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1968 Chronology

1968? - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Vehicle: RT-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Vehicle: RT-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Vehicle: RT-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Vehicle: RT-2.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 January 1 - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Judi-Dart.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-13 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-06 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-9. Launch Vehicle: R-9A.
  • UBP - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,160 km (720 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-9. Launch Vehicle: R-9A.
  • UBP - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,160 km (720 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-9. Launch Vehicle: R-9A.
  • UBP - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,160 km (720 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-12 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Teikovo. Launch Vehicle: UR-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-01 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Teikovo. Launch Vehicle: UR-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-15 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Teikovo. Launch Vehicle: UR-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-10 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. LV Family: V-1000. Launch Vehicle: 1Ya2TA.
  • Yantar'-2 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-09 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-07 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-11 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg WTR. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A1.
  • ISEP 6 Mk 2 RV - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Gladkaya/Krasnoyarsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-02 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Gladkaya/Krasnoyarsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Gladkaya/Krasnoyarsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-16 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968? - . Launch Site: Gladkaya/Krasnoyarsk. Launch Vehicle: UR-100.
  • ICBM operational test launch from missile base silo - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). 1967-69.

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-18 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-14 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-03 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-04 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-05 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-08 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-17 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 January 2 - .
  • Key decisions required to certify the Apollo system-design for manned flight summarized - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM.

    MSC called to the attention of North American Rockwell the number of discrepancies found at KSC that could have been found at Downey before hardware shipment. In an effort to reduce the discrepancies North American was requested to obtain and use the KSC receiving inspection criteria as a guide for shipping inspections. It was also suggested that the possibility of sending a few key inspectors to KSC for periods of three to six months to gain additional experience might be investigated.


1968 January 3 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 74 km (45 mi).

1968 January 4 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Arcas.
  • Arcasonde 1A? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1968 January 5 - .
  • Plan for lunar exploration by Apollo through the mid-1970s - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM.

    Bellcomm engineers presented to NASA a proposed plan for lunar exploration during the period from the first lunar landing through the mid-1970s. The proposed program - based upon what the company termed "reasonable" assumptions concerning hardware capabilities, scientific objectives, launch rates, and relationships to other programs - was divided into four distinct phases:

    1. an Apollo phase using existing vehicles,
    2. a lunar exploration phase employing an extended LM with increased payload and longer staytime,
    3. a lunar orbital survey and exploration phase using remote sensors and photographic equipment on a polar orbit flight, and
    4. a lunar surface rendezvous and exploration phase using an unmanned LM to deposit the increased scientific equipment and expendables necessary to extend Apollo's manned lunar capability to two-week duration.

1968 January 5 - .
  • NASA lunar exploration program developed for the period from the first lunar landing to the mid-1970s. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Apollo ATM, Apollo LM Taxi, Apollo LM Truck, Apollo LMSS.

    A lunar exploration program had been developed which would cover the period from the first lunar landing to the mid-1970s. The program would be divided into four phases: (1) An Apollo phase employing Apollo hardware. (2) A lunar exploration phase untilizing an extended LM with increased landed payload weight and staytime capability. (3) A lunar orbital survey and exploration phase using the AAP-1A carrier or the LM/ATM to mount remote sensors and photographic equipment on a manned polar orbit mission. (4) A lunar surface rendezvous and exploration phase which would use a modified LM in an unmanned landing to provide increased scientific payload and expendables necessary to extend an accompanying manned LM mission to two weeks duration.


1968 January 7 - . 06:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3C Centaur.
  • Surveyor 7 - . Payload: Surveyor SC-7. Mass: 1,036 kg (2,283 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL, NASA. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Surveyor. Decay Date: 1968-01-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 3091 . COSPAR: 1968-001A. Soft landed on lunar Moon; photographed lunar surface; sampled lunar soil..

1968 January 8 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 608. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 January 9 - .
  • Budgetary restraints required additional cuts in AAP to three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: AES Lunar Base, ALSS Lunar Base, Orbital Workshop, Skylab.

    NASA budgetary restraints required an additional cut in AAP launches. The reduced program called for three Saturn IB and three Saturn V launches, including one Workshop launched on a Saturn IB, one Saturn V Workshop, and one ATM. Two lunar missions were planned. Launch of the first Workshop would be in April 1970.


1968 January 10 - . 09:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF25. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • ST Olympic Trials 6 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 January 11 - .
  • Apollo Parachute Test Vehicle failed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Parachute.

    A Parachute Test Vehicle (PTV) test failed at El Centro, Calif. The PTV was released from a B-52 aircraft at 15,240 meters and the drogue chute programmer was actuated by a static line connected to the aircraft. One drogue chute appeared to fail upon deployment, followed by failure of the second drogue seven seconds later. Additional Details: here....


1968 January 11 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 2. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF B022 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 January 11 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E1.
  • Explorer 36 - . Payload: GEOS B. Mass: 209 kg (460 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: GEOS. USAF Sat Cat: 3093 . COSPAR: 1968-002A. Apogee: 1,574 km (978 mi). Perigee: 1,081 km (671 mi). Inclination: 105.8000 deg. Period: 112.20 min.

    The geodetic instrumentation systems included (1) four optical beacons, (2) two C-band radar transponders, (3) a passive radar reflector, (4) a sequential collation of range radio range transponder, (5) a Goddard range and range rate transponder, (6) laser reflectors, and (7) Doppler beacons. Non-geodetic systems included a laser detector and a Minitrack interferometer beacon. The objectives of the spacecraft were to optimise optical station visibility periods and to provide complementary data for inclination-dependent terms established by the Explorer 29 (GEOS 1) gravimetric studies. The spacecraft was placed into a retrograde orbit to accomplish these objectives. Operational problems occurred in the main power system, optical beacon flash system, and the spacecraft clock, and adjustments in scheduling resulted in nominal operations.


1968 January 12 - . LV Family: Minuteman.
  • The Defense Department officially announced cancellation of the Mark 17 reentry vehicle program after expenditure of $45 million. - .

1968 January 13 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: MSBS M012.
  • A1 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 January 15 - . 17:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 609. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1968 January 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 January 16 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 199 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 59. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 16.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-02-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 3099 . COSPAR: 1968-003C. Apogee: 363 km (225 mi). Perigee: 206 km (128 mi). Inclination: 65.6000 deg. Period: 90.20 min.

    Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. Unsuccessful mission. Spacecraft failed to separate from Block I stage. Attempt was made to conduct mission without orientation system. APO self destruct system destroyed spacecraft on 126th revolution over Sea of Okhotsk. First generation, low resolution photo surveillance; recovery probably failed.


1968 January 16 - . 19:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1968 January 16 - . 19:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 141 km (87 mi).

1968 January 17 - .
  • Afanasyev inspects the TsPK. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Mishin. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    He is shown the Volga and L1 trainers, takes a seat in the trainer, and is given a simulated space flight. At the air base he reviews the aircraft and the TBK-60 altitude chamber. Throughout the tour, Mishin constantly wore a soft expression and used coarse language. Afanasyev was briefed on and recognised problems with development and delivery of the Salyut digital computer needed for the L1 guidance system. But he was not told that cooperation had broken down totally on the L3 simulator development and crew selection.


1968 January 17 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D.
  • Final launch of a Thrust-Augmented-Thor/Agena - . Nation: USA. Final launch of a Thrust-Augmented-Thor/Agena space booster from Vandenberg (first launch on 28 February 1963)..

1968 January 17 - . 10:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor SLV-2A Agena D.
  • OPS 1965 - . Payload: Ferret 12 / Agena D 2733. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft: Ferret. Decay Date: 1970-07-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 3097 . COSPAR: 1968-004A. Apogee: 536 km (333 mi). Perigee: 462 km (287 mi). Inclination: 75.1000 deg. Period: 94.60 min.

    The last scheduled Air Force Thrust Augmented Thor/Agena (SLV-2A //498/SS-01B #2733) to be launched from Vandenberg AFB was the 150th Thor/ Agena vehicle fired from there since Discoverer I was launched on 28 February 1959. From now on, the Air Force would use the more advanced Long Tank Thrust Augmented Thor (SLV-2G) - Thorad - and the newer SLV-2H.


1968 January 17 - . 23:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Atmospheric / TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 193 km (119 mi).

1968 January 18 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 1. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USN B039 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 January 18 - . 19:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 5028 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 11 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-02-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3098 . COSPAR: 1968-005A. Apogee: 405 km (251 mi). Perigee: 137 km (85 mi). Inclination: 111.5000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 January 19 - .
  • Gagarin and Titov visit Tereshkova in the hospital. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin, Tereshkova, Titov. In 1967, the average cosmonaut who had already flown in space spent 50 days on public relations activities and tours - a serious loss to them in terms of training for future missions..

1968 January 19 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-19 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 January 19 - . 02:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • Te / ne Aeronomy / ionosphere / Fields mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi).

1968 January 19 - . 21:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. Launch Pad: LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 200 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: Tselina. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft: Tselina-O. Decay Date: 1973-02-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3100 . COSPAR: 1968-006A. Apogee: 539 km (334 mi). Perigee: 518 km (321 mi). Inclination: 74.0000 deg. Period: 95.20 min. Possible navigation satellite..

1968 January 19 - . 23:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Atmospheric / TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 191 km (118 mi).

1968 January 20 - . 09:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1968 January 22 - . 03:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VB.
  • Hbeta / ne Aurora / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 377 km (234 mi).

1968 January 22 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Airglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 296 km (183 mi).

1968 January 22 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • NO / TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1968 January 22 - . 13:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • O2 / TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi).

1968 January 22 - . 17:05 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • KP3.25 BCS / PC Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: KPNO, NRL. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 January 22 - . 22:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC37B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Apollo 5 - . Payload: Apollo LM-1. Mass: 14,360 kg (31,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar lander. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. Decay Date: 1968-02-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3107 . COSPAR: 1968-007B. Apogee: 374 km (232 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 31.6000 deg. Period: 89.90 min.

    NASA launched Apollo 5 - the first, unmanned LM flight - on a Saturn IB from KSC Launch Complex 37B at 5:48:08 p.m. EST. Mission objectives included verifying operation of the LM structure itself and its two primary propulsion systems, to evaluate LM staging, and to evaluate orbital performances of the S-IVB stage and instrument unit. Flight of the AS-204 launch vehicle went as planned, with nosecone (replacing the CSM) jettisoned and LM separating. Flight of LM-1 also went as planned up to the first descent propulsion engine firing. Because velocity increase did not build up as quickly as predicted, the LM guidance system shut the engine down after only four seconds of operation, boosting the LM only to a 171 x 222 km orbit. Mission control personnel in Houston and supporting groups quickly analyzed the problem. They determined that the difficulty was one of guidance software only (and not a fault in hardware design) and pursued an alternate mission plan that ensured meeting the minimum requirements necessary to achieve the primary objectives of the mission. The ascent stage separated and boosted itself into a 172 x 961 km orbit. After mission completion at 2:45 a.m. EST January 23, LM stages were left in orbit to reenter the atmosphere later and disintegrate. Apollo program directors attributed success of the mission to careful preplanning of alternate ways to accomplish flight objectives in the face of unforeseen events.


1968 January 23 - .
1968 January 23 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S01.
  • S01V-3 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 January 23 - . 05:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ionosphere currents Aurora / ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1968 January 23 - . 05:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • Fields / Ionosphere / Micrometeorites Aurora / ionosphere / fields mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 151 km (93 mi).

1968 January 24 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 608. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 January 24 - . 22:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4A 1045 - . Payload: KH-4A s/n 1045 / Agena D 1640 / OPS 2243. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1968-02-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 3113 . COSPAR: 1968-008A. Apogee: 438 km (272 mi). Perigee: 179 km (111 mi). Inclination: 81.5000 deg. Period: 90.70 min. KH-4A. All cameras operated satisfactorily..
  • SRV 741 - . Payload: SRV 1045-1. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P 11. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1970-03-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3114 . COSPAR: 1968-008xx. Apogee: 186 km (115 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 81.6000 deg. Period: 88.20 min.
  • OPS 6236 - . Payload: EHH B10. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1970-03-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3114 . COSPAR: 1968-008B. Apogee: 545 km (338 mi). Perigee: 470 km (290 mi). Inclination: 81.7000 deg. Period: 94.70 min. Radar monitoring..

1968 January 25 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF22. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • ST Olympic Trials 7 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 January 26 - .
  • Unsuccessful L1 SAS abort system test at Vladimirovka. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The parachute failed to inflate after the capsule separated from the escape tower. The recovery apparatus on both the Soyuz and L1 versions of the capsule continue to perform badly. The soft landing engines have ignited at altitudes of 2000 to 4000 m instead of the 1.2 m required for a soft landing. On the first UR-500K abort the SAS functioned, but the parachute failed to separate after landing, dragging the capsule for 600 m across the steppes. On the second UR-500K abort, there was a premature opening of the parachute, and reaction control system venting led to burn-through of some of the parachute lines.


1968 January 26 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar astronomy Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

1968 January 27 - .
  • Cosmonauts take case against Mishin to VVS high command. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Belyayev, Chelomei, Gagarin, Leonov, Mishin, Popovich, Titov, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L1, Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, Soyuz VI.

    Kamanin, Gagarin, Titov, Popovich, Belyayev, and Leonov meet with Marshal Yakabovskiy. They inform him that Mishin is blocking further development of the 7K-VI military manned spacecraft and also trying to kill Chelomei's Almaz military space station. They get nowhere. The Marshal says that while he doesn't understand much about space himself, Ustinov had assured him that Mishin and Afanasyev were taking all measures necessary to correct the necessary material...


1968 January 28 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Sergei Osipovich Okhapkin put in charge of the N1 at TsKBEM - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Okhapkin. Program: Lunar L3. This decision led to one of Mishin's famous 'illnesses', putting him out of action for a period..

1968 January 29 - .
  • Saturn V and Saturn I Workshop designations. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop, Skylab.

    Nomenclature for the OWS included in the AAP presented in the FY 1969 budget was confirmed by NASA. The ground-outfitted OWS to be launched with Saturn V would be designated the 'Saturn V Workshop.' (This had sometimes been called the 'dry Workshop.') The OWS that would be launched by a Saturn IB would be referred to as the 'Saturn I Workshop.' (Colloquially it had been referred to as the 'wet workshop.') Terminology 'Uprated Saturn I' would not be used officially. This launch vehicle would be referred to as the 'Saturn IB.'


1968 January 30 - .
  • Three-hour review of the L1 program at the Institute of Aviation Medicine. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The Volchka L1 trainer, M-220 computer, centrifuge, L1 cabin, and instructor control station are in place. But many critical equipment items have not yet been installed, including essential cabin instruments and flight indicators..

1968 January 30 - . 05:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi).

1968 January 31 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 609. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 January 31 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/Trident.
  • RMP-B-5 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 February 1 - .
  • In preparation for a Soviet of Chief Designers four days later, detailed consideration of many issues was underway. - . Related Persons: Mishin. Spacecraft: Block D, Soyuz 7K-LOK, LK.

    Among them, changes to the baseline LK orbit and ascent trajectories to allow rendezvous with the waiting LOK even after a delay of more than six orbits in departure; and changes to the landing profile to prevent shrapnel from jettison of the LKR's Block D lunar crasher stage impacting the waiting cosmonaut's LK. 250 liters of increased propellant would be required in the LKR for a higher Block D jettison; or the Block D could make a maneuver after separation to assure it would impact well away from the active landing site. (Mishin Diaries 2-119)


1968 February 1 - .
  • The LKR rescue lunar lander plan was disclosed to the other Chief Designers. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Chertok, Ryazanskiy. Spacecraft: Soyuz Kontakt, LK, LKR.

    Chertok compared the "Kontakt" and "Liga" systems, and noted that the "Liga" elements in the control loop control system simplified LK landing. MS Ryazanskiy noted that this contradicted a decision two years ago to have the LK make an autonomous landing on the moon (LK homing on and landing near a beacon was postponed at that time). But AS Mnatsanakyan supported the approach, saying it was necessary to speed up the development of the "Liga"; it provided a precision landing on the moon within 50 to 100 m of the target. (Mishin Diaries 2-120).


1968 February 1 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USN B037 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 February 1 - . 05:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C36 / 1 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 February 1 - . 18:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 104 km (64 mi).

1968 February 1 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 126 km (78 mi).

1968 February 1 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1968 February 1 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 137 km (85 mi).

1968 February 1 - . 21:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1968 February 2 - . 05:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 139 km (86 mi).

1968 February 2 - . 06:10 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar astronomy Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 149 km (92 mi).

1968 February 2 - . 10:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF24. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • ST Olympic Trials 8 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 February 2 - . 12:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF09. Launch Pad: LF09?. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B. FAILURE: Failure.
  • ST Olympic T. B-1 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1968 February 2 - . 13:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • INCOSPAR 10.13 ISRO Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 191 km (118 mi).

1968 February 2 - . 13:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • ISRO 15.06 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 February 3 - .
  • Ye-8-5 robot lunar soil return plans - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Babakin. Program: Lunar L1, Luna, Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Luna Ye-8. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5.

    VVS Party Conference. It is clear to Kamanin that there is no support from the Air Force for manned spaceflight. Kamanin only heard yesterday that Babakin is working on an automatic soil sample return spacecraft. He will need a minimum of two to three years to complete it. Kamanin complained that it would interfere with plans for the L1 program. An uninterrupted series of flights will be needed to complete the L1 spacecraft qualification, and the Ye-8, using the same booster, could be an interference in achieving that goal.


1968 February 3 - . 17:12 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Electrons Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 February 4 - . 05:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C36 / 2 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi).

1968 February 5 - .
  • 40 per-cent nitrogen prelaunch atmosphere in Apollo - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget, Slayton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Communications.

    A Senior Flammability Review Board meeting at MSC reached a number of decisions on the CSM. Attending were Robert R. Gilruth, chairman; George M. Low, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Aleck C. Bond, Maxime A. Faget, Donald K. Slayton, Charles A. Berry, and Rodney G. Rose, all of MSC; Samuel C. Phillips, NASA Hq.; William B. Bergen and Dale D. Myers, North American Rockwell; and George Stoner, Boeing (nonvoting observer).

    Several previous action assignments were reviewed:

    1. Component level Flammability Test Program - North American reviewed the results of its material identification and test program, the component test program, and the boilerplate 1,250 tests. These tests had provided the basis for design decisions on selection and application of CM nonmetallic materials.
    2. Boilerplate 1224 configuration comparison to CSMs 2TV-1 and 101 - North American presented the comparison and the Board decided that the boilerplate configuration was representative of the "worst case" configuration, considering both 2TV-l and 101.
    3. Internal ignition rationale - ignition rationale for the boilerplate 1224 tests was presented to the Board. Nichrome wire ignitors were used with the ignitor wire embedded in potting. In some locations a Ladicote cover was applied over the potting and ignitor. The Board pointed out that the ignition techniques were not really representative of actual operating conditions and were indeed overly severe.
    4. Crew communications umbilical - North American was evaluating a fluorel crew communications umbilical as well as fluorel oxygen umbilicals. A Beta sleeve over the oxygen and crew communications umbilicals would also be evaluated for its operational acceptability by the Crew.
    The Board presented a review of test results. In the tests at pressure of 4.3 newtons per square centimeter (6.2 pounds per square inch) in a 95-percent oxygen atmosphere, there were 38 ignitions in boilerplate 1224. Of these,5 produced fires large enough to require further consideration. In tests at 11.2 newtons per sq cm (16.2 psia) in a 60-percent-oxygen and 40-percent nitrogen atmosphere, there were 31 ignitions. Of these, 4 produced fires large enough to require further consideration.

    The Board concluded that the material changes made in the CM had resulted in a safe configuration in both the tested atmospheres. The Board agreed "that there will always be a degree of risk associated with manned space flight," but the risk of fire "was now substantially less than the basic risks inherent in manned space flight."

    Among decisions reached were:

    1. the CSM 2TV-1 and 101 coaxial cable configuration would be tested in the 60-percent-oxygen and 40-percent nitrogen atmosphere;
    2. material improvements and testing would be continued and changes would be phased in, pending the availability of proved materials; and
    3. action would be taken to be prepared to use a 60-percent-oxygen and 40-percent-nitrogen prelaunch atmosphere in CSM 101.
    A final decision would be made at the Design Certification Review on March 7.

1968 February 5 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: D-Region Tomahawk.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 119 km (73 mi).

1968 February 5 - . 22:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1968 February 6 - .
  • L1 commander assignments agreed. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bykovsky, Feoktistov, Leonov, Mishin, Popovich, Voloshin. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz.

    The final medical report rejects Feoktistov's fitness to be a cosmonaut. Mishin accepts the findings of the report, but in classic manner ignores it and advocates Feoktistov be appointed as commander of the active spacecraft in the first Soyuz docking mission after return to flight. Kamanin is livid. Feoktistov has had years of training for EVA, but he has not had one day of training as a spacecraft commander, and now he wants him to command a mission due to launch in only two to three months! However agreement is finally reached on L1 commander assignments: Leonov, Bykovskiy, Popovich, Voloshin. Agreement is not reached on the second (civilian) crew member position for the flights. According to Mishin, the Soyuz and L1 flights planned from March 1 to the end of 1968 will require 16 to 18 crew members total.


1968 February 6 - . 05:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • UNH Aurora / Fields Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1968 February 6 - . 07:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Aurora Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

1968 February 6 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 201 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-02-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 3118 . COSPAR: 1968-009A. Apogee: 334 km (207 mi). Perigee: 207 km (128 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 February 7 - . LV Family: , Proton, .
  • Status of development of the LK-R. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Bushuyev, Keldysh, . Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, LK. At the expert commission on the UR-500K-L1 (Tyulin, Stroganov, Keldysh, Kashtanov and others), Bushuyev provided the status of development of the LK-R. (Mishin Diaries 2-120).

1968 February 7 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC32B. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). Minuteman II (LGM-30F), FTM 468, carrying a research and development Mark 12 reentry vehicle, was launched from Silo 32 at Cape Canaveral. This was the 26th Minuteman II R&D launch - 20 from the Eastern Test Range and six from Vandenberg. .

1968 February 7 - . 10:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: At T+524.6 sec Stage 3's engine 11D55 cut off prematurely because it ran out of fuel due to an excessive fuel consumption rate through the gas-generator.. Failed Stage: U.
  • E-6LS s/n 112 - . Payload: E-6LS s/n 112. Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft Bus: Luna E-6. Spacecraft: Luna E-6LS. Decay Date: 1968-02-07 .

    Failed launch of an E-6LS radio-equipped version of the E-6 used to test tracking and communications networks for the Soviet manned lunar program. Suggestions for the abnormal consumption included the seizing up of a pintle valve for controlling fuel supply into the regulator or the seizing up of the fuel inlet control. The upper stages broke up in the atmosphere.


1968 February 8 - .
  • Decision to forego a second unmanned Apollo LM flight using LM-2 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Descent Propulsion, LM Guidance, LM Landing Gear.

    Grumman President L. J. Evans wrote ASPO Manager George M. Low stating his agreement with NASA's decision to forego a second unmanned LM flight using LM-2. (Grumman's new position - the company had earlier strongly urged such a second flight - was reached after discussions with Low and LM Manager G. H. Bolender at the end of January and after flight data was presented at the February 6 meeting of the OMSF Management Council.) Although the decision was not irreversible, being subject to further investigations by both contractor and customer, both sides now were geared for a manned flight on the next LM mission. Additional Details: here....


1968 February 8 - .
  • VVS officers inspect TsPK. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Nikolayev, Popovich. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3, Almaz. Spacecraft Bus: Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS.

    It is currently organised in three cosmonaut detachments: Nikolayev commands the first detachment, which is training for L3, L1, and Soyuz fiights. Popovich commands the second, training for Almaz and 7K-VI military space missions. Nikeryasov commands the third, which is the 'observer' detachment.


1968 February 8 - . 06:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 6.
1968 February 9 - . 04:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • JHU Aurora 6 Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 February 10 - .
  • Birth of Garrett Erin Reisman - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reisman. Jewish-American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on ISS EO-16-3, STS-123, STS-132..

1968 February 10 - . Launch Site: , Vandenberg. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • The final Mark 12 reentry vehicle test launch was conducted from Vandenberg AFB. - .

1968 February 10 - . 11:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF08. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • Research and technology/modification test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 February 12 - .
  • L1 Expert Commission meeting. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Kamanin states his belief that the L1 will not be ready for manned flight for 2 to 3 years, and will need 8 unmanned flight tests before it can be man-rated. Others disagree, and the final decision is that four unmanned flights without significant failure will be required before the spacecraft is man-rated.


1968 February 12 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Vehicle: RT-20P. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 February 13 - . 15:56 GMT - . Launch Site: El Arenosillo. LV Family: Skua. Launch Vehicle: Skua 2.
  • Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: INTA. Apogee: 86 km (53 mi).

1968 February 14 - .
  • Concern of inadvertent Saturn V abort - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth, Low, George. Program: Apollo.

    In discussing the results of a manned test with MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth, George M. Low mentioned that a single 45-degree motion of the abort handle was required to initiate a launch abort in Apollo. Gilruth voiced concern that an abort could be caused by a single motion. Additional Details: here....


1968 February 14 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1.
  • FU-172 Solar Helium Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 440 km (270 mi).

1968 February 15 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: UK S22. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Operational test - . Nation: UK. Agency: RN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 February 16 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1968 February 17 - .
  • Soyuz VI cancellation approved. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Kozlov, Mishin. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz VI. The NTK General Staff approves Mishin's cancellation fo the 7K-VI. Kozlov has agreed only under duress. The military is opposed to the cancellation, but Afanasyev won't listen to them..

1968 February 17 - . 02:24 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar ultraviolet Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: KPNO. Apogee: 183 km (113 mi).

1968 February 18 - . 18:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. LV Family: Viper. Launch Vehicle: Viper-Dart.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 97 km (60 mi).

1968 February 19 - . 18:55 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Extreme ultraviolet Mon Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 243 km (150 mi).

1968 February 19 - . 23:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi).

1968 February 20 - . 10:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 202 - . Payload: DS-U2-V s/n 4. Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Technology. Type: Military technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U2-V. Decay Date: 1968-03-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3128 . COSPAR: 1968-010A. Apogee: 488 km (303 mi). Perigee: 210 km (130 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 91.50 min. Military technology development satellite - mission still classified..

1968 February 20 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. Launch Pad: LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 203 - . Mass: 600 kg (1,320 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-1. Spacecraft: Sfera. USAF Sat Cat: 3129 . COSPAR: 1968-011A. Apogee: 1,201 km (746 mi). Perigee: 1,183 km (735 mi). Inclination: 74.1000 deg. Period: 109.30 min. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

1968 February 21 - .
  • Further development of Lox/LH2 rocket engines authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On Introduction of Hydrogen in Rocket Space Technology' --future of liquid hydrogen stages' was issued..

1968 February 21 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • L1 Launch Commission. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Glushko, Konopatov, Mishin. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The booster failure on the previous launch was found to be due to premature fuel injection during engine start, causing initial chamber temperatures to rise 200 degrees above normal. Glushko and Konopatov both guarantee their engines for the next launch. The next L1 flight will use the 'Kruga' landing predictor. This will predict the landing point to within a 150 x 150 km area two to three hours before re-entry. Landing points on the three previous flights would have been 2000 km from Madagascar and India, Novosibirsk, and the North Pole... Mishin plans the next dual Soyuz flight for 5-10 April. Kamanin protests that the parachute and sea trials of the redesigned capsule are not yet complete. Mishin, as usual, dismisses his concerns.


1968 February 21 - . 19:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • ISRO 25.02 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 136 km (84 mi).

1968 February 21 - . 23:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • TMA? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 February 22 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Auroral fluxes Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 February 22 - . 05:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 156 km (96 mi).

1968 February 22 - . 06:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 February 22 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 181 km (112 mi).

1968 February 22 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 190 km (110 mi).

1968 February 22 - . 11:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Sodium-Lithium release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 February 22 - . 11:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • ISRO 25.01 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 153 km (95 mi).

1968 February 23 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Aurora Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 293 km (182 mi).

1968 February 23 - . 06:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1968 February 24 - .
  • Discovery of the first Pulsar - . Nation: USA.

1968 February 24 - .
  • Death of Thomas Patrick Gerrity - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gerrity. American officer. Head of Air Force ballistic missile programs 1960-1961..

1968 February 26 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES BGRV-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). The Boost Glide Re-entry Vehicle was launched from Vandenberg AFB, California to the area of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. It was launched from an Atlas missile booster and served to provide data on hypersonic manoeuvring flight characteristics..

1968 February 27 - .
  • Flight Readiness Review Board for Apollo CSM 020; LTA-2R and SLA-9 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM. The Flight Readiness Review Board for CSM 020, lunar module test article 2R (LTA-2R), and spacecraft-LM adapter 9 (SLA-9) met at KSC. . Additional Details: here....

1968 February 27 - .
  • Soviet on plan through 1975 for automated probes to the moon and planets. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Barmin, Keldysh, Tereshkova. Spacecraft: DLB Lunar Base, Luna Ye-8, Luna Ye-8-5.

    Keldysh heads a Soviet on plans through 1975 for automated probes and space research of the moon and planets. Barmin attends, his interest being the relation of this work to his lunar base. Kamanin finds the plan not well thought out... Tereshkova sees Kamanin and tells him she cannot handle the stress of both political demands on her time and cosmonaut training. She wants Kamanin's assistance to get her out of political tasks.


1968 February 27 - . 01:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 154 km (95 mi).

1968 February 27 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1968 February 28 - .
  • Staff move to Baikonur for L1 launch. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Kamanin flies to Baikonur aboard a Tu-124.There is very bad weather, -10 deg C, ice flows in the Syr Darya river..

1968 February 28 - .
  • Death of Nikolai Nikolayevich Voronov - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Voronov, Nikolai. Russian officer. Commander of Artillery forces 1941-1950. Later became President of Academy of Artillery Sciences..

1968 February 28 - . 06:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 295 km (183 mi).

1968 February 28 - . 14:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN, CNES. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 February 28 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 395-B. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II.
  • Glory Trip 04T - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). FOT GT04T Follow-on Test launch.

1968 February 29 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • L1 commsision meeting. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Chelomei. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    For this L1 launch Chelomei wants to film separation of the first and second stages of the Proton rocket at 126 seconds into the flight - altitude 41 km, distance downrange 47 km. To do this two An-12 and one Tu-124 with long focal-length cameras will orbit 35 to 40 km from base. The discussion turns to how to recover the L1 if it lands in the ice-bound Aral Sea. The circle of possible landing points has a radius of 500 km from a point west of Karaganda. For political reasons it is not possible to deploy recovery forces to areas of Iran and India that are within this circle.


1968 February 29 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU31. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 February 29 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Vehicle: Arcas.
  • Ballute/Arcasonde 1A - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 60 km (37 mi).

