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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  'Commanding four types of spacecraft'

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Author Topic:   'Commanding four types of spacecraft'
canyon42
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Posts: 228
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 01-07-2018 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Didn't want to clutter up the John Young thread with this, so I'll ask it separately. I was just curious about the statement in the main cS story about John Young's passing where it says that he was "only astronaut to command four different types of spacecraft." Gemini, Apollo command module, Apollo lunar module, and the shuttle is what I assume is being referred to here.

My question is whether Pete Conrad should not also be considered for the same count, with the first three being the same and substituting the Skylab station for the shuttle. Or would Skylab not count as a "spacecraft" from a semantics standpoint?

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 01-07-2018 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would think that a spacecraft here would be one that had engines and allowed the commander/pilot to "fly" the spacecraft.

canyon42
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From: Ohio
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posted 01-07-2018 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's what I'm wondering. By that definition I guess one would say that an ISS mission would have someone commanding the Soyuz (or earlier, the shuttle) that delivers astronauts/cosmonauts, but the ISS commander does not command a "spacecraft" but rather a "mission."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-07-2018 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Skylab was equipped with nitrogen cold gas thrusters to help control its attitude.

The International Space Station's Zarya (FGB) module has 36 steering jets and two engines, which were used to control the station's attitude and boost its orbit until the Zvezda service module — equipped with its own two main engines — was added in July 2000. Zvezda's engines are also used for debris avoidance maneuvers.

On review, I think it is valid to say that Conrad also commanded four different types of spacecraft. I have edited the article to read "first" instead of "only."

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 01-07-2018 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, but would the Lunar Roving Vehicle be a spacecraft? No thrusters but engines in the form of wheel drives. Understand it was not in orbit but yet not an earth bound vehicle either.

If yes, than Young has five. But hey when it come right down to it he had an amazing spacefaring career and he will be missed.

Jim Behling
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From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-07-2018 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LRV does not count as a spacecraft. It was a vehicle that operated on a surface of planetary body. Just because the moon has no atmosphere and is a vacuum does not mean it was in "space".
quote:
Originally posted by canyon42:
...he was "only astronaut to command four different types of spacecraft."
A better way to state it is that he piloted four different spacecraft, meaning he flew them. Punching commands into a computer to change a spacecraft's attitude does not fit that definition. Also, that would mean many ground operators would have commanded many more spacecraft.

Kite
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From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 01-13-2018 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also worth noting on Gemini 10 that Young and Collins fired the Agena rocket engine, to which they had docked, to heighten the orbit to a then record altitude. Although in the same spacecraft, a different booster which was repeated only once more by Conrad and Gordon on Gemini 11 to a new record.

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 01-13-2018 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
Just because the moon has no atmosphere and is a vacuum does not mean it was in "space".
Guess that means they could have left their spacesuits at home then.

ashot
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posted 01-31-2018 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ashot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by canyon42:
Or would Skylab not count as a "spacecraft" from a semantics standpoint?
Shouldn't Spacelab also be considered as a "spacecraft" then?

David C
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From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 01-31-2018 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No. Skylab was independent. Spacelab was just an optional component of the Space Shuttle Orbiter.

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