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Gemini III (Molly Brown)...very significant as it was the first spacecraft able to change its orbital plane and do maneuvers. Everybody else before it was pretty much just cargo.

Gemini III saw the use of the Titan II for a crewed launch. The Titan II uses hypergolic fuel for its booster engines...very dangerous as later flights found out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_3

Gus Grissom and John Young were at the controls. Infamous for its 'corned beef on rye' sandwich smuggled aboard by Young.

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Titan II's "Whoop"  

It was also lucky that at the time of Uranus discovery, Neptunes orbit had the two planets close together. If Neptune had been on the other side of the sun its gravity would not have affected Uranus.

A Celestia aside.... If you get the large star database and what-not...you can drift along Star Trek-like at about 1 ly per second and watch the stars streak by. Even at a blinding speed like tha

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The recent Long March failure caught on camera (Sept 7, 2020). Not the best launch record with this series. Hypergolic fuel is in use which makes accidents like this one that much more dangerous. The payload did make it to orbit despite the runaway first stage.

The falling material isn't ice like on some rockets, but apparently fly-away insulation that sheds on launch...so the Chinese claim. I'm not so sure...but sometimes payloads are temperature sensitive. So this might indeed be just how the Red Chinese do it.

Edited by DogOnPorch
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  • 3 weeks later...

The R-7 rocket (NATO reporting name SS-6 Sapwood) has been a very reliable ride over the decades. Using LOX and refined kerosene, a fairly ecofriendly booster, as well. But there have been failures. This clip shows the ones caught on camera...1960-2018.

Also shown...the Proton heavy lift booster. A hypergolic powered rig...used to launch ISS parts, Salyut, etc. Big things. Not so ecofriendly. Spent stages litter parts of Russia (et al) downrange. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-7_Semyorka

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-7_(rocket_family)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_(rocket_family)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton-M

A better look at the final Proton failure (2013). It apparently produced a 3kt explosion.

 

 

Edited by DogOnPorch
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Hwasong-14 launch...

Two stage hypergolic ballistic missile.

Edited to compress set-up time for launch. Depending on crew skill, this could take quite some time. In Iraq, Iraqis took hours to fill and launch Scuds.

Russian Topol ICBM launch...solid fuel rocket. Launch on demand. No waiting...

 

Edited by DogOnPorch
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Apollo 8...

apollo-8-crew.thumb.jpg.4bf4628f3599fdb842d52a99faf31074.jpg

So many firsts...and perhaps the most dangerous of all the Apollo missions.

First manned Apollo/Saturn V

First Moonshot

First Earthrise

First group photo of the entire human population...minus 3.

First....? Any more? Probably...first use of Tang in space? Add yours...

:lol:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8

 

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In October 1997, the USA launched the Cassini probe to Saturn with the ESA probe/lander Huygens attached. Spectacular night launch...textbook. 

This was a protested launch by the anti-space crowd...who feared that the plutonium pellet that powered the craft would cause radiation poisoning if the rocket failed. It didn't, of course...the Titan IVb was a very reliable rocket.

 

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The Virgin Orbit Demo-2 launch was a successful a few days back. A make-or-break flight for the program. Demo-2 was hauled the first bit of the way up by a modified 747...then boosted into low orbit. It then released a number of student built 'cube sats'...tiny. None-the-less...a very expensive program, so-far.

 

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48 minutes ago, Charles Anthony said:

How much would you pay to suit up and fly up with those guys?  

 

Apollo 1? Not a dime. All dead in an oxygen fire.

It was a HUGE mistake...and corner cutting...to make the original design 'single gas' life support. They learned, though...unfortunately for the crew.

It was a hard moment...the massively expensive Apollo seemed like a lame duck...and time was running out on the decade, quickly. It took time to right the errors...leaving just months to get everything done....but in October of 1968, Apollo 7 lifted from the pad on its shakedown mission. But it had unforeseen problems in that the flu had made it aboard the craft...making commander Wally Schirra ill. Conflict between the crew and Mission Control also created stress & problems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_7

Only with Apollo 8 did everything click into line...a daring mission like no other before.

 

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I should have been more clear. I am asking in general for today assuming the travel option was made available to the public. How much would you pay to suit up today to go up wherever the latest crew plans to go?

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33 minutes ago, Charles Anthony said:

I should have been more clear. I am asking in general for today assuming the travel option was made available to the public. How much would you pay to suit up today to go up wherever the latest crew plans to go?

 

The Blue Origin promises to take you to the edge of space for...I think...$250,000 or so...cheap if you're one of the filthy rich. A ride on the Soyuz/R-7 is like $20 million...but only if the ISS commander is in the mood for annoying visitors. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Origin

The most affordable trip to space remains the Russian's MiG-25/31 flight to 100,000 feet plus....about $20,000.

https://migflug.com/flights-prices/mig-29-edge-of-space/

Would I? Do I "look" filthy rich? LOL

But, I suppose I would if it was expedient...

 

Edited by DogOnPorch
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4 hours ago, DogOnPorch said:

But, I suppose I would if it was expedient...

What do you mean by expedient? Do you mean affordable?

If the cost to tag along was affordable --- say, on par with vacationing in Florida --- would you go to space as a tourist?

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59 minutes ago, Charles Anthony said:

What do you mean by expedient? Do you mean affordable?

If the cost to tag along was affordable --- say, on par with vacationing in Florida --- would you go to space as a tourist?

 

Expedient means convenient and practical. Twenty million buys a lot of new golf clubs. 

Future generations, perhaps, will get a chance to go into space 'just to check it out'. But, if you're a Sagan fan, you'll likely understand that humanity has a window to jump through...it's a moving window and any error results in our demise. Future generations could easily be navigating a post-atomic wasteland full of zombies.

Plebes like ourselves are likely only to experience space via simulators.

Orbiter is free...

http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

;)

 

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Venera Program

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera

Soviet missions to Venus.

Only the Soviets/Russians managed to get any surface time on the Solar System's most hostile planet. Eleven & Twelve were failures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_10

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_11

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_12

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_13

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_14

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_missions_to_Venus

In Orbiter, I always have a tricky time getting to Venus and Mercury. You actually have to slow down relative to the Sun...not as easy as it sounds.

 

Edited by DogOnPorch
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On 1/28/2021 at 7:13 PM, DogOnPorch said:

Plebes like ourselves are likely only to experience space via simulators.

Orbiter is free...

http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

;)

This where I am supposed to say: "I accept your surrender." LOL

Space history sure is peculiar. Did Gargarin forget to bring a camera? or Are the Russians holding black-mail photographs?
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43 minutes ago, Charles Anthony said:

This where I am supposed to say: "I accept your surrender." LOL

Space history sure is peculiar. Did Gargarin forget to bring a camera? or Are the Russians holding black-mail photographs?

 

Gagarin had a TV camera aimed at him for the mission. But the few controls were apparently locked-out in favor of ground signals. Not that the Vostok could maneuver...all it had was retro rockets. No hitting them prematurely! 

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