1968 February 29 - . 17:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Auroral mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1968 February 29 - . 21:18 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Electrons Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 March 1 - .
  • MOL qualification test underway. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: MOL. The MOL mockup was completed, static structural test of flight representative assemblies was underway, and major equpment was in qualification test..

1968 March 1 - .
  • Kamanin appearance in American documentary. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Smirnov. An American film on the Russian space program, for which Kamanin was interviewed, is shown at Tyuratam. Smirnov criticised Kamanin for being 'too soft' and for not using the correct party phrases to describe American imperialism..

1968 March 1 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
1968 Mar - .
  • A SAMSO Source Selection Board selected Hughes Aircraft Company and TRW Systems Group to perform preliminary concept formulation and system design studies for System 621B. - . Spacecraft: Navstar.

1968 Mar - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Athena RTV.
  • The 100th Athena missile was launched from the Green River launch complex in Utah to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. - .

1968 Mar - . LV Family: AICBM, Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • The Advanced ICBM (WS 120A) Provisional System Program Office (SPO) at Norton was dissolved; most personnel went to the Minuteman SPO as the core cadre for the Hard Rock Silo effort. - .

1968 March 1 - . Launch Site: Ile du Levant. Launch Pad: CERES. LV Family: Aurore. Launch Vehicle: Belenos.
  • Weather mission - . Nation: France. Agency: SECT. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 Mar - . Launch Site: Dombarovskiy. Launch Vehicle: UR-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 March 1 - . 03:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar infrared Infrared astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1968 March 1 - . 19:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Hidden Hills DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008.
  • X-15A Checkout mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 31 km (19 mi). Maximum Speed - 4631 kph. Maximum Altitude - 31850 m. Tested Saturn V insulation. Air dropped in Hidden Hills DZ..

1968 March 2 - . 03:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout A.
  • Transit O-18 - . Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: Transit. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 3133 . COSPAR: 1968-012A. Apogee: 1,130 km (700 mi). Perigee: 1,014 km (630 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 106.70 min. First RCA-built Transit..

1968 March 2 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Javelin.
  • Auroral P / F Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 805 km (500 mi).

1968 March 2 - . 07:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Auroral P / F Aurora / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 260 km (160 mi).

1968 March 2 - . 18:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • Zond 4 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 6L. Mass: 5,390 kg (11,880 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1 . Duration: 5.22 days. Decay Date: 1968-03-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 3134 . COSPAR: 1968-013A. Apogee: 400,000 km (240,000 mi). Perigee: 191 km (118 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 15,561.71 min.

    What at first seemed to be a success, very much needed by the L1 program, ended in failure. The Proton booster lifted off in 18 m/s winds, -3 deg C temperatures, and into very low clouds - it disappeared from view at only 150 m altitude. Aircraft at 9, 10, and 11 km altitude reported the cloud deck topped 8300 m, with 1.5 to 2.0 km visibility. The spacecraft was successfully launched into a 330,000 km apogee orbit 180 degrees away from the moon. On reentry, the guidance system failed, and the planned double skip maneuver to bring the descent module to a landing in the Soviet Union was not possible. Ustinov had ordered the self-destruct package to be armed and the capsule blew up 12 km above the Gulf of Guinea. Kamanin disagreed strongly with this decision; the spacecraft could have still been recovered in the secondary area by Soviet naval vessels after a 20 G reentry. The decsion was made to recover the spacecraft in the future whenever possible.
    Officially: Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Study of remote regions of circumterrestrial space, development of new on-board systems and units of space stations.


1968 March 3 - .
  • Zond 4 first midcourse fails. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    At 07:35 the first midcourse manoeuvre for Zond 4, then 225,000 km from earth, was cancelled due to an orientation system problem. The sun tracker worked, but the star tracker could not acquire Sirius. The first and second midcourse manoeuvres are not strictly necessary. However if the third midcourse fails, when the spacecraft is 167,000 km from earth on the return leg, the spacecraft will miss the atmosphere and head back out into space. A meeting is held on cosmonaut training. The simulators are still not adequate. Feoktistov is still demanding that he be trained for the first Soyuz docking mission.


1968 March 4 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: UK S22. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Operational test - . Nation: UK. Agency: RN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 March 4 - . 13:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3A Agena D.
  • OGO 5 - . Payload: OGO E. Mass: 634 kg (1,397 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OGO. Decay Date: 2011-07-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3138 . COSPAR: 1968-014A. Apogee: 111,034 km (68,993 mi). Perigee: 36,021 km (22,382 mi). Inclination: 50.3000 deg. Period: 3,746.50 min.

    OGO 5 carried 25 experiments, 17 of which were particle studies, and two were magnetic field studies. In addition, there was one each of the following types of experiments: radio astronomy, UV spectrum, Lyman-alpha, solar X ray, plasma waves, and electric field. By April 1971, spacecraft perigee had increased to 26,400 km and inclination had increased to 54 deg. The spacecraft attitude control failed on August 6, 1971, after 41 months of normal operation. The spacecraft was placed in a standby status on October 8, 1971. Four experiments (Meyer, Blamont, Thomas, and Simpson) were reactivated for the period from June 1 to July 13, 1972, after which all operational support terminated. Spacecraft orbit parameters changed significantly over the spacecraft life.


1968 March 5 - .
  • Zond 4 midcourse succeeds. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The L1 reaches its apogee. The time comes to attempt the third midcourse manoeuvre. There are three attempts to orient the spacecraft. The first was at the minimum sensitivity setting for the star tracker, the second at the maximum setting, and the third using a high-density filter. Sirius is finally acquired the third time. The spacecraft is oriented and makes a 15 second burn with a 9.129 m/s delta-V (versus 9.202 m/s planned). This is good enough to assure the spacecraft will hit the re-entry corridor without a further correction.


1968 March 5 - . 11:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 204 - . Payload: DS-P1-I s/n 3. Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-I. Completed Operations Date: 1969-03-03 . Decay Date: 1969-03-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3139 . COSPAR: 1968-015A. Apogee: 626 km (388 mi). Perigee: 485 km (301 mi). Inclination: 70.9000 deg. Period: 95.70 min. Operational radar target for the ABM forces..

1968 March 5 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 205 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 56. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-03-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 3140 . COSPAR: 1968-016A. Apogee: 293 km (182 mi). Perigee: 197 km (122 mi). Inclination: 65.7000 deg. Period: 89.40 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 March 5 - . 18:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B. FAILURE: Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Explorer 37 - . Payload: Solar Explorer B. Mass: 198 kg (436 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Solrad. Decay Date: 1990-11-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 3141 . COSPAR: 1968-017A. Apogee: 433 km (269 mi). Perigee: 353 km (219 mi). Inclination: 59.3000 deg. Period: 92.40 min. Solar Explorer B; radiation data; off-nominal orbit..

1968 March 6-7 - .
  • Design Certification Reviews of Apollo Apollo CSM 101 and LM-3 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, CSM Block II, CSM SPS.

    Design Certification Reviews of CSM 101 and LM-3 were held at MSC. Significant program-level agreements reached included validation of a 60-percent-oxygen and 40-percent-nitrogen cabin atmosphere during launch; reaffirmation of the February 6 Management Council decision that a second unmanned LM flight was not required; and the conclusion that, in light of successful static firing of the 102 service propulsion system and subsequent analysis, a static-firing of the 101 system was not required.


1968 March 6 - .
  • Zond 4 on course. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    It is estimated that Zond 4 will fly 45.8 km below the initial re-entry corridor at an altitude of 145 km, after which it will ricochet back out into space and proceed to a final re-entry and landing on Soviet territory. It is calculated it will land on 7 March at 21:56, 13 minutes later than the originally estimated time.


1968 March 6 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E/Trident.
  • RMP-B-6 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi). The Air Force Western Test Range supported the initial west coast use of an Atlas E (74E) as a booster in an Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES) reentry vehicle development program. .

1968 March 6 - . 11:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63. FAILURE: Second stage failed 216 seconds after launch.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • DS-U1-Ya s/n 1 - . Payload: DS-U1-Ya. Mass: 375 kg (826 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Program: DS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U1-Ya. Studied charged particle flows and cosmic rays..

1968 March 6 - . 16:36 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • C / D / E electrons Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 March 6 - . 21:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C14 / P Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 March 7 - .
  • Soyuz parachute recertification holding up all manned programs. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Tkachev. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1, Lunar L3, Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-LOK, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Mishin certified to MAP on 5 March that the Soyuz parachute system development is complete, but Tkachayev has dissented, saying that the system was unreliable and overweight (this from the same chief designer that certified the previous design as having an 0.999 reliability!). The parachute trials will not be finished until May - meaning there will be no manned Soyuz launch in April. This problem is holding up the L1, L3, and Almaz projects as well.


1968 March 7 - .
  • Zond 4 self-destructs during re-entry - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The L1's SUS guidance system failed on re-entry. It hit the atmosphere precisely at the calculated time, but wasn't guided to generate lift and fly out of the atmosphere again. A ballistic re-entry would mean no recovery on Soviet soil, so the APO destruct system automatically blew up the capsule at 10 to 15 km altitude, 180-200 km off the African coast at Guinea.


1968 March 8 - .
  • Flight readiness test for Apollo 6 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo.

    NASA technicians at KSC completed the flight readiness test for Apollo 6. The two-day event was delayed several days because of difficulties in modifying the service propulsion system tank skirt. With that significant launch-preparation event completed, program officials were reassessing the launch date in light of work remaining on the vehicle.


1968 March 8 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Stromboli. Launch Vehicle: Dauphin.
  • FU-168 A-cone test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 123 km (76 mi).

1968 March 9 - .
  • The ATM Principal Investigators presented the status of their experiments at Ball Brothers Research Corporation in Boulder, Colorado. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Skylab. Spacecraft: Apollo ATM.

    They reported good progress in the development of their instruments and presented material to support their assessment that delivery would be on schedule. They also stressed the importance of flying a mission as early as possible during a period of high solar activity.


1968 March 11 - .
  • Decree 'On formation of the Space Branch of NII-4' was issued. - . Nation: Russia.

1968 March 12 - .
  • Cosmonaut meeting at Yevpatoriya. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Gagarin wants better organisation of the TsPK for the L1 circumlunar manned flights, including: better training in manual navigation in case of failure of automated systems; improved training in survival of 20 G re-entries if the automated SUS capsule guidance system fails. The cosmonauts review material for the Seventh International UFO Conference in Mainz (!).


1968 March 13 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Lunar cosmonaut training program approved. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: LK, Soyuz 7K-LOK. Decree 'On approval of the training program for lunar cosmonauts' was issued. This incuded the final moon landing plan..

1968 March 13 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • L3 project plan. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov, Titov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    Titov is going to Italy, Feoktistov to Hungary. The 30 month program for the L3 lunar landing is settled. The cosmonauts already began training in January. The first LK lunar lander will be tested in low earth orbit in the second half of 1969. The first Soviet manned lunar landing cannot take place any earlier than 1970-1971. The resolution had set the date as 1967-1968, but the N1 and L3 will not be ready in time. The L3 is still conceptual, a purely paper spacecraft. The first N1 was to have been moved to the pad by March of this year, but it won't even make that milestone by May.


1968 March 13 - . 19:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 5057 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 12 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-03-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3148 . COSPAR: 1968-018A. Apogee: 407 km (252 mi). Perigee: 128 km (79 mi). Inclination: 99.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 March 14 - .
  • Soviets review American plans. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Apollo, Lunar L3.

    Six Apollo spacecraft are to be flown into earth orbit in 1968, four unmanned and two manned. Five flights are planned for 1969, including the first landing on the moon. Beyond this is the Apollo Applications Program. Expenditures for this are planned as $179 million in 1968 and $435 million in 1969, leading to the first orbital laboratory in 1970.


1968 March 14 - . 09:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Cosmos 206 - . Payload: Meteor no. 9. Mass: 4,730 kg (10,420 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteor. Decay Date: 1989-04-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 3150 . COSPAR: 1968-019A. Apogee: 405 km (251 mi). Perigee: 396 km (246 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 92.60 min. Visual, IR cloud cover images. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

1968 March 14 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4A 1046 - . Payload: KH-4A s/n 1046 / Agena D 1638 / OPS 4849. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1968-04-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 3152 . COSPAR: 1968-020A. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 90.20 min. KH-4A. Image quality good for 1046-1 and fair for 1046-2..
  • SRV 747 - . Payload: SRV 1046-1 / OPS 7076. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P 11. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1970-01-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 3153 . COSPAR: 1968-020xx. Apogee: 189 km (117 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 88.30 min.
  • OPS 7076 - . Payload: EHH B11. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1970-01-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 3153 . COSPAR: 1968-020B. Apogee: 524 km (325 mi). Perigee: 481 km (298 mi). Inclination: 83.1000 deg. Period: 94.60 min. Radar monitoring..

1968 March 15 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 2 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 684 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 243 sec..

1968 March 15 - . 03:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Kerguelen. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 2B.
  • FU-171 VLF / Ions Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1968 March 15 - . 07:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Auroral P / F Aurora / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

1968 March 15 - . 19:04 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • AS&E Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 March 15 - . 19:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 290 km (180 mi).

1968 March 16 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Pad: SLBM Launch Area. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Antelope 11 Mk 2 Mod 2 RV - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 March 16 - . 03:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Crab X-ray X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 153 km (95 mi).

1968 March 16 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 207 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-03-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3154 . COSPAR: 1968-021A. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi). Perigee: 201 km (124 mi). Inclination: 65.6000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 March 16 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 March 17 - . 06:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • UM Pitot 34 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 148 km (91 mi).

1968 March 17 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Thermosphere probe Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 295 km (183 mi).

1968 March 17 - . 09:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Thermosphere probe Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 311 km (193 mi).

1968 March 17 - . 18:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • UM Pitot 35 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 136 km (84 mi).

1968 March 17 - . 19:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Thermosphere probe Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1968 March 18 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Belier III. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 March 18 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • UM Pitot 36 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 148 km (91 mi).

1968 March 18 - . 17:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Auroral P / F Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1968 March 18 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 March 18 - . 22:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 181 km (112 mi).

1968 March 19 - .
  • Further development of Lox/LH2 rocket engines authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 88 'On use of liquid hydrogen in the space program' was issued..

1968 March 19 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • SPARCS test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 March 19 - . 18:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 176 km (109 mi).

1968 March 19 - . 19:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 178 km (110 mi).

1968 March 20 - .
  • Lunar spacesuit review. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Severin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Krechet, LK, Luna Ye-8, Orlan.

    Meeting with Gay Ilyich Severin. Two spacesuits are being developed for the L3 program: the Krechet-94 and Orlan. Both have been in development for two years. The Krechet-94 will allow six hours of lunar surface activity, the Orlan, 2.5 hours. Both weigh about 90 kg. There are consumables for a total of 52 hours of life support in the LK and the LT Lunar Cart. Kamanin feels the suits are too heavy, due to Mishin's demand for a 5 km range from the LK over a three day traverse with the LT. Severin could have instead developed the spacesuit used by Leonov to have a four hour autonomous operation, but Mishin insisted on doubling of the capacity.


1968 March 20 - . 04:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3.
1968 March 20 - . 18:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • MPE Barium release EXP-34 Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 216 km (134 mi).

1968 March 20 - . 19:55 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 32.3 N x 128.0 W. Launch Platform: AVM1. LV Family: Iris. Launch Vehicle: Hydra-Iris.
  • LRL BAR-1 test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN NMC. Apogee: 195 km (121 mi).

1968 March 20 - . 20:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 March 20 - . 21:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 182 km (113 mi).

1968 March 20 - . 21:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 March 21 - .
  • Apollo lunar landing research vehicle in operation - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo LM. Spacecraft: Apollo LLRV.

    The lunar landing research vehicle was operating and training was being conducted, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth wrote Langley Research Center's Acting Director Charles J. Donlan. MSC intended to conduct a second class for LLRV pilots and one of the first requirements for checkout was a familiarization program on Langley's Lunar Landing Research Facility. He requested that a program be conducted for not less than four nor more than six MSC pilots between April 15 and May 15.


1968 March 21 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF B046 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 March 21 - . 06:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Auroral emissions Magnetosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 209 km (129 mi).

1968 March 21 - . 09:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 208 - . Payload: Zenit-2M. Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2M satellite. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-04-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3156 . COSPAR: 1968-022A. Apogee: 287 km (178 mi). Perigee: 205 km (127 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.40 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; deployed high energy gamma ray experiment capsule. First flight of modernised Zenit-2 area survey reconnaissance satellite..
  • Nauka - . Payload: Nauka. Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Spacecraft: Nauka. Decay Date: 1968-04-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 3167 . COSPAR: 1968-022C. Apogee: 263 km (163 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.08 min.

1968 March 22 - . 00:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 176 km (109 mi).

1968 March 22 - . 07:24 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 208 km (129 mi).

1968 March 22 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC90/19. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-2A.
  • Cosmos 209 - . Payload: US-A no. 2. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: RORSAT. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military naval surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Kosmoplan. Spacecraft: US-A. Decay Date: 1968-04-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 3162 . COSPAR: 1968-023C. Apogee: 927 km (576 mi). Perigee: 876 km (544 mi). Inclination: 65.3000 deg. Period: 103.00 min. RORSAT hardware, representative of production hardware, but using chemical batteries in place of BES-5 nuclear reactor..

1968 March 23 - .
  • Apollo drogue chute test failure 99-5 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Parachute.

    Apollo drogue chute test 99-5 failed at the El Centro, Calif., parachute facility. The drop was conducted to demonstrate the slight change made in the reefed area and the 10-second reefing cutter at ultimate load conditions. The 5,897-kilogram vehicle was launched from a B-52 aircraft at 10,668 meters and programmer chute operation and timing appeared normal. At drogue deployment following mortar activation, one drogue appeared to separate from the vehicle. Additional Details: here....


1968 March 23 - . 14:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonmiani. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Pakistan. Agency: SUPARCO. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi).

1968 March 23 - . 18:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • DLR K-NA-9 Aeronomy / ionosphere / Fields mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 March 23 - . 19:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Ion composition Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 182 km (113 mi).

1968 March 24 - . 12:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 March 25 - .
1968 March 25 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC50. Launch Vehicle: Sprint ABM. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 March 25 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Ion composition Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1968 March 25 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1968 March 25 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 March 25 - . 12:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 March 25 - . 19:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 181 km (112 mi).

1968 March 25 - . 21:14 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • C / D / E electrons Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).

1968 March 25 - . 22:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 March 26 - .
  • A State Commission is held to review L1 and Soyuz status. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Hours are spent arguing over flying Feoktistov as a cosmonaut. Finally the matter is referred to the VPK. Kamanin briefs Ustinov's deputy on his position against Feoktistov. The L1 is reviewed. The star sensor only operated on Zond-4 on the fourth day of flight. However when it worked, it provided a 2 km positional accuracy at re-entry versus the 10 km required. The next L1 is to be launched on 23 April. If that date cannot be met, it will be launched on 25-30 April on a deep-space trajectory (not aimed at the moon).


1968 March 26 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein, Vandenberg.
  • The Joint Pacific Area Scheduling Office (JPASO) was established at Vandenberg AFB to centralize coordination and scheduling for all Department of Defense offensive/defensive ballistic missile tests. - . This was without regard to point of origin. Representatives from the Air Force Western Test Range, the Army's Kwajalein Missile Range (KMR), and the Navy's Pacific Missile Range (PMR) were the primary participants in the scheduling meetings..

1968 March 26 - . 23:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna S. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 1.
  • ESRO S16 / 1 Aurora mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1968 March 27 - .
  • Death of Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin at Novoselovo, Russia. Crash of MiG-15 trainer. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz.

    Gagarin is killed together with instructor pilot Sergin on a flight in a UTI MiG-15 trainer. Gagarin was being requalified as a jet pilot after being denied flight status by the leadership for a long time. At that time the mean flight hours between fatal accidents hours for Soviet jet fighters were: MiG-15, 18,440 hours; MiG-17, 11,460 hours; MiG-19, 4,475 hours; MiG-21, 4,422 hours; Su-7, 2,245 hours; Su-11, 2,100 hours. Gagarin's UTI MiG-15 s/n 612739 was built at the Vodokhod factory in Czechoslovakia and delivered on 19 March 1956. It had a 2100 hour airframe life, and had flown 1113 hours. It had two overhauls to date: one on 13 July 1962, after 13,834 'mil' hours, and the second on 30 March 1967, after 36,986 'mil' hours. It should have had a 500 hour life after the second overhaul, had flown only 62 hours since then, and had 438 hours left.


1968 March 27 - .
  • Vulkan Engineering Cosmonaut Training Group selected. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Fartushny. The group was selected to provide engineer to operate Vulkan space welding system..

1968 March 27 - . 04:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VB.
  • Auroral fluxes Aurora / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 290 km (180 mi).

1968 March 27 - . 07:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Kerguelen. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 2B.
  • FU-171 VLF / Ions Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 400 km (240 mi).

1968 March 27 - . 11:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi).

1968 March 28 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Stromboli. Launch Vehicle: Dauphin.
  • FU-168 B-cone test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1968 March 28 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC41/15. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65.
  • VKZ - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 4,000 km (2,400 mi).

1968 March 28 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 2. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF D068 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 March 28 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 1. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USN B044 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 March 28 - . 01:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 10.15 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 211 km (131 mi).

1968 March 28 - . 16:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Radio astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi).

1968 March 29 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • ARPA V114C re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 March 29 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF26. Launch Pad: LF26?. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • ST Olympic Trials 9 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 March 29 - . 06:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Infrared Telescope Infrared astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 220 km (130 mi).

1968 March 29 - . 08:29 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Spectrograph Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1968 March 29 - . 14:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonmiani. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1.
  • Shahpar-2 test - . Nation: Pakistan. Agency: SUPARCO. Apogee: 420 km (260 mi).

1968 March 30 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein Meck. Launch Vehicle: Spartan ABM.
  • KT-1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 March 30 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1968 March 30 - . 13:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 10.16 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 211 km (131 mi).

1968 March 30 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 176 km (109 mi).

1968 March 31 - . 00:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 10.18 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 211 km (131 mi).

1968 March 31 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 10.17 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1968 Apr - .
  • After completion of an agreement between the Defense Department and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), SAMSO initiated procurement of a two-satellite communications system for NATO. - . Spacecraft Bus: Skynet. Spacecraft: NATO 1. Philco-Ford Corporation was selected to build the two satellites that would be nearly identical to those produced for the United Kingdom's Skynet program..

1968 April 1 - . 03:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kerguelen. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 2B.
  • FU-171 VLF / Ions Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 416 km (258 mi).

1968 April 2 - .
  • 40 percent nitrogen for the Apollo CM cabin in prelaunch operations - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM ECS.

    NASA Hq. confirmed oral instructions to MSC and KSC to use 60 percent oxygen and 40 percent nitrogen to pressurize the Apollo CM cabin in prelaunch checkout operations and during manned chamber testing, as recommended by the Design Certification Review Board on March 7 and confirmed by the NASA Administrator on March 12. This instruction was applicable to flight and test articles at all locations.


1968 April 2 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 395-C. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II.
  • Glory Trip 10T - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). FOT GT10T Follow-on Test launch.

1968 April 3 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 3 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 3. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 732 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 242 sec..

1968 April 3 - . 00:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonmiani. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Pakistan. Agency: SUPARCO. Apogee: 119 km (73 mi).

1968 April 3 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 210 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 60. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-04-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 3168 . COSPAR: 1968-024A. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 81.4000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 April 3 - . 13:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VB.
  • Auroral fluxes Aurora / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 316 km (196 mi).

1968 April 4 - .
  • Ustinov tours the TsPK. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Ustinov.

    He agrees that only pilots should be assigned as crew commanders. However he says that the increase of the training centre to 500 staff will need discussion with the party. Furthermore, Kamanin's wish to move management of manned spacecraft projects from the RSVN to the VVS is a 'difficult subject' that has to be discussed at the highest levels of the Ministry of Defence.


1968 April 4 - .
  • Soviet view on Saturn V - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3, Apollo.

    The second successful launch of the Saturn V stunned the Soviet engineers. They could not believe the variety and volume of data telemetered back in real-time to the launch centre. They viewed with jealousy the launch room set-up at Cape Canaveral - where each engineering speciality could sit in their own comfortable chair, viewing data as the booster ascended on a computer screen.


1968 April 4 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Pad: SLBM Launch Area. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Antelope 12 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 April 4 - . 03:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Auroral Aurora / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1968 April 4 - . 07:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Auroral Aurora / plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1968 April 4 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: LUT2. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo 6 - . Payload: Apollo CM 020/ SM 014 / Apollo LTA-2R / S-IVB 502. Mass: 36,806 kg (81,143 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 2.43 days. Decay Date: 1968-04-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3170 . COSPAR: 1968-025A. Apogee: 184 km (114 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.20 min.

    Apollo 6 (AS-502) was launched from Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The space vehicle consisted of a Saturn V launch vehicle with an unmanned, modified Block I command and service module (CSM 020) and a lunar module test article (LTA-2R).

    Liftoff at 7:00 a.m. EST was normal but, during the first-stage (S-IC) boost phase, oscillations and abrupt measurement changes were observed. During the second-stage (S-II) boost phase, two of the J-2 engines shut down early and the remaining three were extended approximately one minute to compensate. The third stage (S-IVB) firing was also longer than planned and at termination of thrust the orbit was 177.7 x 362.9 kilometers rather than the 160.9-kilometer near-circular orbit planned. The attempt to reignite the S-IVB engine for the translunar injection was unsuccessful. Reentry speed was 10 kilometers per second rather than the planned 11.1, and the spacecraft landed 90.7 kilometers uprange of the targeted landing point.

    The most significant spacecraft anomaly occurred at about 2 minutes 13 seconds after liftoff, when abrupt changes were indicated by strain, vibration, and acceleration measurements in the S-IVB, instrument unit, adapter, lunar module test article, and CSM. Apparently oscillations induced by the launch vehicle exceeded the spacecraft design criteria.

    The second-stage (S-II) burn was normal until about 4 minutes 38 seconds after liftoff; then difficulties were recorded. Engine 2 cutoff was recorded about 6 minutes 53 seconds into the flight and engine 3 cutoff less than 3 seconds later. The remaining second-stage engines shut down at 9 minutes 36 seconds - 58 seconds later than planned.

    The S-IVB engine during its first burn, which was normal, operated 29 seconds longer than programmed. After two revolutions in a parking orbit, during which the systems were checked, operational tests performed, and several attitude maneuvers made, preparations were completed for the S-IVB engine restart. The firing was scheduled to occur on the Cape Kennedy pass at the end of the second revolution, but could not be accomplished. A ground command was sent to the CSM to carry out a planned alternate mission, and the CSM separated from the S-IVB stage.

    A service propulsion system (SPS) engine firing sequence resulted in a 442-second burn and an accompanying free-return orbit of 22,259.1 x 33.3 kilometers. Since the SPS was used to attain the desired high apogee, there was insufficient propellant left to gain the high-velocity increase desired for the entry. For this reason, a complete firing sequence was performed except that the thrust was inhibited.

    Parachute deployment was normal and the spacecraft landed about 9 hours 50 minutes after liftoff, in the mid-Pacific, 90.7 kilometers uprange from the predicted landing area (27.40 N 157.59 W). A normal retrieval was made by the U.S.S. Okinawa, with waves of 2.1 to 2.4 meters.

    The spacecraft was in good condition, including the unified crew hatch, flown for the first time. Charring of the thermal protection was about the same as that experienced on the Apollo 4 spacecraft (CM 017).

    Of the five primary objectives, three - demonstrating separation of launch vehicle stages, performance of the emergency detection system (EDS) in a close-loop mode, and mission support facilities and operations - were achieved. Only partially achieved were the objectives of confirming structure and thermal integrity, compatibility of launch vehicle and spacecraft, and launch loads and dynamic characteristics; and of verifying operation of launch vehicle propulsion, guidance and control, and electrical systems. Apollo 6, therefore, was officially judged in December as "not a success in accordance with . . . NASA mission objectives."


1968 April 4 - . 18:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Delamar Dry Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008.
  • X-15A CO/WTR/SA TPS Test/Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 57 km (35 mi). Maximum Speed - 5808 kph. Maximum Altitude - 57150 m. Air dropped in Delamar Dry Lake DZ..

1968 April 5-7 - .
  • A 48-hour delayed-recovery test with Apollo CSM 007 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Duke, Lovell, Roosa. Program: Apollo.

    Astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr., Stuart A. Roosa, and Charles M. Duke, Jr., participated in a recovery test of spacecraft 007, conducted by the MSC Landing and Recovery Division in the Gulf of Mexico. The test crew reported that while they did not "recommend the Apollo spacecraft for any extended sea voyages they encountered no serious habitability problems during the 48-hour test. Additional Details: here....


1968 April 5 - . 09:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1968 April 6 - .
  • Joint meeting of the VPK and the Academy of Sciences. - . Nation: Russia. There is, to the disappointment of Kamanin, no discussion of moving manned spacecraft management from TsUKOS to VVS..

1968 April 6 - . 01:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • DLR K-NA-10 Aurora mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 April 6 - . 02:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IVA.
  • Calgary CR / ionos Ionosphere / chemical release mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 862 km (535 mi).

1968 April 6 - . 09:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OV1-13 - . Mass: 107 kg (235 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. USAF Sat Cat: 3173 . COSPAR: 1968-026A. Apogee: 9,214 km (5,725 mi). Perigee: 587 km (364 mi). Inclination: 100.0000 deg. Period: 198.70 min. Radiation, engineering experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OV1-14 - . Mass: 101 kg (222 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. USAF Sat Cat: 3174 . COSPAR: 1968-026B. Apogee: 9,858 km (6,125 mi). Perigee: 568 km (352 mi). Inclination: 100.0000 deg. Period: 207.00 min. Radiation data. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 April 7 - . 05:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar X-ray Scan X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 158 km (98 mi).

1968 April 7 - . 10:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Luna 14 - . Payload: E-6LS s/n 113. Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Lunar L3. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft Bus: Luna E-6. Spacecraft: Luna E-6LS. USAF Sat Cat: 3178 . COSPAR: 1968-027A.

    Lunar Orbiter; studied lunar gravitational field, Earth-Moon gravitational relationship, and conducted further scientific experiments in circumlunar space. Not revealed until years later was that the E-6LS was primarily intended to test tracking and communications networks for the Soviet manned lunar program. The Luna 14 spacecraft entered a 140 x 870 km x 42 degree lunar orbit on April 10, 1966. The spacecraft instrumentation was similar to that of Luna 10 and provided data for studies of the interaction of the earth and lunar masses, the lunar gravitational field, the propagation and stability of radio communications to the spacecraft at different orbital positions, solar charged particles and cosmic rays, and the motion of the Moon. This flight was the final flight of the second generation of the Luna series.


