President Nixon Greets the Returning Apollo 11 Astronauts

The Apollo 11 astronauts, left to right, Commander Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., inside the Mobile Quarantine Facility aboard the USS Hornet, listen to President Richard M. Nixon on July 24, 1969 as he welcomes them back to Earth and congratulates them on the successful mission. The astronauts had splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:50 p.m. EDT about 900 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, carrying the astronauts into an initial Earth-orbit of 114 by 116 miles. An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong’s televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” on July 20, 1969.

Image Credit: NASA

President Nixon Greets Apollo 11 Crew - NASA

President Obama Meets With Crew of Apollo 11

Apollo 11 crew with the president, 45 years Apollo 11 anniversary President Barack Obama meets with Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, seated left, Buzz Aldrin, Carol Armstrong, widow of Apollo 11 commander, Neil Armstrong, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and Patricia “Pat” Falcone, OSTP Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, far right, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, during the 45th anniversary week of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Apollo 11 crew with the president, 45 years Apollo 11 anniversary

Apollo 11 crew with the president, 45 years Apollo 11 anniversary

Ken Willoughby – Space Lectures Announces Latest Apollo Astronaut Guest

Ken Willoughby – Space Lectures announces the Next Guest in a fantastic line up of Apollo Astronauts

None other than Apollo 16 Command Module Pilot Thomas ‘Ken’ Mattingly

Space Lectures website for details

Apollo 13 era astronaut thomas k. mattingly

Great News for Shuttle Fans too as Ken Mattingly  was the Commander on Missions STS-4 and STS-51C

Thomas K. Mattingly II (Rear Admiral, USN, Ret.) NASA Astronaut (former)

PERSONAL DATA: Born in Chicago, Illinois, March 17, 1936. One grown son.

EDUCATION: Attended Florida elementary and secondary schools and is a graduate of Miami Edison High School, Miami, Florida; received a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Auburn University in 1958.

ORGANIZATIONS: Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Fellow, American Astronautical Society; and Member, Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and the U.S. Naval Institute.

SPECIAL HONORS: Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1982); NASA Distinguished Service Medals (2); JSC Certificate of Commendation (1970); JSC Group Achievement Award (1972); Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Navy Astronaut Wings; SETP Ivan C. Kincheloe Award (1972); Delta Tau Delta Achievement Award (1972); Auburn Alumni Engineers Council Outstanding Achievement Award (1972); AAS Flight Achievement Award for 1972; AIAA Haley Astronautics Award for 1973; Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s V. M. Komarov Diploma in 1973.

EXPERIENCE: Prior to reporting for duty at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, he was a student at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School.

Mattingly began his Naval career as an Ensign in 1958 and received his wings in 1960. He was then assigned to VA-35 and flew A1H aircraft aboard the USS SARATOGA from 1960 to 1963. In July 1963, he served in VAH-11 deployed aboard the USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT where he flew the A3B aircraft for two years.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Mattingly is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966.

He served as a member of the astronaut support crews for the Apollo 8 and 11 missions and was the astronaut representative in development and testing of the Apollo spacesuit and backpack (EMU).

He was designated command module pilot for the Apollo 13 flight but was removed from flight status 72 hours prior to the scheduled launch due to exposure to the German measles.

He has logged 7,200 hours of flight time — 5,000 hours in jet aircraft.

From January 1973 to March 1978, Mattingly worked as head of astronaut office support to the STS (Shuttle Transportation System) program. He was next assigned as technical assistant for flight test to the Manager of the Orbital Flight Test Program. From December 1979 to April 1981, he headed the astronaut office ascent/entry group. He subsequently served as backup commander for STS-2 and STS-3, Columbia’s second and third orbital test flights. From June 1983 through May 1984, Mattingly served as Head of the Astronaut Office DOD Support Group.

A veteran of three space flights, Mattingly has logged 504 hours in space, including 1 hour and 13 minutes of EVA (extravehicular activity) during his Apollo 16 flight. He was the command module pilot on Apollo 16 (April 16-27, 1972), was the spacecraft commander on STS-4 (June 26 to July 4, 1982) and STS 51-C (January 24-27, 1985).

