Nov 05

Space Rocket History #136 – Apollo 1: What Went Wrong

What went wrong?  Even years after the investigators began to sift through the wreckage of Apollo 1 piece by piece, no one could say exactly.  But within weeks the general picture became clear:  The fire was a disaster waiting to happen.

Apollo 1 during the investigation

Apollo 1 during the investigation

Apollo 1 at Langley Research Center

Apollo 1 at Langley Research Center

Seamans, Webb, Mueller, and Apollo Program Director Phillips testify before a Senate hearing on the Apollo accident

Seamans, Webb, Mueller, and Apollo Program Director Phillips testify before a Senate hearing on the Apollo accident

Oct 29

Space Rocket History #135 – Apollo 1: The Investigation

The tragedy of Apollo 1 was widely reported in the Soviet Union. The Soviets sent condolences and letters to the families of the men who had died. But, the Soviet Press criticized the US for an overzealous attempt to send men to the moon.

Apollo 1 Command Module disassembled for the investigation

Apollo 1 Command Module disassembled for the investigation

Apollo 1 Command Module parts were studied and catalogued in the Pyrotechnics Installation Building at KSC

Apollo 1 Command Module parts were studied and catalogued in the Pyrotechnics Installation Building at KSC

Apollo 1 Command Module wiring harness goes through X-Ray inspection

Apollo 1 Command Module wiring harness goes through X-Ray inspection

Sep 10

Space Rocket History #129 – Apollo Mission Control: An Introduction to Eugene Frances Kranz

As Procedures Officer, Kranz was put in charge of integrating Mercury Control with the Launch Control Team at Cape Canaveral, Florida, writing the “Go/NoGo” procedures that allowed missions to continue as planned or be aborted, along with serving as a sort of switchboard operator using teletype between the control center at Cape Canaveral and the agency’s fourteen tracking stations and two tracking ships located across the globe.

Kranz & his F86 Saber Cat

Kranz & his F86 Saber Cat

Kranz at his console in 1965

Kranz at his console in 1965

Kranz and his teacher Chris Kraft

Kranz and his teacher Chris Kraft

Sep 03

Space Rocket History #128 – Apollo Mission Control: Christopher Columbus Kraft – Part 2

At the beginning of the Apollo program, Kraft retired as a flight director to concentrate on management and mission planning. In 1972, he became director of the Manned Spacecraft Center, following the path of his mentor Robert Gilruth.

Kraft in Mission Control for Gemini 5

Kraft in Mission Control for Gemini 5

Ad. Abhau, Robert Thompson, and Kraft

Ad. Abhau, Robert Thompson, and Kraft

Kraft with his new flight Directors

Kraft with his new flight Directors

Sep 11

Space Rocket History #79 – Gemini IX-A with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan – Part 3 – EVA

We left off last week with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan completing three rendezvous with the ATDA but, no docking because the shroud was still in place on the Docking Adapter. On June 5, 1966 at 5:30 a.m., nearly 45 hours and 30 minutes into the mission, the crew began preparations for Cernan’s walk in space…

Cernan EVA

Cernan EVA

Splashdown

Splashdown

GIX-A Recovery

GIX-A Recovery

Cernan & Stafford

Cernan & Stafford

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