Events Of The Day In History
World's 1st Moon Probe, US's Thor-Able, Explodes At T +77 Sec
(AZADI KE PANKH CREATIONS )
|Events Of The Day In History|
The Pioneer 0 (also known as Thor-Able 1) probe was designed to go into orbit around the Moon and carried a TV camera and other instruments as part of the first International Geophysical year (IGY) science payload. It was the first attempt by the USA at a lunar mission, and the first attempted launch beyond Earth orbit by any country.
It was launched on August 15, 1958 by the United States Air Force, but the spacecraft was destroyed by an explosion of the first (Thor booster) stage 77 seconds after launch at 16 km altitude, 16 km downrange over the Atlantic. Failure was suspected to be due to a ruptured fuel or oxygen line or a faulty turbopump gearbox. Erratic telemetry signals were received from the payload and upper stages for 123 seconds after the explosion, and the upper stages were tracked to impact in the ocean. The original plan was for the spacecraft to travel for 2.6 days to the Moon at which time a TX-8-6 solid propellant motor would fire to put it into a 29,000 km lunar orbit which was to nominally last for about two weeks.
Pioneer 0, 1, and 2 were the United States' first lunar attempts. These identical spacecraft, which all failed to meet their lunar objectives, were followed by Pioneer 3 and 4, which succeeded in becoming America's first successful lunar missions.