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what is one problem that nasa engineers had to solve before giada left the launchpad

To make the static inflation tests, Jesse Mitchell took a team of engineers to nearby Weeksville, North Carolina, off the north shore of the Albemarle Sound, where a cavernous navy blimp hangar big enough to inflate the Echo balloon to full size stood empty. The inflated sphere "rode for 13 minutes in the sun's rays ... before it fell again into the atmosphere and dropped into the Atlantic about 500 miles east of Wallops." Because the outer skin was not extremely rigid-it was in engineering slang "dead-soft"-it could be punctured by a small meteorite and still not shatter. O'Sullivan knew that tracking a satellite at all times of the day and at night was possible only by radar. A few minutes later, the balloon inflated perfectly. Either a small tank of compressed gas such as nitrogen, or a liquid that would readily evaporate into a gas, or even some solid material that would evaporate to form a gas (such as the material used to make mothballs) could be used to accomplish the inflation. The systems aren't thought to be as inherently dangerous as, for example, the shuttle's main engines, which are considered most likely to trigger catastrophe. If the sphere could be packed snugly into a strong container, it could easily withstand the acceleration loads of takeoff and come through the extreme heating unscathed. We do not know if Langley's William J. O'Sullivan (who died from cancer in 1971 at age 56) had read any of Arthur Clarke's writings or was in any other way acquainted with Clarke's ideas about communications satellites at the time of the Ann Arbor meeting in 1956. "And I never saw anything being done that really seemed to be resolving the problem. In light of the formation of the national Communications Satellite Corporation (ComSatCorp), the space agency instead would focus its efforts on the development of synchronous-orbit active satellites. When TV viewers saw astronaut L. Gordon Cooper being recovered from his capsule on 16 May 1963 at the end of the last Mercury mission, they were seeing a signal from Relay 1.80, The age of the active comsat had arrived, and with it came a revolution in telecommunications that would have an enormous impact worldwide. But now, somehow, in some new way, the sky seemed almost alien. 82, In 1964, 10 nations (plus the Vatican) formed the International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium, or Intelsat. The purpose of Shotput was "to ensure proper operation of the payload package at simulated orbital insertion"-in other words, to do thorough developmental testing of the techniques by which the folded Echo balloon would be ejected from its canister and inflated in space. Whipple and other members of the USNC/IGY Technical [173] Panel on the Earth Satellites expressed serious interest in O'Sullivan's proposal for a bigger inflatable, but they had to wait a few months to see whether a booster more powerful than the Vanguard rocket could be obtained. UFOs? This age of the spaceflight revolution was a new epoch. Once the balloon was packed, the canister was placed, slightly open, in a vacuum tank. As [162] O'Sullivan suspected, the problem was that radars powerful enough to do the job, even if the satellite were as big as a house, would not be available for several years because they were still in development. . On the other hand, the few people [like Bressette] who were promoting the passive system were thinking more democratically. Having pondered the problems of designing an air-density flight experiment into the wee hours of the morning, O'Sullivan finally went to bed. It's run by a highly toxic fuel -- hydrazine -- and needs an elaborate array of hardware for lubrication, cooling, fuel handling and sensing trouble. The House [156] Space Committee was investigating why the United States continued "to play second fiddle" to the Soviets in the exploration of space; the headline of this second article read: "Why U.S. The development of earth satellites was therefore "inevitable." But this, too, seemed to have a remedy. AUXILIARY-POWER UNITS Several hours later, the press was still trying to solve the mystery. "36 The cause of the epidemic was the new need of Americans to externalize their postwar fears about technology, about the atomic bomb, and about nuclear war destroying the world. In December 1960, the U.S. Post Office Department issued a commemorative 4 cent stamp in honor of his beloved Echo balloon. Out of the seven failures, including the scintillating bits of Shotput 1, NASA built a successful communications satellite program, which entranced the public. So eager was the American public to get a glimpse of the balloon that NASA released daily schedules telling when and where the sphere could be seen overhead.72. ), The Project Echo Task Group, however, believed that "they were over the hump" and that the next step was to move