May 15

Space Rocket History #63 – Gemini V with Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad – 8 Days or Bust -Part 1

By this time the Astronauts were thinking about a nickname for their spacecraft, but NASA Headquarters now officially refused to allow nicknames for Gemini spacecraft. However, Gordo Cooper was not so easily put off. Pete Conrad’s father-in-law had whittled a model covered wagon, which inspired Cooper with the idea for a crew patch, that would depict a covered wagon, emblazoned with the legend “Eight Days or Bust.” A personal appeal to NASA Administrator Webb led, after much discussion, to approval of the “Cooper patch.” But Webb greatly disliked the motto because he believed if the mission did not go the full eight days, people would say it had “busted.”

Cockpit Pre-launch

Cockpit Pre-launch

Pete and Gordo

Pete and Gordo

The Patch

The Patch

Launch

Launch

Radar Pod

Radar Pod

By Dave

By Dave

May 08

Space Rocket History #62 – Gemini IV with James McDivitt and Edward White – The Duration – Part 3

On orbit 48, after 75 hours of flight a problem arose. During a pass over the continental US the flight computer was updated. McDivitt was told to switch off the computer. He flipped the switch but the computer did not turn off. On the ground at mission control, efforts to solve the problem began immediately. For the next few orbits, the crew received instructions for trying different switch positions, after all the switching the computer finally failed entirely and could not be turned back on. Now the astronauts would have to resort to a rolling Mercury-type reentry, rather than the lifting bank angle the computer was supposed to help them achieve…

Space Food

Space Food

Water Gun, Scissors

Water Gun, Scissors

After Splashdown

After Splashdown

Boarding the Wasp

Boarding the Wasp

G4 On Display

G4 On Display

Mission Button

Mission Button

May 01

Space Rocket History #61 – Gemini IV with James McDivitt and Edward White – America’s First Spacewalk – Part 2

For the first time Television coverage of the launch had an international audience, as the scene was broadcast to 12 European nations via Intelsat 1 aka the Early Bird satellite of episode 59. Heightened by the prospect of an EVA and the first use of the new Mission Control Center in Houston, interest in Gemini IV reached levels never again matched in the Gemini program…

GT-IV Launch

GT-IV Launch

Zip Gun

Zip Gun

Ed White

Ed White

Ed White

Ed White

By Dave

By Dave

Apr 24

Space Rocket History #60 – Gemini IV with James McDivitt and Edward White – Part 1

The success of Gus Grissom and John Young’s Gemini 3 flight paved the way for long duration space missions. The longest U.S. manned space flight to date was Gordon Cooper’s 34 hour Mercury flight. The Soviets, however, had four long duration flights to their credit, ranging from 70 to 119 hours. It was time for the US to attempt a long duration flight.

James A. McDivitt

James A. McDivitt

Edward White II

Edward White II

Gemini 4 Astronauts

Gemini 4 Crew

Apr 17

Space Rocket History #59 – Ranger 8-9, and Intelsat I

In total Ranger 9 transmitted 5,814 good contrast photographs during the final 19 minutes of flight. The last image taken before impact had a resolution of 0.3 meters per pixel. The spacecraft encountered the lunar surface after 64.5 hours of flight.  Impact occurred at 14:08:19 UT right on target in the Alphonsus crater. Impact velocity was 2.67 km/s. The spacecraft performance was excellent.

Ranger Block 3 Design

Ranger Block 3 Design

Ranger 8 Launch

Ranger 8 Launch

First Ranger 8 Pic

First Ranger 8 Pic

Sea of Tranquillity

Sea of Tranquillity

By Dave.

By Dave.

Rilles on Alphonus Crater

Rilles on Alphonus Crater

Intelsat I (Early Bird)

Intelsat I (Early Bird)

Delta-D with Intelsat I

Delta-D with Intelsat I

Apr 10

Space Rocket History #58 – Corned Beef Controversy – Gemini 3 with Gus Grissom and John Young – Part 2

Grissom – What is it?
Young: Corned beef sandwich.
Grissom: Where did it come from?
Young: I brought it with me. Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it.
Grissom: Yes, its breaking up. I’m going to stick it in my pocket.
Young: Is it? It was a thought, anyway.
Grissom: Yep.
Young: Not a very good one.
Grissom: Pretty good, thought, if it would just hold together.
Young: Want some chicken leg?
Grissom: No you can handle that.

Launch of GLV-3

Launch of GLV-3

Staging

Staging

View from G3

View from G3

Recovery

Recovery

Carrier Recovery

Carrier Recovery

By Dave.

By Dave.

Apr 03

Space Rocket History #57 – First Gemini Manned Mission – Gemini 3 with Gus Grissom and John Young

The precise scope of the Gemini 3 mission remained uncertain until very nearly the eve of flight. In April of 1963, the GT-3 mission directive was “to demonstrate and evaluate the capabilities of the spacecraft and launch vehicle system, and the procedures necessary for the support of future long-duration and rendezvous missions.”  But, that was a broad scope and did not clearly specified how GT-3 would accomplish it objective…

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Young - Grissom

Young – Grissom

Water Training

Water Training

Young & Grissom

Young & Grissom

John Young

John Young

Control Panel

Control Panel

Mar 27

Space Rocket History #56 – First Space Walk – Voskhod 2 with Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev – Part 2

Leonov opened the airlocks outer hatch He was positioned on his “back” and this orientation revealed the beauty of earth in its entirety.  His heart began to race as he pushed his upper body outside and saw the deep blue vista of the Mediterranean Sea, fringed by the easily recognizable shapes of Greece and Italy and, farther east, the Crimea, the Caucasus Mountains, and the Volga River…

EVA

EVA

EVA

EVA

GPN-2002-000176

EVA

Celebration

Celebration

Descent Module

Descent Module

Stamp

Stamp