Aug 05

Space Rocket History #124 – Apollo: Astronaut Selection and Training – Part 2

With Group 4, for the first time, the selection criteria did not include a requirement for test pilot proficiency. Selectees who were not qualified pilots would be assigned to the Air Force for a year of flight training. The primary scientific requirement was a doctorate in medicine, engineering, or one of the natural sciences.

Astronaut Group 3

Astronaut Group 3

Astronaut Group 4

Astronaut Group 4

Scientist-Astronaut Harrison Schmitt

Scientist-Astronaut Harrison Schmitt

Jul 30

Space Rocket History #123 – Apollo: Astronaut Selection and Training – Part 1

Selection of Group Two virtually depleted the pool of qualified candidates from the small corps of test pilots in the country, and it was the last group for which test-pilot certification would be a requirement. The new trainees reported to Houston in October 1962 to begin a two-year training course. A four-day work week was normally scheduled, the fifth day being reserved for public relations duties or for travel.

Group 1, The Mercury 7

Group 1, The Mercury 7

Back - See, McDivitt, Lovell, White, Stafford. Front - Conrad, Borman, Armstrong, Young

Back – See, McDivitt, Lovell, White, Stafford. Front – Conrad, Borman, Armstrong, Young

Astronaut Groups 1 and 2

Astronaut Groups 1 and 2

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 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

Aug 07

Space Rocket History #74 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 3

Armstrong eased Gemini VIII toward the target at a barely perceptible speed of 8 centimeters per second. Then Armstrong gleefully reported, “Flight, we are docked!” For a brief moment, the flight controllers in Houston did not realize they had really accomplished docking. Then pandemonium broke loose…

Agena from G8

Agena from G8

Docking

Docking

Docking Diagram

Docking Diagram

Recovery

Recovery

G8 Hoisted Aboard

G8 Hoisted Aboard

G8 at Ohio Air & Space Mus.

G8 at Ohio Air & Space Mus.

Jul 30

Space Rocket History #73 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 2

This was the most complex mission attempted to date. The primary mission objectives were to perform rendezvous and four docking tests with the Gemini Agena Target Vehicle (GATV) and to execute an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA)…

Atlas-Agena Launch

Atlas-Agena Launch

Gemini 8 Launch

Gemini 8 Launch

GATV seen from G8

GATV seen from G8

May 15

Space Rocket History #63 – Gemini V with Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad – 8 Days or Bust -Part 1

By this time the Astronauts were thinking about a nickname for their spacecraft, but NASA Headquarters now officially refused to allow nicknames for Gemini spacecraft. However, Gordo Cooper was not so easily put off. Pete Conrad’s father-in-law had whittled a model covered wagon, which inspired Cooper with the idea for a crew patch, that would depict a covered wagon, emblazoned with the legend “Eight Days or Bust.” A personal appeal to NASA Administrator Webb led, after much discussion, to approval of the “Cooper patch.” But Webb greatly disliked the motto because he believed if the mission did not go the full eight days, people would say it had “busted.”

Cockpit Pre-launch

Cockpit Pre-launch

Pete and Gordo

Pete and Gordo

The Patch

The Patch

Launch

Launch

Radar Pod

Radar Pod

By Dave

By Dave