Space Rocket History Podcast

Space Rocket History Podcast

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The history of rocketry and space exploration.


#319 – Apollo 14 – Lunar Lift-off
Oct 9 • 28 min
141:45:30 Shepard: Okay. The abort stage is set. Ascent Engine is Armed. 6, 5, 4… 141:45:38 Mitchell: Proceed with the ignition program 141:45:38 Shepard: …3, 2, 1, 0… 141:45:42 Mitchell: Ignition. 141:45:43 Shepard: We have ignition… 141:45:44 Mitchell:…
#318 – Apollo 14 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 2 – How about a round of golf?
Oct 2 • 31 min
“It was terribly, terribly frustrating; coming up over that ridge that we were going up, and thinking, finally, that was it; and it wasn’t – suddenly recognizing that, really, you just don’t know where you are.” Ed Mitchell
50th Anniversary Special – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #223 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 1
Sep 25 • 43 min
Silently and carefully, Armstrong raised his left boot over the lip of the footpad and lowered it to the dust. Immediately he tested his weight, bouncing in the gentle gravity, and when he felt firm ground, he was still, one … Continue reading →
#317 – Apollo 14 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 1 – The Rim of Cone Crater
Sep 18 • 32 min
The majority of the second moonwalk was dedicated to reaching the rim of Cone Crater. The wide, deep geological gold mine, which scientists believed was actually the remains of an ancient volcano.
#316 – Apollo 14 – Solo Flight Over the Moon & Lunar Geology
Sep 11 • 32 min
With the Hycon camera down, Roosa would have to step in and use a Hasselblad with a 500 mm lens, to take detailed photos of the Apollo 16 potential landing site. If Roosa did nothing else, he had to return … Continue reading →
#315 – Apollo 14 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 3 – ALSEP Deployment
Sep 4 • 30 min
The mortar package contained a set of grenades which were planned to be fired to distances of 500, 1000, 3000, and 5000 feet to the north of the ALSEP site.
#314 – Apollo 14 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 2 – Fueling the Nuke
Aug 28 • 30 min
A small plutonium source was used to power the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) that would provide electric power for the ALSEP experiments. Ed Mitchell performed the delicate maneuver of inserting the fuel capsule into the RTG.
#313 – Apollo 14 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 1 – Color TV From the Moon
Aug 21 • 32 min
“Al is on the surface. And it’s been a long way, but we’re here.” Alan Shepard
#312 – Apollo 14 – Lunar Landing – Part 2
Aug 14 • 32 min
Suddenly the caution lights went out and the radar signals began to transmit. Within seconds the astronauts could see that its data was good. Seconds later in mission control, a jubilant Will Presley shouted, “Flight, we got radar lockup!”
#311 – Apollo 14 – Lunar Landing – Part 1
Aug 7 • 30 min
While checking the lander’s guidance software, during a final practice run for the landing, engineers in mission control detected that the computer was receiving an errant signal from the abort pushbutton.
#310 – Apollo 14 – Lunar Orbit
Jul 31 • 30 min
The first extended use of the Service Propulsion System engine on the Command and Service module was for the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) burn.
#309 – Apollo 14 – The Long Coast
Jul 24 • 33 min
Mitchell kept his plan a secret from NASA, knowing that the agency would be completely unreceptive to the idea. He said nothing about it to his crewmates. The test subjects had also agreed to keep quiet.
50th Anniversary Special – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #221 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 3
Jul 20 • 45 min
“Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
50th Anniversary Special – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #220 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 2
Jul 19 • 35 min
Suddenly, Buzz and Neil heard the high-pitched sound of the Master Alarm. On the computer display the “PROG” light glowed amber. “Program alarm,” Armstrong radioed. Quickly, Aldrin queried the computer for the alarm code, and “1202” flashed on the display.
50th Anniversary Special – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #219 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 1
Jul 18 • 42 min
The machine-like performance of flight crew and ground controllers continued. Each participant was in perfect harmony with the other, moving to a cadence dictated by the laws of physics and the clock.
#308 – Apollo 14 – Transposition, Docking & Extraction
Jul 10 • 34 min
Docking was a delicate maneuver, since both ships were traveling at nearly five miles per second, but the docking mechanism itself was one of the simplest on the entire spacecraft, and the docking procedure had been perfected on previous Apollo flights, ……
#307 – Apollo 14 – The Climb to Orbit & TLI
Jul 3 • 31 min
“The approaching dusk and the damp mistiness left by the now-departed rainstorm only enhanced the spectacular sight and the sound of the launch. Tentacles of flame erupted on either side of the bottom of the Saturn V, which seemed to … Continue reading →
#306 – Apollo 14 – The Launch
Jun 26 • 30 min
The first launch window for Apollo 14 began at 15:23, Eastern Standard Time, 31 January 1971, and lasted almost four hours.
#305 – Apollo 14 – Pre-launch
Jun 19 • 31 min
On November 9, 1970, the Apollo 14/Saturn V assembly, as tall as a 36-story building, rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building on the proportionally huge crawler transporter.
#304 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 4
Jun 12 • 33 min
Even with all the problems, Shepard piloted the Lunar Module Antares to the most accurate landing of the entire Apollo program. Shepard became the fifth and, at the age of 47, the oldest man to walk on the Moon, and … Continue reading →
#303 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 3
Jun 5 • 34 min
After the Mercury-Atlas 10 mission was canceled, Shepard was designated as the Commander of the first crewed Gemini mission, with Thomas P. Stafford chosen as his pilot.
#302 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 2
May 29 • 37 min
On January 19, 1961, Robert R. Gilruth, the director of NASA’s Space Task Group, informed the seven astronauts that Shepard had been chosen for the first American crewed mission into space.
#301 – Apollo 14 – Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr. – Part 1
May 22 • 35 min
Although the Shepards were well off, the children were not coddled. Their father valued work and made sure each child performed their share of domestic chores. Alan’s father was a stern and serious disciplinarian, Alan inherited a stoicism and toughness ……
#300 – Apollo 14 – Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell – Tang Ceremony
May 15 • 44 min
In the Astronaut Office, it was his intellectual bent that set him apart from some of the other pilots, along with a certain hard edge.
