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On December 17 in Space History

1893 December 17 - .
  • Birth of Bernhard Gerhardt - . Nation: Germany, Russia. Related Persons: Gerhardt. German engineer, member of Rocket Team in the Soviet Union after WW2. Kept there until 1957, the longest of any of the team members..

1903 December 17 - .
  • Wright Brothers' First Airplane Flight - . Nation: USA.

1930 December 17 - . Launch Site: Kummersdorf. Launch Complex: Kummersdorf. Launch Vehicle: V-2.
  • Kummersdorf selected for missile development. - . Nation: Germany.

    German Army Ordnance Office, after reviewing work of Goddard and others, decided to establish rocket program and to equip artillery proving ground at Kummersdorf to develop military missiles. The German Army issues the first budget for rocket development - 5,000 Reichsmarks.


1935 December 17 - . LV Family: Goddard. Launch Vehicle: Goddard K.
  • One of the best proving-stand tests of Goddard's K series of rockets. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goddard. Lift 496 lb for 14 sec; weight liquid oxygen 31 lb; weight gasoline 24 lb; jet velocity, greater than 4470 ft/sec..

1944 December 17 - . Launch Site: Heidekraut. Launch Vehicle: V-2. FAILURE: Failure.
  • V-2 Ma273 303 P22 - . Nation: Germany. Agency: Wehrmacht. Planned range 225 km. Failed - accuracy was 22.7 km to the right of the planned trajectory. Circular error 99.6 km from aim point..

1945 December 17 - .
  • NRL begins sounding rocket work. - . Nation: USA. Rocket-Sonde Research Branch constituted in Naval Research Laboratory to conduct scientific exploration of the upper atmosphere..

1947 December 17 - .
  • XS-1 Flight 60 - . Crew: Hoover. Payload: XS-1 # 2 flight 22. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Hoover. Class: Manned. Type: Manned rocketplane. Spacecraft: XS-1. NACA flight 2. Familiarization. Mach 0.8..

1949 December 17 - .
  • Birth of Daryl James Joseph - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Joseph. American engineer military spaceflight engineer astronaut, 1979-1985..

1951 December 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Honest John. Launch Vehicle: MGR-1.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1952 December 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Nike Ajax.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1952 December 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Platform: B-29. LV Family: X-7. Launch Vehicle: X-7A-1.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: ARDC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1953 December 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Corporal.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

1954 December 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Vehicle: Corporal.
  • Test mission - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).

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

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

1957 December 17 - . 17:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas A.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 120 km (70 mi).

    The third flight test missile (12A) became the first successful Atlas Series A missile flight. A short-range, booster-only flight was completed with the booster impacting 575 miles down range from Cape Canaveral. During the flight, all systems performed satisfactorily. First successful test firing of USAF Atlas ICBM, the missile landing in the target area after a flight of 600 miles.


1958 December 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Military and NASA consider future launch vehicles - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: von Braun. Program: Apollo.

    Representatives of Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military services, and NASA met to consider the development of future launch vehicle systems. Agreement was reached on the principle of developing a small number of versatile launch vehicle systems of different thrust capabilities, the reliability of which could be expected to be improved through use by both the military services and NASA.


1958 December 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn I.
  • Saturn H-1 engine first full-power firing - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. The H-1 engine successfully completed its first full-power firing at NAA's Rocketdyne facility in Canoga Park, Calif..

1958 December 17 - .
  • Project Mercury named - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Glennan. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury. NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan announced that the manned satellite program would be called "Project Mercury.".

1958 December 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Rocketdyne gets contract to develop F-1 engine. - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. NASA awarded contract to Rocketdyne of North American to build single-chamber 1.5-million-pound-thrust rocket engine..

1958 December 17 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Series IV research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi).

1959 December 17 - .
  • Soviet Strategic Missile Force created. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Khrushchev, Nedelin.

    In accordance with instructions issued by Khrushchev the previous summer, the RVSN rocket forces were established as a separate branch of the armed services. Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 1384-615 / TsK Decree 254 'On the Establishment of the Post of Commander-in-Chief of Missile Forces in the Armed Forces of the USSR--creation of the Strategic Missile Forces' are issued.


1959 December 17 - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor DM-18A.
  • Series IV research and development launch/Meteorites mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Flight testing of the Thor IRBM was completed with the launch of Thor 217 from Pad 18B at Cape Canaveral, Florida. .

