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1937 Chronology

1937 January 10 - .
  • Birth of Gene Nora Stumough - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Stumough. American pilot, one of the Mercury 13 female astroauts proposed in 1961, but never entered training..

February 1937 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende.
  • German rocketplane tests - . Nation: Germany. Spacecraft Bus: German Rocketplanes. Spacecraft: He-112.

    Three flight tests were made between February and April in a He-112 equipped with a 300 kgf liquid fuel rocket engine by Flight-Captain Erich Warsitz from Neuhardenberg near Berlin. On the final flight Warstiz smelled something burning, and made an emergency belly landing. He survived but the aircraft had to be written off. Engine exhaust had flowed back into the space between the engine and fuselage and burnt cables. Work on this engine continued at Area 4 at Peenemuende. The planned application was a 1000 kgf JATO pod, with a burn time of 30 seconds, to boost bombers into the air.


1937 February 1 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-B.
  • Flight of Goddard series L section B rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 0.57 km (0.35 mi). Rocket was equipped with gyro, air and blast vanes; length 16 ft 7 5/8 in.; diameter 9 in.; altitude 1870 ft; duration 20.5 sec; corrected well; ground behind flame deflector turned green and glazed by heat..

1937 February 13 - .
  • Birth of Sigmund Werner Paul 'Sig' Jaehn - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Jaehn. German pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EP-4. First German astronaut..

1937 February 16 - .
  • Birth of Valentin Vasilyevich Bondarenko - . Nation: Ukraine. Related Persons: Bondarenko. Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut, 1960-1961. Killed in a fire in a spacecraft simulator run using a a pure oxygen atmosphere. His death had a profound effect on future design of Soviet spacecraft..

1937 February 27 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-B.
  • Flight of Goddard series L section B rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 0.46 km (0.29 mi). Rocket was equipped with new parachute release operated by gyro; altitude 1500 ft; duration 20 sec; speed very high; landed 3000 ft from tower, softened ground for considerable distance..

1937 March 4 - .
  • Birth of Dr Yuri Aleksandrovich Senkevich - . Nation: Mongolia, Russia. Related Persons: Senkevich. Russian physician cosmonaut, 1965-1966..

1937 March 6 - .
  • Birth of Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tereshkova. Russian cosmonaut. First woman in space, aboard Vostok 6. But the flight was propaganda and future spaceflight opportunities did not develop. Was married to cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev. Later a leading Communist politician..

1937 March 26 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-B.
  • Flight of Goddard series L section B rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 2.60 km (1.62 mi). Rocket was equipped with larger movable air vanes; altitude 8000-9000 ft; duration 22.3 sec; corrected while propulsion lasted, then tilted; altitude uncertain because of haze remaining from dust storms..

1937 April 12 - .
  • Birth of Igor Petrovich Volk - . Nation: Ukraine. Related Persons: Volk. Ukrainian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EP-4..

1937 April 14 - .
  • Birth of Eduard Nikolayevich Stepanov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Stepanov, Eduard. Russian engineer cosmonaut, 1965-1992..

1937 April 22 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-B.
  • Flight of Goddard series L section B rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 2.00 km (1.20 mi). Rocket was equipped with larger movable air vanes and reinforced parachute; length 17 ft 9 in.; diameter 9 in.; duration 21.5 sec; could not be followed to top of flight, as it was nearly overhead; landed 1 mile from tower..

1937 May 1 - .
  • Von Braun joins Nazi Party. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: von Braun. Wernher Von Braun joins the Nazi Party..

May 1937 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • Peenemünde opened. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Dornberger, Thiel, Walter, von Braun.

    Joint German Army-Air Force rocket research station opened at Peenemünde on the Baltic Sea. The Army Ordnance rocket program under Capt. Walter Dornberger moved 90 of its staff from Kummersdorf. Thiel and five staff working on V-2 rocket engine development remained at Kummersdorf until the summer of 1940, when the test stands at Peenemuende were finally completed..


1937 May 7 - .
  • Birth of Aviard Gavrilovich Fastovets - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Fastovets. Russian test pilot, 1963-2001. From 1963 to 1978 test pilot for the Spiral spaceplane..