50th Anniversary Special – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #214 – Apollo 11 – The Climb to Orbit
May 8 • 50 min
A Saturn V liftoff is spectacular, and the launch of Apollo 11 was no exception. But it didn’t give the audience any surprises. To the three Gemini-experienced pilots, who likened the sensation to the boost of a Titan II, it was a … Continue reading →
#299 – Apollo 14 – Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa
May 1 • 32 min
As a Smoke Jumper, Roosa parachuted into at least four active fires in Oregon and California during the 1953 fire season.
#298 – Apollo 14 – Crew Selection
Apr 24 • 27 min
There were some people who wondered why America’s first man in space Alan Shepard, at age forty-seven, having acquired fame, wealth, and status as an American hero, would risk his life to go to the moon.
#297 – Apollo 14 – Introduction
Apr 17 • 32 min
The Apollo 14 crew were constantly aware that if their mission failed—if they had to turn back—it was probably the end of the Apollo program.
#296 – Space 1970 – Dongfanghong 1 & Zond 8
Apr 10 • 27 min
With the successful launch of Dongfanghong I, China became the fifth country after the Soviet Union, United States, France, and Japan to independently launch a satellite.
50th Anniversary Special – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #213 – Apollo 11 – The Launch
Apr 3 • 45 min
On July 16th 1969, nearly a million people crowded the Florida highways, byways, and beaches to watch man’s departure from the earth to walk on the moon. Twenty thousand guests looked on from special vantage points.
#295 – Space 1970 – Osumi (Japan) & Uhuru (US)
Mar 27 • 31 min
Osumi was the name of the first Japanese satellite placed into orbit. It was named after the Osumi Province in the southern islands of Japan.
#294 – Space 1970 – Soyuz 9 – Part 2
Mar 20 • 30 min
At midnight June 1, 1970 Soyuz 9 lifted off from Area 31 at Baikonur and successfully entered low earth orbit with an apogee of 227 km and a perigee of 176 km.
#293 – Space 1970 – Soyuz 9 – Part 1
Mar 13 • 29 min
The original Soyuz 9 mission was planned to fly two Soyuz spacecraft in the August to September 1970 time frame for a rendezvous and docking; however, at the end of December 1969 the communist party bosses ordered that the mission … Continue reading →
#292 – Space 1970 – Venera 7
Mar 6 • 29 min
The VENERA 7 lander was the hardiest of the Soviet Venus probes yet built. Its creators wanted the vessel to land on the planet’s surface in working order.
#291 – Space 1970 – Luna 16 & 17
Feb 27 • 27 min
Luna 16 was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth after five unsuccessful similar attempts.
#290 – Apollo 13 – Welcome Home
Feb 20 • 39 min
“Three brave astronauts are alive and on Earth because of the mission operations teams’ dedication, and because at the critical moments the people of that team were wise enough and self-possessed enough to make the right decisions. Their extraordinary…
#289 – Apollo 13 – Splashdown
Feb 13 • 28 min
“During blackout every team member does his own soul searching, reviewing the decisions and the data, knowing they had to be nearly perfect and knowing how tough perfection is.” Gene Kranz
#288 – Apollo 13 – Re-entry
Feb 6 • 28 min
To Kranz and his team, this crew was special. They just could not lose them. Failure was not an option.
#287 – Apollo 13 – Separation Anxiety
Jan 30 • 32 min
Three hours before dawn, Gene Kranz’ White Team took its place next to Windler’s Maroon Team controllers. The eighty hours of uncertainty were now past and mission control was down to Apollo 13’s final shift.
In Honor of China’s Moon Lander Chang’e-4 – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #18 – Luna 2 and 3
Jan 23 • 20 min
While the Mercury 7 were fulfilling their roles as symbols of space exploration, Korolev was once again offering the real thing. He now prepared to undertake the most demanding mission yet. The mission that would accomplish the next step in … Continue…
#286 – Apollo 13 – I Want My Power Up Checklist. Now!
Jan 16 • 30 min
As If there were not enough problems, Houston still had not completed the command module power up checklist.
#285 – Apollo 13 – More Problems
Jan 9 • 31 min
From beneath the Lunar Modules floor there was a thud, then a hiss, then another thump that vibrated through the cabin.
#284 – Apollo 13 – Mid-course Correction
Jan 2 • 34 min
Swigert counted down five, four, three, two, one.” Lovell pressed the big red engine button set in the bulkhead and once again felt the vibration below his feet. “Ignition,” Lovell said to his crew-mates.
#283 – Apollo 13 – Encouragement from the President
Dec 26, 2018 • 28 min
In the White House, President Nixon was very concerned for the Apollo 13 crew. Since Apollo 8’s successful lunar orbit, just one month before his inauguration, Nixon had developed a fascination with moon flight and a special admiration for the … Continue…
#282 – Apollo 13 – Battery #2
Dec 19, 2018 • 25 min
At the manned spacecraft center in Houston, Don Arabian was in Building 45 when battery number two in Aquarius’ descent stage exploded.
#281 – Apollo 13 – Homeward Bound
Dec 12, 2018 • 30 min
There was now cause for optimism in Mission Control. At the TELMU station, where the Lunar Module’s environmental signs were being continually monitored, the readings of the carbon dioxide concentrations aboard Aquarius were steadily dropping all day long.
In Honor of NASA Mars Probe “InSight” – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #46 – Mariner 4
Dec 5, 2018 • 25 min
Mariner 4’s primary objective was to conduct closeup scientific observations of Mars and to transmit these observations to Earth. Additional goals included performing field and particle measurements in interplanetary space, and providing experience and…
#280 – Apollo 13 – Carbon Dioxide
Nov 28, 2018 • 31 min
In a healthy spacecraft, the CO2 meter should climb no higher than 2 or 3 millimeters of mercury. When it rose above 7, the crew was instructed to change their lithium hydroxide canisters. If it was allowed to rise above … Continue reading →
#279 – Apollo 13 – Leaving the Moon – Part 2
Nov 21, 2018 • 27 min
In the satellite room of the carrier Iwo Jima, the communications man sat back and removed his headset. He knew, that Apollo 13 was in fact coming their way.
#278 – Apollo 13 – Leaving the Moon – Part 1
Nov 14, 2018 • 33 min
Lovell’s disappointment with Kranz’s decision to not run another star check was quickly becoming academic since the time to conduct it was running out anyway.
#277 – Apollo 13 – Approaching the Moon
Nov 8, 2018 • 31 min
“They’re all coming out,” Swigert said, straining for a glimpse through Lovell’s window. “You said it,” Lovell said. “There’s Nunki, there’s Antares. We may have enough here for that confidence check.”