1959 December 17 - . 00:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC26B. LV Family: Jupiter. Launch Vehicle: Jupiter IRBM.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Huntsville, USAF. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Fired from AMR at 1903 hours EST to a prescribed distance of 300 nm. The flight was successful in all phases. Impact was 0.3 nm to the right of the 300 nm range. .

1960 December 17 - . Launch Site: Chelkar. Launch Vehicle: R-5.
  • Target mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: OKB-30. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1960 December 17 - . Launch Site: Hammaguira. Launch Complex: Hammaguira Bacchus. LV Family: Stromboli. Launch Vehicle: VE10 Aigle.
  • Test mission - . Nation: France. Agency: ONERA. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1962 December 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC38. LV Family: Spartan. Launch Vehicle: Nike Zeus DM-15S.
  • DM-15S Test 1 - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 180 km (110 mi).

1962 December 17 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC41/4. LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16U.
  • State trials missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,210 km (750 mi).

1962 December 17 - . 20:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena B. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Midas 6 - . Payload: Midas / Agena TV 1205. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: Midas. Decay Date: 1962-12-17 . Missile Defense Alarm System. Carried ERS-3, ERS-4 subsatellites..
  • TRS 4 - . Payload: ERS 4. Mass: 1,840 kg (4,050 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: Midas.
  • TRS 3 - . Payload: ERS 3. Mass: 1,840 kg (4,050 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft Bus: WS-117. Spacecraft: Midas.

1963 December 17 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 395-D. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II.
  • Research and development / Pod T? test / plume study mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1963 December 17 - . 17:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 4300C. Launch Pad: 4300C. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Blue Scout Jr SLV-1C.
  • ERCS 279L Communications mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro III Meteorological mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 17 - . Launch Site: San Nicolas. LV Family: Arcas. Launch Vehicle: Sparrow Arcas.
  • Denpro - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 100 km (60 mi).

1964 December 17 - . 03:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 SL. Launch Vehicle: Skylark.
1964 December 17 - . 06:55 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150.
  • JHU Airglow 8 Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 235 km (146 mi).

1965 December 17 - . 02:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Cosmos 100 - . Payload: Meteor no. 3. Mass: 4,730 kg (10,420 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Meteor. Decay Date: 2002-02-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 1843 . COSPAR: 1965-106A. Apogee: 547 km (339 mi). Perigee: 485 km (301 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 95.00 min. Probable weather satellite. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

1966 December 17 - . 06:15 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC35. LV Family: Aerobee. Launch Vehicle: Aerobee 150. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: KPNO. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1967 December 17 - .
  • Apollo LM-5 window shattered during initial pressurization test - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 11. Spacecraft: Apollo LM, LM Ascent Propulsion, LM Structural.

    A LM test failed in the Grumman ascent stage manufacturing plant December 17. A window in LM-5 shattered during its initial cabin pressurization test, designed to pressurize the cabin to 3.9 newtons per square centimeter (5.65 pounds per square inch). Both inner and outer windows and the plexiglass cover of the right-hand window shattered when the pressure reached 3.5 newtons per sq cm (5.1 psi). An MSC LM engineer and Corning Glass Co. engineers were investigating the damage and cause of failure.


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.


1969 December 17 - . 18:30 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: 204 km (126 mi).

1970 December 17 - .
  • Public information policy for DOS/Almaz discussed. - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Mishin. Program: Almaz, Salyut. Spacecraft Bus: Almaz. Spacecraft: Almaz OPS. Plans for secrecy, public information policy, and arrangements for the upcoming DOS and Almaz space station flights are discussed..

1970 December 17 - . 19:23 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Nike Apache.
  • Aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1971 December 17 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF04. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • OT GT10GM operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1971 December 17 - . 10:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC133/1. LV Family: R-12. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K63.
  • Cosmos 467 - . Payload: DS-P1-Yu s/n 45. 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: 1972-04-18 . Decay Date: 1972-04-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 5704 . COSPAR: 1971-113A. Apogee: 466 km (289 mi). Perigee: 266 km (165 mi). Inclination: 71.0000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Development of systems for air defence and the control of outer space..

1971 December 17 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 468 - . 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: 5705 . COSPAR: 1971-114A. Apogee: 789 km (490 mi). Perigee: 768 km (477 mi). Inclination: 74.0000 deg. Period: 100.40 min.

