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Manned Space Flight Progress Report, No. 29 - May-August 1970

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1970

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TAMI Tags
  •  Preparations for and objectives of Skylab, the first space station 
  •  NASA captures the aftermath of tornado in Lubbock and a hurricane Corpus Christi 
  •  Development of Space Shuttle program 
  •  Scientific findings of the first two lunar-landing missions 
  •  Spacecraft modifications following the Apollo 13 accident 
  •  Apollo flight crews rehearse mission operations and test new equipment 
  •  Lunar Roving Vehicle 
 
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Produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, this government film looks at the progress made by the manned spaceflight program from May to August 1970. With the manufacture and testing of Apollo equipment approaching an end, this report marked the last in a series of films about the program. The film begins by highlighting some of the overlooked contributions of Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, such as the bolstering of the United States’ prestige abroad and the creation of new products and businesses. It next details objectives of the upcoming Skylab program, shifting from the creation to the utilization of basic capability. After outlining scientific findings from the first two lunar-landing missions and some of the questions about the Moon that remain, the film finally describes preparations for the final four Apollo missions, including testing of the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
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.