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On December 16 in Space History

1944 December 16 - . Launch Site: Heidekraut. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • V-2 Ma317 301 P20 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: Wehrmacht. Planned range 225 km. Impact 4.2 km to the left of the planned trajectory. Circular error 9.9 km from aim point..

1947 December 16 - .
  • XS-1 Flight 59 - . Crew: Hoover. Payload: XS-1 # 2 flight 21. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hoover. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: XS-1. NACA powered flight 1. Familiarization. Mach 0.84. No telemetry record..

1952 December 16 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LA. Launch Vehicle: Lark. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi).

1953 December 16 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Nike Ajax.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1954 December 16 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Atlas publicly announced. - . Nation: USA. USAF announced Atlas ICBM under construction by Convair..

1954 December 16 - . Launch Site: Edwards. LV Family: Navaho. Launch Vehicle: Navaho X-10.
  • Navaho X-10 flight 12 - . Nation: USA. Program: Navaho. Second successful automated landing system flight..

1955 December 16 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/2?. Launch Vehicle: Snark.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1957 December 16 - .
  • Space technology development to be managed by the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division. - . Spacecraft: Man-In-Space-Soonest.

    The Scientific Advisory Committee to the Secretary of the Air Force met at the ballistic missile division. The committee reviewed Air Force plans for advanced ballistic missile and space programs and recommended that space technology development be managed by the Air Force Ballistic Missile Division. (Early BMD-ARDC General Space Chronology, 11 Feb 59, prep by AFBMD Hist Ofc.)


1957 December 16 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. LV Family: Stromboli. Launch Vehicle: SE4400.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: STA. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1958 December 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg.
  • First missile launch from Vandenberg AFB - . Nation: USA. First missile launch from Vandenberg AFB - a Thor intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM). The mission was a success..

1958 December 16 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Platform: B-47. Launch Vehicle: Bold Orion.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1958 December 16 - . 23:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Operational missile test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Two Thor shots, one from Cape Canaveral and one from Vandenberg AFB, were successful. Intermediate range ballistic missile portion of PMR was inaugurated with successful firing of USAF Thor from Vandenberg AFB..

1959 December 16 - . 04:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC29A. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1960 December 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LC-B. LV Family: Hopi. Launch Vehicle: Kiva/Hopi.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1960 December 16 - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar VLAD. Launch Vehicle: Burya La-350.
  • Burya flight 16 - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 15 km (9 mi). Test of AN-2Sh astronavigation system capability for flight in both daytime and nighttime conditions. The missile flew a range of 6,425 km at Mach 3.1-3.2. The flight was only terminated when the cruise stage used up all of its propellant..

1960 December 16 - . 20:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576B3. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,800 km (1,100 mi).

1962 December 16 - . 14:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3.
  • Explorer 16 - . Payload: S-55B. Mass: 100 kg (220 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: S-55. USAF Sat Cat: 506 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Chi-1. Apogee: 1,159 km (720 mi). Perigee: 744 km (462 mi). Inclination: 52.0000 deg. Period: 104.10 min. Micrometeoroid data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1963 December 16 - .
  • Safety for Apollo of breathing 100 percent oxygen at 5 psi for 30 days proven - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM ECS.

    MSC and the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Medical Division completed a joint manned environmental experiment at Brooks Air Force Base, Tex. After spending a week in a sea-level atmospheric environment, the test subjects breathed 100 percent oxygen at 3.5 newtons per square centimeter (5 psi) at a simulated altitude of 8,230 meters (27,000 feet) for 30 days. They then reentered the test capsule for observation in a sea-level environment for the next five days. This experiment demonstrated that men could live in a 100 percent oxygen environment under these conditions with no apparent ill effects.


1963 December 16 - .
  • Yerkina wedding - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Dementiev, Korolev, Ponomaryova, Tereshkova, Tsybin, Yerkina. Program: Soyuz, Lunar L1. Flight: Soyuz A-1, Soyuz A-2, Soyuz A-3, Soyuz A-4. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz A.

