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1956 Chronology

1956 During the Year - .
  • Martian Piloted Complex (MPK) - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Hohmann, Korolev. Spacecraft Bus: TMK. Spacecraft: MPK.

    This first serious examination in the Soviet Union of manned flight to Mars was initiated by M Tikhonravov's section of Korolev's OKB-1. The Martian Piloted Complex (MPK), would be assembled in low earth orbit. Using conventional liquid propellants, it would fly a Hohmann trajectory, enter Martian orbit, and a landing craft would descend to the surface. After just over a year of surface exploration, the crew would return to earth. It was calculated that the initial mass of the MPK would be 1,630 tonnes, and a re-entry vehicle of only 15 tonnes could be returned to earth at the end of the 30 month mission. At the planned N1 payload mass of 75 to 85 tonnes, it would take 20 to 25 N1 launches to assemble the MPK.


1956 During the Year - . Launch Vehicle: Buran M, Burya La-350.
  • Lavochkin begins construction of first Burya cruise missile. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Lavochkin, Myasishchev. Program: Navaho. Myasishchev was just completing project design of his Buran design, while Lavochkin was already completing construction of the first Burya..

1956 During the Year - .
  • Use of existing ballistic missiles for manned orbital space flight studied. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury. Personnel of the NACA were studying the possibilities of utilizing existing ballistic missile boosters, which were then under development, for manned orbital space flight..

1956 January 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11M.
1956 January 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Certification test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: Korolev bureau. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The series of 5 launches began on 11 January 1956 with launch of a dummy warhead..

1956 January 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
1956 January 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
1956 January 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
1956 January 5 - .
  • Institute of Mechanics founded in Beijing - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien.

    Tsien is director of the institute. It is equipped with mechanical desk calculators and only one telephone. Deputy Director is a Tsien protege, Dr Guo Yonghuai, who graduated with a doctorate in aeronatuical engineering from Caltech in 1946. The Director of Operations is Xu Guozhi, a systems analyst that Tsien met on the ship from America to China.


1956 January 10 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • First test of 400,000+ lb thrust engine. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. First U.S.-built complete liquid-rocket engine having a thrust in excess of 400,000 pounds was fired for the first time at Santa Susana, Calif..

1956 January 13 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/2?. Launch Vehicle: Snark.
  • Snark Missile test. - . Nation: USA. USAF Northrop Snark launched from Cape Canaveral on 2,000-mile flight..

1956 January 13 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 January 14 - .
  • Birth of William David Thompson - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Thompson, David. American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1982-1985. Retired from the USAF in 1987. Later President Spectrum Technology, Los Angeles..

1956 January 17 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira CB. LV Family: Monica. Launch Vehicle: Monica I.
  • Campaign 5 to Feb 2 Test / release mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CASDN. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1956 January 19 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1956 January 19 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11M.
1956 January 20 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • The Air Force ICBM Scientific Advisory Committee was transferred to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to assure common interchange of technical information on all DoD missile programs. - . The Committee continued to act in an advisory capacity for the Western Development Division and the Air Force ballistic missile program..

1956 January 20 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 132 km (82 mi).

1956 January 21 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 January 23 - . LV Family: Thor.
  • The Thor IRBM development program was given equal priority with the ICBM program. - .

1956 January 24 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11. FAILURE: Failure.
1956 January 25 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 January 26 - .
  • Satellite symposium. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Van Allen. Symposium on "The Scientific Uses of Earth Satellites" held at the University of Michigan under sponsorship of the Upper Atmosphere Rocket Research Panel, James A. Van Allen of the State University of Iowa, Chairman..

1956 January 26 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Tandem Double Deacon.
  • E15 Model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 January 27 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/2?. Launch Vehicle: Snark.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 January 30 - .
  • Development of first Sputnik authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 149882 'On creation of the Object D artificial satellite' was issued..

1956 January 30 - .
  • Work began in the Soviet Union on military satellites. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit satellite.

    Design work starts on the Zenit, the first military photo-reconnaisance satellite. The necessary subsystems were defined incrementally throughout 1956 in a series of specification documents. In April the specifications for a redundant restartable engine and appropriate satellite guidance and control systems were released. In May the technical requirements document was issued for a satellite that could be oriented in orbit. In July tests began of appropriate heat shield materials.


1956 January 30 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas, Thor, Jupiter, .
  • Headquarters ARDC directed WDD to treat the ICBM and IRBM with equal priority. - .

1956 February 1 - . LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • ABMA established. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Army activated the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala., to weaponize the Redstone and to develop the Jupiter IRBM..

1956 February 1 - .
  • USAF RFP - Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. USAF issues request for industry proposals for Project 7969 Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System. Two year study period..

1956 February 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 February 2 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • BAYKAL Nuclear test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The R-5M successfully launched an 80 kiloton (300 kiloton according to some sources) warhead over a 1200 km range - from Kaputsin Yar Area 4N to a point near Priaralsk Karakum, 150 km north-east of the Aral Sea..

1956 February 3 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral RW30/12. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho X-10.
  • Navaho X-10 flight 18 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Navaho. The vehicle reached Mach 1.9 on a 51-minute long-range flight. It landed successfully..

1956 February 6 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 February 7 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN ONR. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1956 February 8 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/2?. Launch Vehicle: Snark.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 February 10 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas, Thor, Jupiter, .
  • Trevor Gardner, who was instrumental in the actions leading to the acceleration of the Air Force ballistic missile program two years earlier, resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. - . He protested the Pentagon's policies concerning missiles and lack of stronger emphasis on the programs..

1956 February 10 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Asp.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1956 February 10 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 February 13 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 February 14 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 February 15 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Secretary of the Air Force Donald Quarles approved the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company proposal to move its development effort for Titan (XSM-68) from Baltimore, Maryland, to the Denver, Colorado. - . Related Persons: , Quarles.

1956 February 16 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The R-5RD or M5RD was flown to test subsystems for the R-7 ICBM..

1956 February 17 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Plan for missile development proposed. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    Tsien Hsue-shen submits a secret proposal to the State Council for ballistic missile development - 'Prospectus for Establishment of a National Defence Aviation Industry'. The proposal calls for the establishment of a research facility for aeronautics and missile development.


1956 February 19 - .
  • Birth of George David Low - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low. American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-32, STS-43, STS-57. Son of former NASA administrator George M Low..

1956 February 20 - . Launch Vehicle: Navaho.
  • North American proposes Navaho acceleration - . Nation: USA. Program: Navaho.

    Facing being surpassed by the fast development of the Atlas ICBM, North American proposes Project Broomstick. This would accelerate Navaho G-26 inertial-navigation-equipped dive-in flights to October 1956. This would make the vehicle expendable, removing all the likely problems in developing a recoverable vehicle that was in any case not applicable to production. Deletion of the landing gear and parachutes would also allow greater range to be demonstrated. Altogether it was believed the change would allow G-38 full-scale vehicle flights to start in June 1958 and deployment of the operational Navaho in 1960.


1956 February 21 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Deacon.
  • E42 model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 February 22 - . 20:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Ajax.
  • Cold Weather Test - . Nation: Canada. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 February 24 - .
  • Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of U.S.S.R. Communist Party, denounces Stalin's excesses - . Nation: Russia.

1956 February 25 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • Major General Bernard A. Schriever, Commander of the Western Development Division, initiated a study of a mobile ICBM. - . Related Persons: Schriever.

1956 February 25 - .
  • Responsibility for the advanced satellite system (WS 117L) was officially transferred from the Wright Air Development Center (WADC) to the Western Development Division. - . Spacecraft: WS-117.

1956 February 27 - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Soviet Leadership tours Korolev's design bureau - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bulganin, Khrushchev, Korolev, Ustinov.

