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Space Rocket History Archive
33 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Space Rocket History #194 – Apollo 10 – Acquisition of Signal & Lunar Orbit
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 sure that it had done its job, Stafford and Cernan had time to look at the lunar surface. They likened one area to a volcanic site in Arizona. Shortly, Stafford forced his attention back inside the cabin and told his crew-mates that he thought the best thing to say when they got back in radio contact with mission control was, “Houston, tell the earth we have arrived.” https://spacerockethistory.com/?p=3371
38 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Space Rocket History #193 – Apollo 10 – Coasting to the Moon & Loss of Signal
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 had a stuffy feeling in their heads. This lasted for 8 to 10 hours for Stafford and Young; Cernan gradually lost the sensation over the next two days. Episode 193 on SRH
41 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Space Rocket History #192 – Apollo 10 – Translunar Injection & First Docking
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.
37 minutes | May 26, 2021
Space Rocket History #191 – Apollo 10 – The Climb to Orbit
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 of pogo which continued for 4 cycles, during which they were “slammed forward, back, forward, back, forward, back, and forward, back. At this point the instrument panel was so blurred the astronauts could not read it. https://spacerockethistory.com/?p=3313
43 minutes | May 26, 2021
Space Rocket History #190 – Apollo 10 – The Launch
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 United States’s second manned rendezvous with the moon. https://spacerockethistory.com/?p=3275
29 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Space Rocket History #189 – John Glenn Remembered
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 John Glenn’s Mercury flight in episodes 30-31. I am going to re-release those episodes over the next 2 days. So I won’t spend a lot of time on his Mercury flight in this episode, that will be covered tomorrow.
27 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Space Rocket History #188 – Apollo 10 – Command Module Pilot John Young
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 classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle.
30 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Space Rocket History #187 – Apollo 10 – Lunar Module Pilot Eugene Cernan
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 nautical sojourn to the moon by Thomas P. Stafford (spacecraft commander) and John W. Young (command module pilot).
25 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Space Rocket History #186 – Apollo 10 – Commander Thomas P. Stafford
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 space flight and wore the Air Force command Pilot Astronaut Wings. He has flown over 127 different types of aircraft and helicopters and four different types of spacecraft.
25 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Space Rocket History #185 – Apollo 10 – Preparations
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. Also during maintenance to the Launch Control Center, the electrical power was switched off to replace a valve. The Apollo 10 launch vehicle’s pneumatic controls sensed the power outage, opened some valves and dumped 20,000 liters of fuel on the launch pad.
28 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Space Rocket History #184 – Apollo 9 – The Return
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 mission objectives.
36 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Space Rocket History #183 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 4
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.
32 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Space Rocket History #182 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 3
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 was ready to let him do more – to stand on the lunar lander porch at least.
27 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
Space Rocket History #181 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers Part 2
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.
23 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Space Rocket History #180 – Apollo 9 – Lunar Module Maneuvers
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 not operating. It turns out that someone had accidentally bumped a switch that turned off one set of Thrusters. The crew then flipped the correct switches, and the thruster started working, and at T+3 hours 2 minutes the command module probe nestled into the lunar Module drogue, where it was captured and held by the 12 latches. The first docking of the Lunar Module in space was achieved. As a side note, switch guards were installed on all future Apollo missions to prevent accidentally flipping a switch.
28 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
Space Rocket History #179 – Apollo 9 – The Launch
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 countdown of the Saturn-Apollo structure several kilometers away at the edge of the Florida beach.
26 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
Space Rocket History #178 – Apollo 9 – The Crew – McDivitt, Scott, Schweickart
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, Michigan, in 1947.
31 minutes | Sep 13, 2020
Space Rocket History #177 – Apollo 9 – Preparations
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…
29 minutes | Sep 12, 2020
Space Rocket History #176 – The First Test Flight of the Soviet N1
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 rocket with a white payload fairing towering under sunny skies. The weather was extremely cold, with temperatures falling to minus 44 C degrees, and stormy winds. In the fortified firing control room, the Commander of the 6th Directorate, took the firing command position at the main periscope…
27 minutes | Aug 14, 2020
Space Rocket History #175 – Early History of the Soviet N1 – Part 2
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 earth before the United States (Keep in mind the US already had already begun their Lunar program more than three years earlier, in April 1961).
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