    The cosmonaut weds at the TsPK cosmonaut centre, and 80 guests attend. Of the female cosmonauts, only Ponomaryova is not yet married. However the next female flight will be made no earlier than 1965-1966. Tereshkova looks tired after her tour to Southeast Asia - and she's supposed to go to Ghana on 10 January! Korolev claims that the Soyuz schedule, as laid out in the resolution of 4 December 1963, is still realistic. He will have the first Soyuz flight in August 1964 and the second and third in September 1964. Ivanovskiy doesn't believe it will be possible to make any flights until 1965. Korolev and Tsybin disccuss Shcherbakov's design for a rocket-propelled high-altitude glider. This concept was supported by the VVS, but Dementiev was against it and it was killed in the bureaucracy.


1963 December 16 - .
  • General Bernard A. Schriever, AFSC Commander, assigned Space Systems Division the responsibility for managing the entire military manned space effort, including the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL). - . Related Persons: Schriever. Spacecraft: MOL.

1964 December 16 - .
  • First test of Apollo fecal canister and urine relief tube under zero-g conditions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM, CSM Cockpit. Aboard a KC-135 from Wright-Patterson AFB, the fecal canister and urine relief tube were first tested under zero-g conditions. Similar manned tests of a complete unit were scheduled for February 1965..

1964 December 16 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 634. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Polaris A3.
  • Operational test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1964 December 16 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro II Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 16 - . 02:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. LV Family: Skylark. Launch Vehicle: Skylark 3.
1964 December 16 - . 14:30 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • Meteoroids Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 207 km (128 mi).

1964 December 16 - . 14:57 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 195 km (121 mi).

1965 December 16 - .
  • Space race - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Korolev, Pashkov. Program: Voskhod. Flight: Gemini 6, Gemini 7, Voskhod 3. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Voskhod.

    Gemini 7 has the space flight duration record, and Gemini 6 has achieved the first rendezvous in orbit. Yesterday Pashkov sent a letter to Smirnov, asking that new series of Voskhod spacecraft be ordered as insurance in case of further delays in development of the Soyuz spacecraft. Kamanin believes he sees panic setting in with the leadership. The next day Kamanin attempts to call Korolev, only to find he is out sick.


1965 December 16 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC67/21. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: R-36O 8K69.
  • OGCh No. 01L - . Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Spacecraft: OGCh. COSPAR: U651216A. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi). First suborbital test of the FOBS system. Impacted within specification CEP in target zone..

1965 December 16 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1965 December 16 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1965 December 16 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1965 December 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF24. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 2.
  • Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1965 December 16 - . 07:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Delta E.
  • Pioneer 6 - . Payload: Pioneer A. 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: 1841 . COSPAR: 1965-105A. Measured solar wind, Sun's magnetic field. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1965 December 16 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 6 - . Return Crew: Schirra, Stafford. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Schirra, Stafford. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 6, Gemini 7.

    Gemini 6 splashed down near the aircraft carrier Wasp at 15:28 GMT. The capsule was lifted to the carrier deck with the crew aboard. When the hatch doors were opened, the spacemen gave the thumbs-up while the Navy band crashed in with 'Anchors Aweigh'. It was the first recovery carried live via satellite television.


1966 December 16 - . Launch Site: Green River. Launch Complex: Green River Pad 3. Launch Vehicle: Athena RTV.
  • USAF D042 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1967 December 16 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC41/1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 195 - . Payload: Zenit-2 11F61 s/n 57. 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: 1967-12-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 3071 . COSPAR: 1967-124A. Apogee: 352 km (218 mi). Perigee: 204 km (126 mi). Inclination: 65.6000 deg. Period: 90.00 min. Area survey photo reconnaissance satellite..

1967 December 16 - . 22:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Smoke Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

1967 December 16 - . 22:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Eglin. Launch Vehicle: Nike Iroquois.
  • Smoke Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: AFCRL. Apogee: 127 km (78 mi).

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..

1969 December 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • SSTTP 2 Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1969 December 16 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy/Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 163 km (101 mi).

1969 December 16 - . 17:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: EAG-154. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Poseidon C3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1970 December 16 - . 04:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 387 - . Mass: 875 kg (1,929 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: Tselina. Class: Surveillance. Type: Naval signals intelligence satellite. Spacecraft: Tselina-O. Decay Date: 1980-01-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 4806 . COSPAR: 1970-111A. Apogee: 543 km (337 mi). Perigee: 525 km (326 mi). Inclination: 74.0000 deg. Period: 95.30 min. Possible navigation satellite. Replaced Cosmos 269..

