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

Jan 16

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

Mariner Crater on Mars

Mariner Crater on Mars

Highland Craters

Highland Craters

Mars Image given to President Johnson

Mars Image given to President Johnson

Dec 19

Space Rocket History #43 – Ranger-7, Nimbus-1, European Space Organizations, and Christmas From the Moon

You may recall from episode 32 Ranger- 4 was the first  U.S. spacecraft to reach another celestial body. However, Ranger-4 failed it primary mission of returning pictures from the moon…

The Moon From Ranger-7

The Moon From Ranger-7

The Moon From Ranger-7

The Moon From Ranger-7

Ranger-7

Ranger-7  Block III Design

Nimbus-1

Nimbus-1

Lucky Peanuts

Lucky Peanuts By Dave

 

ERSO Logo

ERSO Logo

Nov 07

Space Rocket History #37 – Flight of Faith 7, Mercury-Atlas 9 with Gordon Cooper

Mercury-Atlas 9 was the fourth and final manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The flight objectives were to:
(1) evaluate the effects on the astronaut of approximately one day in orbital flight;
(2) verify that man can function for an extended period in space as a primary operating system of the spacecraft; and,
(3) evaluate in a manned one-day mission the combined performance of the astronaut and a Mercury spacecraft specifically modified for the mission…

L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

Mercury-Atlas 9

Mercury-Atlas 9

Shephard's Joke

Shephard’s Joke

Tibet From Orbit

Tibet From Orbit

TV Broadcast

TV Broadcast

USS Kearsarge

USS Kearsarge