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1958 Chronology

During 1958 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Vega.
  • NASA sketches two-crew Mercury follow-on spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Caldwell. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini.

    In 1958 H. Kurt Strass and Caldwell C. Johnson of NASA's Space Task Group at Langley Field, Virginia.sketched a spacecraft design concept for a two-man orbiting laboratory to be launched by an Atlas-Vega booster. This was one of the earliest sketches of a two-crew Mercury follow-on. The Vega stage was dropped in favour of the Agena a year later, and a similar one-crew Mercury-Agena space station was proposed by McDonnell some years later.


1958 During the Year - .
  • Project Mer - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Man-In-Space-Soonest. Spacecraft: Project Mer.

    The Navy space proposal to the Advanced Research Projects Agency, during the tenure of that organization's interim surveillance over national space projects, was known as Project Mer. This plan involved sending a man into orbit in a collapsible pneumatic glider. The glider and its occupant would be launched in the nose of a giant launch vehicle. After the glider had been placed in orbit, it would be inflated, and then flown down to a water landing.


1958 During the Year - . LV Family: Buran M. Launch Vehicle: Buran RSS-52.
  • Myasishchev proposed use of the Buran M-42 cruise stage in aviation research - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Myasishchev. Spacecraft Bus: Buran M. Spacecraft: Buran M-44.

    On the basis of the immense delta-winged M-50 bomber Myasishchev proposed the RSS-52 aerospace vehicle. The M-50 derivative would enter a circuit 1,000 km from base, accelerate to supersonic speed, and then launch the M-44. The M-44 would accelerate to hypersonic velocity, conduct a high speed run of an overwater circuit, and then splash down in the sea. In the United States, the X-15 was being developed to answer analogous questions. However due to the expense and technical problems, Myasishchev was unable to convince the leadership to approve the RSS-52.


1958 - .
  • Long-range objectives of NASA's space program described. - . Nation: USA.

    In testimony before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, NASA Deputy Administrator Hugh L. Dryden and DeMarquis D. Wyatt, Assistant to the Director of Space Flight Development, described the long-range objectives of the agency's space program: a multimanned orbiting space station; a permanent manned orbiting laboratory; unmanned lunar probes; and manned lunar orbital, lunar-landing, and-ultimately-interplanetary flight.


1958 - During the year - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Outpost four-man space station. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ehricke. Spacecraft: Outpost.

    In 1958, the year after Sputnik 1, Krafft Ehricke, then with General Dynamics' Convair Division, designed a four-man space station known as Outpost. Ehricke proposed that the Atlas ICBM being developed by Convair could be adapted as the station's basic structure. The Atlas, 3 m in diameter and 22.8 m long, was America's largest rocket at the time.


1958 During the Year - .
  • Soviet Air Force requested development of high-speed aerospace vehicles. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Buran M-48.

    Phase One would take an experimental vehicle up to 6,000 to 7,000 km/hour at altitudes of 80 to 100 km. In this phase the vehicle would remain controllable using aerodynamic surfaces. Phase Two would take the vehicle to Mach 10, and 100 to 150 km altitude. This would require solving problems of control at hypersonic speeds, reaction control of the vehicle outside of the atmosphere, re-entry, and landing.


1958 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Juno V-A.
  • Juno V heavy space launch design - . Nation: USA. The Von Braun team's Super-Jupiter evolved into the Juno V. The 4 E-1 engines were abandoned in favor of clustering 8 Jupiter IRBM engines below existing Redstone/Jupiter tankage..

1958 - During the year - .
  • US Army Map Service studied methods of mapping the moon - . Nation: USA. Program: Horizon. The U.S. Army Map Service studied methods of mapping the moon. This effort evolved into Project LAMP Lunar Analysis and Mapping Program) in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey. By spring 1960, the first maps were in preparation.. Additional Details: here....

1958 - . LV Family: AMROC. Launch Vehicle: Hyperion.
  • Hyperion nuclear rocket design. - . Nation: USA. Hyperion was considered as a ca. 1970 Saturn follow-on. Hyperion would have doubled the translunar trajectory performance of the Saturn V at less than one third of the liftoff mass..

1958 January 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Thor put into operational service. - . Nation: USA. Strategic Air Command assigned responsibility for U.S. operational ICBM capability; while the 672nd Strategic Missile Squadron, first to be equipped with USAF Douglas Thor IRBM, was activated..

1958 During the Year - . LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-17.
  • Development of the R-17 begins - . Nation: Russia.

    In 1958-1959 Makeyev designed and built the first mock-up of a new design missile to rectify the shortcomings of the R-11. The R-17 would later become infamous around the world as the 'Scud-B'. The decision was made to devote the Makeyev bureau to sea-launched missiles, and in 1959 the program was transferred to Votkinsk Machine Building Plant.


1958 January - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Scheduled design complete (95%) for Atlas C-series missiles - . Nation: USA.

January 1958 - . Launch Vehicle: R-12.
  • Project 581 - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft: Project 581. The first project to build a Chinese satellite is set in motion..

1958 During the Year - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72.
  • Work begun on Vostok spacecraft and third stage - . Nation: Russia. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok.

1958 January 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • Cooke AFB transferred to SAC - . Nation: USA. Cooke AFB (with major operational and training units) transferred from Air Research and Development Command to Strategic Air Command. Launch facility construction as well as research and development activities at Cooke AFB were the responsibility of the A.

1958 January 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg.
  • Responsibility for ballistic missile IOC was transferred from ARDC (AFBMD) to SAC. - .

    At Cooke AFB, AFBMD retained responsibility for construction of technical facilities as well as research and development activities. At Los Angeles, the entire staff of AFBMD's Deputy Commander for Plans and Operations, under Colonel William R. Large, Jr., was transferred to man the new Office of the Assistant Commander-in-Chief, SAC (SAC/MIKE), that was established at AFBMD to manage IOC activities.


1958 January 2 - .
  • Plant 1 in Samara designated for R-7 production. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On adding of space work to Plant No. 1 (later Progress Plant) at Kuibyshev' was issued..

1958 January 3 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division recommendation for a strong astronautics program, including animal and lunar flights. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Air Force Ballistic Missile Division's recommendation for a strong astronautics program, forwarded to Lt General D. L. Putt, Deputy Chief of Staff, Development, at Air Force headquarters, included the following specific proposals: (1) Thor plus a Vanguard second stage would be used as the basic booster to provide a vehicle with a recoverable data capsule: first orbital flight with telemetry only by September 1958, followed by four additional flights during the remainder of fiscal 1959. (2) Develop a recoverable animal carrying satellite using rhesus monkeys; four flights during fiscal 1959. (3) Lunar impact missions could be attempted with a high probability of success by adding a Vanguard third stage to the Thor and Vanguard second stage vehicle; four vehicles should be planned for this mission beginning during the last quarter of 1958, (4) Four vehicles should be assigned the mission of circumlunar flight. Total cost of these programs was estimated at $26.8 million during fiscal 1958, and $30.4 million in fiscal 1959 including ground equipment and Thor production would have to be increased by two units per, month if the entire astronautics program were adopted as proposed. (Msg, WDG-I -Z, Cmdr AFBMD, to Cmdr AIDC, 3 Jan 58.)


1958 January 3 - . LV Family: Thor, .
  • AFBMD recommended to Hq USAF that an early space capability be developed through use of a Thor booster and a modified Vanguard second stage. This combination was to become the Thor/Able booster. - .

1958 January 4 - .
  • National Space Establishment proposal. - . Nation: USA.

    The American Rocket Society and the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel issued a summary of their proposals for a National Space Establishment. The consensus was that the new agency should be independent of the Department of Defense and not, in any event, under one of the military services.


1958 January 6 - . LV Family: Thor.
  • Lockheed proposed the acceleration of WS 117L by using Thor boosters and Agena upper stages. - . Spacecraft: WS-117.

1958 January 6 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Hq ARDC proposed to Hq USAF the initiation of a program for development of an experimental exploratory space vehicle. This subsequently became the Centaur high-energy upper stage program. - .

1958 January 8 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi).

1958 January 9 - .
  • Secretary of Defense McElroy intentions to create ARPA to handle space program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The first clarification to emerge from the nation's amorphous space policies was revealed on 15 November 1957 when Secretary of Defense McElroy told a press conference he was thinking of centralizing control of space research and development in a special agency, This was the first public announcement of the future birth of ARPA, as it was later called-the Advanced Research Projects Agency. Confirmation of this intent was stated in the President's State -of-the -Union message to Congress on 9 January 1958, when he said that Secretary McElroy "has already decided to concentrate into one organization all the anti-missile and satellite technology undertaken within the Department of Defense. " (History, HqARDC, 1 Jan 31 Dec 1958, Vol 1,prep by ARDC Hist Div, p.7.)


1958 January 9 - . 15:35 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi).

1958 January 10 - . 15:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi). A successful limited flight was made by the fourth Atlas fired from Cape Canaveral..

1958 January 10 - . 19:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC9. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-26.
  • Navaho G-26 Flight 8 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 22 km (13 mi).

    The booster functioned well, the cruise stage separated at 22 km and Mach 3.15. The ramjets ignited and the cruise stage flew at a sustained speed of Mach 2.8 for forty minutes over a distance of 2000 km. Then the vehicle began a turn for the return to the Cape for recovery. However it seemed the turn was not fast enough; ground control took over, and yet again the right ramjet flamed out in a ground-piloted bank. The missile was commanded into a terminal dive at sea.


1958 January 12 - .
  • Eisenhower proposed to Russia that outer space should be used for peaceful purposes. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower.

    President Eisenhower, answering a December 10, 1957, letter from Soviet Premier Nikolai A. Bulganin regarding a summit conference on disarmament, proposed that Russia and the United States '. . . agree that outer space should be used for peaceful purposes.' This proposal was compared dedicate atomic energy to peaceful uses, an offer which The Soviets rejected.


1958 January 12 - .
  • Special Committee on Space Technology established - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Source Selection. NACA established a Special Committee on Space Technology to study the problems of space flight. H. Guyford Stever of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was named Chairman. On November 21, 1957, NACA had authorized formation of the Committee..

1958 January 13 - .
  • The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division continued to study anticipated man-in-space problems, chief among which was safe re-entry and recovery of a manned space capsule. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Deceleration through re-entry might well exceed the. limits of human tolerance. Experimental evidence, however, suggested that forces high as 18 g's might be tolerated for short periods and that an actual series of tests conducted in Berlin had human subjects enduring 15 g's as long as two minutes without harmful effects., The effect of weightlessness was far more difficult to assess and nearly impossible to simulate for any appreciable length of time other than through actual orbital experimentation. The weight of evidence suggested that manned entry into space and return to earth would be a difficult, but far from impossible, task and the scientific and engineering arts could control the space environment within limits of human tolerance. (Memo, Col L. D. Ely, to Col C. H. Terhune, 13 Jan 58, subj: Additional Human Factors Information.)


1958 January 14 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 January 15 - . LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Jupiter put into operation service. - . Nation: USA. 4751st Air Defense Missile Wing to develop and conduct training program for Bomarc units, and the 864th Strategic Missile Squadron to be equipped with Jupiter IRBM, were both activated..

1958 January 15 - .
  • Eleven proposals for Project 7969 initial manned spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Mercury. The Air Force received 11 unsolicited industry proposals for Project 7969, and technical evaluation was started. Observers from NACA participated..

1958 January 15 - . 01:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A.
  • Hardtack pod test - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    Successfully fired at 2024 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful in that all missions were accomplished.. The missile followed its predicted trajectory closely. Impact was 370 meters over and 86 meters to the tight of the predicted impact point, a radial miss distance of 380 meters. This wee the fifth complete flight test of warhead and fuse system. Missed aimpoint by 286 m.


1958 January 16 - .
  • US national space program to be a cooperative effort - . Nation: USA.

    NACA adopted a resolution recommending that the national space program be a cooperative effort by DOD, NACA, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation, together with the universities, research institutions, and industrial companies. NACA viewed the development and operation of military space vehicles as the responsibility of DOD, while NACA's primary interest lay in the scientific exploration of space.


1958 January 16 - . Launch Vehicle: Little Joe.
  • Little Joe launch vehicle conceived. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget.

    Paul E. Purser and Maxime A. Faget conceived of a solid-fuel launch vehicle design for the research and development phase of a manned satellite vehicle project. This launch vehicle was later designated Little Joe. When Project Mecury began in October 1958, the purposeof the Little Joe phase was to propel a full-scale, full-weight developmental version of the manned spacecraft to some of the flight conditions that would be encountered during exit from the atmosphere on an orbital mission. Also, Little Joe tests were used to perfect the escape maneuver in the event of an aborted mission.


1958 January 16 - .
  • X-1B Flight 26 - . Crew: Armstrong. Payload: X-1B flight 26. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1B. NACA flight 16. Low-altitude, low-mach reaction-control investigation..

1958 January 16 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • The first rough draft of a development plan for the Air Force space weapons development and technology program was completed by the ballistic missile division. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This was oriented to meet five basic requirements: reconnaissance, communications, manned space flight, technical development and experimental support. To accomplish these objectives it was necessary to make maximum use of Air Force missile hardware and pursue a "daring and bold merger of the aeronautics and manned aircraft experience of the last decade with the rocket and ballistic missile experience in recent years." The program' s fiscal 1958 funding needs were estimated to be as follows: astronautics, $16 million; additional Thor hardware and launch complex for the advanced astronautics program, $10 million. (Memo,. Col C. H. Terhune, Dep Cmdr, Weapon Sys, AFBMD, to Cmdr ARDC, 16 Jan 58, subj: AF Astronautics Development Program.)


1958 January 16 - .
  • Representatives of Aeronutronic Systems, Inc. , visited the ballistic missile division to present their concept of an Air Force astronautics program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Lunex.

    Their program was based on use of existing hardware and conservative evaluation of new equipment. to be obtained through technical evolution. Test flight of earth satellites and lunar vehicles would acquire necessary data concerning the space environment. Specific goals included biomedical experiments, development of precision orbital flight, recovery and reconnaissance systems, and lunar impact. From this background of successful technical achievement the program would move to manned satellite flights, lunar flights and manned space exploration. This program was designed to lead to manned flight in approximately four to six years. (Memo, Col L., D. Ely, to Col C. H. Terhune, 23'Jan 59, subj: Astronautics Briefing by Aeronutronic Systems, Inc.)


1958 January 17 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC3. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Polaris FTV-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 January 18 - .
  • Birth of Franco Ongaro - . Nation: Italy. Related Persons: Ongaro. Italian engineer payload specialist astronaut, 1990-1993..

1958 January 18 - .
  • Birth of Jeffrey Nels Williams - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Williams, Jeffrey. American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-101, ISS EO-13, ISS EO-21. US Army..

1958 January 19 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 January 22 - .
  • Lt General S. E. Anderson, Commander, Air Research and Development Command. outlined the command concept of the missile division's space mission. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This was in reply to General Schriever's proposals of 18 December 1957. Said Anderson: "It is our intention to make maximum use of the peculiar talents of your Division while at the same time bringing capabilities of all elements of the Command to bear upon the problems in this area. " Therefore it was the view of the commander that the division should concentrate on ". .,. the development and model improvements. of certain scheduled space systems to include both planning and management associated therewith.: " In application this policy meant that the division would in "certain instances perform technical developments in astronautics.," The Deputy Commander for Research and Development at Command Headquarters was to retain over-all responsibility for formulation of the Astronautics Technical Development Program. (Ltr, Anderson to Schriever, ZZ Jan 58, subj: Proposal for Future Air Force Ballistic Missile and Space Technology Development.)


1958 January 23 - .
  • X-1B Flight 27 - . Crew: Armstrong. Payload: X-1B flight 27. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1B. NACA flight 17. Reaction-control investigation. Mach 1.5 at 16775 m. Last NACA flight..

1958 January 24 - .
  • The Air Research and Development Command convened a committee to prepare a final planning draft of an Air Force Astronautics Program for presentation to Mr. W. M. Holaday. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury, Lunex.

    The Air Force proposed five year space program included development of research and test vehicles, satellite reconnaissance systems, a lunar based intelligence system, defense systems, logistic requirements of lunar transport, and strategic communications. If the program wei.accepted in its entirety, $1.156 billion in initial funding would be needed in fiscal 1959. (Memo, Col L. D. Ely, Dir Tech Div, to Col C. H. Terhune, AFBMD, 28 Jan 58, subj: Trip Report.) The Air Force invited the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to participate in "a research vehicle program to explore and solve the problems of manned space flight. " Specifically, the Air Force objective was to achieve the earliest possible manned orbital flight which would significantly contribute to development of "follow-on scientific and military space systems." An immediate decision was therefore necessary to determine the best approach to the design of an orbiting research vehicle--should it be a glide vehicle or one designed only to accomplish the satellite mission? Inasmuch as both NACA and the Air Force were well along in their investigations of the best approach to be taken in the design of a manned orbiting research vehicle it was suggested that, "These efforts should be joined at once and brought promptly to a conclusion. " Accordingly NACA was invited to collaborate with Air Research and Development Command on an over-all evaluation of relevant space plans and projects and any program resulting from the joint evaluation would be, it was suggested, "managed and funded along the lines of the X-15 effort. " Specific guide lines were furnished the Advisory Committee to facilitate its response to the Air Force request. (Ltr, Lt Gen D. L. Putt, DCS/D, Hq USAF, to Dr. H. L. Dryden, Dir NACA, 31 Jan 58, no subject.)


1958 January 25 - .
  • Dynasoar request for proposal - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar.

    After surveying 111 potential bidders, the USAF issued Requests for Proposal to ten companies (Bell, Boeing, Vought, Convair, Douglas, General Electric, Lockheed, Martin, North American, Western Electric). Later McDonnell, Northrop, and Republic were also issued RFP's.


1958 January 25 - . 19:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 157 km (97 mi).

1958 January 26 - . 04:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.03F Aeronomy/Plasma/Fields mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1958 January 27 - . 06:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Sphere? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1958 January 27 - . 18:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Grenades / Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1958 January 28 - . 20:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development Series II test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Thor IRBM successfully fired from Cape Canaveral, flew prescribed course, and impacted in preselected area..

1958 January 29-31 - .
  • Conference reviews concepts for manned orbital vehicles. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury, Project 7969.

    A conference was held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to review concepts for manned orbital vehicles. The NACA informally presented two concepts then under study at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory: the one proposed by Maxime A. Faget involved a ballistic, high-drag capsule with heat shield on which the pilot lies prone during reentry, with reentry being accomplished by reverse thrust at the apogee of the elliptical orbit involving a deceleration load of about 8g, and proceeding to impact by a parachute landing; the other Langley proposal called for the development of a triangular planform vehicle with a flat bottom having some lift during reentry. At this same meeting there were several Air Force contractor presentations. These were as follows: Northrop, boost-glide buildup to orbital speed; Martin, zero-lift vehicle launched by a Titan with controlled flight estimated to be possible by mid-1961; McDonnell, ballistic vehicle resembling Faget's proposal, weighing 2,400 pounds and launched by an Atlas with a Polaris second stage; Lockheed, a 20 degree semiapex angle cone with a hemispherical tip of 1-foot radius, pilot in sitting position facing rearward, to be launched by an Atlas-Hustler combination; Convair reviewed a previous proposal for a large-scale manned space station, but stated a minimum vehicle - a 1,000-pound sphere - could be launched by an Atlas within a year; Aeronutronics, cone-shaped vehicle with spherical tip of 1-foot radius, with man enclosed in sphere inside vehicle and rotated to line the pilot up with accelerations, and launched by one of several two-stage vehicles; Republic, the Ferri sled vehicle, a 4,000 pound, triangular plan with a two-foot diameter tube running continuous around the leading and trailing edge and serving as a fuel tank for final-stage, solid-propellant rockets located in each wing tip, with a man in small compartment on top side, and with a heat-transfer ring in the front of the nose for a glide reentry of 3,600 miles per hour with pilot ejecting from capsule and parachuting down, and the launch vehicle comprising three stages (also see July 31, 1958 entry); AVCO, a 1,500-pound vehicle sphere launched by a Titan, equipped with a stainless-steel-cloth parachute whose diameter would be controlled by compessed air bellows and which would orient the vehicle in orbit, provide deceleration for reentry, and control drag during reentry; Bell, reviewed proposals for boost-glide vehicles, but considered briefly a minimum vehicle, spherical in shape, weighing about 3,000 pounds; Goodyear, a spherical vehicle with a rearward facing tail cone and ablative surface, with flaps deflected from the cone during reentry for increased drag and control, and launched by an Atlas or a Titan plus a Vanguard second stage; North American, extend the X-15 program by using the X-15 with a three-stage launch vehicle to achieve a single orbit with an apogee of 400,000 feet and a perigee of 250,000, range about 500 to 600 miles and landing in the Gulf of Mexico, and the pilot ejecting and landing by parachute with the aircraft being lost.


1958 January 29 - .
  • Zarya renamed Leninsk. - . Nation: Russia. Kazakh VS Decree 'On renaming town of Zarya to Leninsk at site 10 at Tyuratam' was issued..

1958 January 29 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas.
  • The Defense Department announced plans to establish the Pacific Missile Range (PMR) as part of the Naval Air Missile Test Center at Point Magu, California, and as a national range. - .

1958 January 29 - . 19:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1958 January 29 - . 21:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Vehicle: R-7. FAILURE: The missile exploded a few seconds after liftoff.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • M1-12 (I-5) test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). Last test of the original R-7 8K71 test series. Suborbital launch test..

1958 January 31 - .
  • USAF proposes NACA participation in the Air Force effort in the manned ballistic rocket program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury, Project 7969.

    Lieutenant General Donald Putt, Air Force Director of Research and Development, sent a letter to Dr. Hugh Dryden, Director of NACA, inviting NACA participation in the Air Force effort in the manned ballistic rocket program. Dr. Dryden informed the Air Force that NACA was preparing manned spacecraft designs for submission in March 1958.


1958 January 31 - .
  • Air Research and Development Command headquarters directed the Wright Air Development Center to "investigate and evaluate" the quickest way to put a man in space and recover him. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Since the crux of the problem was the obvious lack of large high performance booster, the center requested the assistance of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in finding a solution to the problem., (Chronological Space History, 1958, prep by AFBMD.)


1958 January 31 - .
  • Air Force headquarters instructed the Air Research and Development Command to expedit man-in-space projects. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury, Dynasoar.

