Monday, September 4, 2017

Let's return to the Cosmosphere for part 9


Had you been like me and forgotten about the Cosmosphere?  The last time I posted was on June 24.

If you  would like to review these posts, you may follow the links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, and part 8.  And I'm thrilled to say my blog is finally fixed (thanks to my friend Scott who dropped by yesterday), and all links now open once again in a new window. Further, I no longer have to load photos in HTML, but can once again work in compose mode.  Oh what joy.  That alone makes me feel much better!!!!!!

When we last left off, I promised we would see the Vostok (a genuine back-up) that Yuri Gagarin took into outer space, along with other artifacts from behind the Iron Curtain.  Remember, Gagarin was the first man in space and completed a 108 minute orbit around the earth.

Since it has been awhile since I created a Cosmosphere post, I thought I might catch everyone up.  Here is a time line of what we have covered and some of what will be covered.  I suggest if you are not interested in space history, that you skip this and go directly to the few photos I will share today.

March 16, 1926: Robert Goddard, sometimes referred to as the "Father of Modern Rocketry," launches the first successful liquid-fueled rocket.

July 17, 1929: Robert Goddard launches a rocket that carries with it the first set of scientific tools, a barometer and a camera, in Auburn, Mass. The launch was Goddard's fourth.

Oct. 3, 1942: Germany successfully test launches the first ballistic missile, the A4, more commonly known as the V-2, and later uses it near the end of European combat in World War II.

Sep. 29, 1945: Wernher von Braun arrives at Ft. Bliss, Texas, with six other German rocket specialists.

Oct. 14, 1947: American test pilot Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier for the first time in the X-1, also known as Glamorous Glennis.

Oct. 4, 1957: A modified R-7 two-stage ICBM launches the satellite Sputnik 1 from Tyuratam. The Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States begins.

Nov. 3, 1957: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2 with the first living passenger, the doomed dog Laika, aboard.

Dec. 6, 1957: A Vanguard TV-3 carrying a grapefruit-sized satellite explodes at launch; a failed response to the Sputnik launch by the United States.

Jan. 31, 1958: Explorer 1, the first satellite with an onboard telemetry system, is launched by the United States into orbit aboard a Juno rocket and returns data from space.

Oct. 7, 1958: NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan publicly announces NASA's manned spaceflight program along with the formation of the Space Task Group, a panel of scientist and engineers from space-policy organizations absorbed by NASA. The announcement came just six days after NASA was founded.

Jan. 2, 1959: The U.S.S.R. launches Luna 1, which misses the moon but becomes the first artificial object to leave Earth orbit.

Jan. 12, 1959: NASA awards McDonnell Corp. the contract to manufacture the Mercury capsules.

Feb. 28, 1959: NASA launches Discover 1, the U.S. first spy satellite, but it is not until the Aug. 11, 1960, launch of Discover 13 that film is recovered successfully.

May 28, 1959: The United States launches the first primates in space, Able and Baker, on a suborbital flight.

Aug. 7, 1959: NASA's Explorer 6 launches and provides the first photographs of the Earth from space.

Sept. 12, 1959: The Soviet Union's Luna 2 is launched and two days later is intentionally crashed into the Moon.

Sept. 17, 1959: NASA's X-15 hypersonic research plane, capable of speeds to Mach 6.7, makes its first powered flight.

Oct. 24, 1960: To rush the launch of a Mars probe before the Nov. 7 anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Field Marshall Mitrofan Nedelin ignored several safety protocols and 126 people are killed when the R-16 ICBM explodes at the Baikonur Cosmodrome during launch preparations.

Feb. 12, 1961: The Soviet Union launches Venera to Venus, but the probe stops responding after a week.

April 12, 1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space with a 108-minute flight on Vostok 1 in which he completed one orbit.

May 5, 1961: Mercury Freedom 7 launches on a Redstone rocket for a 15-minute suborbital flight, making Alan Shepard the first American in space.

May 25, 1961: In a speech before Congress, President John Kennedy announces that an American will land on the moon and be returned safely to Earth before the end of the decade.

Oct. 27, 1961: Saturn 1, the rocket for the initial Apollo missions, is tested for the first time.

Feb. 20, 1962: John Glenn makes the first U.S. manned orbital flight aboard Mercury 6.

