Jan 29

Space Rocket History #98 – Apollo Beginnings

President Kennedy proposed the manned lunar landing as the focus of the US space program but, at the time of his address, only one American, Alan B. Shepard, Jr. had been into space, on a suborbital lob shot lasting 15 minutes. No rocket launch vehicle was available for a lunar voyage and there was no agreed upon method for placing any kind of spacecraft safely on the lunar surface and getting it back to the earth. Nor was there agreement within NASA itself on how it should be done.

Astronauts leave the spacecraft to investigate the lunar surface.

Astronauts leave the spacecraft to investigate the lunar surface.

The return vehicle takes off from the moon.

The return vehicle takes off from the moon.

The reentry vehicle begins to enter the atmosphere after jettisoning the propulsion unit.

The reentry vehicle begins to enter the atmosphere after jettisoning the propulsion unit.

Aug 14

Space Rocket History #75 – Luna 10, Surveyor 1, and Lunar Orbiter 1 – Scouting the Moon

In the 1960s, during the cold war, the US and Soviet Union turned their attention to the moon. The question was, who could place a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth first? Obtaining the necessary data on the moon to risk sending a person there was crucial. The US and Soviet Union chose unmanned spacecraft to scout for this information…

Luna 10

Luna 10

Surveyor 1 Mockup

Surveyor 1 Mockup

S1 with Atlas-Centar

Surveyor 1 Launch

Suv Foot Pad on Moon

S 1 Foot Pad on Moon

Suv Shadow on Moon

S 1 Shadow on Moon

Lunar Orbiter 1

Lunar Orbiter 1

First View of Earth from Moon

First View of Earth from Moon

Jul 03

Space Rocket History #69 – Zond 3, Venera 3, and Asterix

The Zond program was one of two lunar exploration programs conducted by the Soviet Union to investigate the Moon and its vicinity. The program began in 1964 and ended in 1979. The early Zond’s 1-3 were originally designed for planetary exploration, while the latter Zonds (4-8) were sent on circum lunar flights. Additionally, the latter Zond vehicles were of a totally different in design. They were in fact automated versions of the manned Soyuz spacecraft…

Zond 3

Zond 3

Far Side of the Moon

Far Side of the Moon

Venera 3

Venera 3

Asterix

Asterix

Diament

Diamant

By Dave.

By Dave.

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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

Apr 10

Space Rocket History #58 – Corned Beef Controversy – Gemini 3 with Gus Grissom and John Young – Part 2

Grissom – What is it?
Young: Corned beef sandwich.
Grissom: Where did it come from?
Young: I brought it with me. Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it.
Grissom: Yes, its breaking up. I’m going to stick it in my pocket.
Young: Is it? It was a thought, anyway.
Grissom: Yep.
Young: Not a very good one.
Grissom: Pretty good, thought, if it would just hold together.
Young: Want some chicken leg?
Grissom: No you can handle that.

Launch of GLV-3

Launch of GLV-3

Staging

Staging

View from G3

View from G3

Recovery

Recovery

Carrier Recovery

Carrier Recovery

By Dave.

By Dave.

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

Jan 02

Space Rocket History #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

Dec 12

Space Rocket History #42 – Satellite Killer – Polyot-1

The Space Age had barely begun when Soviet engineers started planning ways to destroy enemy satellites. Some Western analysts have speculated that a design for an anti-satellite weapon system was started at Korolev’s OKB-1 bureau as early as 1956…

polyot1

Polyot-1

Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler

Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler

poletdh2

Credit: © Dietrich Haeseler

space rocket history pic45

By Dave