Tag Archives: NASA

Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968)

Note: this video was produced before Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969. NASA and the (then) Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) began work on the design of nuclear propulsion systems in the mid-1950s.

https://youtu.be/eDNX65d-FBY

Everything old is new again …

https://www.bwxt.com/what-we-do/nuclear-thermal-propulsion-ntp

https://www.bwxt.com/news/2017/08/02/BWXT-Awarded-188-Million-Nuclear-Thermal-Propulsion-Reactor-Design-Contract-by-NASA

360 Launch Video

Everyday Astronaut (Tim Dodd) has posted his 360 degree video of his experience three miles away from the Falcon Heavy launch. He is standing exactly where I was at the final Saturn V launch of Skylab. This is very nostalgic for me and I understand the emotions he must have been feeling.

You can watch it here in full 360 degrees: https://youtu.be/tBhuSTXMCaI *

Tim is doing a fantastic job covering SpaceX and spaceflight in general. His videos are simultaneously highly informative – and – entertaining! His enthusiasm is contagious.

Please check out Tim’s home page (https://everydayastronaut.com) and his YouTube channel.

You can support him via Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/EverydayAstronaut)

Also be sure to check out his online shop (https://everydayastronaut.com/shop/)

If you have not already done so, check out A Blast (off) From My Past  for an accounting of my experience at the Saturn V launch, some 45 years ago.

Related: https://contrafactual.com/2018/02/06/a-blast-off-from-my-past-2/

* I tried to embed the video, but WordPress and/or iOS Safari wouldn’t support 360 in the embedded version.

A Blast (off) From My Past

The image below is a screen capture from one the videos in the previous post on today’s SpaceX CRS-10 launch


Life comes full circle. In a much earlier post I described what it was like to be standing at the water’s edge in the foreground at the last ever Saturn V launch.

    The Saturn V F1 engines were the most powerful rocket engines ever made. Each one produced over 1.5 million pounds of thrust. The five F1 engines on the Saturn V made it the most powerful launch vehicle ever at over 7.6 million pounds of thrust. Just over forty years ago on May 14, 1973 [almost 44 years as of this writing], I was lucky enough to be among the press and dignitaries sitting on the bleachers or standing in front of the turning basin at the Launch Complex 39 Press Site for the last ever Saturn V launch. I was 19 years old. My best friend’s aunt was a professional photographer. She got each of us a press pass for the launch of the Skylab space station. For a teenage space fan, who had watched every manned launch since Alan Shepard’s first suborbital Mercury launch, this was truly “dying and going to heaven”. For several days before the launch we got to go on exclusive tours of the launch site. We were able to see Walter Cronkite’s broadcast booth. NASA loaded us up with press packets and thick tomes of specifications. I can not begin to tell you how totally cool this was.


On launch day I was one of the throng of people standing to the left of the countdown clock in the picture above.

    I was just three miles away from the launch pad. When the engines fired up, the sound of the F1 engines was felt as much as heard. The low base rumbling seemed to reach directly into my chest and vibrate my heart and lungs [dare I say it was nearly orgasmic?]. As the Saturn V rose into the sky, I could smell the burned kerosene of the exhaust as I felt the waves of warm air wafting over me. 
    This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The SpaceX image inspired me to search the Internet and YouTube for Skylab launch images. I scored big time. The second image is screen shot from the video below. Back in the day I had a fetish for white jeans (probably expressing my inner John Lennon). Trust me – I am in there somewhere.

Full video from 1973

https://youtu.be/JzCXYd2v3xE

 
The Internet is amazing. Welcome to the future.

 

Links

https://contrafactual.com/2013/07/20/apollo-11-main-engines-found/

Commercial Crew Update

Originally published on Jan 16, 2017 | NASA Commentator Kyle Herring talks with Kathy Lueders, the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, about the status of efforts to develop commercial space vehicles to deliver human crew members to the International Space Station. NASA is working with Boeing and SpaceX as those companies work through milestones to get their vehicles, Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, ready for their first crewed flights to the station, while the space station program is reconfiguring the station and preparing for spacewalks to install the new International Docking Adapters to which the new commercial spacecraft will dock.

Although YouTube states that the above video was published this month, I suspect that it was actually recorded two years ago in mid-June 2015. Reason being that reference was made in the video (@6:20) of the upcoming launch of the International Docking Adapter (IDA-1). However IDA-1 was lost during the launch failure of SpX CRS-7 on June 28, 2015.  (Reference https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Docking_Adapter)

Additionally the Crew Dragon Pad Abort occurred in May of 2015.