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1942 Chronology

1942 January 1 - .
  • Declaration of United Nations signed in Washington - . Nation: International.

1942-1944 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A9/A10/A11/A12.
  • Peenemuende team's ambitions - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Dornberger.

    Von Braun was obsessed by grandiose futuristic fantasies, and Dornberger felt he constantly had to throw cold water on the engineer to keep them in check. But this tendency was easily overshadowed by Von Braun's fantastic ability to solve a technical problem, to throw all the extraneous ballast overboard and concentrate on the solution. In the moment the solution was technically realised, Von Braun no longer had any interest in the issue and dropped it.

    There was never any doubt that manned space travel was Von Braun's life goal. The technology needed for manned flight presented many such technical challenges. He realised early on that only multi-staged liquid propelled rockets could achieve his dream. Rockets certainly needed lighter propellant tanks, but there was a practical technical limit to this, and in any case, there still had to be a payload. Von Braun knew that liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen was the ultimate propellant combination, but also that learning how to handle liquid hydrogen would be a long-term affair. A one-year study at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden and Peenemuende showed that other propellant combinations could produce no more than a 20% improvement in specific impulse compared to the existing V-2 technology. Therefore a multistage rocket was the only way to achieve orbital spaceflight.


During 1942 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • A4 series production - . Nation: Germany. An initial series of prototypes were built at the factories of Dip-Ing Stahlknecht, then a second line was opened up at Dr Eckener's Zeppelinwerke..

1942 January 1 - .
  • Birth of Aleksandr Yakovlevich Petrushenko - . Nation: Ukraine. Related Persons: Petrushenko. Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut, 1965-1973. Later worked at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, then moved to the satellite control center in Monino until his retirement 1991..

1942 January 8 - .
  • Birth of Vyacheslav Dmitriyevich Zudov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Zudov. Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 23..

1942 January 12 - .
  • Birth of Vladimir Sergeyevich Kozelsky - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kozelsky. Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1967-1983. Graduated from Kachinsk, 1963; Monino, 1981. Cosmonaut training 1967.05-1969.08.18. Later Deputy Mir Flight Director. Retired in 1992..

1942 January 29 - .
  • Birth of Arnaldo 'Guasso' Tamayo-Mendez - . Nation: Cuba. Related Persons: Tamayo Mendez. African-Cuban pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EP-8. First Cuban astronaut. First person of African descent to fly in space. Graduated from Air Force Academy Pilot, Cuban Air Force. Director of the Organization for Civil Defense in Cuba..

1942 January 29 - .
  • Birth of Ivan Ivanovich Bachurin - . Nation: Russia, Ukraine. Related Persons: Bachurin. Russian test pilot cosmonaut, 1979-1992..

1942 February 9 - .
  • Birth of Bill Alvin Williams - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Williams, Bill. American physiologist payload specialist astronaut, 1983-1985..

1942 February 13 - .
  • Birth of Donald Edward Williams - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Williams, Donald. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-51-D, STS-34..

1942 February 25 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • V-2 s/n 1 moved to Test Stand VII at Peenemuende. - . Nation: Germany. The missile was used for facility checks and checking of launch procedures..

1942 March 3 - .
  • Birth of Vladimir Vasilyevich Kovalyonok - . Nation: Belarus. Related Persons: Kovalyonok. Belarusian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 25, Salyut 6 EO-2, Salyut 6 EO-6..

1942 March 17 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 engine run. - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre.

    The engine runs for 5 seconds before exploding, producing a thrust of 719 kgf. A second test the following day produces 650 kgf for only four seconds before exploding. Thermal transfer from the engine to the missile structure is found to be the cause, and changes are made.


1942 March 18 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • V-2 s/n 1 explodes during engine test run. - . Nation: Germany.

    The missile was being tested on Test Stand VII; no launch had been planned. G Harry Stine noticed that the German rocket scientists at White Sands were very reluctant to talk about the details of the failure, but finally managed to get the real story from Konrad Dannenberg:

    The first A.4 missile was a hand-made job. Motor tests preceding the first flight were to be carried out in a huge, mobile test stand, which held the entire missile. However, this first A.4 never flew; it found its end in the test stand. In order to clamp the missile into the stand without attaching the thrust mounts to the missile structure, a large steel corset was built. Unfortunately, the builders of this corset did not take into account the shrinkage of the missile components when the frigid liquid oxygen was pumped aboard. The first A4 shrank, dropped out of the corset, and was a total wash-out.
    The test was to have examined the behavior of the guidance system and the graphite steering vanes in the exhaust flow. The corset had pivot mountings on it to allow the missile to be deflected while its motor was being fired, to see how fast the steering vanes responded, and what amount of corrective force they developed. After the failure, the Peenemuende team was embarrassed by the fact that they had overlooked something as obvious as the fact that cold things shrink.

1942 March 23 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende Tower. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • V-2 4001 - . Nation: Germany. First full-scale static testing .

