# Tag Info

59

The photo is of the launch of Gemini 11 on September 12, 1966. The Saturn V in the background is SA-500F, a "Facilities Integration Vehicle". This was a nearly complete Saturn V that was used to test integration with the launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center: Tests included the mating of the Saturn's stages in the Vehicle Assembly Building (...

28

This is more of a physics question, but here goes: Both the piloted spacecraft and the rendezvous target are objects each in their own orbit, even though they may be separated by minimal distance and have minimal relative velocity one to the other. An object in an ideal orbit always travels in a plane of fixed absolute orientation around the center of ...

26

Actually, the first manned one (Gemini 3) did have a name, "Molly Brown1". According to an article in Life Magazine, Oct 11, 1968, "Spacecraft Anonymous", upper NASA management became weary of arguing about spacecraft names with the crew after Grissom decided to name his capsule that. 1 "Molly Brown" was a reference to the movie and play "The Unsinkable ...

23

Yes, visiting some of the famous (American) capsules is possible. Larger accumulations of capsules, excluding mock-ups and never-flown equipment, can be found at the following places in the US. National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian Institution), Washington, DC: Mercury-Redstone-3 [suborbital], "Freedom 7" (Shepard) Mercury-Atlas-6, "Friendship 7" (...

22

Supplemental to Organic Marble's answer: The Gemini no-names policy remained in effect through the early part of the Apollo program as well; the Apollo 7 and 8 spacecraft were nameless. The names returned when Apollo missions started flying two spacecraft independently; for the CSM-only missions, the call sign was simply "Apollo 7" or “Apollo 8”, but with ...

21

Gemini 4 was the first unsuccessful try of a rendezvous. They sought at that times it should be possible to rendezvous from a short distance by simply thrusting towards the docking object. They had to learn it the hard way that this strategy works only on very, very short distances and in a short time. The circumference of a low Earth circular orbit with a ...

19

I haven't been able to find the Gemini rules online. But we can infer what they stated based on comments in the Gemini VIII post flight report. MCC-H made the decision for early mission termination. This decision was based on data which showed RCS propellant remaining in both rings to be less than half the amount loaded. Also, both rings of ...

19

The long comment chain below this answer highlights the mis-conception that NASA astronauts as a whole did not understand the orbital mechanics of docking. As this comment points out, the mechanics was well understood at the time, and at least one astronaut had written a thesis on the topic a few years earlier: ... Aldrins thesis about orbital ...

18

Not according to the official NASA history, On the Shoulders of Titans. White had difficulty opening the hatch to start the EVA: Over the Indian Ocean, White was ready for EVA at last - hoses hooked up, umbilical ready, gun in hand, and chestpack in place - and they again rested and chatted. Nearing Carnarvon, Australia, they began to depressurize the ...

16

For a number of reasons space craft and aviation closures generally have multiple latches running around the edge. This ensures a tight seal at all points around the opening, reduces the peak forces/weight and provides a degree of redundancy where failed latch/s produce an airleak rather than decompression unless multiple failures occur. The latches are ...

16

Leonov used an airlock to leave and reenter the Voskhod capsule, but White did not use an airlock, the whole Gemini capsule was depressurized. Leonov's problem was to fit into the inflatable airlock again after the EVA. He reduced the pressure in his suit from 0.34 to 0.4 bar down to emergency mode of only 0.2 to 0.27 bar to fit into the small airlock. ...

15

While a number of sources say the motivation for using ejection seats instead of LES is to save weight, a tower launch escape system can be jettisoned relatively early in flight, while ejection seats have to be carried all the way into orbit. Depending on the exact masses and time of tower jettison, this can be a wash or even slightly favorable to a tower ...

15

If I remember it correctly, Gene Kranz too confirmed in an interview, that this sentence was made up for the film. But he liked it so much that he used it as the title for his memoirs / autobiography.

13

First, the Gemini IV maneuver was station-keeping, not rendezvous. Since the target was the just-separated upper stage, the two spacecraft were already rendezvoused, and point-and-burn would have worked if they'd done it properly. According to the Gemini IV mission report, the main causes of station-keeping failure were a mix of procedural mistakes and ...

12

Understanding of re-entry heating at the time led to that decision. Around the time that Mercury was being designed, there was a huge problem in the field of ballistic missile design (which had a sister problem in the field of spacecraft design): at hypersonic speeds the noses of ballistic missiles would melt. The original thinking at the time was that the ...

