Encyclopedia Astronautica
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1958 Chronology

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 During the Year - . LV Family: Buran M-40. 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-40. 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 - . 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 During the Year - .
  • Soviet Air Force requested development of high-speed aerospace vehicles. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Buran M-48. 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 - . 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 - During the year - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Outpost four-man space station. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Ehricke. Spacecraft Bus: Outpost. 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 - .
  • 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 January 1 - . LV Family: Thor. 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..

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 Bus: 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.


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

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

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 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 Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Vostok.

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 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 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 - . 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 - .
  • 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 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 14 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Bomarc. 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 - . LV Family: Little Joe. 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 - .
  • 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 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 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 18 - .
  • Birth of Franco Ongaro - . Nation: Italy. Related Persons: Ongaro. Italian engineer payload specialist astronaut, 1990-1993..

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

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 25 - .
  • Dynasoar request for proposal - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Dynasoar. 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. LV Family: Aerobee. 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 - .
  • Zarya renamed Leninsk. - . Nation: Russia. Kazakh VS Decree 'On renaming town of Zarya to Leninsk at site 10 at Tyuratam' was issued..

1958 January 29-31 - .
  • 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 - . 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. LV Family: R-7. 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 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 - . 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 - . 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. LV Family: Vanguard. 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 Bus: Vanguard 1. 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 - . 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 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 11 - . 09:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. 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. LV Family: Redstone. 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 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. LV Family: M-100. 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 - . 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 - . 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 - . 19:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. 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 - . 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 Bus: 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 Bus: Dynasoar. 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. LV Family: Sergeant. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

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 - . 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 Bus: Kosmoplan. 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 10 - .
  • NACA manned satellite configurations - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Mercury. 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 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 12 - .
  • The NACA staff completed a program outline for conducting the manned satellite program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft Bus: 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 13 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. LV Family: Matador. Launch Vehicle: Matador.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

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. LV Family: Vanguard. 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 Bus: Vanguard 1. 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 - . 01:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Holloman. Launch Complex: Holloman A. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • NO / O2 composition Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

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

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 21 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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. LV Family: Aerobee. 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 - . LV Family: Burya La-350. 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 - . 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 - . LV Family: Redstone. 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. LV Family: M-100. 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. LV Family: R-7. 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 - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
1958 April - .
  • Faget conceived contour couch to withstand the high g-loads. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget. Spacecraft Bus: Mercury. 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....


1958 April 1 - . LV Family: R-11. 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 - .
  • Vostok preliminary design completed. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. 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.


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. LV Family: R-7. 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 3 - .
  • Branch of OKB-1 formed in Samara. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On creation of OKB-1 branch at Progress Plant' was issued..

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. LV Family: R-7. 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 - . 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 - . 01:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Akita. LV Family: K150. Launch Vehicle: K150.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi).

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. LV Family: Skylark. 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. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

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 Bus: Man-In-Space-Soonest. 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 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 Bus: Sputnik 3. 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 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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. LV Family: Vanguard. 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 Bus: Vanguard 1. Spacecraft: Vanguard 1. Decay Date: 1958-04-28 . Apogee: 550 km (340 mi).

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

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?. LV Family: Snark. 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 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 - . 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 Bus: Sputnik 3. 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 - . LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: R-12.
  • Project 581 pressure. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft Bus: Project 581. 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. LV Family: Redstone. 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 - . 01:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 May 20 - .
  • NACA / Air Force Memorandum of Understanding on the DynaSoar I. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Dynasoar. 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 - .
  • Dynasoar NACA-USAF MOU. - . Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: Dynasoar. 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 - .
  • Air Force agreement for NACA participation in the Dyna-Soar program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Dynasoar. 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 - . 04:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. 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 - . 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. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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. LV Family: R-7. 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: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: BELA. Launch Platform: B-67. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11FM.
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 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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. LV Family: K150. 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 - . 03:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. 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 Bus: Vanguard 2. Spacecraft: Vanguard 2. Decay Date: 1958-05-27 . Apogee: 3,500 km (2,100 mi).

1958 May 29 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: M-100. 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 - . 01:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

1958 June 1 - . LV Family: Redstone. 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 - .
  • NACA representatives at ARPA - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Mercury. 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 - .
  • 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 Bus: Vostok. 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 3 - . 04:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. Launch Pad: ALA3. LV Family: Redstone. 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. LV Family: Nike Ajax. 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. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark. FAILURE: Failure.
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. LV Family: Mohr Rocket. 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. LV Family: M-100. 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. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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 - . 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 - . 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 16 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan.
  • Dynasoar Phase I contracts announced. - . Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: Dynasoar. 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 - . 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 18 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. 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 - . 21:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1958 June 20 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Bomarc. 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 Bus: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. NACA personnel discussed the proposed space agency budget, including the manned satellite project, with Bureau of Budget officials..

1958 June 23 - . LV Family: Saturn V. 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 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 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. LV Family: Redstone. 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 Bus: Mercury. 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. LV Family: Vanguard. 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 Bus: Vanguard 2. 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. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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. LV Family: M-100. 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 July 1 - . LV Family: Kappa. 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..

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..

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 Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Vostok. First explanation to leadership of advantages of manned spaceflight..

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

1958 July 2 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • R-14 IRBM, R-7A ICBM, and Raketoplan development authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Raketoplan. 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. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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. LV Family: Aerobee. 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. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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. LV Family: Aerobee. 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 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. LV Family: R-7. 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. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee.
  • Charge density Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 243 km (150 mi).

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. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 - . Launch Site: San Clemente. Launch Platform: AVM1. LV Family: X-17. Launch Vehicle: X-17.
  • Argus test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 672 km (417 mi).