1970 December 16 - . 09:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1970 December 16 - . 16:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • DLR W-NT-37 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DLR. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

1971 December 16 - .
  • M2 Flight 29 - . Crew: Dana. Payload: M2-F3 flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Dana. Program: NASA Lifting Body. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: M2-F2. Spacecraft: M2-F3. Maximum Speed - 861 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14265 m. Flight Time - 451 sec..

1971 December 16 - . Launch Site: Biscarosse. Launch Complex: Biscarosse BLB. LV Family: MSBS. Launch Vehicle: SSBS S02.
  • Operational test - . Nation: France. Agency: DMA. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1971 December 16 - . 05:59 GMT - . Launch Pad: Atlantic Ocean, 24.0 N x 53.0 W. Launch Platform: ZUB. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Russia. Apogee: 170 km (100 mi).

1971 December 16 - . 09:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 466 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4M. Duration: 11.00 days. Decay Date: 1971-12-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 5687 . COSPAR: 1971-112A. Apogee: 375 km (233 mi). Perigee: 175 km (108 mi). Inclination: 64.0000 deg. Period: 90.00 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; maneuverable..

1971 December 16 - . 19:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ALFS. LV Family: Veronique. Launch Vehicle: Veronique 61M.
  • FU-208 CISASPE Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: CNES. Apogee: 227 km (141 mi). FU208 CISASPE, Ionosphere (active sounding) mission..

1972 December 16 - .
  • Elektro, Meteor-3 weather satellites authorised - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Elektro, Meteor-3.

    Military-Industrial Commission (VPK) Decree 'On establishment of the Planeta-S weather satellite system' was issued. The resolution ordered development of a third generation system. This used the Planeta-S sensor package in the non-co-orbital Meteor-3 system plus the geostationary system Elektro, which was to begin tests in 1982. Elektro suffered numerous delays due to equipment and software problems. Flight trials of Meteor-3 did not begin until 1984, and there was only a single launch of Elektro, in 1994.


1972 December 16 - . 11:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout D-1.
  • Aeros 1 - . Payload: GRS B. Mass: 127 kg (279 lb). Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Aeros. Decay Date: 1973-08-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 6315 . COSPAR: 1972-100A. Apogee: 867 km (538 mi). Perigee: 223 km (138 mi). Inclination: 96.9000 deg. Period: 95.60 min. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1973 December 16 - . 06:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 1900.
  • Explorer 51 - . Payload: AE C. Mass: 658 kg (1,450 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: AE. Decay Date: 1978-12-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 6977 . COSPAR: 1973-101A. Apogee: 4,306 km (2,675 mi). Perigee: 155 km (96 mi). Inclination: 68.1000 deg. Period: 132.50 min. Atmospheric Explorer; upper atmospheric research. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1974 December 16 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 616. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Poseidon C3.
  • Demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1975 December 16 - . 09:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Feng Bao 1.
  • JSSW 4 - . Payload: JSSW 4. Mass: 1,110 kg (2,440 lb). Nation: China. Agency: MAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: JSSW. Decay Date: 1976-01-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 8488 . COSPAR: 1975-119A. Apogee: 387 km (240 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 69.0000 deg. Period: 90.30 min. Photo surveillance; radio transmission. .

1975 December 16 - . 09:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Voskhod 11A57.
  • Cosmos 786 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MK. Duration: 13.00 days. Decay Date: 1975-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 8489 . COSPAR: 1975-120A. Apogee: 325 km (201 mi). Perigee: 184 km (114 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; maneuverable..

1975 December 16 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Tomahawk. Launch Vehicle: Nike Tomahawk.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 241 km (149 mi).

1976 December 16 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island.
  • The second Materials Screening Vehicle (MSV) launch occurred from Wallops Island, Virginia, into inclement weather. - .

1976 December 16 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC173. Launch Vehicle: MR-UR-100.
  • Joint flight trials launch - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1976 December 16 - . 01:10 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Aries.
  • IMS Test Rocket Test / astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Apogee: 512 km (318 mi).

