Thursday, October 2, 2014

A visit to outer space (Part 1)

Last Saturday, my friend Sally and I drove to visit Kathy in her home town, where we went to two museums for Smithsonian Museum Day.  I want to warn you, this is a very, very, very long post, and doesn't even begin to complete the first museum we visited.  Now I know some people warn about long posts, but this one has over 90 photos.  When I say long, I mean LONG.  I promise to keep the verbiage to a bare minimum, so you can see this museum as we did.

My friend Sally (far right) with Kathy (far left by her craft room door) and Kathy's husband Don in the middle.  My WSU traveling mug is on the bench.

A much better photo of Don, who is standing near their tricked out garage that is to DIE for.

While Kathy showed Sally around the craft room and house, I took a photo of the autumn wreath Kathy made.

Our first stop of the day was the Cosmosphere, a world renown space museum with many original space flight artifacts.

It contains the most significant collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world.

I had to show this photo because it reminded me of my friend Krisha, whose granddaughter recently had a shark themed birthday party. 

This huge display that covers the entire room is a replica of the space shuttle Endeavour.  The real one lives in Los Angeles, CA in a science museum.

This banner hangs over the stairs leading to the Hall of Space Museum.  I was shocked that neither Kathy nor Sally knew that these words were on the Kansas State Flag.  Just goes to show who the only native Kansas girl in the bunch is, since Sally hails from New York State and Kathy from Nebraska.

The story of Patty Brooks Carey, who was responsible for starting the Kansas Cosmosphere.


It was hard to balance on one foot and take this photo.  I didn't want anyone knowing what I weighed.  However, I was quite surprised when I actually weighed myself to discover I was down to 127 lbs.   That meant I could have an extra plate of food at lunch time!

While I was busy weighing myself, then taking in all the planets on the wall, Kathy and Sally had forged ahead.  I was glad they were together, so I didn't have to try to keep up.  I was going at my own pace and LOVING it.

I'm not sure how well this is going to show up on your screen, because mine no longer shows true colors.  I lightened the photo considerably, because the ball representing our planet was black when I started.

Kathy wanted a photo of herself, 

and here is MY selfie.  Note how I stood so only my loose fitting dress was showing.

Sally was taking one of many opportunities to rest, while I continued to take photos and read about the planets in our solar system.

It was now time to leave this area and head to the lower level, where the Hall of Space Museum, with the largest collection of American and Soviet space artifacts in the western world, was located.

This tells the story of first, Nazi influenced space flight, then later, Soviet influenced space flight.

We were now about to enter the "German" room, where we would learn about space flight and other history during WWII.

This complete set of V1 and V2 weapons created by Hitler, is very rare.

As the map shows, Peenemünde was a German army research center and proving ground in the Baltic.  It was one of five such proving grounds, and was considered the birthplace of  modern rocketry and spaceflight.  It was also the facility where the V-1 and V-2 rockets were tested.  Operation "Hydra" was the RAF attack on the Peenemünde research center in 1943.

The V-2 was the world’s first ballistic missile.

The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was a German rocket powered fighter aircraft.

It is the only rocket powered fighter aircraft that has ever been operational.  Although over 300 were built, they were not good as fighter aircraft.

I hope you can read this.  I tried to lighten it, although it's hard to tell what it will look like on your monitor.

I wish I'd taken photos in order of their stories, because this is an example of the Me-163.

It took four photos to get the entire Me-163.

Again, it appears I jumped back to viewing the V-2.

Why I took so many photos of this, only my subconscious knows for sure.  But each shows a bit more of the story.  Even before America entered  World War II, Hitler considered attacking New York City with V-2 bombers. 

The plan was to fly planes to the Azores, refuel, and then take off again. Along with New York City, the Nazi’s hoped to drop bombs on nineteen strategic American targets and two additional Canadian targets.  Nearly all were companies that manufactured parts for aircraft, so the goal appeared to be to cripple U.S. aircraft production.  One of the ironies was all of these facilities made aircraft parts, not planes, such as made in Wichita, KS, the small aircraft capitol of the world, where I live.

The idea of Nazi’s attacking New York City came close to reality. The Amerika-Bomber Project was put into motion, a feasible plan was developed, and an aircraft was selected. Only lack of time and intense Allied bombing raids on the Nazi supply chain kept New York City safe from being destroyed.

The Germans made plans to launch V-2 rockets from submersible U-boats during the war.   However, the technology wasn't developed until about 30 years later during the cold war.  German engineers even put their ideas to the test at Peenemünde.

