118
Manned flights
Orbital 5
Total travellers 10

The year 1966 saw the peak and the end of the Gemini program. The program proved that docking in space and human EVA's can be done safely. It saw the first launch of the Saturn IB rocket an important step in the Apollo program. Also launched in 1966 is Luna 9, the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on any planetary object other than Earth (the Moon).


Launches[edit]

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks

January[edit]

7 January
04:48:23
United StatesThor-Burner 1 United StatesVandenberg LC-75-2-6 United StatesUSAF
United StatesOPS 2394 (DMSP 4A-F5) USAF Planned: Low Earth Meteorology 7 January Failure
Second stage failed to ignite
7 January
08:24
Soviet UnionVostok-2 Soviet UnionBaikonur LC-31/6 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionKosmos 104 (Zenit-2) Low Earth Optical reconnaissance 15 January Partial Failure
Third stage failed to put spacecraft in correct orbit
19 January
20:10
United StatesAtlas-SLV3 Agena-D United StatesVandenberg PALC-2-4 United StatesUSAF
United StatesOPS 7253 (KH-7 Gambit 4024) NRO Low Earth Optical Reconnaissance 25 January Successful
United StatesOPS 3179 (Agena Pickaback) Low Earth Technology In orbit Successful
22 January
08:38
Soviet UnionVostok-2 Soviet UnionBaikonur LC-31/6 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionKosmos 105 (Zenit-2) Low Earth Optical reconnaissance 30 January Successful
25 January
12:28
Soviet UnionKosmos-2I Soviet UnionKapustin Yar LC-86/1 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionKosmos 106 (DS-P1-I) Low Earth Radar calibration In orbit Successful
28 January
17:06:00
United StatesScout-A United StatesVandenberg PALC-D United States
United StatesOPS 1593 (Transit-O 7) Low Earth Navigation In orbit Successful
31 January
11:41:37
Soviet UnionMolniya-M Soviet UnionBaikonur LC-31/6 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionLuna 9 Lunar transfer Lunar lander 3 February
18:45
Successful
First spacecraft to soft land on the surface of the Moon and of any planetary object.

February[edit]

2 February
21:32:13
United StatesThor-SLV2A Agena-D United StatesVandenberg PALC-1-1 United States
United StatesOPS 7291 (KH-4A Corona 1029) NRO Low Earth Optical Reconnaissance 27 February Successful
3 February
07:41:23
United StatesDelta C United StatesCape Canaveral LC-17A United States
United StatesESSA-1 (Tiros) ESSA Low Earth Meteorology In orbit Successful
9 February
19:45:01
United StatesThor-SLV2A Agena-D United StatesVandenberg LC-75-1-2 United States
United StatesOPS 1439 ("Heavy Ferret") NRO Low Earth ELINT In orbit Successful
10 February
08:52
Soviet UnionVostok-2 Soviet UnionBaikonur LC-31/6 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionKosmos 107 (Zenit-2) Low Earth Optical reconnaissance 18 February Successful
11 February
18:00
Soviet UnionKosmos-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar LC-86/1 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionKosmos 108 (DS-U1-G) Low Earth Atmospheric research In orbit Successful
15 February
20:32
United StatesAtlas-SLV3 Agena-D United StatesVandenberg PALC-2-4 United States
United StatesOPS 1184 (KH-7 Gambit 4025) NRO Low Earth Optical Reconnaissance 22 February Successful
United StatesOPS 3011 (Bluebell 2 cylinder) Low Earth Radar calibration In orbit Successful
United StatesOPS 3031 (Bluebell 2 sphere) Low Earth Radar calibration In orbit Successful
17 February
08:33:36
FranceDiamant A AlgeriaHammaguira Brigitte FranceArmée de Terre
FranceDipason (D-1A) Armée de Terre Low Earth Geodetic science In orbit Successful
19 February
08:52
Soviet UnionVoskhod Soviet UnionBaikonur LC-31/6 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionKosmos 109 (Zenit-4) Low Earth Optical reconnaissance 27 February Successful
21 February Soviet UnionKosmos-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar LC-86/1 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionDS-K-40 No.2 Planned: Low Earth ELINT 21 February Failure
First stage failure at T+83 seconds
22 February
20:09:36
Soviet UnionVoskhod Soviet UnionBaikonur LC-31/6 Soviet Union
Soviet UnionKosmos 110 (Voskhod) Low Earth Unmanned spacecraft 16 March Successful
26 February
16:12:01
United StatesSaturn IB United StatesCape Canaveral LC-34 United StatesNASA
United StatesApollo AS-201 NASA Sub-orbital Test spacecraft 26 February
16:49:21
Successful
First flight of the Apollo Spacecraft and launch vehicle
28 February
13:58:00
United StatesDelta E United StatesCape Canaveral LC-17B United States
United StatesESSA-2 (Tiros) ESSA Low Earth Meteorology In orbit Successful