#276 – Apollo 13 – Minimizing Power – Part 3
Oct 31, 2018 • 33 min
According to the profiles Bill Peters and his electrical specialists calculated, it was possible to power the LEM with just 12 amps. Under normal conditions it needed about 55 amps of current to run.
#275 – Apollo 13 – Minimizing Power – Part 2
Oct 24, 2018 • 35 min
“The first burn, Griffin explained, would be a long one. Pushing the descent throttle all the way to the full position, Lovell would leave it there for more than six minutes before shutting the engine down. This maneuver, which for … Continue reading →
#274 – Apollo 13 – Minimizing Power – Part 1
Oct 17, 2018 • 30 min
Electricity was in short supply. A fully functioning, up-and running LEM required about 55 amps of current to operate.
#273 – Apollo 13 – Free Return – Part 3
Oct 10, 2018 • 32 min
Lovell toggled the “master arm” switch to On and glanced around to see if everything else was in order. Guidance control was set to “Primary Guidance”; thrust control was on “Auto”; engine gimbals were enabled; the propellant quantity, temperature, and ……
#272 – Apollo 13 – Free Return – Part 2
Oct 3, 2018 • 32 min
Aquarius, can you see any stars yet?
#271 – Apollo 13 – Free Return – Part 1
Sep 26, 2018 • 34 min
Kraft wanted to fire the descent engine now, get the ship back on its free-return slingshot course, and when it emerged from behind the moon and reached the PC+2 point, execute any maneuvers that might be required to refine the … Continue reading →
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #183 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 4
Sep 20, 2018 • 42 min
When Scott tried to release the lunar module, he did not hold the button long enough so the lander got hung on the capture latches.
#270 – Apollo 13 – The News Breaks
Sep 13, 2018 • 35 min
Cronkite did not look good. He called Schirra over and thrust a sheet of wire-service copy at him. Schirra scanned the text hurriedly, and with each sentence his heart sank. This was bad. This was worse than bad. This was … Continue reading →
#269 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 4
Sep 5, 2018 • 32 min
EECOM, Sy Liebergot looked away from his monitor; the end, he knew, was at last here. Liebergot, through no fault of his own, was about to become the first flight controller in the history of the manned space program to … Continue reading →
#268 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 3
Aug 29, 2018 • 32 min
As near as Lovell could tell, it would be a while before the ship’s endgame would play out. He had no way of calculating the leak rate in the tank, but if the moving needle was any indication, he had … Continue reading →
#267 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 2
Aug 23, 2018 • 29 min
By the time Flight Director Kranz heard Lovell’s report, of “Houston, we’ve had a problem. ” three controllers had reported related problems. Kranz was wondering which problem Lovell was reporting, as he started relaying the long list of warning…
#266 – Apollo 13 – “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” – Part 1
Aug 16, 2018 • 32 min
Swigert: I believe we’ve had a problem here! CapComm: This is Houston. Say again, please. Lovell: Houston, we’ve had a problem.
#265 – Apollo 13 – Translunar Coast – The Calm Before the Storm
Aug 9, 2018 • 33 min
As Lovell prepared for the thruster adjustments, Haise finished closing down the LEM and drifted through the tunnel back toward the command module and Swigert threw the switch to stir all 4 cryogenic tanks.
#264 – Apollo 13 – Orbit, Translunar Injection, Docking, and Extraction
Jul 31, 2018 • 30 min
Milt Windier’s team at mission control quickly reviewed the status of the remaining four engines, ran the computations for the new engine cutoff times, and passed them to the crew.
#263 – Apollo 13 – The Launch
Jul 25, 2018 • 35 min
During the Apollo era, North American-Downey built the Apollo Command & Service Module. After each completed spacecraft, Nasa conducted formal reviews of the build paper work before each vehicle was accepted for flight.
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #169 – Apollo 8 – Christmas 1968
Jul 18, 2018 • 41 min
Bill Anders: “We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.” “‘In the beginning God created the heaven and … Continue reading →
#262 – Apollo 13 – Commander Jim Lovell
Jul 11, 2018 • 33 min
Lovell completed four space flights and is one of only three men to travel to the Moon twice. Lovell accrued over 715 hours spent in space, and he saw a total of 269 sunrises from space on his Gemini and … Continue reading →
#261 – Apollo 13 – Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise
Jul 5, 2018 • 35 min
At thirty-six, Haise was the youngest member of the crew of Apollo 13, and his black hair and angular features made him seem younger still.
#260 – Apollo 13 – Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert
Jun 27, 2018 • 34 min
John Leonard Swigert Jr. aka Jack Swigert was born on August 30, 1931 in Denver, Colorado to parents John Leonard Sr. and Virginia Swigert.
#259 – Apollo 13 – Introduction – Part 2
Jun 20, 2018 • 32 min
Just before the mission began things started to go wrong. The weekend before launch Charlie Duke, the backup lunar module pilot, came down with a case of German measles.
#258 – Apollo 13 – Introduction – Part 1
Jun 13, 2018 • 33 min
Targeted for touchdown on the third lunar landing was a place known as the Fra Mauro range, a stretch of rugged, Appalachian-type mounds 110 miles east of the Apollo 12 landing site.
#257 – Apollo 12 – Return, Re-entry and Splashdown
Jun 6, 2018 • 36 min
Ten days ago, their Saturn V rocket had blasted Bean and his crew mates out of earth’s gravitational pull. Now their home planet was pulling them back at more than 24,000 miles per hour, twelve times faster than a high-speed … Continue reading →
#256 – Apollo 12 – Leaving the Moon
May 30, 2018 • 32 min
Dick Gordon opened the tunnel to Intrepid, saw his companions floating in a dirty cloud of moon dust, and slammed the hatch closed. He called out, “You guys ain’t gonna mess up my nice clean spacecraft!”
#255 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Liftoff
May 23, 2018 • 35 min
After a total of 31.6 hours on the moon, the Lunar Module ascent stage fired for about 7 minutes placing Intrepid into an orbit of 10 miles by 54 miles.
