1954 in spaceflight
Viking-10.jpg
Viking 10 was launched in May
National firsts
Spaceflight France
Rockets
Maiden flightsUnited States Aerobee RTV-N-10b
United States Nike-Nike-T40-T55
Soviet Union A-1
Soviet Union R-1D
France Véronique-NA
RetirementsUnited States Aerobee RTV-N-10b
Soviet Union R-1D
France Véronique-NA

The year 1954 saw the conception of Project Orbiter, the first practicable satellite launching project, utilizing the Redstone, a newly developed Short Range Ballistic Missile.

A variety of sounding rockets continued to return scientific data from beyond the 100 kilometres (62 mi) boundary of space (as defined by the World Air Sports Federation).[1], including the Viking and Aerobee rockets, University of Iowa and Naval Research Laboratory ship-launched rockoons, and derivatives of the Soviet R-1 missile. The French also launched their first sounding rocket into space, the Véronique-NA.

1954 also marked a year of development of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). The United States prioritized the development of its Atlas while the Soviet Union authorized the draft proposal for the R-7 Semyorka, its first ICBM.

Space exploration highlights

US Navy

After ten months of salvage, testing, and troubleshooting following the failed launch of Viking 10 on 30 June 1953, a successful static firing of the rebuilt rocket took place at the end of April 1954. 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 July 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

US 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

February

February launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2 February
18:35
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Sunfollower / Solar UV 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), maiden flight of the Véronique-NA[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

March launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
11 March Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 11 March Successful[14]
16 March Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 16 March Successful[14]
16 March Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 16 March Successful[14]
20 March Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 20 March Successful[14]

April

April launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
9 April
21:12
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Spectrometry 9 April Successful
Apogee: 143 kilometres (89 mi)[11]
10 April
09:00
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10 United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Spectrometry 10 April Launch Failure
Apogee: 5 kilometres (3.1 mi)[11]
23 April Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 23 April Successful[14]
24 April Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 24 April Successful[14]
26 April Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 26 April Successful[14]
29 April Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 29 April Successful[14]

May

May launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
First of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Second of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Third of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Fourth of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Fifth of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Sixth of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Seventh of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Eighth of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Ninth of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
May Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test Same Day
Tenth of ten production missile test launches, eight of which were successful[15]
3 May Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 3 May Successful[14]
4 May Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 4 May Successful[14]
4 May Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 4 May Successful[14]
7 May Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 7 May Successful[14]
7 May
17:00
United StatesViking (second model) United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesViking 10 NRL Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 7 May Successful
Apogee: 219 kilometres (136 mi)[16]
11 May
15:00
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman LC-A United StatesUS Air Force
ARDC Suborbital Beacon test 11 May Successful
Apogee: 98.2 kilometres (61.0 mi)[11]
21 May Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 21 May Successful[14]
24 May
17:00
United StatesViking (second model) United StatesWhite Sands LC-33 United StatesUS Navy
United StatesViking 11 NRL Suborbital REV test / Photography 24 May Successful
Apogee: 254 kilometres (158 mi)[16]
26 May
14:24
Soviet UnionA-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
MVS Suborbital Ionospheric 26 May Successful
Apogee: 106 kilometres (66 mi), maiden flight of the A-1[17]

June

June launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2 June
16:10
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman LC-A United StatesUS Air Force
ARDC Suborbital Solar ultraviolet spectrum test 2 June Successful
Apogee: 93.4 kilometres (58.0 mi)[11]
8 June Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 8 June Successful[15]
9 June Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 9 June Successful[15]
11 June Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 11 June Successful[14]
12 June Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 12 June Successful[14]
14 June Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 14 June Successful[14]
26 June
13:24
Soviet UnionR-1D Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Biology / Ionosphere / Aeronomy 26 June Successful
Apogee: 106 kilometres (66 mi), maiden flight of R-1D[18]

