Archive for the ‘Space History’ Category
The United Space Program run by NASA sent men to the moon a total of six times. The flights were:
- Apollo 11 with a crew consisting of Neil A. Armstrong (commander), Michael Collins (CM pilot), Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin Jr. (LM pilot)
- Apollo 12 with a crew consisting of Charles Conrad Jr. (commander), Richard F. Gordon Jr. (CM pilot), Alan L. Bean (LM pilot)
- Apollo 14 with a crew consisting of Alan B. Shepard Jr. (commander), Stuart A. Roosa (CM pilot), Edgar D. Mitchell (LM pilot)
- Apollo 15 with a crew consisting of David R. Scott (commander), Alfred M. Worden (CM pilot), James B. Irwin (LM pilot)
- Apollo 16 with a crew consisting of John W. Young (commander), Thomas K. Mattingly II (CM pilot), Charles M. Duke Jr. (LM pilot) Apollo 17 with a crew consisting of Eugene A. Cernan (commander), Ronald E. Evans (CM pilot), Harrison H. Schmitt (LM pilot) Read the rest of this entry »
Vice President Johnson Was Assigned the Task of Unifying the U.S. Satellite Programs
June 24, 1961
If you look up into the sky on a clear night, you might see among the sparkling stars and planets an object that is moving slowly across the dark sky. That little light is no star; it’s a satellite orbiting the earth. There are many out there, thanks in part to the efforts of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
On June 24, 1961, the public learned of President Kennedy’s letter assigning Vice President Johnson the high-priority task of unifying the United States satellite programs. After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, in 1957, the U.S. space program skyrocketed. But the program was plagued with rivalries between competing government agencies and expanding costs. It needed strong leadership.
Under Vice President Johnson, the National Space Council recommended that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provide policy coordination with all government agencies involved in space flight. NASA established its command and control center, the Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as the Johnson Space Center), in Houston, in Johnson’s home state of Texas.
The U.S. space program had two main goals: one, develop a system of unmanned satellites that would orbit the earth and provide global telecommunications; and two, pursue manned and unmanned space exploration. Working toward both goals, NASA truly launched the U.S. into the space age.
NASA has greatly advanced satellite technology since the first U.S. earth satellite, Explorer I, was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1959. The 1965 satellite, Early Bird, had the capacity to provide a two-way television link between the U.S. and Europe. Now, satellites provide us with phone and computer communication, radio and television broadcast, accurate mapping, weather information, and so much more.
NASA’s Mercury Program made rapid progress in meeting its second goal by sending its first manned missions into space in its first year, 1961. By the summer of 1969, Americans walked on the moon.
On June 24, 1983, exactly 22 years after Kennedy assigned Johnson to oversee the satellite program, the first American woman, Sally Ride, traveled into space aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Perhaps, someday, space travel will become a common form of transportation for many Americans.
The below timestamped commentary documents the Apollo 13 accident from about 2 minutes before the accident began to about 5 minutes after the accident. The time sequence is given in Ground elapsed time – the time elapsed from the liftoff of Apollo 13 on April 11, 1970. To help with the time perspective, 55:52:00 G.E.T. is the same as 10:05 PM EST on April 13,1970.
55:52:31 – Master caution and warning triggered by low hydrogen pressure in tank no. 1
55:52:58 – CapCom (Jack Lousma): “13, we’ve got one more item for you, when you get a chance. We’d like you to stir up the cryo tanks. In addition, I have shaft and trunnion …..
55:53:06 – Swigert: “Okay.”
55:53:07 – CapCom: “…. for looking at Comet Bennett, if you need it.”
55:53:12 – Swigert: “Okay. Stand by.”
55:53:18 – Oxygen tank No. 1 fans on.
55:53:19 – Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure decreases 8 psi.
55:53:20 – Oxygen tank No. 2 fans turned on.
55:53:20 – Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.
55:53:21 – Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure decreases 4 psi.
55:53:22.718 – Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.
55:53:22.757 – 1.2 Volt decrease in ac bus 2 voltage.
55:53:22.772 – 11.1 amp rise in fuel cell 3 current for one sample
55:53:26 – Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure begins rise lasting for 24 seconds.
55:53:38.057 – 11 volt decrease in ac bus 2 voltage for one sample.
55:53:38.085 – Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.
55:53:41.172 – 22.9 amp rise in fuel cell 3 current for one sample
55:53:41.192 – Stabilization control system electrical disturbance indicates a power transient.
55:54:00 – Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure rise ends at a pressure of 953.8 psia.
55:54:15 – Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure begins to rise.
55:54:30 – Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity drops from full scale for 2 seconds and then reads 75.3 percent.
55:54:31 – Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature begins to rise rapidly.