June 7, 1962: Wernher von Braun backs the idea of a Lunar Orbit Rendezvous mission.

July 10, 1962: The United States launches Telstar 1, which enables the trans-Atlantic transmission of television signals.

June 14, 1962: Agreements are signed establishing the European Space Research Organization and the European Launcher Development Organization. Both eventually were dissolved.

July 28, 1962: The U.S.S.R launches its first successful spy satellite, designated Cosmos 7.

Aug. 27, 1962: Mariner 2 launches and eventually performs the first successful interplanetary flyby when it passes by Venus.

Sept. 29, 1962: Canada's Alouette 1 launches aboard a NASA Thor-Agena B rocket, becoming the first satellite from a country other than the United States or Soviet Union.

June 16, 1963: Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to fly into space.

July 28, 1964: Ranger 7 launches and is the Ranger series' first success, taking photographs of the moon until it crashes into its surface four days later.

April 8, 1964: Gemini 1, a two-seat spacecraft system, launches in an unmanned flight.

Aug. 19, 1964: NASA's Syncom 3 launches aboard a Thor-Delta rocket, becoming the first geostationary telecommunications satellite.

Oct. 12, 1964: The Soviet Union launches Voskhod 1, a modified Vostok orbiter with a three-person crew.

March 18, 1965: Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov makes the first spacewalk from the Voskhod 2 orbiter.

March 23, 1965: Gemini 3, the first of the manned Gemini missions, launches with a two-person crew on a Titan 2 rocket, making astronaut Gus Grissom the first man to travel in space twice.

June 3, 1965: Ed White, during the Gemini 4 mission, becomes the first American to walk in space.

July 14, 1965: Mariner 4 executes the first successful Mars flyby.

Aug. 21, 1965: Gemini 5 launches on an eight-day mission.

Dec. 15, 1965: Gemini 6 launches and performs a rendezvous with Gemini 7.

Jan. 14, 1966: The Soviet Union's chief designer, Sergei Korolev, dies from complications stemming from routine surgery, leaving the Soviet space program without its most influential leader of the preceding 20 years.

Feb. 3, 1966: The unmanned Soviet spacecraft Luna 9 makes the first soft landing on the Moon.

March 1, 1966: The Soviet Union's Venera 3 probe becomes the first spacecraft to land on the planet Venus, but its communications system failed before data could be returned.

March 16, 1966: Gemini 8 launches on a Titan 2 rocket and later docks with a previously launched Agena rocke, the first docking between two orbiting spacecraft.

April 3, 1966: The Soviet Luna 10 space probe enters lunar orbit, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon.

June 2, 1966: Surveyor 1, a lunar lander, performs the first successful U.S. soft landing on the Moon.

Jan. 27, 1967: All three astronauts for NASA's Apollo 1 mission suffocate from smoke inhalation in a cabin fire during a launch pad test.

April 5, 1967: A review board delivers a damning report to NASA Administrator James Webb about problem areas in the Apollo spacecraft. The recommended modifications are completed by Oct. 9, 1968.

April 23, 1967: Soyuz 1 launches but myriad problems surface. The solar panels do not unfold, there are stability problems and the parachute fails to open on descent causing the death of Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.

Oct. 11, 1968: Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, launches on a Saturn 1 for an 11-day mission in Earth orbit. The mission also featured the first live TV broadcast of humans in space.

Dec. 21, 1968: Apollo 8 launches on a Saturn V and becomes the first manned mission to orbit the moon.

Jan. 16, 1969: Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 rendezvous and dock and perform the first in-orbit crew transfer.

March 3, 1969: Apollo 9 launches. During the mission, tests of the lunar module are conducted in Earth orbit.

May 22, 1969: Apollo 10's Lunar Module Snoopy comes within 8.6 miles (14 kilometers) of the moon's surface.

July 20, 1969: Six years after U.S. President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Apollo 11 crew lands on the Moon, fulfilling his promise to put an American there by the end of the decade and return him safely to Earth.

April 13, 1970: An explosion ruptures the command module of Apollo 13, days after launch and within reach of the moon. Abandoning the mission to save their lives, the astronauts climb into the Lunar Module and slingshot around the Moon to speed their return back to Earth.

Sept. 12: 1970: The Soviet Union launches Luna 16, the first successful automated lunar sample retrieval mission.

