Mar 13

Space Rocket History #54 – Gemini 2 – Part 2

Gemini Launch Vehicle Two’s misfortunes during August and September 1964 forced NASA to forego its goal of a manned Gemini 3 flight before the end of the year, Gemini-Titan 2 was now scheduled for mid-November 1964, and Gemini 3 for the end of January 1965…

View from Gemini 2

View from Gemini 2

Gemini 2

Gemini 2

Gemini 2 Heat Shield

Gemini 2 Heat Shield

Nov 07

Space Rocket History #37 – Flight of Faith 7, Mercury-Atlas 9 with Gordon Cooper

Mercury-Atlas 9 was the fourth and final manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The flight objectives were to:
(1) evaluate the effects on the astronaut of approximately one day in orbital flight;
(2) verify that man can function for an extended period in space as a primary operating system of the spacecraft; and,
(3) evaluate in a manned one-day mission the combined performance of the astronaut and a Mercury spacecraft specifically modified for the mission…

L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

Mercury-Atlas 9

Mercury-Atlas 9

Shephard's Joke

Shephard’s Joke

Tibet From Orbit

Tibet From Orbit

TV Broadcast

TV Broadcast

USS Kearsarge

USS Kearsarge

Oct 10

Space Rocket History #33 – Science Overload – Mercury-Atlas 7, Aurora 7 with Scott Carpenter

After the successful completion of the Mercury-Atlas 6 flight that carried John Glenn into orbit, it was Scott Carpenter’s turn to pilot Mercury-Atlas 7, which he named Aurora 7.  The mission was essentially a repeat of John Glenn’s 3 orbit mission, except the focus of  this mission was on science. The full flight plan included the first study of liquids in weightlessness, Earth photography, star observations, Venus sightings and a multitude of other experiments…

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

Capsule Inspection

Capsule Inspection

aurora7nasa

Boarding

458px-Aurora_7_launch

Liftoff Aurora 7

Carpenter-Aboard-Raft-0512a

Splashdown

Sep 19

Space Rocket History #30 – Godspeed John Glenn – Mercury-Atlas 6 – Friendship 7 – Part 1

“I am in a big mass of some very small particles, they’re brilliantly lit up like they’re luminescent. I never saw anything like it! They round a little: they’re coming by the capsule and they look like little stars. A whole shower of them coming by. They swirl around the capsule and go in front of the window and they’re all brilliantly lighted.”  John Glenn – Friendship 7

John Glenn

John Glenn

Glenn Enters

Glenn Enters

Launch

Launch

Glenn in Space

Glenn in Space

View from Capsule

View from Capsule

By Dave

By Dave

Sep 12

Space Rocket History #29 – Mercury-Atlas 5 With Enos

Following the successful suborbital missions of Allan Shepard and Gus Grissom, NASA believed the Mercury capsule was ready for an orbital mission.  But, there was a problem, the Redstone booster did not have the power to place the Mercury capsule into orbit.  The Atlas booster had the power to put the capsule in orbit but not the confidence of NASA.  By September of 1961 Four launches of the mercury-atlas had been made with only a 50 percent success rate…

Tribute to Space Chimps

Tribute to Chimps

Enos

Enos

Atlas Missle

Atlas Missle

Launch

Launch

Mercury 5

Mercury 5

By Dave

By Dave

Sep 05

Space Rocket History #28 – Vostok 2 With Gherman Titov

After Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom’s suborbital flights and less than four months after Gagarin’s became the first man in space, the soviet union stunned the world with yet another manned mission.

1

Titov

PreLaunch

vostok-2_launch

is

space rocket history pic15

Aug 29

Space Rocket History #27 – Mercury-Redstone 4 – Liberty Bell 7 with Gus Grissom

Mercury-Redstone 4 was the fourth mission in the Mercury-Redstone series and the second U.S. manned suborbital spaceflight. The mission was essentially a repeat of Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 flight.   So why was it necessary to launch another sub-orbital mission?  Why not proceed with an orbital flight to match the Soviet Vostok 1?  Among other things the U.S. needed more space experience to corroborate the “Man-in-Space” concept.  Also the Redstone was the only booster NASA had that was approved for manned launches.  The Atlas booster was available but not ready.  Atlas was capable of putting a Mercury Capsule into orbit, but it had been launched three times with unmanned capsules, and it had exploded on 2 of the 3 attempts.

MR-4 Launch

MR-4 Launch

Gus Grissom

Gus Grissom

1137px-Grissom_prepares_to_enter_Liberty_Bell_7_61-MR4-76

Ready to Go

MR-4 Hatch

MR-4 Hatch

513px-Grissom_lifted_from_water_61-MR4-82

Rescue

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7

Jun 20

Space Rocket History #17 – The Mercury 7

On April 1, 1959, Robert Gilruth, the head of the Space Task Group, Charles Donlan, Warren North, and Stanley White selected the first American astronauts. The “Mercury Seven” were Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton. 

The Mercury 7

The Mercury 7

Mercury Capsule and Astronauts

Mercury Capsule and Astronauts