1977 December 16 - . Launch Site: El Arenosillo. LV Family: Belier. Launch Vehicle: Centaure 1.
  • Ionosphere mission - . Nation: France. Agency: INTA. Apogee: 150 km (90 mi).

1977 December 16 - . 04:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 968 - . Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: Strela. Class: Communications. Type: Military store-dump communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-1. Spacecraft: Strela-2M. USAF Sat Cat: 10520 . COSPAR: 1977-119A. Apogee: 791 km (491 mi). Perigee: 765 km (475 mi). Inclination: 74.0000 deg. Period: 100.40 min.

1978 December 16 - . 00:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Delta 3914.
  • Anik B1 (Telesat 4) - . Payload: Anik B1. Mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: Telesat. Program: Anik. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: AS 3000. Spacecraft: Anik satellite. Completed Operations Date: 1986-12-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 11153 . COSPAR: 1978-116A. Apogee: 35,927 km (22,323 mi). Perigee: 35,900 km (22,300 mi). Inclination: 6.6000 deg. Period: 1,442.60 min.

    Longitude 109.0. Function - telecommunications. Operating entity - Telesat Canada. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 109 deg W in 1978-1986 As of 29 August 2001 located at 59.48 deg E drifting at 1.672 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 13.64W drifting at 1.622W degrees per day.

  • DRIMS - . Mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb). Nation: Canada. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Anik. Decay Date: 1979-04-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 11154 . COSPAR: 1978-116B. Apogee: 1,832 km (1,138 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 28.3000 deg. Period: 105.26 min.

    First use of the Delta Redundant Inertial Measurement System (DRIMS). DRIMS improved the inertial measurement unit introduced with DIGS, but kept the DIGS guidance computer. DRIMS added redundancy on all axes of motion. The Delta upper stage was tracked as a separate functional object with this designation on this launch.


1979 December 16 - . 12:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Soyuz T-1 - . Payload: Soyuz T s/n 6L. Mass: 6,850 kg (15,100 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Salyut 6. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft Bus: Soyuz. Spacecraft: Soyuz T. Duration: 100.38 days. Decay Date: 1980-03-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 11640 . COSPAR: 1979-103A. Apogee: 252 km (156 mi). Perigee: 213 km (132 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.20 min.

    New generation Soyuz capsule; unmanned flight to Salyut 6. Docked with Salyut 6. Recovered March 25, 1980 21:47 GMT. Unmanned test of Soyuz T design.
    Officially: Complex experimental testing of new on-board systems and assemblies under various flight conditions and operation in conjunction with the Salyut-6 orbital station.


1980 December 16 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF06. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 1B.
  • ABRES ABRV-4 re-entry vehicle test flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1980 December 16 - . 12:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Cosmos 1227 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-6U. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1980-12-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 12100 . COSPAR: 1980-101A. Apogee: 296 km (183 mi). Perigee: 194 km (120 mi). Inclination: 72.8000 deg. Period: 89.40 min. Photo surveillance; returned film capsule; maneuverable..

1981 December 16 - .
  • Death of Emil A H, Hellebrandt - . Nation: Austria, Germany. Related Persons: Hellebrandt. Austrian-German engineer in WW2, member of the Rocket Team in the United States thereafter..

1981 December 16 - . 14:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Kiruna. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • LITHIUM Aeronomy mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 187 km (116 mi).

1982 December 16 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Cosmos 1424 - . Payload: Yantar-4K1 s/n 217. Mass: 6,600 kg (14,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Yantar. Spacecraft: Yantar-4K1. Duration: 43.00 days. Decay Date: 1983-01-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 13725 . COSPAR: 1982-117A. Apogee: 349 km (216 mi). Perigee: 171 km (106 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance; returned film in two small SpK capsules during the mission and with the main capsule at completion of the mission..

1983 December 16 - . 11:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Viper. Launch Vehicle: Viper 3A.
  • M-F 6 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 113 km (70 mi).

1983 December 16 - . 12:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Viper. Launch Vehicle: Viper 3A.
  • M-F 7 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 106 km (65 mi).

1983 December 16 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Poker Flat. LV Family: Hydac. Launch Vehicle: Talos Sergeant Hydac.
  • HAVE SLED II Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF BMO. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1985 December 16 - . 19:10 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 251 km (155 mi).