An Encore Presentation of the Space Rocket History #122 – Apollo: Serious Problems with the Lunar Module and Grumman
May 16, 2018 • 44 min
Toward the end of January 1967, it was revealed that Lunar Module 1 would not reach the Cape in February, as expected. This meant, the moon landing might be delayed because the lander was not ready. But the mission planners … Continue reading →
#254 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 5 – Blocky Crater & Closeout
May 9, 2018 • 33 min
Conrad and Bean now walked north, up Surveyor Crater’s 14 degree slope. Fatigue set in as Pete and Al walked up the crater wall. The hand tool carrier was nearly full of rocks now and Bean felt the full weight … Continue reading →
#253 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 4 – Surveyor Crater & Surveyor 3
May 2, 2018 • 34 min
Surveyor 3 was now to their right, 300 feet away, gleaming in the morning sunlight. Antennas and sensors still reached upward from its tubular frame, just as they had on April 20, 1967, when the spacecraft thumped onto the moon … Continue reading →
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #145 – Surveyors 2 – 7 with a Little Apollo 12
Apr 25, 2018 • 52 min
The primary objectives of the Surveyor program, were to support the Apollo landings by: (1) developing and validating the technology for landing softly on the Moon; (2) providing data on the compatibility of the Apollo design with conditions encountered…
#252 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 3 – Rock ‘n’ Roll at Halo Crater
Apr 18, 2018 • 31 min
The problem with running into the sun was it was so bright that Conrad and Bean could not see the moon’s surface features until they were right on top of them.
#251 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 2 – Bench and Sharp Craters
Apr 11, 2018 • 26 min
While Conrad led the way, Bean watched the ground for something interesting. It wasn’t easy to do field geology while running, and on the moon.
#250 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 2 – Part 1 – Head Crater – Tang Ceremony
Apr 4, 2018 • 44 min
Pete and Al could not hear the excited shouts of the geologists in the back room down the hall from mission control, but they knew they had found something significant.
#249 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 3
Mar 28, 2018 • 38 min
Most of the remaining moon walk time was spent collecting rock samples, making surface observations such as the small mounds or hills, and taking pictures.
#248 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 2 – ALSEP
Mar 21, 2018 • 32 min
According to the checklist, Bean was allowed 5 minutes to gain his balance and learn to walk on the Moon. Bean was amazed at his new buoyancy saying, “You can jump up in the air…” But Conrad wanted to press … Continue reading →
#247 – Apollo 12 – Moonwalk 1 – Part 1
Mar 14, 2018 • 37 min
“The old Surveyor, yes sir. It can’t be any more than 600 feet from here. How about that?” (Pete Conrad.)
#246 – Apollo 12 – Pin Point Landing Part 2 – Right Down the Middle of the Road
Mar 7, 2018 • 39 min
“Hey, there it is! There it is! Son of a gun, right down the middle of the road! Look out there! I can’t believe it! Fantastic!” Pete Conrad when he saw his landing site.
#245 – Apollo 12 – Pin Point Landing Part 1 – Right Down the Middle of the Road
Feb 28, 2018 • 31 min
There was adrenaline in Pete Conrad’s voice as he counted down the last seconds before ignition. He and Bean were still weightless, but their bodies were secured to the cabin floor by harnesses. “Seven, six, five.” Conrad pushed the PROCEED … Continue…
#244 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Orbit
Feb 21, 2018 • 34 min
At 83 hours mission elapsed time, the long lunar coast was almost over. It was time for the lunar orbit insertion burn. This burn would put Yankee Clipper and Intrepid into lunar orbit.
#243 – Apollo 12 – TLI and the Coast
Feb 14, 2018 • 29 min
It was impossible to check out the entire spacecraft; that could only be done on the ground. In the short time available, Griffin’s team ran a pre-maneuver check list, re-aligned the CSM platform, and discussed proceeding with the mission with … Continue…
#242 – Apollo 12 – The Launch Part 2
Feb 7, 2018 • 36 min
John Aaron’s (EECOM) next call made him a legend in Mission Control. He said quickly and confidently, “Flight, try S-C-E to Aux.”
#241 – Apollo 12 – The Launch Part 1
Jan 31, 2018 • 37 min
It was 68 degrees, overcast, and raining at Cape Kennedy on November 14, 1969. The ceiling was 2,100 feet and the winds were light. There was some discussion, while the astronauts were suiting-up, of scrubbing the launch, but that would … Continue reading…
#240 – Apollo 12 – Saturn V Instrument Unit
Jan 24, 2018 • 41 min
The Saturn V’s control system was housed inside and also referred to as the Instrument Unit (IU). Marshall Space Flight Centers Astrionics Laboratory categorized the IU as the “brain” and “nerve center” of Saturn V.
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #188 – Apollo 10 – Command Module Pilot John Young
Jan 17, 2018 • 35 min
John Young enjoyed the longest career of any astronaut thus far. Over the course of 42 years of active NASA service he made six space flights and is the only person to have piloted, and been commander of four different … Continue reading →
#239 – Apollo 12 – Commander Charles Conrad – Part 2
Jan 10, 2018 • 38 min
Pete Conrad joined NASA as part of the second group of astronauts, known as the New Nine, on September 17, 1962. He was regarded as one of the best pilots in the group, and was among the first of his group … Continue reading →
#238 – Apollo 12 – Commander Charles Conrad – Part 1
Jan 3, 2018 • 40 min
The third man to walk on the moon, Charles Conrad Jr. was born on June 2, 1930, in Philadelphia, to Charles and Frances Conrad. He was their third child and their first son.
#237 – Apollo 12 – Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean – The Artist
Dec 20, 2017 • 41 min
After completing a four-year tour of duty, he attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. He trained under the direction of Pete Conrad, who would later become Commander of the Apollo 12 moon flight, and … Continue reading →
#236 – Apollo 12 – Command Module Pilot Richard “Dick” Gordon
Dec 13, 2017 • 28 min
After graduating from the University of Washington, Gordon joined the US Navy, and after his first exposure to planes decided to become a pilot. Gordon said “Once I found what the airplane could do for me, or I could do … Continue reading →
#235 – Apollo 12 – Introduction
Dec 6, 2017 • 44 min
At NASA Headquarters, George Mueller and other planners created a far-reaching plan that Administrator Paine made even more ambitious in adapting it for Nixon’s Space Task Group. The task group’s timetable called for a twelve-man space station and a…
#234 – Soyuz 6, 7, and 8 – Part 2 -The Vulcan Device
Nov 29, 2017 • 34 min
The Vulcan device consisted of two major units. The first unit included various welding devices and a turn-table with samples of metals to be welded. The second unit consisted of an electric power pack, a protective shield which covered the … Continue…
#233 – Soyuz 6, 7, and 8 with Shonin, Kubasov, Filipchenko, Volkov, Gorbatko, Shatalov, Yeliseyev – Part 1
Nov 22, 2017 • 38 min
Finally, on April 25, 1969 during a meeting of the Soyuz State Commission, it was decided that the solo and docking flights outlined for 1969 by design bureau OKB-1 would be combined into a joint flight of three spacecraft. The … Continue reading →
#232 – Apollo 11 – Final Duties & World Reaction Part 2
Nov 15, 2017 • 38 min
The round-the-world tour began on September 29th and lasted until November 5th covering 28 cities in 25 countries in 38 days. The astronauts’ wives were allowed to go along on the trip, as well as a large staff.