April 19, 1971: A Proton rocket launches the first space station, Salyut 1, from Baikonur.

June 6, 1971: Soyuz 11 launches successfully, docking with Salyut 1. The three cosmonauts are killed during re-entry from a pressure leak in the cabin.

July 26, 1971: Apollo 15 launches with a Boeing-built Lunar Roving Vehicle and better life-support equipment to explore the Moon.

Nov. 13, 1971: Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to orbit Mars and provides the first complete map of the planet's surface.

Jan. 5, 1972: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that NASA is developing a reusable launch vehicle, the space shuttle.

March 3, 1972: Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to leave the solar system, launches from Cape Kennedy, Fla.

Dec. 19, 1972: Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon, returns to Earth.

May 14, 1973: A Saturn V rocket launches Skylab, the United States' first space station.

March 29, 1974: Mariner 10 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Mercury.

May 31, 1975: The European Space Agency is formed.

July 17 1975: Soyuz-19 and Apollo 18 dock.

Sept. 9, 1975: Viking 2, composed of a lander and an orbiter, launches for Mars.

July 20, 1976: The U.S. Viking 1 lands on Mars, becoming the first successful Mars lander.

Aug. 20, 1977: Voyager 2 is launched on a course toward Uranus and Neptune.

Sept. 5, 1977: Voyager 1 is launched to perform flybys of Jupiter and Saturn.

July 11, 1979: Skylab, the first American space station, crashes back to Earth in the sparsely populated grasslands of western Australia.

Sept. 1, 1979: Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to fly past Saturn.

April 12, 1981: Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off from Cape Canaveral, beginning the first space mission for NASA's new astronaut transportation system.

Nov. 11, 1982: Shuttle Columbia launches. During its mission, it deploys two commercial communications satellites.

June 18, 1983: Sally Ride aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger becomes the first American woman in space.

Feb. 7, 1984: Astronauts Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart maneuver as many as 328 feet (100 meters) from the Space Shuttle Challenger using the Manned Maneuvering Unit, which contains small thrusters, in the first ever untethered spacewalks.

April 8, 1984: Challenger crew repairs the Solar Max satellite during a spacewalk.

Sept. 11: 1985: The International Cometary Explorer, launched by NASA in 1978, performs the first comet flyby.

Jan. 24, 1986: Voyager 2 completes the first and only spacecraft flyby of Uranus.

Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger explodes 73 seconds after launch, grounding the shuttle fleet for more than two years.

Feb. 20, 1986: The Soviet Union launches the Mir space station.

March 13, 1986: A two-cosmonaut crew launches aboard Soyuz T-15 to power up the Mir space station. During their 18-month mission, they also revive the abandoned Salyut 7, and take parts that are later placed aboard Mir.

May 4, 1989: The Space Shuttle Atlantis launches the Magellan space probe to use radar to map the surface of Venus.

Oct. 18, 1989: Shuttle Atlantis launches with Jupiter-bound Galileo space probe on board.

April 25, 1990: The Space Shuttle Discovery releases the Hubble Space Telescope into Earth orbit.

Oct. 29, 1991: The U.S. Galileo spacecraft, on its way to Jupiter, successfully encounters the asteroid Gaspra, obtaining images and other data during its flyby.

April 23, 1992: The U.S. Cosmic Background Explorer spacecraft detects the first evidence of structure in the residual radiation left over from the Big Bang that created the Universe.

June 21, 1993: Shuttle Endeavour launches carrying Spacehab, a privately owned laboratory that sits in the shuttle cargo bay.

Dec. 2, 1993: Endeavour launches on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

Feb. 3, 1995: The Space Shuttle Discovery launches and docks with the Mir space station.

March 15, 1995: Aerospace giants Lockheed Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp. merge.

July 13, 1995: Galileo releases its space probe, which is bound for Jupiter and its moons.

July 4, 1997: The Mars Pathfinder lander and its accompanying Sojourner rover touch down on the surface of Mars.

March 23, 2001: After being mothballed in 1999, Mir descends into the Earth's atmosphere and breaks up over the Pacific Ocean.

May 6, 2001: U.S. entrepreneur Dennis Tito returns to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to become the world's first paying tourist to visit the International Space Station.

Jan. 4, 2004: The first Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, lands on Mars. Its twin, Opportunity lands Jan. 25.