1968 April 8 - .
  • Further MiG-15UTI crashes - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin. MiG-15UTI trainer crashes are reported from Algeria and Hungary. They are to be investigated - could they be due to some common problem that also killed Gagarin?.

1968 April 9 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Veronique. Launch Vehicle: Veronique AGI.
  • FU-184 Sea recovery test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 114 km (70 mi). FU184 Technology (sea recovery) mission..

1968 April 9 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S01.
  • S01V-4 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 April 9 - . 11:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 211 - . Payload: DS-P1-Yu s/n 13. Mass: 250 kg (550 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-Yu. Completed Operations Date: 1968-04-13 . Decay Date: 1968-11-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 3181 . COSPAR: 1968-028A. Apogee: 1,532 km (951 mi). Perigee: 199 km (123 mi). Inclination: 81.9000 deg. Period: 102.30 min. Development of systems for air defence and the control of outer space..

1968 April 9 - . 21:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Javelin.
  • Extreme ultraviolet Dayglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 856 km (531 mi).

1968 April 10 - .
  • Cosmonauts occupied with Gagarin crash investigation - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin. Program: Soyuz.

    No cosmonauts will be sent to witness the next series of unmanned Soyuz flights beginning on 14 April. All cosmonaut staff efforts are concentrated on the Gagarin crash investigation. Kamanin notes the flight of Apollo 6. According to his information the first manned Apollo flight will take place in May-October 1968, and the first American moon landing by the end of 1969.


1968 April 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 630. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 630. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 630. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 630. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 10 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF03. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST Olympic T. B-2 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 April 11 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Pad: SLBM Launch Area. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Antelope 13 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 April 13 - . Launch Site: , Vandenberg. LV Family: Thor.
  • A NASA Thorad/Agena was launched from Vandenberg AFB and successfully boosted a Nimbus B2 meteorological satellite and an Army-sponsored Sequential Collocation of Range (SECOR) satellite into orbit. - .

1968 April 14 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Cosmos 212 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-OK (A) s/n 8. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Duration: 4.92 days. Decay Date: 1968-04-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 3183 . COSPAR: 1968-029A. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.30 min. Cosmos 212 docked with Cosmos 213 in the first completely successful test of the Soyuz 7K-OK attitude control, automatic rendezvous and docking systems. Cosmos 212 was successfully recovered on April 19, 1968 at 08:10 GMT.. Additional Details: here....

1968 April 15 - . 09:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Cosmos 213 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-OK (P) s/n 7. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Duration: 5.02 days. Decay Date: 1968-04-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 3193 . COSPAR: 1968-030A. Apogee: 254 km (157 mi). Perigee: 188 km (116 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.90 min.

    Cosmos 213 was the target for Cosmos 212 in a successful test of Soyuz 7K-OK rendezvous and docking systems. The Cosmos 213 launch was the most accurate yet. The spacecraft was placed in orbit only 4 km from Cosmos 212, ready for a first-orbit docking. Both spacecraft were recovered, but Cosmos 213 was dragged by heavy wind across the steppes when the parachute lines didn't jettison at touchdown. This failure caused the upcoming Soyuz 2/3 manned docking mission to be scaled back.
    Officially: Investigation of outer space, development of new systems and elements to be used in the construction of space devices. Additional Details: here....


1968 April 16 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein, Vandenberg. LV Family: Atlas.
  • Atlas 68E, the 16th and last E model to be launched from Vandenberg AFB, completed its mission to Kwajalein as part of the SAMSO-Army Reentry Measurements Program Phase B (RMP-B). - .

1968 April 16 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-20 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 April 16 - . 03:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • Auroral breakup Aurora / aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 April 17 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 5105 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 13 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-04-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 3199 . COSPAR: 1968-031A. Apogee: 421 km (261 mi). Perigee: 127 km (78 mi). Inclination: 111.4000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 April 18 - .
  • Two men are killed working on the N1. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3.

1968 April 18 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E.
  • ABRES RVTO-1A-1 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi).

1968 April 18 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67.
  • 8F765 warhead state trials flight - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 18 - . 05:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • Auroral breakup Aurora / aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1968 April 18 - . 06:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • Auroral breakup Aurora / aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 April 18 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 214 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-04-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 3203 . COSPAR: 1968-032A. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 81.4000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 April 18 - . 22:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 215 - . Payload: DS-U1-A s/n 1. Mass: 385 kg (848 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U1-A. Completed Operations Date: 1968-06-06 . Decay Date: 1968-06-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 3205 . COSPAR: 1968-033A. Apogee: 403 km (250 mi). Perigee: 255 km (158 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Studied the optical characteristics of the atmosphere. Radiation observatory; eight telescopes..

1968 April 19 - .
  • L1 launch preparations - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Kamanin goes to Baikonur aboard an Il-18 for the L1 launch. This is to be the first flight demonstration of the SUS system that will use the capsule's L/D ratio of 0.3 to make a lifting re-entry. Preparations are on schedule..

1968 April 19 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Pad: SLBM Launch Area. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Antelope 14 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 April 20 - .
  • Cosmos 213 landing/L1 preparations - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK. Unfuelled tests of the Proton rocket on the pad are completed successfully. The K-100 star sensor on the L1 is a special concern..

1968 April 20 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 216 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 62. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-04-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3207 . COSPAR: 1968-034A. Apogee: 267 km (165 mi). Perigee: 198 km (123 mi). Inclination: 51.0000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. Unsuccessful mission. Spacecraft landed in River Volga 1 km from shore and sank after 42 minutes. 85% of the data was ruined..

1968 April 20 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA2. Launch Pad: LA2A?. LV Family: Astrobee. Launch Vehicle: Astrobee 1500.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 1,250 km (770 mi).

1968 April 21 - .
  • L1 on schedule; N1 in trouble. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    This was a reserve day in the L1 countdown, in case of problems in preparation. However all is on schedule for the launch. The same cannot be said for the N1. There are many delays. Mishin promised the first N1 rollout in the first half of March, but it is still in the assembly building, with no end in sight of preparations. The weather at the cosmodrome is -5 deg at night, clear pleasant days. The Hotel Kosmonavt was finished on 15 April. Although it has all of its furniture, it was not completely painted before the furniture was moved in!


1968 April 21 - . 04:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-08 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-2. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1974-01-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 3209 . COSPAR: 1968-035A. Apogee: 40,099 km (24,916 mi). Perigee: 405 km (251 mi). Inclination: 64.0000 deg. Period: 720.80 min. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1968 April 22 - .
  • The L1 State Commission meets and the launch is set for the next day. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    However the Commission did not agree to disarm the APO destruct system aboard the capsule. They don't want any chance of 'Soviet electronic secrets' falling into the hands of the Americans. Kamanin disagrees - he thinks they should conduct one fully ballistic re-entry and landing of an L1 to see if the landing system would function and the crew would survive. What's the point of deploying recovery ships to the Indian Ocean if they are only going to blow up the capsule anyway if the SUS fails and it reverts to ballistic mode? Mishin's answer: 'I was always against having those forces in the Indian Ocean!' Yet he had demanded those 7 to 9 recovery ships in February!


1968 April 22 - . 15:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 40.01 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 April 22 - . 23:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. FAILURE: Second stage shut-off prematurely due to short-circuit in Zond control system.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 7L - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 7L. Mass: 5,390 kg (11,880 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Decay Date: 1968-04-22 .

    L1 launch attempt, lift-off at 02:00 local time. The spacecraft was to separate at 589 seconds into the flight. Instead at 260 seconds, a short circuit in the malfunction detection system incorrectly indicated a launch vehicle failure. This in turn triggered the SAS abort system. The SAS shut down the good stage and separated the spacecraft from the booster. The capsule landed safely 520 km downrange from the launch site. This was the third such abort, which if nothing else proved the reliability of the SAS - all of the spacecraft landed safely.


1968 April 23 - .
  • L1 launch failure - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The cosmonauts and VVS staff will watch the Proton launch from Area 130. Kamanin observes from Area 81, near the pads. It is a warm, starry night and the booster heads toward space on pillars of fire. Up until T+260 seconds all proceeds normally, then the stage 2 shuts down 79 seconds into its burn. At 02:50 it is reported that the capsule separated successfully from the inert booster and has landed 520 km from the launch pad, 110 km east of Dzhezkazgan. Two Il-14 search aircraft and one Mi-4 helicopter fly over the recovery zone, but no signal is received from the capsule. Mishin immediately blames Chelomei's TsKBEM for the booster failure -- later it is shown that Mishin's L1 spacecraft sent an erroneous abort command to the rocket, which then shut down it engines! The capsule is sighted after dawn and picked up by a Mi-6 helicopter and delivered to Dzhezkazgan airfield at 15:00. It is then taken to Moscow for examination. The SAS abort and capsule landing systems have certainly been proven reliable! They have worked perfectly on the last three launches!


1968 April 23 - . 04:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • dup for 116? Aurora / aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi).

1968 April 23 - . 04:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 268 km (166 mi).

1968 April 23 - . 23:06 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Airglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).

1968 April 24 - . 03:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 April 24 - . 15:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 40.02 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 April 24 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC90/20. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-2A.
  • Cosmos 217 - . Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: PKO. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system target. Spacecraft Bus: Kosmoplan. Spacecraft: IS-P. Decay Date: 1968-04-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 3216 . COSPAR: 1968-036A. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi). Perigee: 140 km (80 mi). Inclination: 62.3000 deg. Period: 87.70 min. Unsuccessful launch of ASAT target. Satellite did not separate from last rocket stage. Planned launch of interceptor cancelled..

1968 April 25 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 4 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 739 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 258 sec..

1968 April 25 - .
  • A memorial service is held for Komarov at his crash site near Omsk. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Komarov, Matinchenko.

    Over 10,000 people come out to the steppe, some driving hundreds of kilometres for the event. Kamanin discharges Matinchenko from the cosmonaut corps. He was in two bad automobile accidents on 19 and 21 April. In one of the accidents a six-year-old child was killed.


1968 April 25 - . 00:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC162/36. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36O 8K69.
  • Cosmos 218 - . Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Class: Military. Type: Orbital bombing system. Spacecraft: OGCh. Decay Date: 1968-04-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 3217 . COSPAR: 1968-037A. Apogee: 162 km (100 mi). Perigee: 123 km (76 mi). Inclination: 49.6000 deg. Period: 87.30 min. Fractional Orbital Bombardment System test..

1968 April 25 - . 06:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • p / e flux Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 April 25 - . 06:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 262 km (162 mi).

1968 April 26 - .
  • State Commission on the Gagarin crash. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin. The course and manoeuvres taken by the aircraft in its last minutes has been determined from radar data and the on-board recorder..

1968 April 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 657. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 657. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 657. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 657. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Follow-on operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 26 - . 04:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 219 - . Payload: DS-U2-D s/n 2. Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U2-D. Decay Date: 1969-03-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3220 . COSPAR: 1968-038A. Apogee: 1,745 km (1,084 mi). Perigee: 215 km (133 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 104.60 min. Studied charged particle flows..

1968 April 26 - . 19:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Delamar Dry Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008.
  • X-15A SA TPS/HS Test/Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 63 km (39 mi). Maximum Speed - 5704 kph. Maximum Altitude - 63090 m. Air dropped in Delamar Dry Lake DZ..

1968 April 27 - .
  • Delays in Apollo CSM and LM delivery dates - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Block II.

    ASPO Manager George M. Low explained to the Apollo Program Director the underlying causes of slips in CSM and LM delivery dates since establishment of contract dates during the fall of 1967. The general excuse, Low said, was that slips were the result of NASA-directed hardware changes. "This excuse is not valid." He recounted how NASA-imposed changes had been under strict control and only essential changes had been approved by the MSC Level II Configuration Control Board (CCB). Additional Details: here....


1968 April 27 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Preparation of third Saturn V for an Apollo manned mission - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA Administrator James E. Webb approved plans to proceed with preparation of the third Saturn V space vehicle for a manned mission in the fourth quarter of 1968. . Additional Details: here....

1968 April 27 - .
  • Kamanin proposes organising the cosmonauts into two detachments. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Leonov, Matinchenko, Popovich, Titov.

    Nikolayev is to be commander of the first group, with Leonov as his deputy. Titov would command the second group, with Popovich as his deputy. But Kamanin doesn't consider any of them to be command officer material yet. The automobile accidents of Popovich, the mess that led to Matinchenko's dismissal, the bad performance of Belyayev in his duties as chief of staff of the VVS group at Baikonur - none of these men have any discipline!


1968 April 27 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E/Trident.
  • RMP-B-7 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,600 km (900 mi).

1968 April 27 - . 05:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-5C.
  • Reentry 5 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 April 27 - . 15:05 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • NRL ND3.212 Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi).

1968 April 28 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 April 29 - .
  • Mishin '2+2' scenario for the next manned Soyuz flight. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Titov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Mishin calls Kamanin and asks what he would think of a revised scenario for the next manned Soyuz flight. Mishin's '2+2' concept would call for four, instead of five cosmonauts, aboard two Soyuz capsules with transfer of only one cosmonaut by EVA. He gives Kamanin until 6 May to give his opinion on the change of plan. Titov is planning on selling his Volga automobile and buying a Moskovich.


1968 April 29 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • NRL ND3.213 Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1968 April 29 - . 22:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Skua. Launch Vehicle: Skua 2.
  • OH profile Aeronomy / Chemical release mission - . Nation: Canada. Apogee: 109 km (67 mi).

1968 April 30 - .
  • Soyuz program review. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Mishin's 'corps de ballet' dance the dance and walk the walk in a Soyuz program review..

1968 April 30 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF22. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • GIANT BLADE 1 demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 April 30 - . Launch Site: Fort Bliss. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1.
  • P-146? 68 Spring 04 - . Nation: USA. Agency: US7A. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1968 April 30 - . 07:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 109 km (67 mi).

1968 May - .
1968 May 1 - .
  • Death of John W Paup - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Paup. American North American engineer who managed their winning Apollo proposal and was the company's Apollo program manager 1961-1964. Replaced under NASA pressure, he died in 1968 before his spacecraft made it to the moon..

1968 May 1 - .
  • SAMSO awarded Hughes Aircraft and TRW Systems Group contracts to prepare preliminary designs for a navigation satellite system that would provide for precision navigation by high-speed aircraft. - . Spacecraft: Navstar.

1968 May 1 - . LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • Headquarters USAF issued a System Management Directive (SMD) to initiate the Hard Rock Silo (HRS) Development Program for Minuteman III. - .

    The aim of the program was to develop and test a new, very hard basing system that would be compatible with an Advanced ICBM but initially used for Minuteman III. This SMD was the culmination of previous studies undertaken by the Defense Department and the Air Force on advanced ICBM systems.


1968 May? - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Pad: SLBM Launch Area. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A1.
  • ISEP 4 Mk 2 RV - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 May? - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Pad: SLBM Launch Area. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A1.
  • ISEP 5 Mk 2 RV - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 May 1 - . 20:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 217 km (134 mi).

1968 May 1 - . 21:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4B 1103 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1103 / OPS 1419. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1968-05-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 3228 . COSPAR: 1968-039B. Apogee: 243 km (150 mi). Perigee: 164 km (101 mi). Inclination: 83.1000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. KH-4B. Out-of-focus imagery is present on both main camera records..
  • SRV 807 - . Payload: SRV 1103-1. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1968-05-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 3232 . COSPAR: 1968-039C. Apogee: 199 km (123 mi). Perigee: 142 km (88 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 87.90 min.

1968 May 2 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 1. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV. FAILURE: Failure.
  • USN V116D re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 May 2 - . 05:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 216 km (134 mi).

1968 May 2 - . 06:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Elec backscatter Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 212 km (131 mi).

1968 May 2 - . 10:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 218 km (135 mi).

1968 May 3 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 5 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 732 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 245 sec..

1968 May 3 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • ABRES Penaid TVX re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 May 3 - . 05:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 258 km (160 mi).

1968 May 3 - . 07:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar ultraviolet spectra Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1968 May 4 - .
  • Gagarin survivor benefits - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin.

    It is decided that the TsPK will be named for Gagarin. Meanwhile 400 soldiers and 50 officers have combed the Gagarin crash site, recovering pieces of the aircraft. Gagarin's widow will receive a one-time payment of 5000 roubles, plus 200 roubles/month pension, plus 100 roubles/month for Gagarin's daughter. This is in addition to base amounts of 150/month for the widow and 75/month for the daughter.


1968 May 6 - .
  • Apollo lunar landing research vehicle No 1 crashed at Ellington Air Force Base - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo LM. Spacecraft: Apollo LLRV.

    Lunar landing research vehicle (LLRV) No. 1 crashed at Ellington Air Force Base, Tex. The pilot, astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, ejected after losing control of the vehicle, landing by parachute with minor injury. Estimated altitude of the LLRV at the time of ejection was 60 meters. LLRV No. 1, which had been on a standard training mission, was a total loss - estimated at $1.5 million. LLRV No. 2 would not begin flight status until the accident investigation had been completed and the cause determined. Additional Details: here....


1968 May 6 - .
  • Review of military spacecraft plans. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Maksimov. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz.

    Kamanin meets with Yuryshev, Deputy Chief of NTK/General Staff, and Maksimov, Deputy Chief of TsKIK, to review military spacecraft. Such spacecraft can be placed in two general categories: Category 1 would be manoeuvrable spacecraft that use active gliding to be guided to a landing point. This technology was currently being developed in the Soyuz and L1 projects. Category 2 would be an orbital aircraft which would be launched from a winged, recoverable, aircraft first stage booster. Less work has been accomplished on such spacecraft. The Mikoyan and Tupolev bureaux have been authorised to begin design and development, but this was still in its earliest stages. But Kamanin believes the second approach has the greatest future potential, and should be pursued more vigorously.


1968 May 7 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 booster 4L erected at launch complex 110 east - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3.

    A September 1968 flight test was planned. However the first stage LOX tank developed hairline cracks during ground tests. 4L was removed from the pad in June 1968. The first stage was cannibalized; the upper stages were incorporated into the 1M1 mockup for further training of the launch crews.


1968 May 7 - .
  • Soyuz manned flights delayed 2 to 3 more months - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov, Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Kamanin reviews the ongoing controversy with Mishin over assignment of Feoktistov to spaceflights. He then turns to the trials of the revised parachute system for Soyuz. The new design has been proven in three landings of spacecraft and 23 tests of mock-ups from aircraft. The SAS abort system has not been retested -- Korolev took full responsibility for its design, and the VVS accepted that in the old days. In any case the likelihood of having to use the SAS or the reserve parachute was not great. Yet still Mishin refuses to recommend going ahead with manned flights. 'I will only proceed when the Central Committee orders me!' he has said. Nevertheless he does declare that Soyuz is now ready to resume manned flights, except for the reserve parachute system, which needs two to three months more development. Based on successful completion of these tests, a manned flight will be possible in the first half of August.


1968 May 7 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IVA.
  • Isis test / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: DRTE, NASA. Apogee: 820 km (500 mi).

1968 May 7 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi).

1968 May 7 - . 13:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. Launch Pad: LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 220 - . Mass: 775 kg (1,708 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-1. Spacecraft: Tsiklon satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 3229 . COSPAR: 1968-040A. Apogee: 700 km (430 mi). Perigee: 637 km (395 mi). Inclination: 74.0000 deg. Period: 98.10 min. Military navigation satellite..

1968 May 8 - . 09:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 68 km (42 mi).

1968 May 9 - . 06:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • LRL BOX-14 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 178 km (110 mi).

1968 May 9 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 21.7 N x 33.3 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 162 km (100 mi).

1968 May 11 - .
  • Cosmonaut jet trainers. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Bykovsky, Kuznetsov, Nikolai F, Leonov, Nikolayev, Popovich, Titov.

    Holidays - in the first ten days of May, the civilians work only two days, while the military must work four. Kamanin assigns cosmonauts to the State Commission that will select the design for the Gagarin memorial obelisk. He then reviews cosmonaut pilot aircraft type qualifications. Titov is current on the Su-7, MiG-21, and several other high-performance aircraft. Nikolayev and Leonov are still certified to fly two or three MiG fighter types. Belyayev, Bykovsky, Popovich, Kutachov, and the others are only current on the L-29 trainer. The L-29 is 20 times more reliable than the MiG-21 or Su-7, and the MiG-15 trainer is 4x to 5x more reliable than the high performance types. In general the cosmonauts are against plans to move the air regiment to TsPK from Chkalovsky air field due to greater air space restrictions over Moscow.


1968 May 11 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1968 May 11 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1968 May 12 - .
  • Belyayev is grounded due to stomach ulcers. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Kuznetsov, Nikolai F. He has also had a violent argument with Kuznetsov, who has termed him 'undisciplined'..

1968 May 12 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67.
  • State trials missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 May 12 - . 05:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 198 km (123 mi).

1968 May 12 - . 13:15 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1968 May 13 - . 05:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ba release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 198 km (123 mi).

1968 May 14 - . Launch Site: Salto di Quirra. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Belier III.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: CNES, ESRO. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1968 May 14 - . 07:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE1. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J.
  • AFP-437 combat evaluation interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 823 km (511 mi).

1968 May 15 - .
  • Soyuz parachute problems will limit crew size. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    One engineer has resigned in the belief that the Gagarin crash was due to a hydraulic accumulator failure. The reason Mishin has been pushing for a reduced Soyuz crew is revealed when the reserve parachute will burst when subjected to forces greater than 1300 kgf/square metre. This implies that the Soyuz SA has to be reduced by 150 to 200 kg mass to allow safe functoning of the reserve parachute in an emergency. A reserve parachute system redesign is not an alternative due to the schedule requirements. Mishin's solution is to fly only two crew in each Soyuz. So he is proposing that the two-Soyuz manned flight carry only two crew in each capsule. No crew transfer will take place, but the BO living module will be depressurised to check its function as an airlock. Kamanin is furious -- this conclusion is reached now, when two years ago crews were standing by for launch on what is now believed to be an unsafe mission! The cosmonauts are also against Mishin's concept - such a flight proves nothing new.


1968 May 15 - . 00:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Ile du Levant. Launch Pad: CERES. Launch Vehicle: Tacite.
  • Earth infrared Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 May 15 - . 06:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. Launch Complex: Barking Sands LC14. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • LRL BOX-8b X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 162 km (100 mi).

1968 May 16 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 6 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 719 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 265 sec..

1968 May 16 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV. FAILURE: Failure.
  • USN D061 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 May 16 - . 18:33 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 May 17 - .
  • Concern over escalation of Apollo E-mission objectives - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft, Low, George. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Ascent Propulsion.

    Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., MSC Director of Flight Operations, expressed concern to ASPO Manager George M. Low over the escalation of E-mission objectives; the flight now loomed as an extremely complex and ambitious mission. The probability of accomplishing all the objectives set forth for the mission, said Kraft, was very low. He did not propose changing the mission plan, however. "If we are fortunate," he said, "then certainly the quickest way to the moon will be achieved." Kraft did suggest caution in setting mission priorities and in "apply(ing) adjectives to the objectives." Additional Details: here....


1968 May 17 - . 02:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B.
  • ESRO 2B - . Payload: IRIS. Mass: 75 kg (165 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: ESRO. Decay Date: 1971-05-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 3233 . COSPAR: 1968-041A. Apogee: 1,085 km (674 mi). Perigee: 334 km (207 mi). Inclination: 97.2000 deg. Period: 99.00 min.

1968 May 17 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Ultraviolet Telescope (Jupiter) Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: KPNO. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 May 17 - . 04:32 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar ultraviolet Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1968 May 17 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • AFCRL Instrrumented Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1968 May 17 - . 09:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Falling sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1968 May 17 - . 18:25 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 May 17 - . 23:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

1968 May 18 - . 00:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Falling sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1968 May 18 - . 01:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ion gages Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1968 May 18 - . 08:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Nimbus B - . Mass: 570 kg (1,250 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Nimbus. Decay Date: 1968-05-18 . Launched with Secor 10..
  • EGRS 10 - . Payload: Secor 10. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: Secor.

1968 May 18 - . 18:05 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1968 May 19 - . 06:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • LRL ACS-1 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 147 km (91 mi).

1968 May 20 - .
  • Tests to evaluate feasibility of '1+2' Soyuz mission profile. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Feoktistov, Khrunov, Volynov, Yeliseyev. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK, Yastreb.

    Volynov conducts tests in a pressurised suit to see if it is possible to go from the SA capsule to the BO living module in a two-man crew transfer scenario. He shows it is not possible - exit from the SA to the BO is very unsafe, there is a good chance of getting stuck in the hatch. This shows it would be difficult or impossible for the spacecraft commander in the SA to go to the assistance of a single cosmonaut attempting to transfer from one Soyuz to another. Feoktistov proposes another alternative - launch of 3 cosmonauts in one Soyuz, one cosmonaut in another. After docking, a single cosmonaut would transfer from one Soyuz to another, but at least a second cosmonaut would be in the BO to assist him in case of difficulties. Two cosmonauts would return in each Soyuz capsule, meeting the reserve parachute mass limitations. This solution also takes care of a problem with the 1+2 scenario, in that it implied a crew consisting of Khrunov and Yeliseyev, but neither has been trained as a spacecraft commander. A crew could consist of Volynov and one of these, but then the problem is that no spacesuit has been fabricated for Volynov, and it requires two months to make one.


1968 May 20 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Ultraviolet solar imager Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1968 May 20 - . 15:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C42 / 1 Meteorites mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).

1968 May 21 - .
  • L1/Soyuz program review. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Keldysh, Mishin. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK. The next L1 launch is set for 17 July. Mishin wants an L1 crew ready for an around-the-moon flight by June. He also wants to fly a 2+2 Soyuz mission in August. Keldysh insists that the Soyuz be proven in another unmanned flight first..

1968 May 21 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC162/36. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36O 8K69.
  • OGCh - . Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Class: Military. Type: Orbital bombing system. Spacecraft: OGCh. COSPAR: 1968-U01xx. Probable suborbital test of Fractional Orbital Bombardment System..

1968 May 21 - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. Launch Vehicle: Viper.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 May 21 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 May 21 - . 20:09 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1968 May 22 - .
  • Mishin pushes for '1+2' Soyuz mission - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Khrunov, Mishin, Titov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Titov is to tour. He will spend the next two days in Semipalatinsk, then go to Italy in the first week of June. He has been offered command of the second unit at TsPK, but says he doesn't want to be an administrator. He would rather pursue a career as a test pilot, at either OKB MiG or GNIKI VVS. Mishin is now pushing for a 1+2 Soyuz mission in August on safety grounds. He is also still pushing Khrunov as a spacecraft commander, even though Khrunov has no training in manual docking and it would take at least two months to train and qualify him.


1968 May 22 - . Launch Site: Kwajalein. Launch Complex: Kwajalein Meck. Launch Vehicle: Spartan ABM.
  • KT-2 - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 May 22 - . 00:50 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 10.0 N x 20.0 W. Launch Platform: VISE. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1968 May 22 - . 10:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF03. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST Olympic T. B-3 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 May 22 - . 16:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Salto di Quirra. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • ESRO D30 / 2 Ionosphere / solar x-rays mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 225 km (139 mi).

1968 May 23 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67.
  • State trials missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 May 23 - . 04:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F11 - . Payload: DAPP 4B F-1 (FTV-8) / OPS 7869. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DMSP Block 4/5 satellites. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 3266 . COSPAR: 1968-042A. Apogee: 883 km (548 mi). Perigee: 806 km (500 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.80 min. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1968 May 23 - . 05:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 May 23 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 201 km (124 mi).

1968 May 23 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Falling sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1968 May 23 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • AFCRL Instrrumented sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1968 May 24 - .
  • Cosmonaut Africa tour with secret objectives. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Leonov, Tereshkova. Program: Lunar L1.

    Tereshkova is fighting against her appointment to the Committee of Soviet Women with the requirement for constant tours, appearances, committee sessions, and so on. He has gone to see Suslov about it. Meanwhile the Communist Central Committee and the Soviet Ministers are having a fight over the dates for the planned cosmonaut tour of Africa (the secret objective is to give the cosmonauts training in recognition of southern hemisphere constellations in preparation for lunar missions). Leonov is involved in sending mixed signals to the leadership.


1968 May 24 - . 00:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Falling sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 110 km (60 mi).

1968 May 24 - . 00:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ion gages Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1968 May 24 - . 02:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • O2 absorption Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

1968 May 24 - . 07:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 221 - . Payload: DS-P1-Yu s/n 14. Mass: 250 kg (550 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-Yu. Completed Operations Date: 1969-01-29 . Decay Date: 1969-08-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 3269 . COSPAR: 1968-043A. Apogee: 2,140 km (1,320 mi). Perigee: 215 km (133 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 108.90 min. Development of systems for air defence and the control of outer space..

1968 May 25 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Effects of launch vehicle "pogo" vibrations - on Apollo spacecraft studied - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, CSM Parachute. ASPO Manager George M. Low informed Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips of recent MSC work on the effects of launch vehicle-induced oscillations - i.e., "pogo" vibrations - on the spacecraft and its subsystems. . Additional Details: here....

1968 May 25 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-21 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 May 25 - . 05:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Javelin.
  • VLF radio noise Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 805 km (500 mi).

1968 May 25 - . 06:40 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar ultraviolet Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1968 May 27 - .
  • Engineer cosmonaut group authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Ministry of General Machine Building (MOM) Decree 163 'On formation of a new group of engineer cosmonauts under MOM' was issued..

1968 May 28 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 7 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: HL-10 flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 698 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 245 sec..

1968 May 28 - .
  • Tereshkova has a heart-to-heart with Kamanin. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tereshkova. Program: Soyuz. How is she supposed to have time for space training, her engineering classes at the test pilot academy, flight training, herself, and her daughter -- and still the incessant demands from the state for political and public relations activities?.

1968 May 28 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC161/35. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36O 8K69.
  • OGCh - . Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Class: Military. Type: Orbital bombing system. Spacecraft: OGCh. COSPAR: 1968-U02xx. Probable suborbital test of Fractional Orbital Bombardment System..

1968 May 29 - .
  • Further tests to evaluate feasibility of '1+2' Soyuz mission profile. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Khrunov, Mishin, Ustinov, Yeliseyev. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK, Yastreb.

    Khrunov tries to don the Yastreb space suit unassisted, in another test of the feasibility of a 1+2 Soyuz mission. He simply cannot accomplish the task in the four minute maximum time required. Mishin now has Ustinov interested in his 1+2 mission, with Yeliseyev to make a solo EVA from one Soyuz to another.


1968 May 29 - . 13:15 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Langmuir probe Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 May 30 - .
  • Soviet of the Chief Designers. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Feoktistov, Mishin, Shatalov, Ustinov, Volynov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Mishin still wants to eventually conduct a 2+2 mission, but now wants the flight in August to be a 0+1 test flight. In this he is supported by Keldysh and Ustinov. He wants Feoktistov to be the pilot. Kamanin is adamantly opposed and offers him Beregovoi, Volynov, or Shatalov.


