"This is a Gift. This is something that is very precious to you as an individual. And if craft in every form dies and everything becomes a machine, there isn't an expression of yourself, and your ability - and your Gift. It's very important to do things by hand. " Dorothy Kelly
We recently had the opportunity to visit two Air and Space Museums. In Alabama, The US Space and Rocket Center located in Huntsville, Alabama. Next was the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located in Chantilly, Virginia. Both are truly amazing offering an unbelievable combination of both new and old aerospace technology. Here are a few images and comments from the visits.
One of the first things you see after parking at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. A full size mock-up of the Space Shuttle launch vehicle. The Orbiter is The Pathfinder - OV-098. This was a test simulator crafted from steel and wood. It was constructed by NASA in 1977. Here is a link to the Wikipedia data regarding the Space Shuttle Pathfinder. Wikipedia - Shuttle Pathfinder
I spent quite a bit of time looking at the right side SRB or Solid Rocket Booster. This image shows the right side field joint which failed to seal during launch of the Shuttle Challenger STS-51L. I've been reading a book written by Alan J. McDonald titled Truth, Lies, and O-Rings. Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. One of the most interesting books I've ever read. Here is a link to amazon if you're interested in picking up a copy. Highly recommend! read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00B91LIVO&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_9MojEb9W8222Q
I thought this was an interesting image of the ET - or External Fuel Tank. You can see the foam insulation which was applied to the outside of the fuel tank which unfortunately was responsible for the damage to the left wing leading edge of the shuttle Columbia OV-102. Its last mission was STS-107. Here is more information as to what happened to the Ship and Crew: Columbia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia
Here is a series of images of the Rocketdyne F-1 liquid fuel rocket engine that is displayed outside in Huntsville. I can stare at this thing four hours. Amazing.
This is an interesting image as it shows the two Saturn rockets next to the F-1 engine.