Jun 22

Space Rocket History #166 – Apollo 8 – Translunar Injection

At T plus 40 seconds Apollo 8 went supersonic and the ride smoothed out. Now it was quite again, but Borman kept a watchful eye on the trajectory readouts. If there was a Saturn malfunction he could whisk the capsule away just by twisting the abort handle. This would trigger the escape rocket.

Apollo 8 Lunar Plan

Apollo 8 Lunar Plan

Apollo 8 Staging

Apollo 8 Staging

View from Apollo 8 in Earth orbit

View from Apollo 8 in Earth orbit

Jun 15

Space Rocket History #165 – Apollo 8 – The Launch

Until now the astronauts knew, in the back of their minds, there was a possibility that a malfunction would turn this countdown into just another practice run and they would have to get out and try again another day. But, as the count reached T minus 15 minutes, there was no doubt, they were really going.

Command Module Main Control Panel

Command Module Main Control Panel

Launch of Apollo 8 with Crescent Moon

Launch of Apollo 8 with Crescent Moon

Apollo 8 Clears the Tower

Apollo 8 Clears the Tower

Oct 22

Space Rocket History #134 – Apollo 1: Plugs Out – Part 2 – The Price of Progress

When Deke Slayton and Stu Roosa arrived at pad 34 they saw ambulances waiting in vain at the base of the launch tower.  They boarded the small elevator and rode to level A-8, 218 feet up, and headed across the swing arm to the clean room…

Exterior of the Command Module was blackened from eruption of the fire after the cabin wall failed

Exterior of the Command Module was blackened from eruption of the fire after the cabin wall failed

Interior of Apollo 1 Command Module after the fire

Interior of Apollo 1 Command Module after the fire

Apollo 1 Environmental Control System, located in the forward section near the floor. The fire may have started in this area.

Apollo 1 Environmental Control System, located in the forward section near the floor. The fire may have started in this area.

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

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