Captain Mattingly resigned from NASA in 1985.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Apollo 16 (April 16-27, 1972) was the fifth manned lunar landing mission. The crew included John W. Young (spacecraft commander), Ken Mattingly (command module pilot), and Charles M. Duke, Jr. (lunar module pilot). The mission assigned to Apollo 16 was to collect samples from the lunar highlands at a location near the crater Descartes. While in lunar orbit the scientific instruments aboard the command and service module “Casper” extended the photographic and geochemical mapping of a belt around the lunar equator. Twenty-six separate scientific experiments were conducted both in lunar orbit and during cislunar coast. Major emphasis was placed on using man as an orbital observer capitalizing on the human eye’s unique capabilities and man’s inherent curiosity. Although the mission of Apollo 16 was terminated one day early, due to concern over several spacecraft malfunctions, all major objectives were accomplished through the ceaseless efforts of the mission support team and were made possible by the most rigorous preflight planning yet associated with an Apollo mission.

apollo 16 ken mattingly portrait

STS-4, the fourth and final orbital test flight of the Shuttle Columbia, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 27,1982. Mattingly was the spacecraft commander and Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., was the pilot. This 7-day mission was designed to: further verify ascent and entry phases of shuttle missions; perform continued studies of the effects of long-term thermal extremes on the Orbiter subsystems; and conduct a survey of Orbiter-induced contamination on the Orbiter payload bay. Additionally, the crew operated several scientific experiments located in the Orbiter’s cabin and in the payload bay. These experiments included the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System experiment designed to investigate the separation of biological materials in a fluid according to their surface electrical charge. This experiment was a pathfinder for the first commercial venture to capitalize on the unique characteristics of space. The crew is also credited with effecting an in-flight repair which enabled them to activate the first operational “Getaway Special” (composed of nine experiments that ranged from algae and duckweed growth in space to fruit fly and brine shrimp genetic studies). STS-4 completed 112 orbits of the Earth before landing on a concrete runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on July 4, 1982.

thomas k mattingly space shuttle commander

STS-51C Discovery, the first Space Shuttle Department of Defense mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on January 24, 1985. The crew included Ken Mattingly (spacecraft commander), Loren Shriver (pilot), Jim Buchli and Ellison Onizuka (mission specialists), and Gary Payton (DOD payload specialist). STS-51C performed its DOD mission which included deployment of a modified Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) vehicle from the Space Shuttle Discovery. Landing occurred on January 27, 1985.

JANUARY 1987

This is the only version available from NASA. Updates must be sought from the above named individual.

Apollo 13 era portrait

Apollo 16 era portrait

Shuttle era portrait

Apollo 17 Commemorative Medallion Contains Metal Flown the Lunar Surface

Apollo 17 Medallion Minted With Flown To Lunar Surface Metal

 

To celebrate 10 Years of trading Moonpans.com have commissioned their first ever Medallion. They measure 1.75 inch diameter and contain metal that spent 3 days on the Lunar Surface inside Lunar Module, Challenger. The front depicts the Apollo 17 Emblem in a beautiful three dimensional render, with the rear showing the famous Gene Cernan ‘John Wayne’ pose again in three dimensions. Both sides have a black enamel ring behind the text.


The Medallions were minted by space medallion specialists, Winco International. A limited edition of 2000 medallions worldwide.
Each order comes with a protective circular plastic case, and a Moonpans COA card.

Available now from the Spaceboosters Online Store.

apollo-17-medallion-minted-with-flown-to-lunar-surface-metal-[3]-2444-p Apollo 17 limited edition medallion minted with lunar flown metal

50 Years Women in Space

First woman in space: Valentina

Valentina Tereshkova

16 June 2013Valentina Tereshkova was born in Maslennikovo, near Yaroslavl, in Russia on 6 March 1937. Her father was a tractor driver and her mother worked in a textile factory. Interested in parachuting from a young age, Tereshkova began skydiving at a local flying club, making her first jump at the age of 22 in May 1959. At the time of her selection as a cosmonaut, she was working as a textile worker in a local factory.