    Air Force headquarters instructed the Air Research and Development Command, in collaboration with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to " expedite the evaluation of existing or planned projects, appropriate available proposals and other competitive proposals with a view to providing an experimental system capable of an early flight of a manned vehicle making an orbit of the earth." Furthermore, it was asserted that it was "vital to the prestige of the nation that such a feat be accomplished at the earliest technically practicable date--if at all possible before the Russians. " It was therefore important that the evaluation determine whether the objective of a manned space flight could be accomplished more readily under the Dyna Soar program or by means of an orbiting satellite. The minimum time to the first orbital flight and the associated costs were to be determined. The approach to this objective was also to furnish tangible contributions to the over-all Air Force astronautics program. Furthermore, the hazard accompanying such a flight was to be the minimum dictated by sound engineering and experimental flight safety practices. If at all possible, pilot safety was to be secured by furnishing an emergency escape system. (Ltr, Lt Gen D. L. Putt, DCS/D, Hq USAF, to Cmdr, ARDG, 31 Jan 58, subj: Advanced Hypersonic Research Aircraft.)


1958 February 1 - .
  • Death of Serenti Shiborin. Reported killed on a sub-orbital flight in February 1958. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Shiborin. Russian phantom cosmonaut. Oberth claimed in 1959 that a pilot was killed on a sub-orbital flight from Kapustin Yar in early 1958. Italian press linked Shiborin name to this flight. No other evidence..

1958 February 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas urged the Secretary of Defense to approve Air Force use of Thor missiles to boost test satellites into orbit before the close of the calendar year. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The Secretary of Defense was also advised that in the face of the impending establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the Air Force continue managing development of military space reconnaissance projects, first under the general direction of the Director of Guided Missiles and then under the general direction of ARPA. (Memo, SAF J. H. Douglas, to SOD, 1 Feb 58, subj: Reconnaissance Satellite.) Experimental preliminary steps to a manned space program were directed by Air Force headquarters. development command was assigned authority to develop a recoverable satellite and the first launch date was set for October 1958. The command was also instructed to conduct a moon impact program although the authority to conduct such a program had not yet been granted. Necessary planning action would be taken in order to expedite the program immediately upon approval from the Department of Defense. " (Ltr, Brig Gen H. A. Boushey, DCS/D, Hq USAF, to Cmdr ARDC, 3 Feb 58, subj: Astronautics Program.)


1958 February 1 - .
  • The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics informed the Air Force that it was working on the design of a space capsule and would coordinate on the Air Force space program late in March. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

1958 February 1 - . LV Family: Thor.
  • Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas urged Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy to approve Air Force use of Thor missiles to boost test satellites into orbit before the end of the year. - . Related Persons: , McElroy.

1958 February 1 - . 03:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Explorer 1 - . Payload: Explorer A. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: US Army. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Explorer. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Decay Date: 1970-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 4 . COSPAR: 1958-Alpha-1. Apogee: 1,859 km (1,155 mi). Perigee: 347 km (215 mi). Inclination: 33.2000 deg. Period: 107.20 min.

    Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite, was launched by a modified Army Ballistic Missile Agency Jupiter-C. Explorer I, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, carried the U.S.-IGY (International Geophysical Year) experiment of James A. Van Allen and resulted in the discovery of the radiation belt around the earth.


1958 February 3 - .
  • Russia links ICBM abolition to nuclear weapon ban. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Eisenhower.

    Soviet Premier Nikolai A. Bulganin in a letter to President Eisenhower stated that the Soviet Union "is ready to examine also the question of the intercontinental rockets if the Western powers are willing to reach agreement to ban atomic and hydrogen weapons, to end tests thereof, and to liquidate foreign military bases in other nations' territories. In that case, an agreement on the use of outer space for peaceful purposes only would unquestionably meet no difficulties."


1958 February 3 - .
  • Birth of Joe Frank Jr Edwards - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Edwards, Joe. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-89..

1958 February 3 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas, Thor, Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Titan I, Thor, Atlas E.
  • President Eisenhower directed the highest and equal national priority for Atlas, Titan, Thor, Jupiter, the WS 117L advanced military satellite system, and WS 224A BMEWS. - . Related Persons: , Eisenhower. Spacecraft: WS-117. This action returned the Titan program to its previous highest national priority status..

1958 February 3 - . 18:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.10F Test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi).

1958 February 4 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: UNRV. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 February 4 - . 06:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.11F Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 234 km (145 mi).

1958 February 5 - . 07:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. FAILURE: Control system malfunction - control lost after 57 sec.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Vanguard 1B - . Payload: Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1958-02-05 . Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi). Trial firing of IGY Vanguard (TV-3Bu) satellite..

1958 February 6 - .
  • Committee on Space and Astronautics - . Nation: USA. The Senate passed a resolution (S Res 256) creating a special Committee on Space and Astronautics to frame legislation for a national program for space exploration..

1958 February 7 - .
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) created - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Roy.

    To further the national space effort pending a decision as to permanent organization, the Secretary of Defense created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), an organization under consideration since November 15, 1957.. ARPA was authorized to direct or perform advanced projects in the field of research and development. It was also empowered to deal directly with operational elements on all aspects of ARPA projects; for example, to bypass the Army Staff and the Chief of Ordnance in dealing with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency on what was to be the Saturn project. Roy W. Johnson was named ARPA Director. ARPA was to be a centralized group capable of handling direction of both outer space and antimissile-missile projects, whose duties in the space field were to bridge the gap until Congress could consider legislative proposals for the establishment of a National Space Agency.


1958 February 7 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • The Department of Defense established the Advanced Research Projects Agency. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    ARPA was to direct and conduct space research leading toward operational systems. In pursuit of these objectives the agency was authorized management of projects which would be conducted by military departments and it was also empowered to contract directly with individuals, private business organizations, scientific institutions and public agencies. (DOD Dir 5105.15, 7 Feb 58, subj: Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.)


1958 February 7 - .
  • Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy activated the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and appointed Roy W. Johnson as its first Director. ARPA was placed in charge of all DoD space programs. - . Related Persons: , McElroy.

1958 February 7 - . 19:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1958 February 8 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • Colonel Edward N. Hall, Director of the Weapon System "Q" Project Office at AFBMD, recommended an immediate start for a program that would provide a solid-propellant ICBM force by 1965. - .

1958 February 10 - .
  • Expanded NACA program of space flight research proposed - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Silverstein. Program: Apollo.

    A greatly expanded NACA program of space flight research was proposed in a paper, "A Program for Expansion of NACA Research in Space Flight Technology," written principally by senior engineers of the Lewis Aeronautical Laboratory under the leadership of Abe Silverstein. The goal of the program would be "to provide basic research in support of the development of manned satellites and the travel of man to the moon and nearby planets." The cost of the program was estimated at $241 million per year above the current NACA budget.


1958 February 10 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Air Research and Development Command headquarters forwarded further instructions to the missile division as a guide to planning for a space program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The research command was to proceed, when Department of Defense approval was obtained, with development of a ballistic research and test system (WS 609A, later called Blue Scout), specifically designed to satisfy most research flight test requirements. In addition, the Thor missile was to be used as a booster for (1) "Able" re-entry tests; (2) recoverable satellites; (3) and moon impact. The latter program was not yet finally approved but planning actions were authorized to "expedite this project immediately upon receipt of DOD approval" and $1 million had been set aside to cover initial project costs. (Msg, RDX-2-I-E, Hq ARDC to AFBMD, 10 Feb 58.)


1958 February 10 - . LV Family: Minuteman, .
  • Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas, Jr., recommended that the solid-propellant ballistic missile be phased into the Air Force weapons inventory in FY 1963. - .

1958 February 11 - . LV Family: Thor, Atlas, Titan, Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able, Thor Agena A.
  • The ballistic missile division informed command headquarters that as many as 14 Thor boosters would be available during the calendar year for special purpose flights. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    These were tentatively allocated as follows: three were assigned to Phase I "Able" series flights, six were assigned to the program for recoverable satellites, and five were assigned to Phase II "Able" for continued development leading to a Thor ICBM capability. (For a time Thor plus a second stage and warhead was considered as a means of acquiring an early emergency ICBM inventory well ahead of Atlas and Titan.) However, only eight additional launchings could be scheduled through 1958--three for Phase I "Able", three for recoverable satellites to be launched one a month beginning in October, and two in support of Phase II "Able" precisely guided reentry vehicles. Thus this appeared to be the maximum effort possible in the category of space related experimental flights essential to a more advance program. If a greater effort was desirable it would be necessary to obtain additional launching facilities, a problem that might be quickly and easily solved by modifying Navaho launch stands to accept Thor vehicles. (Msg, WDT 2-7E, AFBMD to ARDC, 11 Feb 58.)


1958 February 11 - . 09:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 February 12 - . 00:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    Successfully fired at 1954 hours EST from AMR. The flight was successful in that all missions were accomplished, with the exception of the Hardtack adaptation kit mission. Impact was 258 meters over and 172 meters to the left of the predicted impact point, a radial miss distance of 310 meters. The primary objectives of the test were to test the warhead and fuse system and the guidance system. Missed aimpoint by 310 m.


1958 February 13 - .
  • Special Committee on Space Technology working groups - . Nation: USA.

    The Special Committee on Space Technology, established by NACA on November 21, 1957, to study and delineate problem areas that must be resolved to make space flight a practical reality and to consider recommended means for attacking these problems, met for the first time. At the meeting the new committee established seven working groups: (1) objectives, (2) vehicular program, (3) reentry, (4) range, launch, and tracking facilities, (5) instrumentation, (6) space surveillance, and (7) human factors and training. The objectives group was to draft a complete national program for space research. Other than this specific assignment, the remainder of the meeting was largely devoted to organizing the working groups. These groups were to present their first reports at the next meeting.


1958 February 13 - . 06:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Auroral particles Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1958 February 14 - .
  • IGY report "Basic Objectives of a Continuing Program of Scientific Research in Outer Space" - . Nation: USA.

    A report entitled, 'Basic Objectives of a Continuing Program of Scientific Research in Outer Space,' was presented by the IGY Committee. The committee was of the opinion that the need for space research would be required far past the close of the IGY in December 1958.


1958 February 14 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • 19,861 acres of Camp Cooke transferred to Navy - . Nation: USA. 19,861 acres of South Camp Cooke transferred from the Army to the Navy on interim permit basis (actual transfer on 27 May)..

1958 February 14 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • The Secretary of the Air Force forwarded to the Secretary of Defense, recommendations on space priorities. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, KH-1.

    These recommendations "should be undertaken promptly by the Air Force. " Other than the first project, converting Thor into an intercontinental range weapon by adding a second stage, the recommendations concerned the following space proposals: (1) develop and orbit a satellite equipped with a small television transmitter to furnish weather information. A Thor plus a second stage could accomplish the first orbital launch by September 1958.: (2) Develop a recoverable satellite equipped to carry a variety of payloads which might be ejected from orbit by decelerating devices. This project would also use a Thor booster with an added Vanguard second stage which could be launched by July 1958. (3) A Thor-Hustler (later called Agena) second stage to launch a 300 pound scientific satellite by October 1958., (4) As previously recommended, the Air Force was prepared to launch a moon rocket by using a Thor plus two Vanguard upper stages. Said the secretary: "In addition to the scientific data that can be obtained from such a flight, the United States could make a major international psychological gain by beating the Russians to the moon. I urge that this Air Force approach be used. " (Memo, SAF J. H. Douglas to the SOD, 14 Feb 58, subj: Thor and WS 117L Program.)


1958 February 15 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • AFBMD submitted the first development plan for the solid-propellant Weapon System "Q" to the Air Force Ballistic Missile Committee. Weapon System "Q" was subsequently redesignated Minuteman. - .

1958 February 16 - . 06:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Auroral particles Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 121 km (75 mi).

1958 February 18 - . 14:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 February 20 - .
  • Committee on Aircraft, Missile, and Spacecraft Aerodynamics - . Nation: USA.

    The name of the NACA Committee on Aerodynamics was changed to Committee on Aircraft, Missile, and Spacecraft Aerodynamics to indicate clearly the committee's cognizance over problems applicable to spacecraft and missiles as well as aircraft. The Aerodynamics Committee had been studying spacecraft research problems for the past 6 years.


1958 February 20 - . 17:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF.

1958 February 21 - .
  • Russian sounding rocket launch. - . Nation: Russia. U.S.S.R. fired a single-stage rocket to 294-mile altitude with 3,340 pounds of experiments for measuring ion composition of the atmosphere, pressure, temperature, micrometeorites, etc., according to the Soviet IGY Committee..

1958 February 21 - . 07:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5A.
  • Ionosphere / biology mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 470 km (290 mi).

1958 February 21 - . 08:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5A.
  • Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

    Some reports say that one of the four launches this day carried the dogs Palma and Pushok. The dogs were said to have died due to cabin decompression. Rumors of the death of a 'cosmonaut Shiborin' can perhaps be attributed to this incident, if indeed it did occur.


1958 February 21 - . 09:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere-solar mission Ionosphere-solar mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 206 km (128 mi).

1958 February 21 - . 15:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5A.
  • Ionosphere / solar ultraviolet / meteorites mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 473 km (293 mi).

1958 February 22 - . 02:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.18F Ionosphere / aurora / x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1958 February 22 - . 05:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Auroral particles Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1958 February 24 - .
  • Wright Air Development Center and Air Force Missile Development Center recommended industrial sources and provided the money to study and design a life support system for manned spacecraft. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. WADC issued a purchase request valued at $445,954 for procurement of the study..

1958 February 24 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.14F Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 207 km (128 mi).

1958 February 24 - . 07:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi).

1958 February 26 - .
  • Birth of Susan Jane Helms - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Helms. American test engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-54, STS-64, STS-78, STS-101, ISS EO-2. US Air Force flight test engineer..

1958 February 26 - .
  • Air Force headquarters affirmed its strong support to demonstrate at the earliest possible date a capability to launch a satellite and to follow as soon thereafter as practicable with a moon impact. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, KH-1.

    "Until such time as the Department of Defense approved early satellite launchings in support of 117L, and launch of a moon impact payload, the research command was directed to "take all actions necessary to be in position to accomplish both projects at the earliest time feasible." The command was further advised to design the first satellite as simply as possible and consider it a "warm up for subsequent more sophisticated vehicles. " Simplicity and an early launch date were considered more important than demonstrating a capability to recover payloads or otherwise demonstrate an advanced state of competence.. (Msg, AFCVC 56978, Hq USAF to ARDC, 26 Feb 58.)


1958 February 26 - . 02:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 February 26 - . 17:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC9. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-26. FAILURE: Booster shut down at T+20 seconds.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Navaho G-26 Flight 9 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 2.00 km (1.20 mi). The booster shut down at T+20 seconds in the flight. The vehicle was self-destructed by range safety before separation of the cruise stage had occurred..

1958 February 27 - .
  • NACA estimated weights for manned reentry vehicle too low. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury, X-15A.

    Experience with the X-15 design indicated that many of the weight figures advanced by the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory for the drag or lift configurations of the reentry vehicle (later to become the Mercury spacecraft) were too low, according to Walter C. Williams, Chief of the NACA High-Speed Flight Station. Weights of auxiliary-power fuel, research instrumentation, and cockpit equipment as set by Langley were too low in terms of X-15 experience. Williams stated the total weight should be 2,300 pounds for the drag configuration and 2,500 pounds for the lifting configuration.


1958 February 27 - . LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1.
  • Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy approved Air Force research and development efforts for the three-stage, solid-propellant Minuteman ICBM. - . Related Persons: , McElroy.

1958 February 27 - . 19:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    Successfully fired at 1459 hours EST from the AMR. The flight was successful in that all missions were accomplished. Impact was 461 meters over end 64 meters to the left of the predicted impact point, a radial miss distance of 466 meters. Missed aimpoint by 245 m.


1958 February 28 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • Headquarters USAF authorized AFBMD to proceed with research and development of the Minuteman. - .

1958 February 28 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Advanced Research Projects Director, Mr. R. W. Johnson declared the Air Force had a ". . . long term development responsibility for manned space flight capability" - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    In pursuit of this objective the Air For ce was told to develop a Thor booster with a suitable second stage vehicle "as an available device for experimental flights with laboratory animals." Provision for the recovery of the orbiting animals in "furtherance of the objective of manned flight" was also authorized. (Memo, R. W. Johnson, Dir, ARPA, to SAF, 28 Feb 58, subj: Reconnaissance Satellites and Manned Space Exploration.)


1958 February 28 - . 13:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development Series II test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Copper heatsink nose cone.

1958 March - .
  • NACA design concepts to achieve manned orbital flights. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    Robert R. Gilruth, Clotaire Wood, and Hartley A. Soule of NACA transmitted a document to the Air Research and Development Command, which listed the design concepts NACA believed should be followed to achieve manned orbital flights at the earliest possible date. These were: (1) design and develop a simple ballistic vehicle, (2) use existing intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion systems, and (3) use the heat sink method for reentry from orbital conditions.


1958 March - .
  • Manned satellite development plan studied. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    At the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, a working committee studied various manned satellite development plans and concluded that a ballistic-entry vehicle launched with an existing intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion system could be utilized fpr the first manned satellite project.


March 1958 - .
  • Dynasoar proposals evaluated - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar.

    Teaming agreements between various the 13 bidders invited to participate resulted in nine proposals being submitted . The source selection board was divided. John Becker from NACA rejected any designs that corresponded with Langley's Hywards concept: high L/D ratio (typically hypersonic 2.0, subsonic 5.0) and active water cooling systems. On the other hand the USAF evaluators were not happy with intermediate research vehicles with no potential for development into an operational weapons system - as had been proposed by most bidders. The only proposals for true orbital vehicles were those from Boeing-Vought and Bell-Martin, but only the Boeing-Vought vehicle met Becker's criteria.


1958 March 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1958 March 3 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • The Secretary of Defense approved acceleration of the 117L military satellite system, including test vehicles launched with the Thor booster--a series of orbital experiments that were also considered - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, KH-1. The ballistic missile division was instructed to submit a complete development plan and fiscal estimate by 15 March 1958 for "review and approval.".

1958 March 4 - .
  • The Air Force Chief of Staff directed that space projects which depended on the use of ballistic missile components use the same procedures as IRBM/ICBM programs. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The Air Force Chief of Staff directed that space projects which depended on the use of ballistic missile components "if... will be administered in the same manner and by the same procedures as the ICBM/IRBM programs. " The decision process would be identical and, as in the "ballistic missile programs,approved development plans will constitute action documents. " (Memo, Maj Gen J. E. Smart, AF Asst Vice Chief of Staff, to Air Staff distribution, 4 Mar 58, subj: Space Projects Involving ICBM/IRBM Components.)


1958 March 4 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • Headquarters ARDC assigned Weapon System Number WS 133A to Minuteman and later the new system was given Strategic Missile Number 80 (SM-80). - .

1958 March 4 - . 06:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 March 4 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 181 km (112 mi).

1958 March 5 - .
  • NACA to be strengthened - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the recommendations of his Advisory Committee on Government Organization that the "leadership of the civil space effort be lodged in a strengthened and redesignated National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics," and that legislation be enacted to "give NACA the authority and flexibility" to carry out its expanded responsibilities.


1958 March 5 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • Joint Navy-Air Force Agreement defines PMR - . Nation: USA. The Joint Navy-Air Force (Burke-White) Agreement was completed. This agreement defined the areas of responsibility between the projected Pacific Missile Range and Cooke Air Force Base..

1958 March 5 - . LV Family: Thor, Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena A, Atlas Agena A.
  • The Office of the Secretary of Defense, in the first significant forward step to accelerate development of a space capability, reiterated the space role of the Air Force. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, KH-1, WS-117.

    In addition to its missile programs the Air Force was responsible for the 117L system and "... has a recognized long term development responsibility for manned space flight capability with the primary objective of accomplishing satellite flight as soon as technology permits." Furthermore, the Air Force was told it was to carry forward and accelerate the Atlas 117L project "under the highest national priority in order to attain an initial operational capability in the earliest possible date," But the proposed interim system using a Thor booster combined with a second stage and recoverable capsule "should not be pursued. " The Department of Defense did agree that a Thor booster with a suitable second stage "may be the most promptly and readily available device for experimental flights with laboratory animals" and development of such hardware including a system for recovery of animals was authorized. (Msg 03-014, Cmdr ARDC, to Cmdr AFBMD, 5 Mar 58.)


1958 March 5 - . 18:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. FAILURE: Fourth Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Explorer 2 - . Payload: Explorer A. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: US Army. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Explorer. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Decay Date: 1958-03-05 .

1958 March 7 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • VV GCh - . Nation: Russia. Agency: UNRV. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 March 8 - .
  • Chelomei's bureau acquires GSNII-642. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei, Khrushchev. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan.

    Ministry of Aviation Industry (MAP) Decree 293-140 'On subordinating GSNII-642 to OKB-52' was issued. On the same day Chelomei hired Nikita Khrushchev's son, Sergei, to work as an engineer in his design bureau. This gave Chelomei sudden and immediate access to the highest possible patron in the hierarchy. He was rewarded with his own design bureau, OKB-52, in 1959. This would lead to Chelomei being a key figure in the Soviet space program, even after Khruschev's ouster in 1964.


1958 March 8 - .
  • The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division proposed an over-all space objective about which all other experimental projects would be oriented. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Lunex.

    This goal was briefly stated as "Manned Space Flight to the Moon and Return. " To achieve this ultimate accomplishment many other space projects and programs would be necessary. The final goal would furnish an objective and a means to develop an integrated space program instead of isolated space ventures whose value might be unrelated to any national purpose. Admittedly, achieving this goal would require much preliminary work and completion of the following programs: Instrumented Satellite Flights and Return; Animals in Satellite Orbit and Return; Biomedical Experiments in Satellite Flights; Man in Satellite Orbit and Return; Instruments and Equipment Around Moon and Return; Animal Around Moon and Return; Instrumented Hard Landing on Moon; Instruments -Equipment Soft Landing on Moon and Return; Animal Soft Landing on Moon and Return; Man Around Moon and Return; Manned Landing on the Moon and Return (Memo, Col L. D. Ely, to Co) C. H. Terhune, 8 Mar 58, subj: Meeting with Hq ARDC Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Panels, 10-12 Mar.)


1958 March 10 - .
  • MISS Working Conference - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Caldwell, Schriever. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury, Project 7969.

    A working conference in support of the Air Force 'Man-in-Space Soonest' (MISS) was held at the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division in Los Angeles, California. General Bernard Schriever, opening the conference, stated that events were moving faster than expected. By this statement he meant that Roy Johnson, the new head of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, had asked the Air Force to report to him on its approach to putting a man in space soonest. Johnson indicated that the Air Force would be assigned the task, and the purpose of the conference was to produce a rough-draft proposal. At that time the Air Force concept consisted of three stages: a high-drag, no-lift, blunt-shaped spacecraft to get man in space soonest, with landing to be accomplished by a parachute; a more sophisticated approach by possibly employing a lifting vehicle or one with a modified drag; and a long-range program that might end in a space station or a trip to the moon.


1958 March 10 - .
  • NACA manned satellite configurations - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    Reports were made on recoverable manned satellite configurations being considered by NACA. One involved a blunt, high-drag, zero-lift vehicle that would depend on a parachute landing for final deceleration. Another was a winged vehicle that would glide to a landing after reentering the atmosphere. The third proposal involved features of each of the above. Besides the configuration studies, significant reports were completed relative to motion and heating, stabilization, and attitude control.