    Khrushchev, Molotov, Bulganin, and other leaders are given a tour of Korolev’s OKB-1 in Kaliningrad. They are shown the R-1, R-2 and R-5 missiles as well as a mock-up of the R-7 and are awed. Ustinov reports that only five warheads would be needed to destroy Britain, and seven to nine for France. The need for the R-12 was discussed - the longer range was essential so that the missiles could be based farther from NATO’s borders (the experience of the German invasion and quick destruction of forward-based units and equipment was on everyone’s minds).


1956 February 28 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1956 February 29 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral RW30/12. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho X-10.
  • Navaho X-10 flight 19 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Navaho. The vehicle reached a record Mach 2.1 speed and autolanded safely on the skid strip after a 62 minute flight..

1956 March - .
  • Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Man-In-Space-Soonest. Spacecraft: Project 7969.

    Project 7969, entitled 'Manned Ballistic Rocket Research System,' was initiated by the Air Force with a stated task of recovering a manned capsule from orbital conditions. By December of that year, proposal studies were received from two companies, and the Air Force eventually received some 11 proposals. The basis for the program was to start with small recoverable satellites and work up to larger versions. The Air Force Discoverer firings, which effected a successful recovery in January 1960, could be considered as the first phase of the proposed program. The Air Force program was based upon a requirement that forces no higher than 12g be imposed upon the occupant of the capsule. This concept required an additional stage on the basic or 'bare' Atlas, and the Hustler, now known as the Agena, was contemplated. It was proposed that the spacecraft be designed to remain forward during all phases of the flight, requiring a gimballed seat for the pilot. Although the Air Force effort in manned orbital flight during the period 1956-58 was a study project without an approved program leading to the design of hardware, the effort contributed to manned space flight. Their sponsored studies on such items as the life-support system were used by companies submitting proposals for the Mercury spacecraft design and development program. Also, during the 2-year study, there was a considerable interchange of information between the NACA and the Air Force.


1956 March 1 - .
  • Hywards development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Bomi, Dynasoar, Hywards. The Research and Target Systems Division of ARDC headquarters completed an abbreviated development plan for a glide-rocket, research system, designated Hywards. .

1956 March 1 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • 12 year plan for Chinese aerospace - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft: Project 581. Hundreds of Soviet and Chinese scientists put together the technology portion of China's 12 year plan. Missile development is emphasized in the plan at the expense of the aircraft industry..

1956 Mar - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • North American Aviation delivered the first research and development, Series A booster engines to the Convair plant in San Diego, California, where the first Atlas missile was produced. - .

1956 March 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 March 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 March 4 - . 15:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Ajax.
  • Cold Weather Test - . Nation: Canada. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 March 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 116 km (72 mi).

1956 March 9 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike T40 T55. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1956 March 9 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 March 11 - .
  • Birth of Curtis Lee Jr 'Curt' Brown - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brown. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-47, STS-66, STS-77, STS-85, STS-95, STS-103. Flew in space six times..

1956 March 12 - . 21:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee RTV-A-1a.
  • Release B (NO) Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 95 km (59 mi). Nitric oxide attempt to produce sporadic E research. Launched at 1415 local time. Reached 95 km..

1956 March 14 - .
  • Birth of Natalya Dmitriyevna Kuleshova - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kuleshova. Russian engineer cosmonaut, 1980-1992. Graduated from Moscow Aviation Institute named after Grigori (Sergo) K. Ordzhonikidze, 1978. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO. From 1992 she worked as an engineer at NPO Energia, Department 292..

1956 March 14 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee RTV-A-1a.
  • Release (NO) Ionosphere / aeronomy / chemica mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 106 km (65 mi). Nitric oxide attempt to recombine atomic oxygen research. Launched at 0145 local time. Reached 106.2 km..

1956 March 15 - . 00:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. FAILURE: Early cut-off caused by Incorrect guidance cut-off equation pre-setting. ST-80 gyro spilled at 310 sec..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    The first Jupiter A launching, by ABMA at Cape Canaveral. RS-18 was launched at 1936 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The scheduled launching date of this missile was 13 March. Three holds were called because of LOX difficulties, telemetry difficulties, and replacement of a gate valve. The actual range was 133.58 nm; 10.3 nm under; and 5.66 nm right of the intended impact point. Separation occurred before the missile gained its correct velocity. Improper assumption of propellant flow for the trajectory calculation was primarily responsible for the incorrect cut-off. The primary test objectives were to test the complete guidance and control system to establish the performance qualities of the complete missile system. Missed aimpoint by 19,100 m.


1956 March 20 - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-7 flight test authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On means to ensure testing or the R-7' was issued..

1956 March 20 - .
  • Brass Bell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Bomi, Brass Bell, Dynasoar. The Air Force and Bell Aircraft Company completed negotiations for a study contract involving Reconnaissance System 459L, Brass Bell..

1956 March 21 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 March 23 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 March 24 - .
  • X-2 Flight 6 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . Second powered flight, mach 0.91..

1956 March 26 - . LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-26.
  • First Navaho G-26 flight booster delivered to Cape Canaveral - . Nation: USA. Program: Navaho.

1956 March 28 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 April - .
  • Soviet General Staff briefed on military applications of satellites. - . Nation: Russia. In two hours of key discussions the General Staff were briefed on the future uses of satellites - communications, reconnaissance, navigation, meteorology, geodesy. The fantastic vistas presented resulted in considerable scepticism..

1956 April 1 - .
  • Army Ballistic Missile Agency requested permission to use its Jupiter C missile to launch a satellite. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The Army Ballistic Missile Agency requested that the Department of Defense grant permission to use its Jupiter C missile to launch a satellite, "in view of Vanguard delays and increasing evidence that the Soviets would be first in space--an event certain to inflict 'serious damage' to the prestige of the United States. The Army's proposal was rejected by the Department of Defense, presumably in line with the policy announced by the President on 29 July 1955, that the United States would remain strictly within its International Geophysical Year satellite commitment without using military missiles, thus clearly demonstrating United States intent to explore space for peaceful purposes. (Bowen, Threshold of Space, pp, 10-11.)


1956 April 1 - . Launch Site: Bikini. Launch Platform: DD-787. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1956 April 3 - .
  • X-1E Flight 4 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 3. Mach 0.85 at 9150 m. Damping characteristics good; number 1 cylinder failed to fire..

1956 April 4 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • First concrete poured at pad A at Tyuratam - . Nation: Russia.

1956 April 6 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 April 7 - . LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-26.
  • First Navaho G-26 flight cruise stage delivered to Cape Canaveral - . Nation: USA. Program: Navaho.

    However continued problems and late delivery of the Auxiliary Power Unit pushed the planned first launch date from May to July. Three APU's were shipped before one was accepted. Attempts for a pad static test of the boost engines began in August. Seven attempts were made through the end of September. The fiberglass liquid oxygen tank insulation delaminated during the first propellant loading; chair springs were used to hold it on in subsequent tests. Helium lines ruptured; the engine was shut off after three seconds due to high gas generator temperatures; the G-26 cruise stage's landing gear deployed internally, cracking the skin; finally at the end of September a 34-second test was completed, but on ground power after the APU failed. The missile was pulled from the flight order and the first Broomstick flight canceled.


1956 April 9 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 April 12 - . 02:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee RTV-A-1a.
  • Sodium Release 3 Ionosphere / aeronomy / chemica mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 106 km (65 mi). Sodium cloud, ionization research. Launched at 1005 local time. Reached 106.2 km..

1956 April 13 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas, Thor, Jupiter, .
  • As per authority of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Committee (AF/BMC), Procurement Authorization 56-GM-20 increased the production funding for guided missiles to $279.05 million. - .

1956 April 14 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Pad: LC3/4?. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1956 April 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • First Redstone batallion formed. - . Nation: USA. The first Redstone missile battalion, the 217th Field Artillery Missile Battalion, was formally activated at Redstone Arsenal..

1956 April 15 - .
  • Birth of Gregory Jordan 'Greg' Harbaugh - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Harbaugh. American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-39, STS-54, STS-71, STS-82..

