Oct 22

Space Rocket History #134 – Apollo 1: Plugs Out – Part 2 – The Price of Progress

When Deke Slayton and Stu Roosa arrived at pad 34 they saw ambulances waiting in vain at the base of the launch tower.  They boarded the small elevator and rode to level A-8, 218 feet up, and headed across the swing arm to the clean room…

Exterior of the Command Module was blackened from eruption of the fire after the cabin wall failed

Exterior of the Command Module was blackened from eruption of the fire after the cabin wall failed

Interior of Apollo 1 Command Module after the fire

Interior of Apollo 1 Command Module after the fire

Apollo 1 Environmental Control System, located in the forward section near the floor. The fire may have started in this area.

Apollo 1 Environmental Control System, located in the forward section near the floor. The fire may have started in this area.

Oct 15

Space Rocket History #133 – Apollo 1: Plugs Out – Part 1 – The Fire

The “Plugs Out” test scheduled for Jan 27, 1967 was not the first time that spacecraft 12 had been put through a simulated run with people on board…

Block I hatch consisted of two pieces and required pressure inside the cabin be no greater than atmospheric to open

Block I hatch consisted of two pieces and required pressure inside the cabin be no greater than atmospheric to open

The Apollo 1 crew enter their spacecraft in the altitude chamber at Kennedy Space Center, October 18, 1966

The Apollo 1 crew enter their spacecraft in the altitude chamber at Kennedy Space Center, October 18, 1966

Prime & backup crews 4/1/66. Backup crew Scott, McDivitt & Schweickart were replaced by Schirra, Eisele & Cunningham

Prime & backup crews 4/1/66. Backup crew Scott, McDivitt & Schweickart were replaced by Schirra, Eisele & Cunningham

Oct 08

Space Rocket History #132 – Apollo 1: Astronauts – Part 2 – Chaffee

“On my honor I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times;  To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” The Boy Scout Oath.

Chaffee in Mission Control for Gemini 3

Chaffee in Mission Control for Gemini 3

Chaffee with Apollo 1 Model

Chaffee with Apollo 1 Model

Apollo 1 Mission Patch

Apollo 1 Mission Patch

Oct 01

Space Rocket History #131 – Apollo 1: Astronauts – Part 1- Grissom & White

“So the reason I took those symbols was that I think this was the most important thing I had going for me, and I felt that while I couldn’t take one for every religion in the country, I could take the three I was most familiar with.”  Ed. White

Apollo 1 Crew Sketch

Apollo 1 Crew Sketch

Apollo 1 Crew

Apollo 1 Crew

Chaffee, White, and Grissom

Chaffee, White, and Grissom

Sep 24

Space Rocket History an Encore Presentation of Episode #27 – Mercury-Redstone 4 – Liberty Bell 7 with Gus Grissom

Mercury-Redstone 4 was the fourth mission in the Mercury-Redstone series and the second U.S. manned suborbital spaceflight. The mission was essentially a repeat of Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 flight.   So why was it necessary to launch another sub-orbital mission?  Why not proceed with an orbital flight to match the Soviet Vostok 1?  Among other things the U.S. needed more space experience to corroborate the “Man-in-Space” concept.  Also the Redstone was the only booster NASA had that was approved for manned launches.  The Atlas booster was available but not ready.  Atlas was capable of putting a Mercury Capsule into orbit, but it had been launched three times with unmanned capsules, and it had exploded on 2 of the 3 attempts.

MR-4 Launch

MR-4 Launch

Gus Grissom

Gus Grissom

1137px-Grissom_prepares_to_enter_Liberty_Bell_7_61-MR4-76

Ready to Go

MR-4 Hatch

MR-4 Hatch

513px-Grissom_lifted_from_water_61-MR4-82

Rescue

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7

Sep 17

Space Rocket History #130 – Apollo 1: Preparation

While flight-preparation crews were having problems, Grissom, White, and Chaffee were finding bottlenecks in training activities. The chief problem was keeping the Apollo mission simulator current with changes being made in spacecraft 012.

Command and Service Modules 012 at North American

Command and Service Modules 012 at North American

Apollo 1 Arrives at the Cape

Apollo 1 Arrives at the Cape

Grissom, Chaffee, & White check the communications headgear

Grissom, Chaffee, & White check the communications headgear

Aug 20

Space Rocket History #126 – Apollo-Saturn IB: AS-201, AS-202, and AS-203

Apollo Saturn 201 employed the Saturn IB launch vehicle, which  was the up-rated version of the Saturn I rocket flown in ten earlier Saturn-Apollo missions. It featured an upgrade of the first stage engines to increase thrust from 1,500,000 lb-ft of thrust to 1,600,000 lb-ft. The second stage was the S-IVB.  This stage used a new liquid hydrogen-burning J-2 engine which would also be used on the S-II second stage of the Saturn V lunar launch vehicle…

AS-201 Recovery

AS-201 Recovery

Apollo-Saturn 201 Launch

Apollo-Saturn 201 Launch

AS-202 Launch

AS-202 Launch

AS-203 Launch

AS-203 Launch

Jul 16

Space Rocket History #121 – Pegasus Wings inside SA-8 (AS-104), SA-9 (AS-103), & SA-10 (AS-105) and a Command Module update for 1965

The Pegasus satellite was named for the winged horse of Greek mythology.  Like its namesake, the Pegasus was notable for its “wings”, a pair of 29 meter long, 4.3 meter wide arrays of 104 panels fitted with sensors to detect punctures by micrometeoroids at high altitudes.  In its stored position with panels folded inside the Apollo service module, the Pegasus was 5.3-meters high, 2.1 meters wide, and 28-cm deep.

Pegasus Stowed Inside the Boilerplate Service Module

Pegasus Stowed Inside the Boilerplate Service Module

Pegasus Micrometeoroid Detection Satellite Deployed

Pegasus Micrometeoroid Detection Satellite Deployed

Pegasus Deployment Sequence

Pegasus Deployment Sequence

SA-9 Launch

SA-9 Launch

SA-8 Launch

SA-8 Launch

SA-10 Launch

SA-10 Launch

Interior of Command Module

Interior of Command Module