1971 December 17 - . 21:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral ETR. Launch Platform: SSBN 636. LV Family: Polaris. Launch Vehicle: Poseidon C3.
  • Demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi).

1972 December 17 - . 20:27 GMT - .
  • EVA Apollo 17-6 - . Crew: Evans, Schmitt. EVA Duration: 0.0458 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Evans, Schmitt. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Apollo 17. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Stand-Up External Vehicular Activity. Deep space retrieval of film cartridges from Service Module..

1973 December 17 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC140/18. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: R-36M 15A14.
  • Joint flight trials launch - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1973 December 17 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511M.
  • Cosmos 616 - . Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MT. Duration: 11.00 days. Decay Date: 1973-12-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 6979 . COSPAR: 1973-102A. Apogee: 332 km (206 mi). Perigee: 206 km (128 mi). Inclination: 72.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Military topography satellite; returned film capsule; separated science capsule..

1974 December 17 - .
  • X-24 Flight 46 - . Crew: Love, Michael. Payload: X-24B flight 18. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Love, Michael. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: X-24. Spacecraft: X-24B. Maximum Speed - 1667 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20960 m. Flight Time - 420 sec..

1974 December 17 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC177. Launch Vehicle: MR-UR-100.
  • Mod 2 state trials missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1974 December 17 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC106. LV Family: R-36M. Launch Vehicle: R-36M 15A14.
  • State trials missile test - . Nation: Russia. Agency: RVSN. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

1974 December 17 - . 10:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonde Stromfjord. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IVB.
  • DLR G-BB4-64 PolCusp Ionosphere mission - . Nation: Germany. Agency: DFVLR. Apogee: 280 km (170 mi).

1974 December 17 - . 11:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonde Stromfjord. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Polar Cusp Li Atmospheric mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1974 December 17 - . 11:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 1-20 - . Payload: Meteor M no. 20. Mass: 3,800 kg (8,300 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor M 11F614. USAF Sat Cat: 7574 . COSPAR: 1974-099A. Apogee: 868 km (539 mi). Perigee: 846 km (525 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 102.10 min. Acquisition of meteorological information needed for use by the weather service. .

1974 December 17 - . 12:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Sonde Stromfjord. Launch Vehicle: Petrel.
  • Polar Cusp Li Atmospheric mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: SRC. Apogee: 165 km (102 mi).

1975 December 17 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF22. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • FOT GT51GB Follow-on Test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi).

1975 December 17 - . 11:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 2-15 - . Payload: Molniya-2. 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-2. Decay Date: 1987-03-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 8492 . COSPAR: 1975-121A. Apogee: 24,113 km (14,983 mi). Perigee: 103 km (64 mi). Inclination: 62.8000 deg. Period: 416.90 min.

    Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international cooperation scheme).


1976 December 17 - .
  • External tank 1/4-scale model on dock, Downey - . Nation: USA. Program: STS.

1976 December 17 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U.
  • Cosmos 884 - . Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Vostok. Spacecraft: Zenit-4MK. Duration: 12.00 days. Decay Date: 1976-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 9614 . COSPAR: 1976-123A. Apogee: 345 km (214 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 65.1000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. High resolution photo reconnaissance satellite; returned film capsule; maneuverable..

1976 December 17 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 885 - . Mass: 900 kg (1,980 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Surveillance. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft Bus: AUOS. Spacecraft: Taifun-2. Decay Date: 1979-10-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 9615 . COSPAR: 1976-124A. Apogee: 520 km (320 mi). Perigee: 433 km (269 mi). Inclination: 65.9000 deg. Period: 94.10 min. Released 18 Romb radar calibration subsatellites..

1978 December 17 - .
  • Death of Sergei Alekseyevich Zverev - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Zverev. Russian government official. Chairman of GKOT 1963-1965..

1979 December 17 - . LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • First Shuttle SSME full-duration test - . Nation: USA.

    The first completely successful firing of the orbiter's engines is completed Three engines are run from 100% to 70% thrust for 514 seconds. Engines 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 were to have been certified ready for flight in the first half on 1979. This involved each engine being given a 1.5 second start verification firing; a 100 second calibration firing; and a 520 second flight demonstration test. But continued failures resulted in multiple rebuilds of each engine to add required modifications. The result was a two-year delay to this schedule.


