Archive for the 'Space' Category

Feb 1

“Sixteen Minutes from Home” Willie McCool’s Memorial

Saturday, February 1, 2020 12:01 AM

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Commander William C. McCool, USN gave his life on 1 February 2003 while piloting Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107. Foam from the external fuel tank broke off and struck the shuttle’s left-wing during take-off. The seemingly minor damage led to the shuttle’s disintegration during reentry over two weeks later. McCool has several schools, tracks, parks, and buildings named in his honor. There are even memorials to him spread across the solar system. There is Asteroid 51829 Williemccool and McCool hill on Mars. One of the most personal memorials, however, resides on the U.S. Naval Academy Cross Country Course in Annapolis,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 14

When the Navy Flew to the Moon

Thursday, November 14, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 20 July 1969 two American’s made history when they first stepped foot on the moon. Everyone remembers the Apollo 11 mission and those first steps, but most people forget the six missions that followed. Only four months after the triumph of Apollo 11 the next crew made the second landing. Apollo 12 was a longer mission with a pinpoint landing and more detailed scientific objectives. It also featured the only all Navy crew of the Apollo program. The crew consisted of Navy Commanders Charles “Pete” Conrad, Richard “Dick” Gordon and Alan L. Bean. All were experienced Naval aviators. Conrad… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 23

Can You Hear Me Now?

Friday, August 23, 2019 12:01 AM

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Satellite based communication, from satellite phone service to G.P.S., has become essential to everyday life, however fifty years ago, it was almost impossible to imagine. That changed on 23 August 1963, when President John F. Kennedy made the first call relayed by satellite between two heads of state. President Kennedy called Nigerian Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on board the USNS Kingsport (T-AG-164), a converted Victory Class Military Sea Lift Command ship. Beginning in January of 1962 and completed in December, “The Kingsport was converted to a communication terminal by the Navy Bureau of Ships for use by the U.S…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 21

Hornet Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Splashdown

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:01 AM

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Carefully, a young boy balances his right foot inside the painted outline of a larger foot, then he jumps to the next painted footprint. He’s following the footprints across the floor of the hangar deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, now a museum, berthed at Alameda, California. This is the carrier that recovered the astronauts of Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, the first men to walk on the moon, and Michael Collins, pilot of the command module. The boy is following their path from the helicopter that picked them up from the Pacific Ocean, then across the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 21

Moon Mission: Quarantine

Thursday, July 21, 2016 9:24 AM

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This week marks the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, where astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” became the first humans to step foot on the moon and astronaut Michael Collins piloted the command module to and from their destination. Launching from Cape Kennedy on July 16th, 1969, the astronauts splashed down in the North Pacific Ocean on July 24th when they were retrieved by helicopter and brought aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CVS-12) for a successful conclusion of their mission. But then began three weeks of quarantine. At the time, no one could predict with absolute certainty… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 30

Ships of the U.S. Air Force

Thursday, June 30, 2016 12:01 AM

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Though the United States took a keen interest in the development of ballistic missile technology after the close of World War II, it was not until the Soviet launch of the satellite Sputnik in October 1957 that a new urgency in the matter. Within a matter of months the Navy launched its own satellite (Vanguard 1) into orbit, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was created, and spurred the United States Air Force to invest in a series of ships. Since 1950 the Air Force had exclusive jurisdiction over the Long Range Proving Grounds — the Atlantic and Pacific Missile… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 17

Joint Space Operations

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 1:12 PM

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On 17 July 1975, the crews of the U.S. Apollo and Soviet Soyuz docked in space initiating the first manned space flight conducted jointly by the United States and Soviet Union. The primary purpose of the mission, the Apollo Soyuz Test Project, was to test the compatibility of rendezvous and docking systems for American and Soviet spacecraft and to open the way for international space rescue as well as future joint manned flights. It also symbolized a policy of détente that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time and marked the end of the Space Race between the two… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 5

First U. S. Manned Space Flight

Saturday, May 5, 2012 1:00 AM

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May 5th, 1961 CDR Alan Shepard Jr. mans first U. S. space flight   Fifty-one years ago, the United States launched its first manned spacecraft, Freedom 7. The flight, which lasted almost fifteen-and-a-half minutes, marked a monumental step towards the U. S. space program’s goal of placing a man on the moon. In this, and many other acheivements made by the United States in space exploration, the Navy played an instrumental role, not only in supplying astronaughts to man spaceflights, but in aiding the launching and rescue of these flights as well. In January 1963, almost two years after Commander… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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