1958 March 12 - .
  • The NACA staff completed a program outline for conducting the manned satellite program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    At that time, NACA was already actively engaged in research and study of several phases. For example, in the basic studies category effort had been expended on the study of orbits and orbit control, space physical characteristics, configuration studies, propulsion system research, human factors, structures and materials, satellite instrumentation, range requirements, and noise and vibration during reentry and exit. In addition, NACA outlined the complete program covering full-scale studies of mockups, simulators, and detail designs; full-scale vertical and orbiting flights involving unmanned, animal, and manned flights and recovery; and exploitation of the program to increase the payloads. As to the design concepts for such a program, NACA believed that the Atlas launch vehicle was adequate to meet launch-vehicle requirements for manned orbital flights; that retrograde and vernier controllable thrust could be used for orbital control; that heat-sink or lighter material could be used against reentry heating; that guidance should be ground programed with provisions for the pilot to make final adjustments; that recovery should be accomplished at sea with parachutes used for letdown; that a network of radar stations should be established to furnish continuous tracking; and that launchings be made from Cape Canaveral. It was estimated that with a simple ballistic shape accelerations would be within tolerable limits for the pilot. Temperature control, oxygen supply, noise, and vibration were considered engineering development problems, which could be solved without any special breakthroughs.


1958 March 12 - . LV Family: Minuteman, Polaris, .
  • Headquarters USAF limited the WS 133A program to essential research and development, with approval of a full-scale solid-propellant ICBM to await an evaluation of Polaris and WS 133A potentials. - .

1958 March 12 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • An Air Research and Development Command meeting held at the ballistic missile division to prepare an abbreviated development plan for the man in space program. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The general Air Research and Development Command headquarters outline of the immediate planning task centered about designing a manned vehicle within a weight limitation of 2, 700-3,000 pounds which would have to contain a man, a life support system with a capacity to remain aloft for 48 hours, telemetry-communications, and a recovery system. The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division approach was directed to a more distant goal, K "Man on the Moon and Return. " By the second day of the conference general agreement on program objectives had been reached. Technical recommendations included selection of an improved thrust Thor with a fluorine-hydrazine second stage, 2, 700-3, 000 pound spacecraft and a General Electric guidance system. As then planned the complete experimental and test program would require approximately 30 Thor boosters, 8 to 12 Vanguard second stages and about 20 fluorine-hydrazine second stages for testing and advanced phases of the program. By the third day an abbreviated dra.ft development plan had been completed. The conference was pervaded by a strong sense of urgency, motivated by the dramatic Air Force mission to get a man in space at the earliest possible time. Those attending the conference anticipated accelerated program approval and scheduled contractor selection to begin on or about 10 April 1958., (Memo, Col C. H. Terhune, Dep Cmdr, Tech Operations, to Maj Gen B. A. Schriever, Cmdr, AFBMD, 25 Mar 58, subj: Man in Space Meeting at AFBMD, lu-12 March 58.)


1958 March 13 - . 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).

1958 March 14 - .
  • Air Research and Development Command submitted to Air Force headquarters a Man-In-Space abbreviated development plan. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958, prep by AFBMD.).

1958 March 15 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan I.
  • American Arma Bosch was awarded a contract to develop and produce an all-inertial guidance system for the Titan ICBM. - .

1958 March 16 - . 04:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • NRL NN3.04 Aeronomy/Fields/Ultraviolet Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1958 March 17 - .
  • NACA Special Committee on Space Technology second meeting. - . Nation: USA.

    The NACA Special Committee on Space Technology held its second meeting at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, and preliminary reports were presented by the committee working groups on objectives and vehicular programs. The committee as a whole was briefed on the work that had been accomplished by the former NACA Committee on Aerodynamics over the past 6 years. It was stated that between 1952 and 1956, approximately 10 percent of NACA's research efforts were applicable directly or indirectly to astronautics. In 1957, the percentage of space flight research rose to 23; and at the time of the meeting, 30 percent of the aerodynamic effort and 20 percent of propulsion research was applicable to astronautics problems. The committee also heard special papers on research being conducted in fluid mechanics, satellite studies, spacecraft design proposals, boost-glide and hypersonic vehicle studies, and missiles.


1958 March 17 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard.
  • Vanguard 1 - . Payload: Vanguard 1C / Vanguard Test Satellite. Mass: 2.00 kg (4.40 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. USAF Sat Cat: 5 . COSPAR: 1958-Beta-2. Apogee: 3,868 km (2,403 mi). Perigee: 654 km (406 mi). Inclination: 34.2000 deg. Period: 133.20 min. Transmitted pear-shaped earth data. Life expectancy of perhaps a 1,000 years. The satellite had a mass of 1.6 kg and a diameter of 175 cm..

1958 March 18 - .
  • Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Wingless Configuration, Non-Lifting - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    An NACA report was published entitled, 'Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Wingless Configuration, Non-Lifting,' by Maxime A. Faget, Benjamine Garland, and James J. Buglia. Later this document became the basic working paper for the Project Mercury development program, and was reissued as NASA Technical Note D-1254, March 1962.


1958 March 18-20 - .
  • NACA Conference on High-Speed Aerodynamics - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Spacecraft: Dynasoar, Mercury.

    An 'NACA Conference on High-Speed Aerodynamics' was held at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field, California, to acquaint the military services and industrial contractors interested in aerospace projects with the results of recent research conducted by the NACA laboratories on the subject of space flight. The conference was attended by more than 500 representatives from the NACA, industry, the military services, and other appropriate government agencies. Some 46 technical papers were presented by NACA personnel, and included specific proposals for manned space flight vehicle projects. One of these was presented by Maxime A. Faget. Other papers within the category of manned orbital satellites included: 'Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Wingless Configuration, Lifting Body' by Thomas J. Wong and others; 'Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Winged Configurations' by John V. Becker; 'Preliminary Aerodynamic Data Pertinent to Manned Satellite Reentry Configurations' by Jim A. Penland and William O. Armstrong; and 'Structural Design Considerations for Boost-Glide and Orbital Reentry Vehicles' by William A. Brooks and others.


1958 March 18 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 107 km (66 mi).

1958 March 19 - .
  • Fiscal 1959 budget requirements for the Air Force man-in-space program was to meet its mid-1960 operational date. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, KH-1.

    Air Force Undersecretary, M. A. Maclntyre, submitted to the Advanced Research Projects Agency Fiscal 1959 budget requirements if the Air Force man in space program was to meet its mid-1960 operational date: Budget Category, Amount (millions): P-100 Aircraft and Missiles: $82.0; P-200 Support: $11.5; P-300 Construction: $ 2.5; P-600 Research and Development: $37.0; Total: $133.0 If this amount was not fully funded the following projects could be progressively undertaken, but the first manned capsule launch would be delayed to some future date: (1) Development of small animal carrying capsules for use in the 117L program starting November 1958 $16 million. (2) Construction of launch pad assembly buildings and instrumentation modifications $5 million. (3) Design of man size capsule, second stage booster; development, procurement, test of support test vehicles $30 million. (4) Fabrication of a small number of capsules, second stages and boosters $15 million. (5) Design, development, test and procurement of capsules, second stages, boosters and support test vehicles leading to the earliest possible manned space flight $67 million. (Memo, Undersecretary of the Air Force, M. A. Maclntyre, to Dir, ARPA, 19 Mar 58, subj: Air Force Man-In-Space Program.)


1958 March 19 - . 01:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • NO / O2 composition Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 March 20 - .
  • Filial 1 of OKB-456 created. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On creation of Branch No. 1 of OKB-456' was issued..

1958 March 20 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok-L 8K72.
  • Soviet lunar probes authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Luna. Spacecraft: Luna E-1. Decree 'On work on automated lunar probes and three-stage launch vehicles for them' was issued..

1958 March 21 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350. FAILURE: The flight continued only to T+63 seconds. Severe vibrations were encountered and the missile was unstable in flight. At T+60 seconds, the autopilot put the missile into a dive..
  • Burya flight 3 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Objective was limited to test of operation of first stage boosters. The second stage was a mass model (the tanks were filled with sand). The flight was planned to last 96 seconds..

1958 March 21 - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 March 22 - . 06:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Aeronomy/Fields/Ultraviolet Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1958 March 23 - . 18:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Neutral gas Aurora / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

1958 March 24 - . Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350.
  • Further development of Burya authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Navaho. State Committee for Defence Technology (GKOT) Decree 'On the Creation of the Burya Winged Missile--course of work on 40 Burya' was issued..

1958 March 24 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Horizon imaging Aeronomy / imaging mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 119 km (73 mi).

1958 March 24 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Pressure Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1958 March 26 - .
  • The President's Science Advisory Committee affirmed that development of space technology was required by, human curiosity, scientific knowledge, the maintenance of national prestige, and defense. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. This was the first official declaration by the government that space was of military significance, but there was still no evaluation of space as a realm of military operations..

1958 March 26 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Explorer 3 - . Payload: Explorer A. Mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: US Army. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Explorer. Spacecraft: Explorer A. Decay Date: 1958-06-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 6 . COSPAR: 1958-Gamma-1. Apogee: 2,799 km (1,739 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 33.4000 deg. Period: 115.70 min. Radiation, micrometeoroid data. .

1958 March 27 - .
  • Khrushchev becomes premier of Soviet Union as Bulganin resigns - . Nation: Russia.

1958 March 27 - . Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • ARPA assigned space project role. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower, McElroy.

    President Eisenhower gave his approval to the plans for outer space exploration announced by Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was to undertake several space projects including the launching of certain earth satellites and five space probes as a part of this country's contribution to the IGY program. The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division was authorized by ARPA to carry out three lunar probes with a Thor-Vanguard system, and lunar probes utilizing the Jupiter-C rocket were assigned to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency.


1958 March 28 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Vibrator - . Nation: Russia. Agency: UNRV. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 March 28 - . 03:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 March 29 - . 14:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • M1-6A (I-6) test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). R-7 test flight. (M1-6A (I-6)).

1958 March 31 - .
  • Major General B. A. Schriever, Ballistic Missile Division Commander, directed the preparation of a development plan for a full scale manned military space systems program. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. The goal of the program was to achieve a manned flight to the moon and return. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.).

1958 March 31 - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1958 April - .
  • Vostok preliminary design completed. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Vostok.

    The preliminary design indicated a mass of 5.0 to 5.5 tonnes, 8 to 9 G re-entry, spherical capsule, 2500 to 3500 deg C re-entry temperatures. The heat shield would weigh 1300 to 1500 kg, and the landing accuracy would be 100 to 170 km. Operating altitude was 250 km. The astronaut would eject from the spacecraft at an altitude of 8 to 10 km.


1958 April 1 - . Launch Vehicle: R-11.
  • R-11M accepted into military service. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On adoption of the R-11M into armaments' was issued..

1958 April - .
  • Faget conceived contour couch to withstand the high g-loads. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    Maxime A. Faget and associates conceived the idea of using a contour couch to withstand the high g-loads attendant to acceleration and reentry forces of manned space flight. Fabrication of test-model contour couches was started in the Langley shops in May 1958, and the concept was proved feasible on July 30 of that same year.


1958 April 1 - .
  • Lunar photographic atlas begun - . Nation: USA. Program: Lunex.

    A $61,000 contract was signed by the Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago, and the Air Force. Gerard P. Kuiper, principal investigator, was to produce a new lunar photographic atlas. The moon's visible surface would be divided into 44 areas, and each would be represented by at least four photographs taken under varying lighting conditions. Additional Details: here....


April 1958 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Fifth Academy expansion begins. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien.

    Over the next year, the People's Liberation Army transfers 3000 technical staff and cadres to the Fifth Academy and a further 300 engineers to industry. The Chinese government sends increasing numbers of Chinese engineers to Russia for training in missile technology. All of this is done in great secrecy, with correspondence being addressed only to post office box numbers.


1958 April - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Plesetsk construction begins. - . Nation: Russia. Construction work begins on Angara (R-7) base at Plesetsk..

1958 April 2 - .
  • Eisenhower proposed the establishment of NASA - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a message to Congress, proposed the establishment of a National Aeronautics and Space Agency into which the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics would be absorbed. The new agency would conduct the civilian space program through research in its own facilities or by contract and would also perform military research required by DOD. Projects primarily military in character would remain the responsibility of DOD. Additional Details: here....


1958 April 2 - .
  • President Eisenhower sent to Congress a detailed recommendation for a national space program. - . Related Persons: Eisenhower. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    The President, basing his recommendation on the March Z6th report of his Science Advisory Committee, stated it was essential that the nation adopt the program because it represented the next step forward in man's compelling urge to explore and discover, it would develop space technology essential to our defense, enhance our national prestige, and furnish the nation new opportunities for scientific observation and experiment which would add to man's "understanding of the earth, the solar system and the universe." The President therefore advised Congress that a National Aeronautics and Space Administration be created to furnish, "a civilian setting for administration of space functions [which] will emphasize the concern of our nation that outer space be devoted to peaceful and scientific purposes." (History, Hq ARDC, 1 Jan 31 Dec 1958, p. 13; Max Rosenberg, The Air Force in Space, 1959-1960, dtd Jun 62, USAF Hist Div Liaison Ofc, p.3.)


1958 April 2 - .
  • Complete corporate separation of Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation and Space Technology Laboratories (STL) requested. - . Related Persons: Schriever.

    Major General B.A. Schriever, Commander, AFBMD, recommended to LtGeneral Samuel E. Anderson, ARDC Commander, that the Air Force Ballistic Missile Committee be advised to seek complete corporate separation of Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation and Space Technology Laboratories (STL).


1958 April 3 - .
  • Branch of OKB-1 formed in Samara. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On creation of OKB-1 branch at Progress Plant' was issued..

1958 April 3 - .
  • President Eisenhower recommended to Congress the creation of the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (ODDR&E). - . Related Persons: , Eisenhower. This would have more rank and authority than, as well as replace, the present Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD/R&E)..

1958 April 4 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • U.S. Naval Missile Facility at Point Arguello - . Nation: USA. Establishment of the U.S. Naval Missile Facility at Point Arguello, the southern portion of former Camp Cooke (facility formally commissioned on 10 May)..

1958 April 4 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • B1-11 (I-7) test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). R-7 test flight. (B1-11 (I-7)).

1958 April 5 - .
  • Representatives from Air Research and Development Command headquarters and from centers throughout the command were requested to assemble at the missile division by 9 April to constitute a task force - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

1958 April 5 - . 17:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). USAF Atlas A ICBM was successfully flown from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to the impact area some 600 miles away..

1958 April 7 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Hi Ball 1 Balloon test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Cleveland. Apogee: 244 km (151 mi).

1958 April 8 - .
  • The Air Research and Development Command announces man-in-space plan. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    The Air Research and Development Command informed the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics that it had initiated a 30 day effort at the ballistic missile division to prepare a detailed development plan for "an extended manned space vehicle program of which man in space at the earliest practicable date is an integral part." The advisory committee was invited to participate in the preparation of the plan and to advise the Air Force of their anticipated action. (Msg, 04-9-01, Cmdr, ARDC, to Cmdr AFBMD, 9 Apr 58.)


1958 April 8 - . 01:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. Launch Vehicle: K150.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi).

1958 April 9 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • The Space Technology Laboratories (STL) was made responsible for SE/TD of the Minuteman program. - .

1958 April 10 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas, Thor, Jupiter.
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower reaffirmed the highest and equal national priority for Atlas, Titan, Thor, and Jupiter. - . Related Persons: , Eisenhower.

1958 April 11 - .
  • Filial 1 of OKB-456 defined. - . Nation: Russia. State Committee for Defence Technology (GKOT) Decree 'On creation of Branch No. 1 of OKB-456' was issued..

1958 April 14 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Double Deacon.
  • D3/D18 model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1958 April 17 - .
  • Birth of Sergei Yuriyevich Vozovikov - . Nation: Kazakhstan. Related Persons: Vozovikov. Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1990-1993. Graduated from Higher Military Pilot School, Armavir, 1979 Cosmonaut training 1 October 1990 - 6 March 1992..

1958 April 17 - . 10:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1958 April 18 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC25A. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Polaris FTV-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 April 19 - . 13:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development Series II test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 April 20 - . 15:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 April 21 - .
  • The Air Force launched a research test rocket which carried a mouse in the re-entry vehicle. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. This was the first small beginning of a research program to determine the requirements of a space life support system. (Msg SAFIS-3C 47151, SAF to AFBMD, 29 Apr 58.).

1958 April 21 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division presented briefings on the manned Military Space System Development Plan to higher Air Force and Department of Defense authorities in Washington. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. Also briefed were Air Research and Development Command headquarters, the Vice Chief of Staff, and R. W, Johnson, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. (Chronological Space Hist, 58.).

1958 April 23 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Thor.
  • The first Thor/Able missile, a special test vehicle designed to examine an improved General Electric lightweight, ablative nose cone at full ICBM ranges failed. - . The missile had to be destroyed 146 seconds after launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, due to an engine explosion caused by failure of the first stage turbopump system..

1958 April 24 - .
  • Rocket sled reached 2827 mph. - . Nation: USA. Navy rocket sled attained speed of 2,827.5 mph at China Lake, Calif..

1958 April 24 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Beacon Test 1 Balloon test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Cleveland. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1958 April 24 - . 00:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able. FAILURE: Thor turbopump gearbox failed T+150 sec.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Able RTV re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

    Mouse 'Mia' not recovered. The Air Force launched a research test rocket which carried a mouse in the re-entry vehicle. This was the first small beginning of a research program to determine the requirements of a space life support system. (Msg SAFIS-3C 47151, SAF to AFBMD, 29 Apr 58.)


1958 April 24 - . 16:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1958 April 25 - .
  • US Air Force manned military space systems program - . Nation: USA. Program: Lunex.

    The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division published the first development plan for an Air Force manned military space systems program. The objective was to "achieve an early capability to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth." The program called for the start of a high priority effort (similar to that enjoyed by ballistic missiles), characterized by "concurrency" and single Air Force agency management. The complete program would be carried out in four phases: first, "Man-in-Space Soonest"; second, "Man-in-Space Sophisticated"; third, "Lunar Reconnaissance," exploring the moon by television camera and by a soft landing of an instrumented package on the moon's surface; and finally, "Manned Lunar Landing and Return," which would first test equipment by circumlunar flights returning to earth with instrumented capsules containing animals. Additional Details: here....


1958 April 25 - . LV Family: Thor, Titan. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able, Titan C.
  • The Air Force Ballistic Missile Division published the development plan for an Air Force Manned Military Space Systems Program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Lunex.

    The objective was to ". achieve an early capability to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. The program represented a reasonable level of accomplishment with a minimum of time and money and called for start of a high priority program (similar to that enjoyed by ballistic missiles) characterized by "concurrency" and single Air Force agency management. The complete program would be carried out in four phases: first, "Man-In-Space-Soonest," was to determine functional capabilities and limitations of man in space by means of earth orbital flights--beginning with an instrumented 2,900 pound re-entry body, then a primate passenger and, finally, a manned capsule. The second, designated "Man-In-Space-Sophisticated," would use a drag type 3, 200 pound re-entry vehicle, capable of a 14 day manned space flight. This device would be used for earth orbital flight only but it would perform experiments essential to the final phase of the lunar program. The third phase, "Lunar Reconnaissance," would explore the moon by television camera and by means of a soft landing of an instrumented package on the moonIs surface. The final phase of the projected program was "Manned Lunar Landing and Return, " which would first test equipment by circumlunar flights returning to earth with instrumented capsules containing animals. At this stage of project development payload capacity would be increased to 9,000 pounds. The spacecraft would then undertake a full scale flight to the moon and safe return to earth with an animal passenger. The climax of the entire project would then be a manned lunar landing, brief surface exploration, and return to earth. This would be followed by other circumlunar flights to fully explore the moon's surface and gather additional physical data. The program was scheduled for completion in December of 1965 at a total estimated cost of $1.5 billion. Program cost estimates were based on use of Air Force rocket hardware and available ground facilities thus eliminating much new development and construction funding. However, new launch vehicle combinations would have to be developed progressing in performance as follows: a Thor-Vanguard second stage, a Thor-fluorine second stage, a "super" Titan with a fluorine-hydrazine second and third stages. Methods of landing involved use of retrorockets to insure a soft landing on the moon and return to earth through re-entry to a predetermined landing area. (USAF Manned Military Space Syst.em Development Plan, 25 Apr 58, prep by AFBMD.)


1958 April 27 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Sputnik 8A91. FAILURE: Launch vehicle disintegrated 88 seconds after liftoff.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Sputnik failure - . Payload: D-1 s/n 1. Mass: 1,327 kg (2,925 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Decay Date: 1958-04-01 .

1958 April 28 - .
  • Tsien self-criticism - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. An article by Tsien confessing to his mistakes was published in the People's Daily..

1958 April 28 - .
  • The director of the Advanced Reseach Projects Agency received a brief review of the Air Force proposed man in space program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This meeting also produced an arrangement to have the man in space development plan reviewed by the Secretary of the Air Force a Ld Chief of Staff prior to its formal presentation tu the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The director also expressed interest in ". . . the early recovery of a small chimpanzee from orbit as a prelude to man in space. " Such a flight not only would have significant scientific value but a considerable amount of psychological value a. well. Therefore the missile division was requested to analyze the value of developing a small capsule for a chimpanzee orbital flight test in addition to the man-sized capsule and to estimate the cost and possible timing of such a program. (Msg 04-29-01, Hq ARDC, to Cmdr, AFBMD, 29 Apr 58.)


1958 April 28 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350. FAILURE: Failure of an electric circuit led to premature cutoff of the boosters.
  • Burya flight 4 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi).

    Cruise stage tanks 2 and 3 were filled with water, the engine feed tank was filled with propellant, and tanks 1 and 4 were empty. Mass was reduced by 30% from that of a fully fueled stage. The boosters were fully fueled. A slightly different turbopump was installed on the engines in comparison to earlier flights. The flight was to demonstrate simultaneous control of the missile using both aerodynamic surfaces and exhaust vanes after T+50 seconds. The flight continued to T+81 seconds, when failure of an electric circuit led to premature cutoff of the boosters.


1958 April 29 - . 02:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. FAILURE: Third Stage failed to ignite.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Vanguard 2A - . Payload: X-ray-environmental satellite. Mass: 1.00 kg (2.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1958-04-28 . Apogee: 550 km (340 mi).

1958 April 30 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor, Atlas.
  • An AVCO-Convair contractor team submitted to the Air Force an unsolicited proposal for development of a manned satellite at the earliest possible date. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The proposed system was built around an Atlas booster, no second stage, mounting a light double walled capsule which would rely on a steel mesh drag chute for deceleration and recovery. The proposal was analyzed by Air Force space specialists who concluded that the plan was feasible but offered little margin for error. Furthermore, weight estimates were optimistic, its orbital endurance and altitude were low and it possessed no growth potential although use of Atlas as a booster appeared to have merit. Air Force Ballistic Missile Division felt adoption of the proposal would only gain three or four months over the much more versatile Thor-fluorine combination vehicle which would also be free from the major limitations inherent in the AVCO-Convair proposal. (Memo, Col J. D. Lowe, AFBMD. to Col H. Evans, AFBMD, 16 May 1958, no subject.)