Jan. 14, 2004: President George W. Bush advocates space exploration missions to the moon and Mars for NASA in his Vision for Space Exploration speech.

July 26, 2005: Discovery becomes the first shuttle to launch since the Columbia disaster more than two years before. While the crew returned safely, the loss of several pieces of foam debris prompted further investigation, which delayed future shuttle missions.

Oct 19, 2005: The last of the Martin Marietta-built Titan 4 heavy-lift rockets launches.

Jan. 19, 2006: New Horizons, NASA's first-ever mission to the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons, launches atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Flies past Jupiter one year later in what is billed as NASA's fastest mission to date.

July 4, 2006: NASA's second post-Columbia accident test flight, STS-121 aboard Discovery, begins a successful space station-bound mission, returning the U.S. orbiter fleet to flight status.

Sept. 9., 2006: NASA resumes construction of the International Space Station with the launch of the shuttle Atlantis on STS-115 after two successful return to flight test missions. Atlantis' launch occurs after nearly four years without a station construction flight.

Aug. 8, 2007: NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour launches toward the International Space Station on the STS-118 construction mission. The shuttle crew includes teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan, NASA's first educator spaceflyer, who originally served backup for the first Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe who was lost with six crew mates during the 1986 Challenger accident.

Oct. 1, 2007: NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, launches with her Expedition 16 crewmate Yuri Malenchenko and Malaysia's first astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. Whitson, and NASA's second female shuttle commander Pamela Melroy, commands a joint space station construction mission in late October.

Oct. 4, 2007: The Space Age turns 50, five decades after the historic launch of Sputnik 1.


All information was derived from NASA.

The Russians had much to be proud of in Gagarin.

This is a genuine back-up of the Vostok space capsule that took Yuri Gagarin into space.  It rivals the U.S. Mercury series and was designed to hold a single person.

In May, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space.  He took a 15-minute suborbital flight in a Mercury rocket, and this is the recorded transcript of that event.

Now that both Americans and Soviets had placed a human in space, the stakes had been raised.  President Kennedy was in the forefront of this new space war.

You can read about the goal Kennedy was looking for.  What was the best plan of action, he asked others.  He definitely wanted to beat the Russians any way he could.

Werner von Braun's response to Lyndon Johnson about beating the Soviets to the moon, and Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade (the 1960s).

This is the spacesuit originally worn by Gus Grissom, the second American in space.

Grissom took a lot of flack from the press because of what has been called "the lost spacecraft."  However, as we saw at the very beginning of our adventure to the Cosmopshere, Grissom, along with Ed White and Roger Chaffee, were selected for the first mission to land on the moon.  However, a fire on the launch pad took all three lives and Grissom died, less a hero than he should have been.

Please note the above is the restored genuine Liberty Bell spacecraft which Grissom flew into space.   

Under an agreement with NASA and the Smithsonian, the capsule, once recovered in 1999, was trucked to the Cosmosphere where it was taken apart, cleaned of corrosives, and is now on display. It is owned by the Cosmosphere.

The story of the Liberty Bell was big news in the science community back in 1961.  Grissom was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts.  Among his reasons for being chosen included the fact he had a degree in Engineering from Purdue and flew many dangerous combat missions in Korea. 

The press followed the seven astronauts everywhere and reported on everything.  Grissom's first space flight, aboard the Mercury Redstone "Liberty Bell 7," was somewhat less than a complete success.  Although blastoff and re-entry went as expected, upon splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean, the bolts which held the hatch in place exploded prematurely, forcing Grissom to evacuate the capsule and swim for his life while the rescue helicopter frantically tried to save the capsule from sinking.  It was not successful, and Grissom nearly drowned while the helicopter continued to try to rescue the Liberty Bell that sank to the bottom of the ocean.  Eventually, NASA cleared Grissom, but the press, the public, and many of his critics never forgave him.

When Grissom was asked to fly a Gemini 3 mission, he had better luck.   Selected to command the Gemini 3 mission shortly after his completion of the Mercury 7 flight, he would be the first man ever to fly twice in space.  He was asked to name the space craft and he named it the "Molly Brown," alluding to the fact it was intended to be unsinkable.  This flight was a great success.  As you read above, he was also chosen to be in the  first Apollo mission to the moon.  

