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

May 15

Space Rocket History #63 – Gemini V with Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad – 8 Days or Bust -Part 1

By this time the Astronauts were thinking about a nickname for their spacecraft, but NASA Headquarters now officially refused to allow nicknames for Gemini spacecraft. However, Gordo Cooper was not so easily put off. Pete Conrad’s father-in-law had whittled a model covered wagon, which inspired Cooper with the idea for a crew patch, that would depict a covered wagon, emblazoned with the legend “Eight Days or Bust.” A personal appeal to NASA Administrator Webb led, after much discussion, to approval of the “Cooper patch.” But Webb greatly disliked the motto because he believed if the mission did not go the full eight days, people would say it had “busted.”

Cockpit Pre-launch

Cockpit Pre-launch

Pete and Gordo

Pete and Gordo

The Patch

The Patch

Launch

Launch

Radar Pod

Radar Pod

By Dave

By Dave

May 08

Space Rocket History #62 – Gemini IV with James McDivitt and Edward White – The Duration – Part 3

On orbit 48, after 75 hours of flight a problem arose. During a pass over the continental US the flight computer was updated. McDivitt was told to switch off the computer. He flipped the switch but the computer did not turn off. On the ground at mission control, efforts to solve the problem began immediately. For the next few orbits, the crew received instructions for trying different switch positions, after all the switching the computer finally failed entirely and could not be turned back on. Now the astronauts would have to resort to a rolling Mercury-type reentry, rather than the lifting bank angle the computer was supposed to help them achieve…

Space Food

Space Food

Water Gun, Scissors

Water Gun, Scissors

After Splashdown

After Splashdown

Boarding the Wasp

Boarding the Wasp

G4 On Display

G4 On Display

Mission Button

Mission Button

May 01

Space Rocket History #61 – Gemini IV with James McDivitt and Edward White – America’s First Spacewalk – Part 2

For the first time Television coverage of the launch had an international audience, as the scene was broadcast to 12 European nations via Intelsat 1 aka the Early Bird satellite of episode 59. Heightened by the prospect of an EVA and the first use of the new Mission Control Center in Houston, interest in Gemini IV reached levels never again matched in the Gemini program…

GT-IV Launch

GT-IV Launch

Zip Gun

Zip Gun

Ed White

Ed White

Ed White

Ed White

By Dave

By Dave

Apr 24

Space Rocket History #60 – Gemini IV with James McDivitt and Edward White – Part 1

The success of Gus Grissom and John Young’s Gemini 3 flight paved the way for long duration space missions. The longest U.S. manned space flight to date was Gordon Cooper’s 34 hour Mercury flight. The Soviets, however, had four long duration flights to their credit, ranging from 70 to 119 hours. It was time for the US to attempt a long duration flight.

James A. McDivitt

James A. McDivitt

Edward White II

Edward White II

Gemini 4 Astronauts

Gemini 4 Crew

Mar 06

Space Rocket History #53 – Gemini 2 – Part 1

The bright outlook that was prevalent in April turned dark in the late summer of 1964 when a series of natural disasters struck the Cape. First lightning, then hurricanes, damaged the Gemini 2 launch vehicle to delay its flight long past the scheduled time.  Even if the weather had been perfect, McDonnell’s difficulties in getting Spacecraft 2 ready to fly might have compromised the schedule on its own…

Mercury vs. Gemini

Mercury vs. Gemini

Retrograde Adapter

Retrograde Adapter

Ejection

Ejection

First Stage of GLV-2

First Stage of GLV-2

Instrumentation Pallets in Astronaut Seats

Instrumentation instead of Astronauts

Gemini 2 Launch

Gemini 2 Launch

Feb 12

Space Rocket History #50 – Blue Gemini – 1963

“Blue Gemini” was the tag name for an Air Force manned space flight program to develop rendezvous, docking, and transfer for military purposes, using Gemini-type spacecraft. The concept became firmer in June, when the Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) began working on plans to use Gemini hardware as the first step in a new Air Force man-in-space program called Mods (Manned Orbital Development System), a kind of military space station with Gemini spacecraft as ferry vehicles…

Titan II Test Flight

Titan II Test Flight

Ballute Stabilization Device

Ballute Device

Sled Test

Sled Test

POGO Suppression Eq.

POGO Suppression Eq.

Astronaut Desert Training

Astronaut Desert Training

By Dave

By Dave

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