I am presently reading a very interesting book that I happened to come across whilst browsing through Amazon.co.uk a week or so back. It is a little known story but one that had to an air of secrecy about it, because of the sensitivity that revolved around the symbolism, politics and religious implications of those who would eventually takes those first steps upon The Moons surface. The title of the book is ‘The Apostles of Apollo’ Carol Mersch. Continue reading Apostles of Apollo
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Thunderbirds are GO!! Along with millions of others – both adults and kids alike – I was expectantly ‘glued’ to the family television on a Thursday evening in September 1965, when the first ever episode of Thunderbirds was shown.
The creators of what was to become an iconic television series, were Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, who would later find more success with their ‘Supermarionation’ puppet format, with series such as ‘Captain Scarlet’, ‘Jo 90’ and a hybrid venture incorporating both real life actors and model machines – ‘UFO’, which I personally felt was a very underrated TV series. Continue reading 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – NASA is Go!
To most people, March 17th was just another day in the third month of the year. I would have counted myself with the majority of people, thinking that this was the case. That was until I came across a reference in one of the many space related newsletters that I read, that this particular date was the birthday of the eighth man to have walked upon The Moon. Why should this date have had more significance to me, than most others you may well ask? Well on one of the walls in the apartment that I live in, I have a signed print of this particular astronaut standing next to the Apollo 15 Lunar Module ‘Falcon’ along which is parked the Lunar Rover – the first vehicle to ever be driven on another world. The astronaut to whom I am referring was United States Airforce Colonel James B. Irwin. Continue reading James Irwin: Journeyed to The Moon to discover God
For those who have read my blogs in the past, will not be surprised to find out that I am a fully paid-up member of the ‘space cadets club’. Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s, my formative years were heavily influenced by the dawn of the Space Age and mankind’s first attempts to fly higher and faster and eventually break free of our Earth’s atmosphere and enter the realm of space itself. Continue reading “ABANDON IN PLACE”
Art Imitating Reality
I had the pleasure of visiting the cinema recently and viewing the much lauded and Oscar winning film Gravity. This film has won numerous awards including the best director award at the recent Oscar’s ceremony, along with many more for the incredible special effects, which were devised by the UK based company Framestore.
The film is a visual tour-de-force in that the special effects are absolutely immersive, leaving you feeling that you are actually out there in Earth orbit with the two leading actors – Sandra Bullock playing the part of astronaut ‘Ryan Stone and George Clooney playing the part of veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalski for whom this will be his last space flight before retiring. Continue reading ‘Gravity’ – Art Imitating Fact
if we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.
—Astronaut Gus Grissom, 1965
I knew it must be serious . . . . . . I think I was down my grand-parents house and the old black and white television was on, sitting on its special table in the corner. We weren’t taking much notice of it, or at least I wasn’t. But then all the chattering stopped and I looked up from whatever it was that I was doing and noticed everyone was quiet and looking at the TV set.
On screen was one of the TV news presenters and under his image on the screen was the word ‘News Flash’ or something like that. The next thing that happened was that the TV was going ‘live’ to one of its reporters at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where reports were coming in indicating that a serious accident had occurred. Continue reading Remembering the Crew of Apollo 1
‘if we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.’
— Astronaut Gus Grissom, 1965
Beginners Guide to the HAL 9000 Computer
I have had a number of people ask me what significance the HAL 9000 image has with last post that I published, in which I described the problems I had in retrieving my repeat prescription.
For those who know me and now hopefully – those that know me for my written posts – it must be pretty obvious by now, that I am something of an aging ‘Space Cadet’. This being the case, the film 2001has had a lot to do with my lifelong interest in all things Spaceflight related.
After many years of collusion and researching what the future may hold for mankind in and around the year 2000, this joint venture of a film was finally released around Christmas time of the year 1968. They say fortune rewards the brave and this films release could not have been more fortuitous, in that it was finally able to be viewed by the general public at the time Apollo 8 had become the first manned spaceflight ever to leave low Earth orbit and then orbit The Moon. Continue reading . . . “affirmative Dave, I can hear you . . . “
Part One of this article can be found by clicking here.
Apollo 14 had also had its share of ‘glitches’ on its transit from Earth to The Moon.
A major milestone of the mission was to accelerate the Apollo 14 spacecraft from the 17,500mph orbital velocity to 24,500mph. To achieve this velocity would mean re-igniting the still attached S-IVB third stage engine for 6 minutes. Once the ‘TLI burn’ had successfully occurred, the Apollo Command and Service Module’s would have to detach themselves from the now redundant S-IVB. However at the top end of the now expended third stage was the Lunar Module ‘Antares’, safely encased in the Lunar Module Adapter section. The Command Module Pilot – Stuart Roosa – would now perform a third vital maneuver of the mission; the ‘Transposition and Docking’ maneuver. This required separating the Command and Service Modules from third stage and then revolving the spacecraft so that the front of it was facing the now following S-IVB stage. A command would then be issued to open Lunar Module Adapter panels that encased the Lunar Module. With the panels successfully opened, the Command Module Pilot would apply forward thrust to Command Module and using a docking probe attached to the front of the Command Module, insert this into what was referred to as the drogue at the top of the Lunar Module.
It had been a long journey for Alan Shepard, both in time and the sacrifices he had to make in his life to be at the place he was now. The defining moment of all of these things; long hours of training, the frustration of looking from the outside in, had now taken him to this pivotal moment in time and space – literally.