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Sonntag, 28. Dezember 2014 - 12:45 Uhr

Planet Erde - Das Heilige Land aus der Sicht von ISS

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NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, who is currently orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station, took some beautiful photos of the Middle East on what was a sunny, crisp Chistmas morning in the Holy Land.

The larger Levant, stretching from the Sinai Desert in the top left to the Iraq-Jordan-Syria junction in the bottom right. Haifa Bay at center. NASA/Barry Wilmore
Syria's Euphrates river, bottom right. Israel is on the far left. NASA/Barry Wilmore
The Dead Sea. NASA/Barry Wilmore
The Sea of Galilee. NASA/Barry Wilmore
The Jordan River, running from the Galilee into the Dead Sea, center. JordanNASA/Barry Wilmore
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Quelle: NASA

Tags: Planet Erde 

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Sonntag, 28. Dezember 2014 - 09:55 Uhr

Astronomie - Galaxy IC 335 im Focus von Hubble

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Hubble Sees the Beautiful Side of Galaxy IC 335
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the galaxy IC 335 in front of a backdrop of distant galaxies. IC 335 is part of a galaxy group containing three other galaxies, and located in the Fornax Galaxy Cluster 60 million light-years away.
As seen in this image, the disk of IC 335 appears edge-on from the vantage point of Earth. This makes it harder for astronomers to classify it, as most of the characteristics of a galaxy’s morphology — the arms of a spiral or the bar across the center — are only visible on its face. Still, the 45 000 light-year-long galaxy could be classified as an S0 type.
These lenticular galaxies are an intermediate state in galaxy morphological classification schemes between true spiral and elliptical galaxies. They have a thin stellar disk and a bulge, like spiral galaxies, but in contrast to typical spiral galaxies they have used up most of the interstellar medium. Only a few new stars can be created out of the material that is left and the star formation rate is very low. Hence, the population of stars in S0 galaxies consists mainly of aging stars, very similar to the star population in elliptical galaxies.
As S0 galaxies have only ill-defined spiral arms they are easily mistaken for elliptical galaxies if they are seen inclined face-on or edge-on as IC 335 here. And indeed, despite the morphological differences between S0 and elliptical class galaxies, they share some common characteristics, like typical sizes and spectral features.
Both classes are also deemed "early-type" galaxies, because they are evolving passively. However, while elliptical galaxies may be passively evolving when we observe them, they have usually had violent interactions with other galaxies in their past.  In contrast,  S0 galaxies are either aging and fading spiral galaxies, which never had any interactions with other galaxies, or they are the aging result of a single merger between two spiral galaxies in the past. The exact nature of these galaxies is still a matter of debate.
Quelle: NASA

Tags: Astronomie 

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Samstag, 27. Dezember 2014 - 23:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt-History - Apollo-9-Mission

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Mission Highlights
Apollo 9 launched from Cape Kennedy on March 3, 1969, into a nominal 117 by 119-mile Earth orbit with Commander James McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Russell Schweickart aboard.
On the first day, and after orbit injection of the combined S-IVB stage and its SLA-LM-CSM payload, venting of the S-IVB propellant tanks changed the orbit to 123 by 127 miles. The CSM separated and the SLA panel walls jettisoned, transposing the CSM to 180 degrees toward the LM atop the S-IVB. The CSM docked with the LM in the second orbit. The linked modules ejected from the S-IVB, and the thrust placed the CSM-LM a safe distance away for a 62-second restart of the S-IVB, which raised the apogee to 1,895 miles. To achieve a hyperbolic orbit for the planned escape trajectory, the S-IVB restarted a second time for four minutes, two seconds. It resulted in a less than desired maximum velocity increase and was off nominal by about 11 percent. While this did not affect the Apollo 9 flight, a lunar mission might have been aborted. Before the third S-IVB burn, the CSM SPS fired for five seconds, placing the CSM in an orbit of 125 by 145 miles. The firing improved orbital lifetime, checked the capability of the guidance and navigation system to control the burn, and performed a hard check of the LM's ability to withstand thrust acceleration and vibration.
The second SPS firing for one minute, five seconds occurred on March 4. It changed Apollo 9's orbit to 123 by 213 miles and tested the structural dynamics of the docked CSM-LM under loads about those of a lunar mission. A third SPS firing the same day for four minutes, 42 seconds, changed the orbit to 126 by 313 miles. The fourth burn, which lasted for 28.2 seconds, was an out-of-plane change.
On Flight Day 3, McDivitt and Schweickart put on spacesuits and transferred to the LM through the tunnel connection to perform a systems checkout. This included a 367-second firing of the LM descent engine to simulate the throttle pattern to be used during a lunar landing mission. McDivitt controlled the final 59 seconds, varying the thrust from 10 to 40 percent and shutting it off manually. This was the first crewed throttling of an engine in space and increased the spacecraft's orbit to 130 by 300 miles. After nine hours, McDivitt and Schweickart transferred back to the CSM with Scott. Then, the SPS fired for the fifth time as the final shaping maneuver prior to the rendezvous exercises to be performed two days later. The firing placed Apollo 9 into an orbit of 142 by 149 miles.
On Flight Day 4, McDivitt and Schweickart re-entered the LM. Because of nausea, Schweickart's scheduled two-hour EVA to simulate external transfer rescue techniques was canceled. Instead, he climbed out of the LM porch for a 37.5 minute EVA, testing the EVA mobility unit, including the portable life support system backpack.
On Flight Day 5, with McDivitt and Schweickart again aboard the LM, it separated from Scott's CSM. The LM descent engine fired once for 24.9 seconds to place the spacecraft into a 137 by 167 mile orbit. If fired again for 24.4 seconds to circularize the orbit about 154 by 160 miles, some 12 miles higher than the CMS. Four hours later, horizontally 113 miles away from the CSM, the LM descent stage jettisoned for a first-time firing in space of the ascent stage engine. It lowered the LM orbit by 11 miles and placed it 75 miles behind and 10 miles below the CSM, leaving it able to commence a rendezvous. Six hours later, the CSM and LM redocked. The LM ascent stage jettisoned and was commanded to fire its engine to fuel depletion.
Although postponed by one revolution on Flight Day 6, a sixth firing of the CSM SPS lowered the orbit to 121 by 138 miles. On the seventh day, the crew performed Earth landmark tracking over the U.S. and the South Atlantic. On the eighth day, a seventh burn of the SPS altered the orbit of Apollo 9 to 113 by 288 miles. No major mission activities were scheduled for the ninth day.
Two telecasts were made to Earth from Apollo 9. The first, on March 5, lasted for almost seven minutes. The second telecast on the following day lasted about 13 minutes, and only showed interior views of the LM. Photographs taken as part of the multi-spectral terrain photographic experiment were successful.
On March 13, the tenth day, re-entry was extended by one revolution because of heavy seas in the primary recovery area. Six hundred miles into its 152nd revolution, Apollo 9 splashed down at 23.25 degrees north, 68 degrees west. The crew was within three miles and in full view of their recovery ship, about 341 miles north of Puerto Rico. The flight totaled 241 hours, 53 seconds - 10 seconds longer than planned. The S-IVB stage reached heliocentric orbit and the LM ascent stage reached Earth orbit. The LM descent stage decayed March 22.
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S66-30237 (March 1966) --- These three astronauts have been named as the prime crew of the Apollo 9 mission. They are (left to right) David R. Scott, command module pilot; James A. McDivitt, commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot.
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S68-56621 (18 Dec. 1968) --- These three astronauts are the prime crew of the Apollo 9 (Spacecraft 104/Lunar Module 3/Saturn 504) space mission. Left to right, are James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot: and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. The Apollo 9 launch is scheduled no earlier than February 28, 1969. In the background is the Apollo 8 space vehicle on Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, which was launched on December 21, 1968. (Gaseous liquid oxygen is venting from the vehicle’s first [S-1C] stage during a countdown demonstration test). McDivitt holds a U.S. flag.
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S68-38051 (29 June 1968) --- Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart suits up to participate in an altitude verification test of the Apollo Portable Life Support System flight unit in Crew Systems Division's 8-ft altitude chamber in Building 7.
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S68-50869 (1968) --- An engineering set up illustrating the docking system of the Apollo spacecraft. During docking maneuvers the docking probe on the Command Module engages the cone-shaped drogue of the Lunar Module. The primary docking structure is the tunnel through which the astronauts transfer from one module to the other. This tunnel is partly in the nose of the Command Module and partly in the top of the Lunar Module. Following CSM/LM docking the drogue and probe are removed to open the passageway between the modules.
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S68-50870 (1968) --- An engineering set up illustrating the probe portion of the docking system of the Apollo spacecraft. During docking maneuvers the docking probe on the Command Module (CM) engages the cone shaped drogue of the Lunar Module (LM). The primary docking structure is the tunnel through which the astronauts transfer from one module to the other. This tunnel is partly in the nose of the CM and partly in the top of the LM. Following CSM/LM docking the drogue and probe are removed to open the passageway between the modules.
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S67-23078 (27 Jan. 1967) --- Three astronauts (later to be named the Apollo 9 prime crew) in Apollo spacecraft 101 Command module during Apollo crew compartment fit and function test. Left to right are astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart.
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S68-55255 (6 Nov. 1968) --- Overhead view of Altitude Chamber "L" in the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building showing a member of the Apollo 9 backup crew preparing to ingress the Apollo 9 spacecraft for egress test and simulated altitude run. The Apollo 9 backup crew consists of astronauts Charles Conrad Jr., Richard F. Gordon Jr., and Alan L. Bean.
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S68-55272 (15 Nov. 1968) --- The Apollo 9 prime crew is seen inside the Apollo 9 spacecraft in the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during manned altitude chamber test activity. Left to right, are astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart (out of view to far right), lunar module pilot.
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S69-18544 (19 July 1968) --- Astronaut James A. McDivitt, commander of the Apollo 9 prime crew, stands by to participate in crew compartment fit and function test activity at North American Rockwell.
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S69-19858 (December 1968) --- Two members of the Apollo 9 prime crew participate in simulation training in the Apollo Lunar Module Mission Simulator (LMMS) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). On the left is astronaut James A. McDivitt, commander; and on the right is astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot.
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S69-19981 (23 Feb. 1969) --- Fish-eye camera lens view of the interior of the Apollo Lunar Module Mission Simulator (LMMS) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) during Apollo 9 simulation training. In the foreground is astronaut James A. McDivitt, prime crew commander; and in background is astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot.
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S69-19796 (February 1969) --- Composite of six artist's concepts illustrating key events, tasks and activities on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 mission, including vehicles undocked, Lunar Module burns for rendezvous, maximum separation, ascent propulsion system burn, formation flying and docking, and Lunar Module jettison ascent burn. The Apollo 9 mission will evaluate spacecraft lunar module systems performance during manned Earth-orbital flight.
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S69-25478 (23 Feb. 1969) --- These three astronauts are the prime crew of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital space mission. Left to right, are Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and James A. McDivitt, commander. In the right background is the Apollo 9 space vehicle on Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC). They are pausing momentarily during training for their scheduled 10-day mission.
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S69-25879 (23 Feb. 1969) --- Nighttime view of the 363-feet-high Apollo 9 space vehicle at Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, during preparations for the scheduled 10-day Earth-orbital space mission. The crew of the Apollo 9 (Spacecraft 104/Lunar Module 3/Saturn 504) space flight will be astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart.
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S69-25883 (3 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 crew leaves the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the Apollo 9 prelaunch countdown. Leading is astronaut James A. McDivitt, commander; followed by astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. Moments later they entered the special transfer van which transported them to their waiting spacecraft at Pad A, Launch Complex 39. Apollo 9 was launched at 11 a.m. (EST), March 3, 1969, on a 10-day Earth-orbital mission.
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S69-25881 (3 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 crew leaves the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the Apollo 9 prelaunch countdown. The crewman entered the special transfer van which transported them to their waiting spacecraft at Pad A, Launch Complex 39. Astronaut James A. McDivitt (back to camera) is the commander. McDivitt appears to be inviting astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, to step first into van. In background is astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. Walking along almost behind Schweickart is astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., chief, Astronaut Office, Manned Spacecraft Center. Apollo 9 was launched at 11 a.m. (EST), March 3, 1969, on a 10-day Earth-orbital mission.
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S69-25862 (3 March 1969) --- Framed by palm trees in the foreground, the Apollo 9 (Spacecraft 104/Lunar Module 3/ Saturn 504) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at 11 a.m. (EST), March 3, 1969. Aboard the spacecraft are astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. The Apollo 9 mission will evaluate spacecraft lunar module systems performance during manned Earth-orbital flight. Apollo 9 is the second manned Saturn V mission.
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S69-25861 (3 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 (Spacecraft 104/Lunar Module 3/ Saturn 504) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at 11 a.m. (EST), March 3, 1969. Aboard the spacecraft are astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. The Apollo 9 mission will evaluate spacecraft lunar module systems performance during manned Earth-orbital flight. Apollo 9 is the second manned Saturn V mission.
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S69-25863 (3 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 (Spacecraft 104/Lunar Module 3/Saturn 504) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at 11 a.m. (EST), March 3, 1969. Aboard the spacecraft are astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. The Apollo 9 mission will evaluate spacecraft lunar module systems performance during manned Earth-orbital flight. Apollo 9 is the second manned Saturn V mission.
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AS09-19-2994 (6 March 1969) --- Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, is photographed from the Command Module (CM) "Gumdrop" during his extravehicular activity (EVA) on the fourth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. He holds, in his right hand, a thermal sample which he is retrieving from the Lunar Module (LM) exterior. The Command and Service Modules (CSM) and LM "Spider" are docked. Schweickart, wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), is standing in "golden slippers" on the LM porch. Visible on his back are the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) and Oxygen Purge System (OPS). Astronaut James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander, was inside the "Spider". Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the CM "Gumdrop".
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AS09-19-2983 (6 March 1969) --- Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, operates a 70mm Hasselblad camera during his extravehicular activity (EVA) on the fourth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. The Command and Service Modules (CSM) and Lunar Module (LM) "Spider" are docked. This view was taken from the Command Module (CM) "Gumdrop". Schweickart, wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), is standing in "golden slippers" on the LM porch. On his back, partially visible, are a Portable Life Support System (PLSS) and an Oxygen Purge System (OPS). Astronaut James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander, was inside the "Spider". Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the CM.
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AS09-20-3064 (6 March 1969) --- Excellent view of the docked Apollo 9 Command and Service Modules (CSM) and Lunar Module (LM), with Earth in the background, during astronaut David R. Scott's stand-up extravehicular activity (EVA), on the fourth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. Scott, command module pilot, is standing in the open hatch of the Command Module (CM). Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, took this photograph of Scott from the porch of the LM. Inside the LM was astronaut James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander.
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AS09-20-3094 (6 March 1969) --- Astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, stands in "golden slippers" on the Lunar Module porch during his extravehicular activity on the fourth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. This photograph was taken from inside the Lunar Module "Spider". The Command and Service Modules were docked to the LM. Schweickart is wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). Inside the "Spider" was astronaut James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 crew commander. Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls of the Command Module, "Gumdrop."
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AS09-19-2919 (3 March 1969) --- The Lunar Module (LM) "Spider", still attached to the Saturn V third (S-IVB) stage, is photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) "Gumdrop" on the first day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. This picture was taken following CSM/LM-S-IVB separation and prior to LM extraction from the S-IVB. The Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA) panels have already been jettisoned. Inside the Command Module were astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; David R. Scott, command module pilot; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot.
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AS09-21-3181 (7 March 1969) --- A View of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module (LM), "Spider," in a lunar lading configuration, as photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. The landing gear on the "Spider" has been deployed. Inside the "Spider" were astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the Command Module (CM), "Gumdrop," while the other two astronauts checked out the LM.
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AS09-21-3212 (7 March 1969) --- A view of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module (LM), "Spider", in a lunar landing configuration, as photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. The landing gear on the "Spider" has been deployed. Lunar surface probes (sensors) extend out from landing gear foot pads. Inside the "Spider" were astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander, and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the Command Module (CM), "Gumdrop", while the other two astronauts checked out the Lunar Module.
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AS09-21-3199 (7 March 1969) --- Excellent view of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module, "Spider," in a lunar landing configuration, as photographed from the Command and Service Modules on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. The landing gear on the "Spider" has been deployed. Lunar surface probes (sensors) extend out from the landing gear foot pads. Inside the "Spider" were astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the Command Module, "Gumdrop," while the other two astronauts checked out the Lunar Module.
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AS09-21-3236 (7 March 1969) --- The Lunar Module (LM) "Spider" ascent stage is photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. While astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the CSM "Gumdrop," astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, checked out the "Spider." The LM's descent stage had already been jettisoned.
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S69-20364 (13 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 spacecraft, with astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart aboard, approaches touchdown in the Atlantic recovery area to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital space mission. Splashdown occurred at 12:00:53 p.m. (EST), March 13, 1969, only 4.5 nautical miles from the prime recovery ship, USS Guadalcanal.
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S69-27919 (13 March 1969) --- Immediately after splashdown a recovery helicopter from the USS Guadalcanal hovers over the Apollo 9 spacecraft. Still inside the Command Module (CM) are astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart. Splashdown occurred at 12:00:53 p.m. (EST), March 13, 1969, only 4.5 nautical miles from the USS Guadalcanal, the prime recovery ship, to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital mission in space.
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S68-50977 (20 Nov. 1968) --- The Apollo 9 prime crew participates in water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Apollo Command Module Boilerplate 1102 was used in the training. Egressing the boilerplate is astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot. Inside the boilerplate, out of view, are astronauts James A. McDivitt, commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. A team of MSC swimmers assisted in the exercise. The inflated bags were used to upright the boilerplate prior to egress.
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S68-50967 (20 Nov. 1968) --- The Apollo 9 prime crew participates in water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Apollo Command Module (CM) Boilerplate 1102 was used in the training. Egressing boilerplate is astronaut James A. McDivitt, commander. In life raft are astronauts Russell L. Schweickart (on left), lunar pilot; and David R. Scott, command pilot. A team of MSC swimmers assisted in the exercise. The inflated bags were used to upright the boilerplate prior to egress.
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S68-50989 (20 Nov. 1968) --- Astronaut James A. McDivitt, commander of the Apollo 9 prime crew, is hoisted up to a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter in a new type rescue net during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico.
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S69-20060 (13 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 crewmen arrive aboard the USS Guadalcanal as they step from a helicopter to receive a red-carpet welcome. Two of the crewmen salute the crowd of newsmen, Navy and NASA personnel gathered to greet them. Left to right, are astronauts Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot; David R. Scott (in back), command module pilot; and James A. McDivitt, commander. Splashdown occurred at 12:00:53 p.m. (EST), March 13, 1969, only 4.5 nautical miles from the USS Guadalcanal, prime recovery ship, to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital space mission.
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S69-20086 (13 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 Command Module (CM), with flotation collar still attached, is hoisted aboard the prime recovery ship, USS Guadalcanal, during recovery operations. The Apollo 9 crew, astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart, had already been picked up earlier by helicopter and flown to the dock of the carrier. Splashdown occurred at 12:00:53 p.m. (EST), March 13, 1969, only 4.5 nautical miles from the aircraft carrier, to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital space mission.
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S69-20239 (13 March 1969) --- Close-up view of the Apollo 9 Command Module (CM) as it sets on dolly on the deck of the USS Guadalcanal just after being hoisted from the water. The Apollo 9 spacecraft, with astronauts James A. McDivitt, David R. Scott, and Russell L. Schweickart aboard, splashed down at 12:00:53 p.m. (EST), March 13, 1969, only 4.5 nautical miles from the aircraft carrier to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital mission in space.
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S69-27921 (13 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 crewmen arrive aboard the USS Guadalcanal as they step from a helicopter to receive a red-carpet welcome. Two of the crewmen salute the crowd of newsmen, Navy and NASA personnel gathered to greet them. Left to right, are astronauts Russell L. Schweickart, David R. Scott, and James A. McDivitt. Splashdown occurred at 12:00:53 p.m. (EST), March 13, 1969, only 4.5 nautical miles from the USS Guadalcanal, prime recovery ship, to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital space mission.
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S69-27920 (13 March 1969) --- The Apollo 9 crew men walk on a red carpet after arriving aboard the prime recovery ship, USS Guadalcanal. Left to right, are astronauts Russell L. Schweickart, David R. Scott, and James A. McDivitt. They are walking from the recovery helicopter which picked them up from the splashdown area. Splashdown occurred at 12:00:53 p.m. (EST), March 13, 1969, only 4.5 nautical miles from the USS Guadalcanal to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital space mission.
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Quelle: NASA
 

