Aug 21

Space Rocket History #76 – Tragic Prelude to Gemini IX with Elliot See, Charles Bassett, Tom Stafford, and Gene Cernan

In October 1965, Elliot M. See and Charles A. Bassett II were selected to fly Gemini IX. Chief Astronaut Deke Slayton also told them that their backups would be Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan.  At that time Stafford was copilot for Gemini VI…

Elliot See

Elliot See

Charles Bassett

Charles Bassett

Gemini IX Crew

Gemini IX Crew

Aug 14

Space Rocket History #75 – Luna 10, Surveyor 1, and Lunar Orbiter 1 – Scouting the Moon

In the 1960s, during the cold war, the US and Soviet Union turned their attention to the moon. The question was, who could place a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth first? Obtaining the necessary data on the moon to risk sending a person there was crucial. The US and Soviet Union chose unmanned spacecraft to scout for this information…

Luna 10

Luna 10

Surveyor 1 Mockup

Surveyor 1 Mockup

S1 with Atlas-Centar

Surveyor 1 Launch

Suv Foot Pad on Moon

S 1 Foot Pad on Moon

Suv Shadow on Moon

S 1 Shadow on Moon

Lunar Orbiter 1

Lunar Orbiter 1

First View of Earth from Moon

First View of Earth from Moon

Aug 07

Space Rocket History #74 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 3

Armstrong eased Gemini VIII toward the target at a barely perceptible speed of 8 centimeters per second. Then Armstrong gleefully reported, “Flight, we are docked!” For a brief moment, the flight controllers in Houston did not realize they had really accomplished docking. Then pandemonium broke loose…

Agena from G8

Agena from G8

Docking

Docking

Docking Diagram

Docking Diagram

Recovery

Recovery

G8 Hoisted Aboard

G8 Hoisted Aboard

G8 at Ohio Air & Space Mus.

G8 at Ohio Air & Space Mus.

Jul 30

Space Rocket History #73 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 2

This was the most complex mission attempted to date. The primary mission objectives were to perform rendezvous and four docking tests with the Gemini Agena Target Vehicle (GATV) and to execute an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA)…

Atlas-Agena Launch

Atlas-Agena Launch

Gemini 8 Launch

Gemini 8 Launch

GATV seen from G8

GATV seen from G8

Jul 24

Space Rocket History #72 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 1

On September 20th 1965, NASA named the crew for Gemini VIII. The command pilot selected was Neil Armstrong, a civilian test pilot with much experience in the X-15 rocket research aircraft program. David Scott was selected as pilot.  Scott was the first of the Group 3 astronauts selected for a mission. The backup crew for Gemini VIII, was  Navy Lieutenant Commanders Pete Conrad and Richard F. Gordon, Jr.

Scott & Armstrong

Scott & Armstrong

Armstrong

Armstrong

David Scott

David Scott

Armstrong and Scott

Armstrong and Scott

Armstrong

Armstrong

Armstrong over Korea

Armstrong over Korea

Jul 17

Space Rocket History #71 – Agena vs. the Augmented Target Docking Adapter, with Some EVA Equipment on the Side

Many doubted that Agena could be ready in time to meet Gemini’s tight launch schedules. The end of 1965 saw Agena’s usefulness in manned space flight once again called into question, but this time time a substitute target had already been approved for development…

The Guys

The Guys

Agena

Agena

ATDA

ATDA

Gemini-Agena

Gemini-Agena

Agena Hangar

Agena Hangar

Jul 10

Space Rocket History #70 – Luna 5-9 – Never Give Up

During 1965 through January 1966, several significant Soviet unmanned scientific missions were launched. Five of the missions will be covered in this episode. We will begin with the Soviet Luna program.

Lunas 4-9 Model

Lunas 4-9 Model

Luna lander

Luna lander

Luna 9 Mock-up

Luna 9 Mock-up

Luna 5 Impact point.

Luna 5 Impact point.

Luna 8 Impact point.

Luna 8 Impact point.

Jul 03

Space Rocket History #69 – Zond 3, Venera 3, and Asterix

The Zond program was one of two lunar exploration programs conducted by the Soviet Union to investigate the Moon and its vicinity. The program began in 1964 and ended in 1979. The early Zond’s 1-3 were originally designed for planetary exploration, while the latter Zonds (4-8) were sent on circum lunar flights. Additionally, the latter Zond vehicles were of a totally different in design. They were in fact automated versions of the manned Soyuz spacecraft…

Zond 3

Zond 3

Far Side of the Moon

Far Side of the Moon

Venera 3

Venera 3

Asterix

Asterix

Diament

Diamant

By Dave.

By Dave.

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