#231 – Apollo 11 – Final Duties & World Reaction Part 1
Nov 8, 2017 • 38 min
On August 10th, 1969 quarantine officially ended for the Apollo 11 crew, but that did not end the duties required for a flight of such magnitude. On August 12th, the Astronauts conducted a post flight press conference. They were greeted … Continue reading…
#230 – Apollo 11 – Recovery, Nixon, & Quarantine
Nov 1, 2017 • 38 min
The helicopter door slid open and Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins stepped out of the helicopter onto the lower deck of the carrier Hornet to the accompaniment of a brass band. They appeared to many, like men from another world. They … Continue reading →
#229 – Apollo 11 – Re-entry & Splashdown
Oct 25, 2017 • 41 min
At launch, Apollo 11 weighed 6,000,000 pounds, now all that was left of Columbia weighed in at a mere 11,000 pounds.
#228 – Apollo 11 – The Return
Oct 18, 2017 • 45 min
The next critical event in the Apollo 11 mission was the Trans-Earth Injection burn. The burn involved firing the big service propulsion engine for two and a half minutes on the back side of the moon.
#227 – Apollo 11 – Rendezvous, Docking and Jettisoning
Oct 11, 2017 • 35 min
The ascent of the Eagle was strikingly swift compared with the liftoff of the huge Saturn V rocket from Cape Canaveral. Of course for the Moon launch, there was no atmosphere resisting Eagle, and there was only one-sixth gravity to … Continue reading →
#226 – Apollo 11 – Moon Launch
Oct 4, 2017 • 36 min
Until now they had been focused on reaching the moon, landing, taking a walk on its surface, setting up experiments, exploring, and gathering evidence. With those tasks completed and their lunar bounty was board, the top priority was to fly … Continue…
#225 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 3
Sep 27, 2017 • 38 min
Without a word to Houston, while Buzz made his way back to Eagle, Armstrong took off running. Long strides carried Armstrong into the sun’s glare to the edge of a crater that looked to be 80 feet across and 15 … Continue reading →
#224 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 2 – One Priceless Moment
Sep 20, 2017 • 36 min
Support Hurricane Harvey and Irma victims through the Red Cross. “For one priceless moment, in the whole history of man, all the people on this earth are truly one. One in their pride in what you have done. And one … Continue reading →
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #26 – Why the Moon?
Sep 13, 2017 • 38 min
“We have been plunged into a race for the conquest of outer space. As a reason for this undertaking some look to the new and exciting scientific discoveries which are certain to be made. Others feel the challenge to transport … Continue reading →
#223 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 1
Sep 6, 2017 • 43 min
Support Hurricane Harvey victims through the Red Cross. Silently and carefully, Armstrong raised his left boot over the lip of the footpad and lowered it to the dust. Immediately he tested his weight, bouncing in the gentle gravity, and when … Continue…
#222 – Apollo 11 – Post Landing & EVA Prep
Aug 30, 2017 • 39 min
Support Hurricane Harvey victims through the Red Cross. Inside the Eagle Buzz and Neil knew every second was crucial. The T1 time was only 2 minutes so They hastily ran down through their checklists, preparing as though they were going … Continue reading →
#221 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 3
Aug 23, 2017 • 45 min
“Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.”
#220 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 2
Aug 16, 2017 • 35 min
Suddenly, Buzz and Neil heard the high-pitched sound of the Master Alarm. On the computer display the “PROG” light glowed amber. “Program alarm,” Armstrong radioed. Quickly, Aldrin queried the computer for the alarm code, and “1202” flashed on the display.
#219 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Landing – Part 1
Aug 9, 2017 • 42 min
The machine-like performance of flight crew and ground controllers continued. Each participant was in perfect harmony with the other, moving to a cadence dictated by the laws of physics and the clock.
#218 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Orbit
Aug 2, 2017 • 39 min
As they passed behind the moon, they had just over 8 minutes to go before the burn. They were super-careful now, they checked and rechecked each step several times. It had to be perfect. Just one digit in the computer … Continue reading →
#217 – Apollo 11 – Cislunar
Jul 26, 2017 • 39 min
What do we call this strange region between earth and moon? Cislunar space is the most common term, Is it day or night? Humans generally define night as that time when our planet is between our eyes and the sun, … Continue reading →
#216 – Apollo 11 – Transposition, Docking & Extraction
Jul 19, 2017 • 39 min
Collins’ first task was to separate the command and service modules from the Saturn and proceed away from it a safe distance; then turn around and face it.
#215 – Apollo 11 – Trans Lunar Injection
Jul 12, 2017 • 39 min
As Apollo 11 passed over Western Australia, at T+2 hours 26 minutes Houston relayed to Collins, Armstrong, and Aldrin – through Carnarvon – formal permission to go to the moon. “Apollo 11, this is Houston. You are go for TLI.” … Continue reading →
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #103 – Saturn Development 1957 – 1960
Jul 5, 2017 • 31 min
Many historians agree, the U.S. took its first step toward the moon in the spring of 1957, four years before President Kennedy declared the national goal of landing a man on the Moon, and returning him safely to the Earth. … Continue reading →
#214 – Apollo 11 – The Climb to Orbit
Jun 28, 2017 • 50 min
A Saturn V liftoff is spectacular, and the launch of Apollo 11 was no exception. But it didn’t give the audience any surprises. To the three Gemini-experienced pilots, who likened the sensation to the boost of a Titan II, it was a … Continue reading →
#213 – Apollo 11 – The Launch
Jun 21, 2017 • 45 min
On July 16th 1969, nearly a million people crowded the Florida highways, byways, and beaches to watch man’s departure from the earth to walk on the moon. Twenty thousand guests looked on from special vantage points.