1979 December 17 - . 06:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Fort Churchill. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant VA.
  • Aurora mission - . Nation: Canada. Agency: NRCC. Apogee: 138 km (85 mi).

1980 December 17 - . 01:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kheysa. Launch Vehicle: MR-12.
  • Energy Budget Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Russia. Agency: GMS. Apogee: 166 km (103 mi).

1981 December 17 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/2. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Radio-3; Radio Sputnik 3 - . Payload: RS-3. Mass: 72 kg (158 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: Iskra bureau. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Strela-1. Spacecraft: Radio. USAF Sat Cat: 12997 . COSPAR: 1981-120A. Apogee: 1,657 km (1,029 mi). Perigee: 1,565 km (972 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 118.50 min. Amateur radiocommunication. Radio-3 to Radio-8 launched by a single carrier rocket. .
  • Radio-4; Radio Sputnik 4 - . Payload: RS-6. Mass: 72 kg (158 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: Iskra bureau. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Strela-1. Spacecraft: Radio. USAF Sat Cat: 13000 . COSPAR: 1981-120D. Apogee: 1,666 km (1,035 mi). Perigee: 1,635 km (1,015 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 119.30 min. Amateur radiocommunication. Radio-3 to Radio-8 launched by a single carrier rocket. .
  • Radio-6; Radio Sputnik 6 - . Payload: RS-8. Mass: 72 kg (158 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: Iskra bureau. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Strela-1. Spacecraft: Radio. USAF Sat Cat: 13002 . COSPAR: 1981-120F. Apogee: 1,660 km (1,030 mi). Perigee: 1,580 km (980 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 118.60 min. Amateur radiocommunication. Radio-3 to Radio-8 launched by a single carrier rocket. .
  • Radio-8; Radio Sputnik 8 - . Payload: RS-4. Mass: 72 kg (158 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: Iskra bureau. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Strela-1. Spacecraft: Radio. USAF Sat Cat: 12998 . COSPAR: 1981-120B. Apogee: 1,682 km (1,045 mi). Perigee: 1,652 km (1,026 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 119.70 min. Amateur radiocommunication. Radio-3 to Radio-8 launched by a single carrier rocket. .
  • Radio-5; Radio Sputnik 5 - . Payload: RS-5. Mass: 72 kg (158 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: Iskra bureau. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Strela-1. Spacecraft: Radio. USAF Sat Cat: 12999 . COSPAR: 1981-120C. Apogee: 1,668 km (1,036 mi). Perigee: 1,647 km (1,023 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 119.50 min. Amateur radiocommunication. Radio-3 to Radio-8 launched by a single carrier rocket. .
  • Radio-7; Radio Sputnik 7 - . Payload: RS-7. Mass: 72 kg (158 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: Iskra bureau. Class: Communications. Type: Amateur radio communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Strela-1. Spacecraft: Radio. USAF Sat Cat: 13001 . COSPAR: 1981-120E. Apogee: 1,661 km (1,032 mi). Perigee: 1,622 km (1,007 mi). Inclination: 83.0000 deg. Period: 119.10 min. Amateur radiocommunication. Radio-3 to Radio-8 launched by a single carrier rocket. .

1982 December 17 - . 03:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar V-2. Launch Vehicle: M-100.
  • Nation: Russia. Apogee: 86 km (53 mi).

1983 December 17 - . 15:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 73 km (45 mi).

1984 December 17 - . 18:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Mugu. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 66 km (41 mi).

1985 December 17 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Vehicle: Super Loki.
  • Test / aeronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 112 km (69 mi).

1986 December 17 - . 17:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC132/1. LV Family: R-14. Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 11K65M.
  • Cosmos 1808 - . Mass: 810 kg (1,780 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft Bus: KAUR-1. Spacecraft: Parus. USAF Sat Cat: 17239 . COSPAR: 1986-100A. Apogee: 1,019 km (633 mi). Perigee: 969 km (602 mi). Inclination: 82.9000 deg. Period: 105.00 min. Military navigation satellite. Replaced Cosmos 1704, Cosmos 1598..

1987 December 17 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Antigua. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 48 km (29 mi).

1988 December 17 - . 11:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant X.
  • CUSP Plasma mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 515 km (320 mi).

1989 December 17 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC47. LV Family: Deacon. Launch Vehicle: Rocketsonde.
  • Arcasonde - . Nation: USA. Agency: MRN. Apogee: 58 km (36 mi).