1958 May 1 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island.
  • Second space balloon test. - . Nation: USA. Four-stage rocket launched a 9-pound inflatable sphere to 50-mile altitude at NACA Wallops Island..

1958 May 1 - .
  • Korolev OKB cancels suborbital manned flights - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev, Ustinov. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok.

    Decision to move directly to early manned flights in orbit. Korolev, after a review with engineers, determines that planned three stage versions of the R-7 ICBM could launch a manned orbital spacecraft. Korolev advocates pursuit of manned spaceflight at the expense of the military's Zenit reconnsat program, putting him in opposition to Ustinov.


1958 May - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Headquarters ARDC recommended initiation of a development program for a liquid hydrogen fueled rocket engine (Centaur program) that would be incorporated in the WS 117L advanced satellite program. - . Spacecraft: WS-117.

1958 May - . LV Family: Thor.
  • The Air Force accepted the first operational Thor IRBM (SM-75). - .

1958 May 1 - . Launch Site: Holloman. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 May 2 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • The missile division published its second Man-In-Space Development Plan. This plan concentrated on the first phase of the over-all manned lunar program, designated "Man-In-Space-Soonest" . - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    During this phase of project development the launch vehicles would be a Thor-Vanguard combination for instrumented tests, and a Thor fluorine second stage combination for the manned flights. This plan, if approved, would place a man in a 150 nautical mile orbit by October 1960 at an approximate cost of $120 million. (USAF Manned Military Space System Development Plan, 2 May 1958, prep by AFBMD)


1958 May 5 - . 14:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 214 km (132 mi).

1958 May 6 - . 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).

1958 May 8 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC25A. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Polaris FTV-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 May 9 - .
  • Data on bio-medical aspects of man in space were to be provided through experiments planned in the 117L program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, KH-1.

    Design, development, and fabrication of five animal containers, and associated environmental control and telemetry equipment was planned under a fiscal 1959 117L budget item of $1.3 million. In addition, $4.7 million was allocated for specialized checkout equipment, recovery devices, beacons, and necessary recovery operations for bio-medical specimens. (Ltr, Lt Gen S. E. Anderson, Cmdr, ARDC, to Cmdr, AFBMD, 22 May 58, subj: Support of Bioastronautics Program; Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 May 10 - .
  • Birth of Dr Ellen Lauri Ochoa - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ochoa. Hispanic-American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-56, STS-66, STS-96, STS-110. Engineer..

1958 May 14 - .
  • X-1E Flight 19 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 19. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 18. First flight with ventral fins; longitudinal and lateral stability and control maneuvers. Engine airstart made at 21,350 m..

1958 May 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • On instructions from command headquarters, the ballistic missile division prepared several funding alternatives to meet the amount of money that might be realistically budgeted for manned space. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    These were sorted out at four levels: (a) $100 million fiscal 1959 appropriation which reduced the test program for Thor-Vanguard vehicles but maintained the October 1960 date for the first manned space flight; (b) a $90 million program for the same number of vehicles but postponing the first manned flight from October 1960 to April 1961; (c) a $90 million high risk effort incurred by deleting four more vehicles from the program and retaining the October 1960 launch date; (d) a $75 million program with the same number of vehicles as (c) but delaying the first manned flight date to October 1961. (Memo, Col C. H. Terhune, Dep Cmdr, Tech Operations, AFBMD, to Maj Gen B. A. Schriever, Cmdr AFBMD, 15 May 58, subj: Revisions to the Man-In-Space Development Plan.)


1958 May 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Acting on directions from General Schriever, the missile division staff prepared to establish a fluorine propulsion program. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This development was to support the manned military space system, particularly the Man-In-SpaceSoonest effort which was to use a Thor-fluorine second stage. The first action was to arrange a meeting of Air Force, North American Aviation and Bell Aircraft propulsion specialists to determine the status of their fluorine propulsion programs, funds available and overall development expectations for fluorine propulsion systems. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 May 15 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Sputnik 8A91.
  • Sputnik 3 - . Payload: D-1 s/n 2. Mass: 1,327 kg (2,925 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Decay Date: 1960-04-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 8 . COSPAR: 1958-Delta-2. Apogee: 1,864 km (1,158 mi). Perigee: 217 km (134 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 106.00 min. Variety of scientific data. Research in the upper atmosphere and outer space.

1958 May 16 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike.
  • E41 model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1958 May 17 - . Launch Vehicle: R-12.
  • Project 581 pressure. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft: Project 581. Chairman Mao says that China must orbit a satellite at the earliest possible date in order to match the Americans and Russians..

1958 May 17 - . 00:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 578 m..

1958 May 18 - . 05:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Gaslight Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville, USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

    AM-5, carrying America's first tactical type re-entry nose cone, was fired from AMR at 0005 hours EST. This was also the first flight test. for first and second stage separation. Impact was 28.3 nm under and 15.6 nm to the right at a range of about 1,275 nm after approximately 960 seconds of flight. In less than five hours, the nose cone was recovered - the world's first recovery of an IRBM nose cone.


1958 May 19 - .
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division completed its third Man-In-Space Development Plan. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This was similar to the other two plans except it contained additional fiscal 1959 funding alternatives; i. e. , $100 million; $90 million; $75 million or $67 million. It was clearly apparent that I a major stumbling block to Air Force manned space program approval was its high cost, particularly for development of a new fluorine second stage. (Commander's Reference Book, "Chronology of Man-In-Space Effort, ~23 Mar 59.)


1958 May 19 - . 01:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 May 20 - .
  • Dynasoar NACA-USAF MOU. - . Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. NACA-USAF Memorandum of Understanding signed, "Principles for Participation of NACA in Development and Testing of the Air Force System 464L Hypersonic Boost Glide Vehicle (Dyna-Soar I).".

1958 May 20 - .
  • NACA / Air Force Memorandum of Understanding on the DynaSoar I. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: DynaSoar.

    The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and the Air Force signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the principles in the development and testing of the Air Force's Hypersonic Boost Glide Vehicle (Dyna Soar I). The following principles would apply to the project: (1) The project would be conducted as a joint Air Force-NACA project. (2) Overall technical control of the project would rest with the Air Force, acting with the advice and assistance of NACA. (3) Financing of the design, construction, and Air Force test of the vehicles would be borne by the Air Force. (4) Management of the project would be conducted by an Air Force project office within the Directorate of Systems Management, Headquarters, Air Research and Development Command. NACA would provide liaison representation in the project office and provide the chairman of the technical team responsible for data transmission and research instrumentation. (5) Design and construction of the system would be conducted through a negotiated prime contractor. (6) Flight tests of the vehicle and related equipment would be accomplished by NACA, the USAF, and the prime contractor in a combined test program, under the overall control of a joint NACA-USAF committee chaired by the Air Force.


1958 May 20 - .
  • Air Force agreement for NACA participation in the Dyna-Soar program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. The Air Force and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics signed an agreement for NACA participation in the Dyna-Soar program..

1958 May 20 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor, Atlas.
  • The ballistic missile division briefing on Man-In-SpaceSoonest was presented at Air Research and Development Command headquarters. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Present were General C. E. LeMay and "members of the Air Staff, and to Air Force Undersecretary M. A. Maclntyre and Assistant Secretary R. E. Horner. Favorable reception was accorded the briefings and the command was assured that adequate funding, "somewhere between seventy-five and one hundred million dollars" would be allocated the program for fiscal year 1959. The briefing to Maclntyre and Horner evoked a specific suggestion that an ICBM be used as a booster in lieu of developing a second stage for the Thor. The division was allowed two weeks to prepare a plan using an Atlas booster and bring it to Washington for secretarial review. (Memo, Col H. L. Evans, Asst Dep Cmdr, Space Sys, to Col C. H. Terhune, 23 May 58, subj: Trip Report.)


1958 May 20 - .
  • The Air Force and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) agreed to the development and testing program for the Air Force's hypersonic boost-glide vehicle, Dyna-Soar. - . Spacecraft: Dynasoar.

1958 May 20 - . 04:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1958 May 20 - . 09:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Release 2 Cs / Na Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 101 km (62 mi).

1958 May 21 - .
  • Major General B. A. Schriever takes on initial responsibility for the Manned Military Space System Program. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    In an attempt to define more clearly the role of the ballistic missile division in space projects, Major General B. A. Schriever, division commander, outlined his understanding that he was assigned initial responsibility for "planning, initiating and managing the Manned Military Space System Program. " Planning had advanced to the point of contractor selection, awaiting only allocation of sufficient funds to begin the Man-In-Space-Soonest program. Moreover, General Schriever was arranging to meet with Dr. H. L. Dryden of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, "... at the earliest practicable time," to establish the highest level of support and mutual cooperation possible. Working level conferences were already underway to develop concrete application of this cooperative interest in the program. It was also intended that other organizations were to be used as appropriate to "insure maximum utilization of the Air Research and Development Command's Resources. (Ltr, Maj Gen B. A. Schriever, Cmdr, AFBMD, to Lt Gen S. E. Anderson, Cmdr, ARDC, 21 May 58, no subject.)


1958 May 21 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Headquarters USAF announced that Lowry Range near Denver, Colorado, would be the first operational site for the Titan missiles (SM-68) that were to be built in Martin's Denver plant. - .

1958 May 21 - . 11:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Release 3 Cs / Na Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 128 km (79 mi).

1958 May 22 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350.
  • Burya flight 5 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

    As in previous flight, cruise stage 30% below design weight, and propellant tanks mainly filled with water. The flight continued to T+120 seconds. The boosters worked normally and shut off at T+90.5 seconds, with the vehicle at 17.3 km altitude and flying at Mach 2.95-2.97. Simultaneously the ramjets of the cruise stage ignited. Stage separation was normal and the aerodynamic sensors and diffuser worked normally.


1958 May 22 - . 00:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Hi Ball 2 Balloon test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Cleveland. Apogee: 240 km (140 mi).

1958 May 22 - . 11:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Release 4 (Na) Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 116 km (72 mi).

1958 May 23 - .
  • Birth of Thomas Arthur Reiter - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Reiter. German test pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-20, ISS Astrolab..

1958 May 23 - . 22:39 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 75.
  • Grenades IGY SS12.48 - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1958 May 24 - .
  • Human withstands 83 Gs in sled test. - . Nation: USA. Gravity load of 83 g's for a fraction of a second withstood by Capt E. L. Breeding in deceleration of a rocket sled at Holloman AFB..

1958 May 24 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Vehicle: R-7. FAILURE: Failure.
  • B1-3 (II-1) test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 1,350 km (830 mi). R-7 test flight. (B1-3 (II-1)).

1958 May 25 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Beacon Test 2 Balloon test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Cleveland. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1958 May 25 - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1958 May 26 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas.
  • American Bosch Arma Corporation's contract for an all-inertial guidance system was transferred from the Titan (XSM-68) development program to Atlas (XSM-65) that was to become operational sooner. - . The Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL) radio-guidance system would be used on all Titan research and development missiles and for the first four Titan operational squadrons..

1958 May 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 8.00 km (4.90 mi).

1958 May 26 - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1958 May 27 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. Launch Vehicle: K150.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi).

1958 May 28 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Atlas production facility opens. - . Nation: USA. Open house, new Astronautics facility on Kearny Mesa.

1958 May 28 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division completed its fourth Man-In-Space Development Plan. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This, in the form of charts rather than a formal publication, proposed use of the Atlas booster plus a second stage consisting of a Lockheed Hustler (second stage of the 117L, later called Agena) to place a man in a 150 nautical mile orbit during October 1960. Cost for this project was estimated to be $106.11 million for fiscal 1959. The plan was briefed at command and Air Force headquarters, as well as the Air Force secretariat level. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 May 28 - . 03:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. FAILURE: Improper third stage trajectory - unknown cause.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Vanguard 2B - . Payload: Lyman Alpha satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. Decay Date: 1958-05-27 . Apogee: 3,500 km (2,100 mi).

1958 May 29 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 May 30 - .
  • Birth of Michael Eladio 'LA' Lopez-Alegria - . Nation: Spain. Related Persons: Lopez-Alegria. Spanish test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-73, STS-92, STS-113, ISS EO-14..

1958 May 30 - . 02:31 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades IGY SS6.49 - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 May 31 - .
  • Washington discussion of the Air Force Man-In-Space proposal continued to ferment without any sign of the approval necessary to start the program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The Advanced Research Projects Agency indicated general agreement with the Air Force space development plan and the National Security Council Planning Board displayed a "feeling of great urgency to achieve animal flights in space with safe return and to achieve the Man-In-SpaceSoonest at the earliest possible date." Other than this nebulous progress the Air Force man in space effort was no nearer realization. (Memo, Col H. L. Evans, Asst Dep Cmdr, Space Sys, to Col C. H. Terhune, 31 May 58, subj: Trip Report.)


1958 May 31 - . 01:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 June - .
  • NACA representatives at ARPA - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury. NACA representatives were assigned to the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Manned Satellite Committee..

1958 June - .
  • Preliminary specifications of the first manned satellite vehicle. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    Preliminary specifications of the first manned satellite vehicle were drafted by Langley Aeronautical Laboratory personnel under the supervision of Maxime Faget and Charles W. Mathews. After a number of revisions and additions, these specifications were used for the Project Mercury spacecraft contract with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. A working group of representatives from the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory and the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory was formed for the purpose of outlining a manned satellite program.


1958 June 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • First Redstone deployment to Europe. - . Nation: USA. The Redstone became the first large U.S. ballistic missile to be deployed overseas, joining the NATO Shield Force. .

1958 June 1 - .
  • Tsien and Great Leap Forward - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. An article by Tsien appeared in Kexue Dazhong, claiming that new methods and a new process cycle could increase agricultural production by twenty times. This led to Mao's 'Great Leap Forward', resulting in the death of millions from starvation..

1958 June 1 - .
  • Start of construction of manned spacecraft - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev, Myasishchev, Tsybin. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Vostok.

    Competing manned projects. Korolev OKB-1 proposed Vostok ballistic capsule as quickest way to put a man in space while meeting Zenit project's reconnsat requirements. Under project VKA-23 (Vodushno Kosmicheskiye Apparat) Myasishchev OKB-23 proposed two designs, a faceted craft with a single tail, and a dual tail contoured version. Tsybin OKB-256 proposed seven man winged craft with variable wing dihedral. Contracts awarded to all three OKB's to proceed with construction of protoypes. R-7 booster to be used for suborbital launches.


June 1956 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Beginning of construction at Jiuquan missile test site - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. The 20th Corps of the People's Liberation Army begins construction of launch and tracking facilities at Jiuquan. Wells are dug, willow and poplar trees are planted, roads and housing are constructed..

1958 June 1 - .
  • The Air Force obtained Advanced Research Projects Agency approval to proceed with study contracts on space life support systems. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Ecological aspects of the manned space capsule environment were to be investigated and the study effort was to include construction of a mockup. Two three month contracts totaling $740,000 were awarded to North American Aviation and General Electric for life support system development. (Rpt, Comparison of NASA Manned Space Program and USAF Manned Military Space Proposal, Z5 Feb 60, prep by AFBMD.)


1958 June 3 - . 04:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. Launch Pad: ALA3. Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Successful missile test. Missed aimpoint by 409 m..

1958 June 3 - . 21:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

    The final Series A Atlas missile (16A) was launched from Cape Canaveral. Of the eight research and development launches, five had been failures, but each had provided vast quantities of important data. Last Atlas A flight, considered fully successful. Four of the eight flights were considered successful.


1958 June 4 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Solar extreme ultraviolet Spectrum Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 June 4 - . 21:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
  • Research and development Series III test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

    The first Air Force Thor IRBM flight test missile (Number 115) to be fired from a tactical-type launcher was launched at Cape Canaveral. The missile completed a successful flight, impacting 1,170 nautical miles downrange. This was also the first Thor to be launched without a flight readiness firing of its propulsion system. USAF Thor flight tested for the first time from a tactical-type launcher at Cape Canaveral.


1958 June 5 - .
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency manned space project. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft Bus: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury, Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    After serving as a liaison officer of NACA and as a participating member of an Advanced Research Projects Agency panel, Maxime A. Faget reported to Dr. Hugh Dryden on resulting studies and attending recommendations on the subject of manned space flight. He stated that the Advanced Research Projects Agency panel was quite aware that the responsibility for such a program might be placed with the soon-to-be-created civilian space agency, although they recommended program management be placed with the Air Force under executive control of NACA and the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The panel also recommended that the program start immediately even though the specific manager was, as yet, unassigned. Several of the proposals put forth by the panel on the proposed development were rather similar to the subsequent evolvement. The system suggested by the Advanced Research Projects Agency was to be based on the use of the Atlas launch vehicle with the Atlas-Sentry system serving as backup; retrorockets were to be used to initiate the return from orbit; the spacecraft was to be nonlifting, ballistic type, and the crew was to be selected from qualified volunteers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.


1958 June 5 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Nike Ajax.
  • Control test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 June 5 - . 11:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark. FAILURE: Failure.
1958 June 6 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Air Research and Development Command headquarters established a post of Special Assistant for BioAstronautics to the Deputy Commander for Ballistic Missiles. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Life sciences personnel were to be placed on temporary duty with, or assigned to the ballistic missile division and authorized to make appropriate decisions. Command headquarters was to be informed of all decisions and through monthly reports maintain cognizance of development, fabrication, testing and scheduling of the life sciences portion of the over-all program. The Aeromedical Laboratory at Wright Air Development Center; USAF School of Aviation Medicine; and Aeromedical Field Laboratory of Air Force Missile Development Center were designated points of contact for weapon systems management organizations and contractors concerned with the life sciences experiments and hardware development. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 June 6 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC25A. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Polaris FTV-1.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 June 8 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. Launch Complex: Cuxhaven. Launch Vehicle: Mohr Rocket.
  • Mohr Rocket launch attempts - . Nation: Germany.

    First attempt to launch Ernst Morhr's larege meteorological rocket. The rocket had a total mass of 150 kg, consisting of 75 kg propellant, 60 kg structure, and 15 kg payload. The motor produced 7800 kgf for 2 seconds. The rocket was 30 cm in diameter, 1.7 m long, and had a payload dart 56 mm in diameter and 1.25 m long. Three attempts were made to launch. Two hung up on the launcher, and the third was unstable after launch and crashed near the launcher.


1958 June 8 - .
  • Upper stage test cell inaugurated. - . Nation: USA. Test firing of a full-scale upper stage rocket under simulated altitude conditions was made in an engine test cell at the USAF's Arnold Engineering Development Center at Tullahoma, Tenn..

1958 June 9 - . 00:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 June 10 - .
  • X-1E Flight 20 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 20. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 19. Flight aborted after only 1 cylinder of engine fired. Plane damaged on landing..

1958 June 11 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350. FAILURE: The AVD Engine Cutoff System activated at T+6 seconds due to a problem in one of the chambers of the boosters. Launch did not occur..
  • Burya launch attempt - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Cruise stage tanks 2 and 3 and engine feed tank all filled with fuel. Tanks 1 and 4 were empty..

1958 June 12 - .
  • Birth of Fernando 'Frank' Caldeiro - . Nation: Argentina, USA. Related Persons: Caldeiro. Hispanic-American engineer mission specialist astronaut, 1996-2009..

1958 June 12 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • The Air Force recommended to the OSD Ballistic Missile Committee that the last seven Atlas squadrons be in a dispersed 3x3 configuration and that the last five squadrons be hardened to 25 psi. - . The Air Force also recommended that the missiles in the last five squadrons be equipped with an all-inertial guidance system. The Committee approved these recommendations on 19 August..

1958 June 12 - . 01:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter A.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

1958 June 13 - . LV Family: Atlas, .
  • In an agreed draft revision of its "Man-In-Space-Soonest" development plan, AFBMD proposed the use of an Atlas D booster to put the first manned spacecraft into a 115-NM orbit during April 1960. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. If Atlas D performance were not sufficient, an Agena or Vanguard second stage would be added..

1958 June 13 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • A conference was scheduled at Air Force headquarters on 25-26 Jun 1958 to discuss the "over-all problems of the manned satellite development program." - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    The conference was sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency with representatives of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Air Research and Development Command, Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, Space Technology Laboratories, and Convair invited to the meeting. Questions to be attacked were: Could the booster be an Atlas without a second stage? What would be the subsystem distribution of payload weight? What was Atlas maximum payload weight performance? question of ablation or heat sink capsule design was to be resolved before the conference. If it was concluded that Atlas weight lifting performance was inadequate an alternate choice would be the Atlas with a 117L second stage. Complete funding plans covering program options were to be available to the conferees. (Msg, AFDRD 51947, Hq USAF, to Hq ARDC, 13 Jun 58.)


1958 June 13 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • The ballistic missile division opposes reduction of the orbit of a manned spacecraft from 150 to 100 nautical miles altitude. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The ballistic missile division informed command headquarters that reducing the orbit of a manned spacecraft from 150 to 100 nautical miles would either significantly (by 50 percent) increase the number of -stations needed for tracking and control of the manned satellite or decrease the reliability and length of contact appreciably. Also on this same date, the missile division agreed to prepare a revised manned space program which scheduled its first manned flight in April 1960--moving the date up from October by six months -by using an Atlas D booster (Chronological Space Hist, 1958..)


1958 June 13 - . 15:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
  • Research and development Series III test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1958 June 14 - . 01:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. LV Family: K250. Launch Vehicle: K245.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1958 June 15 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • A draft revision of the Man-In-Space-Soonest development plan was prepared. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This plan proposed use of an Atlas booster to place a man in 115 nautical milt, orbit during April 1960. In event the performance was not up to lifting the required payload weight, a 1177L or a Vanguard second stage would be added. Costs were estimated at $99.3 million for Atlas alone, $139.51 million if a 117L vehicle were used as the second stage. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 June 16 - . Launch Vehicle: Titan.
  • Dynasoar Phase I contracts announced. - . Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Dynasoar.

    Phase I contracts for the Dyna-Soar boost-glide orbital spacecraft are awarded by the USAF to two teams of contractors: one headed by Boeing (Aerojet, General Electric, Ramo-Wooldridge, North American, and Chance Vought), and one headed by Martin (Bell, American Machine & Foundry, Bendix, Goodyear, and Minneapolis-Honeywell). Under the $ 9 million one-year contracts each team was to refine its design, leading to a competitive down-select.


1958 June 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • Formal establishment of Pacific Missile Range - . Nation: USA. Formal establishment of the Navy's Pacific Missile Range (with its headquarters at Point Mugu and its major launch head at Point Arguello)..