#212 – Apollo 11 – Prelaunch
Jun 14, 2017 • 43 min
In addition to the ordinary taxpayers who gathered on the beaches and roads of eastern Florida, 20,000 VIPs were invited by NASA to watch the lift off from viewing stands near the Vehicle Assembly Building.
#211 – Apollo 11 – Mission Training – Part 3 & Contamination
Jun 7, 2017 • 36 min
In addition to the fixed-base lunar module simulators in Houston and at the Cape, astronauts also practiced at Langley Research Center on the suspended lunar landing trainer which was equipped with realistic surface views and lighting.
#210 – Apollo 11 – Mission Training – Part 2
May 31, 2017 • 38 min
Steve Bales (Guido) made a new entry to the trajectory and guidance section of the rules book which excluded lunar module computer program alarms 1201 and 1202 from the abort list.
#209 – Apollo 11 – Mission Training – Part 1
May 24, 2017 • 39 min
Crew training for Apollo 11 was already complicated by the need to master the controls of two different and very complex spacecrafts, as well as the space suit, but now the mission took on new dimensions, principally in learning how … Continue reading →
#208 – Apollo 11 – Commander Neil Armstrong – Part 3
May 17, 2017 • 49 min
After his death, Armstrong was described, in a statement released by the White House, as “among the greatest of American heroes—not just of his time, but of all time.”
#207 – Apollo 11 – Commander Neil Armstrong – Part 2
May 10, 2017 • 45 min
Armstrong became more and more excited about the prospects of both the Apollo program and of investigating a new aeronautical environment.
#206 – Apollo 11 – Commander Neil Armstrong – Part 1
May 3, 2017 • 47 min
When Neil was 2 years old his father took him to a flying event called the Cleveland Air Races. This could have been the beginning of Neil’s love for flying.
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #87 – Gemini XII With Jim Lovell and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin – Part 2
Apr 26, 2017 • 25 min
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 … Continue reading →
#205 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin – Part 2
Apr 19, 2017 • 40 min
Unfortunately Aldrin’s life became difficult shortly after he emerged from quarantine and began months of public appearances.
#204 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin – Part 1
Apr 12, 2017 • 43 min
After Buzz graduated from Montclair High School in 1946, he turned down a full scholarship offer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and went to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
#203 – Apollo 11 – Command Module Pilot Michael Collins
Apr 5, 2017 • 37 min
The turning point for Michael Collins in his decision to become an astronaut was the Mercury Atlas 6 flight of John Glenn on February 20, 1962, and the thought of being able to circle the Earth in 90 minutes.
#202 – Apollo 11 – Media Coverage & Public Relations
Mar 29, 2017 • 40 min
Julian Scheer wanted each crew member to spend at least a full day with each of the networks, and wire services, in locations selected by the media.
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #74 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 3
Mar 22, 2017 • 32 min
Armstrong eased Gemini VIII toward the target at a barely perceptible speed of 8 centimeters per second. Then Armstrong gleefully reported, “Flight, we are docked!” For a brief moment, the flight controllers in Houston did not realize they had really ……
#201 – Apollo 11 – Mission Planning
Mar 15, 2017 • 40 min
NASA officials used only 12 words to list the primary objectives of Apollo 11: 1-Perform a manned lunar landing and return. 2-Perform selenological inspection and sampling.
#200 – Luna 15
Mar 8, 2017 • 35 min
In February of 1969, the first launch of the Soviet Moon Rocket, the N-1, exploded. By April, the Soviets still did not have a clear program of subsequent piloted Soyuz fights. In May, the Soviets watched the successful US lunar … Continue reading →
#199 – The Second Test Flight of the Soviet N1 Moon Rocket
Mar 1, 2017 • 34 min
On July 3, 1969, the same month as the the Apollo 11 Moon landing, The Soviet Union made another secret attempt to fly their giant Moon rocket.
#198 – Apollo 10 – Snoopy Returns and a Successful Dress Rehearsal
Feb 22, 2017 • 34 min
“Hey, Apollo – Houston, this is Apollo 10. Look, I know you ran some studies, but by golly, we can see Snoopy, and he isn’t too far away! He’s catching up with us. Can you talk to the FIDOS? He’s … Continue reading →
#197 – Apollo 10 – Ascent Stage Rendezvous, Docking & Jettisoning
Feb 15, 2017 • 34 min
As the lunar module approached, Young saw it through his sextant at a distance of 259 kilometers. Stafford and Cernan got a radar lock on the command module shortly after the insertion burn and watched with interest as the instrument … Continue reading →
#196 – Apollo 10 – Lunar Module Out of Control
Feb 8, 2017 • 34 min
The abort system had two basic control modes, “attitude hold” and “automatic.” In automatic, the computer would take over the guidance and start looking for the command module, which was certainly not what the crew intended to do at that … Continue…
#195 – Apollo 10 – Lunar Module Testing
Feb 1, 2017 • 36 min
When Stafford and Cernan were ready for undocking they discovered the Lunar Module had slipped three and a half degrees out of line with the command module at the latching point, possibly due to loose mylar collecting on the docking … Continue reading →
#194 – Apollo 10 – Acquisition of Signal & Lunar Orbit
Jan 25, 2017 • 32 min
The six-minute retrograde maneuver seemed interminable, just as it had to Borman’s crew on Apollo 8, but the engine kept firing and the Apollo 10 crew’s confidence in it kept growing. When the engine finally shut down and they were … Continue reading →
#193 – Apollo 10 – Coasting to the Moon & Loss of Signal
Jan 18, 2017 • 37 min
Stafford, Cernan, and Young were the first Apollo astronauts to be free from illness during the mission, although Cernan experienced a slight vestibular disturbance. Like all their colleagues who had flown before, once they unbuckled from the couches they…
#192 – Apollo 10 – Translunar Injection & First Docking
Jan 11, 2017 • 40 min
After a shaky but successful S-IVB burn Apollo 10 was on the way to the Moon. Now the first order of business was for John Young to move to the command module pilot seat.