March[edit]

April[edit]

May[edit]

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

Launches 2[edit]

Launch Date/Time Rocket Launch
Site
Launch Contractor Payload Operator Orbit Mission/
Function
Re-Entry/
Destruction
Outcome Remarks
March 16
15:00 GMT
Atlas D LC-14, Cape Canaveral US Air Force GATV 5003 NASA LEO Gemini docking target. September 15, 1967 Successful Used by Gemini 8 and Gemini 10
March 16
16:41 GMT
Titan II LC-19, Cape Canaveral US Air Force Gemini 8, 2 Astronauts NASA LEO Manned Orbital Flight March 17, 1966 Partial Failure First docking in space. (with GATV).
OAMS malfunction caused loss of control. Spacecraft became low on fuel after recovering. Terminated early.
May 17
15:12 GMT
Atlas D LC-14, Cape Canaveral US Air Force GATV 5004 NASA LEO Gemini docking target. May 17, 1966 Failure Failed to reach orbit.
Intended for use by Gemini 9
June 1
15:00 GMT
Atlas SLV-3 LC-14, Cape Canaveral US Air Force ATDA 02186 NASA LEO Gemini docking target. June 11, 1966 Failure Fairing failed to separate
Intended for use by Gemini 9A
June 3
16:41 GMT
Titan II LC-19, Cape Canaveral US Air Force Gemini 9A, 2 Astronauts NASA LEO Manned Orbital Flight June 6, 1966 Partial Failure Unable to complete primary objective - Docking with ATDA - due to ATDA payload fairing malfunction
July 5
14:53 GMT
Saturn IB (C-1B) LC-37B, Cape Canaveral NASA (none) N/A N/A Test launch vehicle N/A Successful
July 18
20:39 GMT
Atlas D LC-14, Cape Canaveral US Air Force GATV 5005 NASA LEO Gemini docking target. December 29, 1966 Successful Used by Gemini 10
July 18
22:20 GMT
Titan II LC-19, Cape Canaveral US Air Force Gemini 10, 2 Astronauts NASA LEO Manned Orbital Flight July 21, 1966 Successful
August 25
17:15 GMT
Saturn IB (C-1B) LC-34, Cape Canaveral NASA Apollo Spacecraft (AS-202) NASA Sub-orbital Test Apollo Spacecraft and Launch Vehicle August 25, 1966
18:48 GMT
Successful
September 12
13:05 GMT
Atlas D LC-14, Cape Canaveral US Air Force GATV 5006 NASA LEO Gemini docking target. December 30, 1966 Successful Used by Gemini 11
September 12
14:42 GMT
Titan II LC-19, Cape Canaveral US Air Force Gemini 11, 2 Astronauts NASA LEO Manned Orbital Flight September 15, 1966 Successful Altitude record for manned Earth-Orbit flight
November 11
20:46 GMT
Atlas D LC-14, Cape Canaveral US Air Force GATV 5001A NASA LEO Gemini docking target. December 23, 1966 Failure Failed to ignite.
Used by Gemini 12
November 11
20:46 GMT
Titan II LC-19, Cape Canaveral US Air Force Gemini 12, 2 Astronauts NASA LEO Manned Orbital Flight 15 November 1966 Successful Final Gemini flight

Deep Space Rendezvous[edit]

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
3 February Luna 9 Lunar landing in Oceanus Procellarum
27 February Venera 2 Flyby of Venus Communication lost en route
1 March Venera 3 Venus impact Communication lost en route
3 April Luna 10 Selenocentric orbit insertion
2 June Surveyor 1 Lunar landing in Oceanus Procellarum
14 August Lunar Orbiter 1 Selenocentric orbit insertion Returned 211 images
27 August Luna 11 Selenocentric orbit insertion
23 September Surveyor 2 Lunar impact Failed lander, impacted Sinus Medii
25 October Luna 12 Selenocentric orbit insertion
29 October Lunar Orbiter 1 Lunar impact
10 November Lunar Orbiter 2 Selenocentric orbit injection Returned 184 images
24 December Luna 13 Lunar landing in Oceanus Procellarum