55:54:43 – Flow rate of oxygen to all three fuel cells begins to decrease.
55:54:45 – Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure reaches maximum value of 1008.3 psia.
55:54:51 – Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity jumps to off-scale high and then begins to drop until the time of telemetry loss, indicating failed sensor.
55:54:52 – Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature sensor reads -151.3 F.
55:54:52.703 – Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature suddenly goes off-scale low, indicating failed sensor.
55:54:52.763 – Last telemetered pressure from oxygen tank No. 2 before telemetry loss is 995.7 psia.
55:54:53.182 – Sudden accelerometer activity on X, Y, Z axes.
55:54:53.220 – Stabilization control system rate changes begin.
55:54:53.323 – Oxygen tank No. 1 pressure drops 4.2 psi.
55:54:53.500 – 2.8 amp rise in total fuel cell current.
55:54:53.542 – X, Y, and Z accelerations in CM indicate 1.17g, 0.65g, and 0.65g.
55:54:53.555 – Master caution and warning triggered by DC main bus B undervoltage. Alarm is turned off in 6 seconds. All indications are that the cryogenic oxygen tank No. 2 lost pressure in this time period and the panel separated.
55:54:54.741 – Nitrogen pressure in fuel cell 1 is off-scale low indicating failed sensor.
55:54:55.350 – Telemetry recovered.
55:54:56 – Service propulsion system engine valve body temperature begins a rise of 1.65 F in 7 seconds. DC main A decreases 0.9 volts to 28.5 volts and DC main bus B 0.9 volts to 29.0 volts. Total fuel cell current is 15 amps higher than the final value before telemetry loss. High current continues for 19 seconds. Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature reads off-scale high after telemetry recovery, probably indicating failed sensors. Oxygen tank No. 2 pressure reads off-scale low following telemetry recovery, indicating a broken supply line, a tank pressure below 19 psi, or a failed sensor. Oxygen tank No. 1 pressure reads 781.9 psia and begins to drop.
55:54:57 – Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity reads off-scale high following telemetry recovery indicating failed sensor.
55:55:01 – Oxygen flow rates to fuel cells 1 and 3 approached zero after decreasing for 7 seconds.
55:55:02 – The surface temperature of the service module oxidizer tank in bay 3 begins a 3.8 F increase in a 15 second period. The service propulsion system helium tank temperature begins a 3.8 F increase in a 32 second period.
55:55:09 – DC main bus A voltage recovers to 29.0 volts, DC main bus B recovers to 28.8.
55:55:20 – Swigert: “Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”
55:55:28 – Lousma: “This is Houston. Say again please.”
55:55:35 – Lovell: “Houston, we’ve had a problem. We’ve had a main B bus undervolt.”
55:55:42 – Lousma: “Roger. Main B undervolt.”
55:55:49 – Oxygen tank No. 2 temperature begins steady drop lasting 59 seconds indicating a failed sensor.
55:56:10 – Haise: “Okay. Right now, Houston, the voltage is–is looking good. And we had a pretty large bang associated with the caution and warning there. And as I recall, main B was the one that had an amp spike on it once before.
55:56:30 – Lousma: “Roger, Fred.”
55:56:38 – Oxygen tank No. 2 quantity becomes erratic for 69 seconds before assuming an off-scale low state, indicating a failed sensor.
55:56:54 – Haise: “In the interim here, we’re starting to go ahead and button up the tunnel again.”
55:57:04 – Haise: “That jolt must have rocked the sensor on — see now — oxygen quantity 2. It was oscillating down around 20 to 60 percent. Now it’s full-scale high.”
55:57:39 – Master caution and warning triggered by DC main bus B undervoltage. Alarm is turned off in 6 seconds.
55:57:40 – DC main bus B drops below 26.25 volts and continues to fall rapidly.
55:57:44 – Lovell: “Okay. And we’re looking at our service module RCS helium 1. We have — B is barber poled and D is barber poled, helium 2, D is barber pole, and secondary propellants, I have A and C barber pole.” AC bus fails within 2 seconds.
55:57:45 – Fuel cell 3 fails.
55:57:59 – Fuel cell current begins to decrease.
55:58:02 – Master caution and warning caused by AC bus 2 being reset.
55:58:06 – Master caution and warning triggered by DC main bus undervoltage.
55:58:07 – DC main bus A drops below 26.25 volts and in the next few seconds levels off at 25.5 volts.
55:58:07 – Haise: “AC 2 is showing zip.”
55:58:25 – Haise: “Yes, we got a main bus A undervolt now, too, showing. It’s reading about 25 and a half. Main B is reading zip right now.”
56:00:06 – Master caution and warning triggered by high hydrogen flow rate to fuel cell 2.