#191 – Apollo 10 – The Climb to Orbit
Jan 4, 2017 • 35 min
At first stage cutoff the astronauts expected to encounter a single pulse of negative G and the crew would be thrown forward in their straps before the Second stage ignited and recommenced the acceleration. However, they actually encountered a form ……
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #17 – The Mercury 7
Dec 28, 2016 • 34 min
On April 1, 1959, Robert Gilruth, the head of the Space Task Group, Charles Donlan, Warren North, and Stanley White selected the first American astronauts. The “Mercury Seven” were Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil ……
#190 – Apollo 10 – The Launch
Dec 21, 2016 • 42 min
On May 18th 1969, a king, some congressmen, other distinguished guests, and a hundred thousand other watchers waited at scattered vantage points around the Cape area. At 49 minutes past noon, Rocco Petrone’s launch team sent Apollo 10 on its way to the ……
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #31 – Godspeed John Glenn – Mercury-Atlas 6 – Friendship 7 – Part 2
Dec 16, 2016 • 25 min
Mercury Control was still undecided on the course of action to take with the heat shield problem. Some controllers thought the retrorocket pack should be jettisoned after retrofire, while other controllers thought the retro pack should be retained, as…
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #30 – Godspeed John Glenn – Mercury-Atlas 6 – Friendship 7 – Part 1
Dec 15, 2016 • 24 min
“I am in a big mass of some very small particles, they’re brilliantly lit up like they’re luminescent. I never saw anything like it! They round a little: they’re coming by the capsule and they look like little stars. A … Continue reading →
#189 – John Glenn Remembered
Dec 14, 2016 • 29 min
With the passing of John Glenn last week, I thought it would be appropriate to pause my coverage of Apollo 10 for a week and create an episode that celebrates the life of the American Icon, John Glenn. I covered … Continue reading →
#188 – Apollo 10 – Command Module Pilot John Young
Dec 7, 2016 • 35 min
John Young enjoyed the longest career of any astronaut thus far. Over the course of 42 years of active NASA service he made six space flights and is the only person to have piloted, and been commander of, four different … Continue reading →
#187 – Apollo 10 – Lunar Module Pilot Eugene Cernan
Nov 30, 2016 • 40 min
On Cernan’s second space flight, he was lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, May 18-26, 1969. Apollo 10 was the first comprehensive lunar-orbital qualification and verification flight test of an Apollo lunar module. Cernan was accompanied on the 248,000…
#186 – Apollo 10 – Commander Thomas P. Stafford
Nov 23, 2016 • 33 min
Thomas P. Stafford was the first member of his Naval Academy Class of 1952 to pin on the first, second, and third stars of a General Officer. He flew six rendezvous in space; logged 507 hours and 43 minutes in … Continue reading →
#185 – Apollo 10 – Preparations
Nov 16, 2016 • 33 min
Although the contractors had shipped excellent spacecrafts, preparations at Kennedy did not go quickly from the assembly building to the launch pad. Testing was delayed several days in order to stay out of the way of Apollo 9 pre-flight activities. ……
#184 – Apollo 9 – The Return
Nov 9, 2016 • 36 min
Even before crawling back into the command module, McDivitt said he was tired and ready for a three-day holiday. Another 140 hours would pass before touchdown in the Atlantic, but the crew had achieved more than 90 percent of the … Continue reading →
#183 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 4
Nov 2, 2016 • 42 min
When Scott tried to release the lunar module, he did not hold the button long enough so the lander got hung on the capture latches.
#182 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 3
Oct 26, 2016 • 38 min
On the fourth day of the flight of Apollo 9, Schweickart felt better than expected as he worked his way into the lander to get it ready for the EVA. By the time he had put on the backpack, McDivitt … Continue reading →
#181 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 2
Oct 19, 2016 • 34 min
McDivitt later said that the engine had come on abruptly, but with the tremendous mass, acceleration was very slow – it took the whole 5 seconds to add 11 meters per second to the speed.
#180 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers
Oct 12, 2016 • 29 min
As Dave Scott pulled in closer to the Lunar Module he noticed that the command module’s nose was out of line with the lander’s nose. Scott tried to use a service module thruster to turn left, but that jet was … Continue reading →
#179 – Apollo 9 – The Launch
Oct 5, 2016 • 34 min
For the 19th flight of American astronauts into space, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, representing the new administration of Richard Nixon, sat in the firing control room viewing area on March 3rd, 1969. He and other guests listened to the … Continue…
#178 – Apollo 9 – The Crew – McDivitt, Scott, Schweickart
Sep 28, 2016 • 31 min
James Alton “Jim” McDivitt was born on June 10, 1929, in Chicago, Illinois. He is of Irish descent. Like many other astronauts, he was a Boy Scout and earned the rank of Tenderfoot Scout. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, Kalamazoo,…
An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #1 – Ancient Rocketry: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Sep 21, 2016 • 21 min
From our small world we have gazed upon the cosmic ocean for thousands of years. Ancient astronomers observed points of light that appeared to move among the stars. They called these objects planets, meaning wanderers, and named them after Roman ……
#177 – Apollo 9 – Preparations
Sep 14, 2016 • 40 min
The biggest concern before Apollo 9 was the docking maneuver. In early 1969, at NASA there was little confidence in the docking system. At a January program review, Phillips said that problems encountered during probe and drogue testing worried him…
#176 – The First Test Flight of the Soviet N1
Sep 7, 2016 • 41 min
Finally, on the morning of February 21, all the population of the N1 assembly area and a residential area, situated just south of the launch pad, was ordered to evacuate. The giant service structure then rolled away leaving the dark-gray … Continue…
#175 – Early History of the Soviet N1 – Part 2
Aug 31, 2016 • 36 min
On August the third 1964 Decree number 655-268 was issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. For the first time a command was given for OKB-1 to put one man on the moon and return him safely to … Continue reading →
#174 – Early History of the Soviet N1 – Part 1
Aug 24, 2016 • 43 min
The L-3 manned spacecraft was designed to make a direct lunar landing using the earth orbit rendezvous method. It was a 200 metric ton spacecraft requiring three N1 launches and a single Soyuz 11A5ll launch to assemble in low earth … Continue reading →
#173 – Soyuz 4 & 5 – World’s First Space Station? – Part 2
Aug 17, 2016 • 47 min
Vladimir Shatalov would become the Soviet Union’s 13th space traveler, his home telephone number ended in “13” and the launch itself was set for 13:00 hours Moscow Time, on January 13th, 1969.
