Mar 18

Space Rocket History #105 – Saturn’s First Flight – SA-1 – Part 2

No previous maiden launch had gone flawlessly, and the Saturn C-1 was considerably more complicated than any rocket launched thus far. Launch Operations Directorate officials gave the rocket a 75% chance of getting off the ground, and a 30% chance of completing the eight-minute flight…

LC-34 Block House Control Room

LC-34 Block House Control Room

Abe Silverstein, Director of Space Flight

Abe Silverstein, Director of Space Flight

Liftoff or Saturn SA-1

All Eight Engines Firing and Liftoff of Saturn SA-1

Saturn SA-1 on Launch Pad 34

Saturn SA-1 on Launch Pad 34

Saturn SA-1 Leaving the Pad

Saturn SA-1 Leaving the Pad

Saturn SA-1  in Flight.

The First Saturn (SA-1) in Flight.

The Michoud Facility near New Orleans

The Michoud Facility near New Orleans

Ground Breaking at MSC

Ground Breaking at MSC

Mar 12

Space Rocket History #104 – Saturn’s First Flight – SA-1 – Part 1

Just as launch complex 34 dwarfed its predecessors, Saturn’s checkout represented a new magnitude in launch operations. The Saturn C-1 stood three times higher, required six times more fuel, and produced ten times more thrust than the Jupiter. Its size, was only a part of the challenge to the Launch Operations Directorate at Cape Canaveral…

Early Concepts of C-1 and C5

Early Concepts of C-1 and C5

First Horizontal Mating of Saturn

First Horizontal Mating of Saturn

Configuration of Saturn Block 1 and 2

Configuration of Saturn Block 1 and 2

Test of the Palaemon Barge

Test of the Palaemon Barge

Booster Movement around Wheeler Dam

Booster Movement around Wheeler Dam

S-I & S-IV Stages Aboard Compromise Barge

S-I & S-IV Stages Aboard Barge

Route of the Barge from Tenn. to Fla.

Route of the Barge from Tenn. to Fla.

Unloading Barge in Florida

Unloading Barge in Florida

Lifting Saturn SA-1 First Stage

Lifting Saturn SA-1 First Stage

Hoisting Saturn SA-1 First Stage

Hoisting Saturn SA-1 First Stage

Erecting the Upper Stages of Saturn SA-1

Erecting the Upper Stages of Saturn SA-1

Launch Complex 34 from the Air

Launch Complex 34 from the Air

Dec 04

Space Rocket History #91 – The Death of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – Part 3

Around noon on January 14th, Boris Chertok was alone in his office studying a folder of classified mail that had accumulated during the past few days. He had asked not to be disturbed. Suddenly his subordinate ran in and shouted, “Sergey Pavlovich died!”
Chertok responded “Are you out of your mind? Which Sergey Pavlovich?”
“Ours, our Sergey Pavlovich Korolev! His wife telephoned from the hospital!”
Chertok stood absolutely dumbfounded, having no idea what to do next. This can’t be! This really shouldn’t be happening! A few seconds later he called the Kremlin for verification.

Monument in Moscow

Monument in Moscow

Monument in Korolyov

Monument in Korolyov

Monument in Baykonur

Monument in Baykonur

Nov 26

Space Rocket History #90 – The Death of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – Part 2

Sergei Korolev’s life paralleled in many ways the life of Wernher Von Braun. Like Von Braun, as a young man, Sergei Korolev was inspired to dedicate his life to the technology for space exploration after becoming acquainted with the work of a great space pioneer: Hermann Oberth in the case of von Braun, and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in the case of Korolev. Both began their careers in space development through serious study, participation in amateur rocket societies, and then support from the military…

Korolev, Kurchatov, Keldysh

Korolev, Kurchatov, Keldysh

Yuri and Sergei

Yuri and Sergei

Vostok 1 Lauch

Vostok 1 Lauch

Nov 20

Space Rocket History #89 – The Death of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – Part 1

His power, influence, and responsibilities during the 1950s and 60s were all encompassing. Not only was he in charge of all space-related issues, he was also in charge of some of the design of rockets for military purposes as well. He oversaw the design and testing of communications and surveillance satellites, too. Although he delegated responsibility for each program to trusted designers in separate engineering bureaus, his workload was enormous. He was the responsible for all the programs including the Soviet equivalent of NASA, which was called the Ministry for Medium Machine Building.

Sergei as a Child

Sergei as a Child

Korolev in his 20s

Korolev in his 20s

Korolev in a Glider

Korolev in a Glider

Apr 25

Space Rocket History #9 – Sputnik 1

“We had absolute confidence in Comrade Korolev.  We believed him when he told us that his rocket would not only fly, but that is would travel 7000 kilometers.  When he expounded or defended his ideas, you could see passion burning in his eyes, and his reports were always models of clarity.  He had unlimited energy and determination, and he was a brilliant organizer.”  Nikita Khruschev

446px-Sputnik_1

Sputnik 1

732px-Sputnik_asm

Sputnik 1

GPN-2002-000184

Apr 18

Space Rocket History #8 – Redstone

By the late 1940’s, it became obvious that Army ballistic missile research activities required more room than what was available at Fort Bliss, Texas. After a long and through search the decision was made to move to the Redstone arsenal at Huntsville, Alabama. A farm town know for watercress, cotton and mosquitoes. The Redstone Arsenal was chosen for several reasons: it was on a large tract of government property, its location on the Tennessee River gave it access to the electrical power of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the climate was good, and it was not too far from Cape Canaveral, whose long range proving ground was growing in importance.  

First_Redstone_Rocket_Firing

Redstone

Loki-dart_display

Loki

Viking

Viking

Jupiter_c_pad

Jupiter

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