In June of 1963, the Soviet Union performed an encore of the Vostok 3 and 4 missions with two manned spaceships orbiting the Earth simultaneously. However, Vostok 5 and 6 was more than a simple repetition. Vostok 5’s objective was to beat the flight-duration record. But Vostok-6 would carrying the first woman into space. The 26 year old Valentina Tereshkova….
Geosynchronous satellites have the advantage of remaining permanently in the same area of the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth. Geostationary satellites have the special property of remaining permanently fixed in the exact same position in the sky at all times, meaning that ground-based antennas do not need to track them but can remain fixed in one direction…
Mercury-Atlas 9 was the fourth and final manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The flight objectives were to:
(1) evaluate the effects on the astronaut of approximately one day in orbital flight;
(2) verify that man can function for an extended period in space as a primary operating system of the spacecraft; and,
(3) evaluate in a manned one-day mission the combined performance of the astronaut and a Mercury spacecraft specifically modified for the mission…
During the summer of 1962 final preparations were underway for the first U.S. attempt to reach another planet. The planet was Venus, Earth’s closest planetary neighbor. This first flight would be accomplished by the JPL built Mariner 2 spacecraft…
After Scott Carpenter’s science heavy Mercury-Atlas 7 flight, Nasa’s next mission would concentrate on the technical and engineering aspects of space travel. Mercury Atlas 8 became the third manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The pilot selected was Walter M. Schirra, Jr., but most people called him Wally…
In February of 1962, the United States put John Glenn into orbit. This prompted Soviet leadership to suddenly asked Chief Designer Korolev to launch the next space spectacular promptly. To make this mission truly spectacular the Soviets decided to launch a group flight of two Vostoks lasting up to four days in orbit.
Vostok 4 on Pad
Popovich in Orbit
Nikolaev & Popovich
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After the successful completion of the Mercury-Atlas 6 flight that carried John Glenn into orbit, it was Scott Carpenter’s turn to pilot Mercury-Atlas 7, which he named Aurora 7. The mission was essentially a repeat of John Glenn’s 3 orbit mission, except the focus of this mission was on science. The full flight plan included the first study of liquids in weightlessness, Earth photography, star observations, Venus sightings and a multitude of other experiments…