1986 December 16 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U-PVB.
  • Cosmos 1807 - . Mass: 6,600 kg (14,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Yantar. Spacecraft: Yantar-4K1. Duration: 38.00 days. Decay Date: 1987-01-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 17217 . COSPAR: 1986-099A. Apogee: 366 km (227 mi). Perigee: 165 km (102 mi). Inclination: 67.1000 deg. Period: 89.80 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance; returned film in two small SpK capsules during the mission and with the main capsule at completion of the mission..

1987 December 16 - . 11:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. LV Family: M-100. Launch Vehicle: M-100B.
  • Nation: Russia. Apogee: 78 km (48 mi).

1988 December 16 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U-PVB.
  • Cosmos 1984 - . Mass: 6,600 kg (14,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Yantar. Spacecraft: Yantar-4K1. Duration: 59.00 days. Decay Date: 1989-02-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 19705 . COSPAR: 1988-110A. Apogee: 323 km (200 mi). Perigee: 186 km (115 mi). Inclination: 62.8000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance; returned film in two small SpK capsules during the mission and with the main capsule at completion of the mission..

1991 December 16 - . 23:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L.
  • Telecom 2A - . Mass: 2,275 kg (5,015 lb). Nation: France. Agency: France Telecom. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Telecom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 2000. USAF Sat Cat: 21813 . COSPAR: 1991-084A. Apogee: 35,801 km (22,245 mi). Perigee: 35,773 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    French communications; 3 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 3 deg E in 1992; 8 deg W in 1992-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 8.05 deg W drifting at 0.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 111.59E drifting at 4.763W degrees per day.

  • Inmarsat 2 F3 - . Mass: 1,310 kg (2,880 lb). Nation: International. Agency: Inmarsat. Manufacturer: Toulouse. Program: Inmarsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Eurostar 1000. USAF Sat Cat: 21814 . COSPAR: 1991-084B. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 1.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Global maritime and mobile communications; 178 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 178 deg E in 1992-1997; 65 deg E in 1997-1999 As of 29 August 2001 located at 65.01 deg E drifting at 0.003 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 155.28W drifting at 15.158W degrees per day.


1992 December 16 - . 16:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 93 km (57 mi).

1993 December 16 - . 00:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas IIAS.
  • Telstar 401 - . Mass: 3,375 kg (7,440 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: ATT. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Telstar series. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 7000. Completed Operations Date: 1997-01-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 22927 . COSPAR: 1993-077A. Apogee: 35,821 km (22,258 mi). Perigee: 35,759 km (22,219 mi). Inclination: 4.3000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min.

    Stationed at 97 deg W. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit with IFR trajectory option. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 97 deg W in 1994-1997 As of 5 September 2001 located at 100.42 deg W drifting at 0.039 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 97.36W drifting at 0.024W degrees per day.


1994 December 16 - .
  • Discovery of QUE 94201 (Mars Meteorite) - .

1994 December 16 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2.
  • Luch - . Payload: Luch s/n 13L. Mass: 2,300 kg (5,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-4. Spacecraft: Luch . Completed Operations Date: 1998-08-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 23426 . COSPAR: 1994-082A. Apogee: 35,815 km (22,254 mi). Perigee: 35,757 km (22,218 mi). Inclination: 2.4800 deg. Period: 1,436.09 min.

    Stationed at 95 deg E. Relaying of telegraph and telephone information. Improved Altair/SR geosynchronous satellite for communication with Mir space station and other orbital spacecraft. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 95 deg E in 1994-1997; 16 deg W in 1997-1998 As of 4 September 2001 located at 143.35 deg W drifting at 0.319 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 64.95W drifting at 0.320E degrees per day.


1997 December 16 - .
  • Mir News 398: Progress-M36 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Soyuz TM-26, STS-86 Mir NASA-5.

    This freighter will undock from Mir on 17.12.1997 at 0602 UTC. After the undocking the Russian-German experiment with the observation satellite Inspektor will take place.

