Archive for September 2018

Space Rocket History #91 – The Death of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – Part 3

September 6, 2018 @ 10:36 am

Around noon on January 14th, Boris Chertok was alone in his office studying a folder of classified mail that had accumulated during the past few days. He had asked not to be disturbed. Suddenly his subordinate ran in and shouted, “Sergey Pavlovich died!”
Chertok responded “Are you out of your mind? Which Sergey Pavlovich?”
“Ours, our Sergey Pavlovich Korolev! His wife telephoned from the hospital!”
Chertok stood absolutely dumbfounded, having no idea what to do next. This can’t be! This really shouldn’t be happening! A few seconds later he called the Kremlin for verification.

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Space Rocket History #90 – The Death of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – Part 2

September 6, 2018 @ 10:25 am

Sergei Korolev’s life paralleled in many ways the life of Wernher Von Braun. Like Von Braun, as a young man, Sergei Korolev was inspired to dedicate his life to the technology for space exploration after becoming acquainted with the work of a great space pioneer: Hermann Oberth in the case of von Braun, and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in the case of Korolev. Both began their careers in space development through serious study, participation in amateur rocket societies, and then support from the military…

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Space Rocket History #89 – The Death of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – Part 1

September 6, 2018 @ 10:08 am

His power, influence, and responsibilities during the 1950s and 60s were all encompassing. Not only was he in charge of all space-related issues, he was also in charge of some of the design of rockets for military purposes as well. He oversaw the design and testing of communications and surveillance satellites, too. Although he delegated responsibility for each program to trusted designers in separate engineering bureaus, his workload was enormous. He was the responsible for all the programs including the Soviet equivalent of NASA, which was called the Ministry for Medium Machine Building.

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Space Rocket History #88 – Gemini XII With Jim Lovell and and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin – Part 3

September 6, 2018 @ 9:53 am

We left off last week after Buzz Aldrin’s third and final EVA. The hard work for the Gemini 12 mission was now complete.  Even with the problems with the radar, the Agena main engines, and the fuel cells, Gemini XII as a whole had gone very well…

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Space Rocket History #87 – Gemini XII With Jim Lovell and and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin – Part 2

September 6, 2018 @ 9:36 am

In space, Jim and Buzz began to wonder if everything had been shut down too soon. For 25 minutes, with one brief exception, they heard nothing from the ground. The Ascension Island tracking station had the wrong acquisition time, so its communicators had not talked with the astronauts…

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Space Rocket History #86 – Gemini XII With Jim Lovell and and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin – Part 1

September 6, 2018 @ 9:21 am

When the  Gemini IX-A Agena fell into the Atlantic Ocean, Gemini XII was threatened with a major hardware shortage of an Agena and an Atlas to launch it. Replacing the Agena was no real problem. Lockheed’s first production model, 5001, used for development testing at the Cape, had already been sent back to the Sunnyvale plant for refurbishment. Now it was simply a matter of tailoring it to the Gemini XII mission…

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Space Rocket History #85 – Gemini XI With Charles (Pete) Conrad and Richard Gordon – Part 3

September 6, 2018 @ 9:08 am

The rotation rate checked out at 55 degrees per minute, and the crew could now test for a minute amount of artificial gravity. When they put a camera against the instrument panel and then let it go, it moved in a straight line to the rear of the cockpit and parallel to the direction of the tether. The crew, themselves, did not sense any physiological effect of gravity.

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Space Rocket History #84 – Gemini XI With Charles (Pete) Conrad and Richard Gordon – Part 2

September 6, 2018 @ 8:57 am

Conrad shouted to Gordon “Ride ’em, cowboy!”  Gordon was Riding bareback, with his feet and legs wedged between the docked vehicles. In practice sessions in zero-g aircraft flights, Gordon had been able to push himself forward, straddle the reentry and recovery section, and wedge his feet and legs between the docking adapter and the spacecraft to hold himself in place, leaving his hands free to attach the tether and clamp it down…

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