Sep 13

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #26 – Why the Moon?

“We have been plunged into a race for the conquest of outer space. As a reason for this undertaking some look to the new and exciting scientific discoveries which are certain to be made. Others feel the challenge to transport man beyond frontiers he scarcely dared dream about until now. But at present the most impelling reason for our effort has been the international political situation which demands that we demonstrate our technological capabilities if we are to maintain our position of leadership. For all of these reasons we have embarked on a complex and costly adventure. It is the purpose of this report to clarify the goals, the missions and the costs of this effort in the foreseeable future, particularly with regard to the man-in-space program.” From 1960 Ad Hoc Panel on Man-In-Space.

JFK Houston

JFK at NASA Houston

413px-John_F._Kennedy_speaks_at_Rice_University

JFK Rice University

1962

JFK Congress Address

Sep 06

Space Rocket History #223 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 1

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Silently and carefully, Armstrong raised his left boot over the lip of the footpad and lowered it to the dust. Immediately he tested his weight, bouncing in the gentle gravity, and when he felt firm ground, he was still, one foot on the last vestige of earthly things, the other on the moon. Then he spoke:

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong descending the ladder

Neil on the footpad, about to step on the moon

Buzz descending the ladder

Aug 30

Space Rocket History #222 – Apollo 11 – Post Landing & EVA Prep

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Inside the Eagle Buzz and Neil knew every second was crucial. The T1 time was only 2 minutes so They hastily ran down through their checklists, preparing as though they were going to lift off within the two-minute window.

Animated gif of LM shadow before and after landing

Panoramic view of the landing site before and after the Moon walk

Moon suit

 

Aug 23

Space Rocket History #221 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 3

“Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

Capcom Charlie Duke after the landing

The view from Eagle. No footprints yet

International Herald Tribune, July 21, 1969

Aug 16

Space Rocket History #220 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 2

Suddenly, Buzz and Neil heard the high-pitched sound of the Master Alarm. On the computer display the “PROG” light glowed amber. “Program alarm,” Armstrong radioed. Quickly, Aldrin queried the computer for the alarm code, and “1202” flashed on the display.

Lunar Module computer DSKY

Powered Descent

Top-Steve Bales. Jack Garmin below receiving award from Alan Shepard & George Low

Aug 09

Space Rocket History #219 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 1

The machine-like performance of flight crew and ground controllers continued. Each participant was in perfect harmony with the other, moving to a cadence dictated by the laws of physics and the clock.

Gene Kranz, with his white vest, working at the Flight Director’s console.

Capcom for the Lunar landing Charlie Duke. Jim Lovell and Fred Haise sitting beside him.

Mike Collins took this picture after the LM undocked from the CM.

Aug 02

Space Rocket History #218 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Orbit

As they passed behind the moon, they had just over 8 minutes to go before the burn. They were super-careful now, they checked and rechecked each step several times. It had to be perfect. Just one digit in the computer out of place could send them into a lunar mountain or turn them and send them into orbit around the sun.

Solar corona of the Moon as first seen by Apollo 11 crew

Lunar orbit insertion

Tucson Daily Citizen newspaper July 19, 1969

Jul 26

Space Rocket History #217 – Apollo 11 – Cislunar

What do we call this strange region between earth and moon? Cislunar space is the most common term, Is it day or night?  Humans generally define night as that time when our planet is between our eyes and the sun, so this must be considered constant daytime, But it looks like night out of Command Module’s windows.

The Earth viewed form Apollo 11 during cislunar coast

Entering the Lunar Module for checkout

Buzz Aldrin in the Lunar Module