1957 The Year the Space Age Began Roger

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1957 – The Year the Space Age Began Roger L. Easton, retired Naval Research

1957 – The Year the Space Age Began Roger L. Easton, retired Naval Research Laboratory Linda Hall Library Kansas City MO 6 September 2007

Conditions in 1957 Much different from now, slower, more optimistic in some ways l

Conditions in 1957 Much different from now, slower, more optimistic in some ways l Simpler, yet very frightening, time l

1957 in Politics l January 20: Second Presidential Inauguration of Dwight Eisenhower

1957 in Politics l January 20: Second Presidential Inauguration of Dwight Eisenhower

1957 in Toys l First “Frisbee” from Wham-O

1957 in Toys l First “Frisbee” from Wham-O

1957 in Sports l Third Year of Major League Baseball in Kansas City l

1957 in Sports l Third Year of Major League Baseball in Kansas City l the “Athletics, ” not the “Royals”

1957 in Sports l No pro football in Kansas City l AFL was three

1957 in Sports l No pro football in Kansas City l AFL was three years in future l no Chiefs until 1963

1957 at Home l No microwave ovens l l Few color television sets l

1957 at Home l No microwave ovens l l Few color television sets l l l (first broadcasts late in 1953) No postal Zip Codes Circular phone diales l l (TV dinners since 1954) No cell phones (heck, no Area Codes, no direct long-distance dialing!) No Internet, no personal computers Music recorded on vinyl discs, not compact or computer disks

1957 in Transportation Gas cost 27¢ per gallon l September 4: Introduction of the

1957 in Transportation Gas cost 27¢ per gallon l September 4: Introduction of the Edsel by Ford Motor Company l l cancelled in 1959 after loss of $250 M

1957 in Transportation l October 28: rollout of first production Boeing 707

1957 in Transportation l October 28: rollout of first production Boeing 707

1957 in Science l International Geophysical Year (IGY) l (actually, “year and a half”)

1957 in Science l International Geophysical Year (IGY) l (actually, “year and a half”)

IGY Accomplishments l South Polar Stations established l Operation l Discovery of mid-ocean submarine

IGY Accomplishments l South Polar Stations established l Operation l Discovery of mid-ocean submarine ridges l evidence l Deep Freeze of plate tectonics USSR and USA pledged to launch artificial satellites (“man-made moons”) l discovery of Van Allen radiation belts

1957: “First” Year of Space Age l Space Age arguably began in 1955 l

1957: “First” Year of Space Age l Space Age arguably began in 1955 l President Eisenhower announced that USA would launch small unmanned earth-orbiting satellite as part of IGY l Project Vanguard

Our Story: l The battle to determine who would launch the first artificial satellite:

Our Story: l The battle to determine who would launch the first artificial satellite: l Werner von Braun of the U. S. Army Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville AL l Milton Rosen of the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC

Rockets in WWII German V-2 Missiles attacked London l German missile experts brought to

Rockets in WWII German V-2 Missiles attacked London l German missile experts brought to USA for Operation “Paperclip” l l Best known was Dr. Werner Von Braun

Post WWII Rocket Experiments Milton Rosen used V-2 s as launch vehicles for scientific

Post WWII Rocket Experiments Milton Rosen used V-2 s as launch vehicles for scientific experiments l Needed more performance l Proposed improved vehicle l l led to Viking Rocket

Viking Rocket 1949, built for NRL by Glenn L. Martin Co. l Important innovations

Viking Rocket 1949, built for NRL by Glenn L. Martin Co. l Important innovations in Viking: l l gimbaled rocket motor for steering l aluminum as principal structural material l intermittent gas jets for stabilizing vehicle after the main power cutoff l Launches l Viking No. 1, spring 1949, 50 -mile altitude l Viking No. 4, May 1950 from ship, 104 miles

Scientific Results from Viking l NRL Electron Optics Branch l l Single-Axis Phase-Comparison Angle-Tracking

Scientific Results from Viking l NRL Electron Optics Branch l l Single-Axis Phase-Comparison Angle-Tracking Unit l l ion chambers and photon counters to measure radiation from sun at x-ray and ultraviolet wavelengths antecedent of Minitrack Continuous tracking of small instrumented body in space Viking 10, April 1954, 136 miles, measured ion composition Viking 11, May 1954, altitude of 158 miles radio