1956 April 16 - .
  • Birth of David McDowell Brown - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brown, David. American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-107. Perished in Columbia shuttle disintegration during re-entry..

1956 April 16 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 April 17 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1956 April 23 - . Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • Army proposes Redstone satellite launch. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Army informed the OSD that a Jupiter missile could be fired in an effort to orbit a small satellite in January 1957..

1956 April 24 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral RW30/12. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho X-10.
  • Navaho X-10 flight 21 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Navaho. Ground control system failure resulted in missile crashing at sea at Mach 1.25 200 km from the Cape..

1956 April 25 - .
  • X-2 Flight 7 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . 3d powered flight, mach 1.4 at 15250 m..

1956 April 28 - .
  • Birth of Paul Scott 'Paco' Lockhart - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Lockhart. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-111, STS-113..

1956 April 30 - .
  • X-1E Flight 5 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 4. Turbopump did not start; no engine operation..

1956 May 1 - .
  • X-2 Flight 8 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . Fourth powered flight, mach 1.683 at 16,378 m..

1956 May - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Atlas production plant at Kearney Mesa - . Nation: USA. New Astronautics plant announced—$20 million funding by General Dynamics, with the Air Force to match, for tooling and special equipment.

1956 May - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able.
  • The Rand Corporation reported on the feasibility of a lunar instrument carrier using the Atlas as a booster vehicle. - . Spacecraft: Explorer.

1956 May 1 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able.
  • Rand Corporation studies a lunar instrument carrier, based on use of an Atlas booster. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. Rand Corporation issued a series of reports on the feasibility of a lunar instrument carrier, based on use of an Atlas booster. (Early BMD-ARDC General Space Chronology, II Feb 59, prep by AFBMD Hist Ofc.).

1956 May 1 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able.
  • Rand Corporation issued a series of reports on the feasibility of a lunar instrument carrier, based on use of an Atlas booster. - . Spacecraft: Explorer.

1956 May 2 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 May 3 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Convair announced as the prime contractorfor the Atlas - . Nation: USA. The Air Force disclosed that a $41 million guided missile production facility would be built at Sorrento, California, for the Atlas launch vehicle. Convair was announced as the prime contractor..

1956 May 4 - .
  • Birth of Dr Michael Landon Gernhardt - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gernhardt. American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-69, STS-83, STS-94, STS-104..

1956 May 8 - . 14:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • Far ultraviolet spectrometer / La imager Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1956 May 8 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. FAILURE: Failure.
  • RV-N-13a test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi). Solar radiation research. Launched at 0754 local time. Reached 143.3 km..

1956 May 9 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Nike.
  • Avro Arrow Model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 May 10 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SCEL. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1956 May 11 - .
  • X-2 Flight 9 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . Fifth powered flight, mach 1.8 at 18,300 m..

1956 May 11 - .
  • X-1E Flight 6 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 5. Wind-up turns to Clmas from mach 0.69 to 0.84; also control pulses..

1956 May 13 - .
  • Birth of Aleksandr Yuryevich Kaleri - . Nation: Latvia, Russia. Related Persons: Kaleri. Latvian-Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-11, Mir EO-22, Mir EO-28, ISS EO-8. 609 cumulative days in space. Civilian Engineer, Energia NPO.

1956 May 14 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1E.
  • Biological mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: Korolev bureau. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Payload, instruments, left and right animal containers all recovered. Smoke container functioned. Carried dogs..

1956 May 15 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Radio guidance test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 May 16 - . 04:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. FAILURE: Missile programmed to cut-off at fuel depletion - this combined with known stability problems caused excessive miss distance..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    RS-19 was launched at 2322 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 169.4 nm; 13 nm over the intended impact point. Cut-off wee given by the alcohol depletion switch that sensed alcohol injector pressure drop-off. Takeoff occurred 0.156 seconds after firing. The missile followed the correct trajectory with no obvious deviation. Missile cut-off occurred later than predicted and caused the missile to impact approximately 6.5 nm long, During descent the warhead turned left, causing impact to be several miles to the left of the aiming azimuth line. The primary test objectives were to test the angle-of-attack meter hardware (Jupiter control). Missed aimpoint by 25,100 m.


1956 May 16 - . 15:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. FAILURE: Failure.
  • AJ11-6 engine test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi). Rocket test, 86 kg payload. Insufficient fin-cuff protection caused aerodynamic instability. Launched at 0840 local time. Reached 169 km..

1956 May 20 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral RW30/12. Launch Pad: PAFB/800. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 May 21 - .
  • First aerial H-bomb tested over Namu islet, Bikini Atoll - 10 million tons TNT equivalent - . Nation: USA.

1956 May 22 - .
  • X-2 Flight 10 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . Sixth powered flight, mach 2.53 at 17.803 m..

1956 May 25 - .
  • X-2 Flight 11 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . Seventh powered flight; pilot checkout, mach 1+..

1956 May 26 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Fifth Academy founded. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March.

    The Fifth Academy of the Ministry of National Defence is founded for development of ballistic missiles. Tsien is named its first Director on October 8. The Academy is established on the premises of an old hospital and two sanatoriums, with an initial staff of 100 high school graduates and 100 to 200 college graduates. Tsien teaches an 'Introduction to Rocket Technology' course while Zhuang Faggan from CalTech teaches aerodynamics.


1956 May 28 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Able.
  • RAND lunar instrument carrier based on the Atlas booster - . Nation: USA.

    The RAND Corporation issued the first of a series of reports on the feasibility of a lunar instrument carrier, based on the use of an Atlas booster. A braking rocket would decelerate the vehicle before lunar landing, and a penetration spike on the forward point of the instrument package would help to absorb the 500 feet per second impact velocity. Instruments would then transmit information on the lunar surface to earth.


1956 May 28 - .
  • Birth of Glenn Scott Yeakel - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Yeakel. American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1982-1988. Master of science in astronautical engineering from USAF Academy, 1978. Stationed at the US State Department. Later with National Reconnaissance Office..

1956 May 28 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Aerojet-General conducted the first test firing of a 150,000-pound thrust engine subassembly of the XLR-87-AJ-1 liquid rocket engine that would be used in the Titan's first stage. - .

1956 May 31 - . 02:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1E.
  • Biology / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: Korolev bureau. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Payload, instruments, left and right animal containers all recovered. Smoke container failed. Carried dogs..

1956 June - . LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-38.
  • G-38 booster engine test - . Nation: USA. Program: Navaho. The cluster of three engines produced 1800 kN for 45.5 seconds..

1956 June - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72.
  • First studies by Korolev OKB of manned spacecraft - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov, Korolev. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. First studies by Korolev and Feoktistov of manned spacecraft. The first stage would be suborbital ballistic flights (like the US Mercury-Redstone flights) from Kapustin Yar using IRBM's. First flights not planned until 1964 - 1967..

1956 June - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Zenit preliminary design complete - . Nation: Russia. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit satellite. Design was original concept of Zenit reconnaisance spacecraft. The effort would later be included in the Vostok program under the name of Zenit..

1956 Jun - . LV Family: Thor.
  • The Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation delivered the first 135,000-pound thrust, MB-1 Thor research and development engine to the Douglas Aircraft Company. - .

1956 June 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Radio guidance test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 June 2 - .
  • Birth of Mark Lewis 'Roman' Polansky - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Polansky. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-98, STS-116, STS-127, , , ,.

1956 June 4 - . 14:13 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. FAILURE: Failure.
  • RV-N-13a test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 58 km (36 mi). Sunfollower spectrograph. Launched at 0713 local time. Reached 58 km..

1956 June 5 - .
  • Birth of Richard Alan 'Rick' Searfoss - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Searfoss. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-58, STS-76, STS-90..

1956 June 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral RW30/12. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho X-10.
  • Navaho X-10 flight 22 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Navaho. Inertial navigation test. Flight aborted when computer malfunction prevented INS signals from being passed to the autopilot. Successful autoland; drag brake deploy failure; successful engagement by runway landing barrier..