Tags: Raumfahrt 

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Samstag, 27. Dezember 2014 - 21:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt-History - Apollo-8-Mission

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Mission Highlights
Apollo 8 launched from Cape Kennedy on Dec. 21, 1968, placing astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell Jr. and William Anders into a 114 by 118 mile parking orbit at 32.6 degrees.
During the second revolution, at two hours, 50 minutes ground elapsed time, the S-IVB third stage restarted for a five-minute, 17-second burn, initiating translunar coast. Following S-IVB/CSM separation at three hours, 21 minutes, a 1.5 feet per second radial burn of the SM reaction control engines was initiated to establish sufficient distance for S-IVB propellant dumping. Following the propellant dumping, which sent the stage into diverging trajectory and solar orbit, the separation distance still was deemed inadequate and a second SM reaction control burn of 7.7 feet per second was performed.
The first midcourse correction occured at about 10 hours, 55 minutes into the mission and provided a first check on the service propulsion system, or SPS, engine prior to committing spacecraft to lunar orbit insertion. The second and final midcourse correction prior to lunar orbit insertion occurred at 61 hours, 8 minutes, 54 seconds.
Loss of signal occurred at 68 hours, 58 minutes, 45 seconds when Apollo 8 passed behind the moon. At that moment, NASA's three astronauts became the first humans to see the moon's far side. The first lunar orbit insertion burn, at 69 hours, 8 minutes, 52 seconds, lasted four minutes, two seconds and reduced the spacecraft's 8,400 feet per second velocity by 2,994 feet per second, resulting in an initial lunar orbit of 70 by 193 miles. The orbit circularized at 70 miles by the second lunar orbit insertion burn of 135 feet per second, performed at the start of the third revolution, again on the back side of the moon, at 73 hours, 35 minutes, five seconds.
During the 20-hour period in lunar orbit, the crew conducted a full, sleepless schedule of tasks including landmark and landing site tracking, vertical stereo photography, stereo navigation photography and sextant navigation. At the end of the 10th lunar orbit, at 89 hours, 19 minutes, and 16 seconds, a three-minute, 23-second trans-Earth injection burn was conducted, adding 3,522 feet per second. Only one midcourse correction, a burn of five feet per second conducted at 104 hours, was required instead of the three scheduled.
Six telecasts were conducted during the mission: two during translunar coast, two during lunar orbit and two during trans-Earth coast. These transmissions were telecast worldwide and in real time to all five continents. During a telecast on Christmas Eve, the crew read verses from the first chapter of Genesis and wished viewers, "Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth." All telecasts were of excellent quality. Voice communications also were exceptionally good throughout the mission.
Separation of the command module, or CM, from the SM occurred at 146 hours, 31 minutes. A double-skip maneuver conducted during the re-entry steering phase resulted in an altitude gain of 25,000 to 30,000 feet. The re-entry velocity was 24,696 mph, with heatshield temperatures reaching 5,000 degrees F. Parachute deployment and other re-entry events were nominal. Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 10:51 a.m. EST Dec. 27. The splashdown was about 5,100 yards from the recovery ship USS Yorktown, 147 hours after launch and precisely on time. According to prior planning, helicopters and aircraft hovered over the spacecraft, and pararescue personnel were not deployed until local sunrise, 50 minutes after splashdown. The Apollo 8 crew reached the recovery ship at 12:20 p.m. EST.
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S68-49389 (9 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle on the way from the Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Pad A, Launch Complex 39. The Saturn V stack and its mobile launch tower are atop a huge crawler-transporter
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S68-49397 (9 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 prime crew stands in foreground as the Apollo (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle leaves the Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building on way to Pad A, Launch Complex 39. The Saturn V stack and its mobile launch tower are atop a huge crawler-transporter. The Apollo 8 crew consists of (left to right) astronauts Frank Borman, commander; James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot.
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S68-49399 (9 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle on the way from the Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Pad A, Launch Complex 39. The Saturn V stack and its mobile launch tower are atop a huge crawler-transporter.
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S68-49405 (9 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle on way from Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to Pad A, Launch Complex 39. The Saturn V stack and its mobile launch tower are atop a huge crawler-transporter. (Ground level view, looking across water.)
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S68-50265 (13 Nov. 1968) --- These three astronauts are the prime crew of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Left to right, are James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; William A. Anders, lunar module pilot; and Frank Borman, commander. They are standing beside the Apollo Mission Simulator at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
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S68-50646 (18 Oct. 1968) --- The prime crew of the Apollo 8 mission is photographed in Building 4, at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), where they are participating in classroom work in burn test review and procedures review. Left to right, are astronauts James A. Lovell Jr., William A. Anders, and Frank Borman.
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S68-51302 (December 1968) --- North American Rockwell artist's concept illustrating a phase of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Here, after 20 hours of lunar orbit, Apollo 8 astronauts start the 20,500-pound thrust engine and head for home. The service module engine will fire about three minutes, starting up while the spacecraft is at the darkened, backside of the moon and blocked from communication with Earth.
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S68-51306 (December 1968) --- North American Rockwell artist's concept illustrating a phase of the scheduled Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Here, the Apollo 8 spacecraft lunar module adapter (SLA) panels, which have supported the Command and Service Modules, are jettisoned. This is done by astronauts firing the service module reaction control engines. A signal simultaneously deploys and jettisons the panels, separating the spacecraft from the SLA and deploying the high gain (deep space) antenna.
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S68-52941 (25 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 prime crew is seen inside Apollo Boilerplate 1102A during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. From the foreground are astronauts Frank Borman, commander; James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot.
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S68-53015 (25 Oct. 1968) --- Astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Anders (left to right) are seen inside Apollo Boilerplate 1102A during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Borman is Apollo 8 commander; with Lovell serving as command module pilot; and Anders as lunar module pilot.
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S68-53186 (1 Nov. 1968) --- Astronaut Frank Borman, Apollo 8 commander, egresses the gondola in Building 29 after centrifuge training in the Manned Spacecraft Center's (MSC) Flight Acceleration Facility (FAF).
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S68-53194 (1 Nov. 1965) --- The Apollo 8 prime crew inside the centrifuge gondola in Building 29 during centrifuge training in MSC's Flight Acceleration Facility. (View with crew lying on back) Left to right, are astronauts Frank Borman, commander; James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot.
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S68-53223 (19 Oct. 1968) --- The prime crew of the Apollo 8 mission in life raft awaiting pickup by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. They had just egressed Apollo Boilerplate 1102A, at left. Inflated bags were used to upright the boilerplate. Left to right, are astronauts William A. Anders, lunar module pilot; and Frank Borman, commander. A team of MSC swimmers assisted with the training exercise.
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S68-55416 (17 Dec. 1968) --- High-angle view of the Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle at Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The Apollo 8 stack was photographed during a prelaunch alert-mobile service structure pull back.
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S68-55424 (17 Dec. 1968) --- Ground-level view of the Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle at Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The Apollo 8 stack was photographed during a prelaunch alert-mobile service structure pull back. (Mobile launch tower on left and mobile service structure on right.)
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S68-55742 (21 Dec. 1968) --- Clifford E. Charlesworth, Apollo 8 "Green Team" flight director, is seated at his console in the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center, Building 30, during the launch of the Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) manned lunar orbit space mission.
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S68-55997 (21 Dec. 1968) --- Apollo 8 Command Module Pilot James Lovell waves to well-wishers during the pre-dawn departure to Launch Pad 39 for the six-day lunar orbital Apollo/Saturn V mission. Astronaut Lovell is accompanied by Commander Frank Borman, right, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders, left.
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S68-55999 (21 Dec. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 crew leaves the Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) Manned Spacecraft Operations Building (MSOB) during the Apollo 8 prelaunch countdown. Astronaut Frank Borman (waving to well-wishers), commander, leads followed by astronauts James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot. The crew is about to enter a special transfer van which transported them to Pad A, Launch Complex 39, where their Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle awaited them. Liftoff for the lunar orbit mission was at 7:51 a.m. (EST). Holding the door to the transfer van is Charles Buckley, KSC security chief.
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S68-56002 (21 Dec. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 7:51 a.m. (EST), Dec. 21, 1968. The crew of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission is astronauts Frank Borman, commander; James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot. Apollo 8 was the first manned Saturn V launch. (F-ls 1/3 way from top of mobile launch tower.)
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S68-56050 (21 Dec. 1968)--- The Apollo 8 (Spacecraft 103/Saturn 503) space vehicle is launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 7:51 a.m. (EST), Dec. 21, 1968. The crew of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission is astronauts Frank Borman, commander; James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot. Apollo 8 is the first manned Saturn V launch. (water in foreground, seagulls)
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S68-56007 (23 Dec. 1968) --- Overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center, Building 30, on the third day of the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Seen on the television monitor is a picture of Earth which was telecast from the Apollo 8 spacecraft 176,000 miles away.
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S68-56045 (26 Dec. 1968) --- Television viewers saw this picture of Earth during the sixth live telecast from the Apollo 8 spacecraft as it continued its journey home. At the time this picture was made, the Apollo 8 spacecraft, with astronauts Frank Borman, commander; James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot, aboard, was about 97,000 nautical miles from Earth, and was traveling at a speed of 6,084 feet per second. As the spacecraft continued its trans-Earth course, the Apollo 8 crew noted that "Earth was getting larger" and that they were looking forward to being home.
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S68-56531 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- Astronaut Frank Borman, mission commander, is shown during intravehicular activity (IVA) on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. This still print was made from movie film exposed by an onboard 16mm motion picture camera.
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S68-56532 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- Astronaut William A. Anders, lunar module pilot, is shown during intravehicular activity (IVA) on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. This still print was made from movie film taken by an onboard 16mm motion picture camera.
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S68-56533 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot, is shown during intravehicular activity (IVA) on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. This still print was made from movie film taken by an onboard 16mm motion picture camera.
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S69-35097 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., Apollo 8 command module pilot, is seen at the Apollo 8 Spacecraft Command Module's Guidance and Navigation station during the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. This picture was taken from 16mm motion picture film.
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AS08-16-2583 (21 Dec. 1968) --- This is a photograph taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking back at the Saturn V third (S-IVB) stage from which the spacecraft had just separated following trans-lunar injection. Attached to the S-IVB is the Lunar Module Test Article (LTA) which simulated the mass of a Lunar Module (LM) on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. The 29-feet panels of the Spacecraft LM Adapter which enclosed the LTA during launch have already been jettisoned and are out of view. Sunlight reflected from small particles shows the "firefly" phenomenon which was reported by astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. during the first Earth-orbital flight, Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) of the Mercury Program.
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AS08-16-2582 (21 Dec. 1968) --- This is a photograph taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking back at the Saturn V third (S-IVB) stage from which the spacecraft had just separated following trans-lunar injection. (Hold picture with S-IVB at top center). Attached to the S-IVB is the Lunar Module Test Article (LTA) which simulated the mass of a Lunar Module (LM) on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. The 29-feet panels of the Spacecraft LM Adapter which enclosed the LTA during launch have already been jettisoned and are out of view. Sunlight reflected from small particles shows the "firefly" phenomenon which was reported by astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. during the first Earth-orbital flight (Mercury-Atlas 6) of the Mercury Program.
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AS08-16-2581 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- This photograph of Earth was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft while it was in Earth orbit. Most of the southeastern United States and the Caribbean Sea area, the U.S. coastline from Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Peninsula can be seen. The Bahamas and the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico extend across the Caribbean, the light blue of the shallow Bahama banks contrasting sharply with the darker hue of the deeper water, especially in the Tongue of the Ocean area.
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S08-16-2584 (21 Dec. 1968) --- This is a photograph taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking back at the Saturn V third (S-IVB) stage from which the spacecraft had just separated following trans-lunar injection. Attached to the S-IVB is the Lunar Module Test Article (LTA) which simulated the mass of a Lunar Module (LM) on the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. The 29-feet panels of the Spacecraft LM Adapter which enclosed the LTA during launch have already been jettisoned and are out of view. Sunlight reflected from small particles shows the "firefly" phenomenon which was reported by astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. during the first Earth-orbital flight, Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) of the Mercury Program.