July

July launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2 July Soviet UnionR-1D Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Biology / Ionosphere / Aeronomy 2 July Successful
Payload, instruments, left and right animal containers all recovered. Smoke container failed. Carried dogs Lyza and Ryjik.[18]
7 July Soviet UnionR-1D Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Biology / Ionosphere / Aeronomy 7 July Successful
Final flight of the R-1D[18]
14 July
13:55
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman LC-A United StatesUS Air Force
ARDC Suborbital Aeronomy 14 July Successful
Apogee: 91.8 kilometres (57.0 mi)[11]
16 July
12:13
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 24 United StatesUSS Atka,[19] Atlantic Ocean, 360 kilometres (220 mi) east of Boston United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 16 July Launch failure[20]
Apogee: 11 kilometres (6.8 mi)[4]
16 July
21:58
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 25 United StatesUSS Atka, Atlantic Ocean, 360 kilometres (220 mi) east of Boston United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 16 July Launch failure
Apogee: 11 kilometres (6.8 mi)[20]
19 July
16:00
United StatesDeacon Rockoon NRL Rockoon 7 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Aeronomy 19 July Successful
Apogee: 88 kilometres (55 mi)[20]
19 July
20:30
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 26 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 19 July Spacecraft failure[4]
Apogee: 43 kilometres (27 mi)[20]
20 July
02:55
United StatesDeacon Rockoon NRL Rockoon 8 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 20 July Successful
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[20]
21 July
09:03
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 27 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 21 July Successful[4]
Apogee: 60 kilometres (37 mi);[20] first in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
21 July
12:45
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 28 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 21 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] second in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
21 July
20:49
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 29 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 21 July Launch failure[20]
Apogee: 40 kilometres (25 mi);[20] third in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
22 July Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 22 July Successful[15]
23 July
14:46
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 30 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 23 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] fourth in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
23 July
17:09
United StatesDeacon Rockoon NRL Rockoon 9 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
Naval Research Laboratory Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 23 July Successful
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[20]
23 July
17:54
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 31 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 23 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] fifth in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
23 July
19:37
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 32 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 23 July Launch failure
Apogee: 23 kilometres (14 mi);[20] sixth in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
24 July
08:57
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 33 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 24 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] seventh in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
24 July
13:16
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 34 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 24 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] eighth in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
25 July
06:51
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 35 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 25 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] ninth in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
25 July
12:36
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 36 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 25 July Successful[4]
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] tenth in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
25 July
15:30
United StatesDeacon Rockoon SUI 37 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
University of Iowa Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 25 July
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi);[20] eleventh in series of 11 SUI flights, 7 of which were successful[4]
25 July
18:45
United StatesDeacon Rockoon NRL Rockoon 10 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
Naval Research Laboratory Suborbital Aeronomy 25 July Successful
Apogee: 85 kilometres (53 mi)[20]
26 July
00:29
United StatesDeacon Rockoon NRL Rockoon 11 United StatesUSS Atka, Labrador Sea United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 26 July Launch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)[20]
26 July
11:02
United StatesDeacon Rockoon NRL Rockoon 12 United StatesUSS Atka, southern Davis Strait United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Ionospheric / Aeronomy 26 July Successful
Apogee: 90 kilometres (56 mi)[20]

August

August launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
2 August Soviet 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 LC-A United StatesUS Air Force
ARDC / University of Utah Suborbital Ionospheric 11 August Successful
Apogee: 91.8 kilometres (57.0 mi)[11]
12 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 12 August Partial failure
First flight of range test series[21]
17 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 17 August Successful[21]
19 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 19 August Successful[21]
24 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 24 August Successful[21]
25 August Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 25 August Successful[21]
27 August Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 27 August Successful[14]
27 August Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 27 August Successful[14]

September

September launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
5 September Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 5 September Successful[21]
8 September Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 8 September Successful[21]
17 September
14:31
United StatesAerobee RTV-A-1a United StatesHolloman LC-A United StatesUS Air Force
ARDC Suborbital Solar UV 17 September Successful
Apogee: 94.7 kilometres (58.8 mi)[11]
30 September Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 September Successful[15]