1942 April 11 - .
  • Birth of Anatoli Nikolayevich Berezovoi - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Berezovoi. Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-1. Graduated from Air Force Academy. Retired for medical reasons (due to injuries he received as the victim in an armed robbery). From 1992 to 1999, Deputy President, Russian Space Federation..

1942 April 14 - .
  • Birth of Valentin Vitalyevich Lebedev - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Lebedev bureau. Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 13, Salyut 7 EO-1..

1942 April 24 - .
  • Birth of Valeri Abramovich Voloshin - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Voloshin. Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1965-1969..

1942 April 26 - .
  • Birth of Vitali Andreyevich Grishchenko - . Nation: Ukraine. Related Persons: Grishchenko. Ukrainian navigator cosmonaut, 1965-1968..

1942 April 27 - .
  • Birth of Dr Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Polyakov. Russian physician cosmonaut. Flew on Mir LD-2, Mir LD-4. Longest single space flight (437 days). 678 cumulative days in space. Civilian Physician, Institute of Medical Biological Problems..

May 1942 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende.
  • A4 reliability development - . Nation: Germany.

    The early failure rate of the A4 prototype missiles was extremely high, so the Peenemuende rocket team had to develop new measures to test and improve reliability down to the component level. This included improved quality control during manufacture, and test of the missile's components in all weathers, not just in heated laboratories. This resulted in the overall missile failure rate declining from 17% in the early test series to 4% in the final series. The V-1/Fi-103 cruise missile had a 28% higher failure rate, even though it was a simpler design.


1942 May 7 - .
  • Birth of Gerard Edward 'Jerry' Magilton - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Magilton. American engineer payload specialist astronaut, 1985-1986. Worked with RCA Astro Electronics Division. Backup for Robert Cenker (STS-61C). Program manager for on-orbit performance, Martin Marietta Astro Space in Princeton, New Jersey..

1942 May 12 - .
  • Birth of Dumitru Dediu - . Nation: Romania. Related Persons: Dediu. Romanian pilot cosmonaut, 1978-1981. Rumanian Air Force. Served in the Rumanian Army as Lieutenant Colonel, stationed in Bucharest..

1942 May 13 - .
  • Birth of Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dzhanibekov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Dzhanibekov. Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 6 EP-1, Salyut 6 EP-9, Salyut 7 EP-1, Salyut 7 EP-4, Salyut 7 EO-4-1b..

1942 May 15 - .
  • First powered flight of BI-1 rocketplane. - . Crew: Bakhchivangi. Payload: BI-1 # 1 flight 1. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bakhchivangi. Spacecraft Bus: Russian Rocket Fighters. Spacecraft: BI-1.

    First glide flight was on 10 September 1941, but the factory had to be evacuated to Sverdlovsk. Accidents in ground runs of the rocket engine further delayed the first powered flight. First flight performance was: First flight BI-1. Maximum Speed - 400 kph. Maximum Altitude - 840 m. Flight Time - 189 sec.


1942 May 15 - .
  • Birth of Dr Anthony Wayne 'Tony' England - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: England. American geophysicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-F..

1942 May 21 - .
  • Birth of Robert Clyde 'Bob' Springer - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Springer. American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-29, STS-38. US Marine Corps.

1942 May 26 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • JATO tests. - . Nation: USA. Jet-assisted takeoff of a Brewster F2A-3 using five British antiaircraft solid-propellant rockets demonstrated at NAS Anacostia, Comdr. C. Fink Fischer as pilot..

1942 June 8 - .
  • Birth of Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Skvortsov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Skvortsov. Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1965-1968. Father of cosmonaut Aleksandr Skvortsov, Jr..

1942 June 13 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende P7. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-4. FAILURE: Unstable; rolled. Explosion at T+36 seconds. Range 1.3 km .
1942 July - .
  • Goddard leaves Roswell. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard.

    Goddard's rocket team and equipment were moved from Roswell, New Mexico, to the Naval Engineering Experiment Station at Annapolis, Maryland, where they continued work until the end of the war. During this time a liquid-propellant assisted-takeoff unit for aircraft was developed and flight-tested.


Summer 1942 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • Submarine launch of powder rockets - . Nation: Germany.

    Solid propellant rockets were fired from a submerged platform off Greifswalder Oie to test the concept of a submarine-launched missile. The idea came from Steihoff, an engineer on the rocket team whose brother was a submarine captain. 20 to 30 Wurfgeraete of the Army's smoke corps, equipped with flammable oil or explosive warheads, were shot at the coast from up to 3 km away. The concept was to put enemy coastal oil storage tanks into flames. At Swinemuende a launcher was installed aboard a Submarine and salvoes of 20 rockets successfully fired from 10 to 15 m under water. The launcher was unnoticeable on the submarine, and the dispersion of the rockets was only a bit worse than a shot from land. But the German Navy wouldn't accept simply using an existing Army launcher. They insisted on developing a different one themselves, which would take a year, putting deployment of the system beyond the end of the war.