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AS08-14-2505 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- This photograph of a nearly full moon was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft at a point above 70 degrees east longitude. (Hold picture with moon's dark portion at left). Mare Crisium, the circular, dark-colored area near the center, is near the eastern edge of the moon as viewed from Earth. Mare Nectaris is the circular mare near the terminator. The large, irregular maira are Tranquillitatis and Fecunditatis. The terminator at left side of picture crosses Mare Tranquillitatis and highlands to the south. Lunar farside features occupy most of the right half of the picture. The large, dark-colored crater Tsiolkovsky is near the limb at the lower right. Conspicuous bright rays radiate from two large craters, one to the north of Tsiolkovsky, the other near the limb in the upper half of the picture. These rayed craters were not conspicuous in Lunar Orbiter photography due to the low sun elevations when the Lunar Orbiter photography was made. The crater Langrenus is near the center of the picture at the eastern edge of Mare Fecunditatis. The lunar surface probably has less pronounced color that indicated by this print.
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AS08-14-2453 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- After inserting into lunar orbit, the Apollo 8 astronauts looked down on rugged terrain never before seen by man. This scene is typical of farside terrain illuminated by a sun that is nearly directly overhead. A surface consisting of craters superimposed on older craters extends about 570 kilometers (350 statute miles) to the horizon. Width of view at the horizon is 150 kilometers (94 statute miles).
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AS08-14-2432 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- This is a near vertical photograph of the lunar surface taken with a telephoto lens during the Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. The photographed area is approximately 20 miles on a side and is located within a large, unmanned 100-miles-in-diameter crater on the farside of the moon. This large crater is located at 10 degrees south latitude and 160 degrees east longitude. The lunar surface probably has less pronounced color then indicated by this print.
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AS08-12-2196 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- An oblique view from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking eastward across the lunar surface from about 115 degrees east longitude to the horizon near 180 degrees east longitude. The crater Tsiolkovsky in the center of the picture is 150 kilometers wide and is located at 129 degrees east longitude and 21 degrees south latitude. While in lunar orbit, Apollo 8 moved toward the camera position over the terrain along the left (north) side of this photograph.
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AS08-12-2193 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- View of the lunar surface taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking southward from high altitude across the Southern Sea. (Hold picture with AS8 number in upper right corner). The bright-rayed crater near the horizon is located near 130 degrees east longitude and 70 degrees south latitude. The dark-floored crater near the middle of the right side of the photograph is about 70 kilometers (45 statute miles) in diameter. Both features are beyond the eastern limb of the moon as viewed from Earth; neither has a name.
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AS08-13-2224 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- This oblique view of the lunar surface was taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking southward toward Goclenius and other large craters near 45 degrees east longitude and 10 degrees south latitude in the Sea of Fertility. Goclenius, the crater in the foreground with a rille-broken flat floor, is about 70 kilometers (45 statute miles) in diameter. One rille, approximately horizontal in this view, crosses both crater rims and the central peak, and, on adjoining Apollo 8 photographs, can be traced several kilometers across the mare surface beyond the high crater wall. In the background, the two large craters with smooth floors are Colombo A (left) and Magelhaens. Magelhaens A, the crater with the irregular floor, is about 35 kilometers (20 statute miles) in diameter.
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AS08-12-2052 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- This near-vertical photograph from the Apollo 8 spacecraft covers an area of approximately 50 x 50 statute miles within a 250-statute-miles-in-diameter crater on the lunar farside. The center of this large crater is located at about 157 degrees west longitude and 4 degrees south latitude. The large crater in the center of the picture is about 20 statute miles in diameter.
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S08-13-2244 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- This Apollo 8 view of the lunar surface looks southward at 162 degrees west longitude, showing rugged terrain that is characteristic of the lunar farside hemisphere. Hold picture with black sky at top right. The large crater at the left side of the picture is about 110 kilometers (70 statute miles) in diameter and is centered about 200 kilometers (125 statute miles) south of the spacecraft. The sharp, circular crater in the foreground is about 15 kilometers (9 statute miles) across. Conspicuous surface lineations that extend from the lower right corner of the photograph toward the upper left resemble a radial texture observed near Mare Orientale on Lunar Orbiter IV photographs. The lineations in this area probably are related to another major crater because the observed trend is not radial to Mare Orientale.
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AS08-13-2252 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- Oblique view of the lunar surface taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft looking southward across the farside crater Tsiolkovsky which is centered near 129 degrees east longitude and 21 degrees south latitude. The flat floor of Tsiolkovsky is much darker than the surrounding lunar surface. It is darker than most of the mare material observed by the Apollo 8 crew. The dark material is about 125 kilometers (80 statute miles) across measured from the near-to far-side contacts in this view. The central peak, which stands as an "island" within the dark material, is about 40 kilometers (25 statute miles) long. High sun angle at the time of this photograph accentuates the contrast between light and dark material and degrades the ability to detect topographic details. The only boulders observed by the Apollo 8 crew had rolled from the light-colored peak onto the dark, smooth surface near the right hand end of the peak.
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AS08-13-2344 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- This oblique photograph looks generally northwest from the Apollo 8 spacecraft into the Sea of Tranquility. (HOLD PICTURE WITH LARGE TRIANGLE FORMED BY DARK SKY AT UPPER LEFT). The three prominent craters are Taruntius F in the lower right corner; Taruntius E in the center; and Cauchy between the two linear features. The Cauchy scarp, this side of the Cauchy crater, is formed by one to three faults stepped down toward the spacecraft. Cauchy Rille, on the other side of Cauchy crater, consists of several arcuate segments of a graben. Each of the three prominent craters is 10 to 15 kilometers (6 to 9 statute miles) across.
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AS08-14-2383 (24 Dec. 1968) --- The rising Earth is about five degrees above the lunar horizon in this telephoto view taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft near 110 degrees east longitude. The horizon, about 570 kilometers (350 statute miles) from the spacecraft, is near the eastern limb of the moon as viewed from Earth. Width of the view at the horizon is about 150 kilometers (95 statute miles). On Earth 240,000 statute miles away the sunset terminator crosses Africa. The crew took the photo around 10:40 a.m. Houston time on the morning of Dec. 24, and that would make it 15:40 GMT on the same day. The South Pole is in the white area near the left end of the terminator. North and South America are under the clouds.
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AS08-16-2593 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- A striking view from the Apollo 8 spacecraft showing nearly the entire Western Hemisphere, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, including nearby Newfoundland, extending to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. Central America is clearly outlined. Nearly all of South America is covered by clouds, except the high Andes Mountain chain along the west coast. A small portion of the bulge of West Africa shows along the sunset terminator.
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AS08-16-2608 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- A view of the Western Hemisphere from the Apollo 8 spacecraft. The sunset terminator runs from eastern Brazil to northeastern United States. A large area of the U.S. and Mexico, from Baja California to the Mississippi Valley, is cloud-free. South America is at center, with clouds covering all but the Andes Mountains along the west coast. The Antarctic ice cap is also visible.
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AS8-18-2883 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- An Apollo 8 photograph of the surface of the moon. HOLD PICTURE WITH SKY AT TOP. The dark-floored crater in the lower right corner is named Lomonosov, and measures approximately 50 statute miles in diameter. The bright-rayed crater was named Giordano Bruno by the Russians. Bruno was a sixteenth-century Italian scientist. Lomonosov is located on the lunar farside at about 102 degrees east longitude and 28 degrees north latitude.
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AS8-14-2392 (21-27 Dec. 1968) --- High-oblique view of the moon's surface showing Earth rising above the lunar horizon, looking west-southwest, as photographed from the Apollo 8 spacecraft as it orbited the moon. The center of the picture is located at about 105 degrees east longitude and 13 degrees south latitude. The lunar surface probably has less pronounced color than indicated by this print.
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S68-55815 (24 Dec. 1968) --- This is how the surface of the moon looked from an altitude of approximately 60 miles as photographed by a television camera onboard the Apollo 8 spacecraft. This is Apollo 8's third live television transmission back to Earth. At the time this picture was made, the Apollo 8 spacecraft, with astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Anders aboard, was making its second revolution of the moon.
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S68-55292 (August 1968) --- A North American Rockwell Corporation artist's concept depicting the Apollo Command Module (CM), oriented in a blunt-end-forward attitude, re-entering Earth's atmosphere after returning from a lunar landing mission. Note the change in color caused by the extremely high temperatures encountered upon re-entry.
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S69-15592 (27 Dec. 1968) --- This Apollo 8 re-entry photograph was taken by U.S. Air Force Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System (ALOTS) camera mounted on a KC-135-A aircraft flown at 40,000 feet altitude. Apollo 8, with astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Anders aboard, splashed down at 10:51 a.m. (EST) Dec. 27, 1968, in the central Pacific approximately 1,000 miles south-southwest of Hawaii.
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S68-56304 (27 Dec. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 capsule is seen being hoisted aboard the recovery carrier, USS Yorktown after its successful splashdown.
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S69-15732 (27 Dec. 1968) --- A U.S. Navy frogman team participates in the Apollo 8 recovery operations. The Apollo crew, astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Anders, were recovered by helicopter and flown to the deck of the USS Yorktown, prime recovery ship for the historic Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Apollo 8 splashed down at 10:51 a.m. (EST), Dec. 27, 1968, about 1,000 miles south-southwest of Hawaii.
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S69-15737 (27 Dec. 1968) --- The Apollo 8 crew stands in the doorway of a recovery helicopter after arriving aboard the carrier USS Yorktown, prime recovery ship for the historic Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission. Left to right, are astronauts Frank Borman, commander; James A. Lovell Jr., command module pilot; and William A. Anders, lunar module pilot. Apollo 8 splashed down at 10:51 a.m. (EST), Dec. 27, 1968, in the central Pacific approximately 1,000 miles south-southwest of Hawaii.
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S69-16402 (29 Dec. 1968) --- Although it was past 2 a.m., a crew of more than 2,000 people were on hand at Ellington Air Force Base to welcome the members of the Apollo 8 crew back home. Astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Anders had just flown to Houston from the pacific recovery area by way of Hawaii. The three crewmen of the historic Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission are standing at the microphones in center of picture.
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Quelle: NASA

Tags: Raumfahrt 

2140 Views

Samstag, 27. Dezember 2014 - 17:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - China startet Long March-4B Rakete mit Yaogan-26 Fernerkundungssatelliten

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A Long March-4B rocket carrying the Yaogan-26 remote sensing satellite blasts off from the launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, Dec. 27, 2014. Yaogan satellites are mainly used for scientific experiments, natural resource surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)
TAIYUAN, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- China launched the Yaogan-26 remote sensing satellite into the preset orbit at 11:22 a.m. on Saturday Beijing Time from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province.
The satellite will mainly be used for scientific experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention.
It was carried by a Long March-4B rocket, marking the 202th mission for the Long March rocket family.
China launched the first satellite in the "Yaogan" series, Yaogan-1, in 2006.
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A Long March-4B rocket carrying the Yaogan-26 remote sensing satellite blasts off from the launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, Dec. 27, 2014. Yaogan satellites are mainly used for scientific experiments, natural resource surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief. (Xinhua/Yan Yan) 
Quelle: Xinhua

Tags: Raumfahrt 

1974 Views

Samstag, 27. Dezember 2014 - 11:00 Uhr

Astronomie - Meteorit, Explosion oder UFO? Riesiges Loch am Ende der Welt gibt Rätsel auf

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15.07.2014

Meteorit, Explosion oder UFO? Riesiges Loch am Ende der Welt gibt Rätsel auf

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Im abgelegensten Winkel von Sibirien gibt ein Loch im Boden Rätsel auf. Niemand kann erklären, wie es entstanden ist. Theorien reichen von einem Meteoriten-Einschlag bis zu einem UFO-Absturz. Am wahrscheinlichsten ist jedoch eine Methangasexplosion.

Im Norden Sibiriens, in der Region Yamal, fernab jeglicher Zivilisation, ist am Boden ein Riesenloch entdeckt worden, wie eine lokale Zeitung berichtet.
Luftaufnahmen zeigen das mysteriöse Loch, dessen Grösse Experten auf ungefähr 80 Meter schätzen.
Ein Forscherteam reist jetzt nach Sibirien, ans «Ende der Welt», wie das Gebiet auch genannt wird, um das Loch zu erforschen. Denn noch ist unklar, woher dieses stammt. Ist es ein Meteoren-Krater?
«Definitiv nicht», widerspricht hier ein russischer Kabinettssprecher. Stammt das Loch von einer Methangas-Explosion, geschuldet der globalen Erderwärmung? Dies die naheliegendste Theorie.
Eine weitere besagt, das Loch stamme von einem UFO. Schauen Sie das Video und urteilen Sie selbst.
Am Mittwoch sollen die Forscher in Sibirien ankommen. Sie wollen Proben aus dem Boden, vom Wasser und der Luft nehmen und so herausfinden, woher das grosse Loch stammt.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kMs05VaOfE#t=21
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Quelle: Aargauer Zeitung
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Update: 19.07.2014
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Woher kommt dieser mysteriöse Krater?

Forscher haben in Sibirien einen riesigen, mysteriösen Krater entdeckt. Ein Meteorit war es nicht. Aber ist ein UFO dafür verantwortlich?

