Jun 20

Space Rocket History #259 – Apollo 13 – Introduction – Part 2

Just before the mission began things started to go wrong. The weekend before launch Charlie Duke, the backup lunar module pilot, came down with a case of German measles.

The original crew of Apollo 13

Apollo 13 backup crew

Apollo 13 actual crew, Lovell, Swigert, Haise

Jun 13

Space Rocket History #258 – Apollo 13 – Introduction – Part 1

Targeted for touchdown on the third lunar landing was a place known as the Fra Mauro range, a stretch of rugged, Appalachian-type mounds 110 miles east of the Apollo 12 landing site.

Apollo 13 Mission Patch

The planned destination of Apollo 13, Fra Mauro

Apollo 13 insignia

Jun 06

Space Rocket History #257 – Apollo 12 – Return, Re-entry and Splashdown

Ten days ago, their Saturn V rocket had blasted Bean and his crew mates out of earth’s gravitational pull. Now their home planet was pulling them back at more than 24,000 miles per hour, twelve times faster than a high-speed rifle bullet. “Boy,” said Bean, “we are really hauling!”

Apollo 12 splashdown

Apollo 12 recovery

Apollo 12 mobile quarantine

May 30

Space Rocket History #256 – Apollo 12 – Leaving the Moon

Dick Gordon opened the tunnel to Intrepid, saw his companions floating in a dirty cloud of moon dust, and slammed the hatch closed. He called out, “You guys ain’t gonna mess up my nice clean spacecraft!”

LM Rendezvous Radar and CSM Target Orientation

LM docking with CM over the Moon

Intrepid descent stage

May 23

Space Rocket History #255 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Liftoff

After a total of 31.6 hours on the moon, the Lunar Module ascent stage fired for about 7 minutes placing Intrepid into an orbit of 10 miles by 54 miles.

Post EVA 2 checklist

Pan view out of Intrepid’s windows

Post EVA Cabin Cleanup Checklist

May 16

An Encore Presentation of the Space Rocket History #122 – Apollo: Serious Problems with the Lunar Module and Grumman

Toward the end of January 1967, it was revealed that Lunar Module 1 would not reach the Cape in February, as expected. This meant, the moon landing might be delayed because the lander was not ready. But the mission planners could not wait for the Apollo engineers to iron out all the problems. They had to plan for a landing in 1969 and hope that the hardware would catch up with them.

Lunar Module Diagram

Lunar Module Diagram

John Disher Explains the Components of the Apollo Program

John Disher Explains Apollo Components

Lunar Module Test Article LTA-2R

Lunar Module Test Article LTA-2R

May 09

Space Rocket History #254 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 5 – Blocky Crater & Closeout

Conrad and Bean now walked north, up Surveyor Crater’s 14 degree slope. Fatigue set in as Pete and Al walked up the crater wall. The hand tool carrier was nearly full of rocks now and Bean felt the full weight of it.

Partial Panorama of Blocky Crater with LM in the background

“Fun is Wherever You Find it” by Al Bean

Back inside Intrepid

May 02

Space Rocket History #253 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 4 – Surveyor Crater & Surveyor 3

Surveyor 3 was now to their right, 300 feet away, gleaming in the morning sunlight. Antennas and sensors still reached upward from its tubular frame, just as they had on April 20, 1967, when the spacecraft thumped onto the moon amid blasts from its braking rockets.

Approaching Surveyor 3 with LM in background

“The Fabulous Photo We Never Took.” by Alan Bean

Al Bean, Surveyor 3, and Intrepid