Posts made in August, 2012

Neil Armstrong: courage and poise

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Leadership | 0 comments

The mission started off flawlessly.  Gemini VIII ascended, approached the Agena rendezvous craft as planned, and the first time two spacecraft had ever been docked in space was accomplished handily.  Then, without apparent reason, the two docked spacecraft began to roll.  This was first noticed by the co-pilot.  The pilot immediately took control with the Orbital Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS), which seemed to stop the roll.  But as soon as he turned the system off, the docked craft began to roll again. Ground Control made the assumption that something was wrong with the Agena and informed the crew that they should turn off power to the Agena.  When they did, the rolling stopped for a few minutes; but ultimately, both spacecraft started to roll again.  It was at this point that the co-pilot noticed that Gemini’s fuel level was at 30 percent.  This indicated to the pilot and co-pilot that the problem was with their craft, not the Agena.  Gemini VIII transferred control of the Agena back to Ground Control and proceeded to undock....

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