1968 May 30 - . 13:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 172 km (106 mi).

1968 May 30 - . 20:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 222 - . Payload: DS-P1-Yu s/n 12. Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-Yu. Completed Operations Date: 1968-10-12 . Decay Date: 1968-10-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 3272 . COSPAR: 1968-044A. Apogee: 488 km (303 mi). Perigee: 285 km (177 mi). Inclination: 70.9000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Development of systems for air defence and the control of outer space..

1968 May 30 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Auroral mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 May 31 - . 08:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1968 May 31 - . 20:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1968 June 1 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES PDV re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 June 1 - . 10:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 223 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 63. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Completed Operations Date: 1968-06-09 . Decay Date: 1968-06-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 3274 . COSPAR: 1968-045A. Apogee: 317 km (196 mi). Perigee: 221 km (137 mi). Inclination: 72.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 June 1 - . 17:50 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Langmuir probe Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 131 km (81 mi).

1968 June 2 - . 09:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • APPLE Aeronomy / Fields mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Apogee: 196 km (121 mi).

1968 June 3 - .
  • Ustinov demands manned Soyuz and L1 flights by October. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Leonov, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK. Meanwhile Saturday evening Leonov had another accident with his Volga - and with a group of Italian visitors in the car..

1968 June 4 - .
  • New AAP schedule decreased to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: AES Lunar Base, ALSS Lunar Base, Orbital Workshop, Skylab.

    NASA released a new AAP launch readiness and delivery schedule. The schedule decreased the number of Saturn flights to 11 Saturn IB flights and one Saturn V flight. It called for three Workshops. One of the Workshops would be launched by a Saturn IB, and another would serve as a backup. The third Workshop would be launched by a Saturn V. The schedule also included one ATM. Launch of the first Workshop would be in November 1970. Lunar missions were no longer planned in the AAP.


1968 June 4 - . 06:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M. FAILURE: Launch vehicle failed to orbit - unknown cause.. Failed Stage: U.
  • Sfera s/n 12L - . Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-1. Spacecraft: Sfera.

1968 June 4 - . 06:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 224 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-06-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3276 . COSPAR: 1968-046A. Apogee: 256 km (159 mi). Perigee: 203 km (126 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.10 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; also measured atmospheric composition..

1968 June 4 - . 16:37 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Recovery test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1968 June 5 - .
  • Apollo crews of the F and G missions to be selected as early as possible - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo LM. Spacecraft: Apollo ALSEP.

    George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, wrote MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth to express his personal interest in lunar extravehicular activity (EVA) training for the Apollo crews of the F and G missions (i.e., the initial lunar landing and subsequent flights). Because of the complexity of the EVA tasks that the astronauts must perform, Mueller said, crews for those missions should be selected as early as possible. Also, realistic training - including a realistic run-through of many of the lunar surface tasks, especially development of the S-band antenna and the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package and sampling operations - must be conducted to ensure that the crews competently carried out the various scientific experiments and other tasks during their brief stays on the moon.


1968 June 5 - .
  • Leonov on the carpet. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Leonov. Program: Lunar L1.

    Leonov is raked over the coals concerning his latest accident. In the first place, he had no permission to even be meeting with the Italians. In the second place, he was supposed to be chauffeured when in Moscow, not driving himself. In the third place, he was in training for an L1 lunar mission, and was supposed to be in bed by 23:00, instead of gallivanting around Moscow at all hours of the night.


1968 June 5 - . 17:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 5138 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 14 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-06-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 3278 . COSPAR: 1968-047A. Apogee: 456 km (283 mi). Perigee: 123 km (76 mi). Inclination: 110.5000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 June 6 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU31. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67.
  • Special test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 June 6 - . 13:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 June 6 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Plasma mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1968 June 7 - . Launch Site: Tyumen. LV Family: R-9. Launch Vehicle: R-9A.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,160 km (720 mi).

1968 June 7 - . 15:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C42 / 2 Meteorites mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi).

1968 June 8 - . LV Family: DF-3. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 1.
  • Height of Cultural Revolution - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Tsien. Spacecraft: DFH-1. Yao Tongbin, a metallurgist at he Seventh Ministry, is beaten to death by Red Guards. Zhou En Lai intervenes, putting the top fifty missile scientists under this protection..

1968 June 8 - . 17:41 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • AS&E Solar extreme ultraviolet / x-ray mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 151 km (93 mi).

1968 June 8 - . 18:38 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • NRL NE3.174 Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi).

    The first rocket carried a Naval Research Laboratory and University of Maryland payload to a 179-km altitude to flight test a design verification unit of the high-resolution spectroheliograph planned for use on the ATM. The second rocket carried an American Science and Engineering, Inc., payload to a 150-km altitude to obtain high-resolution x-ray pictures of active regions of the Sun during solar flare and general x-ray emission of solar corona. The rocket and instrumentation performed satisfactorily, but the payload of the first rocket failed to separate, thus preventing functioning of the parachute recovery system.


1968 June 8 - . 21:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C32 / 2 Meteorites mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).

1968 June 10 - . 00:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • SPICE (p / n) Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 149 km (92 mi).

1968 June 10 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VA. FAILURE: Failure.
  • D region protons Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 112 km (69 mi).

1968 June 10 - . 16:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • SPICE Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 June 10 - . 17:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Meteoroids Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1968 June 11 - .
  • Two pilot-chute riser failures during drop tests of Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Block II.

    Dale D. Myers, Apollo CSM Program Manager at North American Rockwell, advised MSC officials of his company's investigation of two pilot-chute riser failures during recent drop tests of the Block II earth-landing system. Should there be any imperfections in either hardware or assembly techniques, Myers explained, the Block II pilot chute and riser system could be a marginal-strength item. Investigations had determined that early manufacturing processes had allowed a differential length between the two plies of nylon webbing in the pilot-chute riser which caused unequal load distribution between the two plies and low total riser strength. Because of the earlier test failures, Myers said, the pilot chute riser had been redesigned. The two-ply nylon webbing had been replaced by continuous suspension lines (i.e., 12 nylon cords) and the 5.5-millimeter-diameter cable was changed to 6.3-millimeter cable. He then cited a series of recent tests that verified the redesigned pilot-chute riser's strength to meet deployment under worst-case operational conditions.


1968 June 11 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 8 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: HL-10 flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 697 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 246 sec..

1968 June 11 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 611. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 June 11 - . 17:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • DLR K-NA-13 Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 183 km (113 mi).

1968 June 11 - . 21:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 225 - . Payload: DS-U1-Ya s/n 2. Mass: 375 kg (826 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U1-Ya. Completed Operations Date: 1968-06-29 . Decay Date: 1968-11-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3279 . COSPAR: 1968-048A. Apogee: 519 km (322 mi). Perigee: 255 km (158 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 92.20 min. Studied charged particle flows and cosmic rays..

1968 June 11 - . 23:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IVA.
  • SAAP Magnetospheric mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 790 km (490 mi).

1968 June 12 - .
  • State Commission on Soyuz. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Leonov, Ustinov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Mishin wants one more unpiloted Soyuz launch, resulting in a 0+1 unmanned/manned test flight in September, to be followed by the design 1+3 mission with crew transfer in November/December. The reserve chute failed in tests at an SA re-entry capsule mass of 2800 kg. Therefore, Mishin feels the 0+1 mission would be safe, resulting in a mass for the manned capsule of 2650 kg. But Ustinov insists on the 1+3 mission, meaning an SA mass of 2750 kg. Another consideration is that the capsule may need ballast anyway in order to obtain the correct centre of gravity location for the lifting re-entry manoeuvres. It must be balanced in such a way so that it can re-enter the atmosphere at its maximum 23 degree angle of attack.


1968 June 12 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 395-C. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II.
  • Glory Trip 08T - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). FOT GT08T Follow-on Test launch.

1968 June 12 - . 09:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Arecibo. Launch Complex: Arecibo VB. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • DOGWOOD Aeronomy / Fields mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi).

1968 June 12 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1968 June 12 - . 13:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Cosmos 226 - . Payload: Meteor no. 10. Mass: 4,730 kg (10,420 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteor. Decay Date: 1983-10-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 3282 . COSPAR: 1968-049A. Apogee: 639 km (397 mi). Perigee: 579 km (359 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 96.90 min. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

1968 June 12 - . 15:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 008.
  • X-15A WTR/SA TPS/HS/FAB Test/Technology mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 67 km (41 mi). Maximum Speed - 5733 kph. Maximum Altitude - 67090 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1968 June 12 - . 22:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • DLR K-NA-12 Meteorites mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR, NASA. Apogee: 183 km (113 mi).

1968 June 13 - . 14:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIC.
  • IDCSP 4-1 - . Payload: IDCSP 20 / OPS 9341. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3284 . COSPAR: 1968-050A. Apogee: 33,850 km (21,030 mi). Perigee: 33,725 km (20,955 mi). Inclination: 11.9000 deg. Period: 1,335.20 min.

    An Air Force Titan IIIC, Vehicle #16, was launched from Cape Canaveral and successfully inserted eight 100-pound communications satellites into near-synchronous orbits. These satellites augmented and completed the deployment of the Initial Defense Satellite Communications System (IDSCS) which now consisted of 26 operational satellites Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A).

  • IDCSP 4-5 - . Payload: IDCSP 24 / OPS 9345. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3288 . COSPAR: 1968-050E. Apogee: 34,035 km (21,148 mi). Perigee: 33,721 km (20,953 mi). Inclination: 7.4000 deg. Period: 1,339.60 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • IDCSP 4-7 - . Payload: IDCSP 26 / OPS 9347. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3290 . COSPAR: 1968-050G. Apogee: 34,256 km (21,285 mi). Perigee: 33,721 km (20,953 mi). Inclination: 7.5000 deg. Period: 1,345.20 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • IDCSP 4-8 - . Payload: IDCSP 27 / OPS 9348. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3291 . COSPAR: 1968-050H. Apogee: 34,442 km (21,401 mi). Perigee: 33,752 km (20,972 mi). Inclination: 7.7000 deg. Period: 1,350.60 min.

    An Air Force Titan IIIC, Vehicle #16, was launched from Cape Canaveral and successfully inserted eight 100-pound communications satellites into near-synchronous orbits. These satellites augmented and completed the deployment of the Initial Defense Satellite Communications System (IDSCS) which now consisted of 26 operational satellites Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A).

  • IDCSP 4-6 - . Payload: IDCSP 25 / OPS 9346. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3289 . COSPAR: 1968-050F. Apogee: 34,118 km (21,199 mi). Perigee: 33,739 km (20,964 mi). Inclination: 9.4000 deg. Period: 1,342.20 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • IDCSP 4-2 - . Payload: IDCSP 21 / OPS 9342. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3285 . COSPAR: 1968-050B. Apogee: 33,863 km (21,041 mi). Perigee: 33,724 km (20,955 mi). Inclination: 7.4000 deg. Period: 1,335.50 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • IDCSP 4-3 - . Payload: IDCSP 22 / OPS 9343. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3286 . COSPAR: 1968-050C. Apogee: 33,901 km (21,065 mi). Perigee: 33,722 km (20,953 mi). Inclination: 9.4000 deg. Period: 1,336.40 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • IDCSP 4-4 - . Payload: IDCSP 23 / OPS 9344. Mass: 45 kg (99 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: IDCSP. USAF Sat Cat: 3287 . COSPAR: 1968-050D. Apogee: 33,939 km (21,088 mi). Perigee: 33,743 km (20,966 mi). Inclination: 9.2000 deg. Period: 1,337.90 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..

1968 June 14 - . 14:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Chemical release mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 169 km (105 mi).

1968 June 15 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC41/15. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65. FAILURE: Launch vehicle failed to orbit - unknown cause.. Failed Stage: U.
1968 June 17 - .
  • Two-burn lunar orbit insertion (LOI) maneuver studied - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Guidance.

    Apollo Program Director Phillips wrote MSC Director Gilruth concerning the April 10 proposal for a two-burn lunar orbit insertion (LOI) maneuver and a spring ejection of the LM from the spacecraft-lunar module adapter. Phillips agreed to the two-burn LOI in place of the originally planned one burn if results of an analysis should prove the requirement. He specified that an analysis be made of the tradeoffs and that the analysis include the risk of crash, the assumed risks due to lengthening the lunar orbit time (about four hours), and risks due to an additional spacecraft propulsion system burn, as well as the effect of the lunar gravitational potential on the ability to target the LOI maneuver to achieve the desired vector at the time of LM descent. The proposal for spring ejection of the LM from the SLA was approved with the provision that a failure analysis be made in order to understand the risks in the change.


1968 June 17 - .
  • Mishin's notes indicate continued discussion within OKB-1 with VK Bezverby and KD Bushuyev on homing the LK and LK-R on the Ye-8 (precision landing, coordination of interfaces). - . Related Persons: Mishin, Bushuyev, Bezverby, . Spacecraft: , LK, Luna Ye-8. (Mishin Diaries 2-139).

1968 June 18 - . 06:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 227 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-06-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 3294 . COSPAR: 1968-051A. Apogee: 271 km (168 mi). Perigee: 202 km (125 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 June 18 - . 18:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 610. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1968 June 19 - . 11:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1968 June 20 - . Launch Site: Malmstrom AFB. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • Force Modernization work was officially completed on the first squadron (12th Strategic Missile Squadron) of Minuteman II missiles at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. - . The work included renovation of the underground launch facilities (LFs) so that they would accommodate the Minuteman II missile..

1968 June 20 - . 21:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4A 1047 - . Payload: KH-4A s/n 1047 / Agena D 1645 / OPS 5343. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1968-07-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 3296 . COSPAR: 1968-052A. Apogee: 402 km (249 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 85.0000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. KH-4A. Out-of-focus imagery is present on both main camera records..
  • SRV 745 - . Payload: SRV 1047-1. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P 11. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1970-01-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 3297 . COSPAR: 1968-052xx. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 85.1000 deg. Period: 88.10 min.
  • OPS 5259 - . Payload: EHH B12. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1970-01-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 3297 . COSPAR: 1968-052B. Apogee: 514 km (319 mi). Perigee: 435 km (270 mi). Inclination: 85.1000 deg. Period: 94.10 min. Radar monitoring..

1968 June 21 - .
  • Soyuz S Project Completed - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-S, Soyuz OB-VI. The draft project OIS 11F730 was issued jointly by TsKBEM and Filial 3 on 21 June 1968..

1968 June 21 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 9 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 681 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 271 sec..

1968 June 21 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 228 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2M satellite. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-07-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 3298 . COSPAR: 1968-053A. Apogee: 245 km (152 mi). Perigee: 205 km (127 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; deployed cosmic ray experiment capsule..
  • Nauka - . Payload: Nauka. Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Spacecraft: Nauka. Decay Date: 1968-07-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 3306 . COSPAR: 1968-053G. Apogee: 213 km (132 mi). Perigee: 194 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.56 min.

1968 June 22 - .
  • Soyuz simulator status. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. The state plan required 12 Volga simulators to be built for Soyuz crew training. Four years after the plan was approved, only six have been delivered..

1968 June 22 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/Trident.
  • RMP-B-8 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 June 22 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Skua.
  • Ionosphere/Solar X-ray mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 101 km (62 mi).

1968 June 23 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • First test of N1 stages - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev, Kuznetsov. Program: Lunar L3.

    Construction of the test facilities at Zagorsk for the N1 were directed by Tabakov's NII-229. First static test of the EU-15 test article of the N1's 1200 tonne thrust Block B second stage began on 23 June 1968. Test of the EU-16 Block V third stage began in early 1969, with three trials tests completed. But for the Block A first stage, only single engine tests were undertaken at Kuznetsov's OKB-236. Additional Details: here....


1968 June 24 - . 22:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150A.
  • Biological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1968 June 25 - . LV Family: Saturn I.
  • Thiokol-Wasatch Division test fired the 10th, and final, 156-inch diameter, solid-propellant rocket motor (156-8-T). - .

    The motor developed one million pounds of thrust during its 118-second firing, which tested a segmented fiberglass case and non-hydroclaved nozzle provided by the Air Force Materials Laboratory (AFML). This test firing completed the Large Solid Rocket Motor Program (Program 623A) begun under Space Systems Division management in 1963.


1968 June 26 - .
  • State Commission on L1 failure. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The State Commission determines the cause of the Proton booster shutdown in April was a short in the L1 abort system. This sent an incorrect abort signal to the launch vehicle, triggering it to shut down its engines. The next L1 launch is set for 19 July, followed by one launch per month thereafter. After 3 or 4 successful unmanned circumlunar missions, the spacecraft will be cleared for a manned lunar flyby.


1968 June 26 - .
  • November manned circumlunar flight set - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    State commission sets November as date for manned circumlunar flight. The next L1 flight was set for July, with flights to continue at monthly intervals at each translunar launch window. 3 or 4 unmanned flights had to be successful before a manned flight would be attempted.


1968 June 26 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 173 km (107 mi).

1968 June 26 - . 09:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 June 26 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 229 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-07-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3304 . COSPAR: 1968-054A. Apogee: 327 km (203 mi). Perigee: 207 km (128 mi). Inclination: 72.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 June 27 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC50. Launch Vehicle: Sprint ABM.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi).

1968 June 28 - . 04:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 June 29 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • ABRES RVTO-1A-2 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 June 30 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 ground vehicle 1M1 moved to launch pad 110 east - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3. While the next N1, 3L was being built, the 1M1 was moved back to the pad for further ground tests and launch crew training. It remained there until the end of September..

1968 June 30 - . Launch Site: Nizhniy Tagil. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 July 1 - .
  • Death of Henry J E Reid at Gloucester Point, Gloucester, VA. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Reid. American engineer, at NASA 1921-1961, designed basic instruments for flight research..

July 1968 - . LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • DIA/CIA warn of impending Zond circumlunar flight - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The information led NASA to decide to send Apollo 8 on a risky lunar orbital mission at the end of December 1968. Interestingly enough the CIA warning to NASA came within days of the L1 State Commission's meeting and decision to press for a November circumlunar flight.


1968 Jul? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. Launch Vehicle: Viper.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 Jul? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. Launch Vehicle: Viper.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 Jul? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. Launch Vehicle: Viper.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 Jul? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 July 1 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1968 July 2 - . 20:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1968 July 3 - .
  • Final drop test to qualify the Apollo CSM earth landing system - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Block II.

    NASA and contractor technicians successfully conducted the final parachute drop test to qualify the Apollo CSM earth-landing system. The Block II ELS thus was considered ready for manned flight after 12 Block I, 4 Block II, and 7 increased-capability Block II Qualification Tests - that had followed 77 Block I, 6 Block II, and 25 increased-capability Block II Development Drop Tests.


1968 July 3 - .
  • VPK confirms Soyuz flight plans. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Bykovsky, Kuznetsov, Nikolai F, Leonov, Nikolayev, Popovich, Titov. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The VPK confirms the Soyuz flight plan - a 0+1 mission to be followed by a 1+3 mission with crew transfer. Chiefs of the cosmonaut detachments are confirmed and announced. Nikolayev will be Deputy Chief of TsPK; Bykovsky, Commander of the First Detachment of Cosmonauts; Titov, Commander of the Second Detachment, and Popovich, Deputy Commander of the Second Detachment. Kuznetsov, Belyayev, and Leonov are not happy with these appointments. The General Staff also approves creation of a fourth training detachment at TsPK, charged with flight, engineering, and experiment development - requiring an additional 200 staff.


1968 July 3 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Chemical release mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi).

1968 July 3 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S01.
  • S01V-5 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 July 3 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 July 4 - . 17:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta J.
  • Explorer 38 - . Payload: RAE A. Mass: 190 kg (410 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: RAE. USAF Sat Cat: 3307 . COSPAR: 1968-055A. Apogee: 5,861 km (3,641 mi). Perigee: 5,835 km (3,625 mi). Inclination: 120.9000 deg. Period: 224.30 min. Radio Astronomy Explorer; Earth, solar, cosmic radio emission data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1968 July 5 - . 06:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 230 - . Payload: DS-U3-S s/n 2. Mass: 367 kg (809 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U3-S. Completed Operations Date: 1968-11-02 . Decay Date: 1968-11-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3308 . COSPAR: 1968-056A. Apogee: 546 km (339 mi). Perigee: 287 km (178 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 92.90 min. Specialized orbital solar observatory for measuring solar rays in mulitple spectral zones..

1968 July 5 - . 15:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-09 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-2. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1971-05-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 3310 . COSPAR: 1968-057A. Apogee: 39,806 km (24,734 mi). Perigee: 396 km (246 mi). Inclination: 65.1000 deg. Period: 714.70 min. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1968 July 6 - . 10:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1968 July 8 - . 06:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3 AC.
1968 July 8 - . 18:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF04. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • GIANT FIST 1 demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 July 9 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: M9161. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Apogee: 92 km (57 mi).

1968 July 10-11 - .
  • Apollo Review Board certifies Apollo CSM 101 and the Block II CSM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: A7L, Apollo CSM, CSM Block II. The Apollo Design Certification Review (DCR) Board met in Houston to examine CSM 101 and the Block II CSM for proof of design and development maturity and to certify the designs for flightworthiness and manned flight safety.. Additional Details: here....

1968 July 10 - .
  • L3 recovery controversy. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Grechko, Andrei, Mishin, Ryabikov, Zakharov. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    Marshal Zakharov has consulted with Ryabikov at Gosplan on what commitments Grechko has made from Ministry of Defence funds for L3 recovery forces. Gosplan advised him that 800 million roubles and 21,000 staff were committed, but the justification for these amounts were not methodically developed. Mishin is now saying that hundreds, not thousands of cadres will be required, see he can set the return capsule down in within the confines of the cosmodrome.


1968 July 10 - . Launch Site: Bershet. Launch Vehicle: UR-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 July 10 - . 19:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 231 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 64. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-07-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 3316 . COSPAR: 1968-058A. Apogee: 311 km (193 mi). Perigee: 206 km (128 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 July 11 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 610. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 July 11 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OV1-15S - . Payload: Spades. Mass: 470 kg (1,030 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1968-11-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 3318 . COSPAR: 1968-059A. Apogee: 1,800 km (1,100 mi). Perigee: 153 km (95 mi). Inclination: 89.8000 deg. Period: 104.60 min. Studied relationship between atmospheric density and solar radiation. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OV1-16 Cannonball 1 - . Payload: Loads. Mass: 600 kg (1,320 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF OAR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1968-08-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 3319 . COSPAR: 1968-059B. Apogee: 556 km (345 mi). Perigee: 145 km (90 mi). Inclination: 89.8000 deg. Period: 91.50 min. Ionospheric drag tests. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 July 12 - .
  • L3 recovery controversy. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    VVS has been charged with arranging for ocean recovery of the L3 capsule in case it splashes down in the Indian Ocean since 1966. TsNII-30 did the research work under project 'Ellips', resulting in the recommendation that the VVS and VMF jointly develop the air and naval forces to recover the capsule at sea, at a cost of 800 million roubles. The Ellips concept requires that the L3 capsule be equipped with radio beacons and dye markers. Despite knowing this for two years, Mishin has done nothing to implement these features into the spacecraft.


1968 July 12 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF03. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST Olympic T. B-4 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 July 13 - .
  • Continued propellant leaks in the Apollo LM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Descent Propulsion. ASPO Manager George M. Low wrote to Grumman President Llewellyn J. Evans to call his attention to the problem of continued propellant leaks in the LM. . Additional Details: here....

1968 July 15 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. Launch Pad: LC81/pad?. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • L1 pad explosion. - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    During launch preparations with the fuelled Proton / L1, there was an explosion, killing three technicians. Their death alone indicates the area around the pad was unsafe at the time. The Block D oxidiser tank of the L1 exploded - the first such failure in 30 uses. The rocket and spacecraft were relatively undamaged. The third stage of the Proton had some external damage due to exposure to the Block D's fuel, but it can be cleaned. The real question is how to remove the L1 spacecraft on the pad. A helicopter could hoist the spacecraft away, but the available Mi-6 or V-10 helos can lift only 8 to 10 tonnes, and the L1 weighs 14 tonnes. A V-10 crew is sent to investigate the possibilities anyway. Some engineers suggest just firing the BPO abort tower and lifting the capsule away from the stack! Emergency political and military meetings are held at the cosmodrome to discuss the impending invasion of Czechoslovakia.


1968 July 16 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU31. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67M.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 July 16 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Combat training launch - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 July 16 - . 13:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 232 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3322 . COSPAR: 1968-060A. Apogee: 348 km (216 mi). Perigee: 189 km (117 mi). Inclination: 65.3000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; also performed weather experiments..

1968 July 16 - . 17:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi).

1968 July 16 - . 22:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Railroad Valley Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A WTR/HS/SB/FAB/FP Test/Technology/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 67 km (41 mi). Maximum Speed - 5442 kph. Maximum Altitude - 67510 m. Air dropped in Railroad Valley Lake DZ..

1968 July 17 - . 08:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 July 17 - . 09:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 July 18 - .
  • Cosmonaut revolt. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Leonov, Nikolayev, Vershinin.

    The cosmonauts are revolting against the selection of Nikolayev as their commander. They have written a letter demanding that Belyayev be put in the position. Leonov is also lobbying for the job, but Kamanin notes he has made two serious mistakes since April, no chance. Leonov attends a self-criticism meeting with the 'Gagarin comrades', self-confesses and emotionally says he will leave the cosmonaut unit if there are no future chances for promotion due to his repeated mistakes. Finally he is told that if does good work in the future, he could achieve the deputy commander position, but he can never, never make mistakes again.

    A Zenit-2 spy satellite capsule has gone off course, splashed down in the Volga River, and sunk. Vershinin is in the hospital with intestinal polyps. Kamanin is reminded of Korolev's case, although he is told Vershinin's condition is not serious. There is criticism of the botched Zenit-2 recovery from Kutakhov. Meanwhile the Central Committee has decided to take no action on Czechoslovakia but send a letter to the Czech Communist Party. Kamanin is sick of this limp-wristed talk, talk, talk.


1968 July 18 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV. FAILURE: Failure.
  • USN B040 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 July 18 - . 01:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Mass spectrometer Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 125 km (77 mi).

1968 July 18 - . 19:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 233 - . Payload: DS-P1-Yu s/n 15. Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-Yu. Completed Operations Date: 1969-02-06 . Decay Date: 1969-02-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 3326 . COSPAR: 1968-061A. Apogee: 1,514 km (940 mi). Perigee: 198 km (123 mi). Inclination: 81.9000 deg. Period: 102.10 min. Development of systems for air defence and the control of outer space..

1968 July 19 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 611. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 July 19 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 148 km (91 mi).

1968 July 19 - . 18:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Accidental launch Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1968 July 21 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Zond 7K-L1 s/n 8L - . Payload: Zond 7K-L1 s/n 8L. Mass: 5,140 kg (11,330 lb). Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Decay Date: 1968-07-21 . Block D stage exploded on pad, killing three people. Booster and 7K-L1 spacecraft were still intact however..

1968 July 22 - .
  • Apollo CSM 102 deleted from the manned flight program - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Block II.

    In the continuing effort to reduce costs while still maintaining a balanced and viable program, ASPO Manager George M. Low recommended to NASA Hq. that CSM 102 be deleted from the manned flight program. He estimated total savings at $25.5 million (excluding cost of refurbishment after the current ground test program). In addition, he said, during the static structural test program at North American Rockwell, CSM 102 would be subjected to loads that would compromise structural integrity of the vehicle for manned flight.


1968 July 22 - . 04:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1968 July 23 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 3.
  • FU-188 Technology test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 562 km (349 mi).

1968 July 23 - . 04:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi).

1968 July 23 - . 04:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 202 km (125 mi).

1968 July 23 - . 04:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 July 23 - . 04:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 00:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Composition Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 106 km (65 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 00:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Falling sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 126 km (78 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 01:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1968 July 24 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Falling sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 09:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Composition Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 105 km (65 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 10:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 206 km (128 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 10:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 10:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 211 km (131 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 214 km (132 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Sphere? Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 July 24 - . 21:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 206 km (128 mi).

1968 July 25 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Veronique. Launch Vehicle: Veronique 61M.
  • FU-185 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 185 km (114 mi). No recovery. FU185 Technology + X-ray astronomy / Stab mission..

1968 July 25 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi).

1968 July 26 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S01.
  • S01V-6 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 July 26 - . 00:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 147 km (91 mi).

1968 July 27 - . 03:55 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi).

1968 July 27 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Stellar X-ray X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).

1968 July 27 - . 17:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 July 28 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1968 July 29 - .
  • Reduced L3 recovery forces. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Smirnov, Vershinin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    Vershinin looks bad after his surgery. His loss would be a blow for Kamanin's cause - Vershinin was steadfast against the unobjective positions of Mishin and Smirnov. Vershinin had just sent yet another letter about the procurement of the 16 m centrifuge for the TsPK. This is a six-year long story. The VVS has been trying to procure this essential piece of cosmonaut training equipment since 1962, but it still has not been delivered. Vershinin also has issued a letter on the L3 recovery force issue. He points out that the resolution of the Central Committee ordered the expenditure of 600 million roubles and the commitment of 9,000 men for recovery services. Another 400 million roubles and 12,000 men were earmarked by the Rocket Forces. Despite this huge commitment, Mishin now says he doesn't need any of them, that he can bring his L1 and L3 spacecraft to precision landings within the confines of the cosmodrome, eliminating the need for any Indian Ocean recoveries. This optimism is not accepted, but it is agreed the total requirement can be reduced to 400 million roubles and 7,000 men, through use of lighter recovery ships of the Leninskiy Komsomol class, and the use of three airborne relay stations instead of nine.


1968 July 30 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 234 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 6.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-08-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 3332 . COSPAR: 1968-062A. Apogee: 288 km (178 mi). Perigee: 208 km (129 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.40 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 July 30 - . 16:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 618. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 July 30 - . 22:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C20 / 2 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).

1968 July 31 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Electron fluxes Chemical release / plasma mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 178 km (110 mi).

1968 July 31 - . 18:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Electron fluxes Chemical release / plasma mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 173 km (107 mi).

1968 July 31 - . 21:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • JHU Airglow 9 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1968 August 1 - . 00:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Electron fluxes Aeronomy / plasma mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 August 1 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Electron fluxes Plasma / fields mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 176 km (109 mi).

1968 August 1 - . 09:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Noctilucent sampler Aeronomy / meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 115 km (71 mi).

1968 August 1 - . 10:27 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Solar X-rays / La / ne Ionosphere / solar x-rays mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 145 km (90 mi).

1968 August 2 - .
  • Reduced L3 recovery forces accepted. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Gagarin, Keldysh, Ryabikov, Vershinin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-LOK. Vershinin, Afanasyev, Keldysh, and Ryabikov accept the reduced recovery forces estimate. Meanwhile a letter from the cosmonauts disputes the Gagarin crash investigation finding ('pilot error resulting in an abrupt manoeuvre')..