beyond Shotput, put the completely equipped 100-foot passive reflector balloon on the Thor-Delta, and attempt a launch. . Results indicated that the aluminum-covered Mylar plastic would effectively reflect the dangerous heat. With fellow Langley researchers Clinton E. Brown and Charles H. Zimmerman, O'Sullivan had educated himself in the science of hypersonics and helped the group to conceptualize a manned research airplane that could fly to the limits of the atmosphere, be boosted by rockets into space, and return to earth under aerodynamic control. O'Sullivan knew that he could not design a satellite for the space environment alone; rather, a structure must be designed to "withstand the greatest loads it will be exposed to throughout its useful life." The idea for the 12-foot satellite was not O'Sullivan's but Jesse Mitchell's. The engineering drawings those designers had completed for the prototype were nowhere to be found. "63 Leaked water could easily have produced an explosion. Various parties would contribute to the project through expanded in-house activities and some extensive contracting, Jaffe explained. By the mid-1960s, however, the active satellite had proved itself the better method for communications in space. To survive, the satellite could not consist merely of a thin shell; it would have to be so strong and have such a high mass-to-area ratio that it would be insensitive to minute air drag and thereby "defeat the very objective of its existence. "The question is what's going to be the next one," he said. When the idea is new, its custodians have a fervor. (Five Shotput launches would in fact occur; the last would take place on 31 May 1960.) "It's remarkable the energy it puts out," said Bob Bucina, retired orbiter fluids and propulsion manager for The Boeing Co. at KSC. The forming of thin sheet metal into certain desired shapes was a standard procedure in many manufacturing industries, but sheet metal thin enough for the skin of his satellite would tear easily during the folding and unfolding. Significantly, this small Space Vehicle Group was the first organizational unit at Langley to have the word "space" in its title.27. Across the United States, people went outside with binoculars and telescopes, straining to see the faint blinking reflection of the tiny yet ominous metal globe tumbling end over end. (O'Sullivan once tried to remove Crabill from the project because he thought the young Langley engineer did not know enough to be in charge of the development of the Shotput test vehicle.) The Sub-Satellite could not weigh more or take up more space on the Vanguard; it just had to be 10 inches bigger. ‘Today is our day’: Inside Mission Control as U.S. astronauts make history, New drive-thru holiday light park to make debut in Houston area, As federal judge hears GOP challenge asking to throw out 127,000 Harris County drive-thru ballots, snafu shuts out reporters, Federal judge rejects GOP bid to toss 127K Harris County drive-thru votes, Election 2020 Live Updates: Harris County clerk closes 9 of 10 drive-thru voting sites, Beyoncé reveals her favorite Texas food in British Vogue — and it's from a famed Houston-based chain, The first ISS astronauts talk about their experience, NASA confirms water on sunlit surface of moon, NASA takes six seconds to get asteroid rocks and dust, NASA's OSIRIS-REx collects samples from Bennu asteroid, KBR joint venture lands $608 million contract for two NASA facilities in Florida. Rough calculations showed that high temperatures could be controlled by doping the outside of the satellite with a heat-reflecting paint. Thus, the Echo balloon served primarily as a demonstration model, showing how a simple passive comsat might work. Along with 13 other pilots, Chaffee was chosen to be part of the third class of astronauts in 1963. 61. PARD engineers were worried about the booster called "Shotput," an experimental two-stage Sergeant X248 rocket, because the performance of the rocket's second-stage Delta was to be the initial test of the U.S. Thor-Delta satellite launching system. The container-opening mechanism that eventually resulted from these vacuum tests was surely one of the oddest explosive devices ever contrived. All that raw winter day, the 40 year-old O'Sullivan sat in a meeting of the Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel, which was being held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. If Langley lost Echo to Goddard, all the other large satellite experiments would probably go to Goddard as well. Walter Bressette and Edwin C. Kilgore were the engineers who actually worked out not only the folding pattern but also the ejection method and inflation bottle pressure for the Sub-Satellite. Almost everyone involved was excited by the prospect of sending the experiment into space, and several individuals worked nights and weekends through the last months of 1956 to get the Sub-Satellite ready.

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