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Manned Space Flight Quarterly Report No. 26, July-September 1969

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1969

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  •  “One small step for [a] man...” 
  •  Ascent and rendezvous 
  •  Isolation period at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston 
  •  Analysis of lunar samples 
  •  Preparations for Apollos 12 and 13 
  •  Astronaut training 
  •  Test drive of the Lunar Rover Vehicle 
  •  Update on the Apollo Applications Program 
  •  Operations of the Space Task Group 
  •  Scans of Mars 
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Opening with the historic lunar landing in July, this report goes over all that came together to make the moment possible. After a short overview of the lunar mission, attention is turned to post-mission briefing of the astronauts and the scientific evaluation of the samples returned from the Moon. “One thing was obvious,” the narrator states at the end of this section, “Apollo 11 was only the beginning. More missions are needed.” It is at this point the film recaps preparations for the Apollo 12 and 13 missions. We observe the Lunar Rover Vehicle and the last Saturn launch vehicles built for the Apollo program. The film concludes with a look at recommendations of the Space Task Group, the goal of which is to propose the direction the space program should take upon the completion of Apollo. Among their recommendations: a manned mission to Mars before the end of the century.
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.