1968 August 2 - . 06:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VB.
  • Aeronomy / ionosphere / Fields mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 284 km (176 mi).

1968 August 3 - . Launch Site: Gilson Butte. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1.
  • X-144 BRD F5 - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1968 August 5 - .
  • Czech situation worstening. - . Nation: Russia. Kamanin notes the Czech situtation with Dubcek is reaching a crisis point, absorbing the attention of the military services that support the space program..

1968 August 6 - . 01:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1968 August 6 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3A Agena D.
  • Canyon 1 - . Payload: Canyon 1 / Agena D / OPS 2222. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 3334 . COSPAR: 1968-063A. Apogee: 39,860 km (24,760 mi). Perigee: 31,680 km (19,680 mi). Inclination: 9.9000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min.

    The first "stretched" Atlas SLV-3A/ Agena D was launched from the Eastern Test Range. The "stretched" Atlas had an additional 117-inch tank section to provide more fuel, a longer burn time, and increased payload capability. First launch in a communications intelligence program operated by the USAF within the National Reconnaissance Office, on behalf of the National Security Agency. The first generation series, CANYON, was based on the Agena vehicle. The Agena D remained attached to the spacecraft. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Last known longitude (30 December 1968) 98.50 deg W drifting at 0.166 deg E per day.


1968 August 6 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 5187 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 15 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-08-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 3335 . COSPAR: 1968-064A. Apogee: 395 km (245 mi). Perigee: 142 km (88 mi). Inclination: 110.0000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 August 6 - . 18:43 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Extreme ultraviolet Mon / RPA Ionosphere / solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1968 August 7 - .
  • Apollo Review Board certifies the design of Apollo LM-3 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM.

    The Apollo Design Certification Review (DCR) Board convened at MSC to examine LM-3 further for proof of design and development maturity and to assess and certify the design of the LM-3 as flightworthy and safe for manned flight. This Delta review was identified as a requirement at the March 6 LM-3 DCR. The Board concluded at the close of the Delta DCR that LM-3 was safe to fly manned with the completion of open work and action items identified during the review.


1968 August 7 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • George Low promotes idea of flying Apollo 8 as a lunar orbit mission without the Lunar Module - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, Apollo LM, CSM Block II, LM Guidance, LM RCS.

    On August 7, Low asked MSC's Director of Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., to look into the feasibility of a lunar orbit mission for Apollo 8 without carrying the LM. A mission with the LM looked as if it might slip until February or March 1969. The following day Low traveled to KSC for an AS-503 review, and from the work schedule it looked like a January 1969 launch. Additional Details: here....


1968 August 7 - . 12:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Rice Particles Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 196 km (121 mi).

1968 August 7 - . 21:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4B 1104 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1104 / Agena D 1644 / OPS 5955. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1968-08-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 3336 . COSPAR: 1968-065A. Apogee: 259 km (160 mi). Perigee: 160 km (90 mi). Inclination: 82.1000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. KH-4B. Best imagery to date on any KH-4 systems. Bicolor and color infrared experiments were conducted on this mission..

1968 August 8 - .
  • Test and checkout problems for Apollo AS-503 and AS-504 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Debus, Petrone. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8, Apollo 9.

    ASPO Manager George M. Low and several members of his staff met at KSC with Center Director Kurt H. Debus, Launch Operations Director Rocco A. Petrone, and KSC Apollo Program Manager R. O. Middleton to discuss test and checkout problems for AS-503 and AS-504. Additional Details: here....


1968 August 8 - .
  • Further Soyuz delays - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The next flight of an unmanned Soyuz has been delayed yet again. It had been set for 27 July, then 10 August, and now 20 August. The problem is qualification of the reserve parachute system. The test at Fedosiya on 3 August was a failure - the SA capsule's parachute hatch didn't jettison, the parachute system couldn't operate, and the capsule was destroyed on impact with the ground. The system needed 3 to 5 final tests for qualification. The first test in the series was successful, but this second test was a disaster. Another setback for Mishin. The same parachute hatch mechanism had never failed before in 200 flights of Vostok, Zenit, and Soyuz spacecraft. Meanwhile the invasion of Czechoslovakia is underway…


1968 August 8 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7/GF-01A.
  • GF-01A satellite test - . Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Apogee: 311 km (193 mi).

1968 August 8 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Meteor dust Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 158 km (98 mi).

1968 August 8 - . 19:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Thermosphere probe Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 286 km (177 mi).

1968 August 8 - . 19:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • UM Pitot 38 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 152 km (94 mi).

1968 August 8 - . 20:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B.
  • Explorer 39 - . Payload: ADE C. Mass: 9.00 kg (19.80 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: ADE. Decay Date: 1981-06-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 3337 . COSPAR: 1968-066A. Apogee: 2,538 km (1,577 mi). Perigee: 670 km (410 mi). Inclination: 80.7000 deg. Period: 118.30 min. Air Density Explorer; atmospheric density and temperature data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .
  • Explorer 40 - . Payload: Injun E. Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Injun. USAF Sat Cat: 3338 . COSPAR: 1968-066B. Apogee: 2,489 km (1,546 mi). Perigee: 679 km (421 mi). Inclination: 80.7000 deg. Period: 117.80 min. Injun Explorer; radiation data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1968 August 9 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Senior Apollo porject management backs Apollo 8 lunar mission concept - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George, von Braun. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, Apollo LTA. August 9 was probably one of the busiest days in George Low's life; the activities of that and the following days enabled the United States to meet the "in this decade" goal.. Additional Details: here....

1968 August 9 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 235 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 61. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-08-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 3339 . COSPAR: 1968-067A. Apogee: 281 km (174 mi). Perigee: 201 km (124 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. Partially successful. Hard landing due to parachute sytem failure. 30% of the film damaged..

1968 August 9 - . 07:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Thermosphere probe Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi).

1968 August 9 - . 07:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • UM Pitot 39 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi).

1968 August 10 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • North American not enthusiastic about plan to send Apollo 8 to moon. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, Apollo LTA. More detailed reviews within NASA showed there were still no obvious insurmountable problems that might block the plan. However North American was not too receptive to the idea.. Additional Details: here....

1968 August 10 - . 22:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36A. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3C Centaur. FAILURE: Centaur oxidizer leak. No restart.. Failed Stage: U.
  • ATS 4 - . Payload: ATS D. Mass: 391 kg (862 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: ATS. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: HS 306. Spacecraft: ATS-4. Decay Date: 1968-08-10 . USAF Sat Cat: 3344 . COSPAR: 1968-068A. Apogee: 769 km (477 mi). Perigee: 220 km (130 mi). Inclination: 29.1000 deg. Period: 94.50 min.

    Applications Technology Satellite that was to have been put into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, instead was left in a nearly-useless LEO orbit. ATS-4 included two cesium contact ion engines. Flight test objectives were to measure thrust and to examine electromagnetic compatibility with other spacecraft subsystems. The 5 cm diameter thrusters were designed to operate at 0.02 kW and provide about 89 microN thrust at about 6700 s specific impulse. The thrusters had the capability to operate at 5 setpoints from 18 to 89 microN. Thrusters were configured so they could be used for East-West station-keeping. Prior to launch, a 5 cm cesium thruster was life tested for 2245 hours at the 67 microN thrust level. However the Centaur upper stage did not achieve a second burn and the spacecraft remained attached to the Centaur in a 218 km by 760 km orbit. It was estimated that the pressure at these altitudes was between 10^-6 and 10^-8 Torr. Each of the two engines was tested on at least two occasions each over the throttling range. Combined test time of the two engines was about 10 hours over a 55 day period. The spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere on October 17, 1968. TheATS-4 flight was the first successful orbital test of an ion engine. There was no evidence of IPS electromagnetic interference related to spacecraft subsystems. Measured values of neutralizer emission current were much less than the ion beam current, implying inadequate neutralization. The spacecraft potential was about -132V which was much different than the anticipated value of about -40V.


1968 August 11 - . 07:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Meteorites Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1968 August 12 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo 8 lunar mission scheduled for December 20. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, Apollo LTA.

    On August 12 Kraft informed Low that December 20 was the day if they wanted to launch in daylight. With everyone agreeing to a daylight launch, the launch was planned for December 1 with a "built-in hold" until the 20th, which would have the effect of giving assurance of meeting the schedule. LTA (LM test article)-B was considered as a substitute; it had been through a dynamic test vehicle program, and all except Kotanchik agreed this would be a good substitute. Grumman suggested LTA-4 but Low decided on LTA-B.


1968 August 12 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Meteorites Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 153 km (95 mi).

1968 August 12 - . 08:38 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Pandora D Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 August 13 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Borman crew selected for Apollo 8 lunar mission. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman, Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8, Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM.

    Kleinknecht had concluded his CSM 103-106 configuration study by August 13 and determined the high-gain antenna was the most critical item. Kraft was still "GO" and said December 20-26 (except December 25) offered best launch times; he had also looked at January launch possibilities. Slayton had decided to assign the 104 crew to the mission. He had talked to crew commander Frank Borman and Borman was interested.


1968 August 13 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-22 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 August 14 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • During a key meeting of Apollo senior figures - top NASA management first approached regarding an Apollo 8 lunar mission in December - reaction: negative. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Debus, Low, George, von Braun. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM.

    Participants in the August 14 meeting in Washington were Low, Gilruth, Kraft, and Slayton from MSC; von Braun, James, and Richard from MSFC; Debus and Petrone from KSC; and Deputy Administrator Thomas Paine, William Schneider, Julian Bowman, Phillips, and Hage from NASA Hq. Low reviewed the spacecraft aspects; Kraft, flight operations; and Slayton, flight crew support. MSFC had agreed on the LTA-B as the substitute and were still ready to go; and KSC said they would be ready by December 6. Additional Details: here....


1968 August 14 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 618. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 August 14 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU31. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67M.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 August 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Webb briefed on Apollo 8 lunar mission concept. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George, Paine, Phillips, Samuel, Webb. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM.

    Phillips and Paine discussed the plan with Webb in Vienna. Webb wanted to think about it, and requested further information by diplomatic carrier. That same day Phillips called Low and informed him that Mueller had agreed to the plan with the provisions that no full announcement would be made until after the Apollo 7 flight; that it could be announced that 503 would be manned and possible missions were being studied; and that an internal document could be prepared for a planned lunar orbit for December.


1968 August 15 - . 07:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Infrared horizon Technology test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi).

1968 August 16 - .
  • Launch preparations for the Apollo 7 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, CSM Block II.

    NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller reported to his superiors that launch preparations for the Apollo 7 mission were running ahead of schedule. Spacecraft 101 had been erected and mated with the launch vehicle on August 9. Additional Details: here....


1968 August 16 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC25C. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Poseidon C3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 August 16 - . 11:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta N.
  • ESSA 7 - . Payload: TOS E. Mass: 145 kg (319 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ESSA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: TOS. USAF Sat Cat: 3345 . COSPAR: 1968-069A. Apogee: 1,473 km (915 mi). Perigee: 1,431 km (889 mi). Inclination: 101.9000 deg. Period: 114.90 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1968 August 16 - . 20:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC32B. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). The first 76,000-pound Minuteman III (LGM-30G) flight test missile (FTM 201) was launched from Silo 32 at Cape Canaveral and completed a successful flight 5,000 miles downrange. First Minuteman III flight test missile launched from Vandenberg AFB..

1968 August 16 - . 20:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Burner 2. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • LCS 3 - . Payload: LCS 3. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF, USN. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Orbiscal. Decay Date: 1968-08-16 .

    An Atlas/Burner II (SLV-3, #7004), the first Atlas to be launched with a Burner II upper stage, was launched from Space Launch Complex 3 East (SLC-3E) at Vandenberg but failed to place its payload in orbit due to a malfunction of the nose-fairing heat shield separation system. First of two Atlas/Burner II space launches. 1 of 13 satellite launch attempts; investigate effects of ionosphere on radio signals.

  • LIDOS - . Payload: LIDOS. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: Orbiscal.
  • OV5-8 - . Payload: OV5-8. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: OV5.
  • Radcat - . Payload: Radcat. Mass: 208 kg (458 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: Radcat.
  • EGRS 12 - . Payload: EGRS 12. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: Orbiscal.
  • EGRS 11 - . Payload: EGRS 11. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: Orbiscal.
  • RM-18 - . Payload: RM-18. Mass: 46 kg (101 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: RM.
  • AVL-802 Rigid Sphere - . Payload: AVL-802. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: Calsphere.

    An Atlas/Burner II (SLV-3, #7004), the first Atlas to be launched with a Burner II upper stage, was launched from Space Launch Complex 3 East (SLC-3E) at Vandenberg but failed to place its payload in orbit due to a malfunction of the nose-fairing heat shield separation system.

  • AVL-802 Grid Sphere 7-1 - . Payload: AVL-802. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: Orbiscal.
  • Orbiscal 1 - . Payload: Orbiscal 1. Mass: 37 kg (81 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: Orbiscal.

1968 August 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Webb approves Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission for December - but no public announcement until after a successful Apollo 7 flight. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George, Webb. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM.

    Phillips and Hage visited MSC, bringing the news that Webb had given clear-cut authority to prepare for a December 6 launch, but that they could not proceed with clearance for lunar orbit until after the Apollo 7 flight, which would be an earth-orbital mission with basic objectives of proving the CSM and Saturn V systems. Phillips said that Webb had been "shocked and fairly negative" when he talked to him about the plan on August 15. Subsequently, Paine and Phillips sent Webb a lengthy discourse on why the mission should be changed, and it was felt he would change his mind with a successful Apollo 7 mission.


1968 August 19 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Changes in planning for Apollo flights - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Anders, Borman, Lovell. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, Apollo Lunar Landing, CSM SPS.

    In a Mission Preparation Directive sent to the three manned space flight Centers, NASA Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips stated that the following changes would be effected in planning and preparation for Apollo flights:

    Apollo-Saturn 503
    • Assignment of Saturn V 503, CSM 103, and LM-3 to Mission D was canceled.

    • Saturn V 503 would be prepared to carry CSM 103 and LTA (LM test article)-B on a manned CSM-only mission to be designated the C prime mission.

    • The objectives and profile of the C prime mission would be developed to provide maximum gain consistent with standing flight safety requirements. Studies would be carried out and plans prepared so as to provide reasonable flexibility in establishing final mission objectives.

    • All planning and preparations for the C prime mission would proceed toward launch readiness on December 6, 1968.
    Apollo-Saturn 504
    Saturn V 504, CSM 104, and LM-3 were assigned to the D mission, scheduled for launch readiness no earlier than February 20, 1969. The crew assigned to the D mission would remain assigned to that mission. The crew assigned to the E mission (Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William Anders) would be reassigned to the C prime mission. Training and equipping the C prime crews and operational preparations would proceed as required to meet mission requirements and to meet the newly established flight readiness date.
    Additional Details: here....

1968 August 19 - . 09:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 177 km (109 mi).

1968 August 20 - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: T-7. Launch Vehicle: T-7/GF-01A.
  • GF-01A satellite test - . Nation: China. Agency: CAST. Apogee: 311 km (193 mi).

1968 August 20 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 194 km (120 mi).

1968 August 20 - . 10:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • NO / TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 August 20 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Pandora E Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 154 km (95 mi).

1968 August 21 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 395-C. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II.
  • Glory Trip 18T - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). FOT GT18T Follow-on Test launch.

1968 August 21 - . 16:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Railroad Valley Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A WTR/HS/SB/FAB/FP Test/Technology/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 81 km (50 mi). Maximum Speed - 5540 kph. Maximum Altitude - 81530 m. Astronaut wings flight (USAF definition). Air dropped in Railroad Valley Lake DZ..

1968 August 21 - . 19:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 193 km (119 mi).

1968 August 21 - . 19:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 189 km (117 mi).

1968 August 21 - . 20:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 192 km (119 mi).

1968 August 21 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 262 km (162 mi).

1968 August 22 - . 15:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3A. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B.
  • RAM C-2 Re-entry vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 227 km (141 mi).

1968 August 23 - . LV Family: N1.
  • At a meeting with DF Ustinov, head of the Military Industrial Commission, the N1-L3 expedition using the Ye-8 was pitched by Babakin. - . Related Persons: Mishin, Ustinov, Babakin, . Spacecraft: , Luna Ye-8. (Mishin Diaries 2-149).

1968 August 23 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67P.
  • RGCh state trials flight - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 August 23 - . 04:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Vehicle: Sandhawk.
  • LRL AXE-2 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 187 km (116 mi).

1968 August 24 - . 15:59 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 20.0 S x 65.0 E. Launch Platform: SHIP-SOV. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1968 August 25 - . 16:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Boosted Arcas 2.
  • ESRO A50 / 2 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 109 km (67 mi).

1968 August 27 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Decision to use Apollo LTA-B as payload ballast on the AS-503 flight - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo LTA, LM Weight.

    George M. Low, ASPO Manager, set forth the rationale for using LTA-B (as opposed to some other LM test article or even a full-blown LM) as payload ballast on the AS-503 mission. That decision had been a joint one by Headquarters, MSFC, and MSC. Perhaps the chief reason for the decision was Marshall's position that the Saturn V's control system was extremely sensitive to payload weight. Numerous tests had been made for payloads of around 38,555 kilograms but none for those in the 29,435- to 31,750-kilogram range. MSFC had therefore asked that the minimum payload for AS-503 be set at 38,555 kilograms. Additional Details: here....


1968 August 27 - . 03:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • TMA Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 201 km (124 mi).

1968 August 27 - . 04:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Release Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 201 km (124 mi).

1968 August 27 - . 11:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC41/15. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65.
  • Cosmos 236 - . Mass: 875 kg (1,929 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: Strela. Class: Communications. Type: Military store-dump communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-1. Spacecraft: Strela-2. Decay Date: 1990-03-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3347 . COSPAR: 1968-070A. Apogee: 348 km (216 mi). Perigee: 340 km (210 mi). Inclination: 56.1000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space..

1968 August 27 - . 12:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 237 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-09-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3348 . COSPAR: 1968-071A. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 August 28 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Cosmos 238 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-OK s/n 9. Mass: 6,520 kg (14,370 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Duration: 3.96 days. Decay Date: 1968-09-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 3351 . COSPAR: 1968-072A. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi). Perigee: 203 km (126 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Recovered September 1, 1968 9:03 GMT. Final test of redesigned Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft for Soyuz 3 manned mission..

1968 August 29 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 626. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 August 29 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 626. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Improved Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 August 29 - . 05:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 20.06 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1968 August 29 - . 08:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 20.07 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1968 August 29 - . 17:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 20.08 Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 August 29 - . 19:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3 AC.
1968 August 30 - .
  • Apollo Special Task Team at North American mission ended - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rees. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204.

    Eberhard Rees, Director of the Apollo Special Task Team at North American Rockwell, notified the contractor that facilities the team had used at Downey, Calif., were relinquished to the company. Thus ended the mission of the group formed some nine months earlier to oversee the contractor's preparations during the period of adjustment following the Apollo 1 accident.


1968 September 1 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF21. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • ST (Partial fuel) - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1968 September 2 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: M9135. Launch Platform: SHIP-SOV. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1968 September 3 - .
  • Apollo 8 launch readiness date changed to December 13, 1968 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips notified the three manned space flight Centers that the Apollo 8 launch readiness working-schedule date had been changed to December 13, 1968..

1968 September 4 - .
  • Von Braun performed a full-pressure suit test in the Neutral Buoyancy Tank. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Skylab. Spacecraft: Orbital Workshop.

    MSFC Director Wernher von Braun performed a full-pressure suit test in the Saturn I Workshop immersed in the Neutral Buoyancy Tank. He reported that the upgraded seals used in the aft dome penetration sealing study were 'very good,' but recommended additional handholds and tether points.


1968 September 4 - . 01:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 227 km (141 mi).

1968 September 4 - . 01:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 232 km (144 mi).

1968 September 4 - . 14:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Structure Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 124 km (77 mi).

1968 September 5 - . Launch Site: Grand Forks AFB. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • A High Explosive Simulation Test (HEST-V) was completed at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, to evaluate the effects of surface overpressure on a Minuteman launch facility and its equipment. - .

1968 September 5 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 239 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-09-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 3353 . COSPAR: 1968-073A. Apogee: 274 km (170 mi). Perigee: 201 km (124 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 September 6 - .
  • Proposed revisions of the first Apollo lunar landing mission plan - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Slayton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM ECS, LM Television.

    In response to a letter from Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips concerning proposed revisions of the first lunar landing mission plan, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth presented MSC's position on the three major topics:

    1. deletion of the lunar geology investigation (LGI) and the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP),
    2. television coverage, and
    3. extravehicular excursion.
    Additional Details: here....

1968 September 7 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: M9132. Launch Platform: SHIP-SOV. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1968 September 9 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC50. Launch Vehicle: Sprint ABM.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 6.00 km (3.70 mi).

1968 September 10 - .
  • L1 preparations. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. 23 VVS staff fly to the cosmodrome aboard an An-24 for the impending L1 launch. The State Commission will meet there on 13 September to consider the L1 preparations, and on 17 September, L3 preparations..

1968 September 10 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 617. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 September 10 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 5247 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 16 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 3375 . COSPAR: 1968-074A. Apogee: 404 km (251 mi). Perigee: 125 km (77 mi). Inclination: 106.1000 deg. Period: 89.80 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 September 11 - .
  • L1 review. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. L1 documentation is reviewed at Areas 82 and 17. Kamanin and the cosmonauts play tennis in the evening..

1968 September 11 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67P.
  • RGCh state trials flight - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 September 12 - .
  • Preparations for the first manned Apollo flight - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 204. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Block I. Dale D. Myers, North American Rockwell's Apollo CSM Program Manager, wrote George M. Low: . Additional Details: here....

1968 September 12 - .
  • L1 Training. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The cosmonauts have been well trained on the L1 spacecraft at TsKBEM, but not on the real thing at the test area at Baikonur. Mishin is opposed to their doing this training at the cosmodrome..

1968 September 13 - .
  • L1 recovery plans - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    200 aircraft and helicopters are ready for the L1 launch, as well as eight ships in the Indian Ocean. The latter are spaced at 300 km intervals in an area 2500 km long x 400 km wide along the re-entry trajectory. There are Ka-25 helicopters aboard only three of the ships. For manned flights, a minimum of nine ships, all equipped with helicopters, plus a long range Tu-95 search aircraft will be required. But this has been recommended 20 times by Kamanin, and rejected 20 times by the Ministry of Defence. Later the L1 State Commission meets in the new three-story building at Area 81. Launch is set for 15 September at 00:42:10.6, which will mean a night landing at 19:00 on 21 September. The capsule has no visual lights or beacons, which will make it very hard to locate. But Mishin is adamant he cannot change the landing time.


1968 September 13 - . 16:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 September 13 - . 18:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A WTR/HS/SB/FAB/FP Test/Technology/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 77 km (47 mi). Maximum Speed - 5990 kph. Maximum Altitude - 77450 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1968 September 14 - . 06:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 240 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 66. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 7.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-09-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 3388 . COSPAR: 1968-075A. Apogee: 283 km (175 mi). Perigee: 203 km (126 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 September 14 - . 21:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • Zond 5 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 9L. Mass: 5,390 kg (11,880 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1 . Duration: 5.76 days. Decay Date: 1968-09-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 3394 . COSPAR: 1968-076A. Apogee: 385,000 km (239,000 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.5000 deg. Period: 14,722.06 min.

    First successful circumlunar flight with recovery. Test flight of manned spacecraft; launched from an earth parking orbit to make a lunar flyby and return to earth. On September 18, 1968, the spacecraft flew around the moon at an altitude of 1950 km. High quality photographs of the earth were taken at a distance of 90,000 km. A biological payload of turtles, wine flies, meal worms, plants, seeds, bacteria, and other living matter was included in the flight. Before re-entry the gyroscopic platform went off line due to ground operator failure. However this time the self destruct command was not given. After a ballistic 20G re-entry the capsule splashed down in the Indian Ocean at 32:63 S, 65:55 E on September 21, 1968 16:08 GMT. Soviet naval vessels were 100 km from the landing location and recovered the spacecraft the next day, shipping it via Bombay back to Soviet Union. Additional Details: here....


1968 September 15 - . 15:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: M9167. Launch Platform: SHIP-SOV. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 76 km (47 mi).

1968 September 16 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Changes in the Apollo Program Specification - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo.

    Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips formally notified ASPO Manager George M. Low at MSC and Saturn V Program Manager Lee B. James at MSFC of changes in the Apollo Program Specification. As agreed on during the MSF Management Council meeting on August 6, the Apollo payload interface was set at 46,040 kilograms (with a flight geometry reserve of 137 kilometers per hour). Also, the present spacecraft loading philosophy allowed a total spacecraft weight of 46,266 kilograms for lunar missions having less than maximum flight geometry requirements. Additional Details: here....


1968 September 16 - .
  • Zond 5 midcourse aborted - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The first Zond 5 midcourse correction was aborted. The star tracker failed, and the spacecraft wouldn't orient itself properly. Later the reasons for Beregovoi's mistakes in the Soyuz 3 docking are discussed. Kamanin blames them on inadequate simulators..

1968 September 16 - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: RH. Launch Vehicle: RH-75.
  • Accelerometer test - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 9.00 km (5.50 mi).

1968 September 16 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 241 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-09-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3398 . COSPAR: 1968-077A. Apogee: 326 km (202 mi). Perigee: 198 km (123 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 September 16 - . 16:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170.
  • Dummy Sustainer test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

1968 September 16 - . 17:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 118 km (73 mi).

1968 September 17 - .
  • Zond 5 midcourse using earth sensor - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    It is decided to orient Zond 5 using the earth sensor. This is not as accurate as the star tracker, but it is good enough to ensure the spacecraft can be put on a course that will take it back to earth. However it is not accurate enough to allow a a lifting re-entry with a double skip manoeuvre and landing in the Soviet Union. It means the spacecraft must follow a high-G ballistic re-entry and land in the Indian Ocean. Afanasyev is personally supervising the midcourse orientation and engine burn.


1968 September 17 - . 07:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Tanegashima. Launch Complex: Tanegashima T. LV Family: STA. Launch Vehicle: SA-II.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: STA. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1968 September 18 - . 21:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4A 1048 - . Payload: KH-4A s/n 1048 / Agena D 1647 / OPS 0165. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1968-10-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 3408 . COSPAR: 1968-078A. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 167 km (103 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 90.10 min. KH-4A. Film in the forward camera separated and camera failed on mission 1048-2, also the stellar/index camera unit failed..
  • SRV 749 - . Payload: SRV 1048-1. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P 11. Spacecraft: SSF. Decay Date: 1969-09-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3409 . COSPAR: 1968-078xx. Apogee: 236 km (146 mi). Perigee: 211 km (131 mi). Inclination: 83.2000 deg. Period: 89.00 min.
  • OPS 8595 - . Payload: EHH B13. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1969-09-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3409 . COSPAR: 1968-078B. Apogee: 514 km (319 mi). Perigee: 500 km (310 mi). Inclination: 83.2000 deg. Period: 94.80 min. Radar monitoring..

1968 September 19 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Bulldozer delays N1 launch by two months - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The Zond 5 situation remains the same. The star trackers quit working, and the use of the back-up systems has not been completely successful. However the spacecraft is on course for a ballistic re-entry. At Area 112 Afanasyev heads the State Commission for the N1-L3 first launch. There are problems with the launch complex. The main electrical cable to the launch complex was accidentally bulldozed. The back-up cables were buried only 30 cm from the main line and both were destroyed. The cables were poorly marked. It will take 50 days to repair the damage. This will delay first launch until the second half of November 1968, and the second launch to February 1969. Most likely the first launch cannot take place until next year.


1968 September 19 - . 00:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta M. FAILURE: Control system failure; destroyed by range safety.. Failed Stage: G.
1968 September 19 - . 01:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Tanegashima. Launch Complex: Tanegashima T. Launch Vehicle: LS-C.
  • Test mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: STA. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 September 20 - .
  • Kamanin hold a cosmonaut meeting. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Tereshkova, Titov. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Tereshkova is having political problems. Titov is to go to Mexico, although he still is making errors of judgement which make it questionable whether he can be trusted on foreign tours. Beregovoi is to complete his cosmonaut examinations on 27 September, and then will be certified for flight.


1968 September 20 - . 14:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 242 - . Payload: DS-P1-I s/n 4. Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-I. Completed Operations Date: 1968-11-13 . Decay Date: 1968-11-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 3414 . COSPAR: 1968-079A. Apogee: 406 km (252 mi). Perigee: 272 km (169 mi). Inclination: 71.0000 deg. Period: 91.30 min. Operational radar target for the ABM forces..

1968 September 20 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 September 20 - . 19:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • B field Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 321 km (199 mi).

1968 September 20 - . 19:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ferdinand 18 Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 239 km (148 mi).

1968 September 21 - .
  • Soyuz parachute failure - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    At the Fedosiya test range a Soyuz parachute test failed when the parachute hatch wouldn't jettison. This was due to an incorrectly inserted safing pin - it was not a spacecraft problem. So the Soyuz was still cleared for manned flight. Aboard Zond 5, the star tracker has completely failed. So the spacecraft will have to make a ballistic re-entry with splashdown in the Indian Ocean planned at 31 deg 58' S, 65 deg 21' E.


1968 September 21 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 173 km (107 mi).

1968 September 21 - . 19:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • B field Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 321 km (199 mi).

1968 September 22 - .
  • Zond 5 sucessfully recovered - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    At 17:00 communications with Zond 5 are lost as it re-enters over the South Pole. It has to re-enter at an angle of 5 to 6 degrees to the horizontal. One degree too high, and it will skip off the atmosphere and be lost into space; one degree too low and the G-forces will increase from 10-16 to 30-40 - which are not only enough to kill the crew, but to destroy the spacecraft. The safe entry corridor is only 13 km across and it has to be hit at 11 km/sec. - like hitting a kopek with a rifle at 600 m range. The re-entry schedule:

    • 18:37 jettison PAO service module
    • 18:53 re-entry begins
    • 18:54 nominal time of reaching trajectory's perigee of 33 km
    • 18:56 parachute should deploy at 7 km altitude
    • 19:08 splashdown
    Only three minutes after landing the capsule is located 105 km from one of the recovery ships. It is picked up after a few hours in the water.

1968 September 22 - . 15:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 189 km (117 mi).

1968 September 23 - .
  • L1 lunar crew selections - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bykovsky, Leonov, Makarov, Mishin, Popovich, Rukavishnikov, Voronov. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Meeting of VVS, Mishin, and other designers at Fedosiya to review trials of the improved Soyuz parachute system. The Soyuz is cleared for manned flights. Mishin tells Leonov he will not support him in his bid to make the first lunar flight. Kamanin tells Leonov that of the three crews - Leonov-Voronov, Bykovsky-Rukavishnikov, Popovich-Makarov - the Bykovsky crew is favoured.


