Feb 21

Space Rocket History #244 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Orbit

At 83 hours mission elapsed time, the long lunar coast was almost over. It was time for the lunar orbit insertion burn. This burn would put Yankee Clipper and Intrepid into lunar orbit.

Earthrise from Apollo 12

Apollo 12 – Snowman landing site

Rough Moon topography

Feb 14

Space Rocket History #243 – Apollo 12 – TLI and the Coast

It was impossible to check out the entire spacecraft; that could only be done on the ground. In the short time available, Griffin’s team ran a pre-maneuver check list, re-aligned the CSM platform, and discussed proceeding with the mission with the crew.

Apollo 12 in Earth orbit

Apollo 12 CM docking with LM

Apollo 12 leaving Earth

Feb 07

Space Rocket History #242 – Apollo 12 – The Launch Part 2

John Aaron’s (EECOM) next call made him a legend in Mission Control. He said quickly and confidently, “Flight, try S-C-E to Aux.”

Lighting strikes Apollo 12

The lightning bolt that struck Apollo 12 aloft also hit the crane and platform of the mobile launch pad

John Aaron, the environmental control engineer (EECOM) for Apollo 12 launch

Jan 31

Space Rocket History #241 – Apollo 12 – The Launch Part 1

It was 68 degrees, overcast, and raining at Cape Kennedy on November 14, 1969. The ceiling was 2,100 feet and the winds were light. There was some discussion, while the astronauts were suiting-up, of scrubbing the launch, but that would mean ramping this whole thing down, draining every drop of fuel out of the Saturn, and sitting on their hands for a twenty-eight-day hold.

Pres. Nixon at the Apollo 12 launch

Crew on the way to the launch pad

Launch of Apollo 12

Dec 06

Space Rocket History #235 – Apollo 12 – Introduction

At NASA Headquarters, George Mueller and other planners created a far-reaching plan that Administrator Paine made even more ambitious in adapting it for Nixon’s Space Task Group. The task group’s timetable called for a twelve-man space station and a reusable space shuttle as early as 1975. By 1980, the station would have grown into a fifty-man space base; five years later there would be a hundred men in orbit. Meanwhile, there would be a base in lunar orbit by 1976, with a base on the lunar surface two years later. Then, as early as 1981, the first manned expedition to Mars would depart from earth orbit.

Apollo 12 Insignia

Crew of Apollo 12. Conrad, Gordon & Bean

Surveyor 3 on the Moon

Nov 13

Space Rocket History #88 – Gemini XII With Jim Lovell and and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin – Part 3

We left off last week after Buzz Aldrin’s third and final EVA. The hard work for the Gemini 12 mission was now complete.  Even with the problems with the radar, the Agena main engines, and the fuel cells, Gemini XII as a whole had gone very well…

G12 Animated Gif

G12 Animated Gif

G12 into the Sun

G12 into the Sun

Aldrin & Lovell on Wasp

Aldrin & Lovell on Wasp

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Nov 06

Space Rocket History #87 – Gemini XII With Jim Lovell and and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin – Part 2

In space, Jim and Buzz began to wonder if everything had been shut down too soon. For 25 minutes, with one brief exception, they heard nothing from the ground. The Ascension Island tracking station had the wrong acquisition time, so its communicators had not talked with the astronauts…

G12 Nose

G12 Nose

Buzz hanging out

Buzz hanging out

Agena on Tether

Agena on Tether