October

October launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
1 October Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 October Successful[15]
5 October Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 5 October Successful[15]
5 October
18:15
United StatesAerobee RTV-N-10b United StatesWhite Sands LC-35 United StatesUS Navy
NRL Suborbital Remote sensing 5 October Successful
Apogee: 158 kilometres (98 mi); maiden (and only) flight of the RTV-N-10b;[11] returned first images of a complete hurricane[22][23]
9 October Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 9 October Successful
Airborne destruction of warhead[21]
14 October
21:20
United StatesNike-Nike-T40-T55 United StatesWallops Island United StatesNACA
NACA Suborbital Hypersonic research 14 October Successful
Apogee: 352 kilometres (219 mi), maiden flight of the Nike-Nike-T40-T55[24]
16 October Soviet UnionR-2 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 Ionospheric 17 October Launch failure
Apogee: 39 kilometres (24 mi)[12]
19 October Soviet UnionR-5 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
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] final flight of the Véronique-NA
30 October Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful[14]

November

November launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
27 November Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 27 November Successful[15]
30 November Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 November Successful[14]

December

December launches
Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
1 December Soviet UnionR-1 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Successful[14]
1 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 1 December Successful[15]
6 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 6 December Successful[15]
9 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 9 December Successful[15]
23 December Soviet UnionR-2 Soviet UnionKapustin Yar Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 23 December Successful[15]
25 December Soviet 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 Soviet UnionOKB-1
OKB-1 Suborbital Missile test 30 December Successful
Start of validity test series[21]

Suborbital launch summary

By country

United States: 32Soviet Union: 61France: 4Circle frame.svg
Launches by country
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
 United States 32 23 9 0
 Soviet Union 59 56 2 1
 France 4 2 2 0

By rocket

6
12
18
24
30
Viking
Aerobee
Deacon rockoon
Nike
R-1
R-2
R-5
Véronique
Launches by rocket
Rocket Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
Viking (second model)  United States 2 2 0 0
Aerobee RTV-N-10  United States 3 2 1 0
Aerobee RTV-N-10b  United States 1 1 0 0 Maiden flight, retired
Aerobee RTV-A-1a  United States 5 5 0 0
Deacon rockoon (SUI)  United States 14 7 7 0
Deacon rockoon (NRL)  United States 6 5 1 0
Nike-Nike-T40-T55  United States 1 1 0 0 Maiden flight
R-1  Soviet Union 22 22 0 0
A-1  Soviet Union 1 1 0 0 Maiden flight
R-1D  Soviet Union 3 3 0 0 Maiden flight, retired
R-2  Soviet Union 23 21 2 0
R-5  Soviet Union 10 9 0 1
Véronique-NA  France 4 2 2 0 Maiden flight, first French Spaceflight, retired

See also

References

Generic references:
RocketSunIcon.svg
 Spaceflight portal
  • Bergin, Chris. "NASASpaceFlight.com".
  • Clark, Stephen. "Spaceflight Now".
  • Kelso, T.S. "Satellite Catalog (SATCAT)". CelesTrak.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Chronology of Space Launches".
  • Kyle, Ed. "Space Launch Report".
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "Jonathan's Space Report".
  • Pietrobon, Steven. "Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive".
  • Wade, Mark. "Encyclopedia Astronautica".
  • Webb, Brian. "Southwest Space Archive".
  • Zak, Anatoly. "Russian Space Web".
  • "ISS Calendar". Spaceflight 101.
  • "NSSDCA Master Catalog". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • "Space Calendar". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • "Space Information Center". JAXA.
  • "Хроника освоения космоса" [Chronicle of space exploration]. CosmoWorld (in Russian).

Footnotes

  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 f g h i j k l m n o p 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 h i Wade, Mark. "Aerobee". Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d Wade, Mark. "Veronique". Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d Gunter Krebs. "Veronique Family". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 19 October 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". Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. 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 w Wade, Mark. "R-2". Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  16. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "Viking Sounding Rocket". Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  17. ^ Wade, Mark. "A-1 (R-1)". astronautix.com. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  18. ^ a b c Wade, Mark. "R1-D". astronautix.com. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Atka (AGB-3)". Naval History and Heritage Command. US Navy. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Wade, Mark. "Deacon Rockoon". Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Asif Siddiqi (2021). "R-5 Launches 1953-1959". Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  22. ^ NASA History Office - Aeronautics and Astronautics Chronology, 1950-1954
  23. ^ NOAA Photo Library - View of tropical cyclone centred near Del Rio, Texas
  24. ^ Wade, Mark. "Nike Nike T40 T55". Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2021.