Viking Results Five years of successes l Total cost less than $6 million l

Viking Results Five years of successes l Total cost less than $6 million l Encouraged NRL to propose a more powerful rocket engine and added upper stages to build vehicle capable of launching an artificial earth satellite l

Project Vanguard Grew out of NRL Proposal l Led by Dr. John P. Hagen

Project Vanguard Grew out of NRL Proposal l Led by Dr. John P. Hagen l

Vanguard Launcher & Satellite l Efficient Three-stage launch vehicle l l l Stage 1:

Vanguard Launcher & Satellite l Efficient Three-stage launch vehicle l l l Stage 1: based on Viking Stage 2: based on Aerobee Sounding Rocket Stage 3: new solid-fuel rocket Innovative, Miniaturized Scientific Payload Planned IGY use: measure locations of Pacific islands

Planned Vanguard Trajectory

Planned Vanguard Trajectory

Solar Cell Batteries l 6 units on sphere

Solar Cell Batteries l 6 units on sphere

Later Vanguard Spacecraft l l Larger spheres More scientific equipment

Later Vanguard Spacecraft l l Larger spheres More scientific equipment

Plan for Tracking Vanguard Satellite l Remember, no worldwide tracking stations l no communication

Plan for Tracking Vanguard Satellite l Remember, no worldwide tracking stations l no communication network, not even telephones Would be difficult to ascertain whether satellite had orbited (hence, Project Moonwatch) l Satellite Tracking Program in Project Vanguard: l l Minimum Trackable Satellite = Minitrack

Minitrack Antenna Array

Minitrack Antenna Array

Minitrack Station, Blossom Point, MD

Minitrack Station, Blossom Point, MD

Tracking Computer l Vanguard Computing Center l l IBM 704 “Electronic Data-Processing Machine” l

Tracking Computer l Vanguard Computing Center l l IBM 704 “Electronic Data-Processing Machine” l l l Washington Post, July 10, 1957 in downtown DC Magnetic core memory (not vacuum tubes) 40, 000 = 40 103 instructions per second fastest 2007 computers l 300, 000, 000 = 300 109 instructions/second

Competitor to Vanguard: Project Orbiter l Proposal by U. S. Army, led by Werner

Competitor to Vanguard: Project Orbiter l Proposal by U. S. Army, led by Werner Von Braun l Believed his project was certain to be chosen

Orbiter Satellite & Launcher l Launched by Army Redstone IRBM l range l of

Orbiter Satellite & Launcher l Launched by Army Redstone IRBM l range l of 200 miles, 55 -mile vertical height Subsequent boost from 3 Rotating (for stability) clusters of unguided solid-fuelled Loki anti-aircraft rockets l 2 nd Stage: Bundle of 24 Loki, burns for < 2 sec l 3 rd Stage: Bundle of 6 Loki l 4 th Stage: 1 Loki l Switched to following Loki stage at intervals of 2. 5 seconds (!)

Project Orbiter Payload l 5 -pound, 20 -inch diameter sphere l no radio transmitter

Project Orbiter Payload l 5 -pound, 20 -inch diameter sphere l no radio transmitter l would be tracked by optical telescopes ONLY l difficult, l not reliable No science – propaganda value only l would only be able to say that USA had orbited a spacecraft

Launch Vehicle: Loki Rockets Unguided, solid-fueled rocket l Based on German Taifun from WWII

Launch Vehicle: Loki Rockets Unguided, solid-fueled rocket l Based on German Taifun from WWII l Loki failed in antiaircraft role l l replaced by Nike-Ajax in September 1955 Loki later used as a sounding rocket l Small payload: 3. 2 kg l Dimensions: l 2. 63 m long 76 mm dia. l payload “dart: ” 1. 02 m long 35 mm dia. l booster:

Loki Rocket “Dart” Booster

Loki Rocket “Dart” Booster

Selection by “Stewart Committee” Chaired by Homer Stewart of Jet Propulsion Laboratory l Eight

Selection by “Stewart Committee” Chaired by Homer Stewart of Jet Propulsion Laboratory l Eight members to select proposal for funding l Vote on August 3, 1955 l l 1 member absent l 3 votes for Vanguard l 2 votes for Orbiter l 2 other members (“not rocket scientists”) voted with majority l Final vote: 5 to 2

Reasons for Decision: Deficiencies of Project Orbiter Very Limited Weight Capacity – 5 lbs.

