Category Archives: Aviation

Navy and NASA: From Mercury to Apollo

Navy and NASA: From Mercury to Apollo

In 2014, a Navy ship will recover a NASA capsule from the first time since 1975.
The mission to recover the Orion will reestablish a relationship going back to the beginning of manned space flight.
The following is a brief illustrated history of the relationship of the Navy and NASA from Alan Shepard’s first flight into space to the Apollo moon missions, collected from the U.S. Naval Institute Archives

Alan Shepard, the first American in space, is recovered from the South Atlantic in 1961. US Naval Institute Archives

Alan Shepard, the first American in space, is recovered from the South Atlantic in 1961. US Naval Institute Archives

A Marine helicopter lifts Liberty Bell 7 after recovering astronaut Gus Grissom, July 21, 1961. The helicopter was forced to release the capsule and allow it to sink after it became flooded with seawater. Liberty Bell 7 was recovered from the ocean floor in 1999. US Naval Institute Archives

A Marine helicopter lifts Liberty Bell 7 after recovering astronaut Gus Grissom, July 21, 1961. The helicopter was forced to release the capsule and allow it to sink after it became flooded with seawater. Liberty Bell 7 was recovered from the ocean floor in 1999. US Naval Institute Archives

USS Kearsarge after recovering Faith 7. May 16, 1963. Note the formation of sailors in the shape of the capsule. US Naval Institute Archives

USS Kearsarge after recovering Faith 7. May 16, 1963. Note the formation of sailors in the shape of the capsule. US Naval Institute Archives

Faith 7 being hoisted out of the water by the USS Kearsarge, May 16, 1963. US Naval Institute Archives

Faith 7 being hoisted out of the water by the USS Kearsarge, May 16, 1963. US Naval Institute Archives

James A. McDivett is pulled from the Gulf of Mexico during Gemini 4 training, April 14, 1965. US Naval Institute Archives

James A. McDivett is pulled from the Gulf of Mexico during Gemini 4 training, April 14, 1965. US Naval Institute Archives

Gemini 9 astronauts get picked up by the USS Wasp, July 30, 1966. US Naval Institute Archives

Gemini 9 astronauts get picked up by the USS Wasp, July 30, 1966. US Naval Institute Archives

The USS Kearsarge celebrates its role in astronaut recovery with a banner, May 18, 1963. US Naval Institute Archives

The USS Kearsarge celebrates its role in astronaut recovery with a banner, May 18, 1963. US Naval Institute Archives

Apollo 10, recovery. US Naval Institute Archives

Apollo 10, recovery. US Naval Institute Archives

Sailors on the USS Wasp hoist Gemini 9A aboard, June 6, 1966. US Naval Institute Archives

Sailors on the USS Wasp hoist Gemini 9A aboard, June 6, 1966. US Naval Institute Archives

Decontaminating the Apollo 11 command module as the astronauts wait to be recovered, July 24, 1969. US Naval Institute Archives

Decontaminating the Apollo 11 command module as the astronauts wait to be recovered, July 24, 1969. US Naval Institute Archives

Apollo 13 is recovered after its harrowing mission, April 17, 1970. US Naval Institute Archives

Apollo 13 is recovered after its harrowing mission, April 17, 1970. US Naval Institute Archives

Pararescuemen from the USS Ticonderoga arrive at the spacecraft carrying astronauts from Skylab, June 22, 1973. US Naval Institute Archives

Pararescuemen from the USS Ticonderoga arrive at the spacecraft carrying astronauts from Skylab, June 22, 1973. US Naval Institute Archives

For more information on the Navy’s relationship to NASA, see MOON MEN RETURN: USS Hornet and the Recovery of the Apollo 11 Astronauts from the Naval Institute Press. 

House to Hagel: Downgrade the UAV and Cyber Medal

House to Hagel: Downgrade the UAV and Cyber Medal

US House Leaders are calling for Secreatary of Defense Chuck Hagel to reduce the ranking of a new medal for unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber troops. US Navy Photo

US House Leaders are calling for Secreatary of Defense Chuck Hagel to reduce the ranking of a new medal for unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber troops. US Navy Photo

Almost 50 House leaders called on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to lower the precedence of a new medal designed to recognize the warfare contributions of unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber troops, The Hill reported Monday. Read More

Camouflaged Ships: An Illustrated History

Camouflaged Ships: An Illustrated History

Friday’s deployment of USS Freedom (LCS 1) will revive a tradition of camouflaging warships. Outside of smaller patrol boats, the U.S. largely abandoned elaborate color schemes and stuck with haze gray. 

USS Freedom in its new paint scheme on Feb. 22. US Navy Photo

USS Freedom in its new paint scheme on Feb. 22. US Navy Photo

But with the advent of the Littoral Combat Ship, a combatant designed to operate close to shore, the concept has returned. To put Freedom’s new look in context, the following are some examples of patterns from the past.

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Budget Woes Cause Ike to Deploy Early

Budget Woes Cause Ike to Deploy Early

he aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) makes its approach pierside at Naval Station Norfolk after a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. US Navy Photo

he aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) makes its approach pierside at Naval Station Norfolk after a six-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. US Navy Photo

After only two months back at homeport, the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (CSG) will depart Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Thursday for another deployment to the Middle East, the Navy announced on Wednesday.

Following the cancelation of the deployment of USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75) due to the looming budget shortfalls from the combined budget specter of a Fiscal Year 2013 Continuing Resolution and sequestration. Read More

Navy: Budget Fight Will Not Delay Kearsarge ARG Deployment

Navy: Budget Fight Will Not Delay Kearsarge ARG Deployment

A Royal Navy airman stands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) while an MV-22 Osprey takes off. US Navy Photo

A Royal Navy airman stands on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) while an MV-22 Osprey takes off. US Navy Photo

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) has completed it’s final major training qualification before the three ships depart for Middle East and the Mediterranean in March, a U.S. Fleet Forces spokesman told USNI News on Tuesday. Read More

Conflict with Iran: Lessons From the Past

Conflict with Iran: Lessons From the Past

Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo

Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo

The 2013 Surface Navy Association’s Naval Heritage program topic was Operation Praying Mantis. The program featured first hand accounts of events that transpired in the Persian Gulf during the spring of 1988. Those naval operations culminated with an operation called Praying Mantis — the punitive attack against the Iranian navy on 18 April. The focus was on the dramatic tactical events that occured, and included a detailed description of the sinking of the Iranian Kaman-class corvette Joshan. Retired Navy Vice Adm. Anthony Less said at the forum that in 2006 Iran commissioned a new missile patrol boat named after the former Joshan. If the Iranians dare to disrupt shipping in the Persian Gulf again, “we’ll put this one on the bottom of the Persian Gulf with her namesake,” Less said.
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