Space Rocket History

Space Rocket History

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This is the website for the Space Rocket History podcast

Episodes

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #74 – Gemini VIII with Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott – Part 3  

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 … Continue reading

Space Rocket History #201 – Apollo 11 – Mission Planning  

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.

Space Rocket History #200 – Luna 15  

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

Space Rocket History #199 – The Second Test Flight of the Soviet N1 Moon Rocket  

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.

Space Rocket History #198 – Apollo 10 – Snoopy Returns and a Successful Dress Rehearsal  

“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

Space Rocket History #197 – Apollo 10 – Ascent Stage Rendezvous, Docking & Jettisoning  

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

Space Rocket History #196 – Apollo 10 – Lunar Module Out of Control  

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 reading

Space Rocket History #195 – Apollo 10 – Lunar Module Testing  

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

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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.

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 … Continue reading

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #17 – The Mercury 7  

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #31 –  Godspeed John Glenn – Mercury-Atlas 6 – Friendship 7 – Part 2  

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 added … Continue reading

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #30 – Godspeed John Glenn – Mercury-Atlas 6 – Friendship 7 – Part 1  

“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

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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