1991 December 17 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U-PVB.
  • Cosmos 2174 - . Payload: Yantar-1KFT no. 14. Mass: 6,600 kg (14,500 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Cartographic satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Yantar. Spacecraft: Yantar-1KFT. Duration: 44.00 days. Decay Date: 1992-01-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 21816 . COSPAR: 1991-085A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 193 km (119 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Topographic mapping for the Army General Staff..

1992 December 17 - . 12:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM-2.
  • Cosmos 2224 - . Payload: SPRN Generation 2 No. 2. Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Surveillance. Type: Early warning satellite. Spacecraft: Prognoz SPRN. Completed Operations Date: 1999-06-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 22269 . COSPAR: 1992-088A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,757 km (22,218 mi). Inclination: 4.8000 deg. Period: 1,435.80 min.

    Geosynchronous ballistic missile early warning satellite. Stationed at 12 deg E. Declared purpose: 'Investigation of outer space and of processes occurring in the Earth's atmosphere. Prognoz series'. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 12 deg E in 1993; 24 deg W in 1994; 12 deg E in 1994-1999 As of 4 September 2001 located at 53.14 deg E drifting at 0.397 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 142.40E drifting at 0.029E degrees per day.


1993 December 17 - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands SULF. Launch Vehicle: Storm.
  • MTTV-1 ERINT Demo Target mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: US Army. Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

1994 December 17 - . 02:55 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. Launch Complex: White Sands LC36. LV Family: Black Brant. Launch Vehicle: Black Brant IX.
  • Astronomy mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

1997 December 17 - .
  • Mir News 399: Progress-M36 - . Nation: Russia. Program: Mir. Flight: Soyuz TM-26, STS-86 Mir NASA-5.

    According to plan this freighter undocked from Mir on 17.12.97 at 0602 UTC. As soon as Progress-M36 was at a safe distance from Mir the German-Russian observation satellite Inspektor was jettisoned from Progress-M36 (0735 UTC). The crew of the Mir observed both autonomously flying objects on monitors of the TORU system and via portholes.

    Inspektor:

    Immediately after the launch of the Inspektor it was clear that it would be impossible to steer the satellite by the remote control system due to a failure of the star sensor of Inspektor. The flight around the Progress-M36 was impossible and after a few hours of observing and analysing all further operations with Inspektor were cancelled.

    During Mir's orbit 67565 between 1307 and 1354 UTC during a communication session via Altair-2 the cosmonauts and TsUP thoroughly discussed the problems. Mir also transmitted images to earth with that what could be seen on monitors and via the big porthole of the Priroda module. Inspektor was flying not far from Progress-M36. Inspektor has to be given up and will decay and burn up in the earth atmosphere in the near future due to the natural drag. Next week experts of DLR will try to pick up Inspektor's telemetry to find out what went wrong.

    Mir:

    As of the beginning of his autonomous flight Inspektor was an unguided missile and a collision with the Mir-complex was possible. So the Russians decided to bring Mir in a somewhat higher orbit. This orbit correction took place on 17.12 at 1511 UTC.

    Progress-M36:

    The transmissions of this freighter could be monitored during all possible passes on 17.12.1997. When Progress-M36 will be put on a destruction course was not yet decided when this report went to the press. (The use of Progress-M36 for some additional tests of the TORU system might be a possibility.)

    Progress-M37:

    Life goes on and so the launch of the next freighter is still on schedule. This launch has been put forward and will take place from Baykonur on 20.12.97 at 0845 UTC. If all goes as fervidly wished Progress-M37 will dock at Mir on 22.12.97 at 1045 UTC.

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


1998 December 17 - .
  • ISS Status Report: ISS11 - . Nation: USA. Program: ISS.

    Flight controllers in Houston and Moscow continued to monitor and checkout systems on the International Space Station this week, completing a successful test firing of both of the Zarya module's large thrusters that raised the station's orbit by about four statute miles. Additional Details: here....


1998 December 17 - .
  • Death of Clay D Blair - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Blair. American writer. Magazine correspondent and editor of Saturday Evening Post 1957-1964..

1999 December 17 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Improved Orion.
  • MG. Pool Boiling Microgravity mission - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 168 km (104 mi).

