Jan 23

Space Rocket History #47 – Gemini Concepts

This brings us to Project Gemini.  Gemini started after Apollo had begun, in part to answer a crucial question for Apollo. Was rendezvous and docking in orbit a feasible basis for a manned lunar landing mission?

One Man Space Station

One Man Space Station

Rendezvous Concepts

Rendezvous Concepts

Mark II Spacecraft

Mark II Spacecraft

Apr 11

Space Rocket History #7 – Inter-service Rivalries

It’s important to understand that in the late 1940s within the United States there were three concurrent programs for military rocket development. This was due to continuing inter-service rivalry between the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

v2Wac Corporal

Bumper-WAC

270px-Hermes_A-1_Test_Rockets_-_GPN-2000-000063

A-1

Aerobee

Aerobee

WAC_Corporal

WAC Corporal

Viking

Viking

 

MX-774

MX-774

 

Mar 27

Space Rocket History #5 – Escaping the Reich

“In 1937, I was officially demanded to join the National Socialist Party. At this time I was already Technical Director at the Army Rocket Center at Peenemünde. The technical work carried out there had, in the meantime, attracted more and more attention in higher levels. Thus, my refusal to join the party would have meant that I would have to abandon the work of my life. Therefore, I decided to join. My membership in the party did not involve any political activity.”  Werner von Braun, 1947.

Peenemünde, Dornberger, Olbricht, Leeb, v. Braun

Werner von Braun at Peenedmunde

 

Mar 20

Space Rocket History #4 – Vengeance Weapons

“We are the first to have given a rocket a speed of 3,300 mph.  We have thus proved that it is quite possible to build piloted missiles or aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds.  We did it with automatic control. Our rocket today reached a height of nearly 60 miles.  We have invaded space; we have proved rocket propulsion practical for space travel.”  Walter Dornberger

V-2 Diagram

Mar 13

Space Rocket History #3 – Liquid-fueled Rockets

During the late 1920’s and throughout the 1930’s progress progress in rocket design was made in fits and starts with unclear goals.  However, many technological advances in liquid fueled rockets were made.   The United States Germany, Russia, France, Italy, and Great Britain all had rocket research programs.  The most significant advances occurred in Germany, the U.S. and Russia.  But, before we proceed with the history, I want to explain how a liquid fueled rocket works. liquid_fuel_rocket_diagram

Gird-07

Gird-07

Gird-09

Gird-09

Goddard 1935

Goddard 1935

Mirak

Mirak

Repulso and Von Braun

Repulsor and Von Braun