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Backup (1965)

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1965

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  •  Backup - secondary spacecraft systems. 
  •  Backup - a portable air-conditioner. 
  •  Backup - a chest pack for astronauts. 
  •  Backup - the A.T.D.A. - Augmented Target Docking Adapter. 
  •  The National Aeronautics and Space Administration in all flight planning and actual missions always employs at least one secondary redundant system in case of equipment failure. 
  •  This practice is called "backup." 
  •  When Gemini IX flies in a few days, it will rendezvous and dock with just such a system - the Augmented Target Docking Adapter, backup for the Agena target vehicle. 
  •  Although it is only 1/3 the size of the Agena, the 1,700 pound A.T.D.A. uses existing flight-rated Gemini hardware and has the same basic docking features as the Agena. 
  •  While the craft will have orbital capabilities of roll, pitch and yaw, it will not have a propulsion system for actually maneuvering in space. 
  •  The A.T.D.A. will also have the micro-meteorite impact package mounted on top and just behind the docking ring. 
  •  This pack transfer from the Agena to the A.T.D.A. allows astronaut Gene Cernan to complete one of the planned micro-meteorite experiments. 
  •  With the Augmented Target Docking Adapter now being readied for launch at Cape Kennedy, Florida, NASA has again proven the value in time and money saved by redundant backup systems. 
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    • About the video
    • Gordon Wilkison Gordon Wilkison
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    This footage from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) details the practice of planning redundant systems in spacecraft design to guard against equipment failure. Specifically discussed is the Gemini 9 spacecraft -- a 1966 manned space flight, the seventh manned Gemini flight, the thirteenth American space flight, and the twenty-third space flight of all time. The Gemini was to dock with the Augmented Target Docking Adaptor (ATDA) depicted in the film. At the time of the filming, NASA was readying the ATDA for launch at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
    Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
    A particularly notable moment is his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
    Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
    Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
    Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.