Reasons for Decision: Deficiencies of Project Orbiter Very Limited Weight Capacity – 5 lbs. l Uncertain Optical Detection of Successful Orbit l Untested Launch Vehicle l Problems had not been fixed (at least, not well enough) l Technological world had changed, but von Braun had not l

Plusses for Vanguard l Launch vehicle based on Viking l no interference with research

Plusses for Vanguard l Launch vehicle based on Viking l no interference with research in ballistic missile weaponry l less tied to military vehicle l good for propaganda purposes l Much better tracking system l Better scientific value l Innovative vehicle and payload l also a “minus” ⇒ uncertainty and complexity

Second Hearing by Stewart Committee August 15, 1955 (12 days later) l Army memo

Second Hearing by Stewart Committee August 15, 1955 (12 days later) l Army memo had been circulated that criticized NRL satellite program for low probability of success and time required to develop launch vehicle l l In short, von Braun could not believe he and the Army had lost

Project Orbiter Killed September 9, 1955 l Army forbidden from launching satellites l NRL

Project Orbiter Killed September 9, 1955 l Army forbidden from launching satellites l NRL forbidden from soliciting scientific data from military missile programs l l Vanguard team could not believe it had won

Vanguard Launch Sequence

Vanguard Launch Sequence

Vanguard Launch Sequence

Vanguard Launch Sequence

October 4, 1957: News Flash Sputnik successfully launched into orbit

October 4, 1957: News Flash Sputnik successfully launched into orbit

Five Scientific Objectives of Sputnik l l l to test method for orbiting an

Five Scientific Objectives of Sputnik l l l to test method for orbiting an artificial satellite; to provide information on density of atmosphere by calculating orbital lifetime; to test radio and optical methods of orbital tracking; to determine effects of atmospheric radio wave propagation; and to check methods for pressurizing satellite

Sputnik I Rocket Booster Track as seen in Washington, DC on night of 15

Sputnik I Rocket Booster Track as seen in Washington, DC on night of 15 October 1957 Easily visible to unaided eye

Sputnik Radio Transmitters 20. 005 MHz and 40. 002 MHz l NRL converted Minitrack

Sputnik Radio Transmitters 20. 005 MHz and 40. 002 MHz l NRL converted Minitrack receivers at Blossom Point Tracking Station from 108 MHz in two days l l New Antennas and Receivers installed l Worked well until someone “tidied up” the site

Minitrack System Calibration l l Opportunity provided by surprise launch of Sputnik Satellite’s orbit

Minitrack System Calibration l l Opportunity provided by surprise launch of Sputnik Satellite’s orbit computed using Doppler shifts of radio transmissions After orbit established, NRL proposed “illuminating” Sputnik with FM transmitter at Fort Monmouth, NJ Reflected signal used for calibration l l Led to idea of using “bistatic” radar to track orbiting bodies Naval Space Surveillance System “Fence”

Navspasur Radar Sites

Navspasur Radar Sites

Reaction to Sputnik Pressure from Press/Public/Politicians for Vanguard to launch l Launch of “Test

Reaction to Sputnik Pressure from Press/Public/Politicians for Vanguard to launch l Launch of “Test Vehicles” considered point of national pride l Revived/modified plan from U. S. Army l

Test Vehicle 3 (TV-3) December 6, 1957 l Nationally televised l First-stage guidance failed

Test Vehicle 3 (TV-3) December 6, 1957 l Nationally televised l First-stage guidance failed l Satellite survived in “working” order l l now l in NASM TV-3 B, 5 February 1958, second stage did not ignite

Army Backup Plan l small spacecraft carried by fourstage Jupiter-C launch vehicle l based

Army Backup Plan l small spacecraft carried by fourstage Jupiter-C launch vehicle l based l on Jupiter IRBM Contained Vanguard electronics package to appear as a scientific experiment

Explorer-I Launch, January 31, 1958

Explorer-I Launch, January 31, 1958

Explorer-I Launch, January 31, 1958 Pickering, Van Allen, von Braun

Explorer-I Launch, January 31, 1958 Pickering, Van Allen, von Braun

Next Vanguard Attempt March 1958 l Test-Vehicle 4 (TV-4) + small satellite l

Next Vanguard Attempt March 1958 l Test-Vehicle 4 (TV-4) + small satellite l

HAVE BALL, WILL ORBIT

HAVE BALL, WILL ORBIT

Vanguard Test Vehicle (TV-4) l l Successfully launched March 17, 1958 Stable orbit l

