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

Dec 19

Space Rocket History #282 – Apollo 13 – Battery #2

At the manned spacecraft center in Houston, Don Arabian was in Building 45 when battery number two in Aquarius’ descent stage exploded.

Supercritical Helium (SHe) Tank

LM power system with Battery 2 circled

Don Arabian in 2015

Dec 12

Space Rocket History #281 – Apollo 13 – Homeward Bound

There was now cause for optimism in Mission Control. At the TELMU station, where the Lunar Module’s environmental signs were being continually monitored, the readings of the carbon dioxide concentrations aboard Aquarius were steadily dropping all day long.

Jack Lousma – One of the Capcoms for Apollo 13

Vance Brand (standing right) another Capcom for Apollo 13

Taken by Apollo 13 on the way home

Dec 05

In Honor of NASA Mars Probe “InSight” – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #46 – Mariner 4

Mariner 4’s primary objective was to conduct closeup scientific observations of Mars and to transmit these observations to Earth. Additional goals included performing field and particle measurements in interplanetary space, and providing experience and knowledge of engineering capabilities for interplanetary flights of long duration…

Mariner 4

Mariner 4

Launch on Atlas-Agena

Launch on Atlas-Agena

Mariner 4's Photo Path

Mariner 4’s Photo Path