1968 September 23 - . 07:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 243 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2M satellite. Duration: 9.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-10-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 3418 . COSPAR: 1968-080A. Apogee: 293 km (182 mi). Perigee: 213 km (132 mi). Inclination: 71.3000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; deployed passive microwave radio telescope capsule..
  • Nauka - . Payload: Nauka. Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Spacecraft: Nauka. Decay Date: 1968-10-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3452 . COSPAR: 1968-080C. Apogee: 274 km (170 mi). Perigee: 199 km (123 mi). Inclination: 71.3000 deg. Period: 89.23 min.

1968 September 23 - . 19:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • B field Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 321 km (199 mi).

1968 September 24 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 10 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. XLR-11 engine installed. Maximum Speed - 722 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 245 sec..

1968 September 24 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • HCO Spectrometer Solar ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1968 September 25 - .
  • Apollo LM ascent engine to use Rocketdyne injector - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Ascent Propulsion. The LM ascent engine to be flown in LM-3 and subsequent missions would incorporate the Rocketdyne injector, Apollo Program Director Phillips informed ASPO Manager Low. The engine would be assembled and delivered by Rocketdyne under subcontract to Grumman.. Additional Details: here....

1968 September 25 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/Trident.
  • RMP-B-9 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 September 25 - . 22:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1968 September 26 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 617. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 September 26 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Stromboli. Launch Vehicle: Eridan. FAILURE: Failure.
  • FU-181 test - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 September 26 - . 07:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIC.
  • OV2-05 - . Mass: 204 kg (449 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV2. Completed Operations Date: 1968-09-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 3428 . COSPAR: 1968-081A. Apogee: 35,745 km (22,210 mi). Perigee: 35,113 km (21,818 mi). Inclination: 12.3000 deg. Period: 1,417.90 min.

    A Titan ITIC space booster (Vehicle #5) was launched from Complex 41 at the Eastern Test Range and inserted four satellites into separate earth orbits. The primary payload was the Lincoln Experimental Satellite (LES-6) which was the second all-solid-state ultrahigh frequency (UHF) band communication satellite to be placed into a synchronous orbit. It was designed to test communications with aircraft, ships, and ground forces. The other three satellites were Office of Aerospace Research (OAR) payloads - two Experimental Research Satellites (ERS-21 and ERS-28) and an Orbiting Vehicle (OV 2-5) research satellite. Environmental research. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). As of 22 August 2001 located at 128.37 deg E drifting at 4.618 deg E per day. As of 2007 Feb 27 located at 91.48E drifting at 4.631E degrees per day.

  • OV5-02 - . Payload: ERS 28. Mass: 10 kg (22 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV5. Decay Date: 1971-02-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 3429 . COSPAR: 1968-081B. Apogee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Perigee: 184 km (114 mi). Inclination: 26.4000 deg. Period: 630.80 min. Particle radiation data. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OV5-04 - . Payload: ERS 21. Mass: 13 kg (28 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: OV5. Completed Operations Date: 1968-09-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 3430 . COSPAR: 1968-081C. Apogee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 3.0000 deg. Period: 1,435.80 min. Examined heat transfer in liquids in zero-g. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). Last known longitude (19 July 1995) 138.85 deg E drifting at 0.103 deg W per day..
  • LES 6 - . Mass: 163 kg (359 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: LES. Completed Operations Date: 1976-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 3431 . COSPAR: 1968-081D. Apogee: 35,839 km (22,269 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 12.8000 deg. Period: 1,437.20 min.

    A Titan ITIC space booster (Vehicle #5) was launched from Complex 41 at the Eastern Test Range and inserted four satellites into separate earth orbits. The primary payload was the Lincoln Experimental Satellite (LES-6) which was the second all-solid-state ultrahigh frequency (UHF) band communication satellite to be placed into a synchronous orbit. It was designed to test communications with aircraft, ships, and ground forces. The other three satellites were Office of Aerospace Research (OAR) payloads - two Experimental Research Satellites (ERS-21 and ERS-28) and an Orbiting Vehicle (OV 2-5) research satellite. Experimental commsat. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 38 deg W in 1968-1975 As of 26 August 2001 located at 61.90 deg W drifting at 0.101 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 73.59W drifting at 0.201E degrees per day.


1968 Week Ending September 27 - .
  • Apollo descent-stage tank blew up during qualification test - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Descent Propulsion.

    The Allison descent-stage propellant tank, being redesigned at Airite Division of Sargent Industries to a "lidless" configuration, blew up during qualification test at Airite. The crew noticed loss of pressure and therefore tightened fittings and repressurized. As the pressure went up, the tank blew into several pieces. Grumman dispatched a team to Airite to determine the cause and the necessary corrective action.


1968 September 27 - .
  • Cosmonauts on tour. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Leonov, Titov. Program: Soyuz. Titov is in Mexico, Leonov is serving on the sculpture commission for Gagarin and space monuments. Beregovoi confides to a film crew that the members of the original cosmonaut group are opposed to his making a spaceflight..

1968 September 27 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • RVTO-1A-3 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 September 28 - .
  • Review of functional interfaces between launch vehicle and spacecraft for Apollo 7 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Electrical. Results of a joint MSFC-MSC review of functional interfaces between the launch vehicle and spacecraft for Apollo 7 were forwarded to NASA Hq. . Additional Details: here....

1968 September 28 - .
  • Cosmonaut exams are held for Beregovoi, Shatalov, and Volynov. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Bykovsky, Klimuk, Kuklin, Leonov, Makarov, Popovich, Rukavishnikov, Sevastyanov, Shatalov, Voloshin, Volynov. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 3, Soyuz 4, Soyuz 5, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The results will establish the order in which they will fly as Soyuz commanders. A 25-person board, consisting of spacecraft designers and cosmonauts, conduct the oral examinations. Each cosmonaut must answer five mandatory essay questions and select two two-part questions. All three are certified for flight and have a complete mastery of the Soyuz systems.

    Mishin and Kamanin meet and decide on L1 crews: Leonov-Makarov (with Kuklin as back-up); Bykovsky-Rukavishnikov (Klimuk back-up); and Popovich-Sevastyanov (Voloshin back-up). But that evening Leonov has yet another automobile accident. He hit a bus with his Volga at kilometre 24 near Shchelkovsky. This was his second accident in four months. Kamanin decides to prohibit him from driving automobiles for six months.


1968 September 29 - .
  • Death of William Barton Bridgeman - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bridgeman. American test pilot, 1949-1960. Flew the D-558-2 rocketplane and X-3. Declared the latest "The Fastest Man Alive" in 1951..

1968 September 30 - .
  • Launch preparation for Apollo 7 and 8 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8. NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller summarized for his superiors launch preparation for the near-term missions Apollo 7 and Apollo 8.. Additional Details: here....

1968 September 30 - . Launch Site: Ile du Levant. LV Family: Jericho. Launch Vehicle: MD-620.
  • Nation: Israel. Agency: Dassault. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Final test launch of Jericho/MD.620 from France. Full French military embargo of Israel took effect in January 1969 after an Israeli raid on Beirut in December 1968..

1968 September 30 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150 MI.
  • GSFC extreme ultraviolet Spec Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 203 km (126 mi).

1968 October 1 - .
  • L1 and Soyuz plans - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Belyayev, Beregovoi, Leonov, Nikolayev. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 3, Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The L1 cosmonauts are doing training in autonomous navigation, zero-G training, and TBK-60 simulator training. Due to the continuing L1 failures, there would probably be no manned L1 flight until April-May 1969. As for Soyuz, a 0+1 (docking of one unmanned spacecraft and a manned spacecraft with a single cosmonaut aboard) is planned for 25 October, to be followed by a 1+3 mission with a crew transfer by December at the earliest - possibly not until February-March of the following year. Kamanin reassured Beregovoi that he will indeed fly following his excellent exam results -- but Beregovoi still has doubts. Later Kamanin confronts Leonov over his driving. Leonov has had three auto accidents in four months - simply too much. If he is such a bad driver on earth, how will be in space? Kamanin tells him to take two to three days off work and seriously consider his attitude and position. Next there are commissions to attend in charge of selecting monument designs for Gagarin memorials. There are to be obelisks at the Gagarin crash site, at the Vostok 1 landing site, and in Star City. These commissions are taking up a lot of the cosmonauts' time. Kuznetsov meets with Kamanin and tells him that cosmonauts Belyayev and Nikolayev rated Beregovoi poorly in the exam, giving him only a 5 and citing errors in his logic.


1968 Oct? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1968 Oct? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 Oct? - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Tomahawk.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: SAND. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 October 1 - . 18:52 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Ultraviolet Dayglow Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 October 1 - . 21:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Ferdinand 19 Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 228 km (141 mi).

1968 October 2 - . 02:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 October 2 - . 13:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC161/35. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36O 8K69.
  • Cosmos 244 - . Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Class: Military. Type: Orbital bombing system. Spacecraft: OGCh. Decay Date: 1968-10-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 3449 . COSPAR: 1968-082A. Apogee: 158 km (98 mi). Perigee: 140 km (80 mi). Inclination: 49.6000 deg. Period: 87.40 min. Fractional Orbital Bombardment System test..

1968 October 3 - .
  • Apollo 7 flight readiness review - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7.

    Senior management from NASA Hq. and the three manned Centers conducted the Apollo 7 flight readiness review at KSC. Crew, space vehicle, and all supporting elements were ready for flight. Countdown-to-launch sequence had started on October 6, and flight preparations were on schedule for launch readiness at 11:00 a.m. EDT on October 11.


1968 October 3 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 11 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: HL-10 flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. Maximum Speed - 758 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 243 sec..

1968 October 3 - .
  • Zond 5 arrives in Bombay - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The vessel Vasiliy Golovnin docks at Bombay with the L1 capsule..

1968 October 3 - . 12:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 245 - . Payload: DS-P1-Yu s/n 16. Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-Yu. Completed Operations Date: 1969-01-16 . Decay Date: 1969-01-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 3457 . COSPAR: 1968-083A. Apogee: 473 km (293 mi). Perigee: 284 km (176 mi). Inclination: 71.0000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. Development of systems for air defence and the control of outer space..

1968 October 3 - . 20:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B.
  • ESRO 1A - . Payload: Aurorae. Mass: 81 kg (178 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: ESRO. Decay Date: 1970-06-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 3459 . COSPAR: 1968-084A. Apogee: 1,538 km (955 mi). Perigee: 258 km (160 mi). Inclination: 93.8000 deg. Period: 103.00 min. Aurora, polar ionosphere investigations. .

1968 October 4 - .
  • Zond 5 arrives in Moscow - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The L1 capsule is flown by An-12 from Bombay to Moscow..

1968 October 4 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67P.
  • RGCh state trials flight - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 October 5 - .
  • Soyuz 4/5 zero-G training - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Khrunov, Shonin, Yeliseyev. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Shonin, Khrunov, and Yeliseyev are in zero-G training aboard the Tu-104 aircraft. The cabin is outfitted with two partial Soyuz mock-ups. In space their EVA between two spacecraft is expected to take one hour and forty minutes, but they can only experience 20 to 25 seconds of weightlessness at a time in the aircraft. The 18 staff aboard the Tu-104 have parachutes in case of a serious problem with the aircraft, but it would take 32 seconds for all of them to jump from the three hatches on the aircraft. Meanwhile the pilot cosmonauts are only flying 50 to 60 hours per year, instead of the 150 to 200 hours that Kamanin had requested.


1968 October 5 - . 00:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-10 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-2. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1976-07-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 3469 . COSPAR: 1968-085A. Apogee: 39,596 km (24,603 mi). Perigee: 498 km (309 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 712.50 min. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1968 October 5 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • OPS 0964 - . Payload: Ferret 13 / Agena D 2734. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft: Ferret. Decay Date: 1971-03-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 3472 . COSPAR: 1968-086A. Apogee: 511 km (317 mi). Perigee: 483 km (300 mi). Inclination: 75.0000 deg. Period: 94.60 min.

1968 October 7 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo 8 CSM installed atop the Saturn V - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Block II.

    In preparation for the flight of Apollo 8, NASA and industry technicians at KSC placed CSM 103 atop the Saturn V launch vehicle. The launch escape system was installed the following day; and on October 9 the complete AS-503 space vehicle was rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building and moved to the launch pad, where launch preparations were resumed.


1968 October 7 - .
  • Soviets consider Apollo 8 has no chance of success - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Tyulin. Program: Apollo, Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8.

    Tyulin is still complaining that the VVS never signed the L1 design specification. But the crews are ready for flight. The flight of Apollo 8 to the moon is announced. Kamanin considers this an adventure with no chance of success. After all, there have been only two Saturn V launches, the last one a partial failure. The US has never flown a crew to escape velocity or lunar distance. The whole thing is a risky, unsafe adventure.


1968 October 7 - . 12:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 246 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-10-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3473 . COSPAR: 1968-087A. Apogee: 321 km (199 mi). Perigee: 149 km (92 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 October 7 - . 21:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Salto di Quirra. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3.
  • Ultraviolet telescope Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 208 km (129 mi).

1968 October 8 - .
  • SAMSO asked qualified contractors to submit proposals for the development of an advanced satellite communications system, the Defense Satellite Communication System Phase II (DSCS II) (Program 777). - . Spacecraft Bus: DSCS. Spacecraft: DSCS II.

1968 October 8 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S01.
  • S01C-1 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 October 8 - . 02:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 125 km (77 mi).

1968 October 8 - . 05:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • X-ray astronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 153 km (95 mi).

1968 October 8 - . 11:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C35 / 1 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 October 9 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • All changes to Apollo 7 as a result of Apollo 1 fire completed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Block II. NASA Apollo Mission Director William C. Schneider reported completion of all action items pertinent to Apollo 7 assigned by Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips as a result of recommendations by the Apollo Crew Safety Review Board on May 27, 1968.. Additional Details: here....

1968 October 9 - .
  • Soyuz 3 preparations. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Mishin. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Kamanin is at Tyuratam. There is a Soyuz review - the preparation of the spacecraft is on schedule. Mishin is 'sick' (drunk) again and does not attend. Beregovoi weighs in at 80.4 kg and his opponents are using this against him, saying he is too fat for the mission. He had been up to 86 kg, but had already lost weight on Kamanin's recommendation.


1968 October 9 - . 03:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Resolute Bay. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • Ionosphere / chemical release / solar x-ray mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 October 9 - . 03:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1968 October 9 - . 04:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 1.
1968 October 9 - . 08:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 173 km (107 mi).

1968 October 10 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 175 km (108 mi).

1968 October 11 - .
  • Soyuz 3 preparations. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    At Area 31 one of the Soyuz has thermoregulation system problems and is in repair - it can't be used for flight training. Kamanin notes that Apollo 7 has been launched - the Americans are back in space after almost two years and on the schedule announced a month ago.


1968 October 11 - . 12:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 247 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 65. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-10-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 3484 . COSPAR: 1968-088A. Apogee: 345 km (214 mi). Perigee: 199 km (123 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 October 11 - . 15:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC34. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Apollo 7 - . Call Sign: Apollo 7. Crew: Cunningham, Eisele, Schirra. Backup Crew: Cernan, Stafford, Young. Payload: Apollo CSM 101 / S-IVB-205. Mass: 14,674 kg (32,350 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cernan, Cunningham, Eisele, Schirra, Stafford, Young. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 7. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 10.84 days. Decay Date: 1968-10-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 3486 . COSPAR: 1968-089A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 229 km (142 mi). Inclination: 31.6000 deg. Period: 89.90 min.

    Apollo 7 (AS-205), the first manned Apollo flight, lifted off from Launch Complex 34 at Cape Kennedy Oct. 11, carrying Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham. The countdown had proceeded smoothly, with only a slight delay because of additional time required to chill the hydrogen system in the S-IVB stage of the Saturn launch vehicle. Liftoff came at 11:03 a.m. EDT. Shortly after insertion into orbit, the S-IVB stage separated from the CSM, and Schirra and his crew performed a simulated docking with the S-IVB stage, maneuvering to within 1.2 meters of the rocket. Although spacecraft separation was normal, the crew reported that one adapter panel had not fully deployed. Two burns using the reaction control system separated the spacecraft and launch stage and set the stage for an orbital rendezvous maneuver, which the crew made on the second day of the flight, using the service propulsion engine.

    Crew and spacecraft performed well throughout the mission. During eight burns of the service propulsion system during the flight, the engine functioned normally. October 14, third day of the mission, witnessed the first live television broadcast from a manned American spacecraft.


1968 October 14 - .
  • Soyuz S drawings released - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-S, Soyuz OB-VI. Design materials for the 11F732 7K-S spacecraft were issued. In 1969 complete drawings were released for the OIS project including those for the spacecraft 7K-S, 7K-S-I, and 7K-S-II..

1968 October 15 - .
  • Soyuz 3 review. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Soyuz 3 has 18 deficiencies remaining of a total of 55 originally identified. 11 have been cleared, the balance will not affect the flight or reduce redundancy in emergencies. It is decided that Beregovoi and his back-ups will not stay at the traditional cosmonaut cottage at Area 2 but rather at the Hotel Kosmonavt at Area 17.


1968 October 15 - . Launch Site: Ile du Levant. Launch Vehicle: Tacite.
  • Sun pointing test / solar mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 October 15 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Barrow. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1968 October 15 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Barrow. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi).

1968 October 15 - . 16:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C45 / 1 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 160 km (90 mi).

1968 October 15 - . 22:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1968 October 16 - .
  • Saturn IB program placed in a standby status - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8.

    Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips ordered that the Saturn IB program be placed in a standby status pending any future requirements for Apollo or the Apollo Applications program. Phillips' action signaled the shift in Apollo to the Saturn V vehicle, effective with AS-503.


1968 October 16 - . 00:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Composition Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 340 km (210 mi).

1968 October 16 - . 00:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 123 km (76 mi).

1968 October 16 - . 08:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1968 October 16 - . 23:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 155 km (96 mi).

1968 October 17 - .
  • Loss of attitude control caused Apollo LLRV Crash - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LLRV, LM Structural.

    Two NASA investigation boards had reported that loss of attitude control caused the May 6 accident that destroyed lunar landing research vehicle No. 1, NASA announced. Helium in propellant tanks had been depleted earlier than normal, dropping pressure needed to force hydrogen peroxide propellant to the attitude-control lift rockets and thrusters. Additional Details: here....


1968 October 17 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC33. LV Family: Hydac. Launch Vehicle: Nike Hydac.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 October 18 - .
  • Birthdays at the cosmodrome. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Mishin. Flight: Soyuz 3. It is Kamanin's 60th birthday, and Beregovoi is 47. Many birthday greetings received. In the evening, at a gala dinner, Mishin makes a very warm speech honouring Kamanin and presents him with a model of the Soyuz spacecraft..

1968 October 19 - .
  • Sunday at the cosmodrome. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Nikolayev. Flight: Soyuz 3. Nikolayev wants to take Kamanin duck hunting..

1968 October 19 - . 04:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC90/19. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-2A.
  • Cosmos 248 - . Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: PKO. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system target. Spacecraft Bus: Kosmoplan. Spacecraft: IS-P. Decay Date: 1980-02-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 3503 . COSPAR: 1968-090A. Apogee: 543 km (337 mi). Perigee: 475 km (295 mi). Inclination: 62.3000 deg. Period: 94.80 min. ASAT target. Intercepted repeatedly by Cosmos 249 on 20 October; destroyed by Cosmos 252 on 1 November..

1968 October 20 - .
  • Soyuz 2/3 QA coordination issues. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Afanasyev, Sergei, Ustinov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Coordination problems between the ministries in preparation of the Soyuz spacecraft. VVS and MAP have managers assigned for quality control of each system, while MOM (Afanasyev) counterpart staff are disorganised. Yet again conflicts have to be appealed to 'Cardinal' Ustinov.


1968 October 20 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC90/20. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-2A.
  • Cosmos 249 - . Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: PKO. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system. Spacecraft Bus: Kosmoplan. Spacecraft: IS-A. Decay Date: 1968-10-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 3504 . COSPAR: 1968-091A. Apogee: 2,075 km (1,289 mi). Perigee: 498 km (309 mi). Inclination: 62.3000 deg. Period: 111.30 min.

    ASAT interceptor. Intercepted Cosmos 248 target on second orbit. Repeatedly approached Cosmos 248, verifying primary and reserve homing and guidance systems. Destroyed itself in test of on-board destruct system. Counted as a failure by Western observers because that target was not destroyed; but this was not an objective of the test. Left 109 fragments in orbit, of which 54 were still in orbit in 1996.


1968 October 21 - .
  • Launch preparations for Apollo 8 and 9 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8, Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, CSM Block II. Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller summarized launch preparations for the near-term missions Apollo 8 and Apollo 9. . Additional Details: here....

1968 October 21 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 608. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 October 21 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 608. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 October 21 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 608. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 October 21 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 608. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 October 21 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 608. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A2E.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 October 22 - .
  • Soyuz 2/3 State Commission. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Barmin, Glushko, Keldysh, Kirillov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Soyuz 2/3 State Commission. All the 'grey eminences' are there - Keldysh, Barmin, Glushko, Kirillov, etc. There are a huge number of physicians - 22 from the VVS, 100 from Minzdrav - all to check the single cosmonaut..

1968 October 22 - . 08:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Ion composition Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 October 22 - . 10:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 164 km (101 mi).

1968 October 22 - . 14:50 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Hydac. Launch Vehicle: Nike Hydac.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 October 22 - .
  • Landing of Apollo 7 - . Return Crew: Cunningham, Eisele, Schirra. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cunningham, Eisele, Schirra. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7.

    The SPS engine was used to deorbit after 259 hours 39 minutes of flight. CM-SM separation and operation of the earth landing system were normal, and the spacecraft splashed down about 13 kilometers from the recovery ship (27.32 N 64.04 W), the U.S.S. Essex at 11:11 GMT. Although the vehicle initially settled in an apex-down ("stable 2") attitude, upright bags functioned normally and returned the CSM to an upright position in the water. Schirra, Eisele, and Cunningham were quickly picked up by a recovery helicopter and were safe aboard the recovery vessel less than an hour after splashdown.

    All primary Apollo 7 mission objectives were met, as well as every detailed test objective (and three test objectives not originally planned). Engineering firsts from Apollo 7, aside from live television from space, included drinking water for the crew produced as a by-product of the fuel cells. Piloting and navigation accomplishments included an optical rendezvous, daylight platform realignment, and orbital determination via sextant tracking of another vehicle. All spacecraft systems performed satisfactorily. Minor anomalies were countered by backup systems or changes in procedures. With successful completion of the Apollo 7 mission, which proved out the design of the Block II CSM (CSM 101), NASA and the nation had taken the first step on the pathway to the moon.

    Although the systems worked, the crew became grumpy with head colds and talked back to the ground. As a result, NASA management determined that none of them would fly again. Apollo 7 landed at 07:12 GMT.


1968 October 23 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 12 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. First powered flight. Premature shutdown. Maximum Speed - 722 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12100 m. Flight Time - 189 sec..

1968 October 23 - .
  • Two failures of Apollo LM propellant tanks fail during testing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 13. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Weight. LeRoy E. Day, Apollo Test Director, NASA Hq., informed Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips of two failures of LM propellant tanks during testing, a problem that might have significant program impact on LMs 6 and 7 and subsequent vehicles. . Additional Details: here....

1968 October 23 - .
  • Soyuz 2/3 State Commission. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Volynov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. State Commission meets again and finds all is ready. Word is received that the Central Committee is opposed to Volynov as back-up..

1968 October 23 - . 04:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F12 - . Payload: DAPP 6422 (FTV-7) / OPS 4078. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DMSP Block 4/5 satellites. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 3510 . COSPAR: 1968-092A. Apogee: 828 km (514 mi). Perigee: 783 km (486 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.00 min. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1968 October 24 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Retesting Saturn V following a lightning strike - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Howard D. Burns, Chief of the Saturn V Test Management Office at MSFC, sent to Apollo launch operations officials at KSC a list of requirements for retesting the Saturn V following a lightning strike on the vehicle while on the pad.. Additional Details: here....

1968 October 24 - .
  • Molniya-2 satellite authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-2. Spacecraft: Molniya-2. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On establishment of the Kristall communications system based on Molniya-2 satellites' was issued. Kristall would be used for strategic communications..

1968 October 24 - .
  • Soyuz 2 roll-out. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3.

    Kamanin visits the Korolev and Gagarin cottages. He finds them in bad condition, in need of repair. They should be restored as they were in 1961 and be made into museums. At 16:00 the rocket is rolled out to Area 31. 500 are present at the State Commission meeting.


1968 October 24 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 - lost opportunity in 1961 - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Glushko, Isayev, Korolev, Mishin. Program: Lunar L3. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft: LK, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    Glushko has a private conversation with Isayev at the N1 MIK during the Soyuz 3 launch preparations. Glushko revealed to Isayev that in 1961 he had offered Korolev a compromise - if Korolev would use the same 'packet' scheme for the N1 that he had used on the R-7, so that the individual engine modules could be individually tested on the ground before flight, Glushko would give up his insistence on the use of storable propellants. However, after checking with Mishin, Korolev would not compromise. Additional Details: here....


1968 October 24 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC32B. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 October 24 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: SAND. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 October 24 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: SAND. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 October 24 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF04. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • GIANT FIST 2A demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 October 24 - . 17:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Smith Ranch Lake DZ. Launch Pad: Edwards RW04/22. Launch Platform: NB-52 003.
  • X-15A WTR/HS/FAB/FP Test/Technology/Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, USAF. Spacecraft: X-15A. Apogee: 77 km (47 mi). Last flight. Maximum Speed - 5979 kph. Maximum Altitude - 77720 m. Air dropped in Smith Ranch Lake DZ..

1968 October 24 - . 20:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Boosted Arcas 2.
  • RTG SA1 / 1-K68 Ionosphere / aurora mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA, RTG. Apogee: 104 km (64 mi).

1968 October 25 - .
  • Death of Ivan Istochnikov. Reported died aboard Soyuz 2, 25 October 1968. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Istochnikov. Russian phantom cosmonaut, reported lost aboard Soyuz 2, an unmanned spacecraft that was the docking target for Soyuz 3. Actually an elaborate 1998 modern art exercise by Joan Fontcuberta. Casual Internet surfers took it to be a real person..

1968 October 25 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Soyuz 2 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-OK s/n 11. Mass: 6,450 kg (14,210 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Duration: 2.95 days. Decay Date: 1968-10-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3511 . COSPAR: 1968-093A. Apogee: 229 km (142 mi). Perigee: 191 km (118 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.60 min.

    Unmanned docking target for Soyuz 3. Soyuz 2 launched on time at 12:00 local time, in 0 deg C temperatures and 5 m/s winds. Launch was on time 'as in Korolev's time', notes Kamanin. Docking with Soyuz 3 a failure. Recovered October 28, 1968 7:51 GMT, 5 km from its aim point. Maneuver Summary: 177km X 196km orbit to 184km X 230km orbit. Delta V: 12 m/s.
    Officially: Complex testing of spaceship systems in conditions of space flight.


1968 October 25 - . 10:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi).

1968 October 26 - .
  • Death of Zhao Jiuzhang - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Zhao Jiuzhang. Chinese Engineer. Leader in development of instruments for use on Chinese sounding rockets and artificial satellites. Killed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution..

1968 October 26 - . 08:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511.
  • Soyuz 3 - . Call Sign: Argon (Argon ). Crew: Beregovoi. Backup Crew: Shatalov, Volynov. Payload: Soyuz 7K-OK s/n 10. Mass: 6,575 kg (14,495 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Shatalov, Volynov. Agency: MOM. Program: Soyuz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK. Duration: 3.95 days. Decay Date: 1968-10-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 3516 . COSPAR: 1968-094A. Apogee: 205 km (127 mi). Perigee: 183 km (113 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.30 min.

    Second manned Soyuz flight. Rendezvoused with the unmanned Soyuz 2 but failed to dock. Complex testing of spaceship systems; development, in joint flight with space ship Soyuz 2 of processes of space ship manoeuvring and docking in artificial earth satellite orbit; development of elements of celestial navigation; conduct of research under space flight conditions. The failed docking was blamed on manual control of the Soyuz by Beregovoi, who repeatedly put the spacecraft in an orientation that nulled the automatic docking system. Beregovoi used nearly all of his orientation fuel in his first attempt to dock - of 80 kg allocated, only 8 to 10 kg was remaining. Additional Details: here....


1968 October 26 - . 09:11 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 170.
  • KP3.23 Ultraviolet astronomy / test - . Nation: USA. Agency: KPNO, NASA. Apogee: 245 km (152 mi).

1968 October 27 - .
  • Kamanin talks to Beregovoi on the 14th orbit of Soyuz 3. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    He can't understand why Beregovoi couldn't dock. Beregovoi seems garbled. The cabin atmosphere is all right. He is ordered to orient the spacecraft to the sun - which he accomplishes readily with minimum propellant expenditure. The Soyuz 2 45K star sensor is not functioning - 'as usual' notes Kamanin.


1968 October 27 - . 10:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

1968 October 28 - .
  • Star City named. - . Nation: Russia. Moscow Oblast Executive Committee Decree 'On renaming of Zeleniy as Zvezdniy gorodok' was issued..

1968 October 28 - .
  • Soyuz 2 lands 45 km from its aim point. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Meanwhile Beregovoi was instructed to conduct experiments with the 45K stellar sensor on Soyuz 3. He would quickly disengage the 45K, then orient the spacecraft to the sun. He would then reengage the sensor and the automatic orientation system. This did two complete turns of the spacecraft searching for the star, but not acquiring it. To Kamanin this shows the uselessness of the system, and the wastage of propellant it causes.


1968 October 28 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC142/34. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 October 29 - . 11:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island UL6. LV Family: Sandhawk. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Sandhawk.
  • LRL ACS-3 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi).

1968 October 30 - . LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Phase A Space Shuttle studies. - . Nation: USA.

    NASA began the design, bidding, and source selection process leading to a single national space shuttle. At the beginning the design was known by the same nomenclature previously used by the USAF - Integrated Launch and Re-entry Vehicle (ILRV). The development program was seen as: Phase A: Advanced Studies; Phase B: Project Definition; Phase C: Vehicle Design; and Phase D: Production and Operations. Four contractors or contractor teams were to be selected in Phase A; two contractors or teams for Phase B; and then a single contractor for Phases C and D (which were later combined). NASA Houston and Huntsville jointly issued the Request for Proposal for eight-month Phase A ILRV studies. The requirements were for 2,300 to 23,000 kg of payload to be delivered into a 500-km altitude orbit. The re-entry vehicle should have a cross range of at least 725 km (NASA persisted in this requirement even though it knew the USAF needed more). General Dynamics, Lockheed, McDonnell-Douglas, Martin Marietta, and North American Rockwell all were invited to bid.