Vanguard Test Vehicle (TV-4) l l Successfully launched March 17, 1958 Stable orbit l l apogee: 3969 km perigee: 650 km Early predicted orbital life: 200 years 7 -cell mercury battery, two radio transmitters, temperature sensor, six clusters of solar cells

Vanguard Test Vehicle (TV-4) l l March 17, 1958 Two radio transmitters l l

Vanguard Test Vehicle (TV-4) l l March 17, 1958 Two radio transmitters l l 108 MHz @ 10 m. W 108. 03 MHz @ 5 m. W l Signal after 1 year l Transmissions ceased after 75 months

Vanguard I 3 pounds, 6. 4 -inch diameter l Khrushchev called it “the grapefruit

Vanguard I 3 pounds, 6. 4 -inch diameter l Khrushchev called it “the grapefruit satellite” l

Scientific Experiments l Radio phase-comparison angle-tracking system l l l 10 m. W battery-powered

Scientific Experiments l Radio phase-comparison angle-tracking system l l l 10 m. W battery-powered transmitter at 108 MHz, transmitted internal temperature 5 m. W transmitter at 108. 03 MHz powered by solar cells inferred north-south asymmetry of earth’s shape l l l described as “pear-shaped” with “stem” at North Pole Signal strength used to measure total electron content along line of sight between satellite and selected ground-receiving stations Satellite drag atmospheric density inferred from and sequential positions and tracking data

Tracking Orbits

Tracking Orbits

Scientific and Engineering “Firsts” from Vanguard I First use of rotatable exhaust and gyroscope

Scientific and Engineering “Firsts” from Vanguard I First use of rotatable exhaust and gyroscope for roll control l first solar-powered satellite l first use of miniaturized circuits l Oldest man-made object in earth orbit l Observations of orbital motion established that earth is “pear-shaped” l

Current Status of Vanguard I l Oldest man-made object in space l l l

Current Status of Vanguard I l Oldest man-made object in space l l l Oldest three are Vanguard I, II, and III 194, 000+ orbits has traveled 6. 6 billion miles = 70 au l l 1 astronomical unit = distance from Earth to Sun 70 au is farther than distance from Sun to Pluto

Vanguard II 17 February 1959, orbital lifetime of 300 years l 20 -inch diameter

Vanguard II 17 February 1959, orbital lifetime of 300 years l 20 -inch diameter sphere, 21 pounds l First satellite designed to observe and record the cloud cover of the earth l forerunner of the “television infrared observation satellites” (TIROS) l

Vanguard III launched 18 September 1959 into geocentric orbit, orbital life of 300 years

Vanguard III launched 18 September 1959 into geocentric orbit, orbital life of 300 years l Objectives: measure earth’s magnetic field and solar X-ray radiation l

Legacy of Vanguard I, II, and III are three oldest man-made objects in earth

Legacy of Vanguard I, II, and III are three oldest man-made objects in earth orbit l NASA was formed around a base of the staff from Project Vanguard l Far from being a “failure, ” Project Vanguard was a very successful test project that broke ground for the space programs that followed l

Legacy of Minitrack – NAVSPASUR l Timing issues led to more careful considerations of

Legacy of Minitrack – NAVSPASUR l Timing issues led to more careful considerations of relativistic effects

Measurement of Time Intervals l Timation

Measurement of Time Intervals l Timation

Use of Time-Interval Measurements to Navigate Navstar – GPS l Now a multibillion-dollar industry

Use of Time-Interval Measurements to Navigate Navstar – GPS l Now a multibillion-dollar industry l

Acknowledgements and Thanks John P. Hagen l John Mengel l Martin Votaw l… l

Acknowledgements and Thanks John P. Hagen l John Mengel l Martin Votaw l… l

Further Reading l l Orbiter, Overflight, and the First Satellite; New Light on the

Further Reading l l Orbiter, Overflight, and the First Satellite; New Light on the Vanguard Decision from “Reconsidering Sputnik, Michael Neufeld How Man-made Satellites Can Affect Our Lives, Joseph Kaplan, National Geographic Magazine, December 1957