Jan 17

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #188 – Apollo 10 – Command Module Pilot John Young

John Young enjoyed the longest career of any astronaut thus far. Over the course of 42 years of active NASA service he made six space flights and is the only person to have piloted, and been commander of four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle.

John Young training in the CM simulator

John Young training in the CM simulator

John Young looking at the flight plan

John Young looking at the flight plan

John Young suiting up

John Young suiting up

Jan 10

Space Rocket History #239 – Apollo 12 – Commander Charles Conrad – Part 2

Pete Conrad joined NASA as part of the second group of astronauts, known as the New Nine, on September 17, 1962. He was regarded as one of the best pilots in the group, and was among the first of his group to be assigned a Gemini mission.

Conrad (right) with his Gemini 11 crewmate Dick Gordon, following their flight

Conrad descends the Lunar Module ladder, moments before becoming the third human to walk on the Moon

Conrad undergoes dental exam by Skylab 2 Science Pilot, Dr. Joseph P. Kerwin, M.D.

Jan 03

Space Rocket History #238 – Apollo 12 – Commander Charles Conrad – Part 1

The third man to walk on the moon, Charles Conrad Jr. was born on June 2, 1930, in Philadelphia, to Charles and Frances Conrad. He was their third child and their first son.

Charles “Peter” Conrad

Pete Conrad and his submersible family

Pete and Jane

Dec 20

Space Rocket History #237 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean – The Artist

After completing a four-year tour of duty, he attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. He trained under the direction of Pete Conrad, who would later become Commander of the Apollo 12 moon flight, and who would be instrumental in getting Bean assigned to that mission.

Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean

Alan Bean shaving on Skylab 2

The artist Alan Bean

Dec 13

Space Rocket History #236 – Apollo 12 – Command Module Pilot Richard “Dick” Gordon

After graduating from the University of Washington, Gordon joined the US Navy, and after his first exposure to planes decided to become a pilot. Gordon said “Once I found what the airplane could do for me, or I could do for it, it was love at first sight.”

Richard Gordon Gemini photo

Richard Gordon on Gemini 11

Dick Gordon circled with Apollo behind

Dec 06

Space Rocket History #235 – Apollo 12 – Introduction

At NASA Headquarters, George Mueller and other planners created a far-reaching plan that Administrator Paine made even more ambitious in adapting it for Nixon’s Space Task Group. The task group’s timetable called for a twelve-man space station and a reusable space shuttle as early as 1975. By 1980, the station would have grown into a fifty-man space base; five years later there would be a hundred men in orbit. Meanwhile, there would be a base in lunar orbit by 1976, with a base on the lunar surface two years later. Then, as early as 1981, the first manned expedition to Mars would depart from earth orbit.

Apollo 12 Insignia

Crew of Apollo 12. Conrad, Gordon & Bean

Surveyor 3 on the Moon

Nov 29

Space Rocket History #234 – Soyuz 6, 7, and 8 – Part 2 -The Vulcan Device

The Vulcan device consisted of two major units. The first unit included various welding devices and a turn-table with samples of metals to be welded. The second unit consisted of an electric power pack, a protective shield which covered the welding unit, and a remote control console.

The crew of Soyuz 8

Launch of Soyuz 8

The Vulcan device

Nov 22

Space Rocket History #233 – Soyuz 6, 7, and 8 with Shonin, Kubasov, Filipchenko, Volkov, Gorbatko, Shatalov, Yeliseyev – Part 1

Finally, on April 25, 1969 during a meeting of the Soyuz State Commission, it was decided that the solo and docking flights outlined for 1969 by design bureau OKB-1 would be combined into a joint flight of three spacecraft.  The plan was to fly Soyuz 6, 7, and 8 together in August of 1969; Soyuz 7 and 8 would dock and 6 would rendezvous with the docked pair and take pictures of it as well as perform a welding experiment.

Georgy Stepanovich Shonin, Commander of Soyuz 6

Valeri Nikolayevich Kubasov, Flight Engineer for Soyuz 6

Crew of Soyuz 7