asher553: (queen)
His first name was actually Malcolm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Carpenter
'Malcolm Scott Carpenter (May 1, 1925 – October 10, 2013) was an American test pilot, astronaut and aquanaut. He was one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA's Project Mercury in April 1959. Carpenter was the second American to orbit the Earth and the fourth American in space, following Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom and John Glenn.'

He flew one space flight - before I was born. He died today at 88.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/10/us/scott-carpenter-dead/

With Carpenter's death, John Glenn is now the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.
asher553: (queen)
If you were to ask me what there's not enough of in the world, I would have to think long and hard, because there's too much of so many things. But after a few moments' deliberation, my answer would probably include "real-life astronauts writing reviews of science-fiction entertainment".

Anyway, if you're similarly minded, rejoice, because here's one of 'em. Aldrin was the second man to walk on the moon, and the Command Pilot on Gemini 12. 'Aldrin's two-hour, 20-minute tethered space-walk, during which he photographed star fields, retrieved a micrometeorite collector and did other chores, at last demonstrated the feasibility of extravehicular activity.' [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_9A]

Aldrin reviews 'Gravity':

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gravity-review-by-astronaut-buzz-639883
asher553: (Default)
A seriously insane concept for lunar exploration, from the days of the early NASA space program. Not a suicide mission - but pretty close to one:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/04/one-way-space-man-1962/

Cord and Seale explained that, since neither propellants for departing the moon nor parachutes and an Earth-atmosphere-reentry heatshield would be required, their new approach would slash lunar spacecraft mass. This would enable a rocket with between 450,000 and 1.1 million pounds of thrust to launch a one-man moon lander on a Direct-Ascent path to the moon. Such a rocket would, they estimated, be ready in the U.S. in 1964 or early 1965.

Though they termed it “one-way,” Cord and Seale did not propose a suicide mission. They estimated that a rocket capable of launching a three-man Direct-Ascent Apollo mission to retrieve the One-Way Space Man – that is, a rocket with between 1.1 million and 3.5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff – would become available in the U.S. in the 1965-1967 period, between 18 and 24 months after his arrival on the moon. Nevertheless, the mission would be “extremely hazardous.” ...

No shit. Read the whole thing. The idea got made into a novel and a movie.
asher553: (Default)
Armstrong to NASA: "lamentably embarrassing and unacceptable". (http://news.discovery.com/space/armstrong-congress-nasa-embarrassing-110922.html0)

All about ... just what the title says. (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/jumping-off-a-building-with-bubble-wrap/)

The Metric System caught on. The ten-day work week proved less popular. (http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/09/0922revolutionary-calendar/)

If you're into fringe - but not necessarily on the corners of your garments - check out Unpious (http://www.unpious.com/).

If you happen to enjoy looking at pictures of naked women, you need to think about friending the Sexy Photo group (http://sexy-photo.livejournal.com/).
asher553: (Default)
HT [livejournal.com profile] jhohanna.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18470469/
"Walter M. “Wally” Schirra Jr., who as one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts combined the Right Stuff — textbook-perfect flying ability and steely nerves — with a pronounced rebellious streak, died Thursday at 84. He was the only astronaut to fly in all three of NASA’s original manned spaceflight programs: Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. Although he never walked on the moon, Schirra laid some of the groundwork that made the lunar landings possible and won the space race for the United States. Schirra died of a heart attack at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, said Ruth Chandler Varonfakis, a family friend and spokeswoman for the San Diego Aerospace Museum."
asher553: (Default)
The Gemini 7/6 mission in December 1965 was remarkable in several ways:

* it was the first time two separate missions were launched concurrently (Gemini 7 on December 4, and Gemini 6 on December 15)

* first time four American astronauts were in space at one time

* Gemini 7 mission lasted TWO WEEKS - a record that stood for five years, and longer than any of the Apollo missions

I know if I had to spend two weeks in a space capsule the size of a VW Beetle, I'd be a frakkin' basket case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_7

Gemini 7 was originally intended to fly after Gemini 6, but the original Gemini 6 mission was cancelled after the failure during launch of the Agena Target Vehicle it was meant to rendezvous and dock with. However the objective of rendezvous was so important it was decided to fly Gemini 6 at the same time as Gemini 7, thus using the latter as the rendezvous target.
This 14 day mission required NASA to solve problems of long-duration space flight, not the least of which was stowage (the crew had practiced stuffing waste paper behind their seats before the flight). Timing their workday to match that of ground crews, both men worked and slept at the same time. Gemini VII flew the most experiments – 20 – of any Gemini mission, including studies of nutrition in space. The astronauts also evaluated a new, lightweight spacesuit, which proved uncomfortable if worn for a long time in Gemini's hot, cramped quarters. The high point of the mission was the rendezvous with Gemini VI. But the three days that followed were something of an endurance test, and both astronauts, heeding Pete Conrad's Gemini V advice, brought books along. Gemini VII was the longest space flight in U.S. history, until the Skylab missions of the 1970s. ...

The Gemini 7 crew were Frank Borman and James Lovell.
The Gemini 6 crew were Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford.
asher553: (Default)
Well, for the Mercury simulator at least.  I indulged in a bit of alternate-history roleplaying and created a profile for one of the "Mercury Thirteen" - the thirteen women astronaut candidates who almost, but not quite, got to be part of the Mercury program.

When I created the profile I put in the following information:

1.  Name:  Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobb.
2.  Weight:  115 lbs.
3.  Sex:  Female.
And I got the following error message:

This applicant is not within the original requirements for Project Mercury.
Weight:  140 to 175 pounds.
Hmmm.  Somehow I don't remember that being the issue.....
asher553: (Default)
Well, this is just cooler than cool:

A-OK - The Wings of Mercury:  Project Mercury flight simulator.

A-OK! The Wings of Mercury is a realistic simulation of the Mercury spacecraft. It features 3D graphics, fully functional control panels, networked simulations, and a complete manual. Available on Windows XP and Mac OS X.

A-OK! WoM is so realistic, you will use the actual checklists used by the astronauts. Orbital and Sub-Orbital missions can be simulated. Orbital missions and a Mission Control Center simulator are available to registered users. ...

I confess I'm glued to the computer.  This program puts you in the space capsule and lets you fly the same missions flown by America's first astronauts - Shepard, Grissom, Glenn, Carpenter, Schirra, and Cooper - in the early 1960s.  You can run it in the autopilot mode to get familiar with it, and then practice simple situations like if the emergency escape rocket fails to separate (quick!  which switch do you switch?).  You can practice with the yaw, pitch, and roll controls, keeping the spent booster rocket in view as it falls away.  And that's just the basic stuff.  The guy who created it did a ton of research on Project Mercury, and it shows.  It even supplies the names, ages, and sizes of the original astronauts.  You can also create your own astronaut profile, and the sim adjusts for the height and body weight you put in.

Gotta run.  I'm going to be late for my next launch ...

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