Jul 30

Space Rocket History #73 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 2

This was the most complex mission attempted to date. The primary mission objectives were to perform rendezvous and four docking tests with the Gemini Agena Target Vehicle (GATV) and to execute an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA)…

Atlas-Agena Launch

Atlas-Agena Launch

Gemini 8 Launch

Gemini 8 Launch

GATV seen from G8

GATV seen from G8

Jul 24

Space Rocket History #72 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 1

On September 20th 1965, NASA named the crew for Gemini VIII. The command pilot selected was Neil Armstrong, a civilian test pilot with much experience in the X-15 rocket research aircraft program. David Scott was selected as pilot.  Scott was the first of the Group 3 astronauts selected for a mission. The backup crew for Gemini VIII, was  Navy Lieutenant Commanders Pete Conrad and Richard F. Gordon, Jr.

Scott & Armstrong

Scott & Armstrong

Armstrong

Armstrong

David Scott

David Scott

Armstrong and Scott

Armstrong and Scott

Armstrong

Armstrong

Armstrong over Korea

Armstrong over Korea

Jul 17

Space Rocket History #71 – Agena vs. the Augmented Target Docking Adapter, with Some EVA Equipment on the Side

Many doubted that Agena could be ready in time to meet Gemini’s tight launch schedules. The end of 1965 saw Agena’s usefulness in manned space flight once again called into question, but this time time a substitute target had already been approved for development…

The Guys

The Guys

Agena

Agena

ATDA

ATDA

Gemini-Agena

Gemini-Agena

Agena Hangar

Agena Hangar

Jun 18

Space Rocket History #68 – Gemini VI & VII with Wally Schirra, Tom Stafford, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell – Rendezvous – Part 4

The Gemini Program was conceived after it became evident to NASA officials that an intermediate step was required between Project Mercury and the Apollo Program. The major objectives assigned to Gemini were:
1-To subject two men and supporting equipment to long duration flights — a requirement for projected later trips to the moon or deeper space.
2-To effect rendezvous and docking with other orbiting vehicles, and to maneuver the docked vehicles in space, using the propulsion system of the target vehicle for such maneuvers.
3-To perfect methods of reentry and landing the spacecraft at a pre-selected land-landing point.
4-To gain additional information concerning the effects of weightlessness on crew members and to record the physiological reactions of crew members during long duration flights.

By Dave.

By Dave.

Helicopter over G6

Helicopter over G6

G6 on USS Wasp

G6 on USS Wasp

G7 Before Splashdown

G7 Before Splashdown

G7 in the Water

G7 in the Water

G7 Crew on Wasp

G7 Crew on Wasp

G7 Crew on Wasp

G7 Crew on Wasp

Welcome Ceremony

Welcome Ceremony

G6 & 7 on Wasp

G6 & 7 on Wasp

Jun 12

Space Rocket History #67 – Gemini VI & VII with Wally Schirra, Tom Stafford, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell – Rendezvous – Part 3

From the previous episode, we have Gemini VII waiting in orbit for Gemini VI-A to launch and rendezvous.  Remember, Gemini VII could only remain in orbit for 14 days, the maximum duration of its flight.  The goal was to launch Gemini VI-A on or before day 9 of Gemini VII’s mission.

Stafford in G6-A

Stafford in G6A

GT-6A Abort

GT-6A Abort

By Dave

By Dave

GT-6A Launch

GT-6A Launch

G7 viewed from G6A

G7 viewed from G6A

G7 Viewed from G6A

G7 Viewed from G6A

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

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

Feb 27

Space Rocket History #52 – Gemini 1 – Test Flight – Part 2

One second after 11 o’clock Wednesday morning, April 8th 1964, the Titan II booster’s first-stage engine ignited. Four seconds later, the 156 ton vehicle lifted from the pad on that curiously lambent flame so distinctive of Titan II’s hypergolic propellants. Within moments, Gemini-Titan 1 vanished into the hot Florida sky, beyond reach of human senses but not electronic sensors. Telemetry data flowed back to mission controllers at the Cape, telling them that the launch was as nearly perfect as it looked.

Gemini 1 Experiment Pallets

Experiment Pallets

Gemini 1 Left Instrument Pallet

Left Instr. Pallet

Gemin 1 Launch

Gemin 1 Launch

Gemini1-1

To the Pad

space rocket history pic69

By Dave

Tang

Celebration Tang