Feb 13

Space Rocket History #289 – Apollo 13 – Splashdown

“During blackout every team member does his own soul searching, reviewing the decisions and the data, knowing they had to be nearly perfect and knowing how tough perfection is.” Gene Kranz

Feb 06

Space Rocket History #288 – Apollo 13 – Re-entry

To Kranz and his team, this crew was special. They just could not lose them.  Failure was not an option.

Jan 30

Space Rocket History #287 – Apollo 13 – Separation Anxiety

Three hours before dawn, Gene Kranz’ White Team took its place next to Windler’s Maroon Team controllers. The eighty hours of uncertainty were now past and mission control was down to Apollo 13’s final shift.

Jan 23

In Honor of China’s Moon Lander Chang’e-4 – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #18 – Luna 2 and 3

While the Mercury 7 were fulfilling their roles as symbols of space exploration, Korolev was once again offering the real thing. He now prepared to undertake the most demanding mission yet. The mission that would accomplish the next step in Korolev’s program of lunar exploration. He would attempt to photograph the far side of the moon.

Luna_2_Soviet_moon_probe
Luna 2
Luna2Attached to Rocket
Luna 2 Attached to Rocket
Luna_3_moon
Far Side of the Moon Photographed by Luna 3
Lunik_3
Luna 3
434px-Soviet_Union-1959-stamp-photo_of_moon
Luna 3 Stamp
Jan 16

Space Rocket History #286 – Apollo 13 – I Want My Power Up Checklist. Now!

As If there were not enough problems, Houston still had not completed the command module power up checklist.

Jan 09

Space Rocket History #285 – Apollo 13 – More Problems

From beneath the Lunar Modules floor there was a thud, then a hiss, then another thump that vibrated through the cabin.

Jan 02

Space Rocket History #284 – Apollo 13 – Mid-course Correction

Swigert counted down five, four, three, two, one.” 
Lovell pressed the big red engine button set in the bulkhead and once again felt the vibration below his feet. 
“Ignition,” Lovell said to his crew-mates.

Arnold Aldrich
Ken Mattingly & Joe Kerwin
Vance Brand & Jack Lousma

Dec 26

Space Rocket History #283 – Apollo 13 – Encouragement from the President

In the White House, President Nixon was very concerned for the Apollo 13 crew. Since Apollo 8’s successful lunar orbit, just one month before his inauguration, Nixon had developed a fascination with moon flight and a special admiration for the crew of that first circumlunar trip.

A phone call from Nixon

The Lovell family

Apollo 8 Crew