Sally asked to have her photo taken by the newspapers showing the war had ended in Europe. 

Naturally I oblighed.

Operation Paper Clip was a secret project that brought many German rocket scientists and other highly skilled individuals to the US after the war.  The primary purpose was to keep German scientific expertise and knowledge out of the hands of the Soviets and prevent the Germans from rebuilding their military research capabilities.

Stalin was angry because America "stole" all the German rocket engineers after the war.

Could be one of the reasons why the Soviets have such ill-will for us Americans!

Wernher von Braun was one of the head scientists whose work on the V-2 rockets made him indispensable to the US rocket program.  He worked for NASA much of his life after he came to the US, and was the director of the first space flight center.  He was responsible for the Saturn V, which was the launch vehicle that got the first Apollo space flight to the moon.

Vladimir Lenin stands across from
Uncle Sam.

After WW II, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years.

Since we have now entered the "Cold War" and have severed all ties with Russia, it is time to leave the German Rocket room behind and move on to the next area of the museum.  This is where Russia shows its superiority.  But first, we must take a breath and digest what we have learned.

I'll show Part 2 as soon as I get it off my SD card and edited.  Thanks for sticking through to the end.  I appreciate it.  And I hope you learned as much as I did, since all this history happened long before I was born.

12 thoughtful remarks:

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh wow... That#s technical and historical stuff men like ...
hubby looks all this documentations about world war 1 and 2 and all technical dokus ... I am not so much interested in technical thing but this museum seems to be GORGEOUS!
Sally looks like she was a little bit exhausted!

Thanks for sharing Elizabeth - looking forward to the Russian part !

massofhair said...

What a fantastic post Elizabeth, i would love to visit somewhere so full of space information and machines.

Don't enjoy the war bits, people gone mad but it is good to read about such things. Helps us to move forward as Human Beings, hopefully...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience, looking forward to seeing the next part.

By the way wasn't bored, loved every minute it took me to read :-) xxx

Rebeca Trevino said...

thanks for the tour E
i did not have time to read all the text, but enjoyed the photos.

looks like you had a great visit.

Corrine at said...

Fantastic tours. It's like we were there. I am not an air and space museum type but this one sure seems to have alot to see and interact with. The WWII looks like a powerful exhibit with lots of information we need to remember. Too many people forgetting what went on then. Oh, french doors have locks because they go outside to our back yard and side door has a lock because it too goes out to the breezeway. FYI. xox

HeatherD said...

I like the long post and totally understand your joy at being able to see the exhibits at your own pace. My husband and I took our son to the Cosmosphere when he was 10 and he just raced through it. That made my husband and I pick up our pace more than I would have liked, so I enjoyed seeing your pictures and your photos were so good I could read the information. Being a Kansas girl, I liked the Ad Astra per Aspera banner. It looked like stained glass.

Halle said...

Wow...what an amazing museum. I think J would be interested in this post. He is a history buff.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh! Come on Elizabeth-you could have asked Don to take a photo of the three of you together!!! Still, a great trip out with you all! We have a Science museum and a War museum but they are not near each other! Looks as though there was a lot to take in. We visited a country home the other week that was turned into a hospital for soldiers from World,_ war 1 --hubby has the pics, :;;: must see if I can get them onto the blog! My October page btw has an upside down bird stamped . Hugs, Chrisx

Rita said...

I watched a PBS special about Hitler and all of the war weaponry he was developing. Scary!
Very interesting museum, Elizabeth. :)

Vicki Miller said...

Wow, what a lot of history. I really enjoyed the NASA/space stuff. I don't envy you adding all these photos to your post, must have taken ages! Great job though

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is a fantastic post! What a great museum. I probably could have spent days browsing and reading everything. Such an interesting time in history! Thanks for all the hard work it must have taken to edit this post and put it up to share!

Krisha said...

A very good reminder that the US has been the main target more than once, as history does tend to repeat itself. Actually I think we just don't learn fast enough and keep repeating the same mistakes. But the is just MHO!

So GREAT tour of part 1 of the museum, and I got to bring my coffee and stay in my gown and robe.....LOL and since I am just sitting here I got to do close ups and read the information in the photos and go at MY own pace.

This was really a fantastic post and I can't imagine the time it took to write it, especially if you had a few PC crashes.
Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to part 2.

Divers and Sundry said...

Yes, I learned a lot. Fascinating tour! Thx!