1986 in spaceflight

The year 1986 saw the destruction of Space Shuttle Challenger shortly after lift-off, killing all seven aboard,[1] the first in-flight deaths of American astronauts. This accident followed the successful flight of Columbia just weeks earlier,[2] and dealt a major setback to the U.S. crewed space program, suspending the Shuttle program for 32 months.[3]

1986 in spaceflight
Challenger explosion.jpg
Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates during the launch of STS-51-L, killing all seven astronauts
National firsts
Satellite Sweden
Rockets
Maiden flightsAriane 2
RetirementsAriane 1
Space Shuttle Challenger
Crewed flights
Orbital2
Total travellers9

The year also saw numerous fly-bys of Halley's Comet as well as other successes.

LaunchesEdit

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks

JanuaryEdit

12 January
11:55
 Space Shuttle Columbia  Kennedy LC-39A  United Space Alliance
 STS-61-C NASA Low Earth Satellite deployment 18 January
13:58
Successful
 Satcom K1 RCA Americom Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Successful
 MSL-2 NASA Low Earth (Columbia) Microgravity experiments 18 January
13:58
Successful
 Getaway Special Bridge NASA Low Earth (Columbia) Getaway Special carrier 18 January
13:58
Successful
Crewed orbital flight with seven astronauts; Maiden flight of the Getaway Special Bridge
28 January
16:38
 Space Shuttle Challenger  Kennedy LC-39B  United Space Alliance
 STS-51-L NASA Intended: Low Earth Satellite deployment + 73 seconds Launch failure
 TDRS-B NASA Intended: Geosynchronous Communications
 SPARTAN 203 NASA Intended: Low Earth Examine Halley's Comet
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster; Vehicle disintegrated at + 73 seconds from an O-ring failure in the right SRB.
All seven astronauts were killed, including Christa McAuliffe, the intended first Teacher in Space.
First Shuttle launch from LC-39B.

FebruaryEdit

9 February
10:06
 Atlas H  Vandenberg SLC-3E  
 USA-15 (NOSS-8) US Navy Low Earth SIGINT In orbit Successful
 USA-16 (NOSS) US Navy Low Earth SIGINT In orbit Successful
 USA-17 (NOSS) US Navy Low Earth SIGINT In orbit Successful
 USA-18 (NOSS) US Navy Low Earth SIGINT In orbit Successful
19 February
21:28
 Proton-K  Baikonur Site 200/39  
 DOS-7 (Mir Core) Low Earth (Mir) Space station 23 March 2001
05:07
Successful
Core module of the Mir space station
22 February
01:44
 Ariane 1  Kourou ELA  Arianespace
 SPOT 1 CNES Sun-synchronous Earth observation In orbit Successful
 Viking SSC Sun-synchronous Plasma research In orbit Successful
Final flight of Ariane 1
SPOT 1 retired on 31 December 1990 and orbit was lowered to a disposal orbit in 2003
Viking is the first Swedish satellite, and operations concluded on 12 May 1987

MarchEdit

13 March
12:33
 Soyuz-U2  Baikonur Site 1/5  
 Soyuz T-15 Low Earth
(Salyut 7 and Mir)
Salyut 7 EO-5
Mir EO-1
16 July
12:34
Successful
Crewed orbital flight with two cosmonauts; Final crewed spaceflight to Salyut 7 and the first to Mir.
Final flight of the Soyuz-T spacecraft.
Only spacecraft to dock with two space stations during one flight.
19 March
10:08
 Soyuz-U2  Baikonur Site 1/5  
 Progress 25 Low Earth (Mir) Logistics 21 April
00:48
Successful
28 March
23:30
 Ariane 3  Kourou ELA  Arianespace
 GStar 2 GTE Spacenet Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Successful
 Brasilsat-A2 Embratel Current: Graveyard
Operational: Geosynchronous
Communications In orbit Successful
Brasilsat-A2 was retired on 6 March 2004 and moved 200 kilometres (120 mi) higher to a graveyard orbit

AprilEdit

18 April
17:45
 Titan 34D  Vandenberg SLC-4E  
 KH-9-20 NRO Intended: Sun-synchronous Reconnaissance + 8.5 seconds Launch Failure
 SSF-D-6 NRO Intended: Sun-synchronous ELINT
SRM burnthrough, exploded 8.5 seconds after launch
Final flight of the KH-9 spacecraft
23 April
19:40
 Soyuz-U2  Baikonur Site 1/5  
 Progress 26 Low Earth (Mir) Logistics 23 June
18:41
Successful

MayEdit

3 May
22:18
 Delta 3914  Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 17A  McDonnell Douglas
 GOES-G NOAA, NASA Geostationary Weather satellite 3 May Launch Failure
Rocket destroyed 71 sec. after liftoff due to engine shutdown; First launch from CCAFS after Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
21 May
08:21
 Soyuz-U2  Baikonur Site 1/5  
 Soyuz TM-1 Low Earth (Mir) Test flight 30 May
04:26
Successful
Maiden flight of Soyuz-TM spacecraft; Uncrewed test flight
31 May
00:53
 Ariane 2  Kourou ELA  Arianespace
 Intelsat 514 Intelsat Intended: Geosynchronous Communications 31 May Launch Failure
Maiden flight of Ariane 2; Third stage failed to ignite

AugustEdit

28 August
08:02
 Molniya-M/2BL  Plesetsk Site 16/2  
 Kosmos 1774 (Oko) Molniya Missile defence 2 November 2010
15:14
Successful

SeptemberEdit

17 September
15:52
 Atlas E/Star-37S-ISS  Vandenberg SLC-3W  
 NOAA-10 (NOAA-G) NOAA Sun-synchronous Meteorology In orbit Successful

NovemberEdit

14 November
00:23
 Scout G-1  Vandenberg SLC-5  US Air Force
 Polar BEAR P87-1 US Air Force/STP Low Earth (Polar) In orbit Successful

DecemberEdit

5 December
02:30
 Atlas G  Cape Canaveral LC-36B  
 USA-20 (FLTSATCOM 7) US Navy Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Successful

Deep space rendezvousEdit

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
24 January Voyager 2 Flyby of Uranus Closest approach: 71,000 kilometres (44,000 mi)
6 March Vega 1 Flyby of Halley's Comet Closest approach: 8,890 kilometres (5,520 mi)
8 March Suisei Flyby of Halley's Comet Closest approach: 151,000 kilometres (94,000 mi)
9 March Vega 2 Flyby of Halley's Comet Closest approach: 8,030 kilometres (4,990 mi)
11 March Sakigake Distant flyby of Halley's Comet Closest approach: 6,990,000 kilometres (4,340,000 mi)
14 March Giotto Flyby of Halley's Comet Closest approach: 595 kilometres (370 mi)

EVAsEdit

Start date/time Duration End time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
28 May
05:43
3 hours
50 minutes
09:33 Salyut 7 EO-5  Leonid Kizim
 Vladimir Solovyov
Retrieved test panels from the outside of Salyut 7 and assembled a test "girder-constructor" apparatus in preparation for work on Mir.
31 May
04:57
5 hours 09:57 Salyut 7 EO-5  Leonid Kizim
 Vladimir Solovyov
Conducted additional tests on the experimental construction equipment, including the welding of several girders joints.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "NASA - STS-51L Mission Profile". NASA.gov. NASA. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Mission Archives: STS-61-C". NASA.gov. NASA. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Mission Archives: STS-26". NASA.gov. NASA. Retrieved 19 February 2017.


Preceded by
1985
Timeline of spaceflight
1986
Succeeded by
1987