space exploration

posted in history

apollo 1 fire

from space exploration posted in history by tacopolis

On January 27, 1967, NASA was running a test launch for their first manned space mission- Apollo 1. Due to design flaws in the initial construction (and the use of pure oxygen in the capsule), there was a fire during the test that claimed the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.

The site was used to successfully test a number of Saturn I and Saturn IB rockets, but was eventually razed. The launch platform remains as a memorial with a plaque that lists the time of the accident and the names of the astronauts, as well as the following inscription:

They gave their lives in service to their country in the ongoing exploration of humankind's final frontier. Remember them not for how they died but for those ideals for which they lived.

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from space exploration posted in history by tacopolis

Founded in 1937, the Peenemünde Army Research Center was the military proving grounds for Nazi aeronautics. The location is widely considered the birthplace of modern rocketry and spaceflight. It also helped create the V-2 rockets that rained hellfire on London and Antwerp.

Legendary scientist Wernher von Braun was the technical director at the facility, before his team surrendered to the United States and worked for NASA.

Today, the location is home to the
Historisch-Technisches-Museum that traces:

"the path of the dreams of the first rocket pioneers of civilian space travel to the systematic development of the first major military rocket." (from the museum website).

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white sands missile range

from space exploration posted in history by tacopolis

Nazi rocket scientists had their work brought back to the United States after the fall of the Third Reich. The rockets were reverse engineered at the White Sands Proving Grounds (now called the White Sands Missile Range). Within months, the U.S. were testing rockets that traveled so far that they couldn't be tracked with conventional cameras, so they used anti-aircraft turrets mounted with lenses.

The U.S. troops scorched the Nazi rocket-making facilities so they wouldn't fall into other countries hands, but the Russians managed to get some of their own V-2 rockets. They followed the same process as their U.S. counterparts and the space race began...

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