Tag Archives: manned spaceflight

Apostles of Apollo


The Apostles of Apollo
The Apostles of Apollo.

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 – NASA is Go!


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!

James Irwin: Journeyed to The Moon to discover God


Astronaut James Irwin. Image Courtesy of NASA
Astronaut James Irwin. Image Courtesy of NASA

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

“ABANDON IN PLACE”


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”

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

Official NASA portrait of Virgil I. Grissom. Image Courtesy of NASA.
Official NASA portrait of Virgil I. Grissom. Image Courtesy of NASA.

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

. . . . thoughts on manned exploration of space . . . .


‘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

. . . . sobering thoughts when you are boldly going . . .


Alan Shepard arriving at Launch Complex 5.
Commander Alan Shepard walks to the launch pad on the morning of America’s first manned space mission at Launch Complex 5, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, May 5th 1961. Image courtesy of NASA. Retrieved from NASA 29/01/2014.

‘It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.’

Alan Shepard . . . first American astronaut to enter space and walked on The Moon as Commander of the Apollo 14 Mission

For those who paid the highest price of all . . .


January is a notable and poignant month in the history of NASA Manned Spaceflight. The exploration of space – like all human exploration that has preceded it – has had its share of triumphs and tragedies.

Invariably, to undertake such challenges as the human exploration of space, requires pushing the envelope not only of science and technology, but also the courage of those who volunteer to man the vehicles that enable them to leave the surface of our planet and enter the realm of space.

Continue reading For those who paid the highest price of all . . .

Apollo 8 – 45 Years On . . .


Earth seen rising in a lunar sky.
The first picture of our home planet – seen rising in an alien sky – witnessed by humans in orbit around another world.

Forty Five years have elapsed since Apollo 8 and its three-man crew – Frank Borman (commander), Jim Lovell and William Anders – became the first three humans to break free of Earth orbit and set sail towards our Moon.

This was a bold and untried adventure, venturing further from Earth than any humans had before. Apollo 8 had been originally intended to be the first full up test of a man rated Saturn V launch vehicle, taking with it a Lunar Module and carry out a full test of the Apollo Command Module, Service Module and Lunar Module in Earth orbit.

 

Continue reading Apollo 8 – 45 Years On . . .