Entdeckt wurde der mysteriöse, kreisrunde Krater bei einem Hubschrauberflug über der sibirischen Tandra auf der Halbinsel Jamal, was übersetzt so viel wie „Ende der Welt“ bedeutet.
Der Pilot schätzt den Durchmesser auf 80 Meter. Die Tiefe ist noch unbekannt, der Boden war nicht zu erkennen. Derzeit befinden sich laut „Siberian Times“ Wissenschaftler auf dem Weg zum Krater, um ihn genauer zu untersuchen.
Das Video der Loch-Sichtung wurde auf YouTube schnell zu einem Hit – und beflügelte die Fantasie der Betrachter: Eine UFO-Landung als Entstehungsgrund wurde natürlich auch diskutiert.
Etwas wahrscheinlicher ist da die Theorie der russischen Wissenschaftlerin Anna Kurshatowa. Sie hält es für möglich, dass der Krater entstand, weil sich ein Gemisch aus Wasser, Salz und Gas unter der Erde entzündet hat. Schuld sei die Erderwärmung: Durch das Auftauen der Permafrostböden werden große Mengen Gas freigesetzt. Der Effekt sei vergleichbar mit dem Ploppen eines Sekt-Korkens.
Der australische Polarforscher Chris Fogwill machte im „Sydney Morning Herald“ das Abschmelzen eines Pingo für das Loch verantwortlich. Ein Pingo bezeichnet einen unterirdischen Eisberg im Permafrostboden.
Immerhin ist eine Ursache schon mal ausgeschlossen: „Wir können definitiv sagen, dass es kein Meteorit war“, sagt ein Sprecher des russische Katastrophenschutzministeriums.
Quelle: BZ
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Update: 27.12.2014
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Mystery Siberian Crater: Rappelling Over the Edge

Just what created the massive, yawning craters on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia? This week scientists decided to dive into one to find out.
Using climbing equipment, scientists from Russian Center of Arctic Exploration plunged 54 feet into one of the massive chasms.
"We managed to go down into the funnel, all was successful," mission leader Vladimir Pushkarev told the Siberian Times. "We used climbing equipment, and it is easier to do this in winter, than in summer, with the ground now hard."
The first of the craters was discovered in mid-July, by reindeer herders on the Yamal Peninsula (the name means "end of the world.") Since then two other chasms in the same region were also reported.
At the bottom of the crater is a lake that scientists estimate is about 34.4 feet, or 10.5 meters deep.
During their descent, scientists took samples of ice, soil, gasses and air.
With their data now stashed and transported to various institutions, the researchers will work on finding explanations for the formation of the mysterious craters.
One theory behind the craters' formation is gas hydrates. When permafrost melts, gas is released, causing an underground explosion. Gasses -- including methane -- are found trapped in frozen hydrates below the permafrost.
Scientists hope data from the recent expedition will offer definitive explanations.
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Rückblick Juli 2014
A second massive crater has appeared in a remote part of Siberia on the Yamal Peninsula, called "the end of the world." The new crater was discovered by reindeer herders about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the first, reports the Moscow Times. Following this discovery, a third hole was found to the east of the other two. It's just 15 meters deep but 60-100 meters deep, locals report.
It's uncertain yet what's caused the sinkholes, but experts said global warming may play a part. Above is a view of the wall inside the first crater.
One theory: when permafrost melts, gas is released, causing an underground explosion.
Experts from the Center for the Study of the Arctic and the Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have studied the hole, returning with the first photos from the site.
"We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite," a spokesman from Russia's Emergencies Ministry told the Siberian Times.
The area contains some of Russia's most plentiful stores of natural gas. About 10,000 years ago, the area was under the sea, which left salt deposits.
The first hole is about 50 meters wide (164 feet, or about 15 stories) and 70 meters deep (229 feet, about 21 stories), reports the Moscow Times. The second appears similar, but is much smaller.
Scientists are concerned that global warming could cause more permafrost melt, which could release methane, a greenhouse gas -- and possibly more enormous Siberian sinkholes.
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Quelle: D-NEWS

 

Tags: Astronomie 

2962 Views

Freitag, 26. Dezember 2014 - 23:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt-History - Apollo-7-Mission

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The primary objectives for the Apollo 7 engineering test flight were simple: Demonstrate command and service module, or CSM, and crew performance; demonstrate crew, space vehicle and mission support facilities performance during a crewed CSM mission; and demonstrate CSM rendezvous capability. 
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Mission Highlights
Oct. 11, 1968, was a hot day Cape Kennedy, but the heat was tempered by a pleasant breeze when Apollo 7 lifted off in a two-tongued blaze of orange-colored flames. The Saturn IB, in its first trial with men aboard, provided a perfect launch, and its first stage dropped off two minutes, 25 seconds later. The S-IVB second stage took over, giving astronauts their first ride atop a load of liquid hydrogen. At five minutes, 54 seconds into the mission, Walter Schirra Jr., the commander, reported, "She is riding like a dream." About five minutes later, an elliptical orbit was achieved 140 by 183 miles above Earth.
Once Apollo 7 cleared the pad, a three-shift mission control team -- led by flight directors Glynn Lunney, Eugene Kranz and Gerald D. Griffin -- in Houston took over. Schirra, Donn Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham inside the command module had heard the sound of propellants rushing into the firing chambers, noticed the vehicle swaying slightly and felt the vibrations at ignition. Ten and a half minutes after launch, with little bumpiness and low g loads during acceleration, Apollo 7 reached the first stage of its journey, an orbital path 227 by 285 kilometers above Earth.
The S-IVB stayed with the CSM for about 1 1/2 orbits, then separated. Schirra fired the CSM's small rockets to pull 50 feet ahead of the S-IVB, then turned the spacecraft around to simulate docking, as would be necessary to extract an LM for a moon landing. The next day, when the CSM and the S-IVB were about 80 miles apart, Schirra and his crewmates sought out the lifeless, tumbling 59-foot craft in a rendezvous simulation and approached within 70 feet.
Cunningham reported the spacecraft lunar module adapter panels had not fully deployed, which naturally reminded Thomas Stafford, the mission's capsule communicator, or capcom, of the "angry alligator" target vehicle he had encountered on his Gemini IX mission. This mishap would have been embarrassing on a mission that carried a lunar module, but the panels would be jettisoned explosively on future flights.
After this problem, service module engine performance was a joy. This was one area where the crew could not switch to a redundant or backup system. At crucial times during a lunar voyage, the engine simply had to work or they would not get back home. On Apollo 7, there were eight nearly perfect firings out of eight attempts. On the first, the crew had a real surprise. In contrast to the smooth liftoff of the Saturn, the blast from the service module engine jolted the astronauts, causing Schirra to yell "Yabadabadoo" like Fred Flintstone in the contemporary video cartoon. Later, Eisele said, "We didn't quite know what to expect, but we got more than we expected." He added more graphically it was a real boot in the rear that just plastered them into their seats. But the engine did what it was supposed to do each time it fired.
The Apollo vehicle and the CSM performed superbly. Durability was shown for 10.8 days -- longer than a journey to the moon and back. With few exceptions, the other systems in the spacecraft operated as they should. Occasionally, one of the three fuel cells supplying electricity to the craft developed some unwanted high temperatures, but load-sharing hookups among the cells prevented any power shortage. The crew complained about noisy fans in the environmental circuits and turned one of them off. That did not help much, so the men switched off the other. The cabin stayed comfortable, although the coolant lines sweated and water collected in little puddles on the deck, which the crew expected after Joseph Kerwin's team test in the altitude chamber. Schirra's crew vacuumed the excess water out into space with the urine dump hose.
A momentary shudder went through the Mission Control Center in Houston when both AC buses dropped out of the spacecraft's electrical system, coincident with automatic cycles of the cryogenic oxygen tank fans and heaters. Manual resetting of the AC bus breakers restored normal service.
Three of the five spacecraft windows fogged because of improperly cured sealant compound, a condition that could not be fixed until Apollo 9. Visibility from the spacecraft windows ranged from poor to good during the mission. Shortly after the launch escape tower jettisoned, two of the windows had soot deposits and two others had water condensation. Two days later, however, Cunningham reported that most of the windows were in fairly good shape, although moisture was collecting between the inner panes of one window. On the seventh day, Schirra described essentially the same conditions.
Even with these impediments, the windows were adequate. Those used for observations during rendezvous and station-keeping with the S-IVB remained almost clear. Navigational sighting with a telescope and a sextant on any of the 37 preselected Apollo stars was difficult if done too soon after a waste-water dump. Sometimes they had to wait several minutes for the frozen particles to disperse. Eisele reported that unless he could see at least 40 or 50 stars at a time he found it hard to decide what part of the sky he was looking toward. On the whole, however, the windows were satisfactory for general and landmark observations and for out-the-window photography. 
Despite minor irritations, such as smudging windows and puddling water, most components supported the operations and well-being of the spacecraft and crew as planned. For example, the waste management system for collecting solid body wastes was adequate, though annoying. The defecation bags containing a germicide to prevent bacteria and gas formation were easily sealed and stored in empty food containers in the equipment bay. But the bags certainly were not convenient and there were usually unpleasant odors. Each time they were used, it took crew members 45 to 60 minutes, causing them to wait for a time when there was no work to do and postponing it as long as possible. The crew had a total of only 12 defecations during a period of nearly 11 days. Urination was much easier, as the crew did not have to remove clothing. There was a collection service for both the pressure suits and the in-flight coveralls. Both devices could be attached to the urine dump hose and emptied into space. They had half expected the hose valve to freeze up in vacuum, but it never did. 
Chargers for the batteries needed for re-entry after fuel cells departed with the service module, or SM, returned 50-75 percent less energy than expected. Most serious was the overheating of fuel cells, which might have failed when the spacecraft was too far from Earth to return on batteries, even if fully charged. But each of these anomalies was satisfactorily checked out before Apollo 8 flew.
Some of the crew's grumpiness during the mission could be attributed to physical discomfort. About 15 hours into the flight, Schirra developed a bad cold, and Cunningham and Eisele soon followed suit. A cold is uncomfortable enough on the ground, but in weightlessness it presents a different problem. Mucus accumulates, fills the nasal passages and does not drain from the head. The only relief is to blow hard, which is painful to the ear drums. So the crew of Apollo 7 whirled through space suffering from stopped-up ears and noses. They took aspirin and decongestant tablets, and discussed their symptoms with doctors.
Several days before the mission ended, they began to worry about wearing their suit helmets during re-entry, which would prevent them from blowing their noses. The buildup of pressure might burst their eardrums. Deke Slayton in mission control tried to persuade them to wear the helmets anyway, but Schirra was adamant. They each took a decongestant pill about an hour before re-entry and made it through the acceleration zone without any problems with their ears.
The CSM's service propulsion system, which had to fire the CSM into and out of the moon's orbit, worked perfectly during eight burns lasting from half a second to 67.6 seconds. Apollo's flotation bags had their first try out when the spacecraft, considered a "lousy boat," splashed down in the Atlantic southeast of Bermuda, less than 2 kilometers from the planned impact point. Landing location was 27 degrees, 32 minutes north, and 64 degrees, four minutes west. The module turned upside down, but when inflated, the brightly colored bags flipped it upright. The tired, but happy, voyagers were picked up by helicopter and deposited on the deck of the USS Essex by 8:20 a.m. EDT. Spacecraft was aboard the ship at 9:03 a.m. EDT. 
Apollo 7 accomplished what it set out to do -- qualifying the command and service module, and clearing the way for the proposed lunar orbit mission to follow. Its activities were of national interest. A special edition of NASA's news clipping collection called "Current News" included front page stories from 32 major newspapers scattered over the length and breadth of the nation. Although the post-mission celebrations may not have rivaled those for the first orbital flight of an American, John Glenn in 1962, enthusiasm was high and this fervor would build to even greater heights each time the lunar landing goal drew one step closer.
In retrospect it seems inconceivable, but serious debate ensued in NASA councils on whether television should be broadcast from Apollo missions, and the decision to carry the little 4 1/2-pound camera was not made until just before this October flight. Although these early pictures were crude, it was informative for the public to see astronauts floating weightlessly in their roomy spacecraft, snatching floating objects and eating the first hot food consumed in space. Like the television pictures, the food improved on later missions.
Apollo 7's achievement led to a rapid review of Apollo 8's options. The Apollo 7 astronauts went through six days of debriefing for the benefit of Apollo 8, and on Oct. 28, 1968, the Manned Space Flight Management Council chaired by George Mueller met at the Manned Spacecraft Center, investigating every phase of the forthcoming mission. The next day brought a lengthy systems review of Apollo 8's Spacecraft 103. Dr. Thomas O. Paine, NASA administrator, made the go/no-go review of lunar orbit on Nov. 11, 1968, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. By this time, nearly all the skeptics had become converts. 
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S68-21590 (September 1968) --- This is a portrait of the Apollo-Saturn 7 crew members. They are, left to right, astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot; and Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot. EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this photograph was made astronaut Eisele died Dec. 2, 1987 in Tokyo, Japan, of a heart attack.
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S68-29781 (22 April 1968) --- Low angle view at the Kennedy Space Center's Pad 34 showing the erection of the first stage of the Saturn 205 launch vehicle. The two-stage Saturn IB will be the launch vehicle for the first unmanned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7 (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205).
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S68-33119 (May 1968) --- The prime crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7 (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205), left to right, are astronauts Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot; Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; and Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot. All are wearing their space suits without helmets. They were photographed during training at the North American Rockwell Facility at Downey, California.
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S68-33744 (22 May 1968) --- The prime crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7 (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205), left to right, are astronauts Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot, Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; and Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot.
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S68-34580 (1968) --- With its exterior removed, the Apollo portable life support system (PLSS) can be easily studied. The PLSS is worn as a backpack over the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), a multi-layered spacesuit used for outside-the-spacecraft activity. JSC photographic frame no. S68-34582 is a close-up view of the working parts of the PLSS.
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S68-34582 (1968) --- With its exterior removed, the Apollo portable life support system (PLSS) can be easily studied. The PLSS is worn as a backpack over the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) a multi-layered spacesuit used for outside-the-spacecraft activity. JSC photographic frame no. S68-34582 is a wider view of the exposed interior working parts of the PLSS and its removed cover.
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S68-40875 (5 July 1968) --- Astronaut John W. Young, Apollo 7 backup command module pilot, ingresses Apollo Spacecraft 101 Command Module during simulated altitude runs at the Kennedy Space Center's Pad 34.
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S68-42343 (5 Aug. 1968) --- The prime crew of the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7, stands on the deck of the NASA Motor Vessel Retriever after suiting up for water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Left to right, are astronauts Walter Cunningham, Donn F. Eisele, and Walter M. Schirra Jr.
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S68-42486 (22 July 1968) --- Wide-angle view of Apollo Command Module 103 during de-stacking from Service Module in Stand 2C.
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S68-42513 (5 Aug. 1968) --- Apollo Spacecraft 101 Command/Service Modules being moved into position for mating with Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA)-5 in the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building. Apollo Spacecraft 101 will be flown on the first manned Apollo space mission, Apollo 7 (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205).
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S68-46604 (5 Aug. 1968) --- The prime crew of the first manned Apollo mission (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205) is seen in Apollo Command Module Boilerplate 1102 during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. In foreground is astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr., in center is astronaut Donn F. Eisele, and in background is astronaut Walter Cunningham.
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S68-46605 (5 Aug. 1968) --- The prime crew of the first manned Apollo mission (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205) participates in water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Left to right, are astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr. (stepping into life raft), Donn F. Eisele, and Walter Cunningham. They have just egressed Apollo Command Module Boilerplate 1102, and are awaiting helicopter pickup. Inflated bags were used to upright the boilerplate. MSC swimmers assisted in the training exercise.
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S68-50712 (16 Sept. 1968) --- Nighttime view of Launch Complex 34, Kennedy Space Center, showing the Apollo 7 (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205) stack on pad.
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S68-48787 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 7/Saturn IB space vehicle is launched from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 34 at 11:03 a.m. on Oct. 11, 1968.
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S68-48666 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 7/Saturn IB space vehicle is launched from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 34 at 11:03 a.m. (EDT), Oct. 11, 1968. Apollo 7 (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205) is the first of several manned flights aimed at qualifying the spacecraft for the half-million-mile round trip to the moon. Aboard the Apollo spacecraft are astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot; and Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot.
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S68-48662 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 7/Saturn IB space vehicle is launched from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 34 at 11:03 a.m. (EDT), Oct. 11, 1968. Apollo 7 (Spacecraft 101/Saturn 205) is the first of several manned flights aimed at qualifying the spacecraft for the half-million mile round trip to the moon. Aboard the Apollo spacecraft are astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot; and Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot. (This view is framed by palm trees on either side).
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AS07-04-1584 (11-22 Oct. 1968) --- Astronaut Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 lunar module pilot, is photographed during the Apollo 7 mission.
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AS07-04-1583 (11-22 Oct. 1968) --- Astronaut Donn F. Eisele, Apollo 7 command pilot, is photographed during the Apollo 7 mission.
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AS07-04-1582 (11-22 Oct. 1968) --- Astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr., Apollo 7 commander, is photographed during the Apollo 7 mission.
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AS07-03-1535 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The expended Saturn IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers at an altitude of 126 nautical miles, at ground elapsed time of three hours, 11 minutes. The round, white disc inside the open panels of the Saturn IVB is a simulated docking target similar to that used on the lunar module for docking during lunar missions. The spacecraft is directly over Odessa-Midland, Texas. The view between the two panels (area of large puffy clouds) extends southwest across Texas into the Mexican State of Chihuahua. The distance between the Apollo 7 spacecraft and the S-IVB is approximately 50 feet.
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AS07-03-1538 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The expended Saturn IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers. This photograph was taken during Apollo 7's second revolution of Earth. Earth below has heavy cloud cover. The round, white disc inside the open panels of the Saturn IVB is a simulated docking target similar to that used on the lunar module for docking during lunar missions.
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AS07-03-1541 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The expended Saturn IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers. St. Louis Bay and Lake Borgne area just east of New Orleans is seen below. The round, white disc inside the open panels of the Saturn IVB is a simulated docking target similar to that used on the lunar module for docking during lunar missions.
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AS07-03-1545 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The expended Saturn S-IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers at an approximate altitude of 125 nautical miles, at ground elapsed time of three hours and 16 minutes (beginning of third revolution). This view is over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Kennedy, Florida. The Florida coastline from Flagler Beach southward to Vero Beach is clearly visible in picture. Much of the Florida peninsula can be seen. Behind the open panels is the Gulf of Mexico. Distance between the Apollo 7 spacecraft and the S-IVB is approximately 100 feet. The round, white disc inside the open panels of the S-IVB is a simulated docking target similar to that used on the Lunar Module (LM) for docking during lunar missions.
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AS07-03-1531 (11 Oct. 1968) --- The expended Saturn IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers. This photograph was taken over Sonora, Mexico, during Apollo 7's second revolution of Earth. The round, white disc inside the open panels of the Saturn IVB is a simulated docking target similar to that used on the lunar module for docking during lunar missions.
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AS07-04-1586 (20 Oct. 1968) --- Astronaut Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 lunar module pilot, writes with space pen as he is photographed performing flight tasks on the ninth day of the Apollo 7 mission. Note the 70mm Hasselblad camera film magazine just above Cunningham's right hand floating in the weightless (zero gravity) environment of the spacecraft.
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AS07-04-1590 (20 Oct. 1968) --- Tuamotu Archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, looking southwest, as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during its 141st revolution of Earth. The photograph was taken from an altitude of 110 nautical miles, at a ground elapsed time of 224 hours and 18 minutes.
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AS07-05-1635 (13 Oct. 1968) --- Gulf of Mexico, coast of Yucatan, Mexico, as seen from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during its 33rd revolution of Earth. Note road leading to city of Merida which is under cloud cover. Photographed from an altitude of 123 nautical miles, at ground elapsed time of 52 hours and 37 minutes.
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AS07-07-1872 (11-22 Oct. 1968) --- The Houston, Texas, and Gulf Coast area, looking southeast, as seen from the Apollo 7 spacecraft at an altitude of 101 nautical miles. This photograph was made during the spacecraft's 91st revolution of Earth, at ground elapsed time of 144 hours and 26 minutes. The morning sun causes a spectacular reflection on water surfaces such as the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Bay, Buffalo Bayou, and the Brazos River, and causes a unique reflection in the canals and rice fields west of Alvin. Some of the landmarks visible in this picture include highways and freeways, the Astrodome, the new Intercontinental Airport, and the Manned Spacecraft Center.
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AS07-08-1933 (20 Oct. 1968) --- The morning sun reflects on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as seen from the Apollo 7 spacecraft at an altitude of 120 nautical miles above Earth. Most of Florida peninsula appears as a dark silhouette. This photograph was made during the spacecraft's 134th revolution of Earth, some 213 hours and 19 minutes after liftoff.
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S68-50713 (14 Oct. 1968) --- Astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr. (on right), mission commander; and Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot; are seen in the first live television transmission from space. Schirra is holding a sign which reads, "Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!" Out of view at left is astronaut Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot.
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S68-49661 (22 Oct. 1968) --- A member of the Apollo 7 crew is hoisted up to a recovery helicopter from the USS Essex during recovery operations. The Apollo 7 spacecraft splashed down at 7:11 a.m., Oct. 22, 1968, approximately 200 nautical miles south-southwest of Bermuda.
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S68-52542 (22 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 7 crew arrives aboard the USS Essex, the prime recovery ship for the mission. Left to right, are astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot; Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot; and Dr. Donald E. Stullken, NASA Recovery Team Leader from the Manned Spacecraft Center's (MSC) Landing and Recovery Division. The crew is pausing in the doorway of the recovery helicopter.
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S68-49744 (22 Oct. 1968) --- The Apollo 7 crew is welcomed aboard the USS Essex, the prime recovery ship for the mission. Left to right, are astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot; and Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot. In left background is Dr. Donald E. Stullken, NASA Recovery Team Leader from the Manned Spacecraft Center's (MSC) Landing and Recovery Division.
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Quelle: NASA
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Tags: Raumfahrt 

