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Users of this series will notice that the current volume, the 15th, is more condensed than earlier volumes in the series, a trend started with the 1974 volume. This is attributable more to staff limitations than to any reduction in the historical significance of the subject matter. Fewer non-NASA activities have been included this year. The annual summary has been eliminated, not without regret. More material has been presented in tabular form for economy in both preparation and use. The staff of the History Office expects to produce one volume per year of Astronautics and Aeronautics with approximately the coverage and detail of the present volumeand with greater regularity than in the past few years.
Note that the errata section, introduced in the 1974 volume, has been continued. We want this series to be a reliable reference work, and the reader can help us in this. Let the History Office staff know of any errors that you detect in this or previous volumes, so that corrections can be published.
Text for the first ten months of the present volume's coverage was written by Nancy L. Brun, who has since transferred to the National Institutes of Health. The volume was completed by her successor, Eleanor H. Ritchie, formerly of the Goddard Space Flight Center.
Arnold W. Frutkin Associate Administrator for External Relations
NASA Associate Administrator Arnold W. Frutkin
4 January: Funding in the FY 1976 budget for a third Earth Resources
Technology Satellite (ERTS) was in doubt, Walter Sullivan said in a New York Times article. Despite worldwide enthusiasm for continuing the program, which was developing remote-sensing techniques for monitoring and managing earth's resources, doubts about funding approval were appearing within the Office of Management and Budget. Factors that would influence OMB's decision included the reported existence of far more detailed information from secretly launched intelligence satellites. Although scientists would probably prefer a system free from intelligence links, some argued that the information needed by agencies such as the Bureau of Census and Dept. of Agriculture could be extracted from imagery from these satellites. Another reason to delay immediate funding was that a more effective system would eventually become feasible. Scientists argued against this reasoning, saying that the lack of fine detail in ERTS images was not a serious impediment but that lack of continuity would
be. (Sullivan, NYT, 4 Jan 75, 17) 8 January: Twenty-five spacecraft on twenty-four vehicles were sched
uled for launch by NASA during 1975, NASA announced. The 25 spacecraft included 14 for NASA programs, 10 for other organizations, and 1 as a cooperative program with a foreign government. Highlighting the year would be the 15 July launch of an Apollo spacecraft carrying Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, and Donald K. Slayton as the U.S. contribution to the joint U.S. -U.S.S.R. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Apollo would rendezvous and dock with Soyuz 19—launched 7 hr earlier than Apollo and carrying Aleksey A. Leonov and Valery N. Kubasov-allowing both crews to exchange visits and perform joint scientific experiments.
The two sets of Viking spacecraft, scheduled for 11 and 21 August launches, would journey through space for a year before arriving in the vicinity of Mars. There each set of spacecraft would separate into an orbiter and a lander to make orbital and surface investigations of the Martian environment.
Other NASA spacecraft would include ERTS-B Earth Resources Technology Satellite and SMS-B Synchronous Meteorological Satellite, in January; GOES-C Geodynamic Experimental Ocean Satellite, in March; oso-1 Orbiting Solar Observatory, Nimbus-F experimental meteorological satellite, and Explorer 53 (SAS-C Small Astronomy Satellite), in May; GOES-A Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, in June; Explorers 56 and 57 Dual Air Density Explorers, on a single booster in July or August; Explorer 54 (AE-D Atmospheric Explorer), in September; and Explorer 55 (AE-E), in December.
The 10 spacecraft to be launched by NASA for other organizations included 5 comsats for Communications Satellite Corp.: Intelsat