After the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin, the selection of female cosmonaut trainees was authorised by the Soviet government, with the aim of ensuring the first woman in space was a Soviet citizen.

On 16 February 1962, out of more than 400 applicants, five women were selected to join the cosmonaut corps: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Irina Solovyova, Zhanna Yorkina, Valentina Ponomaryova and Valentina Tereshkova. The group spent several months in training, which included weightless flights, isolation tests, centrifuge tests, 120 parachute jumps and pilot training in jet aircraft.

Four candidates passed the final examinations in November 1962, after which they were commissioned as lieutenants in the Soviet air force (meaning Tereshkova also became the first civilian to fly in space, since technically these were only honorary ranks).

Originally a joint mission was planned that would see two women launched on solo Vostok flights on consecutive days in March or April 1963. Tereshkova, Solovyova and Ponomaryova were the leading candidates. It was intended that Tereshkova would be launched first in Vostok 5, with Ponomaryova following her in Vostok 6.

However, this plan was changed in March 1963: Vostok 5 would carry a male cosmonaut, Valeri Bykovsky, flying the mission with a woman in Vostok 6 in June. The Russian space authorities nominated Tereshkova to make the joint flight.

Flight of the ‘Seagull’

After watching the launch of Vostok 5 at Baikonur Cosmodrome on 14 June, Tereshkova completed preparations for her own flight. On the morning of 16 June, Tereshkova and her backup Solovyova both dressed in spacesuits and were taken to the launch pad by bus. After completing checks of communication and life support systems, she was sealed inside her spacecraft.

After a two-hour countdown, Vostok 6 lifted off without fault and, within hours, she was in communication with Bykovsky in Vostok 5, marking the second time that two manned spacecraft were in space at the same time. With the radio call sign ‘Chaika’ (‘seagull’), Tereshkova had become the first woman in space. She was 26.

Tereshkova’s televised image was broadcast throughout the Soviet Union and she spoke to Khrushchev by radio. She maintained a flight log and performed various tests to collect data on her body’s reaction to spaceflight. Her photographs of Earth and the horizon were later used to identify aerosol layers within the atmosphere.

Her mission lasted just under three days (two days, 23 hours, and 12 minutes). With a single flight, she had logged more flight time than the all the US Mercury astronauts who had flown to that date combined. Both Tereshkova and Bykovsky were record-holders. Bykovsky had spent nearly five days in orbit and even today he retains the record for having spent the longest period of time in space alone.

Valentina Tereshkova Embroidered Patch

Reg Turnill Sadly Passes Aged 97

Reg Turnill, the BBC’s aerospace correspondent from the beginning of the space age and through the Apollo era, has died aged 97.

After being sent to Moscow to cover the first manned space launch, he regularly reported from Cape Canaveral and Houston on the Apollo Moon missions.

In 1970, he broke the story to the world that Apollo 13 was in trouble.

Mr Turnill’s eldest son confirmed the news of his father’s death to BBC Radio Kent.

For the full story please visit the BBC Site

I had the great pleasure of meeting him a few years ago now, my condolences to family and friends.

Every space enthusiast has a copy of one of his books………..rest in peace Reg.

Jan. 27, 1967 – Remembering the Apollo 1 Crew

NASA Image of the Apollo 1 Crew

On Jan. 27, 1967, veteran astronaut Gus Grissom, first American spacewalker Ed White and rookie Roger Chaffee (left-to-right) were preparing for what was to be the first manned Apollo flight. The astronauts were sitting atop the launch pad for a pre-launch test when a fire broke out in their Apollo capsule. The investigation into the fatal accident led to major design and engineering changes, making the Apollo spacecraft safer for the coming journeys to the moon.

Image Credit: NASA

Apollo Lunar Bootprint Embroidered Patch

With all of the fortieth Anniversaries of the Apollo Missions already behind us we have produced a commemorative Apollo Lunar Boot print Embroidered Patch.

Apollo Missions Lunar Bootprint Embroidered Patch Celebrating the Apollo Monlandings

Apollo Lunar Bootprint Embroidered Patch available now from the Spaceboosters Online Store.