Space Rocket History #156 – Apollo 7-The Flight Part 1

December 6, 2019 @ 11:26 am

SCHIRRA: You’ve added two burns to this flight schedule, and you’ve added a urine water dump; and we have a new vehicle up here, and I can tell you at this point TV will be delayed without any further discussion until after the rendezvous.
CAPCOM (Jack Swigert): Roger. Copy.
CAPCOM 1 (Deke Slayton): Apollo 7, this is CAPCOM number 1.
CAPCOM 1 (Slayton): All we’ve agreed to do on this is flip it.
SCHIRRA: the first part garbbled then Schirra said… with two commanders, Apollo 7
CAPCOM 1- (Slayton): All we have agreed to on this particular pass is to flip the switch on. No other activity is associated with TV; I think we are still obligated to do that.
SCHIRRA: We do not have the equipment out; we have not had an opportunity to follow setting; we have not eaten at this point. At this point, I have a cold. I refuse to foul up our time lines this way.


Space Rocket History #155 – Apollo 7 – Assembly, Testing, Training, and Launch

December 6, 2019 @ 11:11 am

Command Service Module-101 started through the manufacturing cycle early in 1966. By July, it had been formed, wired, fitted with subsystems, and made ready for testing. After the Apollo 1 fire in January 1967, changes had to be made, mainly in the wiring, hatch areas, and the forward egress tunnel. It was December before the spacecraft came back into testing. CSM-101 passed through a three-phase customer acceptance review; during the third session, held in Downey on May 7th 1968, no items showed up that might be a “constraint to launch.” North American cleared up what few deficiencies there were (13) and shipped the craft to Kennedy on  May 30th 1967…


Space Rocket History #154 – Apollo 7 – The Crew

December 6, 2019 @ 11:03 am

Had it not been for the fact that Eisele damaged his shoulder during a zero-G training flight aboard a KC-135 aircraft just before Christmas 1965, he might have been in the senior pilot’s seat aboard Apollo 1, instead of Ed White.


Space Rocket History #153 – Zond 5 – Tortoises in Space

November 7, 2019 @ 11:58 am

The first attempt for a Zond 4 follow-up launched on April 22.  It failed when the Launch Escape System sent an erroneous abort command at T+260 seconds and shut down the Proton booster’s second stage. The escape rocket fired and pulled the descent module to safety.


Space Rocket History #152 – The Death of Yuri Gagarin

November 7, 2019 @ 11:42 am

Hundreds of millions of people all over the planet had seen Gagarin smiling joyfully in person or on television. He was theirs, familiar to everyone, and at the same time a “Citizen of the Universe.”


Space Rocket History #151 – Zond 4

November 7, 2019 @ 11:29 am

When we left the Soviet Union they had somewhat successfully landed a probe on Venus and they had completed the automatic docking of two Soyuz 7K-OK spacecrafts.  However they did not reach their goal of a circumlunar flight in time for the 50th anniversary of the glorious revolution.


Space Rocket History #150 – Apollo 6: Pogo

October 9, 2019 @ 1:26 pm

The success of Apollo 4 gave good reason to believe that the Saturn V could be trusted to propel men into space. But NASA pushed on with its plans for a second unmanned booster flight, primarily to give the Pad 39 launch team another rehearsal before sending men into deep space on the Saturn V.  The mission was called Apollo 6…


Space Rocket History #149 – Apollo 5: Lunar Module’s First Flight

October 9, 2019 @ 1:04 pm

“The fire-in-the-hole abort was the most critical test of the mission and one we had to accomplish successfully prior to a manned mission.” Gene Kranz – Flight Director Apollo 5


Space Rocket History #148 – Apollo 4: Operation Big Shot

October 9, 2019 @ 12:45 pm

“…our building’s shaking here. Our building’s shaking! Oh it’s terrific, the building’s shaking! This big blast window is shaking! We’re holding it with our hands! Look at that rocket go into the clouds at 3000 feet!…you can see it…you can see it…oh the roar is terrific!…”  Walter Cronkite – Apollo 4 launch.


Space Rocket History #147 – Saturn: S-II Stage Part 2: Trials and Tribulations

September 6, 2019 @ 11:15 am

“The S-II stage was a nightmare the minute it was conceived, and it only got worse from there. During the course of its creation, it would grind up people and careers the way the transcontinental railway devoured laborers.  Though the methods and materials used to build the S-II were reasonably well known, nobody had ever tried to apply them on such a titanic scale.  Originally, it was to be somewhere around 8 stores tall with a diameter of 22 feet, but the width ballooned from there to 27 feet before the contract was  even signed, then to 30, and finally to 33 feet.  And all the while as the size of thing increased, NASA was trimming the allowable weight.”  Harrison Storms of NAA.

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