2037 Views

Freitag, 26. Dezember 2014 - 21:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt-History - Apollo-4-6-Testflüge

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S67-36022 (20 June 1967) --- Apollo Spacecraft 017 is moved into position in the Vehicle Assembly Building's high bay area for mating with the Saturn V launch vehicle. S/C 017 will be flown on the Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501 (Apollo 4) space mission.

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Apollo-4

S67-43593 (26 Aug. 1967) --- The completely assembled Apollo Saturn 501 launch vehicle mated to the Apollo spacecraft 017 on Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center. The fully assembled vehicle was transported to the launch complex on the crawler.

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S67-50530 (8 Nov. 1967) --- High-angle view of Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, showing the Apollo 4 (Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501) unmanned, Earth-orbital space mission being readied for launch. The huge 363-feet tall Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle was launch at 7:00:01 a.m. (EST), Nov. 9, 1967.

S67-50903 (9 Nov. 1967) --- The Apollo 4 (Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501) space mission was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The liftoff of the huge 363-feet tall Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle was at 7:00:01 a.m. (EST), Nov. 9, 1967. The successful objectives of the Apollo 4 Earth-orbital unmanned space mission obtained included (1) flight information on launch vehicle and spacecraft structural integrity and compatibility, flight loads, stage separation, subsystem operation, emergency detection subsystem, and (2) evaluation of the Apollo Command Module heat shield under conditions encountered on return from a moon mission.

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S67-49447 (9 Nov. 1967) --- Close-up view of the charred heat shield of the Apollo Spacecraft 017 Command Module aboard the USS Bennington. The damage was caused by the extreme heat of reentry. The carrier Bennington was the prime recovery ship for the Apollo 4 (Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501) unmanned, Earth-orbital space mission. Splashdown occurred at 3:37 p.m. (EST), Nov. 9, 1967, 934 nautical miles northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.

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AS04-01-750 (9 Nov. 1967) --- Atlantic Ocean, Antarctica, looking west, as photographed from the Earth-orbital Apollo 4 (Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501) unmanned space mission. This picture was taken when the Spacecraft 017 and the Saturn S-IVB (third) stage was orbiting Earth at an altitude of 8,628 nautical miles.

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AS04-01-410 (9 Nov. 1967) --- Coastal Brazil, Atlantic Ocean, West Africa, Sahara, Antarctica, looking west, as photographed from the Apollo 4 (Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501) unmanned, Earth-orbital space mission. This picture was taken when the Spacecraft 017 and Saturn S-IVB (third) stage were orbiting Earth at an altitude of 9,745 nautical miles.

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S67-49423 (9 Nov. 1967) --- The Apollo Spacecraft 017 Command Module, with flotation collar still attached, is hoisted aboard the USS Bennington, prime recovery ship for the Apollo 4 (Spacecraft 017/Saturn 501) unmanned, Earth-orbital space mission. The Command Module splashed down at 3:37 p.m. (EST), Nov. 9, 1967, 934 nautical miles northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, in the mid-Pacific Ocean. Note charred heat shield caused by extreme heat of reentry.

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Apollo-5

S67-50927 (November 1967) --- Lunar Module-1 being moved into position for mating with Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA)-7 in the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building. LM-1 and SLA-7 are scheduled to be flown on the Apollo 5 (LM-1/Saturn 204) unmanned space mission.

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S68-18700 (22 Jan. 1968) --- Two prime crew members of the first manned Apollo space flight were present at Cape Kennedy for the launch of the Apollo V (LM-1/Saturn 204) unmanned space mission. On left is astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr.; and on right is astronaut R. Walter Cunningham. In background is the Apollo V stack at Launch Complex 37 ready for launch.

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S68-18733 (22 Jan. 1968) --- Dr. Robert R. Gilruth (right), MSC Director, sits with Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC director of flight operations, at his flight operations director console in the Mission Control Center, Building 30, during the Apollo 5 (LM-1/Saturn 204) unmanned space mission.

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S68-19459 (22 Jan. 1968) --- The Apollo 5 (LM-1/Saturn 204) unmanned space mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 37 at 5:48:09 p.m. (EST), Jan. 22, 1968. The Lunar Module-1 payload was boosted into Earth orbit by a launch vehicle composed of a Saturn IB first stage and a Saturn S-IVB second stage. The Apollo lunar module's first flight test was called a complete success. Ascent and descent propulsion systems and the ability to abort a lunar landing and return to orbit were demonstrated.

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S68-19460 (22 Jan. 1968) --- The Apollo 5 (LM-1/Saturn 204) unmanned space mission was launched from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 37 at 5:48:09 p.m. (EST), Jan. 22, 1968. The Lunar Module-1 payload was boosted into Earth orbit by a launch vehicle composed of a Saturn IB first stage and a Saturn S-IVB second stage. The Apollo lunar module's first flight test was called a complete success. Ascent and descent propulsion systems and the ability to abort a lunar landing and return to orbit were demonstrated.

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Apollo-6

S69-42255 (28 October 1968) --- Dr. Robert R. Gilruth talks about the Apollo 6 unmanned mission's returned spacecraft during a visit to Houston by vice-presidential nominee Spiro T. Agnew.

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AS06-02-938 (6 April 1968) --- During the second revolution of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Apollo 6 spacecraft, this photograph of Senegal and Mauritania was taken at an altitude of 125 nautical miles. The predominant feature is the valley of the Senegal River (flowing to lower right). Lake Rkiz is to the left of the river in Mauritania. The Trarza Scrub Hills, a large area of elongated, fixed dunes, is in the lower left of the print. The land area seen in this photo is approximately 10,000 square miles or about the size of the state of Maryland. The photo was made one hour and fifty minutes after liftoff using a J.A. Maurer model 220G camera with Eastman Kodak SO-121 high resolution aerial Ektachrome film (exposure setting of f: 5.6 at 1/500 sec.).

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AS06-02-1436 (4 April 1968) --- View of the mouth of the Colorado River and the Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico as photographed from the unmanned Apollo 6 (Spacecraft 020/Saturn 502) space mission. Altitude of the spacecraft at the time picture was taken was 120 nautical miles. NORTH IS TOWARD LEFT SIDE OF PICTURE. At bottom edge of photograph is Baja California. In the upper left corner is the Mexican state of Sonora showing the Sonoran Desert and the Pinacate Mountains. This photograph was made three hours and seven minutes after liftoff using Eastman Kodak SO-121 high resolution aerial Ektachrome film (exposure setting was f/5.6 at 1/500 second) in a J.A. Maurer model 2200 camera.

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S68-17301 (6 Dec. 1967) --- Apollo Spacecraft 020 Command Module is hoisted into position for mating with Service Module in the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building. Spacecraft 020 will be flown on the Apollo 6 (Spacecraft 020/Saturn 502) unmanned, Earth-orbital space mission.

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S68-20986 (4 April 1968) --- Scene at the flight operations director's console in the Mission Control Center, Building 30, during the Apollo 6 (Spacecraft 020/Saturn 520) unmanned space flight. Left to right, are Air Force Maj. Gen. Vincent G. Huston, DOD Manager, Manned Space Flight Operations, Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.; Dr. Christopher C. Kraft Jr., MSC director of flight operations; George M. Low, manager, MSC Apollo Spacecraft Program Office; and Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director.
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S68-27364 (4 April 1968) --- The Apollo 6 (Spacecraft 020/Saturn 502) unmanned space mission was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. The liftoff of the huge Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle occurred at 7:00:01.5 a.m. (EST), April 4, 1968.
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S68-27365 (4 April 1968) --- The five F-1 engines of the huge Apollo/Saturn V space vehicle's first (S-IC) stage leave a gigantic trail of flame in the sky above the Kennedy Space Center seconds after liftoff. The launch of the Apollo 6 (Spacecraft 020/Saturn 502) unmanned space mission occurred at 07:00:01.5 (EST), April 4, 1968. This view of the Apollo 6 launch was taken from a chase plane.
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S68-27884 (4 April 1968) --- A U. S. Navy frogman team prepares the Apollo Spacecraft 020 Command Module (CM) for hoisting aboard the USS Okinawa. The USS Okinawa was the prime recovery ship for the Apollo 6 (Spacecraft 020/Saturn 502) unmanned space mission. Splashdown occurred at 4:58:45 p.m. (EST), April 4, 1968, at 375 nautical miles north of Honolulu, Hawaii.
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S68-26989 (4 April 1968) --- The Apollo 6 Spacecraft 020 Command Module is hoisted aboard the USS Okinawa.
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Quelle: NASA

 


Tags: Raumfahrt 

1943 Views

Freitag, 26. Dezember 2014 - 20:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt-History - Apollo-1-Mission