1937 May 9 - . Launch Vehicle: ARS.
  • Pierce rocket reaches 80 m - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 0.0800 km (0.0497 mi). H. F. Pierce of the American Rocket Society launched a liquid propellant rocket to 80-m altitude at Old Ferris Point, N.Y..

1937 May 19 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-B.
  • Final flight of Goddard series L section B rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 0.99 km (0.62 mi).

    Rocket was equipped with streamline retractable air vanes and wire-wound pressure storage tank; length 17 ft 8 in.; diameter 9 in.; altitude 3250 ft; duration 29.5 sec; much-improved stabilisation. Final results of Section B of L Series, from November 1936-May 1937, showed two proving-stand tests, and six flight test attempts, all of which resulted in flights. Average interval between tests 22 days


1937 May 31 - .
  • Birth of Vladislav Ivanovich Gulyayev - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gulyayev. Russian engineer cosmonaut, 1963-1968. Graduated from Soviet Navy Engineering School Cosmonaut training January 1963 - 21 January 1965. Resigned for medical reasons after an accident. Worked at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center..

1937 June 1 - .
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory forerunner established. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Tsien.

    Theodore von Kármán, Director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena, founded group which began experiments in design fundamentals of high-altitude sounding rocket. The group, named the Cal Tech Rocket Research Project, consisted of Frank J. Malina, Tsien Hsue-sen, A. M. O. Smith, John W. Parsons, Edward Forman, and Weld Arnold. This was the origin of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


1937 June 8 - .
  • Birth of Bruce II McCandless - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McCandless. American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-41-B, STS-31. Made first untethered space walk..

1937 June 18 - .
  • Birth of Vitali Mikhailovich Zholobov - . Nation: Ukraine. Related Persons: Zholobov. Ukrainian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 21..

1937 June 27 - .
  • Birth of Joseph Percival IV 'Joe' Allen - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Allen. American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-5, STS-51-A..

1937 July 28 - . LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-C.
  • Start of Goddard series L section C liquid rocket tests - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard.

    These would run through August 9, 1938 (L16-L30). Section C rockets included light tank construction, movable-tailpiece (i.e. gimbal) steering, catapult launching, and further development of liquid nitrogen tank pressure method. Lengths varied from 17 ft 4.25 in. to 18 ft 5.75 in.; diameter 9 in., weight empty varied from 80 to 1091b; loaded weight about 170 lb or more; lift of static tests varied from 228 lb to 477 lb; jet velocities from 3960 to 5340 ft/sec. These tests indicated extremely high temperatures for the jet: pebbles of the cement gas deflector were fused and thrown out, starting fires more than 50 ft from the tower.


1937 July 28 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-C.
  • Flight of Goddard series L section C rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 0.63 km (0.39 mi).

    Rocket was equipped with movable-tailpiece or gimbal steering, with wire-wound tanks and barograph; length 18 ft 5.5 in.; diameter 9 in.; weight empty 95 lb 5 oz; loaded 162 lb 5 oz; 39 lb liquid oxygen, 28 lb gasoline; altitude 2055 ft; duration 28 sec; parachute opened near ground, checked speed; coasted one-eighth of ascent; landed 1000 ft from tower.


1937 August 17 - .
  • Birth of Dr Yevgeni Aleksandrovich Illyin - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Ilyin. Russian physician cosmonaut, 1965-1966..

1937 August 26 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-C.
  • Flight of Goddard series L section C rocket - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 0.60 km (0.37 mi). Rocket was equipped with movable-tailpiece steering, catapult launching; length 18 ft 5.5 in.; diameter 9 in.; weight loaded 162 lb; altitude 2000+ ft; corrected well and strongly seven times in flight. .

1937 September 6 - .
  • Birth of Irina Bayanovna Solovyova - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Solovyova. Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969..

1937 September 11 - .
  • Birth of Robert Laurel 'Bob' Crippen - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Crippen. American pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-1, STS-7, STS-41-C, STS-41-G. Member of first crew to fly a winged spacecraft to orbit and back..