1958 June 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg.
  • The Pacific Missile Range (PMR) was officially established under Navy management at Point Mugu. - .

1958 June 16 - .
  • The Air Force awarded Phase I development contracts for the Dyna-Soar boost-glide orbital spacecraft to the Martin Company and Boeing Airplane Company. - . Spacecraft: Dynasoar.

1958 June 16 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division presented its fifth Man-In-Space-Soonest development plan to Washington decision points in the Air Force and Office of the Secretary of Defense. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. The division was instructed to complete its plans for an Atlas vehicle plus a second stage as a backup in the event the Atlas could not handle the job alone. (Chronological Space Mist, 1958.).

1958 June 16 - . 02:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. LV Family: Kappa. Launch Vehicle: Kappa 6.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1958 June 17 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • The Air Force accepted delivery of the first Titan missile (A-l) from the Martin Company's Denver Division. - .

1958 June 18 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • Mr. William M. Holaday, DoD Director of Guided Missiles, approved "Minuteman" as the popular name for WS 133A (SM-80). - .

1958 June 18 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1958 June 19 - .
  • USAF issues requirement for an anti-satellite system - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: SAINT, SAINT II. USAF GOR-170 is issued for a system to inspect and destroy enemy satellites..

1958 June 19 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor, Atlas.
  • No "go ahead" for the man in space program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    The Advanced Research Projects Agency had not yet directed a "go ahead" for the man in space program. However, Air Force headquarters considered it a certainty that direction of an Atlas boosted manned space flight would be given to the Air Force at an early date, that funds for the project would probably total $66 million and that a series of Thor boosted, instrument and animal capsule flights would precede the Atlas full sized instrumented capsule, chimpanzee, and manned shots. The Air Force would probably re-program to obtain whatever additional funds were required to support the program. The ballistic missile division was advised that while waiting for an authoritative "go ahead" it should continue preparation of work statements for industry competition and contractor selection so they might be coordinated with the Advanced Research iProjects Agency and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. (Ltr, Maj Gen J. E. Smart, Asst V/CS, to Lt Gen S. E. Anderson, Cmdr ARDC, 19 Jun 58, no subject given, quoted in TWX, RDZGW6-33-K, Hq ARDC, to Hq AFBMD, 27 Jun 58.)


1958 June 19 - . 21:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1958 June 20 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 June 21 - .
  • Birth of Gennadi Ivanovich Padalka - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Padalka. Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Mir EO-26, ISS EO-9, ISS EO-19. 585 cumulative days in space..

1958 June 22 - .
  • NACA space budget - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. NACA personnel discussed the proposed space agency budget, including the manned satellite project, with Bureau of Budget officials..

1958 June 23 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Preliminary design begun on F-1 - 1.5 million pounds thrust rocket engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo.

    The U.S. Air Force contracted with NAA, Rocketdyne Division, for preliminary design of a single-chamber, kerosene and liquid-oxygen rocket engine capable of 1 to 1.5 million pounds of thrust. During the last week in July, Rocketdyne was awarded the contract to develop this engine, designated the F-1.


1958 June 23 - .
  • General Electric to develop a life support system. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. A contract was signed with General Electric Company for research and development of a life support system for the space cabin of an orbital vehicle. (Cmdrs Ref book, "Chronology of Man-In-Space," 23 Mar 59.).

1958 June 24 - .
  • Birth of Frederic Patat - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Patat. French physician payload specialist astronaut, 1985-1998. Degree in Acoustic Physics from the University of Paris (1981). Ph.D. in engineering (1984). Doctorate of medicine, 1991. Worked at the medical faculty of the University of Tours..

1958 June 24 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor, Atlas.
  • Secretary of the Air Force authorized an increase in missile production. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, , KH-1.

    Inasmuch as availability of basic booster units threatened to limit selection of the most desirable space programs, the Secretary of the Air Force authorized an increase in missile production as follows: four more Thor boosters, delivery to begin in December 1958 at a rate of one a month; four more Atlas boosters, delivery to begin in May 1959 at a rate of one a month; and $8 million budgeted to the Advanced Research Projects Agency for procurement of four additional Lockheed 117L vehicles, delivery to begin January 1959 at a rate of one a month. (Memo, SAF to C/S USAF, 24 Jun 58, no subject.)


1958 June 24 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC25A. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Polaris FTV-1.
  • Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 June 25 - .
1958 June 25 - . 03:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. FAILURE: Human error - thrust controller not connected..
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi).

    Successfully fired at 2059 hours EST from AMR. The flight was a success in that all missions were accomplished with the exception of failure of the thrust governor. This failure was caused by human error before firing which caused excess velocity, thereby exceeding the predicted impact point by 8.36 nm. Programmed range to impact was 137.31 nm. All other missions were satisfactorily completed. Missed aimpoint by 14,917 m.


1958 June 26 - .
  • Materials for thermal protection of satellite reentry vehicles - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury. Meetings were held with NACA, AVCO, and Lockheed representatives in attendance to consider materials for thermal protection of satellite reentry vehicles..

1958 June 26 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Exos sounding rocket.
  • Model 1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL, NASA. Apogee: 370 km (220 mi).

1958 June 26 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. FAILURE: Premature second stage cutoff. Unknown cause.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Vanguard 2C - . Payload: Lyman Alpha satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. Decay Date: 1958-06-26 . Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1958 June 27 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island.
  • Mach 18 5 stage test. - . Nation: USA. First successful launching by NACA Langley's Aircraft Research Division of a Mach 18 five-stage rocket vehicle at Wallops Island, Va..

1958 June 27 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1958 June 27 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant 5-stage.
  • Mercury-type Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 34 km (21 mi).

1958 June 29 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 June 30 - .
  • Development of Soviet nuclear-powered rockets authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Glushko.

    Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On the Creation of pockets With Engines on the Basis of Nuclear Energy Applications--work on a draft project for rockets with nuclear engines' was issued. Competing engine designs were in development by Glushko’s OKB-456 and Bondaryuk’s OKB-670. Both designs used existing available reactors in cyldindrical housings, with the reactors operating at 3000 degrees K. The propellant was heated in the reactor and exhausted through four expansion nozzles. The Glushko engine operated with ammonia, while the Bondaryuk engine used a mixture of ammonia and alcohol. With such propellants a specific impulse of 430 seconds was achieved.


1958 June 30 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Space Technology Laboratories to suport Air Force man in space program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Space Technology Laboratories was requested to submit a proposal to perform system engineering and technical direction of the Air Force man in space program based on the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division's work statement. In event program authorization was received prior to completion of the proposal, work would begin under a letter contract. Pending receipt of such approval, the contractor's work on Man-In-SpaceSoonest program would be confined to technical staff assistance, a function it was performing as a technical requirement of the existing contract. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 June 30 - .
  • AFBMD was notified that the Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy had giver, ARPA responsibility for development of the military satellite system (WS 117L). - . Related Persons: , McElroy. Spacecraft: WS-117.

1958 July - .
  • Mercury escape rocket conceived. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Spacecraft: Mercury, Mercury Escape Tower. The initial concept of the use of a tractor rocket for an escape device was suggested by Maxime A. Faget. The idea was developed into the Mercury escape rocket..

1958 July 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Kappa.
  • Kappa-6tw rocket reaches 30 miles. - . Nation: Japan. Japanese Kappa-6tw two-stage rocket flown to 30-mile altitude over Michikawa Rocket Center, Japan..

Second half of 1958 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • R-2 technical documentation delivered. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. 10,151 volumes of R-2 technical documents are delivered to Beijing. China orders 12 more R-2 missiles. 100 Soviet technicians arrive as advisors to the Chinese in production and operation of th emissiles..

1958 July - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Atlas ICBM soft pad design complete. - . Nation: USA. Design of vertical initial operational capability ground support equipment.

1958 July - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II.
  • Advanced Titan considered. - . Nation: USA. USAF reviews improvements (inertial guidance, storable fuel, 1 x 9 basing, both stages constant 3.05 m diameter, in silo launch) to the Titan I..

1958 July 1 - .
  • Korolev letter to Politburo - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev. Program: Vostok. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Vostok. First explanation to leadership of advantages of manned spaceflight..

1958 July 1 - . Launch Site: San Clemente. Launch Platform: AVM1. Launch Vehicle: X-17. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Argus test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 July 1 - . Launch Site: San Clemente. Launch Platform: AVM1. Launch Vehicle: X-17. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Argus test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1958 July 2 - . Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-14 IRBM, R-7A ICBM, and Raketoplan development authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Raketoplan. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 726-346 'On start of work on the R-14 missile, on creation of the R-7A ICBM, and on creation of the winged-ballistic rocket at OKB-52' was issued..

1958 July 2 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-2A.
  • Chemical release mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi).

1958 July 3 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350.
  • Burya flight 6 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi). Launched after prior 11 June flight attempt. The booster stage was replaced. Controlled flight program ended at T+56 seconds due to damaged circuits connected to the autopilot..

1958 July 3 - . 18:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Charge density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 262 km (162 mi).

1958 July 4 - . Launch Site: China Lake. Launch Complex: China Lake G-2. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 July 6 - . 12:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Charge density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1958 July 7 - . 18:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Horizon imaging Aeronomy / imaging mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 121 km (75 mi).

1958 July 7 - . 23:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 July 8 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island.
  • First spherical rocket motor test. - . Nation: USA. First launching of a 10-inch-diameter spherical rocket motor with spin stabilization, at NACA Wallops Island..

1958 July 8 - . 23:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1958 July 9 - .
  • General Electric studies related to manned space flight. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    General Electric Company personnel presented a briefing at NACA headquarters on studies related to manned space flight. The company held contracts let by the Wright Air Development Center for study and mock-up of a manned spacecraft. NACA made no official comment.


1958 July 9 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Atlas.
  • The second Air Force Thor/Able reentry (nose cone) test vehicle, testing a GE ablation-type nose cone, was launched from Cape Canaveral on a 6,000-mile flight down the Atlantic Missile Range. - . While the nose cone was not recovered, this was the first U.S. reentry vehicle to make a full-range ICBM flight and reentry..

1958 July 10 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency questions - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The Advanced Research Projects Agency addressed two questions to the research and development command: Would the Air Force accept a 110 nautical mile orbit instead of 150 nautical miles for the manned space flight? What degree of program accomplishment could be obtained with a fiscal 1959 program of $50 million based on an Atlas-117L second stage? (Chronological "Space Hi't, 1958.)


1958 July 10 - . 02:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able.
  • Able RTV re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi). Mouse 'Mia II' reached 1600 km altitude, flew 9600 km range, but re-entry vehicle not recovered..

1958 July 10 - . 07:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Vehicle: R-7. FAILURE: Failure.
  • B1-14 (II-5)/Blok E test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 July 11 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSWC. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 July 11 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Charge density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 243 km (150 mi).

1958 July 12 - .
  • The Advanced Research Projects Agency favors the Convair-AVCO proposal to complete the Man-In-Space-Soonest Program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Air Force Ballistic Missile Division answered the two questions forwarded on 10 July. The division understood that the Advanced Research Projects Agency was disposed to favor the Convair-AVCO proposal to complete the Man-In-Space-Soonest Program. Under this assumption 150 nautical miles would be the minimum altitude for technical and economic reasons. Although the division would not choose to drop to a $50 million level for fiscal 1959, if it were directed to do so it could prepare the planning in time for a briefing to the commander of Air Research and Development Command by 15 August 1958. A manned orbital flight under such a program would not be possible until late in calendar year 1961 or early 196Z. The division requested that command headquarters issue confirming instructions and additional guidance. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 July 12 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Horizon imaging Aeronomy / imaging mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 114 km (70 mi).

1958 July 13 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350.
  • Burya flight 7 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi). Cruise stage tanks 1 and 4 empty. The flight lasted only to T+96 seconds. At this point, duirng fseparation of the boost and cruise stages the vehicle became unstable and was unable to achieve level powered cruise flight..

1958 July 13 - . 06:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
  • Research and development Series III test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1958 July 15 - .
  • McDonnell manned orbital spacecraft concept. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury, Project 7969.

    Cook Electric Company submitted a proposal to the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation as a part of a preliminary study and design effort by McDonnell for a manned satellite. McDonnell, prior to being awarded the Mercury prime development contract in February 1959, spent 11 months under a company research budget working on a manned orbital spacecraft concept.


1958 July 15 - .
  • Birth of Benoit M Silve - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Silve. French engineer cosmonaut, 1990-1993. Pilot, French Navy Selected for French astronaut team..

1958 July 15 - . 20:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 126 km (78 mi).

1958 July 16 - .
  • Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury.

1958 July 16 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Arcon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1958 July 16 - . 22:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • B / ne probe Fields mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi).

1958 July 17 - . 09:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Gaslight Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville, USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

    Fired from AMR at 0404 hours EST to a pre-calculated range of 1,241.3 nm. The nose cone impacted 1.0 nm short and 1.5 nm to the right of the predicted impact point. This was the first flight test of the complete inertial guidance system. The nose cone recovery mission was successful. This was also the second successful flight test of a full scale tactical type nose cone, as well as a successful flight test of the Jupiter lightweight, high explosive warhead.


1958 July 17 - . 17:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1958 July 18 - .
  • NASA heritage from NACA. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury, X-15A.

    In a memorandum to Dr. James R. Killian, Jr., Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Director of NACA, pointed out that NASA would inherit from NACA a rich technical background, competence, and leadership in driving toward the objective of a manned satellite program. For years NACA groups had been involved in research on such items as stabilization of ultra-high speed vehicles, provision of suitable controls, high temperature structural designs, and all the problems of reentry. In fact, a part of this work had been directed specifically toward the problem of designing a manned satellite. Also, the X-15 program had provided much experience in human factors applicable to the orbital flight of man. Therefore, Dr. Dryden concluded, in consonance with the intent of the Space Act of 1958, the assignment of the program to the NACA would be consistent.


1958 July 18 - . LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1.
  • Headquarters USAF approved the Minuteman source selections of Thiokol Chemical, Aerojet-General, and Hercules Powder Company as the propulsion contractors for the solid-fuel motors of the missile. - . Avco Corporation was chosen as the reentry vehicle (nose cone) developer, and Autonetics Division of North American Aviation was selected as inertial guidance and control (G&C) system contractor..

1958 July 18 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 July 18 - . Launch Site: China Lake. Launch Complex: China Lake G-2. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 July 19 - . 17:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B. FAILURE: Flight Control Failure. Failed Stage: G.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

    The initial Atlas Series B missile flight test vehicle (3B) malfuncticr.ed and broke up 60 seconds after launch from the Air Force Missile Test Center at Cape Canaveral. To the basic Series A airframe, the Series B missiles added the complete North American Aviation MA-1 propulsion cluster of booster and sustainer engines, General Electric's Mod II airborne radio inertial guidance system (open loop), and GE's Mark II nose cone. First full-powered flight of USAF Atlas B ICBM using both the sustainer and booster engines. 'Marginally successful'.


1958 July 21 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Arcon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USA SRDL. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1958 July 22 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Arcon. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 July 23 - . 22:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able.
  • Able RTV re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi).

    In its second successful flight test, the Thor/Able (Number 1.19) advanced reentry test vehicle demonstrated proper reentry of the advanced General Electric ablative nose cone during a 5,300-mile test flight. Two successful tests established the two-stage Thor/Able as a reliable vehicle for further special test programs. This allowed the Air Force and other government agencies to complete plans for more advanced space programs. Mouse 'Wickie' not recovered; nose cone lost.


1958 July 24 - .
  • Major General B. A. Schriever, missile division commander, recommended slipping the target date for the first manned flight from April to May 1960 because of continued delay in approving MISS. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Work statements had been initiated for all aspects of the program and the Air Fzrce was studying the Ground Based Information System (tracking and control network) "andthe heat sink versus ablation problem, while Convair, Aerojet-General and Lockheed were studying the design of the backup second stage. Source selection had been established to evaluate prospective contractors to submit proposals for a small capsule. Invitations to the request for proposals briefing would be dispatched within 24 hours after program approval and commitment of funds. Requests for proposals were also being prepared on system assembly tests and a large capsule design. To forestall further program slippage, Schriever made the following recommendations: immediate approval of Man-In-Space-Soonest at a level of $106.6 million for fiscal 1959; grant $31.92 million immediately for first quarter commitment; remainder of second quarter funds, $21.85 million, be released by 1 October and the third and fourth quarter funds of $52.89 million be available by 1 January 1959., Finally, the program should be assigned a priority commensurate with the urgency of the man in space mission. (Ltr, Schriever to Anderson, 24 Jul 58, subj: Actions Required for Man-In-Space-Soonest Program.)


1958 July 24 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division published its sixth Manned Military Space System Development plan. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    This proposed a single Atlas booster, but with a back-up program for a second stage (either 117L or AJ 10), to place a man in a 150 nautical mile orbit in June 1960. The cost to carry out this plan was estimated at $106.66 million for fiscal 1959. (Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 July 24 - . Launch Site: San Clemente. Launch Platform: AVM1. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Argus test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 672 km (417 mi).

1958 July 25 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division representatives again presented a series of Washington briefings. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    These were to Lt General S. E. Anderson, Commander, Air Research and Development Command; the Air Staff; Secretary of the Air Force and Staff; and Director Roy Johnson, of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The latter presentation, in addition to reporting detailed man in space planning, requested prompt program approval and emphasized the urgency of firm funds commitment if further delay was to be avoided. Johnson's response to the briefing may be summarized as follows: (a) the man in space program would not be approved at this time; (b) it appeared that $50 million would be an optimistic estimate of man in space funding until the Space Council, authorized by recent legislation, was organized and working, an event that was not probable before Thanksgiving; (c) planning anything over a $50 million program, the maximum likely to be approved under any circumstances, was wasted effort; (d) statements of prominent scientists had convinced the White House there was no currently valid reason for Man-InSpace: (e) when the Space Council became a viable organization, man in space would probably become a joint effort of the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics; (f) The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the National Aeronautics and Space Act creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was to become law on 29 July 1958) was already thinking of an independent but very similar space program that would cost about $40 million in fiscal 1959. After these two days of briefings it was clear that quick approval of a military man in space program was not forthcoming. (MFR, Col J. D. Lowe, Ch, Space Sys Div, AFBMD, 30 Jul 58, subj: MISS Briefing to Hq ARDC, Hq USAF, the Secretary of the Air Force and ARPA on 24-25 July 1958.)


1958 July 25 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Radio contact lost; possibly reached orbit.. Failed Stage: U.
  • Pilot 1 - . Payload: Diagnostic Payload 1. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Pilot satellite. Decay Date: 1958-07-25 . Apogee: 12 km (7 mi). Air dropped in Santa Barbara Channel DZ..

1958 July 25 - . 05:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 July 26 - .
  • Test Pilot Iven C Kincheloe dies at age of 30 -- Killed in an F-104 crash, when it flamed out after take-off. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kincheloe. American test pilot, 1956-1958. Flew the X-2; killed in an F-104 crash in 1958..

1958 July 26 - . 06:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development Series III test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 July 26 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C.
  • Explorer 4 - . Payload: Explorer B. Mass: 8.00 kg (17.60 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: DARPA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Explorer. Spacecraft: Explorer B. Decay Date: 1959-10-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 9 . COSPAR: 1958-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 1,352 km (840 mi). Perigee: 257 km (159 mi). Inclination: 50.2000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Mapped project Argus radiation. .

1958 July 27 - . 15:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 July 28 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Deployment of Titan squadrons in a 3x3 hardened and dispersed configuration was approved for the Lowry, Ellsworth, and Mountain Home squadrons. - .

1958 July 29 - .
  • National Aeronautics and Space Act - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, Public Law 85-568, which established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)..

1958 July 29 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I initial contract. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. ARPA gives Von Braun team contract to develop Saturn I (called 'cluster's last stand' due to design concept)..

1958 July 29 - .
  • The President signed the law by which the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics would be succeeded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    The new agency would have custody of all space programs except those clearly oriented toward military objectives. Air Force headquarters obtained approval of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to establish within the Deputy Chief of Staff, Development, a Directorate of Advanced Technology. Brigadier General H. A. Boushey was appointed director of the new office and its primary function, although the words "space" and "astronautics" were conspicuously absent from its mission description, was to serve as the control point for all Air Force space projects. (Bowen, The Threshold of Space, p. 21.)


1958 July 29 - .
  • Despite mounting evidence that the Air Force would not be assigned management of any national lunar program, it continued to press for a manned space program. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury, Lunex.

    On this date there was a meeting of Dr. Dryden, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics; Mr. R. Johnson, Advanced Research Projects Agency; and Secretary of Defense Neil McElroy but future management of a manned space program was not resolved and it appeared that resolution would only bp attained at the Presidential level. It was assumed, however,that the Air Force would have at least $50 million in fiscal 1959 funds to further its space program. (MFR, Col J.D. Lowe, AFBMD, 29 Jul 58, subj: Man-In-Space Program, cited in Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 July 29 - . 05:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 July 30 - .
  • Test subject withstood a 20g load on the centrifuge using Langley contour couch. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    By using the development model of the Mercury contour couch designed by Maxime A. Faget and associates, Carter C. Collins withstood a 20g load on the centrifuge at Johnsville, Pennsylvania. This test proved that the reentry accelerations of manned space flight could be withstood.


1958 July 30 - .
  • Air Force headquarters: "Why should the military furnish the first man in space?" - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Air Force headquarters forwarded the following instructions and request for information to the Air Research and Development Command:. the Man-InSpace Program was to be programmed at a fiscal 1959 level of $50 million. The 1evel of expenditures was to be scheduled so that acceleration would be possible on 1 December 1958 if additional funds were forthcoming or if they were not, the program could be funded in an orderly manner through the remainder of the year. The research and development command should also seek to answer the question: Why should the military furnish the first man in space ? (Msg, AFDAT 53918, Hq USAF to Cmdr ARDC, 30 Jul 58, cited in Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 July 30 - .
  • The military services and particularly the Air Force found their space prospects disheartening. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    Obviously the military services no longer controlled development of space vehicles and programs. Through fiscal 1958 all space programs had been managed by the Department of Defense through the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The new fiscal year offered little hope for change and, on 29 July, the President ordered transfer to National Aeronautics and Space Administration of nonmilitary space programs such as lunar probes, scientific satellites, and the Vanguard project. (Bowen, The Threshold of Space, p. 28.)


1958 July 31 - .
  • Republic Aviation man-in-space studies. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury, Project 7969.

    Republic Aviation representatives briefed NACA Headquarters personnel on the man-in-space studies in which the company had been engaged since the first of the year. They envisioned a four-stage solid launch vehicle system and a lifting reentry vehicle, which was termed a sled. The vehicle was to be of triangular shape with a 75 degree leading-edge sweep. Aerodynamic and reaction controls would be available to the pilot. For the launch vehicle, Republic proposed a Minuteman first stage, a Polaris first stage, a Minuteman upper stage, and a Jumbo rocket fourth stage. Other details relative to reentry and recovery were included in the briefing.