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Apollo 1 Tragedy
Jan. 27, 1967, tragedy struck on the launch pad at Cape Kennedy during a preflight test for Apollo 204 (AS-204). The mission was to be the first crewed flight of Apollo, and was scheduled to launch Feb. 21, 1967. Astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee lost their lives when a fire swept through the command module, or CM.
The exhaustive investigation of the fire and extensive reworking of the Apollo command modules postponed crewed launches until NASA officials cleared them for flight. Saturn IB schedules were suspended for nearly a year, and the launch vehicle that finally bore the designation AS-204 carried a lunar module, or LM, as the payload, instead of a CM. The missions of AS-201 and AS-202 with Apollo spacecraft aboard had been unofficially known as Apollo 1 and Apollo 2 missions. AS-203 carried only the aerodynamic nose cone.
In the spring of 1967, NASA's Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, Dr. George E. Mueller, announced that the mission originally scheduled for Grissom, White and Chaffee would be known as Apollo 1, and said that the first Saturn V launch, scheduled for November 1967, would be known as Apollo 4. The eventual launch of AS-204 became known as the Apollo 5 mission. No missions or flights were ever designated Apollo 2 or 3.
The second launch of a Saturn V took place on schedule in the early morning of April 4, 1968. Known as AS-502, or Apollo 6, the flight was a success, though two first-stage engines shut down prematurely, and the third-stage engine failed to reignite after reaching orbit.
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Astronauts for the first Apollo Mission (L-R) Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee
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Apollo Spacecraft
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Apollo I
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Back-up crew of (L-R) Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham, and Wally Schirra in their modified G-3C space suits.
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Astronauts for the first Apollo Mission (L-R) Roger B. Chaffee, Edward H. White and Virgil I. Grissom practice for the mission in the Apollo Mission Simulator
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The Capsule after the tragic fire
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Exterior of Apollo/Saturn 204 spacecraft at White Room of Complex 34, Cape Kennedy, Fla
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The flag draped coffin of Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom is being escorted at Arlington Cemetery, Va., by his fellow astronauts
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Seated at the witness table before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Services on the Apollo 204 Accident are; left to right -- Dr. Robert C. Seamans, NASA, Deputy Administrator, James E. Webb, Administrator, Dr. George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, and Maj. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director
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12 Selected For Coming NASA Missions
WASHINGTON D.C. March 21, 1966 -- Twelve astronauts were named to flight crews today -- including the first manned Apollo mission -- and two others assigned earlier were shifted to a different mission.
Prime crewman for the Apollo Earth-orbital mission, tentatively scheduled in the first quarter of 1967, are Lt. Col. Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, USAF; Lt. Col. Edward H. White II, USAF; and Navy Lt. Roger B. Chaffee. Their backups are Lt. Col. James A. McDivitt, USAF; Maj. David R. Scott, USAF; and Russell L. Schweickart, a civilian employee of NASA.
Assigned as prime crewman for the Gemini II mission scheduled in the last quarter of this year, are Navy Cmdr. Charles " Pete" Conrad, Jr., command pilot; and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard F. Gordon, Jr., pilot. Backups are Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot; and USAF Capt. William A. Anders, pilot.
Backup crewman for the Gemini 10 flight, Navy Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr., and USAF Maj. Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., were reassigned as backup crew for Gemini 9. The original Gemini 9 backups, USAF Lt. Col. Thomas P. Stafford and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Eugene A. Cernan, became prime crewman for that mission after the deaths of civilian astronaut Elliot M. See, Jr., and USAF Maj. Charles A. Bassett II, last Feb. 28.
Replacing Lovell and Aldrin as the backup crew for Gemini 10 are Navy Lt. Cmdr. Alan L. Bean, and Marine Maj. Clifton C. Williams, Jr.
The first manned Apollo mission could come as early as the fourth flight of Saturn IB. The first Saturn IB flew successfully on Feb. 26.
Duration of the first manned Apollo mission, as presently conceived, will be determined on an orbit-by-orbit basis for the first six orbits, then on a day-by-day basis for up to 14 days maximum. Its orbit is to carry as high as 265 statute miles with a perigee of 100 statute miles. Prime goal of the flight will be to verify spacecraft, crew and ground support compatibility.
As presently planned, Gemini 11 will be a rendezvous and docking flight of up to three days duration. Rendezvous is scheduled in the first revolution, with the flight crew using onboard systems to compute their own trajectories and maneuvers. Ground systems will be used as a backup.
Plans call for the spacecraft to re-rendezvous with the Gemini 11 Agena vehicle, which procedurally will be a passive target the second time. The re-rendezvous also will be accomplished with the use of onboard systems.
Extravehicular activity is planned, using a hand-held maneuvering unit similar to the one which was to have been used on Gemini 8. Duration of extravehicular activity and tasks to be performed will be based on experience in Gemini 9 and Gemini 10.
Approximately eight experiments are tentatively scheduled for Gemini 11. All will be repeats of experiments flown previously but a list of specific experiments will not be available until a re-evaluation is completed. The Gemini 11 Agena will be parked in a high orbit for possible use during Gemini 12.
The launch profile and orbital parameters will be essentially the same in Gemini 11 as those in Gemini 8. The Agena will be launched into a 185-statute-mile orbit and rendezvous will be accomplished at that altitude.
Navy Cmdr. John W. Young, command pilot, and USAF Michael Collins, pilot, remain as the previously announced prime crew of Gemini 10.
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TRAGEDY AND RECOVERY - 1967
Nestled beside an umbilical tower, surrounded by a service structure, and encased in a clean room at Cape Kennedy's Launch Complex 34, spacecraft 012 sat atop a Saturn IB on Friday morning, 27 January 1967. Everything was ready for a launch simulation, a vital step in determining whether the spacecraft would be ready to fly the following month. During this "plugs out" test, all electrical, environmental, and ground checkout cables would be disconnected to verify that the spacecraft and launch vehicle could function on internal power alone after the umbilical lines dropped out.(1)
By 8:00 that morning, a thousand men, to support three spacesuited astronauts--Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee--were checking systems to make sure that everything was in order before pulling the plugs. In the blockhouse, the clean room, the service structure, the swing arm of the umbilical tower, and the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building, this army of technicians was to go through all the steps necessary to prove that this Block I command module was ready to sustain three men in earth-orbital flight. Twenty-five technicians were working on level A-8 of the service structure next to the command module and five more. mostly North American employees, were busy inside the clean room at the end of the swing arm. Squads of men gathered at other places oil the service structure. If interruptions and delays stretched out the test, as often happened, round-the-clock shifts were ready to carry the exercise to a conclusion. Throughout the morning, however, most of the preparations went smoothly, with one group after another finishing checklists and reporting readiness.
After an early lunch, Grissom, White, and Chaffee suited up, rode to the pad (arriving an hour after noon), and slid into the spacecraft couches. Technicians sealed the pressure vessel inner hatch, secured the outer crew access hatch, and then locked the booster cover cap in place. All three astronauts were instrumented with biomedical sensors, tied together on the communications circuit, and attached to the environmental control system. Strapped down, as though waiting for launch, they began purging their space suits and the cabin atmosphere of all gases except oxygen--a standing operating procedure. (2)
STALKED BY THE SPECTRE
For almost a year, the Grissom crew had watched its craft go through the production line, test program, and launch pad preparations. After participating in a multitude of critiques, reading numerous discrepancy reports, and going through several suited trials in the spacecraft in altitude chambers at Downey and the Cape, Grissom's group had learned almost all the idio- syncracies of spacecraft 012. The astronauts knew, if not every nut and bolt, at least the functions of its 88 subsystems and the proper positions for hundreds of switches and controls inside the cockpit. They also knew that the environmental unit had been causing trouble. Indeed, Grissom's first reports on entering the cabin were of a peculiar odor--like sour milk. (3)
As all traces of sea-level atmosphere were removed from the suit circuit and spacecraft cabin, pure oxygen at a pressure of 11.5 newtons per square centimeter (16.7 pounds per square inch) was substituted. The crew checked lists, listened to the countdown, and complained about communications problems' that caused intermittent delays. The men could speak over four channels, either by radio or telephone line, but the tie-in with the test conductors and the monitors was complicated and troublesome. Somewhere there was an unattended live microphone that could not be tracked down and turned off. Other systems, Grissom's crew noted, seemed to be operating normally. At four in the afternoon, one shift of technicians departed and another came on duty.
Near sunset, early on this winter evening, communications problems again caused a delay, this time for ten minutes, before the plugs could be pulled. Thus, the test that should have been finished had not really started, and an emergency egress practice was still to come. The crew was accustomed to waiting, however, having spent similar long hours in trouble-plagued training simulators. About 6:30, Grissom may have been thinking about the jest he had played on Riley McCafferty by hanging a lemon on the trainer. (4)
Donald Slayton sat half a kilometer away at a console in the blockhouse next to Stuart Roosa, the capsule communicator. On the first floor of the launch complex, Gary W. Propst, an RCA employee, watched a television monitor that had its transmitting camera trained on the window of the command module. Clarence A. Chauvin, the Kennedy Space Center test conductor, waited in the automated checkout equipment room of the operations building, and Darrell O. Cain, the North American test conductor, sat next door. NASA quality control inspector Henry H. Rogers boarded the Pad 34 elevator to ride up to the clean room. There, at the moment, were three North American employees: Donald O. Babbitt, pad leader; James D. Gleaves, mechanical technician; and L. D. Reece, systems technician. Reece was waiting to pull the plugs on signal. Just outside on the swing arm, Steven B. Clemmons and Jerry W. Hawkins were listening for Reece to call them to come and help. All of these men and several others in the vicinity at 6:31 heard a cry over the radio circuit from inside the capsule: "There is a fire in here. (5)
Stunned, pad leader Babbitt looked up from his desk and shouted to Gleaves: "Get them out of there!" As Babbitt spun to reach a squawk box to notify the blockhouse, a sheet of flame flashed from the spacecraft. Then he was hurled toward the door by a concussion. In an instant of terror, Babbitt, Gleaves, Reece, and Clemmons fled. In seconds they rushed back, and Reece and Clemmons searched the area for gas masks and for fire extinguishers to fight little patches of flame. All four men, choking and gasping in dense smoke, ran in and out of the enclosure, attempting to remove the spacecraft's hatches.
Meanwhile, Propst's television picture showed a bright glow inside the spacecraft, followed by flames flaring around the window. For about three minutes, he recalled, the flames increased steadily. Before the room housing the spacecraft filled with smoke, Propst watched with horror as silver-clad arms behind the window fumbled for the hatch. "Blow the hatch, why don't they blow the hatch?" he cried. He did not know until later that the hatch could not be opened explosively." Elsewhere, Slayton and Roosa watched a television monitor, aghast, as smoke and fire billowed up. Roosa tried and tried to break the communications barrier with the spacecraft, and Slayton shouted furiously for the two physicians in the blockhouse to hurry to the pad. (6)
In the clean room, despite the intense heat, Babbitt, Gleaves, Reese, Hawkins, and Clemmons, now joined by Rogers, continued to fight the flames. From time to time, one or another would have to leave to gasp for air. One by one, they removed the booster cover cap and the outer and inner hatches--prying out the last one five and a half minutes after the alarm sounded. By now, several more workers had joined the rescue attempt. At first no one could see the astronauts through the smoke, only feel them. There were no signs of life. By the time firemen arrived five minutes later, the air had cleared enough to disclose the bodies. Chaffee was still strapped in his couch, but Grissom and White were so intertwined below the hatch sill that it was hard to tell which was which. Fourteen minutes after the first outcry of fire, physicians G. Fred Kelly and Alan C. Harter reached the smoldering clean room. The doctors had difficulty removing the bodies because the spacesuits had fused with molten nylon inside the spacecraft.
As anguished officials gathered, the pad was cleared of unnecessary personnel, guards were posted, and official photographers were summoned. All through the night, physicians labored to complete their grim task. After the autopsies were finished, the coroner reported that the deaths were accidental, resulting from asphyxiation caused by inhalation of toxic gases. The crew did have second and third degree burns, but these were not severe enough to have caused the deaths. (7)
Most persons who had been connected with the space program in any way remember that the tragedy caught them by surprise. In six years of operation, 19 Americans had flown in space (7 of them, including Grissom, twice) without serious injury. Procedures and precautions had been designed to foresee and prevent hazards; now it was demoralizing to realize the limits of human foresight. Several other astronauts had died, but none in duties directly associated with space flight. Airplane crashes had claimed the lives of Elliot See, Charles Bassett, and Theodore Freeman. These were traumatic experiences, but the loss of three men during a ground test for the first manned Apollo flight was a more grievous blow.
Memorial services for the AS-204 crewmen were held in Houston 30 January, although their bodies had been flown north from Kennedy for burial. Grissom and Chaffee were buried in Arlington National Cemetery and White at the Military Academy at West Point. Amid these last rites, a similar tragedy took the lives of two men in an oxygen-filled chamber at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. Airman 2/c William F. Bartley and Airman 3/c Richard G. Harmon were drawing blood samples from rabbits when a fire suddenly swept through the enclosure. The spacecraft and chamber tragedies pinpointed the dangers inherent in advanced space-simulation work. (8)
The accident that took the lives of Grissom, White, and Chaffee was heartrending, and some still insist totally unnecessary; but NASA had always feared that, in manned space flight, danger to pilots could increase with each succeeding program. Space flight officials had warned against undue optimism for years, pointing out that any program that large inevitably took its toll of lives--from accident, overwork, or illness brought on by the pressures of such an undertaking. Man was fallible; and a host of editorial cartoons reiterated this axiom for several months after the fire. One, by Paul Conrad in the Los Angeles Times, showed the spectre of death clothed in a spacesuit holding a Mercury spacecraft it one hand, a Gemini in the other, and with the smoldering Apollo in the background. It was captioned "I thought you knew, I've been aboard on every flight."
While preaching the need to promote quality workmanship, NASA managers had relied on their contractors to invoke effective measures. NASA executives knew they had tried to inspire the whole Apollo team to strive for perfection, but the haunting question now was: Had they tried hard enough? Every company and organization had a management scheme to increase personal motivation by giving recognition to faultless performance. North American had its "PRIDE" program, standing for "Personal Responsibility in Daily Effort," and NASA had "MFA" for "Manned Flight Awareness." The NASA program also featured what was called the "Lunar Roll of Honor"; the first lunar landing party would carry a microfilm listing 300 000 names, honoring the exceptional service of those who had aided significantly in the achievement. After the fire, the idea was dropped. Just as it became obvious how difficult it was to fix the blame for failure, it would later be come apparent that it would be equally hard to pinpoint responsibility for success. (10)
In Washington on the day of the accident, an Apollo Executives' Conference was in session, attended by NASA leaders James Webb, Robert Seamans, and George Mueller and by top Gemini and Apollo corporate officials, to mark the transition from two- to three-man space flight operations. That morning the conferees had been invited to the White House to witness the signing of a space treaty. President Johnson described this event as the "first firm step toward keeping outer space free forever from the implements of war." Later, as the tragic news from Pad 34 spread, the executives considered disbanding. Administrator Webb, however, decided to carry on; Mueller would stay in Washington and Seamans and Samuel Phillips would go to the Cape. The next day, Mueller reported the first few meager facts to the meeting and then gave a paper that Phillips had intended to present.
Ironically, Phillips had listed troubles with quality assurance among the top ten problems faced in Apollo. (11)
THE INVESTIGATION
After the fire, amid all the grief and the shock that it could have happened, a thorough fact-finding investigation was conducted. Webb and Seamans asked Floyd L. Thompson, Director of Langley Research Center, to take charge of the inquiry. Thompson and Seamans met at Kennedy at noon on 28 January for a brief session with other Headquarters, Houston, and Cape officials and then adjourned to Complex 34 to see the scene of the accident. (12)
Seamans returned to Washington that evening, consulted with Webb, and drafted a memorandum formalizing the AS-204 Review Board with Thompson as chairman. Members were astronaut Frank Borman and Max Faget of the Manned Spacecraft Center, E. Barton Geer of Langley Research Center, George W. Jeffs of North American, Franklin A. Long of Cornell University and the President's Science Advisory Committee, Colonel Charles F. Strang of the Air Force Inspector General's office, George C. White of NASA Headquarters, and John J. Williams of Kennedy Space Center.