    The Space Shuttle Main Engine competition was run in parallel with the main shuttle development project, and also had four phases. Oversight for this program came from the USAF Space Division and its subcontractor, the Aerospace Corporation. Despite promising classified work on linear and conventional aerospike engines at the time, NASA dictated that the design had to use a conventional bell nozzle.


1968 October 30 - . 08:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: AN. Apogee: 171 km (106 mi).

1968 October 30 - . 08:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF09. Launch Pad: LF09?. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST Olympic T. B-5 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 October 30 - . 22:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. Launch Pad: LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 250 - . Mass: 875 kg (1,929 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: Tselina. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft: Tselina-O. Decay Date: 1978-02-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 3526 . COSPAR: 1968-095A. Apogee: 542 km (336 mi). Perigee: 522 km (324 mi). Inclination: 74.0000 deg. Period: 95.30 min. Possible navigation satellite..

1968 October 30 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz 3 - . Return Crew: Beregovoi. Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Telemetry analysis has shown Soyuz 3 used 30 kg of propellant during 20 minutes of manoeuvring in the automatic regime during docking, followed by 40 kg consumed in two minutes of manual manoeuvring. Essentially Beregovoi was trying to dock the spacecraft upside down. This was either due to incorrect configuration of the running lights or cosmonaut error. Soyuz 2 had two continuously illuminated lights on its upper side and two blinking lights on the lower side. Evidently Beregovoi didn't identify these correctly in weightlessness.

    In case Beregovoi has to do a ballistic re-entry, Be-2 seaplanes are in the air in case of a splashdown in the Aral Sea. On his 81st revolution, Beregovoi manually oriented the spacecraft for retrofire, then engaged the vertical sensor and ion orientation system. But the spacecraft hit on ion pocket and it took two to three minutes for the automated system to engage. Retrofire started 3 seconds late, coming at 9:45:05 and continuing for 149 seconds, producing a delta V of 95 m/s. The main parachute deployed at 10:12:24 at 7000 m altitude. Beregovoi spent 13 minutes under the main parachute, descending at 4 to 5 m/s. Soyuz 3 landed 10 km from the aimpoint at 07:25 GMT.


1968 October 31 - .
  • AS-504 and AS-505 missions officially designated as Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Phillips, Samuel. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 10, Apollo 9. NASA Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips officially designated the AS-504 and AS-505 missions as Apollo 9 and Apollo 10..

1968 October 31 - .
  • Soyuz 3 post-flight debriefing - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The post-flight debriefing of Beregovoi reveals that the automated docking sequence from 11,000 to 200 m range from the Soyuz 2 target was normal. At 200 m Beregovoi took over manual control of the spacecraft. At a range of 30 to 40 m he observed the running lights on Soyuz 2 were inverted. He stopped his approach and waited until the spacecraft moved into daylight. By that time the spacecraft were still 30 to 40 m away, but had drifted so that he was 30 degrees off-angle from Soyuz 2. It was in attempting to bring the spacecraft back on axis that he used 30 kg of propellant. He then gave up and hand-flew the spacecraft around Soyuz 2 to take photographs. On the first day of his flight he constantly felt like he was hanging upside-down. This feeling only disappeared on the last day of the flight.


1968 October 31 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 251 - . Payload: Zenit-4M no. 1. Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4M. Duration: 18.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-11-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 3528 . COSPAR: 1968-096A. Apogee: 255 km (158 mi). Perigee: 201 km (124 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; deployed radio astronony and gamma ray experiment capsule; maneuverable..

1968 October 31 - . 20:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • PCA Ionos Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 November 1 - . Launch Site: Barking Sands. LV Family: Strypi. Launch Vehicle: Strypi VI.
  • MTV-I Re-entry Vehicle test - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 Nov? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 Nov? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 Nov? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 Nov? - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Cajun.
  • Kangaroo - . Nation: USA. Agency: PMR. Apogee: 40 km (24 mi).

1968 November 1 - . 00:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC90/20. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-2A.
  • Cosmos 252 - . Mass: 1,400 kg (3,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: PKO. Class: Military. Type: Anti-satellite system. Spacecraft Bus: Kosmoplan. Spacecraft: IS-A. Decay Date: 1968-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 3530 . COSPAR: 1968-097A. Apogee: 2,104 km (1,307 mi). Perigee: 535 km (332 mi). Inclination: 62.3000 deg. Period: 112.00 min. ASAT interceptor. Intercepted and destroyed Cosmos 248 target satellite within one day of launch. Left 139 fragments in orbit, the largest of any ASAT test..

1968 November 1 - . 03:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • PCA Ionos Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi).

1968 November 1 - . 04:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna C. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 2B.
  • ESRO C45 / 2 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1968 November 2 - . 16:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Boosted Arcas.
  • Ionosphere/Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: ESSA, NASA. Apogee: 102 km (63 mi).

1968 November 3 - . 01:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Dragon 2B.
  • FU-182 Ions / Electric field Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 414 km (257 mi).

1968 November 3 - . 03:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • ISRO 35.01 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 November 3 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Pad: Pacific Ocean, 27.5 N x 125.0 W. Launch Platform: T-AGM-8. LV Family: Iris. Launch Vehicle: Hydra-Iris.
  • LRL BOX-15 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN NMC. Apogee: 227 km (141 mi).

1968 November 3 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4B 1105 - . Payload: KH-4B s/n 1105 / Agena D 1646 / OPS 1315. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4B. Decay Date: 1968-11-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 3531 . COSPAR: 1968-098A. Apogee: 288 km (178 mi). Perigee: 150 km (90 mi). Inclination: 82.2000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. KH-4B. Image quality is variable and displays areas of soft focus and image smear..

1968 November 4 - . 08:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 65 km (40 mi).

1968 November 5 - . 16:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Gilson Butte. LV Family: Pershing. Launch Vehicle: Pershing 1.
  • X-149 US7A - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi).

1968 November 6 - . 19:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 5296 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 17 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-11-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 3532 . COSPAR: 1968-099A. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 130 km (80 mi). Inclination: 106.0000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 November 7 - . 03:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Thumba. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • ISRO 40.03 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 November 7 - . 06:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island UL6. Launch Pad: UL6?. LV Family: Sandhawk. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Sandhawk.
  • LRL ACS-2 X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: Sandia. Apogee: 320 km (190 mi).

1968 November 7 - . 15:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Loki. Launch Vehicle: Loki Dart.
  • Datasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 64 km (39 mi).

1968 November 7 - . 18:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ion concentration Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 104 km (64 mi).

1968 November 8 - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Rocket EMP Test 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: SAND. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 November 8 - . 09:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E1.
  • Pioneer 9 - . Payload: Pioneer D / TTS 2. Mass: 63 kg (138 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Ames. Program: Pioneer. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft: Pioneer 6-7-8-9-E. USAF Sat Cat: 3533 . COSPAR: 1968-100A. Solar radiation data. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..
  • TTS 2; TATS 2 (TETR 2) - . Payload: TETR 2. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Technology. Type: Tracking network technology satellite. Spacecraft: TTS. Decay Date: 1979-09-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 3534 . COSPAR: 1968-100B. Apogee: 945 km (587 mi). Perigee: 375 km (233 mi). Inclination: 32.9000 deg. Period: 98.00 min. Test and Training Satellite; test vehicle for NASA Manned Space Flight Network. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1968 November 9 - .
  • Zond 6 State Commission - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The State Commission for the flight of L1 s/n 12 meets at Tyuratam. Launch is set for 10 November. Kamanin notes that the Americans plan to fly Apollo 8 to the moon at great risk in December, but the Russians will not undertake such risk..

1968 November 9 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S01.
  • S01C-2 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 November 9 - . 08:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Javelin.
  • P / F Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 592 km (367 mi).

1968 November 10 - .
1968 November 10 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Success of Apollo 7 clears way for Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission in December. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7, Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, Apollo LTA.

    Apollo 7 - flown October 11-22 - far exceeded Low's expectations in results and left no doubts that they should go for lunar orbit on Apollo 8. At the November 10 Apollo Executive meeting Phillips presented a summary of the activities; James gave the launch vehicle status; Low reported on the spacecraft status and said he was impressed with the way KSC had handled its tight checkout schedule; Slayton reported on the flight plan; and Petrone on checkout readiness. Petrone said KSC could launch as early as December 10 or 12. Phillips said he would recommend to the Management Council the next day for Apollo 8 to go lunar orbit. Additional Details: here....


1968 November 10 - . 19:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D.
  • Zond 6 - . Payload: Soyuz 7K-L1 s/n 12L. Mass: 5,375 kg (11,849 lb). Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bushuyev. Agency: MOM. Program: Lunar L1. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1 . Duration: 5.79 days. Decay Date: 1968-11-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 3535 . COSPAR: 1968-101A. Apogee: 400,000 km (240,000 mi). Perigee: 200 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.5000 deg. Period: 15,562.22 min.

    Test flight of manned circumlunar spacecraft. Successfully launched towards the moon with a scientific payload including cosmic-ray and micrometeoroid detectors, photography equipment, and a biological specimens. A midcourse correction on 12 November resulted in a loop around the moon at an altitude of 2,420 km on 14 November. Zond 6 took spectacular photos of the moon’s limb with the earth in the background. Photographs were also taken of the lunar near and far side with panchromatic film from distances of approximately 11,000 km and 3300 km. Each photo was 12.70 by 17.78 cm. Some of the views allowed for stereo pictures. On the return leg a gasket failed, leading to cabin depressurisation, which would have been fatal to a human crew. The 7K-L1 then made the first successful double skip trajectory, dipping into the earth's atmosphere over Antarctica, slowing from 11 km/sec to suborbital velocity, then skipping back out into space before making a final re-entry onto Soviet territory. The landing point was only 16 km from the pad from which it had been launched toward the moon. After the re-entry the main parachute ejected prematurely, ripping the main canopy, leading to the capsule being destroyed on impact with the ground. One negative was recovered from the camera container and a small victory obtained over the Americans. But the criteria for a manned flight had obviously not been met and Mishin's only hope to beet the Americans was a failure or delay in the Apollo 8 flight set for December. The next Zond test was set for January. Additional Details: here....


1968 November 11 - .
  • Zond 6 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Two Volga automobiles and two buses take the State Commission from the Hotel Kosmonavt to Area 81. The L1 launch into parking orbit is good (parameters 88.23 minutes period vs 88.3 planned; inclination 51.24 deg vs 51.5 deg planned; perigee 188.5 km vs 192 km planned; apogee 207 km vs 218 km planned). Translunar injection proceeds normally, but afterwards the high gain antenna doesn't deploy. As a result, there is no telemetry from the astro-navigation system. Kamanin rages, 100 million roubles in launch costs, ruined by one defect. The star sensors 100K and 101K will be tested tomorrow. However without course corrections the spacecraft will miss the earth by 1050 km on return. When the midcourse correction is attempted, the 101K sensor fails, but the 100K functions, and acquires Sirius. This is enough to orient the spacecraft, and 40 minutes later an 8.5 second engine burn is made to put the spacecraft on course.


1968 November 11 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Paine gives Apollo 8 go-ahead for lunar orbit mission. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George, Paine. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, Apollo LTA. Low's initiative had paid off; the final decision to go to the moon in 1968 was made with the blessings of all of NASA's decision-makers, the Apollo Executive Committee, STAC, and PSAC..

1968 November 11 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • C / D / E electrons / SpE Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 142 km (88 mi).

1968 November 12 - .
  • Land landing of the Apollo CSM in the area of the launch site after an abort assessed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Recovery.

    The Apollo Crew Safety Review Board met to assess land landing of the CSM in the area of the launch site if a flight were aborted just before launch or during the initial phase of a flight. In general the Board was satisfied with overall planned recovery and medical operations. The only specific item to be acted on was some means of purging the interior of the spacecraft to expel any coolant or propellant fumes that might be trapped inside the cabin. The Board was also concerned about the likelihood of residual propellants trapped inside the vehicle even after abort sequence purging, a problem that MSC secured assistance from both the Ames and Lewis Research Centers to solve. At the Board's suggestion, MSC's Crew Systems Division also investigated the use of a helmet liner for the astronauts to prevent head injury upon impact. Finally, the Board recommended continued egress training with fully suited crews, including some night training.


1968 November 12 - .
1968 November 13 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 13 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: HL-10 flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. 2 chambers, 186-sec powered flight. Maximum Speed - 843 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13000 m. Flight Time - 385 sec..

1968 November 13 - .
  • Zond 6 midcourse correction. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev, Mishin, Tyulin, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Tracking of the L1 shows it will hit the earth on return, but without a further midcourse correction the perigee will be 200 km instead of the 45 km required. Therefore another correction will be needed on the way back from the moon. Ustinov calls a meeting and asks 'How do we answer Apollo 8?'. The reply of Mishin and Tyulin is that 'we are not ready to answer Apollo 8. Apollo 8 is a high-risk adventure. The Americans have not accomplished any unmanned lunar flybys to demonstrate that their systems will function correctly; and of only two Saturn V flight tests to date, the second was a failure. We need to make the L1 program public to show the seriousness and completeness of Soviet readiness'. Ustinov orders the following plan be carried out in the next two months: in December, one unmanned L1 flight, and the first launch of the N1 with an L3 mock-up. In January 1969, a lunar flyby with two cosmonauts; a Lunokhod robot rover will be placed on the lunar surface; and a dual Soyuz manned flight with 1+3 crewmembers. Kamanin notes that the problem with the technical approach of Korolev and Mishin is that cosmonauts are seen only as observers and back-ups to automated systems. Therefore the whole manned space program is based on a false assumption. Because of this the Soviets have lost 2-3 years in the space race, which would have been saved if they had followed the Gemini/Apollo 'pilot in the loop' approach. Afterwards Mishin meets with the L1 cosmonaut group. He wants to get rid of the on-board flight plan and reduce the manual for operation of the spacecraft to one page. 'Don't want to bring bureaucracy aboard the spacecraft' he says. This completely absurd idea again demonstrates his belief in total reliance on automated systems.


1968 November 13 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 253 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 67. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 5.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-11-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 3542 . COSPAR: 1968-102A. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi). Perigee: 216 km (134 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 90.00 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite. Unsuccessful mission. On 13th orbit the SA-20-1 camera's shutter responded to an uncommanded order to open. Radiation levels inside reached 3 times normal levels. 53% of the data was lost..

1968 November 13 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF05. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • Giant Fist 5 demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 November 14 - .
  • Zond 6 passes behind moon. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Leonov, Mishin, Sevastyanov. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The L1 went behind the moon at 05:49:37, and emerges at 06:21:11. At the time of the next orientation session it is 390,000 km from the earth and moving at 0.6 km/s. All orientations have been made on Sirius so far. Two more are needed: one for the midcourse correction, and then the second for the guided re-entry. The 100K sensor has proven itself despite Kamanin's doubts. Mishin's grumbly voice was grating on everyone, and finally he was put to bed. Kamanin despairs that the Soviet space program is dependent on this poorly organised, capricious, shortsighted man. Discussions are held with Moscow. If Apollo 8 succeeds, the next L1 test in January and the manned flight in April are probably not worth the risk. Some of the scientists want to discuss the inclusion of new medical experiments on pending manned spaceflights, but Kamanin is opposed to it. He does not want anything interfering with the primary mission. What to name the manned L1 spacecraft is discussed. Leonov wants to call it Rodina, Sevastyanov Ural, and Kamanin - 'Academician Korolev'.


1968 November 14 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 1. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF V120B re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 November 15 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 1M1 mockup erected on pad with L1S payload - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. The N1 mockup was again erected on the pad, in order to conduct tests of the L1S payload in advance of the availability of the 3L launch vehicle..

1968 November 15 - .
  • Zond 6 hydrogen peroxide temperature falls to dangerous level - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Overnight a serious situation has developed. The hydrogen peroxide temperature aboard the L1 capsule has fallen from +20 deg C to -2 deg C. By the following morning it was down to -5 deg C. At such temperatures it will disassociate into oxygen and water, and the capsule's orientation thrusters will not be able to function for re-entry. A colour television camera was supposed to have been included in the cabin. If it was there it could be turned on and warm the capsule, but Mishin had insisted to the State Commission that it be deleted. The spacecraft could be oriented so that the sun would shine directly over the peroxide tank and warm it, but this might damage the 100K star sensor, which was mounted right next to it. A proposal is made that an attempt is made to orient the spacecraft using the ONA gyroscope package as flywheels, but Mishin and his deputies don't want to try anything. Mishin suddenly says that the next L1 will not be ready until February or later (before the date was January). This was seen by Kamanin as a typical 180-degree turn for him. Mishin looks bad - probably he's been drinking again. Kamanin sees no solution but a complete reorganisation of the space program, moving the manned program to the VVS.


1968 November 15 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USN D062 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 November 15 - . 07:45 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 174 km (108 mi).

1968 November 16 - .
  • Zond 6 depressurises - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Mishin is comatose, pulse 88, blood pressure 160 over 90. The doctors want to put him in the hospital, but he stays. The side of the L1 where the tanks were mounted finally comes into the sun, and the temperature rises to -1 deg C, a safer temperature than before. But now there is a new problem -- the cabin pressure fell from 718 mm at 05:13 to 610 mm by 05:20. By 08:30 it was down to 350 mm - essentially a situation of a depressurised cabin as far as the landing instruments are concerned. By 18:00 the temperature and pressure in the capsule have stabilised and Mishin is in the hospital. Meanwhile Kosygin is visiting the TsPK.


1968 November 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/Trident. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • RMP-B-10 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1968 November 16 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Platform: S655. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: MSBS M013.
  • V1 Vecteur operational test launch - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 November 16 - . 11:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K.
  • Proton 4 - . Payload: N-6 s/n 1. Mass: 16,000 kg (35,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Proton. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: N-6 . Decay Date: 1969-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3544 . COSPAR: 1968-103A. Apogee: 477 km (296 mi). Perigee: 248 km (154 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.80 min. First launch of the Proton three-stage variant. The satellite studied the nature of high and ultra-high energy cosmic rays and their interaction with atomic nuclei. Scientific payload 12,500 kg; operated for 100 days in orbit. .

1968 November 17 - .
  • Zond 6 midcourse maneuver - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The hydrogen peroxide temperature has risen to +1 deg C, and the cabin pressure is at 380 mm. The eighth stellar orientation and midcourse manoeuvre was made successful - the 100K sensor has rehabilitated itself. The 3.3-second burn moved the perigee by 25 km, and the spacecraft is expected to hit the center of the re-entry corridor - 49 km altitude plus/minus 7 km. But the State Commission has decided to arm the APO destruct system to destroy the spacecraft if it deviates from its ballistic trajectory.


1968 November 18 - .
  • Zond 6 re-entry - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    By 20:00 the cabin pressure was down to 180 mm, and then reached 25 mm at re-entry. At 16:00 the spacecraft confirmed that all landing commands had been received successfully. At 16:20 it confirmed correct orientation for re-entry. The tracking vessel Komarov tracked the capsule in its first dip into the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean. The tracking ship crew estimated the capsule would miss the landing point by 1800 km. However Zond 6 successfully completed the double-skip re-entry. It was picked up by PVO radars 300 km from the border of Afghanistan, and tracked to 100 to 150 km north of the cosmodrome. Radio communications and the radar transponder aboard the capsule were inoperative, and the precise landing point could not be determined. The parachute should have deployed at 17:19 and Kiev and Baku received a brief 1 to 2 second radio burst from the capsule, but nothing thereafter. A search begins for the capsule using 50 aircraft and 12 helicopters. Finally at 06:35 the next morning an Mi-4 sees the parachute 38 km southeast of Novokazalinsk, 70 km from Baikonur. The spacecraft is found 3 km away at 12:00.


1968 November 19 - .
  • Apollo White Sands Test Facility phasedown - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo.

    Martin L. Raines, MSC's Manager at the White Sands Test Facility, recommended to ASPO Manager George M. Low that he issue official direction to the two spacecraft contractors, North American Rockwell and Grumman, governing the phasedown of operations at the engine test site. Early action was needed, Raines said, for proper contractual action on the phasedown and for proper disposition of equipment and supplies. This action signaled the end of the long and difficult supportive development effort to prove out the Apollo spacecraft rocket engines for flight.


1968 November 19 - . LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36O 8K69.
  • R-36-O rocket accepted into military service. - . Nation: Russia. Decree 'On adoption of the R-36-O into armaments' was issued..

1968 November 19 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 395-C. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II.
  • Glory Trip 26T - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). FOT GT26T Follow-on Test launch.

1968 November 19 - . 01:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • DLR K-BB3-14 Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 167 km (103 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 04:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 288 km (178 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VA.
  • PCA D-region Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 129 km (80 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 12:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Vehicle: Skua.
  • Met - . Nation: Australia. Agency: WRE. Apogee: 61 km (37 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 18:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 123 km (76 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 November 19 - . 20:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • UM Pitot 40 / Sphere Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 148 km (91 mi).

1968 November 20 - .
  • Soyuz spacesuit review - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Mishin. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 3, Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Yastreb.

    Kamanin attends an Yastreb spacesuit review with VVS doctors. The suit removes 200 cal/hour, but when the cosmonaut is exerting himself, he will generate 3 to 4 times more than this. So the cabin is chilled to 18 deg C prior to the EVA, and there will be lots of pauses during preparations to exit the spacecraft. The L1 cosmonaut-engineers at the meeting have little zero-G experience, and need to get a lot more. The new oxygen generating system for the L1 is still not complete. It will be 6 to 8 kg lighter than the old system (using calcium instead of the old material). Mishin insists that the new system should be completed and installed. Ground qualification testing will be completed on 1 January, but the system will not be flight-proven - Kamanin believes it needs test on low earth orbit missions before being adopted for lunar flights. Beregovoi's experience on Soyuz 3 is reviewed. He needed more time to adapt to zero-G before being required to attempt a docking. He had the impression he was upside-down and had intestinal tract problems.


1968 November 20 - .
  • Soviet manned circumlunar flight set for February - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Leonov, Titov. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Titov still would prefer to be a test pilot, not a cosmonaut. The Soyuz group is scheduled to complete their training and to depart for the cosmodrome on 20 December for final preparations. Leonov's L1 group is to complete their training on 20 January 1969, then depart to the cosmodrome for a flight to the moon in February.


1968 November 20 - .
  • Birth of James Patrick Jr Dutton - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dutton. American test pilot astronaut, 2004-on..

1968 November 20 - . 07:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Johnston Island. Launch Complex: Johnston Island LE1. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2J.
  • AFP-437 combat evaluation interceptor mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,158 km (719 mi).

1968 November 20 - . 11:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

1968 November 20 - . 13:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 114 km (70 mi).

1968 November 20 - . 17:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Vehicle: Skua.
  • Met - . Nation: Australia. Agency: WRE. Apogee: 66 km (41 mi).

1968 November 20 - . 22:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC43. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 75 km (46 mi).

1968 November 21 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • The N1-L3 state commission meets. - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    The previous launch date of 25 November has been pushed back to January 1969. The N1 has completed a good cycle of ground tests, but work on the L3 has not even begun. There is no news when it will be ready. The L3 plan called for the first article to be ready in March 1968. 20 cosmonauts from the L1 and Soyuz groups were to have trained on the spacecraft. But MOM never issued the implementation plan to the industrial enterprises to begin work on the spacecraft.


1968 November 21 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 254 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-11-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 3562 . COSPAR: 1968-104A. Apogee: 335 km (208 mi). Perigee: 197 km (122 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule.

1968 November 21 - . 18:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF25. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • GIANT BLADE 2 demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 November 21 - . 18:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Extreme ultraviolet Mon / RPA Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 244 km (151 mi).

1968 November 21 - . 19:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150 MI.
  • Solar mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 193 km (119 mi).

1968 November 21 - . 20:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150A.
  • Biological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 164 km (101 mi).

1968 November 22 - .
  • Problem with the Apollo LM fuel -remaining light - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Conrad. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Descent Propulsion.

    Howard W. Tindall, Jr., Chief of Apollo Data Priority Coordination within ASPO, reported an operational system problem aboard the LM. To give a returning Apollo crew an indication of time remaining to perform a landing maneuver or to abort, a light on the LM instrument panel would come on when about two minutes worth of propellants remained in the descent propellant system tanks with the descent engine running at 25-percent thrust. The present LM weight and descent trajectory were such that the light would always come on before touchdown. The only hitch, said Tindall, was that the signal was connected to the spacecraft master alarm. "Just at the most critical time in the most critical operation of a perfectly nominal lunar landing mission, the master alarm with all its lights, bells, and whistles will go off." Tindall related that some four or five years earlier, astronaut Pete Conrad had called the arrangement "completely unacceptable . . . but he was probably just an Ensign at the time and apparently no one paid any attention." If this "is not fixed," Tindall said, "I predict the first words uttered by the first astronaut to land on the moon will be 'Gee whiz, that master alarm certainly startled me.'" Tindall recommended either rerouting the signal wiring to bypass the alarm or cutting the signal wire and relying solely on the propellant gauges to assess flight time remaining.


1968 November 22 - . 00:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Barrow. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi).

1968 November 22 - . 07:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Barrow. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 179 km (111 mi).

1968 November 22 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Salto di Quirra. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3 AC.
  • Solar BCS Solar x-ray mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 210 km (130 mi).

1968 November 23 - .
  • Soyuz 4/5 crew training - . Nation: Russia. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5. Spacecraft: Yastreb. The Soyuz crews complete training in the TBK-60 vacuum chamber and zero-G flights aboard the Tu-104. These show there exertion level in the Yastreb suit to be 600 to 900 kcal/hr - and the suit is rated to only 1/3 to 1/4 of that amount..

1968 November 24 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A1. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • RVTO-1A-4 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1968 November 25 - . 00:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Complex: Kiruna S. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 2.
  • ESRO S43 / 1 Aurora mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 212 km (131 mi).

1968 November 26 - .
  • Soviet Union needs a manned L1 to fly in the 8 to 12 December lunar launch window in order to beat Apollo 8. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: LK, Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-OK.

    The primary issue in the next 3 to 4 months will be how to answer the impending American Apollo 8 flight. The Soviet Union needs to fly a manned L1 in the 8 to 12 December lunar launch window. But the spacecraft is still considered too unsafe for manned flight. The Apollo 8 mission is risky, but the US can't fly the Apollo spacecraft to the moon unmanned...

    Beregovoi is to be named commander of the Gagarin Centre. Gagarin himself was being prepared for the job, but his death in a plane crash ended that plan. The other cosmonauts are not ready for command. The centre desperately needs the two planned L3 trainers: the TBK-150 and Volchuk. Kamanin has been jerked around for four months on the issue. Even if the simulators were delivered, he would still need 2 million roubles and an additional 30 to 40 staff to install and operate them.


1968 November 26 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC25C. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Poseidon C3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1968 November 27 - .
  • Apollo LM-11 midsection assembly collapsed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 16. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Structural.

    The LM-11 midsection assembly collapsed in the assembly jig during the bulkhead prefitting stage of construction at Grumman. The structure buckled when the bulkheads, which had just been prefitted and drilled, were removed to permit deburring the drilled holes. Jig gates that were supposed to hold up the assembly were not in position, nor was the safety line properly installed. The structure was supported by hand. Damage to the skin of the structure was not severe, although a small radius bend was put in one of the upper skins.


1968 November 27 - . 01:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Ferdinand 17 Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: NTNF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1968 November 28 - .
  • Soyuz 4 / 5 spacecraft begin preparation - . Nation: Russia. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-OK.

    Soyuz spacecraft 12 and 13 have begun their 45 day preparation cycle at Baikonur, which implies a 15 January 1969 launch for he Soyuz 4/5 mission. The crews will be ready by 25 December.

    Kamanin compares the results of Soyuz capsule re-entries to date:

    Soyuz s/n 7 8 9 10 11
    Max G's 3.15 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5
    
    SA Propellant, kg 40.0 40.0 40.0 38.0 38.0
    Propellant usage:
    Used Pre-reentry, kg 8.5 10.0 2.0 3.0 5.3
    Used in Re-entry, kg 17.5 29.0 3.7 9.5 12.5
    Total 26.0 39.0 5.7 12.5 17.8
    Left at chute opening, kg 14.0 0.0 34.3 25.8 20.2
    
    Miss distance, km 157 55 40 15 42
    

1968 November 28 - . 18:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Vehicle: Aero High.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Australia. Agency: WRE. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 November 29 - .
  • No mention of results of planned December 1968 L1 launch in Kamanin's diary... - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L1. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1. Kamanin states he will be travelling to the Far East for a reunion of his World War 2 unit. He will miss the state commission on the L1..

1968 November 29 - . 12:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 255 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 68. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-12-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 3574 . COSPAR: 1968-105A. Apogee: 317 km (196 mi). Perigee: 197 km (122 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 November 29 - . 23:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA6A. LV Family: Blue Streak. Launch Vehicle: Europa I. FAILURE: Third stage exploded.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • STV 1 / Europa F-7 - . Mass: 249 kg (548 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ELDO. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: STV. Decay Date: 1968-11-30 . Apogee: 230 km (140 mi). First attempt by ELDO to launch a satellite to orbit. Satellite Test Vehicle payload..

1968 November 30 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. Launch Pad: LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 256 - . Mass: 600 kg (1,320 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-1. Spacecraft: Sfera. USAF Sat Cat: 3576 . COSPAR: 1968-106A. Apogee: 1,223 km (759 mi). Perigee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Inclination: 74.1000 deg. Period: 109.40 min. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

1968 November 30 - . 14:57 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • D-region Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 140 km (80 mi).

1968 December - .
  • LLTV destroyed in crash at Houston. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo LM. Spacecraft: Apollo LLRV. This was the second accident in 1968, before the first lunar landing. BUt they did not deter Apollo program managers who enthusiastically relied on the vehicles for simulation and training..

1968 December 1 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Sergeant.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 50 km (31 mi).

1968 December 2 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC50. Launch Vehicle: Sprint ABM. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1968 December 2 - . 22:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Vehicle: Skua.
  • Met - . Nation: Australia. Agency: WRE. Apogee: 62 km (38 mi).

1968 December 3 - . 08:10 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Pandora F Aeronomy / meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 153 km (95 mi).

1968 December 3 - . 14:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 257 - . Payload: DS-P1-Yu s/n 17. Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Military. Type: Military target satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-P1-Yu. Completed Operations Date: 1969-03-05 . Decay Date: 1969-03-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 3578 . COSPAR: 1968-107A. Apogee: 462 km (287 mi). Perigee: 286 km (177 mi). Inclination: 70.9000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Development of systems for air defence and the control of outer space..

1968 December 3 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IVA.
  • DLR N-BB4 Magnetospheric mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 700 km (430 mi).

1968 December 3 - . 20:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Salto di Quirra. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3.
  • Ultraviolet telescope Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Apogee: 198 km (123 mi).

1968 December 3 - . 21:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • DLR K-BB3-16 Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1968 December 4 - .
  • Soviets judge that Apollo 8 has only a 25% chance of success. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Johnson, Lyndon. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1.