2001 December 17 - .
  • STS-108 Mission Status Report #24 - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Culbertson, Dezhurov, Godwin, Gorie, Kelly, Mark, Tani, Tyurin. Program: ISS. Flight: STS-105 ISS EO-3, STS-108, STS-108 ISS EO-4.

    Endeavour's crew began a journey home today, waking up at 3:19 a.m. CST to "Please Come Home For Christmas" sung by Jon Bon Jovi. Weather permitting, Endeavour is scheduled to return to Earth just before noon today. On board Endeavour, Commander Dom Gorie, Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialists Linda Godwin and Dan Tani, along with the returning Expedition Three crew of Frank Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin, are preparing for a scheduled landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Preliminary weather forecasts predict generally acceptable conditions at the landing site, with a possibility of rain showers in the vicinity. The Entry flight team, led by Flight Director LeRoy Cain, will receive its first weather briefing of the day at 6:30 a.m. Additional Details: here....


2001 December 17 - .
  • STS-108 - Wakeup Song: Please Come Home For Christmas - . Flight: STS-108. "Please Come Home For Christmas" sung by Jon Bon Jovi..

2001 December 17 - .
2002 December 17 - . 23:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L.
  • NSS 6 - . Payload: A2100AXS. Mass: 4,575 kg (10,086 lb). Nation: Netherlands. Agency: New Skies. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 2100. USAF Sat Cat: 27603 . COSPAR: 2002-057A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    Launch delayed from late November, then December 12. The Dutch New Skies Satellites' NSS-6 telecommunications spacecraft was developed by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. It was to be positioned at 95 deg E to provide broadcasting and business services coverage of the Pacific Rim, Australia, India, the Middle East and southern Africa. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 95.01E drifting at 0.008W degrees per day.


2003 December 17 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Mojave. Launch Complex: Mojave RW12/30. Launch Platform: WK1. LV Family: SpaceShip. Launch Vehicle: Spaceship One.
  • SpaceShipOne powered flight 1 - . Crew: Binnie. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Binnie, Melvill, Siebold. Agency: Scaled. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft Bus: SpaceShip. Spacecraft: Spaceship One. Duration: 0.0126 days. Apogee: 21 km (13 mi).

    White Knight/SpaceShipOne Flight 43L / 11P. Eighth flight of SpaceShipOne and first powered flight. 15 second burn of the rocket motor and supersonic flight. Motor light off at altitude and inflight engine performance. Vehicle handling qualities through transonics and feather performance from altitude. Launch conditions were 14.6 km and 207 kph. Motor light off was achieved at 13.5 km and 0.55M. Burnout occurred at 1.2M and apogee was 20.7 km. There was no noted flight control flutter or buzz during the climb. Feather recovery exhibited a +/-30 roll initially and then settled down into the familiar falling bathtub mode. The wing was de-feathered and locked by 10.6 km. A nominal landing pattern was flown but touchdown caused the left main gear to collapse and the vehicle rolled to a stop off the runway in the soft sand. Although the damage was not major, repairs were expected to take approximately three weeks to complete.


2004 December 17 - . 12:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 521.
  • AMC-16 (GE-16) - . Payload: A2100AXS. Mass: 4,200 kg (9,200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SES Americom. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Americom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 2100. USAF Sat Cat: 28472 . COSPAR: 2004-048A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min.

    AMC-16, like AMC-15, was a hybrid Ku/Ka-band satellite built by Lockheed Martin and based on the A2100 spacecraft platform. The spacecraft was to become operational in early 2005 from 85º West with a 15 year design life. The satellite carried 24 x 36 MHz/140 W Ku-band transponders and 12 x 125MHz/75 W spot beams. Coverage included the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Launch was delayed from December 6 and 16. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 118.75W drifting at 0.002W degrees per day.


2006 December 17 - .
2006 December 17 - .
  • STS-116 - Wakeup Song: Blue Danube - . Flight: STS-116. "Blue Danube" ue Danube" performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for Christer Fuglesang..

2007 December 17 - . Launch Site: Barents Sea Launch Area. Launch Pad: 69.5 N x 34.2 E. Launch Platform: K-114. LV Family: R-29. Launch Vehicle: Shtil'.
  • Nation: Russia. Agency: VMF. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi).

2009 December 17 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: White Sands. LV Family: Hawk. Launch Vehicle: Terrier Orion.
  • NASA 41.086UO - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Apogee: 130 km (80 mi). Airglow.