    Inspektor:

    On 17.12.97 the Inspektor will be launched from Progress-M36 for a number of inspection flights. The separation from Progress-M36 : 0735 UTC. Immediately after the undocking the Inspektor will make a flight around Progress-M36 and transmit images from the freighter to a computer on board Mir. Solovyov will steer the Progress-M36 and the Inspektor with the system TORU. On 18.12.1997 Inspektor will fly around the Mir to make images of the outside of the complex. Plans with the Progress-M36: This freighter will not return to Mir for a redocking but decay in the atmosphere soon after the deployment of Inspektor.

    Progress-M37:

    The launch of this new freighter from Baykonur is on schedule for 20.12.1997. Rendezvous and docking with the Mir will take place on 22.12.1997.

    Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.


1999 December 16 - .
  • ISS Status Report: ISS 99-49 - . Nation: USA. Program: ISS.

    Much of the last week, flight controllers in Houston and Moscow have managed battery charging and watched over other systems on the station. Electrical power management continues to be the focus using four of six batteries inside Zarya. Batteries 1 and 2 remain disconnected from the electrical bus. Additional Details: here....


2000 December 16 - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Vehicle: DF-31.
  • Test mission - . Nation: China. Agency: PRC. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2001 December 16 - .
  • STS-108 Mission Status Report #23 - . Nation: USA. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-105 ISS EO-3, STS-108, STS-108 ISS EO-4. On board Endeavour today, the crew focused its efforts on checking out the systems and equipment that will be used during Endeavour's planned reentry and landing Monday.. Additional Details: here....

2001 December 16 - .
  • STS-108 - Wakeup Song: I'll Be Home For Christmas - . Flight: STS-108. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" sung by Bing Crosby..

2002 December 16 - .
  • Starchaser 5 pilot training. - . Nation: UK. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft Bus: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Starchaser 5. Starchaser Industries (Hyde, England, UK) undergoes parafoil pilot training in Florida..

2003 December 16 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • JHU FOT 17 / LIDOS Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

2005 December 16 - .
  • International Space Station Status Report: SS05-058 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McArthur, Tokarev. Program: ISS. Flight: Soyuz TMA-7. This week the crew focused on preparing for the arrival of a holiday shipment of fuel, food, water, spare parts and gifts.. Additional Details: here....

2006 December 16 - .
  • STS-116 - Wakeup Song: Fanfare for the Common Man - . Flight: STS-116. "Fanfare for the Common Man" performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The music was played for Nicholas Patrick..

2006 December 16 - . 06:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Tanegashima. Launch Complex: Tanegashima Y. LV Family: H-2. Launch Vehicle: H-IIA 204.
  • Kiku 8 - . Payload: ETS-8. Mass: 5,817 kg (12,824 lb). Nation: Japan. Agency: JAXA. Manufacturer: Melco. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: DS2000. USAF Sat Cat: 29656 . COSPAR: 2006-059A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.0500 deg. Period: 1,436.11 min.

    Engineering Test Satellite-8 was a Japanese prototype/operational demonstration for a number of new technologies: a large satellite bus, large-scale deployable 40-m-span antennae, mobile satellite communications system, mobile satellite digital multimedia broadcasting, and basic positioning using high-accuracy time standard devices. It will be positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 146 degrees East. JAXA developed two portable terrestrial systems to communicate directly with the satellite - a tiny telephone and a portable laptop computer. The satellite was to have a lifetime of ten years. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 145.97E drifting at 0.010W degrees per day.


2006 December 16 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0B. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1.
  • Tacsat-2 - . Mass: 370 kg (810 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AFRL. Manufacturer: MicroSats. Program: Tacsat. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Road Runner/NGMB/SN-200. Spacecraft: Tacsat ORS. Decay Date: 2011-02-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 29653 . COSPAR: 2006-058A. Apogee: 426 km (264 mi). Perigee: 410 km (250 mi). Inclination: 40.0100 deg. Period: 92.93 min.

    Tacsat-2 was a prototype rapid development/rapid deployment tactical military satellite that provided American Joint Task Force commanders direct control of a satellite providing both SIGINT and imagery with a resolution of better than 1-m. The known communications payload used an 8 GHz (X-band) downlink. This was the first orbital launch from Wallops Island since 1985. TacSat-2 was to have been launched by a Falcon-1 from Vandenberg into a sun-synchronous orbit. However, the failure of Falcon-1 on its long-delayed maiden in March 2006 caused AFRL to award a new launch contract for TacSat-2 and TacSat-3 to OSC in May 2006. The launch was achieved using OSC's Minotaur launch vehicle only seven months after contract award.

