Oct 30

Space Rocket History #86 – Gemini XII With Jim Lovell and and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin – Part 1

When the  Gemini IX-A Agena fell into the Atlantic Ocean, Gemini XII was threatened with a major hardware shortage of an Agena and an Atlas to launch it. Replacing the Agena was no real problem. Lockheed’s first production model, 5001, used for development testing at the Cape, had already been sent back to the Sunnyvale plant for refurbishment. Now it was simply a matter of tailoring it to the Gemini XII mission…

G12 Prime Crew

G12 Prime Crew

Prime & Backup Crew

Prime & Backup Crew

Agena 12

Agena 12

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Backup Crew Patch

Backup Crew Patch

Oct 09

Space Rocket History #83 – Gemini XI With Charles (Pete) Conrad and Richard Gordon – Part 1

Some significant goals had been set for the last two Gemini flights. For example, the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office wanted a rendezvous in the first spacecraft orbit, which would simulate lunar orbit rendezvous. There was also interest in linking an Agena to a the Gemini spacecraft by a tether and then spinning the combination to produce some artificial gravity.

Gemini 11 Crew

Gordon & Conrad

Richard Gordon

Richard Gordon

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Sep 25

Space Rocket History #81 – Gemini X with John Young and Mike Collins – Part 2 – Riding the Agena

“At first, the sensation I got was that there was a pop, then there was a big explosion and a clang. We were thrown forward in the seats. We had our shoulder harnesses fastened. Fire and sparks started coming out of the back end of that rascal. The light was something fierce, and the acceleration was pretty good. The vehicle yawed off – I don’t remember whether it was to the right or to the left – but it was the kind of response that the Lockheed people had predicted we would get. . . . The shutdown on the was just unbelievable. It was a quick jolt . . . and the tailoff . . . I never saw anything like that before, sparks and fire and smoke and lights.”  John Young Gemini X.

Gemini X Launch

Gemini X Launch

Agena X

Agena X

Agena Firing

Agena Firing

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

John Young

John Young

Sep 18

Space Rocket History #80 – Gemini X with John Young and Mike Collins – Part 1

Deputy Administrator Seamans wanted a mission review board created to study:
(1) Corrective measures for the Atlas-Agena failure
(2) The guidance update problem that delayed the launch two days
(3) The shroud incident
(4) The suit environmental control difficulties

Gemini X Crew

Gemini X Crew-Collins & Young

Gemini IX to X Handoff

Gemini IX to X Handoff

Mike Collins Suiting Up for Launch

Mike Collins Pre-Launch

Atlas-Agena Prep.

Atlas-Agena Prep.

G10 Atlas-Agena Launch

Gemini X Atlas-Agena Launch

Sep 11

Space Rocket History #79 – Gemini IX-A with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan – Part 3 – EVA

We left off last week with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan completing three rendezvous with the ATDA but, no docking because the shroud was still in place on the Docking Adapter. On June 5, 1966 at 5:30 a.m., nearly 45 hours and 30 minutes into the mission, the crew began preparations for Cernan’s walk in space…

Cernan EVA

Cernan EVA

Splashdown

Splashdown

GIX-A Recovery

GIX-A Recovery

Cernan & Stafford

Cernan & Stafford

Sep 04

Space Rocket History #78 – Gemini IX-A with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan – Part 2 – Rendevouz

As contractors worried about technical problems with the Atlas, Once again NASA, faced the necessity for a quick recovery plan when a target vehicle failed to reach orbit. You may recall the first time was with Gemini 6.  But this time Nasa had something in the hangar, an alternate vehicle – the Augment Target Docking Adapter also known as the  ATDA…

Angry Alligator

Angry Alligator

Stafford in Orbit

Stafford in Orbit

ATDA

ATDA

Aug 28

Space Rocket History #77 – Gemini IX-A with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan – Part 1

After the untimely deaths of Elliot See and Charles Basset, NASA assigned the Gemini IX prime crew positions to Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan.  This was the first time in NASA’s manned space flight history that a backup crew had taken over a mission.  The capsule was renamed Gemini IX-A…

G9-A Patch

G9-A Patch

Agena Launch

Agena Launch

Crew of G9-A, Tom Stafford & Gene Cerenan

Crew of G9-A, Tom Stafford & Gene Cerenan

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