    The State Commission investigating Gagarin's crash publishes it report. It found that pilot error put the aircraft into a critical situation. Kamanin judges that the Apollo 8 mission is only being flown to give US President Lyndon Johnson a triumph before he leaves office. He judges the mission has only a 25% chance of success.


1968 December 4 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC142/34. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67M.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 07:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ferdinand 16 Aeronomy / ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Norway. Agency: NTNF. Apogee: 135 km (83 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 17:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IVA. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 600 km (370 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 18:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IVA. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 19:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 158 km (98 mi).

1968 December 4 - . 19:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan IIIB.
  • OPS 6518 - . Payload: KH-8 no. 18 / Agena D. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-8. Decay Date: 1968-12-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3594 . COSPAR: 1968-108A. Apogee: 735 km (456 mi). Perigee: 137 km (85 mi). Inclination: 106.2000 deg. Period: 93.30 min. KH-8 type satellite. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1968 December 4 - . 22:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant III.
  • DLR K-BB3-15 Ionosphere / plasma mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1968 December 5 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 2. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF D045 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 December 5 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 1. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF V137D re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 December 5 - . 00:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3 AC.
1968 December 5 - . 11:36 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Skua.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 111 km (68 mi).

1968 December 5 - . 15:29 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • D-region Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi).

1968 December 5 - . 18:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E1.
  • HEOS 1 - . Payload: HEOS A1. Mass: 108 kg (238 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: ESRO. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: HEOS. Decay Date: 1975-10-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3595 . COSPAR: 1968-109A. Apogee: 202,780 km (126,000 mi). Perigee: 20,020 km (12,430 mi). Inclination: 60.5000 deg. Period: 6,704.30 min. Highly Eccentric Orbiting Satellite; examined magnetic fields outside of Earth's magnetosphere. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1968 December 6 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF V136D re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 December 7 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF09. Launch Pad: LF09?. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST Olympic T. B-6 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 December 7 - . 04:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1968 December 7 - . 06:11 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • X-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 149 km (92 mi).

1968 December 7 - . 08:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3C Centaur.
  • OAO 2 - . Payload: OAO A2. Mass: 2,012 kg (4,435 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. USAF Sat Cat: 3597 . COSPAR: 1968-110A. Apogee: 758 km (470 mi). Perigee: 749 km (465 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 99.90 min.

    Orbiting Astronomical Observatory; carried 11 telescopes; performed X-ray, UV, IR observations of stars. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit


1968 December 8 - .
  • Apollo lunar landing training vehicle No 1 crashed and burned at Ellington AFB - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo LM. Spacecraft: Apollo LLRV.

    During a routine flight of lunar landing training vehicle (LLTV) No. 1, MSC test pilot Joseph S. Algranti was forced to eject from the craft when it became unstable and he could no longer control the vehicle. The LLTV crashed and burned. A flight readiness review at MSC on November 26 had found the LLTV ready for use in astronaut training, and 10 flight tests had been made before the accident. Additional Details: here....


1968 December 9 - .
  • HL-10 Flight 14 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: HL-10 flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: HL-10. 2 chambers. Maximum Speed - 872 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14450 m. Flight Time - 394 sec..

1968 December 9 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Launch preparations for Apollo 8 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM SPS. Launch preparations for Apollo 8, scheduled for flight December 21, were on schedule, the NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight reported. . Additional Details: here....

1968 December 9 - . 13:17 GMT - . Launch Site: South Uist. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Winter abs / Strato Ionosphere mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 118 km (73 mi).

1968 December 9 - . 21:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Smoke Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 118 km (73 mi).

1968 December 9 - . 21:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Smoke Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 124 km (77 mi).

1968 December 10 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 December 10 - . 08:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 258 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 69. Mass: 4,720 kg (10,400 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-2 satellite. Duration: 8.00 days. Decay Date: 1968-12-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 3602 . COSPAR: 1968-111A. Apogee: 298 km (185 mi). Perigee: 205 km (127 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1968 December 10 - . 17:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: Javelin.
  • Helium ionization Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 837 km (520 mi).

1968 December 10 - . 18:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 122 km (75 mi).

1968 December 11 - .
  • Kuznetsov is being blamed for the Gagarin crash. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Gagarin, Kuznetsov, Nikolai F. First he wouldn't allow him to fly at all, then he let him go aloft without adequate retraining..

1968 December 12 - . Launch Vehicle: Spiral 50-50.
  • Kamanin catalogues the reasons the Soviet Union is losing the moon race - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Biryuzov, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. Spacecraft: LK, Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    • Fighting between the VVS and its 'enemies' (Ustinov etc.)
    • No single state organisation is responsible for civilian spaceflight.
    • Various entities are responsible for various aspects of military spaceflight (RSVN, VMF, General Staff, VVS). Kamanin notes that the state has poured 10 billion roubles into the N1 without visible effect. He believes reusable systems are needed to reduce the cost of spaceflight. The death of General Biryuzov in a plane crash meant that the Soviet Union lost a strong supporter of a robust military space program.
    • Kamanin believes the VVS should be in charge of piloted spacecraft, not the RVSN.
    • Furthermore the entire design approach to manned spacecraft is incorrect -- what is needed is piloted spacecraft, not cosmonauts flying as passengers in automated spacecraft. The result of the automated philosophy was that the Soyuz was not man-rated until 1968. While the qualification process was going on, the American Gemini flew ten times. The Apollo-Saturn V has flown twice, while the L3 was still just a mock-up. In effect, the Soviet Union gave the Americans a two to three year lead, allowing them to beat the Russians.

1968 December 12 - . 02:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Mass spectrometer Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 118 km (73 mi).

1968 December 12 - . 18:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Vehicle: Aero High.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Australia. Agency: WRE. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1968 December 12 - . 22:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • KH-4A 1049 - . Payload: KH-4A s/n 1049 / Agena D 1648 / OPS 4740. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: CIA, NRO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. Decay Date: 1968-12-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 3604 . COSPAR: 1968-112A. Apogee: 248 km (154 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 81.0000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. KH-4A. Degraded film.
  • OPS 7684 - . Payload: EHH C1 / OPS 7684. Mass: 60 kg (132 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P 11. Spacecraft: SSF. USAF Sat Cat: 3605 . COSPAR: 1968-112B. Apogee: 1,466 km (910 mi). Perigee: 1,378 km (856 mi). Inclination: 80.4000 deg. Period: 114.30 min. ABM monitoring..
  • SRV 751 - . Payload: SRV 1049-1. Nation: USA. Agency: NRO, USAF. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: KH-4A. COSPAR: 1968-112xx. Apogee: 248 km (154 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 81.0000 deg. Period: 88.70 min.

1968 December 13 - .
  • Soviets ponder Apollo 8 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft Bus: Apollo LM. Spacecraft: Apollo LLRV.

    Articles appear in the Soviet newspapers explaining the risky nature of the Apollo 8 flight. Meanwhile an LLRV lunar landing trainer has crashed in America - Kamanin notes this is the second loss of an American 'lunar module'. The Apollo 8 flight has been delayed from 18 to 21 December due to engine problems.

    Kamanin reviews the organisational structure of the NII-TsPK Gagarin Centre. There is a commander, three deputies, 700 staff, and 12 MiG-21's for flight training (8 single-seat combat aircraft and four two-seat trainers). There are three training tracks for the cosmonauts: Orbital, Lunar, and Military.


1968 December 13 - . 02:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 2. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USN V118D re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1968 December 13 - . 03:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 121 km (75 mi).

1968 December 13 - . 05:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Cajun.
  • Grenades Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 124 km (77 mi).

1968 December 13 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. Launch Complex: Fort Churchill LC7. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant II.
  • Geminids Ionosphere / meteorites mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 143 km (88 mi).

1968 December 14 - . 05:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 259 - . Payload: DS-U2-I s/n 3. Mass: 325 kg (716 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U2-I. Completed Operations Date: 1969-05-05 . Decay Date: 1969-05-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 3612 . COSPAR: 1968-113A. Apogee: 1,331 km (827 mi). Perigee: 215 km (133 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 100.20 min. Studied the influence of the ionosphere on passing VLF radio waves..

1968 December 14 - . 15:08 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Pandora G Aeronomy / meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 159 km (98 mi).

1968 December 15 - .
  • Final countdown for the launch of Apollo 8 - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8, Apollo 9.

    Final countdown for the launch of Apollo 8, the second manned Apollo mission, began on schedule at KSC. Significant launch preparation events included the "wet" countdown demonstration test on December 10, three days of flight simulations, an operational review, and launch site recovery exercises. Mission preparations were on schedule for launch on December 21. Launch preparations were also on schedule for the next two flights, Apollo 9 and 10.


1968 December 15 - .
  • Cosmonauts graduate. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bykovsky, Gagarin, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Kuznetsova, Leonov, Nikolayev, Ponomaryova, Popovich, Shonin, Solovyova, Tereshkova, Titov, Volynov, Yerkina, Zaikin.

    Nikolayev, Leonov, Popovich, Bykovsky, Khrunov, Gorbatko, Zaikin, Volynov, and Shonin all receive their diplomas from the Zhukovskiy Test Pilot Engineering Academy. Khrunov graduates with honours. All of them began training for a lunar landing on January 8. Titov and Gagarin will complete their studies for the diploma in May. Ponomareva and Solovyova willl graduate in the second half of 1968, leaving only Tereshkova, Kuznetsova, and Yerkina. Tereshkova has had her appendix removed in surgery at the Vishevskiy Centre. The surgery went well.


1968 December 15 - . 17:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta N.
  • ESSA 8 - . Payload: TOS F. Mass: 132 kg (291 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ESSA. Program: Tiros. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: TOS. USAF Sat Cat: 3615 . COSPAR: 1968-114A. Apogee: 1,464 km (909 mi). Perigee: 1,414 km (878 mi). Inclination: 102.0000 deg. Period: 114.60 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1968 December 16 - .
  • Lunar Soviet. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Severin. Program: Lunar L1, Lunar L3. Spacecraft: Krechet, Soyuz 7K-L1.

    In a four-hour meeting, a number of issues are dealt with. First point was military control of the KIK control centre for lunar missions. A civilian mission control centre is requested. Next, the issue of recovery of L1 and L3 capsules in the Indian Ocean. The re-entry corridor within which landings might occur is 6000 km long and 100 km wide, stretching from Antarctica to India. To cover it will require 20 naval vessels, each with a helicopter, and 10 An-22 or Tu-95 long-range maritime reconnaissance and relay aircraft. Total cost: 600 million roubles. As Kamanin sees it, all this is due to Mishin's inability to design spacecraft capable of precision landing that also incorporates the landing and recovery aids requested by the VVS. Kamanin notes in his diary violent criticism of Mishin's disregard for the safety of the cosmonaut crews, development of crew-associated items at the last minute, unrealistic schedules and expectations, etc. etc. Severin reports that the lunar space suit he is designing will support the cosmonaut for three days, during walks extending 5 km. To do this requires a bulky suit weighing 100 kg. Kamanin disagrees, saying what is needed is to develop a simple and safe approach for the first landing, with a minimum programme for the cosmonaut - not the fantastic schemes of Mishin.


1968 December 16 - . 09:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Cosmos 260 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-2. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1973-07-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 3619 . COSPAR: 1968-115A. Apogee: 39,573 km (24,589 mi). Perigee: 506 km (314 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 712.20 min. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space..

1968 December 17 - .
  • The crews take their final examinations to qualify for the Soyuz 4/5 flights. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Gorbatko, Khrunov, Kuznetsov, Shatalov, Shonin, Volynov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5. Spacecraft: Yastreb.

    All pass. Volynov, Shatalov, and Khrunov do best; Gorbatko and Shonin make mistakes (for example stating that the spacesuit pressure is 35 atmospheres instead of 3.5 atmospheres). Kuznetsov had planned for Gagarin to be cosmonaut commander, and Beregovoi has been poorly prepared for the job. But he still plans to make Beregovoi his deputy in the position. The other cosmonauts bitterly oppose this decision, and spread stories of Beregovoi's incompetence.


1968 December 18 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. LV Family: Thor.
  • NASA conducted its first successful Long Tank Thrust Augmented Thor/Delta (Thorad/Delta) launch from Cape Canaveral. The Intelsat IIIB satellite was placed in a synchronous earth orbit. - .

1968 December 18 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur PU33. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36 8K67P.
  • RGCh state trials flight - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 December 18 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Veronique. Launch Vehicle: Veronique 61M.
  • FU-159 PERSEE? Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 162 km (100 mi). No recovery. FU159 UV astronomy / Stab mission..

1968 December 18 - . 11:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VB.
  • Calgary auroral Aurora / ionosphere mission Aurora / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 363 km (225 mi).

1968 December 19 - .
  • Trouble in Star City - . Nation: Russia. Kamanin is called to a meeting with Moroz - the topic - how to reassure the General Staff about the Beregovoi decision? Word has reached the top that there is 'conflict in Kamanin's bureaucracy'....

1968 December 19 - . 00:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta M.
  • Intelsat 3 F-2 - . Mass: 293 kg (645 lb). Nation: International. Agency: INTELSAT. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Intelsat 3. Completed Operations Date: 1977-01-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 3623 . COSPAR: 1968-116A. Apogee: 37,111 km (23,059 mi). Perigee: 35,984 km (22,359 mi). Inclination: 15.1000 deg. Period: 1,475.20 min.

    Over Brazil. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 24 deg W in 1969-1970. As of 3 September 2001 located at 96.04 deg E drifting at 9.557 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 48.04W drifting at 9.553W degrees per day.


1968 December 19 - . 23:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 261 - . Payload: DS-U2-GK s/n 1. Mass: 347 kg (765 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U2-GK. Completed Operations Date: 1969-02-12 . Decay Date: 1969-02-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 3624 . COSPAR: 1968-117A. Apogee: 637 km (395 mi). Perigee: 206 km (128 mi). Inclination: 71.2000 deg. Period: 93.00 min. Conducted complex geophysical studies of the upper atmosphere, including aiir density and auroral investigations..

1968 December 20 - .
  • Volynov crew selection questioned - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Volynov. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5. The Communist Party Central Committee meets to approve the crews for the upcoming Soyuz 4/5 flights. The committee is unhappy with the selection of Volynov - his mother is a Jew..

1968 December 20 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • UBP R-16 PL68-23 - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1968 December 20 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF08. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1968 December 21 - .
  • Soviets sure to lose moon race - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Kuznetsov, Nikolai F. Kamanin meets with Kuznetsov. The reasons for the Soviet Union lagging in the space race are rehashed - use of automated instead of piloted systems, etc..

1968 December 21 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S02.
  • S02V-1 test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1968 December 21 - . 03:20 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Cornell FIR tel Infrared astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 161 km (100 mi).

1968 December 21 - . 12:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: LUT1. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo 8 - . Call Sign: Apollo 8. Crew: Anders, Borman, Lovell. Backup Crew: Aldrin, Armstrong, Haise. Payload: Apollo CSM 103 / LTA-B / S-IVB-503N. Mass: 28,833 kg (63,565 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin, Anders, Armstrong, Borman, Haise, Lovell. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 6.13 days. Decay Date: 1968-12-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 3626 . COSPAR: 1968-118A. Apogee: 185 km (114 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.19 min.

    Apollo 8 (AS-503) was launched from KSC Launch Complex 39, Pad A, at 7:51 a.m. EST Dec. 21 on a Saturn V booster. The spacecraft crew was made up of Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders. Apollo 8 was the first spacecraft to be launched by a Saturn V with a crew on board, and that crew became the first men to fly around the moon.

    All launch and boost phases were normal and the spacecraft with the S-IVB stage was inserted into an earth-parking orbit of 190.6 by 183.2 kilometers above the earth. After post-insertion checkout of spacecraft systems, the S-IVB stage was reignited and burned 5 minutes 9 seconds to place the spacecraft and stage in a trajectory toward the moon - and the Apollo 8 crew became the first men to leave the earth's gravitational field.

    The spacecraft separated from the S-IVB 3 hours 20 minutes after launch and made two separation maneuvers using the SM's reaction control system. Eleven hours after liftoff, the first midcourse correction increased velocity by 26.4 kilometers per hour. The coast phase was devoted to navigation sightings, two television transmissions, and system checks. The second midcourse correction, about 61 hours into the flight, changed velocity by 1.5 kilometers per hour.

    The 4-minute 15-second lunar-orbit-insertion maneuver was made 69 hours after launch, placing the spacecraft in an initial lunar orbit of 310.6 by 111.2 kilometers from the moon's surface - later circularized to 112.4 by 110.6 kilometers. During the lunar coast phase the crew made numerous landing-site and landmark sightings, took lunar photos, and prepared for the later maneuver to enter the trajectory back to the earth.

    On the fourth day, Christmas Eve, communications were interrupted as Apollo 8 passed behind the moon, and the astronauts became the first men to see the moon's far side. Later that day , during the evening hours in the United States, the crew read the first 10 verses of Genesis on television to earth and wished viewers "goodnight, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you - all of you on the good earth."

    Subsequently, TV Guide for May 10-16, 1969, claimed that one out of every four persons on earth - nearly 1 billion people in 64 countries - heard the astronauts' reading and greeting, either on radio or on TV; and delayed broadcasts that same day reached 30 additional countries.

    On Christmas Day, while the spacecraft was completing its 10th revolution of the moon, the service propulsion system engine was fired for three minutes 24 seconds, increasing the velocity by 3,875 km per hr and propelling Apollo 8 back toward the earth, after 20 hours 11 minutes in lunar orbit. More television was sent to earth on the way back.


1968 December 22 - .
  • Soviet reaction to Apollo 8 - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Khrushchev, Pashkov, Smirnov, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L1, Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8, Voskhod 3.

    Apollo 8 has been launched. Kamanin recalls that he first saw a model of the Saturn V during his visit to Washington DC with Titov in 1962. At that time the Soviet Union planned to fly the N1 in four years, but the only manned spacecraft on the drawing boards after Voskhod was the Sever. Khrushchev didn't give a go-ahead for the lunar program until 1964. In the gap between Voskhod and Soyuz flights, when the American Gemini program seized the lead, the USSR could have achieved a record by flying Volynov for 18 days in Voskhod 3. But this was cancelled at the last minute by the leadership because the Voskhod had 'no development potential'. Ustinov, Smirnov, Pashkov were responsible for this decision, which put the USSR permanently behind in the space race.


1968 December 22 - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Veronique. Launch Vehicle: Veronique 61M.
  • FU-159 Crab Nebula X-rays Ultraviolet astronomy / x-ray astronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 188 km (116 mi). No recovery. FU159 X-ray and UV astronomy / Stab mission..

1968 December 23 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
1968 December 24 - .
  • Plans for television cameras aboard remaining Apollo missions - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 13, Apollo 9. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, CSM Block II, LM Television.

    ASPO Manager George M. Low apprised Program Director Samuel C. Phillips of MSC's plans for television cameras aboard remaining Apollo missions. With the exception of spacecraft 104 (scheduled for flight as Apollo 9), television cameras were to be flown in all CMs. Also, cameras would be included in all manned LMs (LM-3 through LM-14).


1968 December 24 - .
  • Cosmonauts ponder loss of the moon race - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Khrunov, Shatalov, Shonin, Ustinov, Volynov, Yeliseyev. Program: Apollo, Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8.

    The Soyuz 4 and 5 crews arrive at Tyuratam aboard an An-24. They work with their spacesuits at Area 31 until 23:00. On the bus back to the sleeping quarters Kamanin tells them of Ustinov's 'recommendation' that they do an automatic docking. They are against it, argue for a manual docking. If allowing enough time for the crew of the active spacecraft to adapt to zero-G is the issue, they propose switching the launch order of the active and passive spacecraft. This alternative is ruled out - it is too late and risky to modify the flight programs. Shatalov bursts out - 'Here we are debating this for the tenth time, while he Americans are orbiting the moon'. They call for the bus to stop. They exit out into the icy clear night and look at the moon. Thoughts came of the nine comrades who had died trying to put the USSR first to the moon, all to no avail.


1968 December 25 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • L3 lunar lander behind schedule - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Brezhnev, Keldysh, Malinovskiy, Mishin, Smirnov, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3, Apollo, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1. Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8, Soyuz 7K-L1.

    The L3 spacecraft still does not even exist in mock-up form. All of the leadership are responsible for this farce - Malinovskiy, Smirnov, Ustinov, Brezhnev. There is no single manager of the space program. The VPK and Central Committee operate on rumours. The Interagency Soviet headed by Keldysh was supposed to coordinate space activities, but in fact has not functioned in the last four to five years. There is no single military space organisation in the Ministry of Defence. Piloted flight tests are being run by former artillery officers in the RSVN. Various organizations of MAP and VVS coordinate ground and flight tests poorly. These are the reasons for the failure of the Soviet Union in space. Today in the Central Committee Ustinov asked - 'how to answer Apollo 8?' Ustinov relies on Keldysh, Keldysh supports Mishin, and Mishin is unfit for his duties. But Mishin is not even there! The program they come up with: In January 1969, 2 Venera probes will be launched, two manned Soyuz missions, and L1 s/n 13 will be sent around the moon. In February the first N1 will be launched. By the end of March the first Ye-8 robot will land on the moon and return lunar soil to the earth. This meeting is followed by a session of the VPK at 16:00. The crews are named for the Soyuz 4 and 5 flights.


1968 December 25 - . Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviets consider lunar landing alternatives - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin, Pilyugin. Program: Lunar L3. Spacecraft: L3M-1970, LK, Soyuz 7K-LOK.

    A 'small Soviet' of designers was held to review whether to continue pursuing the N1 launch vehicle or not. Although a first manned lunar landing was not achievable, the N1 could still be used to establish a lunar base by the beginning of the 21st Century. Additional Details: here....


1968 December 25 - .
  • Launch dates set for Soyuz 4 and 5 - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi. Program: Soyuz. Flight: Soyuz 4, Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 5.

    Apollo 8 is on its way back to earth, but re-entry into the earth's atmosphere from lunar distances is risky, as the Soviet experience with the L1 has shown. The State Commission meets at 16:00 and sets the launch dates for Soyuz 4 and 5. Meanwhile Beregovoi and Yurasov are in the Soyuz spacecraft in the assembly building, running communications checks.


1968 December 26 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110R. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launch vehicle 3L erected on launch pad - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3. The 3L vehicle, without its payload (which was on the 1M1 mockup), is erected on the pad to test engine systems..

1968 December 26 - .
  • Heated arguments over technical approach of Soviet space systems - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Beregovoi, Mishin, Mnatsakanian, Severin, Shatalov. Program: Lunar L1, Soyuz, Almaz. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS, Soyuz 7K-L1, Soyuz 7K-LOK, Soyuz 7K-OK, Soyuz 7K-S, Soyuz OB-VI, Soyuz VI.

    The training for the Soyuz 4 and 5 flights was completed last night. Today the crews undergo medical tests and start preparation of their flight logs/flight plans. On the return flight to Moscow Shatalov, Beregovoi, Severin, Kamanin, and Mnatsakanian get into a heated argument. The cosmonauts attack Mnatsakanian's Igla automated docking system. It limits docking manoeuvres to periods when the spacecraft are flying over the Soviet Union due to the requirement for ground stations to receive live television. The Americans worked only on the Apollo spacecraft for the last two to three years, while the Soviets have divided their efforts on no less than five spacecraft types: the L1, L3, Soyuz, Soyuz VI, and Almaz. This is all Mishin's fault...


1968 December 26 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC86/4. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 262 - . Payload: DS-U2-GF s/n 1. Mass: 352 kg (776 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: DS. Class: Astronomy. Type: Solar satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DS. Spacecraft: DS-U2-GF. Completed Operations Date: 1969-05-03 . Decay Date: 1969-07-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 3629 . COSPAR: 1968-119A. Apogee: 791 km (491 mi). Perigee: 264 km (164 mi). Inclination: 48.4000 deg. Period: 95.20 min. Conducted heliophysical studies..

1968 December 27 - .
  • Apollo 8 and L1 plans - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-L1.

    A State Commission investigating the crash of Zond 6 determined that the coronal discharge effect which caused the parachute to jettison would only occur at the 25 mm capsule pressure. If the capsule had been completely depressurised to a high vacuum, the accident would not have occurred. A discussion was conducted on when to conduct the next L1 test. The next capsule in line was s/n 13 - an unlucky omen. It was even proposed not to fly the capsule with such an unlucky number. That evening, the Soviet engineers could watch live video from the moon from aboard Apollo 8 via Eurovision from Western Europe. They had in any case lost the race to fly a man around the moon. The flight of further L1's, and sending a Soviet man on a lunar flyby, seemed a moot point.


1968 December 27 - .
  • Americans win the race to be first around the moon - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Bushuyev, Mishin, Tyulin, Vershinin. Program: Apollo, Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 1, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 2, Soyuz 7K-L1 mission 3.

    The General Staff considers the impending Soyuz 4 and 5 flights. Vershinin asks - what is the likelihood of Apollo 8 being successful? Kamanin tells him it is very good now; the final midcourse correction was made successfully. A State Commission convenes to consider the Zond 6 failure. Mishin and Tyulin do not attend - they send Bushuyev to represent them. It has been found that 70 km from the cosmodrome, as the spacecraft deployed its parachute, the parachute lines were pyrotechnically severed at 3 km altitude and the capsule crashed into the plain. This in turn was found to be due to an ONA landing antenna failure; and this in turn caused by the SUS going down to temperatures of -5 deg C during the flight and the depressurisation of the cabin. The hydrogen peroxide, due to the low temperature, put the spcecraft at a 45 degree attitude instead of the 18 degree maximum (?). There are five L1's left. Number 13 is at Tyuratam begin prepared for an unmanned flight due for launch on 20 or 21 January, number 11 is being readied for a March 1969 manned launch, to be followed by numbers 14, 15, and 16 in April, May, June. At 19:15 the successful splashdown of Apollo 8 is reported. The race to be first around the moon is over.


1968 December 27 - .
  • Landing of Apollo 8 - . Return Crew: Anders, Borman, Lovell. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Anders, Borman, Lovell. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 8.

    On the sixth day, the crew prepared for reentry and the SM separated from the CM on schedule. Parachute deployment and other re-entry events were normal. The Apollo 8 CM splashed down in the Pacific, apex down, at 15:51 GMT - 147 hours and 42 seconds after liftoff. As planned, helicopters and aircraft hovered over the spacecraft and pararescue personnel were not deployed until local sunrise, 50 minutes after splashdown. The crew was picked up and reached the recovery ship U.S.S. Yorktown at 17:20 GMT. All mission objectives and detailed test objectives were achieved, as well as five that were not originally planned.

    The crew was in excellent condition, and another major step toward the first lunar landing had been accomplished.


1968 December 28 - .
  • Soviet space cadres stand down after Apollo 8 success - . Nation: Russia. Program: Apollo, Lunar L1. Flight: Apollo 8.

    Two to three days rest for the demoralised cadres is declared, before renewing anew the assault on the cosmos in January. Kamanin muses that some day Communism will be on all of the planets of the solar system, and men will travel in fully automated spacecraft. But full automation is the wrong approach now.


1968 December 28 - .
  • Birth of Akihito Hoshide - . Nation: Japan. Related Persons: Hoshide. Japanese engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-124. Underwent cosmonaut training in Russia, then Astronaut training in USA..

1968 December 28 - .
  • Birth of Michael Scott Hopkins - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hopkins. American scientist mission specialist astronaut, 2009-on..

1968 December 30 - .
  • Meeting of the VPK Military-Industrial Commission to discuss how to beat the Americans to the lunar landing - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Babakin, Chelomei, Keldysh, Mishin, Okhapkin, Pilyugin, Ustinov. Program: Lunar L3, Lunar L1, Luna. Spacecraft: LK-1, Luna Ye-8-5, Soyuz 7K-L1.

    Ustinov called the meeting to order. Mishin was 'sick' again -- Okhapkin represented TsKBEM and gave a summary of the programme to that date:

    • The project had only been authorised on 3 August 1964. It consisted of two parts, circumlunar flights using Chelomei's UR-500K booster and LK-1 spacecraft, and a lunar landing using Korolev's N1 booster and L3 spacecraft.
    • On 25 October 1965 the programme was redirected. Military support was ordered and the decision was made to cancel Chelomei's LK-1 spacecraft and instead use the L1 version of Korolev's Soyuz for the circumlunar flights. This was ordered by the resolution 'On organisation of construction units for support of rocket-space systems for the lunar flyby'. That resolution ordered a manned L1 flight by the end of 1967 or early 1968.
    • The program actually took three years to implement rather than the two planned. Nine launches of he L1 had been made since March 1967, but it had not been possible to man-rate the UR-500K/L1 booster/spacecraft combination due to failures in both the launch vehicle and spacecraft. Flight trials of the N1 booster had not even begun yet.

    Keldysh proposed that further work on the L1 be abandoned, and Proton boosters instead be used to launch the Ye-8-5 lunar soil return robot spacecraft being developed by Babakin. Babakin had been accelerating this programme since the beginning of 1968 with the support of Keldysh, even though it would only return around 100 g of lunar soil, versus the tens of kilograms the Apollo manned flights would return. However it now offered an interesting possibility - he proposed obtaining lunar soil and returning it to earth before an American manned landing. The government's organs of mass communication would say that the Soviet Union's lunar program only consisted of robot probes, emphasising that his was much safer and that Russia would never risk it's citizen's lives for mere political sensation. Additional Details: here....


1968 December 31 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • N1 launch pad 110 west completed - . Nation: Russia. Program: Lunar L3.

1968 December 31 - .
  • How to answer the Americans? - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Frolov, Gagarin, Kutakhov, Pashkov, Serbin, Smirnov, Ustinov.

    After two days of snow, family, and rest at this dacha, Kamanin is called to a General Staff meeting - the issue - how to answer the Americans? Attending are Generals Kutakhov, Moroz, Ponomarev, Kustanin, Yoffe, Frolov, Kartakhov, and others. It is agreed that the only proper answer is a Soviet lunar landing - but that is two to three years away. The 1964 resolution authorising the lunar program required a lunar flyby to be conducted by 1967 and a landing by 1968. But Ustinov, Serbin, Smirnov, and Pashkov hindered the attainment of this order. They were always requiring meetings, analyses, reports. The result - now many volumes of reports, but no action. The VPK proposes to land a Ye-8-5 robot on the moon and return lunar soil to earth in a 50 cm diameter, 38 kg capsule. The capsule will descend under a parachute and transmit on two VHF beacons in order to be located. But this still does not exist in metal, just in mock-up form. Considered logically, it could not be available earlier than the second half of 1969. The existing schedule for it to fly in the first half of the year is illogical and unachievable. Kamanin looks back with bitterness on the year of 1968 -- they have lost the moon race, they have lost Gagarin. His only consolation is his family.



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