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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Space Rocket History #83 – Gemini XI With Charles (Pete) Conrad and Richard Gordon – Part 1

August 11, 2018 @ 10:48 am

Some significant goals had been set for the last two Gemini flights. For example, the Apollo Spacecraft Program Office wanted a rendezvous in the first spacecraft orbit, which would simulate lunar orbit rendezvous. There was also interest in linking an Agena to a the Gemini spacecraft by a tether and then spinning the combination to produce some artificial gravity.

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Space Rocket History #82 – Gemini X with John Young and Mike Collins – Part 3

August 11, 2018 @ 10:26 am

Collins emerged from the spacecraft at dawn. Like Gene Cernan on Gemini IX-A, he found that all tasks took longer than he expected. But he was able to retrieve the package from the exterior of his spacecraft…

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Space Rocket History #81 – Gemini X with John Young and Mike Collins – Part 2 – Riding the Agena

August 10, 2018 @ 11:12 am

“At first, the sensation I got was that there was a pop, then there was a big explosion and a clang. We were thrown forward in the seats. We had our shoulder harnesses fastened. Fire and sparks started coming out of the back end of that rascal. The light was something fierce, and the acceleration was pretty good. The vehicle yawed off – I don’t remember whether it was to the right or to the left – but it was the kind of response that the Lockheed people had predicted we would get. . . . The shutdown on the was just unbelievable. It was a quick jolt . . . and the tailoff . . . I never saw anything like that before, sparks and fire and smoke and lights.”  John Young Gemini X.

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Space Rocket History #80 – Gemini X with John Young and Mike Collins – Part 1

August 10, 2018 @ 11:00 am

Deputy Administrator Seamans wanted a mission review board created to study:
(1) Corrective measures for the Atlas-Agena failure
(2) The guidance update problem that delayed the launch two days
(3) The shroud incident
(4) The suit environmental control difficulties

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Space Rocket History #79 – Gemini IX-A with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan – Part 3 – EVA

August 10, 2018 @ 10:48 am

We left off last week with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan completing three rendezvous with the ATDA but, no docking because the shroud was still in place on the Docking Adapter. On June 5, 1966 at 5:30 a.m., nearly 45 hours and 30 minutes into the mission, the crew began preparations for Cernan’s walk in space…

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Space Rocket History #78 – Gemini IX-A with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan – Part 2 – Rendevouz

August 10, 2018 @ 10:33 am

As contractors worried about technical problems with the Atlas, Once again NASA, faced the necessity for a quick recovery plan when a target vehicle failed to reach orbit. You may recall the first time was with Gemini 6.  But this time Nasa had something in the hangar, an alternate vehicle – the Augment Target Docking Adapter also known as the  ATDA…

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Space Rocket History #77 – Gemini IX-A with Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan – Part 1

July 6, 2018 @ 5:22 pm

After the untimely deaths of Elliot See and Charles Basset, NASA assigned the Gemini IX prime crew positions to Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan.  This was the first time in NASA’s manned space flight history that a backup crew had taken over a mission.  The capsule was renamed Gemini IX-A…

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Space Rocket History #76 – Tragic Prelude to Gemini IX with Elliot See, Charles Bassett, Tom Stafford, and Gene Cernan

July 6, 2018 @ 3:24 pm

In October 1965, Elliot M. See and Charles A. Bassett II were selected to fly Gemini IX. Chief Astronaut Deke Slayton also told them that their backups would be Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan.  At that time Stafford was copilot for Gemini VI…

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

July 6, 2018 @ 3:12 pm

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…

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