1956 June 6 - .
  • Birth of Jay Clark Jr Buckey - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Buckey. American physician payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-90. Active Paylaod Specialist Trainee for Shuttle STS-90 Neurolab Mission;he had been Alternate Payload Specialist for STS-58 Mission SLS-2..

1956 June 7 - .
  • X-1E Flight 7 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 6. Mach 1.55 at 13725 m. Longitudinal and lateral trim changes in transonic region found annoying to pilot..

1956 June 7 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1E (A-1).
  • Biological mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: Korolev bureau. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Payload, instruments, left and right animal containers all recovered. Smoke container functioned. Carried dogs..

1956 June 7 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Nike. Launch Vehicle: Nike Nike T40 T55.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1956 June 8 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike Tri-Deacon T40.
  • Test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1956 June 12 - .
  • System Requirement 126 for Robo rocket-bomber. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Bomi, Dynasoar, Robo. ARDC headquarters issued System Requirement 126, outlining the requirements for a rocket-bomber, named Robo..

1956 June 13 - . 20:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • E-layer Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi). Ionosphere research. Launched at 1351 local time. Reached 137.8 km..

1956 June 15 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • North American Aviation delivered the first production type, Series A XSM-65 Atlas engine to Convair. The early Series A booster engines had a nominal thrust of 270,000-pounds. - .

1956 June 15 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Radio guidance test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 June 18 - .
  • X-1E Flight 8 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 7. Mach 1.74 at 18300 m. Damaged on landing..

1956 June 18 - . 20:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • E-layer Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 136 km (84 mi). Ionosphere research. Launched at 1342 local time. Reached 130.8 km..

1956 June 19 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Pad: LC3/4?. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1956 June 20 - .
  • Sounding rocket variants of R-2 and R-5 authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'MOP On production of the R-5A and R-2A scientific missiles at Plant No. 586' was issued..

1956 June 20 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • First Cajun research rocket. - . Nation: USA. First Cajun research rocket successfully launched at NACA Wallops Island, Va..

1956 June 21 - . LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-5M - the first nuclear Soviet ballistic missile - is accepted into military service. - . Nation: Russia.

    Decree 'On adoption of the R-5M into armaments' was issued. Deployment of the missile began in 1956 in brigades of six launchers. Initially it took 30 hours to prepare the rocket for launch, but this was reduced to 5 to 6 hours after several years of service.


1956 June 21 - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Edwards. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Atlas ICBM first test firing - . Nation: USA.

    First captive Atlas first test firing. The 'battleship' missile was installed at test stand 1-4, Edwards Air Force Base. The test was a failure due to inadvertant closure of the fuel prevalve, leading to duct collapse, and a turbine overspeed cutoff. No damage was sustained and the first successful firing came the next day. Atlas, First successful captive test firing, June 22, 1956, Edwards Rocket Base, duration - 4 seconds. Successful.


1956 June 21 - . 18:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • E-layer Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi). Ionosphere research. Launched at 1148 local time. Reached 146.5 km..

1956 June 22 - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Edwards. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Atlas ICBM first successful test firing - . Nation: USA. First successful captive test firing of the Atlas ICBM at Edwards Air Force Base, duration - 4 seconds..

1956 June 22 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Tandem Double Deacon.
  • Inlet model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 June 23 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • First Atlas battleship tests - . Nation: USA. First system engine tests on ERB 1-4 battleship setup.

1956 June 26 - .
  • Birth of Dr Bernard Andrew Jr Harris - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Harris. African-American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-55, STS-63. First African-American to walk in space..

1956 June 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi). USAF X-17 flight test program started at Cape Canaveral to study reentry problems by simulating reentry velocities and conditions with three-stage solid-fuel Lockheed X-17. A total of 26 X-17 flights were conducted until March 1957..

1956 June 26 - . 18:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • E-layer Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 111 km (68 mi). Ionosphere research. Launched at 1120 local time. Reached 111.1 km..

1956 June 27 - .
  • Birth of Sultan Salman Abdel-aziz Al-Saud - . Nation: Saudi Arabia. Related Persons: Al-Saud. Saudi prince, payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-G. First Arab in space..

1956 June 27 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Double Deacon.
  • MW-2 Model/T-40 test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 June 28 - .
  • Workers' uprising against Communist rule in Poznan, Poland, is crushed - . Nation: Russia.

1956 June 29 - . 19:09 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • RV-N-13b Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 264 km (164 mi). Ionosphere research. Launched at 1200 local time. Reached 261 km..

1956 June 30 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 July - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • OKB-1 completed draft project for the first earth satellite - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3.

    Tikhonravov's unit of OKB-1 completed the preliminary design of the ISZ satellite (launched as Sputnik 3). The Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence had meanwhile completed a draft project for the KIK ground control system. Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, but the R-7 was ready before the satellite, so it was preceded by Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. The ISZ was a miniature physics laboratory, but was launched with a known faulty recorder, limiting data to that received when the spacecraft was over Soviet tracking stations. As a result, the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered by the United States rather than Russia.


1956 July 1 - .
  • Death of Patrick Dawson Fleming. Died in first crash of a B-52. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Fleming. American test pilot, flew numerous test aircraft at Edwards AFB until killed in first crash of a B-52..

1956 Jul - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • The Rocketdyne Division of North American Aviation completed the first test firing of the 360,000-pound thrust, three-engine propulsion cluster (MA-1) for the Atlas missile. - .

1956 Jul - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • The Air Force Ballistic Missile Committee (AF/BMC) transferred the solid-propellant research program from the Western Development Division to the Wright Air Development Center at Wright-Patterson AFB - .

1956 July 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 July 3 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • The Air Force Ballistic Missile Committee (AF/BMC) withheld approval of WDD's proposed initial operational capability (IOC) program until a further review was completed. - . Related Persons: , Quarles, Eisenhower.

    Austerity in facilities and reductions in military objectives were recommended. Secretary of the Air Force Donald Quarles and the AF/BMC directed the Western Development Division to adopt a "poor man's approach" when working out the alternate IOC program.


1956 July 5 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike T40.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 27 km (16 mi).

1956 July 5 - . 07:52 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee RTV-N-10c.
  • Night airglow / B Magnetosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 162 km (100 mi). Magnetic belt, night airglow research. Launched at 0052 local time. Reached 162 km..

1956 July 6 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.01 Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi). First Nike-Cajun research rocket successfully fired at Wallops Island, a cooperative NACA-University of Michigan project, attaining an altitude of 425,000 feet..

1956 July 9 - . LV Family: Atlas, Titan, .
  • The Western Development Division began studying hardened bases for ICBM operational deployment. - .

1956 July 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/2?. Launch Vehicle: Snark.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 July 11 - . Launch Vehicle: R-11.
  • Sounding rocket variant of the R-11 authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On approval of work on the R-11A missile for the IGY' was issued..

1956 July 12 - .
  • X-2 Flight 12 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . Eighth powered flight, premature engine shutdown..

1956 July 13 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Pad: LC3/4?. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1956 July 17 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi). The first Lockheed X-17 reentry test vehicle (R-2) to complete a successful flight was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. .

1956 July 17 - . 15:40 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 29.7 N x 121.6 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.27 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 1 - Latitude: 29.68 N, Longitude:121.57 W..

1956 July 18 - .
  • Death of Ivan Gerasimovich Zubovich - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Zubovich. Russian government official. Deputy Minister of Armaments 1949-1951. Deputy Chairman of Special Committee 2..

1956 July 18 - . 15:46 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 29.7 N x 121.6 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.28 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 2 - Latitude: 29.70 N, Longitude:121.58 W..

1956 July 19 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. FAILURE: ST-80 malfunction at theta switch operation - 310 sec..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). CC-13 was launched at 0345 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 142.457 nm; .780 nm over the intended impact point. This was the first Chrysler fabricated and assembled missile. Missed aimpoint by 1,071 m..

