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Manned Space Flight Quarterly Report No. 20, January-March 1968

Hardin-Simmons University Library

Sound | 1968

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  •  About the mobile quarantine facility 
  •  Plans for the Apollo Applications Program 
  •  Flight crew training and ground testing 
  •  Astronaut Neil Armstrong practices a simulator 
  •  Launch vehicle preparations 
  •  Manufacturing of flight equipment 
  •  Production of programming tapes 
  •  Flight operations, including a look back at Apollo 5 and a preview of Apollo 6 
 
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This NASA government film begins by describing the selection of potential locations for the lunar landing and then segues into an introduction to the mobile quarantine facility. We next receive an update on the Apollo Applications Program and its Orbital Workshop and then some description of flight crew training, such as a look at Neil Armstrong using a Lunar Landing Training Vehicle Simulator. (Astronaut training largely took place at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.) At this point in the space program, ground testing of all spacecraft modules and Saturn launch vehicle stages was in full swing, and the film surveys the production and delivery of Apollo modules and launch vehicles for upcoming missions. The report concludes with a very brief review of the Apollo 5 mission—which included the first flight of the Lunar Module and took place in January—followed by a preview of Apollo 6, the second flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle and the final unmanned Apollo mission.
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.