Archive for May 2018

Space Rocket History #64 – Gemini V with Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad – 8 Days or Bust -Part 2

May 9, 2018 @ 2:49 pm

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…

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

May 9, 2018 @ 2:33 pm

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.”

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

May 9, 2018 @ 2:19 pm

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…

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

May 9, 2018 @ 1:38 pm

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…

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