January 24, 1964 Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Electronics,
published 1930 - 1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Remember when the first manned
spacecraft transported astronauts to Mars and then back to Earth in the 1970s - a 13-month
round trip? In the mid-1960s, Electronics magazine reported on the preparations
being made by NASA for Mars travel at the same time they were busy preparing the Apollo
mission to the moon. The world's first manned orbit (Apollo 8) of the
moon didn't happen until in December 1968, a mere seven months before the historic July
1969 Apollo 11
moon landing*, but NASA was wasting no time planning for the next big thing. Of course
you know to date we never have made it to Mars with a manned spacecraft, but the headlines
are still filled with "any day now" projections by
SpaceX's Elon Musk (whom I
like) and his contemporaries. Sure, I would love to be alive to witness a manned mission
to Mars, but I'd settle for another manned mission to the moon for establishing a lunar
way station for future trips to Mars. Moon base objectionists say its lack of atmosphere
to burn up meteorites is an insurmountable hazard - just look at all the craters there!
However, the International Space Station (ISS),
for decades (not at the same time) without a protective atmosphere and without a major
incident. Atmospheric winds have erased nearly all evidence of the meteorites that have
reached the Earth's and Mars' surface; many have impacted over the millennia.
* Yesterday's RF Cafe page header featured
Neil Armstrong's birthday, see also Apollo 8
and Apollo 11 page headers.
Electronics Newsletter - Earth Reentry Module Designed for
Houston - Preliminary design for a spacecraft
to return men from Mars in the 1970's was submitted to Manned Spacecraft Center by Lockheed
following a six-month study. The craft would be used for about eight hours during the
13-month round-trip flight to Mars.
The spacecraft is designed to hold four to six astronauts who could manually control
the vehicle, although control would be primarily automatic. Navigation and guidance would
be achieved with the aid of the earth, stars and radar. The module would contain communications
and related electronics; thermal control and life support electronics, and room for about
800 lbs of scientific equipment.
Chafed AT Chaff
Philadelphia - FCC monitors investigating complaints of interference to Ohio State
University radiotelescope found that the annoying signals were arriving from a source
well above the horizon. They finally determined that chaff, dropped in Air Force training
missions to disrupt radar tracking, was picking up the radar signals but reflecting sideband
frequencies back to earth. Air Force is now endeavoring to conduct its missions without
chaffing the astronomers
Posted November 19, 2018