Mar 05

Space Rocket History #103 – Saturn Development 1957 – 1960

Many historians agree, the U.S. took its first step toward the moon in the spring of 1957, four years before President Kennedy declared the national goal of landing a man on the Moon, and returning him safely to the Earth. While still preparing for the launch of its first Jupiter (May 31 1957), the Army rocket team at Huntsville, Alabama, began studies of a booster ten times more powerful than the 150,000-pound thrust Jupiter…

Configuration of a Clustered Booster

Clustered Booster

Thor-Jupiter Engine

Thor-Jupiter Engine

Early H-1 Engine

Early H-1 Engine

Launch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral

Launch Complex 34 Cape Canaveral

Saturn B

Proposed Saturn B Rocket

Saturn C

Proposed Saturn C Rocket

Saturn with Titan & Atlas Upper Stages

Saturn with Titan & Atlas Upper Stages

Saturn C-1 and Earlier Vehicles

Saturn C-1 and Earlier Vehicles

Proposed Saturn C-2

Proposed Saturn C-2 Rocket

Booster Stage (S-I)

Booster Stage (S-I)

Second Stage (S-IV)

Second Stage (S-IV)

Jan 29

Space Rocket History #98 – Apollo Beginnings

President Kennedy proposed the manned lunar landing as the focus of the US space program but, at the time of his address, only one American, Alan B. Shepard, Jr. had been into space, on a suborbital lob shot lasting 15 minutes. No rocket launch vehicle was available for a lunar voyage and there was no agreed upon method for placing any kind of spacecraft safely on the lunar surface and getting it back to the earth. Nor was there agreement within NASA itself on how it should be done.

Astronauts leave the spacecraft to investigate the lunar surface.

Astronauts leave the spacecraft to investigate the lunar surface.

The return vehicle takes off from the moon.

The return vehicle takes off from the moon.

The reentry vehicle begins to enter the atmosphere after jettisoning the propulsion unit.

The reentry vehicle begins to enter the atmosphere after jettisoning the propulsion unit.

Mar 06

Space Rocket History #53 – Gemini 2 – Part 1

The bright outlook that was prevalent in April turned dark in the late summer of 1964 when a series of natural disasters struck the Cape. First lightning, then hurricanes, damaged the Gemini 2 launch vehicle to delay its flight long past the scheduled time.  Even if the weather had been perfect, McDonnell’s difficulties in getting Spacecraft 2 ready to fly might have compromised the schedule on its own…

Mercury vs. Gemini

Mercury vs. Gemini

Retrograde Adapter

Retrograde Adapter

Ejection

Ejection

First Stage of GLV-2

First Stage of GLV-2

Instrumentation Pallets in Astronaut Seats

Instrumentation instead of Astronauts

Gemini 2 Launch

Gemini 2 Launch

Feb 20

Space Rocket History #51 – Gemini 1 – Test Flight – Part 1

The primary objective of the first Gemini mission, was to prove that the Titan II was capable of launching the Gemini spacecraft into orbit within the tolerances imposed by manned space flight. The secondary objective was for the spacecraft to gather and report data.”

Sequence Compatibility Firing of the two stages of Gemini launch vehicle 1 at pad 19, Jan. 21,1964

Sequence Compatibility Firing of the two stages of Gemini launch vehicle 1 at pad 19, Jan. 21,1964

Gemini-Titan 1 during Electronic-Electrical Interference Tests with the launch vehicle erector lowered

Gemini-Titan 1 during Electronic-Electrical Interference Tests with the launch vehicle erector lowered

Gemini boilerplate 3A in the production area at the McDonnell plant before being shipped to Weber Aircraft

Gemini boilerplate 3A in the production area at the McDonnell plant before being shipped to Weber Aircraft

Feb 12

Space Rocket History #50 – Blue Gemini – 1963

“Blue Gemini” was the tag name for an Air Force manned space flight program to develop rendezvous, docking, and transfer for military purposes, using Gemini-type spacecraft. The concept became firmer in June, when the Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) began working on plans to use Gemini hardware as the first step in a new Air Force man-in-space program called Mods (Manned Orbital Development System), a kind of military space station with Gemini spacecraft as ferry vehicles…

Titan II Test Flight

Titan II Test Flight

Ballute Stabilization Device

Ballute Device

Sled Test

Sled Test

POGO Suppression Eq.

POGO Suppression Eq.

Astronaut Desert Training

Astronaut Desert Training

By Dave

By Dave