EVAs[edit]

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
5 June
15:02
2 hours
7 minutes
17:09 Gemini IX-A United StatesEugene Cernan A complex EVA was planned.[1] Cernan expended four to five times the expected effort, raising his pulse as high as 180 beats per minute. Excess heat and respiration completely fogged visor, causing the EVA to be cut short. Cernan also had difficulty returning to spacecraft and closing the hatch.[2]
19 July
21:44
49 Minutes 22:33 Gemini X United StatesMichael Collins Collins performed a stand-up EVA. Instead of climbing completely out of the spacecraft, Collins extended his torso outside the spacecraft to take photos before and after capsule sunrise. Color photography after sunrise was only partly completed due to severe eye irritation of both Collins and Command Pilot Young. Handling the camera proved difficult due to stiffness of spacesuit gloves.[3]
20 July
23:01
39 minutes 23:40 Gemini X United StatesMichael Collins Umbilical EVA; with more difficulty than expected, Collins collected the micrometeorite collection package from the outside of Gemini. Then, using the Hand Held Maneuvering Unit, he pushed to the nearby Agena-8 to collect its micrometeorite collection package. Collins then pulled on the umbilical cord to return and re-enter the spacecraft.[4]
13 September
14:44
33 minutes 15:17 Gemini XI United StatesRichard F. Gordon, Jr. Gordon attached a tether between Gemini and Agena 11 for later orbital mechanics testing. While making the attachment, his work load exceeded the spacesuit cooling system, and his vision became obscured by a fogged visor and sweat in his eyes. Planned activities were curtailed by Command Pilot Conrad and Gordon returned to the spacecraft.[5]
14 September
12:49
2 hours
8 minutes
14:57 Gemini XI United StatesRichard F. Gordon, Jr. Gordon performed a stand-up EVA. He extended through the hatch to take astronomical photos. Conrad reported the spacewalk was so relaxing they both fell asleep for a moment after sunrise.[6]
12 November
16:15
2 hours
29 minutes
18:44 Gemini XII United StatesBuzz Aldrin Aldrin performed a stand-up EVA. Aldrin stood, took UV still photos and 16 mm color movie pictures, collected external experimental samples, and conducted a light exercise routine.[7]
13 November
15:34
2 hours
6 minutes
17:40 Gemini XII United StatesBuzz Aldrin First completely successful umbilical EVA, with all objectives achieved. Aldrin was able to control his movements and restrict his work load using techniques developed using underwater zero gravity simulations. He also benefited from experiences of the previous American EVAs and was able to move around the outside of the craft, deploy and recover various experimental packages, install and remove cameras, and practice work techniques using a ratchet-type wrench.[8]
14 November
14:52
55 minutes 15:47 Gemini XII United StatesBuzz Aldrin Aldrin performed a second stand-up EVA. He again extended outside the hatch to take photographs and repeat the light exercise experiment. Exertion levels during exercise were comparable to preflight simulations. Equipment and waste food containers not needed for reentry were jettisoned from the spacecraft.[9]

References[edit]

Generic references:

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Jim Dumoulin (2000-08-25). "NASA Project Gemini IX-A (9)". NASA Historical Archive for Manned Missions. NASA. Archived from the original on 19 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  2. ^ Cernan "The Last Man on the Moon", p. 129-144.
  3. ^ Mathews, Charles W.; Low, George M. (August 1966). "Gemini Program Mission Report: Gemini X" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. pp. 7‑5, 7‑31. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  4. ^ Mathews Gemini Program Mission Report: Gemini X, p. 7-32
  5. ^ "Gemini 11". National Space Science Data Center. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  6. ^ Chaikin, Andrew (1998). A Man on the Moon. New York: Penguin Books. p. 243. ISBN 0-670-81446-6. 
  7. ^ Mathews, Charles W.; Low, George M. (January 1967). "Gemini XII Program Mission Report". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. pp. 7–27. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  8. ^ Mathews, Gemini XII Program Mission Report, p. 7-28, 7-29, 7-43
  9. ^ Mathews, Gemini XII Program Mission Report, p. 7-30