crookedindifference

projecthabu:

     Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.

     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.

     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)

     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).

     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.

     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

crookedindifference

crookedindifference:

Read the Apollo 11 Flight Plan in Its 353-Page Entirety

Exactly 45 years ago today, after months of preparation, Apollo 11 embarked on its now-legendary mission to the moon. But what exactly does it take to send three men into the great, vacuous unknown? See for yourself.

This 353-page document is the entire Apollo 11 flight plan in all its scientific glory. And if it gets a little confusing it’s because this is one of those rare cases where, yes, it actually is rocket science.

Thankfully, the National Archives does provide a small amount of decoding of the highly technical literature. This acronym key should be of some help:

  • CSM = Command Service Module
  • CMP = Command Module Pilot (Mike Collins)
  • LM = Lunar Module
  • CDR = Commander of the Mission (Neil Armstrong)
  • LMP = Lunar Module Pilot (Buzz Aldrin)
  • MCC-H = Mission Control Center-Houston.
  • LLM = Lunar Landing Mision
  • S/C = Spacecraft

And as an added bonus, NASA has also kindly made available the entire Apollo 11 onboard voice transcription. Yep—you get to be privy to every last word uttered between our three space heroes as they were making history happen.

propagandery

projecthabu:

     The historic SR-71 simulator, on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas, was used for crew selection and training for the SR-71 Blackbird. It was designed and manufactured from 1963 to 1965 by Link Aviation Inc.

     The simulator was in use at Beale Air Force Base in Northern California until 1990, when the USAF Blackbird Program was cancelled. The Air Force transferred the simulator, along with three flying SR-71 aircraft to NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, now called Armstrong Flight Research Center, in Southern California. The sim stayed at Armstrong until 2006, and it rests here in Dallas today.

     The first photo shows the pilot cabin, where the pilot and flight instructor sat. This pilot cabin would simulate motion, and when the simulator unstarted, you felt it; though, it wasn’t as violent as an unstart could be in the actual aircraft. The Reconnaissance Systems Operator (RSO) cockpit, shown in the second photo,did not need to move. These cockpits could be used in tandem, or separately, depending on what mode was selected.

propagandery
propagandery:

Venusian Surface and Sky, from Venera 13, the Soviet craft that landed on March 1, 1982.
This image was digitally remastered from multiple panoramas scanned and transmitted in real time to Earth.
"The lander survived for 127 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 457 °C (855 °F) and a pressure of 89 Earth atmospheres."
Sources: @AsteroidEnergy, Italian Planetary Foundation, Wikipedia

propagandery:

Venusian Surface and Sky, from Venera 13, the Soviet craft that landed on March 1, 1982.

This image was digitally remastered from multiple panoramas scanned and transmitted in real time to Earth.

"The lander survived for 127 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 457 °C (855 °F) and a pressure of 89 Earth atmospheres."

Sources: @AsteroidEnergy, Italian Planetary Foundation, Wikipedia