The board quickly established tight security at Complex 34, impounded documents pertaining to the accident, and collected eyewitness reports. News media representatives swarmed in to cover the story, and their unofficial investigations and semifactual innuendos filled newsprint and airwaves throughout the following weeks. Many looked for quick answers and simple explanations, but by 3 February it was obvious to NASA officials, at least, that no single cause for the accident could be isolated immediately. Seamans and Thompson set lap 21 panels to assist the review board. When he realized that full-time participation was expected. Long asked to be excused. He was replaced by Robert W. Van Dolah, an explosives expert from the Bureau of Mines. In other personnel actions, Seamans asked Jeffs to serve as a consultant rather than as a board member and George T. Malley, chief counsel at Langley, to act as legal advisor. (13)
Anticipating public clamor for answers and reforms, if not postponement of Apollo, NASA officials asked leading members of Congress to hold off on a full-scale investigation until the review board finished its report. Senator Clinton P. Anderson. Chairman, agreed to call the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences into executive session only, for its early investigations. And Representative George P. Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, said Olin Teague's Subcommittee on NASA Oversight would not begin hearings until the Thompson Board had submitted its report. Many newsmen charged that the full story would never be known, since most of the board members were NASA employees; others conjectured that Apollo might be grounded altogether. Meanwhile, the Apollo 204 Review Board went systematically about its business. (14)
Seamans returned to Florida on 2 February to prepare a preliminary report for Webb. Although this was made public just few days later, accusations still swirled that the NASA investigation could not be impartial since it was a probe of the agency by itself. There were also sensationalistic charges such as those in Eric Bergaust's book, Murder on Pad 34, a year and a half later. Bergaust said that NASA, even while denying that it was in a space race, had nevertheless placed speed above safety. (15)
But there was plenty of evidence that meeting schedules was not the whole story. "We're in a risky business," Grissom himself had said in an interview several weeks before the fire, " and we hope if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." He was later quoted as saying, "Our God-given curiosity will force us to go there ourselves because in the final analysis only man can fully evaluate the moon in terms understandable to other men. "(16)
Congressional leaders did not entirely share the views and misgivings of the press. In a bipartisan move, Senators Anderson and Margaret Chase Smith arranged for publication of the executive hearings of 7 February with Seamans, Mueller, Charles A. Berry (Houston's medical director of manned space flight), and Richard Johnston (spacesuit and life support systems expert). This openness of congressional deliberations helped to defuse media criticism about the objectivity of the ongoing investigation. (17)
Spacecraft 014, nearly identical to 012, was shipped from California to Florida. There the Thompson Board and its panels had the vehicle dismantled for comparison with the remains of 012, which was being taken apart and every piece studied and analyzed. Thompson took advantage of the background and experience of his board members, assigning some to monitor several of the panels. While technicians worked around the clock for the first few weeks, the board held daily recorded and transcribed sessions to consider the findings. Strang was an effective vice-chairman, drawing on his background as an inspector to organize proceedings and prepare comprehensive reports. Van Dolah, the mining explosives expert, had only one panel--origin and propagation of the fire--to monitor, emphasizing the importance of finding that answer. Thompson reserved a single panel, medical analysis, for himself.
Faget had the heaviest load of panels: sequence of events, materials review, special tests, and integration analysis. Borman drew the teams on disassembly, ground emergency provisions, and inflight fire emergency provisions. Williams monitored the spacecraft and ground support equipment configuration, test procedures review, and service module disposition. George White, quality and reliability chief from Headquarters, was responsible for investigations into test environments, design reviews, and historical data. An associate of Thompson's from Langley, Geer handled the groups on the analysis of spacecraft fractures, the board's administrative procedures, and the safety of the investigation operations themselves. Strang was left with the panels taking statements from witnesses, handling the security operations of the inquiry, and writing up the final report.
When Seamans made a second preliminary report to Webb, on 14 February, it was clear that the fire was indeed a fire, and not an explosion leading to a fire. Physical evidence indicated that the conflagration had passed through more than one stage of intensity before the oxygen inside the cabin was used up. By mid-February, the work of tearing down the command module had reached a point where a two-shift six-day week could replace round-the-clock operations.
On the day of the scheduled launch of AS--204, 21 February, the board gave preliminary briefing to George Mueller and a dozen other top NASA officials in preparation for a major briefing of Seamans. Thompson told Seamans the next day that 1500 persons were directly supporting the investigation--600 from government and 900 from industry and the universities--and that the board planned to complete its report by the end of March. Although the history of the fire after it started had been minutely reconstructed, the specific source of ignition had not been--and might never be--determined. On 25 February, Seamans prepared a memorandum for Webb, listing early recommendations by the board that the Administrator could present to Congress:
That combustible materials now used be replaced wherever
possible with non-flammable materials, that non-metallic
materials that are used be arranged to maintain fire
breaks, that systems for oxygen or liquid combustibles be
made fire resistant, and that full flammability tests be
conducted with a mockup of the new configuration.
That a more rapidly and more easily operated hatch be
designed and installed.
That on-the-pad emergency procedures be revised to
recognize the possibility of cabin fire. (18)
The astronaut member of the Thompson Board assured NASA's top officials that he would not have been afraid to enter the Grissom crew's spacecraft that January day. Working with the board, however, Borman and everyone else had come to realize the substantial hazards that had been present but not recognized before the fire. (19)
As its final report was being put together, the review board recognized that there had been ignorance, sloth, and carelessness, but the key word in, all the detailed information was "oversight." No one, it seemed, realized the extent of fire hazards in an overpressurized oxygen-filled spacecraft cabin on the ground, according to the summary report the board issued on April:
Although the Board was not able to determine conclusively the specific initiator of the Apollo 204 fire, it has identified the conditions which led to the disaster--:
A sealed cabin, pressurized with an oxygen atmosphere.
An extensive distribution of combustible materials in the cabin.
Vulnerable wiring carrying spacecraft power.
Vulnerable plumbing carrying a combustible and corrosive coolant,
Inadequate provisions for the crew to escape,
Inadequate Provisions for rescue or medical assistance,
Having identified the conditions that led to the disaster, the Board addressed itself to the question of how these conditions came to exist. Careful consideration of this question leads the Board to the conclusion that in its devotion to the many difficult problems of space travel, the Apollo team failed to give adequate attention to certain mundane but equally vital questions of crew safety. The Board's investigation revealed many deficiencies in design and engineering, manufacture and quality control. (20)
The Thompson Board report came to almost 3000 pages; divided into 14 booklets, it made up a stack about 20 centimeters high. The six appendixes were: (A) the minutes of the board's own proceedings; (B) eyewitness statements and releases; (C) the Operations Handbook for spacecraft 012; (D) final reports of all 21 panels; (E) a brief summary of management and organization; and (F) a schedule of visible evidence.
But even before the board issued its report, its conclusions were essentially already public. For instance, a month after the fire Mueller had admitted to Congress that, after six safe years of manned flight experience, it was now obvious that NASA's approach to fire prevention had been wrong. Minimizing the possibility of ignition had not been enough. Safeguards against the spreading of any fire must also be developed. Since it would be nearly impossible to design equipment that would protect the crews both on the ground and in space,* any nonmetallic, and perhaps flammable, materials would have to be carefully screened. In particular, the "four Fs"-- fabrics, fasteners, film, and foams--required further investigation. Wiring, plumbing, and packaging must be reevaluated, even if it meant reviving the old debate about a one- versus two-gas environmental control system. " (21)
As they delved deeper into the reasons behind the tragedy, NASA officials were confronted by some "skeletons in their closet." Senator Walter F. Mondale raised the question of negligence on the part of management and the prime contractor by introducing the "Phillips report" of 1965-1966. The implication was that NASA had been thinking of replacing North American. But the charges were vague; and, for the next several weeks, no one seemed to know exactly what the Phillips report was. In fact, Webb at first denied that there was such a report. (See Chapter 8.) Mondale also alluded to a document (The Baron Report) by a North American employee, Thomas R. Baron, that was critical of the contractor's operations at the Cape.
Baron was a rank and file inspector at Kennedy from September 1965 until November 1966, when he asked for and received a leave of absence. He had made observations; had collected gossip, rumor, and critical comments from his fellow employees; and had written a set of condemnatory notes. He had detailed, but not documented, difficulties with persons, parts, equipment, and procedures. Baron had observed the faults of a large-scale organization and apparently had performed his job as a quality inspector with a vengeance. He noted poor workmanship, spacecraft 012 contamination, discrepancies with installations, problems in the environmental control system, and many infractions of cleanliness and safety rules.
Baron passed on these and other criticisms to his superiors and friends; then he deliberately let his findings leak out to newsmen. North American considered his actions irresponsible and discharged him on 5 January 1967. The company then analyzed and refuted each of Baron's charges and allegations. In the rebuttal, North American denied anything but partial validity to Baron's wide-ranging accusations, although some company officials later testified before Congress that about half of the charges were well-grounded. When the tragedy occurred, Baron was apparently in the process of expanding his 55-page paper into a 500-page report.
When his indictments were finally aired before Teague's subcommittee, during a meeting at the Cape on 21 April, Baron's credibility was impaired by one of his alleged informants, a fellow North American employee named Mervin Holmburg. Holmburg denied knowing anything about the cause of the accident, although Baron had told the committee that Holmburg "knew exactly what caused the fire." Holmburg testified that Baron "gets all his information from anonymous phone calls, people calling him and people dropping him a word here and there. That is what he tells me." Ironically, Baron and all his family died in a car-train crash only a week after this exposure to congressional questioning. (22)
Beyond the Phillips and Baron reports, however, recollections of events and warnings during the past six years made each Apollo manager wonder if he had really done all in his power to prevent the tragedy. It, March 1965, for instance, Shea and the crew systems people in Houston had wrestled with the question of the one--or two-gas atmosphere and the likelihood of fire-- most of the studies were, admittedly, based on the possibility of fire in space--and concluded that a pure oxygen system was safer, less complicated, and lighter in weight. The best way to guard against fire was to keep flammable materials out of the cabin. Hilliard W. Paige of General Electric had, as a matter of fact, warned Shea about the likelihood of spacecraft fires us, the ground as recently as September 1966; and, just three weeks before the accident, Medical Director Charles Berry had complained that it was certainly harder to eliminate hazardous materials from the Apollo spacecraft than it had been in either Mercury or Gemini. (23)
Although the Senate committee had begun its hearings while the board investigation was in progress, the House subcommittee waited until the final report was ready. By then, the Senate had touched on most of the major issues. As expected, the exact cause of the fire in spacecraft 012 was never determined, but the analysis of all possibilities led to specific corrective actions that eventually satisfied Congress. Throughout the hearings, Borman, still wearing two hats--as an astronaut and as a member of the Apollo 204 Review Board--was very effective. In the course of his testimony, Borman reiterated that the cause of the fire was oversight, rather than negligence or overconfidence. Fire in flight, he said, had been a matter of grave concern since the early days of aviation and the subject of numerous studies. But the notion that a fire hazard was increased on the ground by the use of flammable materials and an overpressure of pure oxygen had never been seriously considered.
On one occasion, when astronauts Walter Schirra, Slayton, Alan Shepard, and James McDivitt had expressed their confidence in NASA's future safety measures, Borman answered a congressman's doubts by saying:
You are asking us do we have confidence in the spacecraft, NASA management, our own training, and...our leaders. I am almost embarrassed because our answers appear to be a party line. Everything I said last week has been repeated by the people I see here today. The response we have given is the same because it is the truth.... We are trying to tell you that we are confident in our management, and in our engineering and in ourselves. I think the question is really: Are you confident in us? (24)
When Borman made a plea on 17 April to stop the witch hunt and get on with Apollo, both NASA and North American had responded to the criticisms of the Thompson Board and of Congress. Top-level personnel changes were direct outgrowths of the charges of negligence and mismanagement: Everett E. Christensen at NASA Headquarters resigned as Apollo mission director; George Low replaced Shea as Apollo Spacecraft Program Manager in Houston; and William D. Bergen (formerly of the Martin Company) took over from Harrison Storms as president of North American's Space and Information Systems Division. Bergen brought with him two associates from Martin: Bastian Hello to run the Florida facility for North American and John P. Healy to manage the first manned Block II command module at Downey. Healey was expected to set precedents in guiding a nearly perfect spacecraft through, the factory. (25)
Most North American officials weathered congressional criticism and pointed out that they agreed, in part, with the formal findings and recommendations of the Thompson Board.* But North American objected to the word "chronic" in describing problems with the environmental control system and defended its electrical wiring practices as functional rather than beautiful. Concurring that the fire probably started from an electrical spark somewhere near the environmental unit, the manufacturers also agreed with NASA on why the fire spread:
Not withstanding this emphasis on the potential problems created by combustibles in the spacecraft, it can be seen in retrospect that attention was principally directed to individual testing of the material. What was not fully understood by either North American or NASA was the importance of considering the fire potential of combustibles in a system of all materials taken together in the position which they would occupy in the spacecraft and in the environment of the spacecraft. (26)
Leland Atwood and Dale Myers used charts to emphasize to Congress the changes that the company intended to make in both construction and test operations. North American would assign a spacecraft manager and a personalized team to each vehicle, appoint an assistant program manager whose only concern was safety, place additional controls on changes made during modification and checkout phases, and assign personal responsibility to specific inspectors. The company would also revise its fabrication and inspection criteria; expand its quality standards, issuing a handbook with better visual aids; install more protected wiring and plumbing; and insist upon additional major inspections. Myers then discussed fire-related hardware changes: the new unified hatch, materials reevaluation, fluids and plumbing reassessment, electrical system improvements, revised on-the-pad operations, and flammability tests. (27)
In Houston, Faget's engineering and development activity ran all sorts of tests on materials and components, and Robert Gilruth sent Borman with a Houston "tiger team" to Downey in mid-April.* The astronaut was to make on-the-spot decisions on contractual changes for the unified hatch, better wiring and plumbing techniques, and other improvements that had been planned even before the accident. Borman's tiger team watched closely, lending its assistance when necessary, as North, Americas, engineers went over the spacecraft piece by piece. (28)
What had happened to the command module, obviously, could just as well happen to the lunar module. Immediately after the fire, Thomas J. Kelly and a host of Grumman workers began a comprehensive review of materials in the lunar lander. Low sent Robert L. Johnston, a materials expert, to help Kelly's group. Grumman replaced nylon cloth in the spacecraft, relying mostly on Beta fiber (an inorganic substance developed by the Corning Glass Works, that would not catch fire nor produce toxic fumes) Perhaps the most important application of this material was as "booties" around circuit breakers, to lessen the possibilities of electrical shorts. In other areas, Grumman worked on its forward hatch, to ensure a crew exit within 10 seconds; the environmental control system; and a cabin and ex- terior pressure equalization system. All in all, the changes would add a three-- to four--month delay in deliveries to the schedule trouble the lauder was in even before the fire. Phillips sent a group headed by Roderick O. Middleton of Kennedy to look into Grumman s quality control and inspection procedures.. Middleton's audit team completed its report in mid-May, giving rumman generally good marks in the manufacturing process. (29)
In Washington, on 9 May, Webb was again called on the carpet by the Senate committee. The Phillips report was again a major subject for debate, this time in a context that made it appear that the NASA--North American relationship was in danger of becoming a political football. The very next day, however, congressional questioning began to wind down. As Congressman John W. Wydler put it:
Essentially the story of the Apollo accident is known to the American people. We have admissions and statements about the things that NASA ... and ... North American Aviation [were] doing wrong. . . . . But I want to say this to you, Mr. Webb. Over the past few years....I probably have been one of the most critical members on this committee of NASA. It appeared to me. . . . that you have had it too easy for your own good from this committee. This is not a criticism being directed at you or the Space Agency, but a criticism being directed inwardly at the Congress and this committee. I feel right now that you got less criticism than you deserved fin the past, but now] you are getting more criticism than you deserve. I don't intend to add to it for that reason.