1956 July 19 - . 15:21 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 30.3 N x 121.7 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.29 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 3 - Latitude: 30.25 N, Longitude:121.67 W..

1956 July 20 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11. FAILURE: Failure.
1956 July 20 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 July 20 - . 19:15 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 29.7 N x 121.5 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.30 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 4 - Latitude: 29.72 N, Longitude:121.53 W..

1956 July 21 - . 17:18 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 29.8 N x 121.5 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • NRL NN5.31 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 11 km (6 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 5 - Latitude: 29.75 N, Longitude:121.50 W..

1956 July 22 - . 17:57 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 30.2 N x 121.8 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.32 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 6 - Latitude: 30.17 N, Longitude:121.82 W..

1956 July 23 - .
  • X-2 Flight 13 - . Crew: Everest. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Everest. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . Ninth powered flight, Lt. Col. Frank K. Everest (USAF) flew the Bell X-2 rocket-powered research plane at a record speed of Mach 2.87, ust over 1,900 mph, at 20,802 m..

1956 July 24 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 July 24 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Hurricane photo Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 112 km (69 mi).

1956 July 25 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 29.7 N x 121.6 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.34 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 8 - Latitude: 29.67 N, Longitude:121.58 W..

1956 July 26 - .
  • X-1E Flight 9 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 8. Subsonic because cylinders 3 and 4 world not fire..

1956 July 26 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 July 26 - . 15:28 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 29.7 N x 121.5 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.35 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 9 - Latitude: 29.72 N, Longitude:121.50 W..

1956 July 27 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1956 July 27 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 29.5 N x 121.6 W. Launch Platform: LSD-18. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Rockoon.
  • NRL NN5.36 Solar ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). Launched on 1956 NRL Cruise Launch Point 10 - Latitude: 29.53 N, Longitude:121.62 W..

1956 July 28 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1 8A11.
1956 July 31 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 July 31 - . 00:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • Airglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi). Day airglow research. Launched at 1756 local time. Reached 128.8 km..

1956 August - .
  • Soviet military completes draft project for satellite systems - . Nation: Russia. MO 4-NII (Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence) completed the draft project for the KIK satellite tracking and control system and use of satellites for military purposes..

1956 August - . Launch Vehicle: RS.
  • Tsybin RS rescoped to RSR concept - . Nation: Russia. The RS design was modified to the more modest RSR configuration, which was air launched, cruised at 2800 km/hour at 26,700 m with a 1700 km radius of action..

1956 August - .
  • Soviet decree authorised design of a military reconnaissance satellite - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit satellite.

    The decree formally authorised design of a military reconnaissance satellite. In October the specification was issued for a comprehensive research program leading to manoeuvrable spacecraft. By April 1957 the military issued a requirements document for experimental solar cell panels. Design bureau work on the reconnaissance satellite began in 1957 in Section 3 of OKB-1 (Tikhonravov and Ryazanov). This spacecraft was initially sized at 1.5 tonnes total for launch by the basic R-7 rocket.


1956 August - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • First ground equipment installed at Tyuratam - . Nation: Russia.

1956 Aug - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan I.
  • The first full-duration, 300-second firing of the North American Aviation 60,000-pound thrust sustainer engine for Titan was successfully completed. - . During the month, Aerojet-General completed maximum duration test firings of the Titan booster engines (XLR-87-AJ-1) for 130 seconds and the sustainer engine (XLR-91-AJ-1) for 155 seconds..

1956 August 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 August 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1956 August 3 - .
  • X-2 Flight 14 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . 10th powered flight, mach 2.5+, 26764 m..

1956 August 7 - .
  • Birth of Kent Vernon Rominger - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rominger. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-73, STS-80, STS-85, STS-96, STS-100..

1956 August 8 - .
  • X-2 Flight 15 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . 11th powered flight, premature engine shutdown..

1956 August 8 - . LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Jupiter test stand completed. - . Nation: USA. Largest U.S. test stand for rocket motors was completed at Redstone Arsenal, slated for Jupiter IRBM..

1956 August 8 - .
  • Birth of Larry Dean James - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: James. American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1982-1987..

1956 August 8 - . 08:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    RS-20 was launched at 0325 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. The actual range was 139.72 nm; 0.3 nm over the intended impact point. The primary teat objectives were to test the accuracy of the guidance system and to acquire data for the establishment of design criteria for the Jupiter. This was the first time that the combustion chamber pressure was controlled. Missed aimpoint by 175 m.


1956 August 8 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.30 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1956 August 9 - . 22:47 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • BRL OB6.00 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 164 km (101 mi).

1956 August 10 - . 15:22 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee XASR-SC-1.
  • Sampling Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi). Composition research. Launched at 0822 local time. Reached 85.9 km..

1956 August 14 - .
  • X-1B Flight 12 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1B. NACA flight 1. Pilot check; nose landing gear failed on landing, minor damage..

1956 August 14 - .
  • OKB-1 made an independent design bureau. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 310 'On separation of OKB-1 from NII-88' was issued..

1956 August 18 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1956 August 18 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • R-7 component test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). The R-5RD or M5RD was flown 10 times to test subsystems for the R-7 ICBM..

1956 August 18 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7B.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 August 18 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7B.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 August 18 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7B.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 August 18 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7B.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 August 23 - .
  • Birth of Dr David Alexander 'Bluto' Wolf - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Wolf. Jewish-American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-58, Mir NASA-5, STS-112, STS-127..

1956 August 23 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • 4203-5 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi). A five-stage, solid-fuel rocket test vehicle, the world's first, was launched to a speed of mach 15 from Wallops Island, Va. by the NACA Langley Aeronautical Laboratory's Pilotless Aircraft Research Division..

1956 August 24 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike Nike Recruit T55. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1956 August 27 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Thor engine first static test. - . Nation: USA. First static firing of Thor rocket engine at AFFTC, Edwards AFB..

1956 August 27 - . Launch Site: Edwards AFB. LV Family: Thor.
  • The first static test firing of a Thor engine was conducted at the rocket engine test facilities at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), at Edwards AFB, California. - .

1956 August 28 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1956 August 29 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Atlas missile 1A was conditionally accepted by the Air Force and delivered to the Convair Sycamore Canyon Test Site for checkout prior to captive testing. - .

1956 August 29 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 August 30 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 August 31 - .
  • X-1E Flight 10 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 9. Mach 2.0 at 18300 m. Sideslips, pulses, rolls..

1956 August 31 - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • State Commission formed to oversee R-7 flight test. - . Nation: Russia. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On creation of the State Commission for the R-7' was issued..

1956 September - . Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350.
  • Burya redesign - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Lavochkin. Program: Navaho. Lavochkin experienced a major setback in when the payload requirement for the nuclear warhead was increased from 2,100 to 2,350 kg..

1956 September - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Atlas 1A - . Nation: USA. Missile 1A delivered to Sycamore for captive tests.

1956 Sep - . LV Family: Thor.
  • The first Thor IRBM flight test missile was assembled in the Douglas plant in Santa Monica, California. - .

1956 September 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. LV Family: Thor, Atlas.
  • Secretary of the Air Force Donald Quarles approved the location of ICBM and IRBM operational and training facilities at Camp Cooke, California, contingent upon approval by higher authorities. - . Related Persons: , Quarles.

1956 September 3 - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Soviet space and ballistic missile tracking network established. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3.

    Decree 1241-632 '0n creation or the Command Measurement Complex' was issued. The decree marked the beginning of development of the KIK satellite tracking system. This network was put together using a combination of PVO (Air Defence) and ICBM tracking systems. Trajectory information was fed into the KIK Centre for orbital calculations. The Centre was staffed by 680 officers and 151 civilian scientists of the Soviet Army in four sections.


1956 September 7 - .
  • X-2 Flight 16 - . Crew: Kincheloe. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 . 12th powered flight. Capt. Iven C. Kincheloe (USAF) set new unofficial altitude record for manned flight at Edwards AFB, Calif., piloting a Bell X-2 rocket-powered aircraft to a height of 38,491 m, top speed Mach 1.7..

