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Manned Space Flight Quarterly Report, No. 27 - October-December 1969

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1969 | 1970

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  •  Apollo 12 launched on November 14, 1969, landing on the Moon on November 19 
  •  The crew begins lunar-landing maneuvers 
  •  Extravehicular activity 
  •  Inspection of the Surveyor 3 spacecraft, which landed on the Moon more than two years earlier 
  •  One last experiment 
  •  The space vehicle is struck by lightning during takeoff 
  •  Apollo 13 is moved to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center 
  •  Ken Mattingly did not end up flying on Apollo 13. Seven days before launch, a member of the backup crew contracted rubella, exposing both the prime and backup crew to the sickness. Unlike the other crew members, Mattingly never had rubella as a child, and thus lacked an immunity against it. Consequently, Jack Swigert replaced him as Command Module Pilot three days before launch. Mattingly later flew on Apollo 16.  
  •  Equipment developments and testing 
  •  Briefing charts for the Integrated Program Plan, including the Skylab and Space Shuttle programs 
  •  Mars Excursion Module 
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Just four months after Apollo 11, NASA astronauts returned to the surface of the Moon with Apollo 12. This government film covers the success of the mission, from the precision of its landing and the objectives of subsequent extravehicular activity to the rendezvous with the Command Module and splashdown on Earth. Next, it previews Apollo 13, introducing the primary crew and highlighting equipment still in development. Finally, the report details briefing charts about the integrated space program, also known as the Integrated Program Plan, that would take shape between 1970 and 1990. The charts include designs for what became the Skylab and Space Shuttle spacecraft.
As the scope of the American space program grew, NASA’s Space Task Group realized it would need to expand into its own facility if it were to successfully land a man on the Moon. In 1961, the agency’s selection team chose a 1,000-acre cow pasture in Houston, Texas, as the proposed center’s location site, owing to its access to water transport and commercial jet service, moderate climate, and proximity to Rice University. In September 1963, the facility opened as the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). 
The Center became the focal point of NASA’s manned spaceflight program, developing spacecraft for Projects Gemini and Apollo, selecting and training astronauts, and operating the Lunar Receiving Laboratory. Beginning with Gemini 4 in June 1965, MSC’s Mission Control Center also took over flight control duties from the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As a result, the facility managed all subsequent manned space missions, including those related to Projects Gemini and Apollo, the Apollo Applications Program, the Space Shuttle Orbiters, and the International Space Station.
In 1973, the MSC was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson. (As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson sponsored the 1958 legislation that established NASA.) The Center continues to lead NASA’s efforts in space exploration, training both American and international astronauts, managing missions to and from the International Space Station, and operating scientific and medical research programs.