1942 July 3 - . Launch Vehicle: JATO.
  • Use of rockets for short landing tested. - . Nation: USA. First airborne test firing of a retrocrocket at Goldstone Lake, Calif., from a PBY-5A piloted by Lt. Comdr. J. H. Hean (USN)..

1942 July 10 - .
  • Birth of Pyotr Ilyich Klimuk - . Nation: Belarus. Related Persons: Klimuk. Belarusian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 13, Soyuz 18, Salyut 6 EP-3..

1942 July 22 - .
  • Birth of Tohiro Akiyama - . Nation: Japan. Related Persons: Akiyama. Japanese journalist cosmonaut. Flew on Mir Kosmoreporter. First Japanese to fly in space..

1942 August 9 - .
  • Birth of Dennis Lee 'Denny' Boesen - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Boesen. American engineer payload specialist astronaut, 1987-1990..

1942 August 16 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende P7. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-4. FAILURE: Nose section break-up at T+45 seconds. Range 8.7 km .
1942 August 26 - .
  • Birth of John Elmer Blaha - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blaha. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-29, STS-33, STS-43, STS-58, Mir NASA-2..

1942 September 24 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 engine run. - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. The EA-1941 finally runs at 655 kgf for 11 seconds in a full-duration run. Barre feels the missile is ready for flight test, but this will have to be done in Algeria..

1942 September 29 - .
  • Birth of Clarens William Jr 'Bill' Nelson - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Nelson, Bill. American congressman payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-61-C..

1942 October 3 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende P7. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-4.
1942 October 21 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende P7. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-4.
  • V-2 4005 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: Wehrmacht. Steam generator fault. Range 147 km..

1942 November 8 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 program suspended - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre.

    A third of the test material for the Algerian flight tests had been unloaded in Oran, and the team and the rest of the material were ready to embark at Marseilles. Then news comes of the Allied landings in North Africa. The flight tests were immediately called off, and the team hid all materials in Algeria and France. At the end of 1942, the Germans occupy Vichy France and all further work on the project is supended.


1942 November 8 - .
  • Birth of Aleksandr Yakovlevich Kramarenko - . Nation: Ukraine. Related Persons: Kramarenko. Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut, 1965-1969..

1942 November 9 - .
  • Von Braun promoted to SS Hauptsturmfuehrer. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: von Braun.

1942 November 22 - .
  • Birth of Dr Guion Steward Jr 'Guy' Bluford - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bluford. African-American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-8, STS-61-A, STS-39, STS-53. First African-American in space..

1942 November 28 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende P7. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-4. FAILURE: Tumbled after vane failure at T+37 seconds. Range 8.6 km.
December 1942 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • A4 priority - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Dornberger, Speer. Dornberger clashes with Speer over priority for the A4..

End 1942 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A9/A10, A9/A10/A11, A9/A10/A11/A12.
  • Peenemuende team's spaceflight plans - . Nation: Germany.

    Using catapults and wings an A9 might nearly achieve 1000 km range, but the only solution for transatlantic missions was the two-stage A9/A10. The A10 boost stage was to have a total mass of 87 tonnes, of which 62 tonnes would be propellant. The stage's 200 tonne thrust motor would burn for 50 to 60 seconds, taking the A9 upper stage to 1200 m/s. Then the A9 would separate and burn its engine, reaching an apogee of 55 km, followed by a long hypersonic glide in the atmosphere. The second stage would be equipped with air brakes for deceleration over the target, followed by a parachute for recovery in the water. The A9/A10 would reach a maximum velocity of 2800 m/s, and have a range of 4100 km, and a total flight time of 35 minutes. Full-scale development was underway, when further significant work on the project was stopped at the end of 1942. Only the Advanced Projects Group, under the direction of Dip-Ing Roth and Ing Palt, continued design of the missile. It was also planned to develop, after the war, a stratospheric rocket that could travel in 40 minutes from Europe to America. After that, the target was orbital spaceships that could reach 8 km/sec and 500 km orbital altitude. Beyond that, space stations and the burial in space of the embalmed bodies of the rocket developers and men of the rocket service. Manned expeditions to the moon were also a popular theme for research. Finally, the use of nuclear energy to achieve interstellar travel was studied by the Advanced Projects Group.


1942 December 1 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • Train-launched A4. - . Nation: Germany.

    A rail-launched A4 was considered from the beginning of the project. At the end of 1942 the first train launcher wagon was completed and trials began from Test Stand VII at Peenemuende. In service the trains would have hidden in double-tracked train tunnels. Development was interrupted to get the vehicle-towed standard version of the weapon into service.


1942 December 12 - . Launch Site: Peenemuende. Launch Complex: Peenemuende P7. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-4. FAILURE: Steam generator explosion at T+4 seconds. Range 0.1 km.

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