1956 September 7 - .
  • X-1B Flight 13 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1B. NACA flight 3. Speed run to 17080 m and mach 1.8. Limited heating data gathered..

1956 September 8 - .
  • Birth of Sergei Aleksandrovich Zhukov - . Nation: Kazakhstan. Related Persons: Zhukov, Sergei. Russian engineer cosmonaut, 2003-on..

1956 September 8 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 394 km (244 mi).

1956 September 9 - .
  • Birth of Anatoli Pavlovich Artsebarsky - . Nation: Russia, Ukraine. Related Persons: Artsebarsky. Russian test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-9..

1956 September 10 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Nike. Launch Vehicle: Nike T40 T55.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 September 12 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 September 13 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1.
  • Russian agrees to sell China two R-1 missiles - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. They were delivered in December 1956. Tsien is disgusted to find that the missiles are nothing but copies of the V-2. Something more advanced is needed, he argues to the Russians..

1956 September 14 - .
  • X-1E Flight 11 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 10. Mach 2.1 at 18910 m. Stabilizer, rudder, and aileron pulses..

1956 September 16 - .
  • Birth of Kevin Richard Kregel - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kregel. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-70, STS-78, STS-87, STS-99..

1956 September 18 - .
  • X-1B Flight 14 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1B. NACA flight 4. Glide flight, due to erratic engine start..

1956 September 20 - .
  • X-1E Flight 12 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 11. Brief engine power only; flight aborted, unspecified engine malfunction..

1956 September 20 - . 06:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. FAILURE: Early cut-off due to human error in tanking ..
  • Jupiter C re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 1,097 km (681 mi).

    First Jupiter C (a three-stage ABMA-JPL Redstone missile) was launched at Cape Canaveral, Fla., attained an altitude of 1096 km and traveled 5,300 km downrange. The first three-stage re-entry missile, was fired at 0145 hours EST from AMR. This missile attained an estimated range of 3,335 ST miles, an altitude of 682 ST miles, and reached Mach 18 velocity. The primary objective of the firing was the propulsion and separation tart of a multi-stage vehicle. The missile was a four-stage configuration with the last stage inactive. The first stage was an elongated Redstone missile, the second and third stages were up of 11 and 3 six-inch scaled SERGEANT rockets, respectively. The payload consisted of approximately 20 pounds of instrumentation attached to the inactive fourth stage. The flight was successful and the sequence of operations occurred as programmed. This vehicle could have obtained sufficient velocity to place it in orbit, if the last stage had been activated. First deep penetration of space. Serial number coding for early Redstones and related vehicles used the following substitution cipher: 1234567890 = HUNTSVILLEX


1956 September 21 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin. FAILURE: Second stage did not ignite..
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, NSA. Apogee: 16 km (9 mi). First Terrpain launch attempt..

1956 September 21 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Terrapin.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, NSA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). First successful flight of a Terrapin sounding rocket at Wallops Island, which consisted of a Deacon and T55 rocket and carried a payload of 3 kg to a 120 km altitude..

1956 September 24 - . 00:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. LV Family: Kappa. Launch Vehicle: Kappa 1.
  • K-I-S-1 test - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi).

1956 September 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 September 27 - .
  • X-2 Flight 17 - . Crew: Apt, Milburn. Payload: X-2 # 1 flight 17. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Apt, Milburn. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2 .

    After having been launched from a B-50 bomber over the Mojave Desert in California, Capt. Milburn G. Apt (USAF), flying an X-2 rocket-powered plane on its 13th powered flight, set a record speed of 3,377 kph, or Mach 3.196 at 19,977 m. Subsequent loss of control from inertial coupling led to the destruction of the aircraft and the death of the pilot.


1956 September 27 - .
  • Test Pilot Milburn Apt dies at age of 32 -- Killed in explosion of X-2 number 1. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Apt, Milburn. Jewish-American test pilot, killed in 1956 air catastrophe with X-2 # 1..

1956 September 27 - .
  • X-2 reaches Mach 3. - . Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-2.

    After having been launched from a B-50 bomber over the Mojave Desert in California, Capt. Milburn G. Apt (USAF), flying an X-2 rocket-powered plane on its 13th powered flight, set a record speed of 2,094 mph, or Mach 3.196. In the course of the flight the aircraft crashed and the pilot was killed.


1956 September 27 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Secretary of the Air Force Donald Quarles rejected WDD's FY 1958 ballistic missile program budget submitted to the Air Force Ballistic Missile Committee by Major General Schriever. - . Related Persons: Schriever, Quarles. Secretary Quarles directed a cut from the recommended $1,672 billion on a maximum of $1.3 billion and advised a restudy of IOC planning..

1956 September 28 - .
  • X-1B Flight 15 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1B flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1B. NACA flight 5. Three-chamber engine run to 18300 m to obtain heating data..

1956 September 28 - . Launch Site: Edwards AFB. LV Family: Atlas.
  • Atlas missile 2A was accepted by the Air Force and delivered to Edwards AFB, Test Stand 1-A, for checkout prior to captive test firings scheduled for early 1957. - .

1956 September 29 - .
  • Birth of James Donald Jr Halsell - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Halsell. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-65, STS-74, STS-83, STS-94, STS-101..

1956 September 29 - .
  • Birth of Livingston Lionel Jr 'Livvy' Holder - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holder. African-American engineer USAF spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1982-1988. Later worked for the Boeing Company, then Vice President of Space Systems, Andrews Space..

1956 September 29 - . 01:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. LV Family: Kappa. Launch Vehicle: Kappa 1.
  • K-I-S-3 test - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi).

1956 September 30 - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Sputnik 3 draft project approved. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3.

    Decree 'On approval of the draft project for Object D' was issued. The decree gave the go-ahead for Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ physics satellite to be launched by the new R-7 ICBM during the International Geophysical Year . The ISZ, a miniature physics laboratory,.was to have been the first artificial satellite of the earth. In the event, it was preceded by Sputniks 1 and 2.


1956 September 30 - .
  • First official plan for future Soviet spaceflight - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3, Vostok, Zenit-2 satellite.

    This set forth the following objectives: orbiting of satellites of 1.8 to 2.5 tonnes mass by 1958; one week flight of a manned spacecraft by 1964; unmanned reconnaissance satellite by 1970; rocket capable of 12 tonne escape velocity payload by 1970; rocket with 100 tonne low earth orbit payload to be developed, capable of placing 2 to 3 men on the moon (no date set).


1956 October 1 - .
  • X-15 follow-on work begun. - . Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. NACA scientists initiated examination of the need for a follow-on manned-rocket research vehicle to the X-15, following ARDC inquiries concerning a boost-glide vehicle..

1956 Oct - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Western Development Division cancelled the North American Aviation development effort on a back-up sustainer engine for Titan's second stage. - .

1956 Oct - . LV Family: Titan, Thor.
  • WDD decided to eliminate the inertial platform from the Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL) radio inertial guidance system for Titan and Thor. - .

1956 October 1 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi).

1956 October 2 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/2?. Launch Vehicle: Snark.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi). Full-scale test version of the Snark guided missile (XSM62) successfully recovered for the first time after a flight from Cape Canaveral..

1956 October 3 - .
  • X-1E Flight 13 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 12. Only 60-sec rocket operation; intermittent pump operation. Flight aborted, turbopump and engine replaced..

1956 October 3 - .
  • USAF study urges military space program based on using ballistic missiles as boosters. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Western Development Division released a short study report entitled, "Ballistic Missiles, Satellites and Space Vehicles. " The paper recommended a detailed survey of technical developments which might anticipate "logical extensions of our present ballistic missile and satellite programs." Advanced systems were foreseen in the next 20 years which might well furnish equipment and technology for manned exploration of space including voyages to the moon and near by planets. The paper also recommended that the Air Force plan an orderly development of space programs aimed at these far reaching but reasonable long term objectives. (Paper, Ballistic Missiles, Satellites and Space Vehicles, 1956 to 1976, dtd 3 Oct 56, prep by Col L. D. Ely, Asst for Tech Groups, Tech Operations, WDD.)


