The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My NASA trip...Part 1

I would have posted this earlier in the week but some stuff happened during the week  and it got pushed off to the back burner.  I mentioned that we had returned from a Disney Cruise...Nobody does it like Disney....sure there is a lot of kids on board, but there is stuff for the adults, and unlike other cruise lines, all of your cost is up front, you ain't nickel and dimed like some of the other cruise lines.
Well we got off the boat in Port Canaveral and what is next to the Port....Matter of fact we could see it from the port...
That is the huge assembly building used for the Apollo and shuttle missions..used to prep the ship for launch.   More on that in a few.
    Well we drove there, we had left the car parked at the Disney Terminal at the Port.  We used my "Waze" app on my kinda smart phone and went right there.  We got out and I being the camera person that I am...got a pic of the kid in front of the NASA emblem..

  He looked totally thrilled.....He hates having his picture taken...so what do I do....take his picture...It is a Dad thing.  We also saw the memorial monument to  President John F Kennedy,
We also saw that is called "The Rocket Garden".
This pic of the Rocket Garden was snagged off "Google".  My phone was being cantankerous and wouldn't function so I didn't take the picture like I wanted.  Oh well, this will facilitate another trip down there later for the missed opportunities. 
     We walked around and headed to the "Atlantis exhibit",   The first thing we saw walking up to it was the boosters.
  All I can say is that they were huge.   We were ushered into an auditorium that showed the video of the initial development of the shuttle back in 1971.

   This video was a bit different than what was shown, but you will recognize some of the stuff from the video that I do have pictures of.   After the video was over, we were released into the shuttle display area, the first thing we saw was the shuttle itself..
  The actual shuttle itself, very impressive.  I walked around and saw a lot of things and my inner geek was impressed.  
I also took a picture of the space tiles that imitially caused problems for the shuttle, they had tiles dropping off on the shuttle and NASA had to work hard to find a solution to the shuttle tile dropping off...I remembered seeing pictures of the shuttle looking like she had mange from the tiles that would not stay on the ship.
They got the problem fixed....the tiles protected the shuttle during reentry so she wouldn't burn up like a meteor and the tiles worked...except when they were damaged in the case of the Columbia tragedy.   I saw the interior of the shuttle and they had the docking arm deployed and it was a neat view.

 I couldn't get a good view of the docking arm because of the way it was situated and I had people all over the place.  Oh well...
    Here was the inspiration for the shuttle from the Chief Mercury program engineer, he used it to show the next step of the program in 1971.

 They also had the camper that they used to transport the astronauts to the launch station.

     This was used to transport the astronauts to the launch platform, the astronauts used to carry their own cooling units and to help keep them cool, they would give them a ride in this camper.
     I also saw the remembrance area for the astronauts that died in the shuttle disasters. 

   I saw memento's from all the astronauts, I was again amazed how many of them had ties to the Boy Scouts.  The timeless value's that are taught humbled me and made me proud of being part of this organization.  I also saw part of the Challenger's hull.
  They also had part of the Columbia shuttle there.
  It was sobering seeing all this stuff.   I will post more on the 2nd part of my visit to NASA in a day or 2.  I was walking around seeing this stuff and a part of me was saddened, This almost reminded me of our nation living in the past, that our best days are behind us and we are sliding into mediocrity.  To me the space program represented America and that we grounded the shuttle fleet and now have to pay the Russians exorbitant amount of money to get our astronauts to the space station is appalling. 
      I did enjoy the visit immensely, my inner geek was pleased.  I did miss on the opportunity to see Astronaut Carr from the Skylab missions,
This is from my collection of stuff in my man cave.

I remembered my blogging about Skylab back in 2012, and that I was angry that NASA didn't try to save her in the late 70's.  I had written letters to NASA and to President Carter at the time, my 13 year old anger couldn't understand why they let her burn up.  I will post in a day or 2 the second part of my visit to the Saturn V building....*WOW* and the journey around the complex.


  1. Looking forward to your perspective on it... It's a helluva memorial to when the USA was great.

  2. Looking forward to your perspective on it... It's a helluva memorial to when the USA was great.

  3. Man...how cool is that? I love that you shared this with your kiddo. Those were great days of NASA.