When the Liberty Bell was eventually pulled from the ocean, the capsule door was nowhere to be found, so NASA couldn't prove whether the hatch had blown as Grissom stated, or he had pulled the plug prematurely.  I'm on the side of Grissom being a hero and nearly losing his life because of it.


I was obviously moving in the wrong direction because this shows how John Glenn was our first astronaut in space.

What a horrible photo.  Too many images and too many reflections.


This shows what was going on in the space race in the U.S.S.R. in 1962

as opposed to what was going on that same year in the U.S.


This was a display about 1963 in the U.S.

I obviously missed the other side, which was the U.S.S.R.

Unlike the single person Vostok that carried Gagarin in space, this genuine Soviet Voshkod 2,

a rival to the U.S. Gemini series, could hold two or three astronauts at a time.  Shown with it are several Russian space suits that were flown in space.

Next time we will head behind the curtain: the Red Curtain that is.

Thank you for joining me today for this look back at my trip to the Cosmosphere back in April of this year.  I am grateful for your continued support, too.



14 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

I'm glad your blog has been fixed. What was the problem that caused all the trouble? Thanks for sharing the photos of the race into space. It might have been easier for all if they had worked together instead of against each other! Have a good start in the new week, hugs, Valerie

Weekend-Windup said...

Thanks for sharing all the moments in the post...

Let's Art Journal said...

What a relief it must be to have your blog up and working again and I'm glad it makes you feel much better, so many thanks Scott! The Cosmosphere is such a wonderful place and the space history is fascinating! The space capsule is amazing, it looks so different from modern space travel and it was tragic about the loss of lives too. Thanks for sharing such interesting information and photos with us it was nice to tour the Cosmosphere with you 😁. Take care, hope you a feeling much better after your illness and wishing you a great start to the week! J 😊
p.s. thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you don't mind that I posted my T Day page early but we have family staying with us this week and only really had time yesterday as we are out again today. I'm finding that I don't have much time for my blog and visiting everyone so it looks like I'll be playing catch up on before bedtime or early in the morning, if I'm not to tired ...lol 😉. Happy September! J x

Meggymay said...

It is good to read that your Blog has been sorted and that it is working properly again.
Thank you for sharing another informative post from your Cosmosphere trip,
I have enjoyed seeing more of your photos.
Hope you have a good week and are feeling much better now,
Yvonne xx

CJ Kennedy said...

So glad your blog is up and running the way you want. Always a pain when things don't work the way expected.

I really enjoyed reading the timeline. Side by side it makes it easy to see the space race between the US and Soviet Union in context.

Dortesjs said...

happy your back Iam back to thank for showing space photos ;O))

Darla said...

Interesting to look/read back in history. It made me stop and try to remember where I was on each occasion.

Sandra Cox said...

You really put in a lot of work on this, Elizabeth. Thank you. Fascinating stuff.
Happy Labor Day.

RO said...

Glad you got things going the way you wanted at last. Definitely lessens the stress level. It amazes me of all the things that went on in the world that I didn't really pay attention to. Now, I'm so totally fascinated with history and what happened behind the scenes, and I thank you so much for sharing the valuable info. These pics are pretty phenomenal! Happy Labor Day and Hugs...RO

My name is Erika. said...

Has it been that long since the last visit? Maybe it doesn't seem it to me since I find this museum fascinating. (Really, you went in April? Boy time does fly doesn't it?) I am always amazed at how small those space capsules are and I don't think I would want to be traveling through space in one. I think a Smart Car feels bigger than some of them. :) Thanks again for sharing. I really enjoyed this latest visit. hugs-Erika

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

What an amazing amount of history right at your fingertips here. Was truly some major times in moving forward with flying/space exploration tech. Thanks for sharing, glad you are up an running again. So great to have Scott as your co-pilot...xox

Birgit said...

Look at the time you spent preparing this post! Thank you! It shows such a great history and how heroic these men were who travelled to space or close to it...no matter what much more heroic than someone who carries a football

pearshapedcrafting said...

You are so lucky to have a friend like Scott! Good that you are now sorted blogwise - hope your health is improving too!! I loved seeing more photos of this great museum! I did actually read down that list and there is so much that didn't register at the time -but then I don't suppose a lot of those things made the news over here! Hugs, Chrisx

roth phallyka said...

Take care, hope you a feeling much better after your illness and wishing you a great start to the week! J 😊


jav