Jan 21

Space Rocket History #145 – Surveyors 2 – 7 with a Little Apollo 12

The primary objectives of the Surveyor program, were to support the Apollo landings by: (1) developing and validating the technology for landing softly on the Moon; (2) providing data on the compatibility of the Apollo design with conditions encountered on the lunar surface; and (3) adding to the scientific knowledge of the Moon.

Surveyor 3 with parts identified

Surveyor 3 with parts identified

Surveyor 4 launch

Surveyor 4 launch

The northwest wall of the Surveyor 5 crater

The northwest wall of the Surveyor 5 crater

Surveyor 6 on the plains of Sinus Medii

Surveyor 6 on the plains of Sinus Medii

Photomosaic of a panorama taken by Surveyor 7

Photomosaic of a panorama taken by Surveyor 7

Apollo 12 Astronauts visit Surveyor 3

Apollo 12 Astronauts visit Surveyor 3

 

Jan 14

Space Rocket History #144 – Lunar Orbiter 2 – 5 and Wresat

A total of five Lunar Orbiter missions were launched by the US in 1966 through 1967.  The purpose of the lunar orbiter series was to photograph the moon’s surface for selection and verification of safe landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo missions.

The Lunar Orbiter

The Lunar Orbiter

LO 2 Image of the Sea of Tranquility

LO 2 Image of the Sea of Tranquility

LO 3 Image of the Tsiolkovskiy Crater

LO 3 Image of the Tsiolkovskiy Crater

LO 4 image of the Davy Crater Chain

LO 4 image of the Davy Crater Chain

LO 5 Image of the Tycho impact crater

LO 5 Image of the Tycho impact crater

First Australian satellite called Wresat

First Australian satellite called Wresat

Wresat testing

Wresat assembly and testing

Wresat Launch

Wresat Launch

Dec 31

Space Rocket History an Encore Presentation of Episode #23 – Vostok 1 with Yuri Gagarin

“Dear friends, you who are close to me, and you whom I do not know, fellow Russians, and people of all countries and all continents: in a few minutes a powerful space vehicle will carry me into the distant realm of space. What can I tell you in these last minutes before the launch? My whole life appears to me as one beautiful moment. All that I previously lived through and did, was lived through and done for the sake of this moment.” Yuri Gagarin prior to launch of Vostok 1.

space rocket

ImageGen vostok 1 being prepared_500x409Yuri800px-Vostok_1_orbit Hint2

Dec 23

Space Rocket History #142 – Venera 4

“It seemed that the nearby and mysterious planet was resorting to tricks to hide the secrets kept beneath its cover of clouds. As the probe drew nearer, Venus’ gravitational field increased its speed. The Doppler effect altered the wavelength of the signals received on Earth. The radio operators needed to be particularly vigilant so that the information sent from the station consistently landed in the narrow “throat” of the ground-based receivers.”  Boris Chertok

Venera 4. AKA Venus 4

Venera 4. AKA Venus 4

Venera 4 in Flight Config.

Venera 4 in Flight Config.

Venera 4 Capsule

Venera 4 Capsule on Display

Nov 26

Space Rocket History an Encore Presentation of Episode #44 – Voskhod-1with Kamarov, Yegorov, and Feoktistov – Part 1

Premiere Khrushchev was not willing to wait until Soyuz for another space first.  Khrushchev believed, There could be no final victories in the race for space propaganda.  He knew the US was working on project Gemini which would carry two astronauts in 1965.  So, as a means to upstage the US, Khrushchev ordered Chief Designer Korolev to fit three cosmonauts into the Voskhod spacecraft that was designed for two…

By Dave

By Dave

Yegorov

Yegorov

Feoktistov

Feoktistov

Komarov

Komarov

Voskhod 1 and 2

Voskhod 1 and 2

Mission Patch

Mission Patch

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

Aug 13

Space Rocket History #125 – Apollo: Astronaut Selection and Training – Part 3

“Some of those guys came in figuring, “I’ll write my textbooks and my thesis and teach [university courses] and I’ll come by twice a week and be an astronaut.” Well, that didn’t work …. We were devoting our lives to this whole thing, and you couldn’t devote anything less, I don’t care what your discipline was.”

Back, Swigert, Pogue, Evans, Weitz, Irwin, Carr, Roosa, Worden, Mattingly, Lousma. Front, Givens, Mitchell, Duke, Lind, Haise, Engle, Brand, Bull, McCandless

Back, Swigert, Pogue, Evans, Weitz, Irwin, Carr, Roosa, Worden, Mattingly, Lousma. Front, Givens, Mitchell, Duke, Lind, Haise, Engle, Brand, Bull, McCandless

Aug 05

Space Rocket History #124 – Apollo: Astronaut Selection and Training – Part 2

With Group 4, for the first time, the selection criteria did not include a requirement for test pilot proficiency. Selectees who were not qualified pilots would be assigned to the Air Force for a year of flight training. The primary scientific requirement was a doctorate in medicine, engineering, or one of the natural sciences.

Astronaut Group 3

Astronaut Group 3

Astronaut Group 4

Astronaut Group 4

Scientist-Astronaut Harrison Schmitt

Scientist-Astronaut Harrison Schmitt