Saturday, February 27, 2010

DBTL 67: And I Think It's Gonna Be a Long Long Time

The Times, London
8 August 1955

Lublin, Poland -- Today a new chapter in human history was written when the Joint Anglo-Polish Space Programme announced the successful completion of the first manned flight into outer space.

Piloting 'Alpha,' the ground-to-orbit rocketplane, was Royal Aerospace Force Rocketman Enoch Powell. Piloting 'Beta,' the orbital spaceship, was Polish Spacewoman Hanna Reitsch.

The compound spacecraft remained in orbit for seven hours and forty-four minutes, during which time Spacewoman Reitsch separated 'Beta' and flew it a distance of 500 meters before returning and successfully redocking with 'Alpha.' The spacecraft made a total of five complete orbits of the Earth before Rocketman Powell successfully brought the reunited spacecraft back to the landing field north of Lublin.

Polish President Edward Raczyński and Prime Minister Walter Citrine were both on hand in Lublin to welcome back the returning pilots. Mr. Citrine called the flight 'a triumph for Britain, Poland and the world' and Count Raczyński praised the courage of the pilots and the ingenuity of the scientists and engineers of the Project.

Project Director Werner von Braun confirmed that a second test flight is scheduled for October. Plans call for a series of flights next year to begin construction of a space station which will serve as a base for an eventual expedition to the moon.

No comments: