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 10

Space Rocket History #58 – Corned Beef Controversy – Gemini 3 with Gus Grissom and John Young – Part 2

Grissom – What is it?
Young: Corned beef sandwich.
Grissom: Where did it come from?
Young: I brought it with me. Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it.
Grissom: Yes, its breaking up. I’m going to stick it in my pocket.
Young: Is it? It was a thought, anyway.
Grissom: Yep.
Young: Not a very good one.
Grissom: Pretty good, thought, if it would just hold together.
Young: Want some chicken leg?
Grissom: No you can handle that.

Launch of GLV-3

Launch of GLV-3

Staging

Staging

View from G3

View from G3

Recovery

Recovery

Carrier Recovery

Carrier Recovery

By Dave.

By Dave.

Apr 03

Space Rocket History #57 – First Gemini Manned Mission – Gemini 3 with Gus Grissom and John Young

The precise scope of the Gemini 3 mission remained uncertain until very nearly the eve of flight. In April of 1963, the GT-3 mission directive was “to demonstrate and evaluate the capabilities of the spacecraft and launch vehicle system, and the procedures necessary for the support of future long-duration and rendezvous missions.”  But, that was a broad scope and did not clearly specified how GT-3 would accomplish it objective…

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Young - Grissom

Young – Grissom

Water Training

Water Training

Young & Grissom

Young & Grissom

John Young

John Young

Control Panel

Control Panel

Mar 27

Space Rocket History #56 – First Space Walk – Voskhod 2 with Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev – Part 2

Leonov opened the airlocks outer hatch He was positioned on his “back” and this orientation revealed the beauty of earth in its entirety.  His heart began to race as he pushed his upper body outside and saw the deep blue vista of the Mediterranean Sea, fringed by the easily recognizable shapes of Greece and Italy and, farther east, the Crimea, the Caucasus Mountains, and the Volga River…

EVA

EVA

EVA

EVA

GPN-2002-000176

EVA

Celebration

Celebration

Descent Module

Descent Module

Stamp

Stamp

Mar 20

Space Rocket History #55 – First Space Walk – Voskhod 2 with Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev – Part 1

Voskhod 2 was a high risk mission.  It was the final space race victory for the Soviet Union before NASA claimed the lead and ultimately won with the lunar landing of 1969. Voskhod 2 was the peak of the Soviet Space Program.  It nearly killed its two cosmonauts but it was ultimately a success…

Voskhod_spacecraft_diagram

Voskhod with Airlock

Airlock and Spacesuit

Airlock and Spacesuit

Alexei Leonov

Alexei Leonov

Pavel Belyayev

Pavel Belyayev

Spacesuit

Spacesuit

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Mar 06

Space Rocket History #53 – Gemini 2 – Part 1

The bright outlook that was prevalent in April turned dark in the late summer of 1964 when a series of natural disasters struck the Cape. First lightning, then hurricanes, damaged the Gemini 2 launch vehicle to delay its flight long past the scheduled time.  Even if the weather had been perfect, McDonnell’s difficulties in getting Spacecraft 2 ready to fly might have compromised the schedule on its own…

Mercury vs. Gemini

Mercury vs. Gemini

Retrograde Adapter

Retrograde Adapter

Ejection

Ejection

First Stage of GLV-2

First Stage of GLV-2

Instrumentation Pallets in Astronaut Seats

Instrumentation instead of Astronauts

Gemini 2 Launch

Gemini 2 Launch

Feb 27

Space Rocket History #52 – Gemini 1 – Test Flight – Part 2

One second after 11 o’clock Wednesday morning, April 8th 1964, the Titan II booster’s first-stage engine ignited. Four seconds later, the 156 ton vehicle lifted from the pad on that curiously lambent flame so distinctive of Titan II’s hypergolic propellants. Within moments, Gemini-Titan 1 vanished into the hot Florida sky, beyond reach of human senses but not electronic sensors. Telemetry data flowed back to mission controllers at the Cape, telling them that the launch was as nearly perfect as it looked.

Gemini 1 Experiment Pallets

Experiment Pallets

Gemini 1 Left Instrument Pallet

Left Instr. Pallet

Gemin 1 Launch

Gemin 1 Launch

Gemini1-1

To the Pad

space rocket history pic69

By Dave

Tang

Celebration Tang