2009 December 17 - . 11:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Serrezuela. Launch Vehicle: Gradicom 1.
2010 December 17 - . 20:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3A.
  • Beidou IGS 2 - . Payload: Beidou DW7. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Beidou-IGSO. USAF Sat Cat: 37256 . COSPAR: 2010-068A. Apogee: 35,857 km (22,280 mi). Perigee: 35,722 km (22,196 mi). Inclination: 55.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Second satellite placed in the Beidou-2 inclined geosynchronous orbit constellation; placed in Plane 1 at 118 deg E..

2011 December 17 - . 02:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELS. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-ST-A.
  • Pleiades HR1 - . Mass: 970 kg (2,130 lb). Nation: France. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Pleiades. USAF Sat Cat: 38007 . COSPAR: 2011-076A. Apogee: 692 km (429 mi). Perigee: 676 km (420 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.50 min. High resolution military surveillance satellite..
  • Elisa 1 - . Mass: 120 kg (260 lb). Nation: France. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Myriade. USAF Sat Cat: 38008 . COSPAR: 2011-076B. Apogee: 692 km (429 mi). Perigee: 675 km (419 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.40 min.

    Quartet of electronic intelligence satellites, which succeed Essaim as France's next space-based SIGINT demonstrator. Like Essaim, Elisa consists of four Myriade microsatellites equipped with electronic intelligence instruments to intercept radar transmissions from space. Elisa was to offer a pre-operational capability until a fully operational space-based intelligence capability would be deployed in 2016.

  • Elisa 2 - . Mass: 120 kg (260 lb). Nation: France. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Myriade. USAF Sat Cat: 38009 . COSPAR: 2011-076C. Apogee: 693 km (430 mi). Perigee: 681 km (423 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.50 min.
  • Elisa 3 - . Mass: 120 kg (260 lb). Nation: France. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Myriade. USAF Sat Cat: 38010 . COSPAR: 2011-076D. Apogee: 693 km (430 mi). Perigee: 674 km (418 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 98.40 min.
  • Elisa 4 - . Mass: 120 kg (260 lb). Nation: France. Class: Surveillance. Type: ELINT. Spacecraft: Myriade. USAF Sat Cat: 38011 . COSPAR: 2011-076E. Apogee: 616 km (382 mi). Perigee: 601 km (373 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 96.90 min.
  • Fasat-Charlie - . Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: Chile. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Myriade. USAF Sat Cat: 38012 . COSPAR: 2011-076F. Apogee: 612 km (380 mi). Perigee: 597 km (370 mi). Inclination: 98.2000 deg. Period: 96.80 min. Imaging satellite for the Chilean Air Force..

2012 December 17 - . Launch Site: McGregor. LV Family: Falcon. Launch Vehicle: Grasshopper.
  • Nation: USA. Agency: SPX. Apogee: 0 km (0 mi). 40m hop.

2012 December 17 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Vehicle: S-520.
  • S-520-28 - . Nation: Japan. Apogee: 312 km (193 mi). Microgravity experiments..

2013 December 17 - . 12:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg LF04. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minuteman 3.
  • GT210GM - . Nation: USA. Apogee: 1,300 km (800 mi). Operational test.

2015 December 17 - . 00:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 2D.
  • Wukong - . Nation: China. Class: Astronomy. Type: Astronomy satellite. USAF Sat Cat: 41173 . COSPAR: 2015-078A. Apogee: 504 km (313 mi). Perigee: 487 km (302 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg.

    China launched the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), given the postlaunch name Wukong ('Monkey King'). DAMPE was a Chinese Academy of Sciences particle physics experiment with a bismuth-germanium oxide calorimeter, and will study electrons, gamma rays and cosmic rays in the GeV to TeV energy range. The satellite has a mass of 1900 kg.


2015 December 17 - . 11:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELS. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-ST-B.
  • GalileoSat-11 - . Nation: Europe. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Galileo Navsat. USAF Sat Cat: 41174 . COSPAR: 2015-079A. Apogee: 23,568 km (14,644 mi). Perigee: 23,511 km (14,609 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Adriana.
  • GalileoSat-12 - . Nation: Europe. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Galileo Navsat. USAF Sat Cat: 41175 . COSPAR: 2015-079B. Apogee: 23,617 km (14,674 mi). Perigee: 23,552 km (14,634 mi). Inclination: 55.0000 deg. Liene.


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