1937 October 11 - .
  • Birth of Dr Georgi Vladimirovich Machinski - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Machinski. Russian physician cosmonaut, 1972-1974. Worked at the IMBP in Moscow. Left cosmonaut group for medical reasons after being injured in an automobile accident. He resumed work at the IMBP, reaching the position of senior-scientist..

1937 November 12 - .
  • Birth of Richard Harrison 'Dick' Truly - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Truly. American pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-2, STS-8..

1937 November 22 - .
  • Birth of Zenon 'Zden' Jankowski - . Nation: Poland. Related Persons: Jankowski. Polish pilot cosmonaut, 1976-1978. Graduated from General Staff Academy "Karol Swierczewski", 1969 Fighter pilot, Polish Air Force. Commander, Deblin Air Force School. Later retired from all duties..

1937 November 24 - . Launch Site: Roswell. LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard L-C.
  • Flight of Goddard series L section C rocket. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Apogee: 0.0300 km (0.0186 mi). Short flight, leaned after leaving tower, fell 100 ft from tower; lift low..

1937 November 26 - .
  • Birth of Dr Boris Borisovich Yegorov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Yegorov. Russian physician cosmonaut. Flew on Voskhod 1. First physician in space..

1937 December 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Truax.
  • Truax first rocket test. - . Nation: USA. Initial rocket thrust chamber tests by R. C. Truax at Annapolis, Md., using compressed air and gasoline as fuels..

1937 December 4 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende GWO. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A3. FAILURE: Engine cutoff at 6.5 seconds.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • First A3 launch - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: von Braun. Apogee: 0.10 km (0.06 mi). Range: 0.30 km (0.19 mi).

    First launch of an A3 rocket. New facilites being built at Peenemuende were not ready, so the A3 launches were made from the offshore island of Greifswalder Oie. The A3 launched on this day was 6.5 m long and 70 cm in diameter. The engine occupied the first 2 m of the fuselage. The missile had a 750 kg lift-off mass, including 450 kg of propellant, which was pressurised to 20 atmospheres. The 1.5 tonne thrust engine had a 1900 m/s exhaust velocity and a 45 second burn time. The parachute deployed 3 seconds after launch, and the engine cutoff at 6.5 seconds. The rocket impacted and exploded 300 m from the launch point.


1937 December 6 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende GWO. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A3. FAILURE: Engine cutoff early.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • A3 launch - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: von Braun. Apogee: 0.10 km (0.06 mi). Range: 0.30 km (0.19 mi). Second launch of an A3. Same result as the first - the rocket made a quarter turn after launch, then reached only 100 m before the parachute jettisoned and the missile crashed into the sea a short distance from the launch stand..

1937 December 8 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende GWO. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A3. FAILURE: Engine cutoff early.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • A3 launch - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: von Braun. Apogee: 0.10 km (0.06 mi). Range: 0.30 km (0.19 mi). Third launch of an A3. No parachute deployment and the engine cut-off early. The rocket impacted into the Baltic Sea and sank..

1937 December 11 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende GWO. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A3. FAILURE: Engine cutoff early.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • A3 launch - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: von Braun. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

    Final launch of the A3. The rocket is fired without the parachute that ruined the first two attempts, but in heavy fog. It is more successful than earlier shots, but at 800 to 1000 m altitude it also veers over and thrusts its way downward into the ocean. Analysis showed that the fins steering the rocket could not overcome the 8 m/s wind blowing at the time of the launch. Further study shows that at the low speed of initial rocket acceleration, a wind as little as 4 m/s would be enough to topple the rocket. A rudder area ten times greater than is needed to control the rocket at low speeds. This result leads to the decision to abandon the A3 configuration and build the A5 to support development of the A4 missile.


1937 December 23 - .
  • Birth of Roger M Bonnet - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Bonnet. French astronomer. Built first French space astronomy experiment, launched by Veronique 1967. Director of Stellar and Planetary Lab of CNRS 1969-1983. Director of the ESA Scientif Program, 1983-2001..

1937 December 23 - .
  • Birth of Karol Joseph 'Bo' Bobko - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bobko. American pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-6, STS-51-D, STS-51-J..


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