Archive for January 2019

Space Rocket History #112 – Apollo: Headquarters

January 4, 2019 @ 12:02 pm

“The contractor role in Houston was not very firm. Frankly, they didn’t want us. There were two things against us down there. Number one, it was a Headquarters contract, and it was decreed that the Space Centers shall use GE for certain things; and number two they considered us (meaning GE) to be  Headquarters spies.”  Edward S. Miller of General Electric.

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Space Rocket History #111 – Apollo: Early Lunar Module Design and Saturn SA-3”

January 4, 2019 @ 11:50 am

During 1962, NASA faced three major tasks: first the mode selection and its defense (covered in episodes 106-109), second keeping North American moving on the command and service modules (covered in episode 110) and third finding a contractor to develop the separate landing vehicle required by that approach.  Which we will cover today in episode 111.

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Space Rocket History #110 – Early Apollo Command Module Design

January 4, 2019 @ 11:25 am

The Apollo contract specified a shirt-sleeve environment. For this reason, North American was told not to include in its design a hatch that opened by explosives, like Mercury’s. An accidentally blown hatch in space would cause an instant vacuum and certain death for an astronaut not wearing his pressure suit.

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Space Rocket History #109 – Apollo: The PSAC Strikes Back and Saturn SA-2

January 4, 2019 @ 11:06 am

After viewing the Apollo spaceport being built in Florida, President Kennedy flew on to Huntsville, Alabama. There, during a tour of Marshall and a briefing on the Saturn V and the lunar-rendezvous mission by von Braun, Jerome Wiesner interrupted Von Braun in front of reporters, saying, “No, that’s no good.”  Webb immediately defended von Braun and lunar-orbit rendezvous. The adversaries engaged in a heated exchange until the President stopped them, stating that the matter was still subject to final review.

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