Wydler did not really stop there, of course, but the investigation did begin to fade away. NASA and North American began implementing the technical recommendations. To some degree, the accident actually bought time for some pieces of Apollo--the lunar module, the Saturn V, the guidance and navigation system, the computers, and the mission simulators--to catch up with and become adapted to the total configuration."
Meanwhile, on 23 April 1967 the Soviet Union announced the launching of Vladimir M. Komarov aboard a new spacecraft. Soyuz I appeared to be functioning normally at first. On its second day of flight, however, the craft began to tumble, and Komarov had to use more attitude fuel than he wanted to get the ship under control. He tried to land during his 17th circuit but could not get the proper orientation for retrofire. Komarov succeeded in reentering on the 18th revolution, but his parachute shroud lines entangled. The cosmonaut was killed on impact. So both Soystz I and Apollo 1 put their programs through traumatic reassessments. No one found any consolation in a "rebalanced" space race. In fact, Webb took the occasion to emphasize the need for international cooperation by asking: "Could the lives already lost have been saved if we had known each other's hopes, aspirations and plans? Or could they have been saved if full cooperation had been the order of the day?"
THE SLOW RECOVERY
Within days after the Thompson Board's report, more than a thousand of those at the Manned Spacecraft Center who were working directly in support of the formal investigation began making suggestions for meeting the board's recommendations. Materials selection, substitution, and stowage inside the command module were thoroughly restudied; and all cloth parts made of nylon were replaced by Beta fiber, teflon, or fiber glass. These substitutes were chosen after more than 3000 laboratory tests had been run on more than 500 different kinds of materials. (32)
Of immediate importance was the new unified hatch--unified meaning that the complicated two-hatch system was redesigned into a single hatch. The new component was heavier than the old, but it would open outward in five seconds, had a manual release for either internal or external operation, and would force the boost cover cap out of the way on opening. It could also be opened independently of internal overpressure and would be protected against accidental opening by a mechanism and seal similar to those used on Gemini.
The management of all industrial safety offices within NASA was revamped, with responsibilities flowing directly to the top at each location. At the launch center, fire and safety precautions were upgraded and personnel emergency preparations were emphasized as never before. Also, at the launch complex itself, a sliding wire was added to the service structure to permit a rapid descent to the ground. Reliability and test procedures were more firmly controlled, making it difficult to inject any last minute or unnecessary changes.
At the Manned Spacecraft Center, full-scale flammability testing continued, first to try to duplicate the conditions present on 27 January and then to find ways to improve the cabin atmosphere and the environmental control system. The tests led to replacing all aluminum oxygen lines that had solder joints with stainless steel tubing that used brazed joints. Aluminum tubing solder joints that could not be eliminated from the coolant system were armored with sleeves and seals wherever exposed. NASA decided to keep the water-glycol coolant fluid (covering it with flame resistant outer insulation) and added emergency oxygen masks for protection from smoke and fumes. (33)
At NASA Headquarters, Webb directed Mueller to revamp and reorganize the major supporting and integrating contractors to put more pressure on North American, as well as on those manufacturing the other Apollo vehicles. Boeing was given a technical integration and evaluation contract, to act as a watch dog for NASA; and General Electric was told to assume a much greater role in systems analysis and ground support. (34)
The contract situation with North Americas, had reached a peculiar stage even before the fire. The cost-plus.incentive.fee contract NASA had negotiated with North American in October 1965 had expired on 3 December 1966. In late January 1967, the legal status of relations was in some doubt. The objectives of the incentive contract had been to reverse the trend of continuing schedule slips, to get Block I vehicles delivered from the factory, to speed up Block II manufacturing, and to bring costs under control. Progress had been made on all fronts by the end of 1966; the flights of Block I spacecraft 002, 009, and 011 had been 80 percent successful, Block II work had moved along, and the cost spiral had stopped.
Despite the fire, John J. McClintock, chief of the Apollo office program control division, advocated in April 1967 that NASA negotiate a follow-on incentive contract, placing heaviest emphasis on flight performance and quality and less on schedules. North American's business negotiators had already conceded that no incentive fee could be expected for spacecraft 012. The closeout cost for the Block I series was set at $37.4 million. This meant that the learning phase of Apollo had cost $616 million. Furthermore, North American agreed that there would be no charge for changes resulting from the AS-204 accident--such as the wire harnesses, environmental control system improvements, and the unified hatch. Changes that would enhance mts5ion success or operational flexibility--changes in the reaction control system, revised inspection criteria, or features to increase mission longevity--would cost money. (35)
After the uncertain days of February, NASA officials began to sense that a recovery from the tragedy was under way. Drawing together, workers at all NASA centers, representing a vast amount of technical, recovered their morale through hard work more rapidly than might have been expected. Much of Apollo's chance for recovery rested on the fact that the Block II advanced version of the command module was well along in-manufacturing and that most of its features were direct improvements over-the faults of the earth-orbital Block I. Moreover, the Saturn V, after experiencing difficulties in the development of its stages, seemed on the track now.
By early May, Webb and his top staff were looking for ways to show Congress that Apollo was on the road to recovery. Mueller proposed flying a Saturn V as soon as possible. Phillips stressed the building and delivery of standard vehicles. Any modifications of support missions other--than the lunar landing (such as Apollo Applications) should, he and Mueller agreed, be entirely separate from the mainstream of Apollo. Moreover, the science program in Apollo should be carried strictly as supercargo. (36)
At the time of the accident, the flight schedule had listed a possible lunar landing before the end of 1968. After the impounding of material evidence and the halting of oxygen chamber testing until the investigation was over, that Apollo schedule was obviously no longer valid. Several weeks after the fire Seamans told blueller to scrap all official flight schedules for manned Apollo missions, using only at, internal working schedule to prevent avoidable slips and cost overruns. By March, Mueller had told Seamans that NASA could commit a Saturn V to a mission. In June Low said he believed that the spacecraft had turned the corner toward recovery, since the changes related to the fire had been identified and were being made. Even if everything went perfectly, however, more than 14 months would be needed for complete recovery. (37)
To make certain of stronger program control in the future, Low decided that all proposals for changes would have to pass an exceedingly tough configuration control board before being adopted. He asked George W. S. Abbey, his technical assistant, to draft a strongly worded charter for the control board. Low next announced that he, Faget, Chris Kraft, Slayton, Kenneth Kleinknecht, William Lee, Thomas Markley, and Abbey (as secretary) would meet for several hours every Friday. When medical and scientific affairs were on the agenda, Berry and Wilmot N. Hess would join the group. Low himself would make all final decisions, and his new board members had the authority to ensure that his decisions were carried out. (38)
If Apollo had seemed complicated before the fire, it appeared even more so afterward. If it gave an impression of being hurried in late 1966, it gathered still more momentum in late 1967. If an extreme level of attention had been given to aspects of crew safety and mission success before the deaths of Grissom and his crew, it rose yet higher after they were gone. But among the Apollo managers there were still nagging fears that something might slip past them, something might be impossible to solve. By mid-1967, however, they were so deep in their work that they could not avoid a growing confidence.
Atwood said the biggest mistake had been locking the crew inside the spacecraft and pumping in oxygen at a higher than sea-level pressure. There was no way to eliminate fire hazards under such conditions. So NASA and North American substituted a nitrogen-and-oxygen atmosphere at ground level, replacing the nitrogen gradually with pure oxygen after launch. Bergen, who had taken over the leadership of North American's Downey division from Storms, moved into the factory while recovery work was going on. He made a practice of appearing on the plant floor, walking around asking questions, during each of the three shifts. Some of the workers wondered if he ever slept. During visits to Downey, Low was often to be seen watching plant activities on Saturdays. Many doubted, Bergen later said, that the recovery could be made in a reasonable time because "everything had come to screeching halt." Bergen credited Gilruth's assignment of Borman and his group and Healey's performance as manager of spacecraft 101 as the keys to getting the command module back into line. (39)
NASA's leaders, after reviewing the progress, decided that it was time for a flight demonstration to prove that the bits and pieces of Apollo had been picked up and were being put back together. Apollo-Saturn Mission 501, with command module 017, was set for early autumn of 1967. If the first flight of the Apollo--Saturn V combination was successful, the rest would follow in due course. (40)
As early as 9 May 1967, Houston proposed four manned missions--one with only the command and service modules, the other three with all the vehicles--before any attempt at a lunar landing. Headquarters in Washington believed that the lunar-landing mission might be possible on the fourth manned flight, which Houston thought was unrealistic--"all-up" should not mean "all-out." Kraft warned Low that a lunar landing should not be attempted "on the first flight which leaves the earth's gravitational field":
There is much to be gained from the operations which conducted on the way to and in the vicinity of the moon. The many questions of thermal control away from the earth's environment, navigation and control during translunar flight, communications and tracking at lunar distances, lighting conditions and other flight experiences affecting astronaut activities in the vicinity of the moon, lunar orbit and rendezvous techniques, the capability of the MSFN to provide back-tip information and many other operating problems will be revealed when we fly in this new environment. It would be highly desirable to have had this experience when we are ready to commit to a lunar landing operation, thereby allowing a more reasonable concentration on the then new problems associated with the descent to the lunar surface. (41)
Deputy Administrator Seamans and his aides made a swing around the manned space flight circuit in, June, visiting Kennedy, Huntsville, Mississippi Test, Michoud, and Houston. In the course of the tour, Seamans observed a definite upsurge of confidence within the Apollo team, although there were still worries. For example, at Kennedy, with planning predicated on a six-week checkout of the Apollo-Saturn in the Cape facilities and launch during the seventh week, there was some feeling that the schedule for the launch of Apollo 4* was extremely tight. Huntsville was still worried about the S-II stage of the launch vehicle, which had gone through, a rather tough year of testing in 1966. And Houston, as a result of fire-related changes, was fighting the age-old problem of fattening spacecraft. On top of this, the lunar module was still having ascent engine instability problems, also left over from the preceding year. (42)
The next month, in July, Mueller and an entourage visited the North American plant at Downey* to see what the contractor had done about the Thompson Board's recommendations. As they walked around the manufacturing area, Mueller seemed generally pleased with progress. (43) Within a very few months, that progress was to be demonstrated in a very satisfactory manner.
Apollo 4 and Saturn V
Birds, reptiles, and animals of higher and lower order that gathered at the Florida Wildlife Game Refuge (also known by the aliases of Merritt Island Launch Annex and Kennedy Space Center) at 7:00 in the morning of 9 November 1967 received a tremendous jolt. When the five engines in the first stage of the Saturn V ignited, there was a man-made earthquake and shockwave. As someone later remarked, the question was not whether the Saturn V had risen, but whether Florida had sunk.
Apollo-Saturn mission 501, now officially Apollo 4--the first all-up test of the three--stage Saturn V--was on its way. On its top rested spacecraft 017, a Block I model with many Block II features, such as an improved heatshield and a new hatch. The aim, of the mission, in addition to testing the structural integrity and compatibility of the spacecraft--launch vehicle combination, was to boost the command and service modules into an elliptical orbit and then power-drive the command module (in, an area over Hawaii) into the atmosphere as though it were returning from the moon to the earth. Apollo 4 also carrier a mockup of the lunar module. Weighing more than 2.7 million kilograms when fully fueled with Liquid oxygen and a kerosene mixture called RP-1, the Saturn, V first stage generated 7.5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. (44)
The flight went almost exactly as planned, and the huge booster rammed its payload into a parking orbit 185 kilometers above the earth. After two revolutions, the S-IVB third stage propelled the spacecraft outward to more than 17 000 kilometers, where it cut loose from the S-IVB and started falling earthward. Then the service module fired, to send the spacecraft out to 18 000 kilometers for a four-and-a-half hour soak in the supercold and hot radiation of space. Telemetry signals noted no degradation in cabin environment. with the spacecraft nose pointed toward the earth, the service module engine fired again. When the spacecraft reached the 122,000-meter atmospheric reentry zone, it was blunt-end forward and traveling at a speed of 40,000 kilometers per hour.
Seamen on the U.S.S. Bennington, the prime recovery ship in the Pacific, watched the descending spacecraft, with its parachutes in full bloom, until it landed 16 kilometers away about nine hours after its launch from Florida. Swimmers jumped from helicopters to assist in the recovery of spacecraft 017, which took about two hours. Technically, managerially, and psychologically, Apollo 4 was an important and successful mission, especially in view of the number of firsts it tackled. It was the first flight of the first and second stages of the Saturn V (the S-IVB stage had flown on the Saturn IB launch vehicles), the first launch of the complete Saturn V, the first restart of the S-IVB in orbital flight, the first liftoff from Complex 39, the first flight test of the Block II command module heatshield, the first flight of even a simulated lunar module, and so on. The fact that everything worked so well and with so little trouble gave NASA a confident feeling, as Phillips phrased it, that "Apollo (was] on the way to the moon. (45)
Even before spacecraft 017 had set out on its trip, the Manned Spacecraft Center was working hard on how to get Apollo to the moon before 197O--only a little more than two years away. On 20 September, Low and others met with top manned space flight officials in Washington to present the center's plan, the key features of which were the need for additional lander and Saturn V V development flights and the incorporation of a lunar orbital flight into the schedule. Owen Maynard presented plans for scheduling seven types of missions that would lead step by step to the ultimate goal. He described these steps, "A" through "G," with G as the lunar landing mission.
Phillips asked that the group consider carefully both the pros and cons of flying an additional Saturn V flight. Wernher von Braun and Low favored the flight--von Braun, because he felt the launch operations people would need the experience, and Low, because he believed that data from several flights would be needed to make certain that the big booster was indeed ready for its flight to the moon. Against these opinions, Phillips cited the tremendous workload an added flight would place on the preflight crews at Kennedy, and Mueller reminded the meeting of the already crowded launch - schedule for 1968. An additional lunar module mission would be flown only if LM-1 were unsuccessful.
Most discussion centered on the insertion of a lunar orbital flight into the schedule. Houston wanted "to evaluate the deep space environment and to develop procedures for the entire lunar landing mission short of LM descent, ascent and surface operations." Mueller remarked that he regarded the lunar orbit mission as just as hazardous as the landing mission. But the Texas group argued that they had no intention of flying the vehicle closer to the moon than 15 000 meters. They pointed out that the crew would not have to train for the actual landing, but it would give them a chance to develop the procedures for getting into lunar orbit and undocking and for the rendezvous that the lunar landing crew would need. Mueller said, "Apollo should not go to the moon to develop procedures." Low reminded him that crew operations would not be the main reason for the trip; there was still a lot to be learned about communications, navigation, and thermal control in the deep space environment. (46) Although a final decision on the lunar orbital mission was not made until later, Maynard's seven-step plan was generally adopted throughout NASA.
Basic Missions
Mission Mission # Objective Vehicle Launch Trajectory Duration
A
4&6
Launch vehicle, spacecraft development, lunar- return entry velocity
Saturn V
16 600 Kilometer apogee
About 8.5 hours
B
5
Lunar module development, propulsion and staging
Saturn IB
Low elliptic orbit
About 6 hours
C
*
Command and Service module evaluation/ crew performance
Saturn IB
Low earth orbit
Up to 11 days
D
*
Lunar module evaluation/ command and service modules/crew performance combined operations
Saturn V or dual IB
Low earth orbit
Up to 11 days
E
*
Command and service modules/lunar module combined operations
Saturn V
High earth orbit
Up to 11 days
F
*
Lunar mission/deep space evaluation
Saturn V
Lunar orbit
Up to 11 days
G
*
Lunar landing
-
-
-
Plenty of wrinkles remained to be ironed out, but by the end of 1967 Apollo seemed to be rounding the corner toward its ultimate goal, despite the most tragic event that manned space flight had so far encountered.
Quelle: NASA

Tags: Raumfahrt 

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Freitag, 26. Dezember 2014 - 19:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Weihnachten auf der ISS

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Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is in the holiday spirit as the station is decorated with stockings for each crew member and a tree.
It’s beginning to look like Christmas on the International Space Station. The stockings are out, the tree is up and the station residents continue advanced space research to benefit life on Earth and in space.
A wide array of research work took place Tuesday with scientists on the ground, working in conjunction with the astronaut lab assistants, exploring different fields.
Behavioral testing was scheduled Tuesday for the Neuromapping study to assess changes in a crew member’s perception, motor control, memory and attention during a six-month space mission. Results will help physicians understand brain structure and function changes in space, how a crew member adapts to returning to Earth and develop effective countermeasures.
Quelle: NASA

Tags: Raumfahrt 

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