attached. The one on the top is the barge photo from the NASA site. The one on the
bottom is from the photo of my Dad. They must be the same barge and contents,
although from somewhat different angles. The lower one has a tug pushing the barge
that the upper does not.
What's particularly interesting is that this means it's a different rocket than I thought
(and than my Dad thought, I believe). The Saturn booster SA-1 was the first Saturn
rocket launched (on 26 Oct. 1961) and thus the first (unmanned) launch in the Apollo
program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SA-1_(Apollo). I had heard that it was the Atlas
booster which launched John Glenn (on 20 Feb. 1962). My guess is that my Dad and
the newspaper photographer might have guessed that it was the launch vehicle for John
Glenn's flight because that received far more press coverage than the launch of SA-1.
I found that particular picture interesting because I worked for a contractor company
to NASA in 1963. It was only for a few months but I was one of the people labeling the
NASA pictures and fulfilling requests from the public for pictures. Sometimes the
captions were provided to us but other times we had to ask LOTS of questions to get
all of the information. Having lived in Houston for many years and having spent that
time at NASA, astronauts and space and rockets will always make my ears perk up.
Thanks for the background on the Saturn booster ... very interesting! I agree that the
barges look very similar.It appears that Tom's father's watch reads about 3:10. Guess it
was a late lunch that day. Robert Mahan
It was a bit tricky, as I immediately assumed that it would be Gagarin. However, I
didn’t think that he did 17 orbits, so had to continue to research. Once I found the
second Russian in space, I realized that Titov’s name was faintly recognizable in the
The Russians had quite a bit of success in the early days of space travel, putting a scare
into the Americans. The Russians had placed two different men into orbit while the
Americans had only managed a sub-orbital flight for Alan Shepard. At one point in
1964, the Russians had 455 man-hours of “in space” time, while the Americans had
only managed 54 man-hours of flight time.
I’m assuming the wrapped object on the transport ship to be a section of the Atlas
rocket (Mercury program). But I’m just guessing. Evan Hindman
The cosmonaut is Gherman S Titov. The place is Memphis TN. The photo is taken
with a medium format press type camera. The format is 4x5 inches or 2x3.
Well glad I was right, it seemed so obvious to me that it had to be the Mississippi, that I
was wondering if that was it. I guess to most people that wouldn't be so obvious
though. We see these barges all the time, in fact that's about all that goes down it
anymore. I just live 30 minutes from the bridge at Memphis.
Heavens, all of those Soviet Astronauts tended to look alike, especially in uniform. That
aside, I believe that the timing of the flight of the Vostok space craft, and the photo
found in Google Images, ties the identity of the pilot to Col. Andrian Nikolayev.
I did pickup on the irony of the cargo on the barge that contained space hardware for
the fledging American space flights effort, heading to Cape Canaveral in Florida. The
river must be the Mississippi as the newspaper was printed in Memphis, Tennessee,
and there are few navigable rivers that large in the United States.
stage remained at the Cape. On May 3 the barge began its return trip, arriving at the
Redstone Arsenal dock May 15.
On June 2 a lock collapsed at the Wheeler Dam on the Tennessee River. All movement
of river traffic was halted. Because the Palaemon was trapped in the upper river,
MSFC decided to transport the booster in it overland to a point below the dam. There
the stage would be reloaded on the barge Compromise to continue the trip to Cape
Canaveral. To support this plan MSFC obtained a Navy barge which had been
mothballed at Pensacola, Florida. Necessary modifications began so that the new barge,
renamed Compromise, could carry the S-I and dummy S-IV stages and dummy
The Saturn V (pronounced 'Saturn Five', popularly known
as the Moon Rocket) was a multistage liquid-fuel expendable
rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs. The
first ten Saturn flight vehicles would be numbered from
SA-1 to SA-10. SA-10 would be the prototype of the
operational Saturn. On May 26, 1960, assembly of the
booster stage for the first Saturn flight vehicle began at
Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.
The largest production model of the Saturn family of
rockets, the Saturn V was designed under the direction of
Wernher von Braun at the Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, Alabama, with Boeing, North American Aviation,
Douglas Aircraft Company, and IBM as the lead
contractors. It remains the most powerful launch vehicle
ever brought to operational status, from a height, weight and
payload standpoint, although the Russian Energia, which
flew only two test missions, had slightly more takeoff thrust.
In all, NASA launched thirteen Saturn V rockets between
1967 and 1973, with no loss of payload. The design payload
was the manned Apollo spacecraft used by NASA for moon
landings, and the Saturn V went on to launch the Skylab
The three stages of the Saturn V were developed by various
NASA contractors, but following a sequence of mergers
and takeovers all of them are now owned by Boeing. Each
first and second stage was test fired at the Stennis Space
Center located near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The facility
was later used for the testing and verification of both the
Space Shuttle Main Engine and the newer RS-68 rocket
engine currently used on the Delta IV EELV rocket and in
the future, on the Ares V rocket.
|The Saturn V Booster Rocket
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|Answer to Quiz #113
June 17, 2007
|Note: This picture has an interesting story behind it.
