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Manned Space Flight Quarterly Report No. 23, October-December 1968

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1968 | 1969

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  •  Apollo 7 mission 
  •  Preparations for Apollo 8 
  •  Testing and training for Apollo 9 at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) in Houston 
  •  Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 take shape 
  •  Developments in the Apollo Applications Program 
  •  Launch and objectives of Apollo 8 
  •  Mankind’s first eyewitness account of the Moon 
  •  Reentry and splashdown 
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This NASA government film reviews developments in its space program between October and December 1968. The quarter was an incredibly busy and important one for Project Apollo, as it included two historic missions as well as the preparation for a sequence of historic missions to come over the next six months. This quarterly report begins with Apollo 7 (the first manned Apollo flight), recapping the mission objectives and the problems encountered during the flight. We also get detailed coverage of Apollo 8—the first manned Apollo spacecraft to fly to the Moon, a mission objective that was not decided upon until after NASA reviewed data from the Apollo 7 mission. This film next documents the continuing preparation of other projects related to spacecraft development, construction, and testing for Apollo 9 through Apollo 11. The report ends with an update on the development and testing of hardware for the Apollo Applications Program.
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.