1956 October 4 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 October 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

1956 October 5 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Nike. Launch Vehicle: Nike Recruit.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 4.00 km (2.40 mi).

1956 October 8 - .
  • Birth of Dr Janice Elaine Voss - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Voss, Janice. American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-57, STS-63, STS-83, STS-94, STS-99. Engineer..

1956 October 9 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Nike.
  • F23 Ramjet test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 October 11 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • Polished Cone re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 70 km (43 mi).

1956 October 12 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 October 13 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 102 km (63 mi).

1956 October 16 - .
  • Birth of Dr James Hansen 'Jim' Newman - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Newman. American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51, STS-69, STS-88, STS-109..

1956 October 17 - .
  • Birth of Dr Mae Carol Jemison - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Jemison. African-American physician mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-47. Physician. First African-American woman to fly in space..

1956 October 18 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • A Tactical Air Command (TAC) C-124 "Cargomaster" delivered the first Thor IRBM flight test missile, Number 101, to the Air Force Missile Test Center (AFMTC) at Patrick AFB, Florida. - .

1956 October 18 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1956 October 18 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 October 18 - . 09:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    CC-14 was launched at 0405 hours EST from AMR after a series of short holds. The flight was successful. The actual range was 137.870 nm; 72 meters over and 338 meters right: of the intended impact point. The primary objectives were to test the accuracy of the guidance system and to test angle of-attack meters for the Jupiter. Missed aimpoint by 346 m.


1956 October 19 - .
  • Hungarian rebellion forces Soviet troops to withdraw from Budapest - . Nation: Russia.

1956 October - .
  • Follow-on to the X-15. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. NACA scientists were engaged in preliminary studies of the need for a follow-on, manned-rocket research vehicle to the X-15..

1956 October 20 - . 22:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.31 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 113 km (70 mi).

1956 October 23 - . 08:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • Pressure Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi). Pressure, temperature, density research. Launched at 0240 local time. Reached 145 km..

1956 October 24 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral RW30/12. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho X-10.
  • Navaho X-10 flight 26 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Navaho. Successful inertial navigation test flight..

1956 October 25 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 124 km (77 mi).

1956 October 27 - . 21:24 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 40.0 N x 71.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-14. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.08 Sphere? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi). Launched during University of Michigan's 1956 Cruise 1956 at Launch Point 1 - - Latitude: 40.00 N - Longitude: 71.00 W..

1956 October 29 - .
  • Lockheed Missile Systems Division was awarded a contract as the prime contractor for the development of the military satellite system (WS 117L) and associated Hustler (later redesignated Agena) stage. - . Spacecraft: WS-117.

1956 October 31 - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1956 October 31 - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1956 October 31 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 October 31 - . 02:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. FAILURE: Malfunction of yaw gyro at approximately 10 sec. Ground cut-off command given.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

    RS-25 was launched at 2104 hours EST from AMR. The flight was not successful. The behaviour of the missile appeared normal for the first 13 seconds, an early roll disturbance having been smoothly eliminated. Starting at 13 seconds after range zero, the gyro yaw signal indicated increasing yaw for a few seconds and the tracking devices at the same time showed increased displacement to the left of the standard trajectory. The malfunction apparently occurred between the yaw gyro potentiometer output and the outputs of the yaw amplifier of the mixing computer. The primary test objective was to test power plant performance. Missed aimpoint by 264,900 m.


1956 November 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Million pound thrust test stand activiated. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Rocket test stand capable of testing engines to 1 million pounds thrust activated at Edwards AFB, which became operational in March 1957..

1956 November 1 - .
  • Imre Nagy announces Hungary's withdrawal from Warsaw Pact - . Nation: Russia.

1956 November 1 - . LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Jupiter loses Navy support. - . Nation: USA.

    Following Navy withdrawal from the Jupiter IRBM program, separate Army and Navy Ballistic Missile Committees were established under chairmanship of respective service secretaries. Navy withdrawal based on interest in solid-propellant Polaris as ship-based IRBM.


1956 November 1 - .
  • USAF recommends 1955-1970 program for ballistic missiles, satellite reconnaissance systems, recoverable satellites, and manned interplanetary space exploration. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Air Research and Development Command Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Committee report, based primarily on Western Development Division-Ramo -Wooldridge sources, contained a technological forecast (1955-1970) and program recommendations for ballistic missiles, satellite reconnaissance systems, recoverable satellites, manned interplanetary space exploration, and related facilities, funds and manpower requirements. It was estimated that program costs would reach $800 million by fiscal year 1961 and continue at a level of $500 million a year until 1970, then soar to $1.9 billion in 1971. (Early BMD-ARDC General Space Chronology, 11 Feb 59.)


1956 November 2 - . 05:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee AJ10-34.
  • Sodium Release 4 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi).

1956 November 2 - . 18:40 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 49.0 N x 48.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-14. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.09 Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi). Launched during University of Michigan's 1956 Cruise 1956 at Launch Point 2 - - Latitude: 49.00 N - Longitude: 48.00 W..

1956 November 3 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1956 November 4 - .
  • Soviet troops enter and reclaim Budapest - . Nation: Russia.

1956 November 4 - . 18:54 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 58.0 N x 47.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-14. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.10 Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 162 km (100 mi). Launched during University of Michigan's 1956 Cruise 1956 at Launch Point 3 - - Latitude: 58.00 N - Longitude: 47.00 W..

1956 November 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 118 km (73 mi).

1956 November 5 - . 07:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi. FAILURE: Failure..
  • NRL NN3.02 Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Aurora, magnetic field research. Also known as IGY NN3.02. Launched at 1301 local time. Altitude not reported; possible failure..

1956 November 6 - .
  • Hywards abbreviated development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar, Hywards. ARDC headquarters issued System Requirement 121, requesting information from Air Force agencies for the preparation of a Hywards abbreviated development plan..

1956 November 6 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Brigadier General Osmond J. Ritland, WDD Vice Commander, ordered planning to be conducted on how to harden the Titan operational missile sites. - .

1956 November 6 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC9. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-26. FAILURE: Pitched up, disintegrated at T+26 seconds - pitch rate gyro installed backwards.
  • Navaho G-26 Flight 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 2.00 km (1.20 mi).

    Continuing problems with APU reliability delayed the launch to November. Various problems extended the countdown from the planned 7 hours 30 minutes to 14 hours 30 minutes. Successful launch, then vehicle pitched up and disintegrated 26 seconds after launch, impacting 4 km down range. It was found the pitch rate gyro had been installed backward.


1956 November 6 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Platform: F2H2. Launch Vehicle: Recruit.
  • Heat Transfer Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Cleveland. Apogee: 4.00 km (2.40 mi).

1956 November 7 - . 15:02 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 64.0 N x 58.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-14. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.11 Sphere? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi). Launched during University of Michigan's 1956 Cruise 1956 at Launch Point 4 - - Latitude: 64.00 N - Longitude: 58.00 W..

1956 November 9 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 November 9 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 November 10 - . LV Family: Atlas, .
  • The revised WDD ballistic missile development plan was submitted to Secretary of the Air Force Donald Quarles and the Air Force Ballistic Missile Committee. - . Related Persons: , Quarles.

    Cuts were made in force structure, and the budget was reduced to $1,335 billion as already approved by the Air Council. AFBMC also approved the new submission and passed it on to the Office of the Secretary of Defense Ballistic Missile Committee (OSD/ BMC) for consideration.


1956 November 10 - . 15:17 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 66.0 N x 58.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-14. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • UM AM6.12 Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi). Launched during University of Michigan's 1956 Cruise 1956 at Launch Point 5 - - Latitude: 66.00 N - Longitude: 58.00 W..