The cargo on the boat is an important part of the story. But since the cargo is
packaged to protect it from the elements, it is impossible to see what it is.
Tune in on the coming weekend to read the whole story and
to find out what is being transported by the boat.
|Many thanks to Quizmaster Tom Tullis for submitting this photograph.
|1. Who is the Soviet referred to by the headlines?
2. Where was the photo taken?
Titov was born in the village of Verkhnie Zhilino in the Altai
Region and went to school at the Stalingrad Military Aviation
School. After graduating as an air force pilot, he was selected
for cosmonaut training in 1960, and from there was chosen to
fly the Vostok 2 mission launched in August 6 the following
year. The mission lasted for 25.3h and accomplished 17 earth
orbits. His call sign in this flight was Eagle (Russian: Орёл). A
month short of 26 years old at launch, he remains to this day the
youngest person to fly in space.
|The Story Behind the Photo
In August 1961, he was the first person to
suffer from "space sickness" (i.e. motion
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Alice Hix Bill Utterback
Bill Hurley Fred Stuart
Walter Wood Kelly Fetherlin
Stan Read Sharon Martin
Don Holznagel Evan Hindman
Mary Fraser Lynda Snider
Tom Siegel Jinny Collins
Robert Mahan Wayne Douglas
Sandy Thompson Debbie Sterbinsky
Rick Norman Mike Dalton
Dawn Carlile Robert McKenna
Margaret English Elaine Hebert
Jennefer Woods Martin Guidry
Robert Mahan Edee Scott
1. Gherman Titov
2. Memphis, TN on the banks of the Mississippi River
Note: The barge is carrying the first Saturn V rocket engine,
SA-1, used to launch Apollo 4.
The photo was taken August 7 and according to the watch, at 3:10 p.m.
Here's the story behind the photo: My Dad had
heard that something important related to the U.S.
space program was going to be coming down the
Mississippi River on a barge on this date. Since he
worked at the Medical Center in Memphis which
was not that far from the river, he went down to
the river at lunch-time. While he was there he was
approached by a photographer for the Commercial Appeal asking if he could take his
picture holding the newspaper, with the barge in the background. At the time, I don't
think they knew exactly what was on the barge or what it was going to be used for--
only that it was related to the U.S. space program.
[Here] is a scan of the inscription on the back of the photo of my Dad holding the
newspaper. The photographer was Robert Williams, who was a staff photographer for
The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. He sent the photo to my Dad. They kept in touch
over the years. Tom Tullis
|To see Soviet video of Titov's space
flight, click here.
|BBC News Article
On This Day
August 6, 1961
"1961: Russian cosmonaut spends day in space"
sickness in space) and was also the first human to sleep in space. He slept roughly for
1 orbit, and was surprised to awake with his arms floating in the air due to the absence
of gravity. After securing his arms under a security belt, he went back to sleep,
overslept and awoke 30 minutes later than predicted by the flight plan. He states that
"Once you have your arms and legs arranged properly space sleep is fine ... I slept like
Following his spaceflight, Titov went on to assume various senior positions in the
Soviet space programme until his retirement in 1992. In 1995 he was elected to the
State Duma as a member of the Communist Party. He died of cardiac arrest in his
sauna at the age of 65 in Moscow. He was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery.
Titov's family has established a fund in Houston towards NASA's research center.
On April 17, 1961 the barge Palaemon began its
first trial run to Cape Canaveral to test its ability
to carry the SA-1 from Marshall Space Flight
Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL to Cape
Canaveral in FL.. The barge carried a
water-ballasted tank simulating the size and
weight of the S-I booster, plus a dummy S-V
stage for the SA-1. The barge reached Cape
Canaveral on April 30. After rehearsing
movement of the booster along roads at the Cape,
the simulator was reloaded aboard the Palaemon.
The dummy S-V
on the Compromise, to continue the 2,200-mile trip to Florida. On August 15 the
Compromise arrived at the Cape and unloaded her cargo; MSFC began assembling the
first flight vehicle on the launch pedestal.
Top right: Booster movement around Wheeler Dam; Top left: S-I and S-IV stages
aboard the Compromise; Bottom: Unloading the Compromise in Florida
|The Booster Stage at Docking Facility
Checkout of the SA-1 flight booster, started in
June 1961, was completed early in August. The
booster stage, the dummy S-IV stage, and the
dummy payload body were shielded with
protective covers and loaded on their
transporters. The stages and payload body were
then moved from MSFC shops to the docking
facilities on the Tennessee River and loaded
aboard the Palaemon. On August 5 the barge
began the first leg of the trip to Cape Canaveral.
At Wheeler Dam the units were unloaded,
transported to a dock below the dam, and placed
|Comments from Our Readers
|A Comment from Tom Tullis
|Route of Barge
from MSFC to
[This] is fascinating! It's pretty clear that the barge in the
is the same barge and rocket as the one in the photo of my
Dad. I'm going to try to do a higher-resolution scan of the
barge in my photo to see if I can make out the name of the
barge. It's certainly the right number of letters to be
"Compromise". Take a look at the composite image