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

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

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

Jun 05

Space Rocket History #66 – Gemini VI & VII with Wally Schirra, Tom Stafford, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell – Rendezvous – Part 2

From the previous episode, it was decided that the name of Gemini VI would be changed to Gemini VI-a to distinguish it from the originally planned mission whose objective was to rendezvous with the Agena target vehicle. Gemini VII would be launched first before Gemini VI-a and it would be considered the target vehicle effectively replacing the Agena. After Gemini VII lifted off, Gemini VI-a would be transferred to the launch pad and prepared to launch as soon as possible. After Gemini VI-a rendezvoused with Gemini VII, it would return to earth before Gemini VII.

Lovell & Borman

Lovell & Borman

New Suits

New Suits

Boarding

Boarding

GT-7 Launch

GT-7 Launch

The Moon over Earth

G7-Moon over Earth

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

May 29

Space Rocket History #65 – Gemini VI & VII with Wally Schirra, Tom Stafford, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell – Rendezvous – Part 1

“We have had a conversation with the Carnarvon tracking station and their report keeps coming back – No joy – No joy.”  NASA Public Affairs Officer Paul Haney.

Gemini Agena

Gemini Agena

Gemini Agena

Gemini Agena

Gemini Agena

Gemini & Agena

Atlas-Agena Launch

Atlas-Agena Launch

Stafford & Schirra

Stafford & Schirra

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

May 22

Space Rocket History #64 – Gemini V with Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad – 8 Days or Bust -Part 2

This was Flight Director Chris Kraft’s first major problem at the new Mission Control Center in Houston.  He knew the spacecraft had enough battery power for reentry even if the fuel cells failed completely, but he needed to know if there would be time enough to reach a good reentry zone, such as the mid-Pacific near Hawaii on the sixth orbit…

Cape Kennedy

Cape Kennedy

Baja

Baja

Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells

Recovery of GT-5

Recovery of GT-5

Gordo

Gordo

USS Champlain

USS Champlain