May 22

Space Rocket History #64 – Gemini V with Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad – 8 Days or Bust -Part 2

This was Flight Director Chris Kraft’s first major problem at the new Mission Control Center in Houston.  He knew the spacecraft had enough battery power for reentry even if the fuel cells failed completely, but he needed to know if there would be time enough to reach a good reentry zone, such as the mid-Pacific near Hawaii on the sixth orbit…

Cape Kennedy

Cape Kennedy

Baja

Baja

Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells

Recovery of GT-5

Recovery of GT-5

Gordo

Gordo

USS Champlain

USS Champlain

Dec 05

Space Rocket History #41 – The First Woman in Space, Vostok 5 & 6 with Bykovsky and Tereshkova – Part 3

During re-entry plasma enveloped Vostok-6. Tereshkova saw pieces of burning material fly past her window and she also smelled smoke entering the cabin…

Tereshkova Landing

Tereshkova Landing

Newspaper Story

Newspaper Story

Red Square

Red Square

Tereskova-Nikolaev

Tereskova-Nikolaev Wedding

50 Year Anniversary

50 Year Anniversary

Tereskova & Armstrong

Tereskova & Armstrong

Nov 28

Space Rocket History #40 – The First Woman in Space, Vostok 5 & 6 with Bykovsky and Tereshkova – Part 2

Vostok 5’s orbit turned out to be lower than the expected 181 by 235 km. The actual orbit was 175 by 222 km.  Initial calculations indicated the orbit of Vostok 5 would not decay for 10 or 11 days, however more conservative estimates, taking into account the increased solar activity and the resulting expanding of the upper atmosphere showed that the orbit could decay after only 8 days. With no way of predicting where Vostok 5 might land, the planned eight-day mission was now in question…

Tereshkova

Tereshkova

Tereshkova

Tereshkova

Tereshkova on TV

Tereshkova on TV

Nov 21

Space Rocket History #39 – The First Woman in Space, Vostok 5 & 6 with Bykovsky and Tereshkova – Part 1

In June of 1963, the Soviet Union performed an encore of the Vostok 3 and 4 missions with two manned spaceships orbiting the Earth simultaneously. However, Vostok 5 and 6 was more than a simple repetition.  Vostok 5’s objective was to beat the flight-duration record. But Vostok-6 would carrying the first woman into space.  The 26 year old Valentina Tereshkova….

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Valeri Vkovsky

Valery Bykovsky

Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Tereshkova

Jul 26

Space Rocket History #22 – The Vanguard Six

When the 20 Cosmonaut candidates were asked to anonymously vote for which candidate they would like to see fly first, all but three chose Gagarin.  The consensus was, Gagarin was very focused, and demanding of himself and others when necessary.

Gagarin_in_Sweden

Gagarin

436px-German_Titov

Titov

Andrian_Nikolaev

Nikolaev

160px-Ppopovic-2

Popovic

Bykovsky

Bykovsky

Treshkova

Tereshkova

Tereshkova & Nikolaev

Tereshkova & Nikolaev