Archive for the 'NASA' Category

SAFE SPLASHDOWN ON THIS DAY IN 1970

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With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar
spacecraft that suffered a
severe malfunction on its journey
to the moon, safely returns to Earth on April 17, 1970.

On April 11, the third manned lunar landing mission was
launched from Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell,
John L. Swigert and Fred W. Haise. The mission was headed f
or a landing on the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon. However,
two days into the mission, disaster struck 200,000 miles from
Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blew up in the spacecraft.

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ASTRONAUTS INTRODUCED ON THIS DAY IN 1959

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From Top Left: Alan B. Shepard, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, L.
Gordon Cooper
Bottom Left: Wally Schirra, Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, John

Glenn and Scott Carpenter.

On April 9, 1959, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduced America’s first astronauts to the press (above).

The seven men, all military test pilots, were carefully selected from
a group of 32 candidates to take part in Project Mercury, America’s
first manned space program. NASA planned to begin manned orbital flights in 1961.

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AMERICAN ORBITED EARTH ON THIS DAY

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From Cape Canaveral, Florida,
John Herschel Glenn Jr. was
successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7
spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut
on this day in 1962.

Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was
among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become
America’s first astronauts.

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FIRST TO PERFORM SPACE WALK IN 1984

Astronaut Bruce McCandless on First-ever Untethered Spacewalk | NASA

While in orbit 170 miles above Earth, Navy Captain Bruce McCandless
II became the first human being to perform an untethered spacewalk, when he exits the U.S. space shuttle Challenger and maneuvers
freely, using a bulky white jet pack of his own design.

McCandless orbited Earth in tangent with the shuttle at speeds
greater than 17,500 miles per hour—the speed at which satellites normally orbit Earth—and flew up to 320 feet away from the
Challenger. After an hour and a half of testing and flying the jet-
powered backpack and admiring Earth, McCandless safely
reentered the shuttle.

Astronaut Bruce McCandless walking in space - Stock Image - S540/0137 -  Science Photo Library

Bruce McCandless II - Wikipedia

mccandless.jpg
Bruce McCandless II (Byron Willis McCandless)
(June 8, 1937 – December 21, 2017)



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MOON MISSION RETURNED ON THIS DAY IN 1968

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Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, returned safely to
Earth after an historic six-day journey.

On December 21, Apollo 8 was launched by a three-stage Saturn 5
rocket from Cape Canaveral,
Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard. On Christmas Eve,
the astronauts entered into orbit around the moon, the first manned 
spacecraft ever to do so. During Apollo 8‘s 10 lunar orbits, television images were sent back home and spectacular photos were taken of
the Earth and the moon from the spacecraft. In addition to being the
first human beings to view firsthand their home world in its entirety,
the three astronauts were also the first to see the far side of the
moon. On Christmas morning, Apollo 8 left its lunar orbit and
began its journey back to Earth, landing safely in the Pacific
Ocean.  

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Apollo 8 crew members from left to right: James A. Lovell Jr., William A. Anders, and Frank Borman.

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