Apr 03

Space Rocket History #57 – First Gemini Manned Mission – Gemini 3 with Gus Grissom and John Young

The precise scope of the Gemini 3 mission remained uncertain until very nearly the eve of flight. In April of 1963, the GT-3 mission directive was “to demonstrate and evaluate the capabilities of the spacecraft and launch vehicle system, and the procedures necessary for the support of future long-duration and rendezvous missions.”  But, that was a broad scope and did not clearly specified how GT-3 would accomplish it objective…

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

Young - Grissom

Young – Grissom

Water Training

Water Training

Young & Grissom

Young & Grissom

John Young

John Young

Control Panel

Control Panel

Mar 13

Space Rocket History #54 – Gemini 2 – Part 2

Gemini Launch Vehicle Two’s misfortunes during August and September 1964 forced NASA to forego its goal of a manned Gemini 3 flight before the end of the year, Gemini-Titan 2 was now scheduled for mid-November 1964, and Gemini 3 for the end of January 1965…

View from Gemini 2

View from Gemini 2

Gemini 2

Gemini 2

Gemini 2 Heat Shield

Gemini 2 Heat Shield

Feb 06

Space Rocket History #49 – Gemini Systems Design – 1962

On January 3 1962, “Gemini” became the official designation of the Mercury Mark II program. The name had been suggested by Alex  Nagy of NASA Headquarters because the twin stars Castor and Pollux in constellation Gemini (the Twins) seemed to him to symbolize the program’s two-man crew, its rendezvous mission, and its relation to Mercury. Coincidentally, the astronomical symbol (II) for Gemini, the third constellation of the zodiac, corresponded neatly to the Mark II designation…

OAMS and RCS

OAMS and RCS

fig33Figure 33. The emergency parachute recovery system for the half-scale paraglider flight test vehicle for Phase II-A of the development program - Copy

Nomenclature.

Nomenclature.

Partial Spacesuit

Partial Spacesuit

Agena B

Agena B

Nov 07

Space Rocket History #37 – Flight of Faith 7, Mercury-Atlas 9 with Gordon Cooper

Mercury-Atlas 9 was the fourth and final manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The flight objectives were to:
(1) evaluate the effects on the astronaut of approximately one day in orbital flight;
(2) verify that man can function for an extended period in space as a primary operating system of the spacecraft; and,
(3) evaluate in a manned one-day mission the combined performance of the astronaut and a Mercury spacecraft specifically modified for the mission…

L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

Mercury-Atlas 9

Mercury-Atlas 9

Shephard's Joke

Shephard’s Joke

Tibet From Orbit

Tibet From Orbit

TV Broadcast

TV Broadcast

USS Kearsarge

USS Kearsarge

Oct 24

Space Rocket History #35 – Textbook Spaceflight – Mercury-Atlas 8, Sigmac 7 with Wally Schirra

After Scott Carpenter’s science heavy Mercury-Atlas 7 flight, Nasa’s next mission would concentrate on the technical and engineering aspects of space travel.  Mercury Atlas 8 became the third manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The pilot selected was Walter M. Schirra, Jr., but most people called him Wally…

Mission Logo

Mission Logo

Wally Schirra

Wally Schirra

Sigma 7

Sigma 7

Lift-off

Lift-off

Splash Down

Splash Down

Recovery

Recovery

Oct 10

Space Rocket History #33 – Science Overload – Mercury-Atlas 7, Aurora 7 with Scott Carpenter

After the successful completion of the Mercury-Atlas 6 flight that carried John Glenn into orbit, it was Scott Carpenter’s turn to pilot Mercury-Atlas 7, which he named Aurora 7.  The mission was essentially a repeat of John Glenn’s 3 orbit mission, except the focus of  this mission was on science. The full flight plan included the first study of liquids in weightlessness, Earth photography, star observations, Venus sightings and a multitude of other experiments…

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

Capsule Inspection

Capsule Inspection

aurora7nasa

Boarding

458px-Aurora_7_launch

Liftoff Aurora 7

Carpenter-Aboard-Raft-0512a

Splashdown

Sep 26

Space Rocket History #31 – Godspeed John Glenn – Mercury-Atlas 6 – Friendship 7 – Part 2

Mercury Control was still undecided on the course of action to take with the heat shield problem. Some controllers thought the retrorocket pack should be jettisoned after retrofire, while other controllers thought the retro pack should be retained, as added assurance that the heat shield would stay in place…

MA6 on tv

Watching the Mission

MA6-dye released

Splashdown

mercury-flight-25[3]

The Mercury 7

mercury-flight-26[3]

Glenn and JFK

mercury-flight-27[3]

NYC Parade

Ma6Smith

Friendship 7

Sep 19

Space Rocket History #30 – Godspeed John Glenn – Mercury-Atlas 6 – Friendship 7 – Part 1

“I am in a big mass of some very small particles, they’re brilliantly lit up like they’re luminescent. I never saw anything like it! They round a little: they’re coming by the capsule and they look like little stars. A whole shower of them coming by. They swirl around the capsule and go in front of the window and they’re all brilliantly lighted.”  John Glenn – Friendship 7

John Glenn

John Glenn

Glenn Enters

Glenn Enters

Launch

Launch

Glenn in Space

Glenn in Space

View from Capsule

View from Capsule

By Dave

By Dave