  • GeneSat-1 - . Mass: 7.00 kg (15.40 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: NASA Ames. Class: Biology. Type: Biology satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. Decay Date: 2011-04-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 29654 . COSPAR: 2006-058B. Apogee: 426 km (264 mi). Perigee: 410 km (250 mi). Inclination: 40.0100 deg. Period: 92.93 min.

    3U cubesat launched as a secondary payload. A collaboration of NASA, industry, and local universities resulted in this fully-automated, miniaturized spaceflight system that provided life support, nutrient delivery, and performed assays to monitor genetic changes of E. coli bacteria in space conditions.


2007 December 16 - . 09:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Natal. LV Family: Sonda. Launch Vehicle: VS-30.
  • Angicos GPS technology mission - . Nation: Brazil. Agency: AEB. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

2009 December 16 - . Launch Site: Semnan. LV Family: Sejjil. Launch Vehicle: Sejjil-2.
  • Seijil test - . Nation: Iran. Test of two-stage solid-propellant IRBM, which Iran claimed was 'faster' (lower drag re-entry vehicel?) than earlier versions and had stealth capabilities. US authorities said they detected no different performance compared to earlier launches..

2009 December 16 - . 13:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: MLRS. Launch Vehicle: Mesquito.
  • NASA 12.068GT - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Apogee: 90 km (55 mi). Test.

2014 December 16 - . Launch Site: Mediterranean Sea. Launch Complex: F-15. Launch Vehicle: Blue Sparrow.
  • Target - . Nation: Israel. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Israeli target missile launched over the Mediterranean. It was not clear which of the Blue/Black/Sliver Sparrow family was used. Launch of the Arrow 3 missile meant to intercept it was scrubbed..

2015 December 16 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota PSLV. LV Family: PSLV. Launch Vehicle: PSLV CA.
  • TeLEOS-1 - . Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. COSPAR: 2015-077A. For AgilSpace, the 400 kg TeLEOS-1 satellite with a 1 meter resolution Earth imager. The satellite was built by Singapore Technologies Electronics, of which AgilSpace was a subsidiary..
  • VELOX-C1 - . Mass: 123 kg (271 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. COSPAR: 2015-077B. For Nanyang Technological University, the 123 kg VELOX-C1 carrying a GPS radio occultation payload for meteorology.
  • Kent Ridge 1 - . Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. COSPAR: 2015-077C.

    For the National University of Singapore, the 78 kg Kent Ridge 1 satellite developed using the TUBSAT LEOS-50 bus by Berlin Space Technologies, a spinoff of the old TUBSAT group at Technische Universitat Berlin. KR-1 carried two low-resoluton hyperspectral Earth imagers and a 6-meter-resolution imager.

  • VELOX-II - . Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. COSPAR: 2015-077D. The 12 kg VELOX-II carried a space communications relay experiment to demonstrate cubesat downlink via geostationary communications satellite. VELOX-II was a 6U cubesat - only the 4th to be launched worldwide in this new larger cubesat format..
  • Galassia - . Nation: USA. Class: Science. Type: Science satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. COSPAR: 2015-077E. A second NUS satellite was Galassia, a 2U cubesat with science payloads to measure the ionosphere and perform a quantum entanglement experiment..
  • Athenoxat-1 - . Nation: USA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. COSPAR: 2015-077F. In a technology development test, the PSLV 4th stage was reignited briefly to test its ability to deliver payloads to multiple orbits. For Microsat Rapid Pte Ltd., the 3U cubesat Athenoxat-1 carried a payload to image the night side of the Earth..

2016 December 16 - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Vehicle: Nudol.
  • A-235 test - . Nation: Russia. Type: Test. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi). Test mission of new direct ascent anti-satellite missile..
  • NASA 12.080DR - . Nation: USA. Type: Test. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi). Test mission. The US Army (as part of a NASA managed launch) test-launched the Zombie, a missile-defense target missile probably based on an ATACMS motor. It's not clear whether the flight was exoatmospheric. Impacted in White Sands..


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