Oct 18

Space Rocket History #228 – Apollo 11 – The Return

The next critical event in the Apollo 11 mission was the Trans-Earth Injection burn. The burn involved firing the big service propulsion engine for two and a half minutes on the back side of the moon.

Apollo 11 heading for home

Apollo 11 leaving the Moon

Apollo 11 returning to Earth

Oct 11

Space Rocket History #227 – Apollo 11 – Rendezvous, Docking and Jettisoning

The ascent of the Eagle was strikingly swift compared with the liftoff of the huge Saturn V rocket from Cape Canaveral. Of course for the Moon launch, there was no atmosphere resisting Eagle, and there was only one-sixth gravity to overcome.

Columbia photographed from Eagle

Eagle inspection and rendezvous

Eagle returns to Columbia with Earth watching

May 24

Space Rocket History #209 – Apollo 11 – Mission Training – Part 1

Crew training for Apollo 11 was already complicated by the need to master the controls of two different and very complex spacecrafts, as well as the space suit, but now the mission took on new dimensions, principally in learning how to set a 14.5-metric-ton lunar module safely down on the moon.

Lunar landing training

Neil & Buzz practice in LM simulator

Armstrong practices in the LM simulator with suit

May 17

Space Rocket History #208 – Apollo 11 – Commander Neil Armstrong – Part 3

After his death, Armstrong was described, in a statement released by the White House, as “among the greatest of American heroes—not just of his time, but of all time.”

Tereshkova presents Armstrong with badge to visit Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

Armstrong speaking at 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s first space flight

Burial at Sea of the ashes of Neil Armstrong

May 10

Space Rocket History #207 – Apollo 11 – Commander Neil Armstrong – Part 2

Armstrong became more and more excited about the prospects of both the Apollo program and of investigating a new aeronautical environment.

Neil suiting up for Gemini 8, March 1966

Armstrong after ejecting from the Lunar Landing Test Vehicle

Buzz took this photo of Neil after the Moon walk

Apr 05

Space Rocket History #203 – Apollo 11 – Command Module Pilot Michael Collins

The turning point for Michael Collins in his decision to become an astronaut was the Mercury Atlas 6 flight of John Glenn on February 20, 1962, and the thought of being able to circle the Earth in 90 minutes.

Michael Collins, July 1969

Mike Collins in the CM simulator

Mike Collins suiting up for Apollo 11

Aug 03

Space Rocket History #171 – Apollo 8 – The Reaction

New York City welcomed the Apollo 8 crew with a ticker-tape parade on the 10th of January, Newark hailed them on the 11th, and Miami greeted them on the 12th during the Super Bowl game. The Astronauts returned to Houston on the 13th for a hometown parade. Incoming President Richard M. Nixon sent Borman and his family on an eight-nation goodwill tour of western Europe. Everywhere they went, the astronauts depicted the earth as a spaceship and stressed international cooperation in space.

Borman, Anders, Lovell, on the flight deck of the carrier U.S.S. Yorktown, recovery ship Dec. 27, 1968.

Borman, Anders, Lovell, on the flight deck of the carrier U.S.S. Yorktown, recovery ship Dec. 27, 1968.

Lovell, Borman, and Anders (left to right) - back on the earth after their Apollo 8 mission, tell what they saw

Lovell, Borman, and Anders (left to right) – back on the earth after their Apollo 8 mission, tell what they saw

The Crew of Apollo 8 on the cover of Time Magazine

The Crew of Apollo 8 on the cover of Time Magazine

Jun 02

Space Rocket History #163 – Apollo 8 – Lovell, Logistics & Training

The successful Apollo 7 flight cleared the way for a US moon landing in 1969.  Still a lot of flight and ground testing remained and there would probably be surprises.  The greatest concern was Nasa had to complete three virtually flawless missions and achieve every major test objective before a lunar landing could be attempted. The odds seemed to be stack against NASA.

Apollo 8 Crew

Apollo 8 Crew

Jim Lovell (Shaky)

Jim Lovell (Shaky)

The Lovell family watch launch of Apollo 8

The Lovell family watch launch of Apollo 8