12

The Orbit Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS) was for orbit and was jettisoned before the retro burn, leaving the RCS for reentry. The com­plete OAMS had 16 small engines, which burned hypergolic propellants fed under pressure from one fuel (monomethylhydrazine) and one oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide) tank. All engines were mounted in fixed positions and ...

11

The Apollo 10 Command Module is on display at the Science Museum in London. (pic from beenthere-donethat.org.uk)

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Yes, it was performed during Gemini 5 and 7. Here's the report. ... Ground observation sites were provided on the Gates Ranch, 40 miles north of Laredo, Texas, and on the Woodleigh Ranch, 90 miles south of Carnarvon, Australia. At the Texas site, 12 squares of plowed, graded and raked soil 2000 by 2000 feet were arranged in a matrix of 4 squares deep and 3 ...

10

This can refer to a number of things, the specific source (mission and point in time of the countdown) would be helpful. It can refer to all systems running on internal power sources rather than external sources. In addition, it can also refer to additional systems that were using external sources, like the guidance system. During the launch preparation/...

9

A more authoritative source than Wikipedia would be NASA's Gemini VII Mission Report. Starting on page 5-25, the anomaly is described, with the main effect being an uncontrolled roll peaking at somewhat less than one revolution per second rather than Wikipedia's yaw: Separation from the GATV [Agena] occurred at 7:15:12.3 GET with thrus­ters ll and 12 ...

9

“Booster Engine Cut Off” (though I like Big Engine better) There’s a handy NASA Glossary for things like this.

9

They didn't have two functioning control rooms, so swapped off using the control room for the vehicle that was most active at the time, and used the distributed Mercury-style control for the less active vehicle, swapping back as required. The men in John Hodge's Flight Control Division found it "a hell of a great challenge and to a man they wanted to ...

9

I have found two instances of a "selectover" from the Mission Operational Computer (MOC) to the Dynamic Standby Computer (DSC), one on Apollo 13 and one on Apollo 15. Apollo 13: The single episode of computer faults during this mission occurred during the period of two computer, i. e., MOC/DSC operation, and there was no interruption to mission ...

8

A yaw thruster failed on in the Gemini's Orbital Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS) causing the attitude problems. Suspecting the Agena target to be at fault, they undocked, which made it worse because the spacecraft mass was now much less. The fix was to turn off the OAMS and switch to the redundant Re-entry Control System (RCS). This disabled the ...

8

The explanation in the frame of the body T that McDivitt was trying to approach is this. When he turned the thrust on, the spacecraft acquired velocity $\mathbf v$ towards the body. The Coriolis force $-2m\mathbf{\Omega}\times \mathbf v$ acted on the spacecraft, where $\mathbf \Omega$ is the angular velocity of the rotation of the body T in the orbit around ...

8

A very detailed timeline is provided by NASA. Some of the key elements: Agena was in a 299 km circular orbit. Gemini launched 1 orbit later. Gemini's trajectory was such that it was in a 160x272 km orbit. This was well below Agena, and was thus moving in nodal point, although the effect was small. Several maneuvers were done on orbit. The first was to more ...

8

The simplest answer is that McDivitt thrusted the Gemini Spacecraft towards the Titan second stage in the same direction that both two objects were travelling. The two were separated far enough that it would take several minutes for Gemini to reach the Titan second stage with amount of thrust generated. If they were in a zero-g field with nothing else ...

7

Sorry, but it's impossible to explain this without referring to orbits. When you are in orbit, your altitude and your linear velocity (speed in the direction of the orbit) are inextricably linked: your linear velocity is proportional with the square root of the altitude (radius). As a result, any change in speed inevitably changes your orbit. The ...

7

All of the Apollo Command Modules are on display as follows: Apollo 6 - Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, Georgia Apollo 7 - Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas, Texas Apollo 8 - Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois Apollo 9 - San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego, California Apollo 10 - Science Museum, London, England ...

6

The rest of the current American crewed capsules. Mercury Capsules MR-3 Freedom 7 | JFK Library, Boston, MA MR-4 Liberty Bell 7 | Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center Hutchinson, Kansas MA-6 Friendship 7 | National Air and Space Museum Washington D.C. MA-7 Aurora 7 | Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, Illinois MA-8 Sigma 7 | Kennedy Space Center ...

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