1956 November - .
  • Follow-on to the X-15 project discussed. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar.

    Personnel of the Air Research and Development Command approached NACA officials on the possible cooperation of NACA in a research airplane project as a follow-on to the X-15 project. NACA agreed to consider the plan and directed its laboratories to initiate feasibility studies relative to the range of speed for the proposed vehicle and an estimate of the time frame in which the vehicle could be developed.


1956 November 12 - . 11:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee RTV-A-1a.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 67 km (41 mi). Temperature, winds research. Launched at 0546 local time. Reached 67.5 km..

1956 November 14 - .
  • Birth of Kenneth Duane 'Ken' Bowersox - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bowersox. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-50, STS-61, STS-73, STS-82, ISS EO-6..

1956 November 14 - . 02:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. FAILURE: Human error in propellant loading plus programmed fuel depletion cut-off..
  • Jupiter A/Sandia PL - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    RS-28 was launched at 2105 EST from AMR. The flight was successful. Actual range was 152.4 nm; 9.51 nm over; and 1.5 kilometres left of the intended impact point. The missile carried the LEV-3 rather than the ST-80 guidance system and used fuel depletion cut-off. The primary test objective was to test the Sandia payload. Missed aimpoint by 19,500 m.


1956 November 15 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.07F Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi). Ionosphere research. Also known as IGY NN3.09. Launched at 1332 local time. Reached 119 km..

1956 November 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Vandenberg selected as first ICBM base. - . Nation: USA.

    Department of Defense transferred northern portion of Camp Cooke, Calif. (now Vandenberg AFB), to the Air Force to be used as first ICBM base. The Secretary of Defense directed the United States Army to transfer 64,000 acres of Camp Cooke's 86,000 acres to the Air Force.


1956 November 16 - .
  • Birth of Maureen Cecil LaComb - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: LaComb. American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1982-1990..

1956 November 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg, .
  • Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson approved transfer of the northern portion of Camp Cooke from the Department of the Army to the Air Force for use as the first operational prototype missile base. - .

1956 November 16 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 107 km (66 mi).

1956 November 17 - . 16:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.12 Aeronomy / chemical / solar lyra-alpha spectrometry / x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 209 km (129 mi). Atmospheric structure research. Also known as IGY NN3.12. Launched at 1048 local time. Reached 195 km..

1956 November 19 - .
  • Birth of Eileen Marie 'Mom' Collins - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Collins, Eileen. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-63, STS-84, STS-93, STS-114. US Air Force test pilot, first female shuttle pilot and first female spacecraft commander..

1956 November 20 - .
  • X-1E Flight 14 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 13. No engine operation, ignition failure due to lack of manifold pressure..

1956 November 20 - .
  • Birth of Vladimir Gayevich Severin - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Severin, Vladimir. Russian engineer cosmonaut, 1990-1995. Son of design bureau chief Gay Ilich Severin..

1956 November 21 - . 05:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.17 Ionosphere / aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi). Air and ion composition research. Also known as IGY NN3.17. Launched at 2321 local time. Reached 255 km..

1956 November 23 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1956 November 24 - . LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • First R-5 launch as ABM target - . Nation: Russia. Agency: GAU. R-5M's launched as targets for the V-1000 anti-ballistic missile system..

1956 November 26 - . LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • DoD assigns long range missiles to Air Force. - . Nation: USA. Secretary of Defence Wilson rules that Army could not develop missiles over 200 mile range. Jupiter assigned to AF..

1956 November 26 - . LV Family: Atlas, Titan, Thor, Jupiter, Redstone, Pershing.
  • Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson issued a memo to the Armed Forces Policy Council to end the argument between the Air Force and Army on responsibility for missile programs. - . In an effort to settle the areas of jurisdiction for the services, Secretary Wilson ruled that all long-range missiles, ICBMs as well as IRBMs, with a range of more than 200 miles, would be given to the Air Force..

1956 November 27 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Deacon.
  • AGARD Model 2 test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 November 29 - . 13:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A.
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    Launched at 0823 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful. Actual range was 138.969 nm; .137 nm over and 122 meters left of the intended impact point, a radial miss distance of 260 meters. The primary test objectives were to test the accuracy of the complete guidance system and to test Jupiter control components. Missed aimpoint by 255 m.


1956 November 30 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Atlas missile 4A, the first flight test vehicle, was delivered to the USAF at Convair's San Diego plant. It was then transported by truck to the Missile Test Center in Florida. - .

1956 November 30 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1956 November 30 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 December - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • First Atlas firing, stand S-l, Sycamore - . Nation: USA.

1956 December - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Scheduled design complete (95%) for Atlas A-series missiles - . Nation: USA.

1956 Dec - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, Secretary Quarles, and the OSD/BMC approved the $1,335 billion budget submitted by WDD for FY 1958. - . Related Persons: , Quarles. Subsequently, however, this approved budget was cut to $1,135 billion by OSD in an effort to reduce the overall FY 1958 funding requirements of the Air Force..

1956 December 3 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 125 km (77 mi).

1956 December 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/2?. Launch Vehicle: Snark. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1956 December 6 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 December 7 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Hemi-Cyl re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1956 December 8 - . 06:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Viking sounding rocket. Launch Vehicle: Viking Type 9.
  • Vanguard TV0 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi).

    First Vanguard test; re-entry studies; not a vertical firing. Launched at 0103 local time. First test rocket in the IGY-U.S. satellite program, a one-stage NRL Viking, attained an altitude of 176 km and a speed of 6,400 kph. Viking No. 13 carried a "minitrack" radio transmitter which was ejected at 80 km and tracked.


1956 December 11 - . LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Wasp.
  • Wasp soundings to 160,000 feet. - . Nation: USA. Twenty-four Wasp research and develoment chaff and parachute rockets, used to obtain wind soundings to 160,000 feet, were fired by Naval Ordnance Missile Test Facility at WSPG..

1956 December 11 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1956 December 13 - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Platform: F-86D. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rockaire.
  • Rockair 2710 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 44 km (27 mi).

1956 December 13 - . 02:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. LV Family: Kappa. Launch Vehicle: Kappa 1.
  • K-I-T-4 test - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi).

1956 December 13 - . 21:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • AJ11-6 engine test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 193 km (119 mi). Rocket test, 80 kg payload payload. Launched at 1444 local time. Reached 193 km..

1956 December 14 - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Platform: F-86D. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rockaire.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 42 km (26 mi).

1956 December 17 - . Launch Vehicle: R-16.
  • Development of the R-16 ICBM is authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 'On the Creation of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile R-16 (8k64) with Start of LKI in June 1961--start of work on the R-16 ICBM' was issued..

1956 December 17 - . LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A1.
  • Polaris project begun. - . Nation: USA. Navy Special Projects Office authorized Lockheed to proceed with Polaris development, having withdrawn from the Jupiter program earlier..

1956 December 18 - .
  • Birth of Dr Reinhold Ewald - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Ewald. German engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Mir 97..

1956 December 19 - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Platform: F-86D. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rockaire.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 45 km (27 mi).

1956 December 19 - . 02:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A. FAILURE: First experimental flight with Hydyne. Specific impulse exceeded predicted values. Re-entry system intentionally unstable to test Jupiter alpha control..
  • Jupiter A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    The flight was successful, Actual range was 401.6 nm; 84.9 nm over the intended impact point. The missile used Hydyne fuel. The primary test objective was to test the control of an unstable missile configuration by using an angle-of-attack meter (boom type) in the ascending phase (Jupiter control). Missed aimpoint by 157,200 m.


1956 December 20 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1956 December 21 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Atlas 1A destroyed in test. - . Nation: USA. Missile 1A burned on second run at S-l with stand damage.

1956 December 21 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Atlas missile 1A made its first captive test firing at Convair's Sycamore Canyon captive test facility. - .

1956 December 21 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-3.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1956 December 26 - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1956 December 31 - .
  • Birth of Dr Martin Joseph Fettman - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Fettman. Jewish-American veterinarian payload specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-58..


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