It was fifty years ago that America was in the middle of a race to land a man on the moon. Commemorate the space programs that made history with the “Three Missions” Edition Inserts by Field Notes.
These new inserts are packed full of facts and figures. They feature dramatic photographs of iconic moments on their covers in full process color. Each 3-pack consists of inserts that honor the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.
This was the NASA project that put the first American astronauts in space! There was a total of six spaceflights during Project Mercury. Two of those flights reached space and returned to earth while the other four went into orbit and circled Earth. The first of those six flights were held in 1961 and the last was made in 1963.
The spacecraft used for this flight was a small capsule that had room for only one astronaut. That person would be confined to their seat for the duration of the flight. Two types of rockets were used for Project Mercury. The first two of the six flights used what is known as a Redstone rocket. The following four flights used what’s called an Atlas rocket. Both rockets were designed initially as missiles for the US military.
Fun Fact: There were a total of six flights and the first of which was made by Alan Shepard who is the first American to go to space. He later would go on to command the Apollo 14 mission and this time was able to leave the craft and walk on the moon.
Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 capsule was one of the first flights and was launched on a Redstone rocket. Photo credit NASA.
The Mercury Missions proved that astronauts could fly in space. NASA also learned how to put astronauts into orbit around the earth. The agency also was able to better determine how people could live and work while in space.
The Gemini Program was an early human spaceflight conducted by NASA that helped prepare them for the Apollo moon landings. The Gemini missions were flown in 1965 and 1966 and were held between the Mercury and Apollo missions. The spacecraft is aptly named Gemini, which is Latin for “twins,” because the capsule can carry two people.
This above picture of the Gemini spacecraft was actually taken by members of the Gemini 6 crew while in orbit. Photo credit NASA.
The spacecraft used for the Gemini Program was a capsule that looked similar to the one used for the Mercury missions except that it was bigger and was able to fit two astronauts instead of just one. One of the differences between the space capsules was that the Gemini capsule could not only change the way it was facing in its orbit, but it could change what orbit it was in.
Fun fact: The Gemini capsule flew on a Titan II rocket which was originally a missile, but was modified by NASA so it could carry two people.
The Gemini Program was important to NASA because before this there was little experience in space. It was also learned how astronauts could go outside a spacecraft in a spacesuit and how their bodies would handle being in space for many days.
The Apollo program resulted in American astronauts making a total of 11 space flights and multiple instances of walking on the moon. Six of the other seven trips resulted in landing on the moon. The first Apollo mission was made in 1968 and the first moon landing occurred in 1969. The last flight and landing on the moon took place in 1972.
Like previous missions, the Apollo used two types of rockets. The first flights used small Saturn I B rockets. These were as tall as a 22 -story building. They were made in two stages and had two parts. The first part was designed to run out of fuel and burn in Earth’s atmosphere as it dropped away. The second part continues upwards and allowed scientists to test the Apollo capsule and how it could function in Earth’s orbit. The other flights used a more powerful Saturn V rocket. This now three-stage rocket was as tall as a 36-story building.
During the Apollo missions, astronauts were able to conduct important research and study the moon’s surface. Twelve astronauts walked on the moon during these trips and they collected samples that returned with them to Earth.
Buzz Aldrin is famous for being part of the first crew to land on the moon and along with Neil Armstrong walked on the surface. Photo credit NASA.
Fun Fact: The first manned mission that landed on the moon was the Apollo 11 mission consisting of Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface, but Collins had to remain with the craft in orbit.
These missions were instrumental in teaching the scientists at NASA how to travel outside of Earth’s orbit could best be accomplished. They also represent important moments in the history of flight and exploring outside our own world.
The new Field Notes “Three Missions” books can be taken and built into Mission-Specific Crew Capsule 3D Models to help you visualize the spacecraft that was used during the flights fifty years ago.
You can also read all about how the Field Notes Team launched their “Three Missions” Edition into space.
----Remember we've designed both the Field Notes Leather Folio and the Field Leather Notebook so you can keep your notes secure as you go.