The Journal of Space Achievement 1963

Recording the events of 1963

Smaug Inc. mourning loss of 4 astronauts

Following the successful launch on the 27th of December by Smaug Inc. of Lawrence Fields, Eric Zevery, Frederick Hagiwara on a Manned Orbital mission, hopes in the organisation were high that the mission would be a complete success. The capsule easily attained its planned orbit and the astronauts engaged in checking out the capsule's systems which were proving to be working fine. At the end of the planned set of orbits the capsule left earth orbit on schedule. However once the capsule started the re-entry phase all contact was lost with the capsule and was never re-established. Telescopic observations, together with appearance of a fireball, have led ground observers to believe that the capsule's heat shield must have some kind of design flaw which led to a failure of the heat shield and the total loss of the capsule. As a result of this disaster Smaug Inc.'s capsule will need to be redesigned.

One other very unfortunate side effect of the loss was a car accident involving another of Smaug Inc.'s astronaut corps. Margaret Reynolds was driving to the first meeting of the committee called to investigate the tragedy when her vehicle was involved in a collision with a tourist bus which had been speeding. Investigators into that accident have denied that the bus had been looking for Smaug Inc.'s launch facilities and have also denied that the tourists were from South Africa1.

As a result of this accident, Smaug Inc. scrubbed its second launch that had been planned to launch just a day after the failed re-entry attempt.

First pictures from Venus

First close up of Venus

SARSA has posted pictures from its successful fly-by of Venus (the planet, not the noted Australian Scientist and Astronaut). Disappointingly the satellite revealed that the cloud is as complete as low resolution pictures from Earth based telescopes. On board sensors report that the clouds seemed to be highly acidic with concentrations of both carbolic and sulphuric acids.

GOSsiP fire crew earn their keep

The launch on the 6th of December of a lunar satellite fly-by mission ended up being a good test of the effectiveness of the fire crews at Julianehåb. The attempt to ignite the two stage rocket which was to have lifted the interplanetary satellite on its way appears to have been overly successful. Instead of igniting the first stage of the rocket, the ignitors appear to have cut through a major portion of the solid fuel propellant, which then fell down out of the rocket and started to burn fiercely. The fire crews based at the launch facility immediately acted to implement their emergency plan to basically dowse the rocket with large chunks from the nearby glacier. Although the rocket and satellite were destroyed the quick actions of the fire crews saved the facility itself from any major damage and the facility remains available for use.

SHADO loses another satellite

Serious doubts over the gung ho attitude of SHADO are being expressed by the organisation's superiors after another satellite (this one an interplanetary satellite aimed to pass by the moon) failed to achieve its initial orbit. The launch had already been delayed twice by problems with the rocket, both resulting from last second aborts in the countdown procedure. After the problem was tracked down to the countdown timer itself, the rocket lifted off perfectly. However once the satellite was released by the rocket at a height of 97 miles all contact with the satellite was immediately lost and its whereabouts remain unknown. Experts suggest that the satellite probably re-entered the Earth's atmosphere within minutes and only small fragments will have made back down to the Earth's surface, probably somewhere over Antarctica.

Astronaut Linnea Larsen of GOSsiP dies in training

Linnea Larsen, who was only hired by GOSsiP a few months ago has been killed in a training accident in the hot pools near Julianehåb. The Scandinavian governments that fund GOSsiP had ordered the organisation not to launch any manned missions until full details of the investigation report has published later this year. While the circumstances of the accident remain murky it is apparent that the safety of the hardware that is actually sent into space has not been questioned, but only the training methods being used have been called into question2.

Smaug Inc. discovered to be using Australian EVA Suits

Experts have been forced to re-evaluate the safety factor of Smaug Inc.'s EVA Suits after the discovery of a spy ring within the Australian Space Agency. Smaug Inc. had apparently been using the Australian research as the basis of their own EVA suits and hence the safety factor of Smaug Inc.'s EVA suits has been reduced to match that of ASA's suits.

ASA has claimed that the discovery of Smaug Inc.'s espionage was the result of beefed security at its launch facility and the related civilian areas of the base including Harold's bar. Apparently Harold's suspicions had been raised when the sales of his Nuclear Fireball cocktails had overtaken those of his more traditional liqueur coffees and had started to approach those of the Amber Nectar.

Trainees hit South African Production

The focus on industrial trainees for the South African space program during 1963 has apparently resulted in problems in the plans for factories to build capsules for the South African program. Although it is expected that the factories themselves can be built next year, contractors say that it will be impossible to run them at full speed3.

Dr. Von Graun moves back to Hawaii

Having discovered that even the Greenland climate is not to his taste, Dr. Von Graun has returned to Hawaii and rejoined SHADO. SHADO expressed their hope that his travel experience will assist him (and SHADO) in their future research efforts4

South African officials deny first strike orders

In a rare statement South African officials have officially denied reports that they ordered SARSA to build and launch a volley of missiles all armed with multiple nuclear armed warheads - It's a complete fabrication and anyway if we did have any such missiles we would need them to deter the Martians that shot down our probe last year.... As this is first time that Martians have been mentioned by the officials suspicions are rising that perhaps something has been discovered by South Africa.

All are welcome to use the new launch facility on the island of Lenur in the Vanatu Islands. This brand new launch facility has been constructed and is managed by SHADO, the premier independent space agency. Rental includes use of the facility and the adjacent beaches (including the beach huts).

Lenur Island Launch Facility

Price on application. SHADO accepts no responsibility for any accidents or problems with the use of the facility. Insurance is the responsibility of the user

Launch Calendar

The provisional calendar for launches planned in 1964 (assuming none of the missions are rushed or scrubbed) is as follows:

5th Dec
10th Dec
15th Dec
20th Dec
Smaug Inc.
22th Dec
Smaug Inc.
29th Dec

Last updated: December 21, 2021 at 19:38 pm
8 Aug 2017
Fix typo


  1. If any of the astronauts involved in these events had been planned to fly in 1964 those missions will be automatically scrubbed if no backup crew is in place. (To be fair since the capsule needs to be re-researched I would expect that any manned missions would be scrubbed away)
  2. If the mission planned by GOSsiP for 1964 is a manned mission it will be automatically scrubbed
  3. No additional capsules can be built by SARSA in 1964 although capsule programs can be started (and will still come with the one free example)
  4. +1 to every R&D die for SHADO during 1964.

Financial summary as of 1st January 1964

Agency Cash in hand Expected Budget for 1965
Smaug Inc. $93,000,000 $97,000,000
SARSA $88,000,000 $93,000,000
GOSsiP $69,000,000 $70,000,000
SHADO $143,500,000 $89,000,000
ASA $142,000,000 $143,000,000

Click on the name of the agency to see details on the agency's safety factors, astronaut roster and hardware stocks.

Comments: 1

  1. David says:

    For those with the Research Animals event note that the monkeys can't perform EVAs or Docking manoeuvres, so are limited to being substitutes in the Manned Sub-Orbital, Manned Orbital or Manned Lunar Pass missions.