1958 August - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-1.
  • R-1 retired from front-line service - . Nation: Russia. The number of units fielded were small, reflecting the long delay in getting the R-1 into production. The field equipment was designed to also be used for R-2 missiles, which quickly replaced the R-1 in the field units..

1958 August - .
  • Eisenhower assigns the manned space flight program to NASA. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury, Project 7969. President Eisenhower assigned the responsibility for the development and execution of a manned space flight program to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. However, NASA did not become operational until October 1, 1958..

1958 August 1 - .
  • NACA program on the technology of manned space flight vehicles. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury. Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, NACA Director, presented a program on the technology of manned space flight vehicles to the Select Committees of Congress on Astronautics and Space Exploration..

Summer 1958 - . Launch Vehicle: R-16.
  • Khrushchev conceives of use of silos for Soviet long range missiles - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Barmin, Khrushchev, Korolev, Yangel.

    Khrushchev independently conceived of the idea of storing and launching ballistic missiles from subterranean silos. He called Korolev to his dacha in the Crimea. Korolev told him his idea was not feasible. He then called Barmin and Yangel. Barmin said he would study the idea. Yangel remained silent. Some time later Khrushchev’s son saw a drawing of the same concept in a US aerospace magazine. He informed his father, who ordered immediate crash development of the first generation of Soviet missile silos.


1958 August - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Scheduled design complete (95%) for Atlas D-series missiles - . Nation: USA.

1958 August 1 - . LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1.
  • The Autonetics Division of North American Aviation was awarded a contract to develop the Minuteman inertial guidance and control (G&C) system. - .

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 1 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 750 km (460 mi). In 3-week period, 19 five-stage Argo E5 sounding rockets were launched in USAF-NACA program to measure radiation caused by Project Argus, rockets reaching 500-mile altitude and were launched from Wallops Island, AMR, and Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico..

1958 August 1 - . 09:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LC1. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. FAILURE: Failure of tilt program device at lift-off causing vertical night flight did not preclude subsequent system operations and successful mission accomplishment..
  • Hardtack Teak Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

    Teak was a rocket-launched test of a live W-39 nuclear warhead. Purpose was to measure the effects of high altitude nuclear explosions in order to design warheads for the Nike-Zeus anti-ballistic missile system. The Hardtack Configuration Redstone shot the 3.8 megaton warhead to an altitude of 77.8 km. This was the first rocket-launched nuclear test by the United States.


1958 August 2 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • The first successful flight test of a Series B Atlas missile. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest. This was also the first successful staging of a long-range missile. (AF Ballistic Missiles Program Status Report.).

1958 August 2 - . 05:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-2A.
  • Ionosphere / biological mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 211 km (131 mi).

1958 August 2 - . 22:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi).

    The first successful flight test of a Series B Atlas missile. This was also the first successful staging of a long-range missile. (AF Ballistic Missiles Program Status Report.) Flight test missile 4B was the first Atlas Series B missile to be launched successfully and the first ICBM to complete staging. Its 2,500-mile powered flight was the first time that the MA-1 propulsion cluster operated for the planned duration of flight. Second full-powered flight of USAF Atlas ICBM traveled 2,500 miles with radio-inertial guidance, fully successful.


1958 August 6 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Rocketdyne gets F-1 engine contract. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Rocketdyne Division of North American announced an Air Force contract for a 1-million-pound thrust engine..

1958 August 6 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • Headquarters USAF issued General Operational Requirement (GOR) 171 that established an Air Force requirement for an economical, quick-reaction, solid-propellant or storable liquids ICBM weapon system. - . Initial operational capability (IOC) was set as FY1963. The Minuteman (WS 133A) was intended to fulfill this requirement..

1958 August 6 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18.
  • Research and development Series III test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). The last of 18 Thor research and development flight test missiles was launched from Cape Canaveral. Only seven of the 18 launches were categorized as successes while 11 were failures. .

1958 August 7 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 August 8 - .
  • T Keith Glennan and Hugh L Dryden nominated to be Administrator and Deputy Administrator of NASA - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower, Glennan.

    T. Keith Glennan, President of Case Institute of Technology, and Hugh L. Dryden, Director of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, were nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be Administrator and Deputy Administrator of NASA. The Senate confirmed their nominations one week later.


1958 August 8 - .
  • Project Adam - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Adam, Mercury.

    A memorandum from the Secretary of the Army to the Secretary of Defense recommended Project Adam for a manned space flight program. This plan proposed a ballistic suborbital flight using existing Redstone hardware as a national political-psychological demonstration. This memo proposed that funds in the amount of $9 million and $2.5 million for fiscal years 1959 and 1960, respectively, be approved for program execution.


1958 August 11 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Lacrosse. Launch Vehicle: Doorknob.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 83 km (51 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: ASCAMP.
  • Hardtack Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Livermore. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 12 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Vehicle exploded at ignition.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Pilot 2 - . Payload: Diagnostic Payload 2. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Pilot satellite. Decay Date: 1958-08-12 . Apogee: 12 km (7 mi). Air dropped in Santa Barbara Channel DZ..

1958 August 12 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LC2. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. FAILURE: Guidance system malfunction at 70 seconds which did not preclude subsequent system operations and successful mission accomplishment..
  • Hardtack Orange Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 41 km (25 mi).

    Orange was a rocket-launched test of the W-39 warhead. Purpose was to measure the effects of high altitude nuclear explosions in order to design warheads for Nike-Zeus anti-ballistic missile system. The Hardtack Configuration Redstone shot the 3.8 megaton warhead to an altitude of 43 km.


1958 August 13 - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 13 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-2A.
  • Ionosphere / biological mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 212 km (131 mi).

1958 August 14 - . 00:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 August 14 - . 13:28 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 132 km (82 mi).

1958 August 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn I project initiated by ARPA. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo.

    The Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA provided the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) with authority and initial funding to develop the Juno V (later named Saturn launch vehicle. ARPA Order 14 described the project: "Initiate a development program to provide a large space vehicle booster of approximately 1.5 million pounds of thrust based on a cluster of available rocket engines. The immediate goal of this program is to demonstrate a full-scale captive dynamic firing by the end of calendar year 1959." Within AOMC, the Juno V project was assigned to the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal Huntsville, Ala.


1958 August 15 - .
  • Vostok advanced project complete. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov. Spacecraft: Vostok. A section devoted to the spacecraft was formed on 15 August 1958. Konstantin Feoktistov was one of the leading enthusiasts in this effort..

1958 August 15 - . 04:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC10. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 693 km (430 mi).

1958 August 15 - . 15:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 August 16 - .
  • Birth of Peter Jeffrey Kelsay 'Jeff' Wisoff - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Wisoff. American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-57, STS-68, STS-81, STS-92. Was married to astronaut Tammy Jernigan..

1958 August 16 - . Launch Site: China Lake. Launch Complex: China Lake G-2. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 August 17 - . Launch Site: China Lake. Launch Complex: China Lake G-2. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1958 August 17 - . 12:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able I. FAILURE: Thor exploded after 77 sec.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Pioneer (1) - . Payload: Pioneer / Able 1. Mass: 38 kg (83 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Pioneer. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 0-1-2. Decay Date: 1958-08-17 . Apogee: 16 km (9 mi).

    An Air Force Thor/Able It launch vehicle, carrying the first U.S. International Geophysical Year (IGY) lunar payload, exploded 77 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral because of a first-stage engine failure. First US lunar attempt. The first US Air Force lunar probe, using a Thor-Able booster. An explosion ripped it apart 77 seconds after launch.


1958 August 18 - .
  • Birth of Sergey Yevgenyevich Treshchev - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Treshchev. Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on ISS EO-5. Civilian Engineer, Energiya NPO.

1958 August 18 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok-L 8K72.
  • Luna launch delayed. - . Nation: Russia. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite.

    Planned August launch rescheduled after failure of American lunar probe on August 17. Inability to complete final tests of the new engines and malfunctions during pre-launch preparations indicated a lot of work had to be done on the new launch vehicle before the first launch could be attempted.


1958 August 19 - .
  • General Schriever summarized the status of Air Force Manned Military Space Systems by pointing out that a series of man in space programs had been developed, each with different ground rules. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    Moreover, Air Force Ballistic Missile Division was currently preparing an abbreviated development plan, based on a fiscal 1959 level of $40 million. National Aeronautics and Space Administration cooperation in planning the program was worthwhile but it did not bring the Air Force any closer to an active development effort. In all probability this situation would prevail until high level civilian and military management relationships and certain national policy questions were settled. Since the director of the civilian space agency had now been named an "early high level meeting to resolve problems" was suggested. (Msg, AFBMD to ARDC, 11 Aug 58, cited in Chronological Space Hist, 1958.)


1958 August 19 - .
  • AVCO briefed Brigadier General H. A. Boushey, Director of Advanced Technology, Headquarters USAF. The company proposed--as it had on previous occasions -a metal drag brake system. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The proposal appeared especially attractive to the Advanced Research Projects Agency staff and the Air Staff because of its apparent potential versatility in terms of military applications. The Air Research and Development Command was directed to proceed immediately with a technical evaluation of the proposal and the Defense Department seriously considered supporting a project which would test AVCO's concept., The ballistic missile division preferred the solution to the re-entry problem offered in the man in space technical plan-which appeared to be in the process of being absorbed by the civilian space agency; evidence of the plan's technical validity. Beyond these developments there was no change in the status of the military space program and the likelihood of the Advanced Research Projects Agency accepting even a scaled down fiscal 1959 appropriation of $40 million in support of the military space effort appeared, in the words of Johnson, "to be less than 50 50. ' (Msg RDZGW 8-25 -E, Hq ARDC, to AFBMD, 21 Aug 58.)


1958 August 20 - . 11:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Ramey. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 August 21 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 August 22 - . LV Family: Atlas, Thor, Minuteman, .
  • Largely as a result of the successful Thor/Able reentry tests, Brigadier General Osmond J. - .

    Ritland, AFBMD Vice Commander, reoriented the Division's reentry vehicle research and development program. Avco was directed to cancel its work on a y copper "heat sink" reentry vehicle. General Electric's Mark II copper "heat sink" nose con^ would be used on Thor IRBMs and early model Atlas ICBMs. Moreover, GE was assigned to start work on lightweight, second generation nose cones for heavier warheads.


1958 August 22 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Radio contact lost; possibly reached orbit.. Failed Stage: U.
  • Pilot 3 - . Payload: Diagnostic Payload 3. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Pilot satellite. Decay Date: 1958-08-22 . Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). Air dropped in Santa Barbara Channel DZ..

1958 August 24 - . 06:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. FAILURE: First Stage collided with upper stages. Second Stage ignited in wrong direction.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Explorer 5 - . Payload: Explorer C. Mass: 17 kg (37 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Agency: DARPA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Explorer. Spacecraft: Explorer C. Decay Date: 1958-08-24 .

1958 August 25 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Vehicle exploded after 0.75sec.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Pilot 4 - . Payload: Radiation Payload 1. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Pilot satellite. Decay Date: 1958-08-25 . Apogee: 12 km (7 mi). Air dropped in Santa Barbara Channel DZ..

1958 August 25 - . 18:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 August 26 - .
  • LtGeneral Samuel E. Anderson, Commander, ARDC, notified Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, General Curtis E. - . Related Persons: , LeMay. LeMay, that he had instructed AFBMD to establish and man an organizational element for space systems development because of the increased Air Force concern with military space programs..

1958 August 26 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur.
  • After examining contractor proposals for a communications satellite relay project since September 1957, Headquarters ARDC presented its original strategic communications satellite development plan. - . Spacecraft: Advent.

1958 August 26 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: Stage failed to ignite, vehicle fell into Pacific.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Pilot 5 - . Payload: Radiation Payload 2. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Pilot satellite. Decay Date: 1958-08-26 . Apogee: 12 km (7 mi). Air dropped in Santa Barbara Channel DZ..

1958 August 27 - .
  • Birth of Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalyov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Krikalyov. Russian engineer cosmonaut, Energia NPO, 1985-2009. Flew on Mir EO-4, Mir LD-3, STS-60, STS-88, ISS EO-1, ISS EO-11. World record for total duration spent in space (803 days). First Russian to fly aboard an American spacecraft. Flew in space six times..

1958 August 27 - . 02:20 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 38.5 S x 11.5 W. Launch Platform: AVM1. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Argus I Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

    The Argus series were the only clandestine nuclear tests ever conducted by the United States. The rocket-launched nuclear warheads were set off at very high altitudes over the South Atlantic, 1800 km south-west of Capetown, South Africa. The purpose was to determine the effects of nuclear explosions on the Earth's magnetic field and the impact to military radar, communications, satellites and ballistic missiles electronics. The earth's magnetic field is not only off-axis from the earth, but also off centre from the earth's core. This means the Van Allen Radiation belts are closest to the earth in the region known as the 'South Atlantic Anomaly'. This made the selected launch point the ideal place for launching a rocket into the lower belt where the particles and radiation from the explosion would be trapped.

    The 1.7 kiloton W-25 warhead used had been developed and previously tested for the Genie air-to-air missile. The first test was launched from vessel AVM1 at 38.5 deg S, 11.5 deg. W, and exploded at an altitude of 160 km. The initial flash was followed by an auroral luminescence extending upward and downward along the magnetic lines where the burst occurred. The experiment verified the predicitons made in the original October 1957 proposal by N. C. Christofilos of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore.


1958 August 27 - . 03:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC10. Launch Pad: LC10?. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 937 km (582 mi).

1958 August 27 - . 04:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: R-2A.
  • Ionosphere / biological mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 209 km (129 mi).

1958 August 27 - . 04:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Ramey. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 August 27 - . 06:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5A.
  • Infrared atmosphere Aeronomy / ionosphere / biology mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 450 km (270 mi).

1958 August 27 - . 06:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Ramey. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 817 km (507 mi).

1958 August 27 - . 07:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 August 27 - . 12:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5A.
  • Aeronomy / ionosphere / fields / mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 450 km (270 mi). Carried dogs Belyanka and Pestraya to 450 km altitude..

1958 August 27 - . 23:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26A. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville, USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

    Fired from AMR at 1815 hours EST. The countdown was normal. Operations were interrupted by one hold -- a 15 minute delay for minor adjustments. Ignition, main-stage, and lift-off were normal. The missile followed the pre-selected trajectory closely during powered flight, though cut-off was effected by fuel depletion rather than by pre-set guidance cut-off. The nose cone impacted 39 nm short and 15.7 nm to the left of the pre-calculated range of 1,246 nm. Jupiter 7 was the first flight test of the warhead and fuse system. This also marked the second flight test of the :Jupiter all-inertial guidance system, the fourth flight test of the NAA S-3D engine operating at 150,000 pounds thrust, and the first flight test of the solid propellant spin rocket and vernier motor.


1958 August 28 - . Launch Vehicle: R-16.
  • R-16 development accelerated. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On expansion of work on the R- 16 ICBM' was issued..

1958 August 28 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. Launch Vehicle: Project Pilot. FAILURE: One first stage motor failed to ignite, causing structural failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Pilot 6 - . Payload: Radiation Payload 3. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Pilot satellite. Decay Date: 1958-08-28 . Apogee: 12 km (7 mi). Air dropped in Santa Barbara Channel DZ..

1958 August 29 - . LV Family: Titan, Atlas.
  • ARPA issued order Number 19-59 establishing the Centaur program that would provide a high energy, liquid-fuel upper stage for use with either the Atlas or Titan boosters. - .

    Pratt and Whitney was to develop the liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engines for the upper stage vehicle to be developed by Convair/Astronautics. The development goal was to produce an upper stage vehicle that could place a satellite into a 24-hour, synchronous orbit 23,000 miles above the equator.


1958 August 29 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B.
  • Research and development / AFSWC-1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 03:10 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 49.5 S x 8.2 W. Launch Platform: AVM1. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Argus II Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 293 km (182 mi). Second covert Argus launch to study effect of nuclear explosions on the Van Allen radiation belts. The rocket was launched from vessel AVM1 at 49.5 deg South, 8.2 deg West; altitude reached 294 km; yield of the nuclear warhead, 1.7 kilotons..

1958 August 30 - . 03:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 817 km (507 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 04:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC10. Launch Pad: LC10?. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 878 km (545 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 05:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 830 km (510 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 05:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Ramey. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 825 km (512 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 06:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC10. Launch Pad: LC10?. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 699 km (434 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 07:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 815 km (506 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 22:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 745 km (462 mi).

1958 August 30 - . 23:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Ramey. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 August 31 - .
  • Birth of Dr David Henry Matthiesen - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Matthiesen. American materials scientist payload specialist astronaut, 1994-1995..

1958 August 31 - . 00:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC10. Launch Pad: LC10?. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 September 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Redstone Arsenal begins Saturn I design studies. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Saturn design studies authorized to proceed at Redstone Arsenal for development of 1.5-million-pound-thrust cluster first stage..

1958 Fall - .
  • Vostok drawing release. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Vostok. Construction drawings for the Vostok manned spacecraft were issued beginning in the fall of 1958. Official go-ahead was still nearly a year in the future..

1958 September - .
  • Mercury tracking network study begun - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Study was started on the tracking and ground instrumentation networks for the manned satellite project..

1958 September 1 - .
  • Tsien enters Congress - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien was elected Deputy of Guangdong Province to the National People's Congress..

1958 Sep - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • Colonel Otto J. Glasser became Director, WS 133A Project Office, at AFBMD, replacing Colonel Edward N. Hall. - .

1958 September 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor.
  • The future of the proposed Air Force space program was uncertain due to the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury, Lunex, , KH-1.

    It appeared probable that final over-all space program would be adopted until the large area of overlapping jurisdiction between the two agencies was sorted out. In addition, the Department of Defense was required to transfer some $117 million in fiscal 1959 funds to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of which $58.8 million was Air Force money. Thus it appeared that of the various proposed programs already within National Aeronautics and Space Administration's legitimate area of interest it might well take over the man in space program primarily because it had the money to undertake its development. In respect to the lunar probe program, the Air Force had to wait for further direction before proceeding further. The large booster (one million pound thrust) authorized for Air Force development was transferred to the civilian. space agency. The Air Force would continue development of the 117L system under the over-all direction of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. (Memo, Col C. R. Roderick, Committee Liaison Div, Ofc of Legislative Liaison, to Asst Dir, Legislative Liaison, Sep 58, no subj.)


1958 September 1 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • As the Air Force began studying the feasibility of a mobile ballistic missile system. - . Related Persons: Schriever. Major General Bernard A. Schriever directed AFBMD to investigate the possibility of a mobile version of the new solid fuel ICBM (later Minuteman)..

1958 September 2 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok-L 8K72.
  • Launch of Soviet Luna probes authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Luna. Spacecraft: Luna E-1. Decree 'On launch of automated lunar probes November' was issued..

1958 September 2 - . 19:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Ramey. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 September 2 - . 20:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 789 km (490 mi).

1958 September 2 - . 22:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC10. Launch Pad: LC10?. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Jason sounding rocket.
  • Nuclear test observation mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 789 km (490 mi).

1958 September 3 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC4A. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 September 4 - .
  • The Transit and TIROS satellite programs were initiated with booster responsibilities assigned to AFBMD. - . Spacecraft: Transit, Tiros, . Transit was a navigation satellite, while TIROS (Television Infrared Observation Satellite) was to take television pictures of cloud cover and transmit meteorological information for relay to ground stations..

1958 September 4 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Chemical release / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SUI. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1958 September 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral AMR DZ. Launch Pad: 29.0 N x 79.0 W. Launch Platform: B-58. Launch Vehicle: High Virgo.
  • High Virgo satellite interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 13 km (8 mi).

1958 September 6 - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 40.0 N x 170.0 E. Launch Platform: B-62. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1958 September 6 - . 22:05 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 48.5 S x 9.7 W. Launch Platform: AVM1. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Argus III Nuclear test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 750 km (460 mi). Third and final covert Argus launch to study effect of nuclear explosions on the Van Allen radiation belts. The rocket was launched from vessel AVM1 at 48.5 deg South, 9.7 deg West ; altitude reached 750 km; yield of the nuclear warhead, 1.7 kilotons..

1958 September 7 - . 10:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA5A. Launch Vehicle: Black Knight.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: UK. Agency: Royal Aerospace Establishment. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi). Black Knight missile of the United Kingdom was launched from the Australian range at Woomera to an altitude of over 300 miles..

1958 September 8 - . 02:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Chemical release / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SUI. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1958 September 10 - .
  • X-1E Flight 21 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 21. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 20. Stability and control investigation with ventral fins..

1958 September 10 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350.
  • Burya flight 8 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi).

    Cruise stage tanks 1 and 4 empty. The boosters operated normally and the cruise stage ignited at Mach 2.95-3.0. At T+95 seconds there were problems at separation of the boosters, leading to cruise stage instability and an asymmetric airflow through the ramjet diffuser leading. This caused significant variations in thrust. The pressure in tank 3 dropped at T+160s econds and the ramjet flamed out.


1958 September 11 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Letter contract for the development of the Saturn H-1 rocket engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. A letter contract was signed by NASA with NAA's Rocketdyne Division for the development of the H-1 rocket engine, designed for use in a clustered-engine booster..

1958 September 11 - .
  • Little chance for approval of Project Adam. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Adam, Mercury. At an Army Advanced Research Projects Agency conference, the Army was advised there was little chance for approval of Project Adam..

1958 September 11 - .
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division published the seventh Manned Military Space System Development Plan. The word "Soonest" was conspicuously absent from the title. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The plan contained no startling innovations but reduced the program to fit fiscal 1959 anticipated expenditures of $40 million with no second stage backup. The first manned flight was scheduled for December 1960. (Ltr, Brig Gen 0. J. Ritland, V/Cmdr, AFBMD, to Crndr, ARDC, 15 Sep 58, subj: Man-In-Space Program.)


1958 September 11 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Beacon Test 3 Balloon test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Cleveland. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1958 September 11 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC9. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-26. FAILURE: Booster performed well, but cruise stage never ignited due to fuel system failure..
  • Navaho G-26 Flight 10 RISE-1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 25 km (15 mi).

    North American had received funding to fly seven surplus G-26 missiles in a program dubbed RISE (Research Into Supersonic Environment), ostensibly to obtain real-world data on Mach 3 flight for the F-108 interceptor and B-70 bomber that they were developing for the USAF. On this first attempt, the booster performed well, but after separation the cruise stage fuel system failed, and ramjet ignition never occurred. The cruise stage impacted 150 km downrange.


1958 September 12 - .
  • The ballistic missile division reorganized to meet the demands of new military space programs. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The deputy commander organizational structure, under which the division carried out its development mission and support functions, was enlarged to four deputy commanders--one each for ballistic missiles, military space systems, installations, and resources. 3 (Hist, The Space Systems Division--Background (1957-1962), Feb 63, prep by SSD Hist Div.)


1958 September 12 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Platform: B-57A. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Recruit T55.
1958 September 14 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. Launch Complex: Cuxhaven. Launch Vehicle: Mohr Rocket.
  • Mohr Rocket reaches 50 km altitude - . Nation: Germany.

    Three launches were made from Arensch, including two successful launches of the prototype of the large meteorological rocket developed by Ernst Mohr of Wuppertall. The launches were witnessed by Vice-President Ross. The redesigned Mohr rockets were 2.5 m long, 30 cm in diameter, had a total mass of 80 kg and produced 7.8 tonnes thrust. Cutoff velocity was 1200 m/s at 1200 m altitude. The payload dart then separated and coasted up to 50 km altitude. It was later planned to install meteorological instruments on these rockets.


1958 September 14 - .
  • Birth of John Bennett Herrington - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Herrington. American test pilot mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-113..

1958 September 14 - . 05:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B.
  • Research and development / AFSWC-2 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi).

1958 September 15 - .
  • Vostok final project signed by Korolev. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Vostok. This allowed for full production drawing release to the fabrication shops and the beginning of tests of the spacecraft systems..

1958 September 16 - . 16:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Release 6 (Cs) 69km Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1958 September 17 - .
  • NASA/ARPA Manned Satellite Panel - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    A joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Advanced Research Projects Agency Manned Satellite Panel was formed. This panel, with the aid of technical studies prepared by the Langley and Lewis Research Centers and assistance from the military services, drafted specific plans for a program of research leading to manned space flight.


1958 September 17 - .
  • X-1E Flight 22 - . Crew: Walker, Joseph. Payload: X-1E flight 22. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Walker, Joseph. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 21. Stability and control with ventral fins and a new stabilizer bell crank permitting greater stabilizer travel..

1958 September 17 - .
  • A joint Manned Satellite Panel was established by the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury. (Rpt, Comparison of NASA Manned Space Program and USAF Manned Military Space Proposal, 25 Feb 60.).

1958 September 17 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. FAILURE: Programmed maneuver at re-entry and impact in deep water. Accurate survey not possible. CC-57.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Missile test failure. Missed aimpoint by 990 m..

1958 September 18 - . 21:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 September 19 - .
  • X-1E Flight 23 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 23. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 22. Checkout flight for John McKay..

1958 September 19 - . LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: DF-1.
  • Missile development plans set. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Program: Long March. Fifth Academy finalizes plan to proceed development of indigenous Dong Feng missiles (original DF-1, DF-2, DF-3 designations).

1958 September 19 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • The Minuteman reentry vehicle contract was formally awarded to the Avco Manufacturing Corporation. - .

1958 September 19 - . 00:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5A.
  • E-1 Sodium test Aeronomy/Ionosphere/Meteorite mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 430 km (260 mi). Carried dogs to 430 km altitude..

1958 September 20 - . 05:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 September 22 - .
  • Birth of Dr Vasili Yuryevich Lukyanyuk - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Lukyanyuk. Russian physician cosmonaut, 1989-2003..

1958 September 22 - . 03:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100 (A-1).
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 September 23 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Juno V project objective changed to multistage carrier vehicle - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Roy, Medaris, von Braun. Program: Horizon.

    Following a Memorandum of Agreement between Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Director Roy W. Johnson on this date and a meeting on November 4, ARPA and AOMC representatives agreed to extend the Juno V project. The objective of ARPA Order 14 was changed from booster feasibility demonstration to "the development of a reliable high performance booster to serve as the first stage of a multistage carrier vehicle capable of performing advanced missions."


1958 September 23 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok-L 8K72. FAILURE: Launcher disintegrated 93 seconds after launch due to longitudinal resonance of strap-ons.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Luna failure - booster disintegrated at T+92 seconds - . Payload: E-1 s/n 1. Mass: 361 kg (795 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Glushko, Korolev. Agency: MVS. Program: Luna. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Luna E-1. This was the start of an acrimonious debated between Glushko and Korolev design bureaux over the fault and fix for the problem..

1958 September 24-October 1 - .
  • Basic plan for a manned satellite program. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget, Gilruth. Program: Mercury.

    A series of meetings were held in Washington, with Robert R. Gilruth serving as chairman to draft a manned satellite program and provide a basic plan for meeting the objectives of this program. Others attending included S. B. Batdorf, A. J. Eggers, Maxime A. Faget, George Low, Warren North, Walter C. Williams, and Robert C. Youngquist.


1958 September 24 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral RW30/12. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho X-10.
  • Navaho X-10 Drone BOMARC target mission 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: Navaho.

    The remaining X-10's were expended as targets for Bomarc and Nike antiaircraft missiles. The X-10 flew out over the ocean, then accelerated toward the Cape at supersonic speed. A Bomarc A missile came within lethal miss distance. The X-10 then autolanded on the Skid Strip, but both the drag chute and landing barrier failed. The vehicle ran off the runway and exploded.


1958 September 25 - .
  • NASA would be activated on October 1, 1958. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan. Dr. T. Keith Glennan, NASA Administrator, announced publicly that NASA would be activated on October 1, 1958..

1958 September 25 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 September 25 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Exos sounding rocket.
  • Model 2 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL, NASA. Apogee: 460 km (280 mi).

1958 September 25 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC21/1. Launch Pad: LC21/pad?. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 September 26 - .
  • Evaluation of life support Phase I contractor efforts at North American Aviation and General Electric was completed. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    The studies of both contractors were considered excellent. The contract winner, however, was not announced because the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was taking over the manned space program. The mockup of the manned capsule developed I by North American Aviation, together with associated technical data was, subsequently, delivered to the civilian agency's Space Task Group at Langley Re"-search Center., (Rpt, Comparison of NASA Manned Space Program and USAF Manned Military Space Proposal, 25 Feb 60, prep by AFBMD; Cmdrs Ref Book, 25 Mar 59.)


1958 September 26 - . 15:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. Launch Vehicle: Vanguard. FAILURE: Insufficient 2nd stage thrust - unknown cause.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Vanguard 2D - . Payload: Cloud cover satellite. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Vanguard. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. Decay Date: 1958-09-26 . COSPAR: F580926A. Apogee: 426 km (264 mi).

1958 September 27 - . 03:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100 (A-1).
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 September 28 - . 19:42 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 40.0 N x 150.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-31. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test / solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi). Nike-Asp test flight from Navy LSD Point Defiance near Puka Island reached 225 km, the highest altitude ever reached by ship-launched rocket, in preliminary test of Nike-Asp for use in IGY solar eclipse studies..

1958 September 30 - .
  • X-1E Flight 24 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 24. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 23. Check of low-speed stability and control..

1958 September 30 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC22. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 October - .
  • Lovelace to conduct NASA Mercury astronaut medical examinations. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan.

    Dr. W. Randolph Lovelace II was appointed by NASA Headquarters as Chairman of a Special Committee on Life Sciences by T. Keith Glennan, the NASA Administrator. After prospective astronaut candidates were interviewed in Washington, D. C., those chosen for further consideration received medical examinations at the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


1958 October - .
  • Drop tests of full-scale Mercury capsules started - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury, Mercury Parachute.

    Drop tests of full-scale capsules from a C-130 airplane were started to check parachute deployment and spacecraft stability. Preliminary drops of the parachute system were made from a NASA helicopter at West Point, Virginia. These drops involved the use of a concrete-filled drum attached to an operating canister system. The purpose of this phase was to demonstrate the adequacy of the mechanical system of deploying the parachutes. Subsequently, the drops were made by the C-130's at Pope Field, North Carolina, from low levels to perfect a means of extracting the spacecraft from the aircraft. Full-scale spacecraft and operating parachutes were used in these drops, and all operational features of the drop-test program were worked out. The next phase was the research and development drops offshore of Wallops Island, Virginia, and the objectives here were as follows: to study the stability of the spacecraft during free fall and with parachute support; to study the shock input to the spacecraft by parachute deployment; and to study and develop retrieving operations.


1958 October - . Launch Vehicle: Little Joe.
  • Design work started on Mercury Little Joe - . Nation: USA. Design work was started on the Little Joe vehicles and test model spacecraft..

1958 October 1 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur LV-3C.
  • Centaur engine contract awarded. - . Nation: USA. Air Force awarded contract Pratt & Whitney for Centaur vehicle with hydrogen-burning chamber based on research of Lewis Research Center between 1953 and 1957. Centaur project later transferred to NASA..

1958 October 1 - .
  • NASA created - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station.

    NASA was activated in accordance with the terms of Public Law 85-568, and the nonmilitary space projects which had been conducted by the Advanced Research Projects Agency were transferred to the jurisdiction of the NASA. Concurrently, NACA, after a 43-year tenure, was inactivated, and its facilities and personnel became a part of NASA.


1958 October 3-7 - .
  • Plans of the Mercury manned satellite project presented to Advanced Research Projects Agency. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    Studies and plans of the manned satellite project were presented to Advanced Research Projects Agency on October 3 and to Dr. T. Keith Glennan, NASA Administrator, on October 7. On October 7, 1958, Dr. Glennan approved the project by saying, in effect, 'Let's get on with it.'


1958 October 3 - . 03:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100 (A-1).
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 October 4 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • Cooke AFB redesignated Vandenberg AFB - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Vandenberg, Hoyt. Cooke AFB redesignated Vandenberg AFB, honoring the late General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the Air Force's second Chief of Staff. Vandenberg AFB, first operational ICBM base in free world, was dedicated..

1958 October 4 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg.
  • Cooke AFB, California, was formally redesignated Vandenberg AFB in memory of the late Air Force Chief of Staff, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (1899-1954). - .

1958 October 4 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere-solar mission Ionosphere-solar mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1958 October 4 - . 15:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1958 October 5 - .
  • Birth of Andre Kuipers - . Nation: Netherlands. Related Persons: Kuipers. Dutch engineer cosmonaut, payload specialist astronaut. Flew on ISS Delta..

1958 October 5 - .
  • Birth of Brent Ward Jr Jett - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Jett. American test pilot astronaut. Flew on STS-72, STS-81, STS-97, STS-115..

1958 October 6 - .
  • Negotiations for Redstone and Jupiter launch vehicles for Mercury project. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Mercury. Personnel from the Langley Research Center visited the Army Ballistic Missile Agency to open negotiations for procuring Redstone and Jupiter launch vehicles for manned satellite projects..

1958 October 6 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: HJ Nike Nike Recruit.
  • Polaris Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 26 km (16 mi).

1958 October 7-8 - .
  • Study of Mercury reentry methods. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury, Mercury Heat Shield.

    Personnel from the Space Task Group involved in the study of reentry methods visited the Air Force Wright Air Development Center, Dayton, Ohio, for the purpose of preparing test specimens. Along with individuals from the center and the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, the group then met at the Chicago Midway Laboratories, Chicago, Illinois, to investigate various ablation methods of reentry. Concurrently, these same methods were being investigated at high-temperature test facilities at Langley.


1958 October 7 - .
  • Project Mercury organized. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    NASA formally organized Project Mercury to: (1) place manned space capsule in orbital flight around the earth; (2) investigate man's reactions to and capabilities in this environment; and (3) recover capsule and pilot safely. A NASA Space Task Group organized at Langley Research Center drew up specifications for the Mercury capsule, based on studies by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics during the preceding 12 months, and on discussions with the Air Force which had been conducting related studies.


1958 October 7 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Hi Ball 3 Balloon test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Cleveland. Apogee: 244 km (151 mi).

1958 October 8 - .
  • Manhigh III - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Man-high. Manhigh III reached 98,000 feet (29,900 m) with Lieutenant Clifton McClure aboard..

1958 October 8 - .
  • A National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Task Group was organized to direct and conduct Project Mercury. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury. (Ibid.; J. M. Grimwood, Project Mercury, A Chronology, 1963, NASA MSC Publication HR-i.).

1958 October 9 - .
  • Mercury air drop program for full-scale parachute and landing system development. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury, Mercury Parachute. In behalf of the manned satellite project, an air drop program for full-scale parachute and landing system development was started at Langley..

1958 October 9 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • The Boeing Airplane Company was selected as the assembly and test contractor for the Minuteman missile. - .

1958 October 10 - .
  • Birth of Dr John Mace Grunsfeld - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Grunsfeld. American physicist mission specialist astronaut 1992-2010. Flew on STS-67, STS-81, STS-103, STS-109, STS-125..

1958 October 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 October 10 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1958 October 10 - . 03:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM. FAILURE: Destroyed after 49 seconds of erratic flight caused by fire in the tail section.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville, USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

    Fired from AMR at 2249 hours EST. The missile was destroyed after 49 seconds of erratic flight caused by fire in the tail section. The fire was believed to have started by a pin-hole leak near the thrust transducer which burned through the fuel and LOX transducer lines. This was the first Jupiter missile to use swivelled turbine exhaust for roll contral, also first use of solid vernier control.


1958 October 10 - . 13:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere-solar mission Ionosphere-solar mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1958 October 11 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18/pad?.
  • Thor Able second test. - . Nation: USA.

    PIONEER I, U.S.-IGY space probe under direction of NASA and with the AFBMD as executive agent, launched from AMR, Cape Canaveral, Fla., by a Thor-Able-I booster. It raveled 70,700 miles before returning to earth, determined radial extent of great radiation belt, first observations of earth's and interplanetary magnetic field, and first measurements of micrometeorite density in interplanetary space.


1958 October 11 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Contract for development of the H-1 engine - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Pioneer I, intended as a lunar probe, was launched by a Thor-Able rocket from the Atlantic Missile Range, with the Air Force acting as executive agent to NASA. The 39-pound instrumented payload did not reach escape velocity..

1958 October 11 - . 08:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok-L 8K72. FAILURE: Launcher disintegrated 104 seconds after launch due to longitudinal resonance of strap-ons.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Luna failure - booster disintegrated at T+104 seconds - . Payload: E-1 s/n 2. Mass: 361 kg (795 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Program: Luna. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Luna E-1.

1958 October 11 - . 08:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able I. FAILURE: Third stage produced insufficient thrust. Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Pioneer 1 - . Payload: Pioneer 1 / Able 2. Mass: 38 kg (83 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Pioneer. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 0-1-2. Decay Date: 1958-10-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 110 . COSPAR: 1958-Eta-1. A Thor/Able launched the NASA Pioneer I, the first successful space probe, to a new altitude record of over 70,000 miles. AFBMD provided the vehicle and launched it under NASA direction. Set distance record; failed to reach moon..

1958 October 12 - .
  • Rocket tests from Easter Island. - . Nation: USA. Naval Research Laboratory rocket firings in Easter Island region of the South Pacific from U.S.S. Point Defiance, reached 139, 148, 152, and 150 miles altitude to chart solar spectrum in the utraviolet and X-ray portion..

1958 October 12 - . 08:32 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 40.0 N x 150.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-31. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar extreme ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 222 km (137 mi). Launched by vessel LSD-31 during 1958 Point Defiance Expedition, Pacific Ocean..

1958 October 12 - . 08:42 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 40.0 N x 150.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-31. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar extreme ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 236 km (146 mi). Launched by vessel LSD-31 during 1958 Point Defiance Expedition, Pacific Ocean..

1958 October 12 - . 08:43 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 40.0 N x 150.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-31. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar extreme ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 242 km (150 mi). Launched by vessel LSD-31 during 1958 Point Defiance Expedition, Pacific Ocean..

1958 October 12 - . 08:52 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 40.0 N x 150.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-31. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Solar extreme ultraviolet and x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 240 km (140 mi). Launched by vessel LSD-31 during 1958 Point Defiance Expedition, Pacific Ocean..

1958 October 13 - . 19:40 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 40.0 N x 150.0 W. Launch Platform: LSD-31. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi). Misfired on the day of the eclipse. Launched a day later by vessel LSD-31 during 1958 Point Defiance Expedition, Pacific Ocean..

1958 October 14 - .
  • DX priority could be requested for NASA projects. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply and Logistics invited the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to submit nominations for materiel procurement urgency (commonly known as the DX priority rating)..

1958 October 14 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • The Boeing Airplane Company was awarded a contract as the missile assembly and test contractor for Minuteman. - .

1958 October 15 - .
  • X-15 rollout. - . Nation: USA. Program: X-15. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-15A. First of a series of three X-15 experimental rocket-powered manned research aircraft was rolled out at the Los Angeles plant of North American Aviation, Inc., in the joint USAF-USN-NASA program..

1958 October 15 - . 01:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Vehicle test / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1958 October 16 - .
  • X-1E Flight 25 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 25. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 24. First flight with elevated chamber pressure; cut short because overcast obscured pilot's view of lakebed..

1958 October 16 - . Launch Site: Sary Shagan. Launch Complex: Sary Shagan LC6. Launch Vehicle: V-1000.
  • State trials missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: PKO. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi).

1958 October 17-18 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Negotiations for Mercury Atlas launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Langley Research Center personnel visited the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division, Inglewood, California, to open negotiations for procuring Atlas launch vehicles for the manned satellite project..

1958 October 17 - . 04:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100 (A-1).
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 October 18 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1958 October 20 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Titan missile A-2, scheduled for the first flight test, exploded during captive tests at Denver. - .

1958 October 20 - . 22:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Ionospheric Te Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1958 October 21 - . Launch Vehicle: Little Joe.
  • Bidders' briefing for the Mercury Little Joe launch vehicle. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury.

    A bidders' briefing for the Little Joe launch vehicle was held. As earlier mentioned, this launch vehicle was to be used in the development phase of the manned satellite project. The Little Joe launch vehicle was 48 feet in height, weighed (at maximum) 41,330 pounds, was 6.66 feet in diameter, consisted of four Pollux and four Recruit clustered, solid-fuel rockets, could develop a thrust of 250,000 pounds, and could lift a maximum payload of 3,942 pounds.


1958 October 22 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur.
  • The Advanced Research Projects Agency informed the Air Force that it planned to develop a satellite communications system. - . Spacecraft: Advent. The Army would be responsible for development of the communications payload, while the Air Force was assigned the booster and satellite vehicle..

1958 October 22 - . 14:22 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Asp. Launch Vehicle: Nike Asp.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 October 22 - . 16:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 300. FAILURE: Shut down early by range safety when the missile went off course..
  • Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 177 km (109 mi). First flight of the Aerobee 300 / Spaerobee. The Aerobee was shut down early by range safety when the missile went off course..

1958 October 23 - .
  • Preliminary specifications for Mercury manned spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Preliminary specifications for a manned spacecraft were established with industry. These specifications outlined the program and suggested methods of analysis and construction..

1958 October 23 - .
  • The first of a series of meetings between the Space Task Group and Air Force Ballistic Missile Division was held to define support required by the civilian space agency. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The scope of the manned space effort, its booster requirements, procurement procedures, launch schedules and facilities, were defined. The missile division also needed to define the extent of its own role in the. Mercury program. Control of booster procurement, scheduling use of scarce ground and launch facilities in the face of possible interference with ballistic missile development, and the desire to use the existing Air Force Ballistic Missile Division/ Space Technology Laboratories management structure in carrying out the support role were some of the questions and policies to be resolved. Th3 first meeting was exploratory in nature; the missile division indicated its complete support of the Mercury program insofar as it did not interfere with the missile development effort; the space agency indicated its desire to procure boosters through, and use as much of Air Force Ballistic Missile Division's resources and capabilities as possible. (Rpt, AFBMD Support, Project Mercury, Dec 1960, prep by AFBMD Space Div (WDZ.)


1958 October 23 - . LV Family: Titan.
  • Titan missile A-3, now scheduled for the first Titan flight test, was delivered to the Air Force by the Martin Company. - .

1958 October 23 - . 03:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Redstone. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter C. FAILURE: Upper stages separated prior to burnout. Structural failure after 149 sec due to vibration disturbances generated by the spinning payload.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Beacon 1 - . Mass: 4.00 kg (8.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Beacon 1. Decay Date: 1958-10-22 .

    NASA¾with the Army as executive agent¾attempted to launch a 12-foot-diameter inflatable satellite of micro-thin plastic covered with aluminum foil known as BEACON. Launched from AMR by a Juno I¾a modified Redstone, the payload prematurely separated prior to booster burnout.


1958 October 24 - . Launch Vehicle: Redstone.
  • Redstone static firing at White Sands. - . Nation: USA. The Redstone underwent static firing at White Sands Missile Range, the first time such a test had been conducted there..

1958 October 25 - .
  • Stever Committee report on the civilian space program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM ECS, CSM Source Selection.

    The Stever Committee, which had been set up on January 12, submitted its report on the civilian space program to NASA. Among the recommendations:

    • A vigorous, coordinated attack should be made upon the problems of maintaining the performance capabilities of man in the space environment as a prerequisite to sophisticated space exploration.
    • Sustained support should be given to a comprehensive instrumentation development program, establishment of versatile dynamic flight simulators, and provision of a coordinated series of vehicles for testing components and subsystems.
    • Serious study should be made of an equatorial launch capability.
    • Lifting reentry vehicles should be developed.
    • Both the clustered- and single-engine boosters of million-pound thrust should be developed.
    • Research on high-energy propellant systems for launch vehicle upper stages should receive full support.
    • The performance capabilities of various combinations of existing boosters and upper stages should be evaluated, and intensive development concentrated on those promising greatest usefulness in different categories of payload.

1958 October 25 - . 19:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 300.
  • Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 418 km (259 mi).

1958 October 27 - .
  • Committee to determine Mercury astronaut qualifications. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury.

    A special Committee on Life Sciences was established at Langley to determine qualifications and attributes required of personnel to be selected for America's first manned space flight and to give advice on other human aspects of the manned satellite program.


1958 October 28 - .
  • X-1E Flight 26 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 26. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 25. Elevated chamber pressure; good stability and control data gathered..

1958 October 30 - .
  • A second Space Task Group Air Force Ballistic Missile Division meeting, held at Langley Research Center, continued the task of developing a coordinated Project Mercury effort. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The space agency offered a tentative launch and test program and the missile division assisted in preparing a development plan. Schedules, operating procedures, funding and general allocation of responsibilities were discussed but the meeting was not marked by any major agreements. (Rpt, AFBMD Support, Proj Mercury, Dec 1960 prep by AFBMD Space Div (WDZ.)


1958 October 31 - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • First R-11A? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1958 October 31 - . 11:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5A.
  • Infrared atmosphere Ionosphere / solar / biology mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 410 km (250 mi). Carried dogs to 415 km altitude..

1958 October 31 - . 19:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi).

1958 October 31 - . 20:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Arctic cloud cover Meteorological / imaging mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 119 km (73 mi).

1958 November 1 - .
  • Contract for lunar mapping photography - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo.

    A contract was signed by the University of Manchester, Manchester, England, and the Air Force (AF 61(052)-168) for $21,509. Z. Kopal, principal investigator, was to provide topographical information on the lunar surface for production of accurate lunar maps. Additional Details: here....