1958 July 25 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 Bus: Pilot. Spacecraft: Pilot. 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. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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 - . 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 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 - .
  • 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 - . LV Family: R-16. 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: 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 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Scheduled design complete (95%) for Atlas D-series missiles - . Nation: USA.

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. LV Family: Redstone. 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 - . 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 - . LV Family: Saturn V. 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 - . 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. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi).

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 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 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. 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: 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. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 Bus: Pilot. Spacecraft: Pilot. 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. LV Family: Redstone. 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. LV Family: Aerobee. 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 - .
  • Vostok advanced project complete. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. 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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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 - . 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. LV Family: Aerobee. 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. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 Bus: Pioneer 0-1-2. 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 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. LV Family: Bomarc. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 August 22 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 Bus: Pilot. Spacecraft: Pilot. 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. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 Bus: Pilot. Spacecraft: Pilot. 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 - . Launch Site: Santa Barbara Channel DZ. Launch Pad: 34.2 N x 120.0 W. Launch Platform: F4D-1 747. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 Bus: Pilot. Spacecraft: Pilot. 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. LV Family: X-17. 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 - . LV Family: R-16. 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. LV Family: Project Pilot. 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 Bus: Pilot. Spacecraft: Pilot. Decay Date: 1958-08-28 . Apogee: 12 km (7 mi). Air dropped in Santa Barbara Channel DZ..

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. LV Family: X-17. 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 - .
  • 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 Fall - .
  • Vostok drawing release. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. 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 1 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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 September 1 - .
  • Tsien enters Congress - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Tsien was elected Deputy of Guangdong Province to the National People's Congress..

1958 September 2 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok-L 8K72.
  • Launch of Soviet Luna probes authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Luna. Spacecraft Bus: Luna E-1. 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. LV Family: Bomarc. Launch Vehicle: Bomarc.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

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. LV Family: High Virgo. 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. LV Family: X-17. 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. LV Family: Black Knight. 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. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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 - .
  • 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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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 - . 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 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Platform: B-57A. LV Family: Recruit. Launch Vehicle: Recruit T55.
1958 September 14 - . Launch Site: Cuxhaven. Launch Complex: Cuxhaven. LV Family: Mohr Rocket. 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 Bus: Vostok. 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. 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 - . 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. LV Family: M-100. 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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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 Bus: Luna E-1. 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. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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?. LV Family: Goose. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 September 26 - . 15:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC18A. Launch Pad: LC18A. LV Family: Vanguard. 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 Bus: Vanguard 2. 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. LV Family: Goose. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

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 - . LV Family: Little Joe. 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 - .
  • 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 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 Bus: 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 - . 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 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 5 - .
  • Birth of Andre Kuipers - . Nation: Netherlands. Related Persons: Kuipers. Dutch engineer cosmonaut, payload specialist astronaut. Flew on ISS Delta..

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 - .
  • Project Mercury organized. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Mercury. 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 7-8 - .
  • 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 - . 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 Bus: Man-high. Spacecraft: Man-high. Manhigh III reached 98,000 feet (29,900 m) with Lieutenant Clifton McClure aboard..

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 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. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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: 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 Bus: Pioneer 0-1-2. 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 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 Bus: Luna E-1. Spacecraft: Luna E-1.

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 15 - . LV Family: X-15. Launch Vehicle: X-15A.
  • X-15 rollout. - . Nation: USA. Program: X-15. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: X-15. 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. LV Family: V-1000. 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 - . 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 - . LV Family: Little Joe. 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 - . 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 Bus: 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 - . 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 Bus: Beacon 1. 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 - . LV Family: Redstone. 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 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 - .
  • 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 - .
  • Vostok spacecraft and Zenit spy satellite authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev. Spacecraft: Vostok, Zenit satellite family, 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 - . LV Family: Saturn V. 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 - .
  • 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 1 - .
  • The Dyna-Soar preliminary two-step development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Dynasoar. 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 Bus: Mercury. 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 - . 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: Kheysa. LV Family: R-11. Launch Vehicle: R-11A.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

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

1958 November 6 - . 00:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC6. LV Family: Redstone. 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 Bus: 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 - . 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 Bus: Pioneer 0-1-2. 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. LV Family: M-100. 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 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Pad: LA?. LV Family: Matador. 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 - .
  • 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 - .
  • Specifications for Mercury issued. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft Bus: 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 - .
  • Twenty firms to bid on Mercury spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft Bus: 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 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC22. LV Family: Goose. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

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. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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 - . 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 26 - .
  • Project Mercury named. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Mercury. 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 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC22. LV Family: Goose. Launch Vehicle: Goose.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 November 28 - . 20:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. LV Family: M-100. 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 Bus: 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 - . 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 - .
  • 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 - .
  • 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 - . 10:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. 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 Bus: Luna E-1. 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. LV Family: Terrier. 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?. LV Family: Goose. 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 Bus: Pioneer 3-4. 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 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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. LV Family: M-100. 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 Bus: 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 Bus: 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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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. LV Family: Bold Orion. 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 - . LV Family: Saturn V. 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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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 - . LV Family: Saturn I. 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 - .
  • Project Mercury named - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft Bus: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan announced that the manned satellite program would be called "Project Mercury.".

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 Bus: Score. 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. LV Family: High Virgo. Launch Vehicle: High Virgo.
  • High Virgo satellite interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

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. LV Family: Burya La-350. 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 - . LV Family: Little Joe. 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 Bus: 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 - . LV Family: Little Joe. 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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