Jul 10

Space Rocket History #308 – Apollo 14 – Transposition, Docking & Extraction

Docking was a delicate maneuver, since both ships were traveling at nearly five miles per second, but the docking mechanism itself was one of the simplest on the entire spacecraft, and the docking procedure had been perfected on previous Apollo flights, none of which experienced any significant problems with docking.

Jul 03

Space Rocket History #307 – Apollo 14 – The Climb to Orbit & TLI

“The approaching dusk and the damp mistiness left by the now-departed rainstorm only enhanced the spectacular sight and the sound of the launch. Tentacles of flame erupted on either side of the bottom of the Saturn V, which seemed to sit in its own cauldron of fire momentarily before breaking free of its shackles, as four hold-down arms at the base of the launch pad and five access arms along the outside of the booster swung away.” (Smoke Jumper, Moon Pilot by Willie Moseley)

Jun 26

Space Rocket History #306 – Apollo 14 – The Launch

The first launch window for Apollo 14 began at 15:23, Eastern Standard Time, 31 January 1971, and lasted almost four hours.

Jun 19

Space Rocket History #305 – Apollo 14 – Pre-launch

On November 9, 1970, the Apollo 14/Saturn V assembly, as tall as a 36-story building, rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building on the proportionally huge crawler transporter.

Jun 12

Space Rocket History #304 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 4

Even with all the problems, Shepard piloted the Lunar Module Antares to the most accurate landing of the entire Apollo program. Shepard became the fifth and, at the age of 47, the oldest man to walk on the Moon, and the only one of the Mercury Seven astronauts to do so.

Jun 05

Space Rocket History #303 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 3

After the Mercury-Atlas 10 mission was canceled, Shepard was designated as the Commander of the first crewed Gemini mission, with Thomas P. Stafford chosen as his pilot.

May 29

Space Rocket History #302 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 2

On January 19, 1961, Robert R. Gilruth, the director of NASA’s Space Task Group, informed the seven astronauts that Shepard had been chosen for the first American crewed mission into space.

May 22

Space Rocket History #301 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 1

Although the Shepards were well off, the children were not coddled. Their father valued work and made sure each child performed their share of domestic chores.  Alan’s father was a stern and serious disciplinarian, Alan inherited a stoicism and toughness of character from him. But, Alan was closer to his mother and got his playfulness from her.