1958 November-December - .
  • Study on spacecraft recovery operations. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    Study was started on spacecraft recovery operations. During this study period, it was learned that the retrieving operation could be very difficult; but with properly designed equipment, helicopter pickup could be used and appeared to be the most favorable method.


1958 November - .
  • Mercury scale model transonic tests. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury, Mercury Escape Tower. A scale model of the Mercury spacecraft (without escape tower), oriented for the reentry phase, was tested at transonic Mach numbers in a 1-foot transonic test tunnel at the Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tullahoma, Tennessee..

1958 November 1 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • F-1 engine gets highest priority. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA requested DX priority for 1.5-million-pound-thrust F-1 engine project and Project Mercury..

1958 November 1 - .
  • Vostok spacecraft and Zenit spy satellite authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Vostok, Zenit-2 satellite, Zenit-4.

    Council of Chief Designers Decree 'On course of work on the piloted spaceship' was issued. Council of Chief designers approved the Vostok manned space program, in combination with Zenit spy satellite program Korolev was authorised to proceed with development of a spacecraft to achieve manned flights at the earliest possible date. However the design would be such that the same spacecraft could be used to fulfil the military's unmanned photo reconnaissance satellite requirement. The military resisted, but Korolev won. This was formalised in a decree of 25 May 1959.


1958 November 1 - .
  • The Dyna-Soar preliminary two-step development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. The Dyna-Soar project office completed a preliminary development plan, involving a two-step program: the development of a research vehicle and then a weapon system..

1958 November 1 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Nuclear test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 November 3 - .
  • Mercury astronaut training plans. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. The initial contingent of military service aeromedical personnel reported for duty and began working on human factors, crew selection, and crew training plans for the manned spacecraft program..

1958 November 3 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Nuclear test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 November 3 - . 12:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Guam. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 75.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 54 km (33 mi).

1958 November 4 - . 16:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Arctic cloud cover Meteorological / imaging mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1958 November 5 - .
  • Space Task Group (STG) organized to implement the manned satellite project - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth, Glennan. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    The Space Task Group (STG) was officially organized at Langley Field, Va., to implement the manned satellite project (later Project Mercury), NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan had approved the formation of the Group, which had been working together for some months, on October 7. Its members were designated on November 3 by Robert R. Gilruth, Project Manager, and authorization was given by Floyd L. Thompson, Acting Director of Langley Research Center. STG would report directly to NASA Headquarters.


1958 November 5 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur.
  • The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) made the Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory (ASRDL) and the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) responsible for milcomsats. - . Spacecraft: Advent. This covered communications and vehicular aspects of the first U.S. military communications satellite program. Booster and spacecraft development were assigned to AFBMD..

1958 November 5 - . 08:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). The initial launch of an operationally configured Thor IRBM (SM-75) was conducted at Cape Canaveral, but the missile had to be destroyed at T+35 seconds after the pitch attitude gyro malfunctioned. .

1958 November 6 - .
  • X-1E Flight 27 - . Crew: McKay. Payload: X-1E flight 27. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McKay. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft Bus: XS-1. Spacecraft: X-1E. NACA flight 26. Elevated chamber pressure; low-altitude and low-mach investigation of U-Deta fuel. Last NASA flight..

1958 November 6 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Honest John.
  • Corvus Model test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1958 November 6 - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1958 November 6 - . 00:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. Launch Vehicle: Redstone. FAILURE: Boost phase normal. Space phase malfunction..
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Redstone final development test. Missile test failure. Missed aimpoint by 5,010 m..

1958 November 7 - .
  • Contractor briefing on the Mercury manned spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury.

    A contractor briefing, attended by some 40 prospective bidders on the manned spacecraft, was held at the Langley Research Center. More detailed specifications were then prepared and distributed to about 20 manufacturers who had stated an intention to bid on the project.


1958 November 8 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur.
  • ARPA requested a joint Army-Air Force development plan for a 24-hour, synchronous equatorial orbit communications satellite. - . Spacecraft: Advent. The Army Signal Corps was to be responsible for the ground and satellite communications while the Air Force (AFBMD) was to handle satellite spacecraft, booster, and launch services..

1958 November 8 - . 01:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Infrared airglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 139 km (86 mi).

1958 November 8 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able I. FAILURE: Third stage ignition unsuccessful.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Pioneer 2 - . Payload: Pioneer 2 / Able 3. Mass: 39 kg (85 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Pioneer. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 0-1-2. Decay Date: 1958-11-08 . Apogee: 1,550 km (960 mi). Pioneer 2 was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range, using a Thor-Able booster, the Air Force acting as executive agent to NASA. The 86.3-pound instrumented payload, intended as a lunar probe, failed to reach escape velocity..

1958 November 10 - . 20:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 November 11 - . 21:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Radiation Chemical release / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SUI. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1958 November 12 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur.
  • Headquarters ARDC informed AFBMD that it would be responsible for the booster and spacecraft portions of the 24-hour communications satellite program. - . Spacecraft: Advent, .

1958 November 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).

1958 November 13 - . 08:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Infrared airglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: CARDE. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi).

1958 November 13 - . 17:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Arctic cloud cover Meteorological / imaging mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 119 km (73 mi).

1958 November 14 - .
  • Twenty firms to bid on Mercury spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Twenty firms notified the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of their intention to prepare proposals for the development of the manned spacecraft. NASA set the deadline for proposal submission as December 11, 1958..

1958 November 14 - .
  • Specifications for Mercury issued. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Specifications for the manned spacecraft (Specification Number S-6) were issued, and final copies were mailed on November 17, 1958, to 20 firms which had indicated a desire to be considered as bidders..

1958 November 14 - .
  • DX priority requested for Mercury project. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. The highest national procurement priority rating (DX) was requested for the manned spacecraft project..

1958 November 14 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC22. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 November 15 - .
  • At the request of John W. McCormack, Chairman of House Committee on Aeronautics and Space Exploration, Major General B. A Schriever prepared a paper, "Space Development Capabilities 1958-1968" - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Lunex.

    This eloquently projected space advances and goals over the next decade. Schriever pointed out that above developments in any other technical area ". improvements in rocket thrust--our lifting capability -will be a direct determinant of our overall). rate of progress, " To this date the rate of progress in space rested directly on the nation's missile program. Another area of primary concern was increasing the reliability of all elements of a space system. with significant improvements in these two areas the nation could anticipate ever increasing payloads placed in orbit, manned orbital satellites and space stations , lunar flights and near planetary explorations. Recoverable chemical powered boosters, ion beam or thermo-nuclear plasma propulsion systems outer space would open an ent; rely new phase of space exploration. Thus in the months and years ahead it was possible to foresee many dramatic developments in propulsion systems, high thrust space vehicles and a vastly increased knowledge of the space environment. (Paper, "Space Development Capability, 1958-1968, " submitted 15 Nov 58, prep by Maj Gen B. A. Schriever, Cmdr, AFBIVID.)


1958 November 16 - . 06:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Auroral/Fields/Ultraviolet Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 163 km (101 mi).

1958 November 17 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 November 18 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 800 km (490 mi).

1958 November 18 - . 16:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Arctic cloud cover Meteorological / imaging mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 116 km (72 mi).

1958 November 18 - . 21:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC9. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho G-26. FAILURE: Disintegrated at moment of booster shutdown.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Navaho G-26 Flight 11 RISE-2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 23 km (14 mi). The vehicle disintegrated at 23.5 km altitude at the time of booster shutdown and cruse stage separation. The USAF canceled further RISE flights and this definitively marked the end of the Navaho..

1958 November 19 - .
  • Birth of Jean-Francois Andre Clervoy - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Clervoy. French engineer cosmonaut, mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-66, STS-84, STS-103..

1958 November 19 - .
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Space Task Group met at Air Force Missile Test Center, received an orientation briefing and a tour of the Cape launching facilities. - . Spacecraft: Mercury. (Paper, AFBMD Support, Proj Mercury, Dec 60, prep by AFBMD Space Div (WD Z). I.

1958 November 19 - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

1958 November 19 - . 20:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Tonopah. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Deacon Arrow II.
  • RW-104 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1958 November 19 - . 21:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • B / ne probe Fields mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1958 November 20 - . 03:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Chemical release / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: SUI. Apogee: 3.00 km (1.80 mi).

1958 November 21 - . 06:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 460 km (280 mi).

1958 November 22 - . 17:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Guam. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 75.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 59 km (36 mi).

1958 November 23 - . 22:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Atmospheric pressure, rho values Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi).

1958 November 24 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Space Task Group orders first Mercury Atlas missile. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury.

    The Space Task Group placed an order for one Atlas launch vehicle with the Air Force Missile Division, Inglewood, California, as part of a preliminary research program leading to manned space flight. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters requested that the Air Force construct and launch one Atlas C launch vehicle to check the aerodynamics of the spacecraft. It was the intention to launch this missile about May 1959 in a ballistic trajectory. This was to be the launch vehicle for the Big Joe reentry test shot, but plans were later changed and an Atlas Model D launch vehicle was used instead.


1958 November 24 - . 06:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Electron density Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 207 km (128 mi).

1958 November 25 - . Launch Vehicle: Thor, Atlas.
  • Air Force Ballistic Missile Division received its first specific request.from the civilian space agency to support a "preliminary research program leading to manned space flight." - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest, Mercury.

    The division was requested to procure one Atlas C ballistic missile booster with its associated control and guidance equipment." '... This request was a forerunner of a support effort for a program "requiring approximately thirteen (13) ballistic missile boosters of the Thor and Atlas class."' The space agency would procure the payload, scheduled for May 1959 delivery. The missile division was to furnish detailed plans, subject to the approval of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for the design, construction and launching of this vehicle. One million dollars was immediately transferred to the Air Force with more money to be supplied as it was requested. (Msg, no cite number, Hq NASA, to Cmds. AFBMD, 25 Nov 58.)


1958 November 26 - .
  • Project Mercury named. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Mercury. Project Mercury, U.S. manned-satellite program, was officially named by NASA..

1958 November 26 - . 09:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). First operational launch.

1958 November 28 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • First successful full-range Atlas flight. 5, 506 nautical miles down range. (AF Ballistic Missiles Program Status Report.) - .

1958 November 28 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC22. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 November 28 - . 20:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 November 29 - . 02:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B.
  • Research and development / AFSWC-3 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi). Less than 18 months after the first flight, a USAF Atlas made its first successful full-range operational test flight in a 6,325 statute-mile flight, landed close to its target..

1958 November 29 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee Hi.
  • Auroral / Ultraviolet Phot Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

1958 November 30 - . 18:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 300.
  • Te probe Test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 304 km (188 mi).

1958 November 30 - . 22:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • B / ne probe Fields mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1958 December - .
  • Mercury Manned Space Capsule Source Selection Board. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. A draft checklist entitled 'Overall Technical Assessment of Proposals for Manned Space Capsule,' was prepared by the Space Task Group for use by the Source Selection Board..

1958 December 1 - .
  • Design of the Mercury Big Joe spacecraft completed. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury.

    Design of the Big Joe spacecraft for the Project Mercury reentry test (the spacecraft would be boosted by an Atlas launch vehicle over a ballistic trajectory) was accomplished by the Space Task Group. Construction of the spacecraft was assigned as a joint task of the Langley and Lewis Research Centers under the direction of the Space Task Group. The instrument package was developed by Lewis personnel assigned to the Space Task Group, and these individuals later became the nucleus of the Space Task Group's Flight Operations Division at Cape Canaveral.


1958 December 1 - .
  • Tsien joins Communist Party - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien was allowed to join the Communist Party..

1958 December 1 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • While the probability of the ballistic missile division developing a military manned space system was rapidly diminishing, military and civilian demand for space boosters was accelerating. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    Except for certain strictly military applications it was plain the Air Force would play mainly a supporting role in the nation's space program, supplying boosters and launch facilities to the civilian .space agency and the Advanced Research Projects Agency. On this date there were approximately 11 scheduled programs, several only in the planning stage. One of the firm programs was the civilian agency's man in space which was scheduled to launch its first experimental Atlas C payload in May 1959 and start a series of nine Atlas D launches beginning December 1959. (Ltr, Col L. D. Ely, Asst Dep Cmdr, Military Space Sys, AFBMD, to Col C. H. Terhune, 1 Dec 58, subj: Atlas Boosters for Space Projects.)


1958 December 1 - . 19:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 300. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Field / ne probe Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 97 km (60 mi).

1958 December 2 - .
  • Redstone and Jupiter launch vehicle use on Mercury discussed. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Mercury.

    Space Task Group officials visited the Army Ballistic Missile Agency to determine the feasibility of using the Jupiter launch vehicle for the intermediate phase of Project Mercury, to discuss the Redstone program, and to discuss the cost for Redstone and Jupiter launch vehicles.


1958 December 3 - .
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory transferred to NASA - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Eisenhower.

    By Executive Order, President Dwight D. Eisenhower transferred the Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL, a government-owned facility staffed and operated by the California Institute of Technology, from Army to NASA jurisdiction. The new JPL radio telescope at Camp Irwin, Calif., called the Goldstone Tracking Facility, was capable of maintaining radio contact at distances of up to 400,000 miles and was the first of NASA's deep-space tracking stations.


1958 December 3 - .
  • Army / NASA cooperative agreements - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan, von Braun. Program: Apollo.

    Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker and NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan signed cooperative agreements concerning NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Army Ordnance Missile Command AOMC, and Department of the Army relationships. The agreement covering NASA utilization of the von Braun team made "the AOMC and its subordinate organizations immediately, directly, and continuously responsive to NASA requirements."


1958 December 3 - .
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration representatives met at Air Force Ballistic Missile Division to hear a Space Technology Laboratories briefing on its space capsule efforts. - . Spacecraft: Mercury.

1958 December 3 - . 10:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1958 December 3 - . 18:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 300.
  • Field / ne probe Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1958 December 4 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok-L 8K72. FAILURE: Core engines shut off at 245 seconds into the flight. Cause was a loss of lubrication to the hydrogen peroxide pump.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Luna failure - booster core shut down at T+245 seconds - . Payload: E-1 s/n 3. Mass: 361 kg (795 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Program: Luna. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Luna E-1.

1958 December 4 - . 01:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. LV Family: Long Tom. Launch Vehicle: Aeolus.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Australia. Agency: WRE. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1958 December 5 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Terrier.
  • First Terrier sounding flight. - . Nation: USA. Modified Navy Terrier rocket with camera launched to an altitude of 86 miles from Wallops Island, providing a 1,000-mile composite photograph of a frontal cloud formation..

1958 December 5 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC21/1. Launch Pad: LC21/pad?. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 December 6 - .
  • Soviet space industry downsized. - . Nation: Russia. Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 1550-659 'On reorganisation of the missile and space industry' was issued..

1958 December 6 - .
  • Death of Hans Rudolph Friedrich - . Nation: Germany, USA. Related Persons: Friedrich. German engineer in WW2, member of the Rocket Team in the United States thereafter..

1958 December 6 - . 00:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1958 December 6 - . 05:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC5. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Juno II. FAILURE: First Stage shut down too early. Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Pioneer 3 - . Mass: 6.00 kg (13.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Pioneer. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Pioneer 3-4. Decay Date: 1958-12-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 111 . COSPAR: 1958-Theta-1.

    Failed to reach moon; provided radiation data. Pioneer III, the third U.S.-IGY intended lunar probe under the direction of NASA with the Army acting as executive agent, was launched from the Atlantic Missile Range by a Juno II rocket. The primary objective, to place the 12.95 pound scientific payload in the vicinity of the moon, failed. Pioneer III reached an altitude of approximately 70,000 miles and revealed that the earth's radiation belt comprised at least two distinct bands.


1958 December 8 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Nine Atlas launch vehicles required for Project Mercury - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. The Space Task Group indicated that nine Atlas launch vehicles were required in support of the Project Mercury manned and unmanned flights and these were ordered from the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division..

1958 December 8 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ordered nine more Atlas boosters from the missile division for the Mercury Program. - . Spacecraft: Mercury. (NASA Order HS-36, Msg, Hq NASA to AFBMD, 8 Dec 58).

1958 December 8 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 December 9 - .
  • Mercury astronaut selection procedure. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury.

    An aeromedical selection team composed of Major Stanley C. White, Air Force; Lt. Robert B. Voas, Navy; and Captain William Augerson, Army, drafted a tentative astronaut selection procedure. According to the plan, representatives from the services and industry would nominate 150 men by January 21, 1959; 36 of these would be selected for further testing which would reduce the group to 12; and in a 9-month training period, a hard core of 6 men would remain. At the end of December 1958, this plan was rejected.


1958 December 10 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 December 11 - .
  • Eleven firms submitted proposals for the development of Mercury manned spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. These were AVCO, Chance-Vought, Convair, Douglas, Grumman, Lockheed, Martin, McDonnell, North American, Northrop, and Republic. In addition, Winzen Research Laboratories submitted an incomplete proposal..

1958 December 12 - .
  • Mercury technical proposal assessment - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Space Task Group personnel began technical assessment of manned spacecraft development proposals submitted by industry. Charles Zimmermann headed the technical assessment team..

1958 December 13 - . 08:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Bioflight 1 Biological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville, USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

    Gordo launched into space. Fired from AMR at 0353 hours EST. The missile's nose cone impacted in the pre-selected target area at a range of approximately 1,302 nm. The significant mission of the missile was the flight of a South American squirrel monkey `Gordo' up to and down from outer space. Although nose cone recovery efforts failed because the float mechanism attached to the nose cone did not function, telemetry data provided useful biomedical information and disclosed that the Navy-trained squirrel monkey had withstood the space flight and reentry phase without any adverse physiological effects. Gordo was in a weightless state for 8.3 minutes, he experienced a 10g pressure in takeoff, and a 40g pressure upon reentry at 10,000 miles per hour. The flight was considered one of the outstanding achievements of space research. The impact was 5.2 nm over and 0.75 nm to the right of impact point. The overshoot was caused by interaction which occurred at separation between the booster and aft sections. A temporary cable connecting the two bodies had not been removed prior to launch.


1958 December 14 - . Launch Site: Chelkar. LV Family: R-5. Launch Vehicle: R-5M.
  • NIIP-A Target - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1958 December 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • ABMA Briefing to NASA - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Von Braun briefs NASA on plans for booster development at Huntsville with objective of manned lunar landing. Initally proposed using 15 Juno V (Saturn I) boosters to assemble 200,000 kg payload in earth orbit for direct landing on moon..

1958 December 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • First missile launch from Vandenberg AFB - . Nation: USA. First missile launch from Vandenberg AFB - a Thor intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM). The mission was a success..

1958 December 16 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 December 16 - . 23:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Two Thor shots, one from Cape Canaveral and one from Vandenberg AFB, were successful. Intermediate range ballistic missile portion of PMR was inaugurated with successful firing of USAF Thor from Vandenberg AFB..

1958 December 17 - .
  • Project Mercury named - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan announced that the manned satellite program would be called "Project Mercury.".

1958 December 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Military and NASA consider future launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo.

    Representatives of Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military services, and NASA met to consider the development of future launch vehicle systems. Agreement was reached on the principle of developing a small number of versatile launch vehicle systems of different thrust capabilities, the reliability of which could be expected to be improved through use by both the military services and NASA.


1958 December 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn H-1 engine first full-power firing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The H-1 engine successfully completed its first full-power firing at NAA's Rocketdyne facility in Canoga Park, Calif..

1958 December 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Rocketdyne gets contract to develop F-1 engine. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA awarded contract to Rocketdyne of North American to build single-chamber 1.5-million-pound-thrust rocket engine..

1958 December 17 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1958 December 18 - . 23:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas B.
  • Score - . Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Score. Decay Date: 1959-01-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 10 . COSPAR: 1958-Zeta-1. Apogee: 1,484 km (922 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 32.3000 deg. Period: 101.50 min.

    Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment; first commsat; transmitted taped messages for 13 days. Project Score, Atlas rocket placed in orbit carrying communications equipment which relayed President Eisenhower's Christmas message to the world from outer space. (AF Ballistic Missiles Program Status Report.)


1958 December 19 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral AMR DZ. Launch Pad: 29.0 N x 79.0 W. Launch Platform: B-58. Launch Vehicle: High Virgo.
  • High Virgo satellite interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1958 December 20 - . LV Family: Atlas.
  • One of the most important Project Mercury meetings between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the missile division took place. - . Spacecraft: Mercury.

    A series of agreements was approved controlling administrative arrangements and procedural channels essential to coordinated, efficient management of the joint phases of the program. Cost of the Atlas booster was set at $3.5 million, Space Technology Laboratories systems engineering and technical direction of the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division's part in the program was agreed upon, revision of program requirements was accomplished, regular technical and management meetings were arranged, and the missile division promised to prepare a development plan for the first Mercury booster (HS-24) by February 1959. (Ref .J file, AFBMD Support, Proj Mercury, Dec 60.)


1958 December 23 - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1958 December 23 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1958 December 24 - . 04:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas C.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 900 km (550 mi). First Atlas C flight (3C), successful..

1958 December 25 - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 102 km (63 mi).

1958 December 25 - . 13:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A-1 (R-1).
  • Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1958 December 27 - . 09:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100 (A-1).
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 December 28 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350. FAILURE: Vehicle broke up due to an explosion in the empty propellant tank..
  • Burya flight 9 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi).

    Cruise stage tanks 1 and 4 empty. The flight continued to T+309 seconds, the longest to date, at which point the vehicle broke up due to an explosion in the empty propellant tank. The boosters operated normally but separation took place normally at Mach 3.3-3.4 (higher than expected).


1958 December 29 - . Launch Vehicle: Little Joe.
  • Mercury Little Joe air frame contract. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. A contract was awarded to North American Aviation for design and construction of the Little Joe air frame..

1958 December 29 - .
  • Birth of Nancy Jane nee Sherlock Currie - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Currie. American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-57, STS-70, STS-88, STS-109. US Army engineer..

1958 December 30 - .
  • Space Task Group evaluation of industry proposals for Mercury. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. Space Task Group's technical assessment teams completed the evaluation of industry proposals for design and construction of a manned spacecraft and forwarded their findings to the Source Selection Board, NASA Headquarters..

1958 December 30 - .
  • Birth of Steven Lee Smith - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Smith, Steven. American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-68, STS-82, STS-103, STS-110..

1958 December 31 - . Launch Vehicle: Little Joe.
  • Letter-of-intent placed for Mercury Little Joe Test air frames. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury.

    The letter-of-intent was placed with North American Aviation for the fabrication of the Little Joe Test vehicle air frame. Delivery of the air frames for flight testing was scheduled to occur every three weeks beginning in June 1959. Space Task Group had ordered all the major rocket motors, which were scheduled for delivery well ahead of the Little Joe flight test schedule. The spacecraft for this phase of the program was being designed and construction would start shortly. Thus the Little Joe program should meet its intended flight test schedule.


1958 December 31 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18B. Launch Pad: LC18B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF.


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