#172 – Soyuz 4 & 5 – World’s First Space Station? – Part 1
Aug 10, 2016 • 43 min
The objectives of the Soyuz 4 & 5 mission were to dock two manned Soyuz 7K-0Ks, transfer two Cosmonauts from Soyuz 5 to Soyuz 4 by means of a space walk, and then safely return both crews to earth.
#171 – Apollo 8 – The Reaction
Aug 3, 2016 • 39 min
New York City welcomed the Apollo 8 crew with a ticker-tape parade on the 10th of January, Newark hailed them on the 11th, and Miami greeted them on the 12th during the Super Bowl game. The Astronauts returned to Houston on … Continue reading →
#170 – Apollo 8 – The Voyage Home
Jul 27, 2016 • 44 min
Even a perfect reentry would subject the Apollo 8 command module to extreme stress. With Gemini, the capsule re-entered from Earth orbit, but Apollo 8 would re-enter at approximated 25,000 miles per hour. The forces of heat and deceleration would ……
#169 – Apollo 8 – Christmas 1968
Jul 20, 2016 • 41 min
Bill Anders: “We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.” “‘In the beginning God created the heaven and … Continue reading →
#168 – Apollo 8 – Lunar Orbit and Earthrise
Jul 13, 2016 • 46 min
As Apollo 8 drifted above the far side of the moon Borman, Lovell, and Anders observed a scene of total desolation. It appeared absent of color, except for various shades of gray. There was no atmosphere to soften the view, … Continue reading →
#167 – Apollo 8 – Coasting Up Hill and Waste Management
Jul 6, 2016 • 38 min
Just a few minutes after Apollo 8’s second TV broadcast, Borman, Lovell, and Anders passed Earth’s gravitational hill top and crossed into the Moon’s gravitational sphere of influence.
an Encore Presentation of Episode #42 – Satellite Killer – Polyot-1
Jun 30, 2016 • 20 min
The Space Age had barely begun when Soviet engineers started planning ways to destroy enemy satellites. Some Western analysts have speculated that a design for an anti-satellite weapon system was started at Korolev’s OKB-1 bureau as early as 1956…
#166 – Apollo 8 – Translunar Injection
Jun 22, 2016 • 43 min
At T plus 40 seconds Apollo 8 went supersonic and the ride smoothed out. Now it was quite again, but Borman kept a watchful eye on the trajectory readouts. If there was a Saturn malfunction he could whisk the capsule … Continue reading →
#165 – Apollo 8 – The Launch
Jun 15, 2016 • 41 min
Until now the astronauts knew, in the back of their minds, there was a possibility that a malfunction would turn this countdown into just another practice run and they would have to get out and try again another day. But, … Continue reading →
#164 – Apollo 8 – Pre-launch
Jun 8, 2016 • 46 min
For now the mighty Saturn V stood empty. But overnight, even while Borman’s crew slept, technicians would ready it for departure. By morning its enormous fuel thanks would be filled with cryogenic propellants, until the rocket would contain the explosive…
#163 – Apollo 8 – Lovell, Logistics & Training
Jun 2, 2016 • 38 min
The successful Apollo 7 flight cleared the way for a US moon landing in 1969. Still a lot of flight and ground testing remained and there would probably be surprises. The greatest concern was Nasa had to complete three virtually … Continue reading →
#162 – Apollo 8 – The Crew – Frank Borman & William Anders
May 26, 2016 • 38 min
Frank Frederick Borman, II was born on March 14, 1928, in Gary, Indiana. He is of German descent, born as the first and only child to parents Edwin and Marjorie Borman. Because he suffered from numerous sinus problems in the … Continue reading →
#161 – Apollo 8 – The Decision Part 2
May 19, 2016 • 36 min
Perhaps the most significant point about the lunar-orbit flight proposed for Apollo 8 was that the command and service modules would fly the same route to the moon as would be used for the actual lunar landing.
#160 – Apollo 8 – The Decision Part 1
May 12, 2016 • 30 min
An ‘A’ type mission would be flown with a Saturn V and be used to test the Launch vehicle, spacecraft, and a high velocity lunar return. Nasa cover the ‘A’ mission with Apollo 4 & 6. A ‘B’ type mission … Continue reading →
#159 – Zond 6
May 4, 2016 • 28 min
Trouble began on the sixth day of the flight, November 17. The capsule developed an atmospheric leak, the pressure first dropping from 760 to 380 mm of Mercury. With the drop in cabin pressure all the animal test subjects died. … Continue reading →
#158 – Soyuz 2 and 3
Apr 27, 2016 • 31 min
The soviets showed some confidence in their spacecraft by launching the unmanned Soyuz 2 first, but showed some caution by not sending a cosmonaut in Soyuz 2.
An Encore Presentation of Episode #35 – Textbook Spaceflight – Mercury-Atlas 8, Sigmac 7 with Wally Schirra
Apr 20, 2016 • 35 min
After Scott Carpenter’s science heavy Mercury-Atlas 7 flight, Nasa’s next mission would concentrate on the technical and engineering aspects of space travel. Mercury Atlas 8 became the third manned orbital flight of the Mercury program. The pilot selected…
#157 – Apollo 7-The Flight Part 2
Apr 13, 2016 • 40 min
CAPCOM Number 1 (Deke Slayton): Okay. I think you ought to clearly understand there is absolutely no experience at all with landing without the helmet on. SCHIRRA: And there no experience with the helmet either on that one. CAPCOM: That … Continue reading…
#156 – Apollo 7-The Flight Part 1
Apr 6, 2016 • 39 min
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 … Continue reading →
#155 – Apollo 7 – Assembly, Testing, Training, and Launch
Mar 30, 2016 • 32 min
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 … Continue…
#154 – Apollo 7 – The Crew
Mar 23, 2016 • 38 min
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 … Continue reading →
#153 – Zond 5 – Tortoises in Space & Nasa Stennis
Mar 16, 2016 • 30 min
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 … Continue reading →
#152 – The Death of Yuri Gagarin
Mar 9, 2016 • 36 min
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.”
#151 – Zond 4
Mar 3, 2016 • 44 min
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 … Continue reading →
#150 – Apollo 6: Pogo and the Tang Ceremony
Feb 25, 2016 • 52 min
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 … Continue reading →
#149 – Apollo 5: Lunar Module’s First Flight
Feb 18, 2016 • 41 min
“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
#148 – Apollo 4: Operation Big Shot
Feb 11, 2016 • 60 min
“…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 … Continue…