Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Cosmosphere, part 11



In case you missed any of the previous posts, feel free to follow the links tothe links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9 and part 10.  Please remember, all links open in a new window.

This is where the photos get a bit convoluted.  The Mercury, Gemini programs  influenced Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.

The Gemini space suits were developed and manufactured by the David Clark Company in Worcester, Massachusetts.  They weighed up to 35 lbs each and were designed for such activities as space walks.  They included both parachute and flotation devices. 

The suits worn by Astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee (see the beginning of part 3) when they were caught in the fire and died on board the pre-launch flight in 1967 caused the suit to be modified to include fire proof materials.  The suit in the display was worn in space by Michael Collins for his space walk in Gemini 10.  If his name sounds familiar, he was the command module pilot of Gemini 11, the flight that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.  Gemini 10, which was flown in space, is shown in the photo, too.

But now we must go back in time, because, as I mentioned, these photos are a bit convoluted, partly due to the way the museum room was laid out and partly because I may have been moving in the wrong direction.

This is the genuine flight-ready back-up of Freedom 7, the Mercury-Redstone capsule that launched the first American, Alan Shepard, into space.  Besides being the first American in space, he also was part of the Apollo 14 crew.


I realize this is a horrible photo, but

it is the genuine Liberty Bell 7.  This is the genuine Mercury spacecraft, recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 1999.

It is the only flown spacecraft owned by a museum outside the National Air and Space Museum. It was restored and is owned by the Cosmosphere.

This incredibly sad tale is one that Gus Grissom never quite lived down.

This shows Grissom being helped into the space capsule by John Glenn.  You can see part of the hatch in which the glass was created by The Corning Glass Company in Corning, NY.  This is a NASA photo of the pre-flight.

The problem was, the flight was perfect, the 15 minute trip was perfect, the return was perfect, but the splash down was a disaster.  The hatch blew and Grissom was accused of blowing it himself, although he swore to his dying day it was not his fault the hatch blew.  Unfortunately, the hatch has never been recovered from the ocean floor, so it can't be proved he didn't blow it.

The sad part is, the helicopter sent to recover the space craft and Grissom was more concerned about saving the space craft than Grissom.  Once the helicopter pilot saw Grissom was out of the space craft, he tried to save the craft, which had taken on too much water too quickly.  A second chopper also tried to help, but by this time, Grissom discovered his suit was taking on water, and he was sinking, too.  He was finally saved by the same chopper pilot who rescued the monkey Ham and later Alan Shepard.

A space suit like the one Grissom wore is shown here.

This is a good time stop as I see my friend Scott is looking at either the Liberty Bell 7 or the Gemini 10.  The Voskhod is in the background to the left in the photo.
Thanks for joining me today at the Cosmosphere.  I am actually headed to a museum in Wichita today, because it is Smithsonian's Museum Day, where Smithsonian Museum affiliates open their doors free of charge.  And I'm not called the Queen of Free for nothing!  Again, I appreciate your visit.

9 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful photos of the exhibits. Have fun at the museum today, free entry is always good! Enjoy, hugs, Valerie with a sore throat.

CJ Kennedy said...

There is so much to see in this museum. I like the weaving of science and history. When my girlies were little, their Girl Scout leader had connections to the NASA spacesuits. I'm not sure if she worked for David Clark Co. in Worcester. She brought a suit with helmet in for all the girls to try on.

RO said...

The Queen of FREE sounds fab to me. I use coupons to purchase just about everything AND I enjoy getting my freebies in the mail, so I'm not mad at you for getting in FREE in a museum. Yay! Can you imagine walking around with 35 pounds of extra weight? Wow! These pics and the history is so amazing. I really like taking a look at all this fascinating info that you've so kindly provided. Happy Saturday and HUGE Hugs...I'm off to warm up a cheeseburger. (lol)

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Hello Queen of Free! Hope you enjoy your free museum's day !
I would love to visit the Museum of World Treasures and the Wichita Art Museum - I am looking forward with what kind of exhibit you will spoil us soon!
Love that exhibit images on your blog - todays photos are no exception!
Happy day!
oxo Susi

Meggymay said...

More great photos and another interesting visit to the Cosmosphere for us to see today.
I hope you enjoy your trip out today all the better for it to be a free entry.
Yvonne xx

Dortesjs said...

fly me to the moon...great photos

My name is Erika. said...

I knew it was free museum day. I had hoped to visit one, but we ran out of time and energy. Hope you went someplace cool today. I love seeing more of the Cosmosphere. I didn't know that some spacesuits were made in Worcester, MA. That's the place of my birth and hometown. That's cool. The Cosmosphere sure has a lot to show. It looks like it is a definite worthwhile visit. Hope you had a good day out. Hugs-Erika

Rita said...

I remember them trying to save the capsule and almost letting the astronaut drown! I thought that was terrible back then and still do. And why would they not trust the word of their astronaut?! Just didn't want to think they could have messed up building the capsule. Egos.

Such a fascinating place to visit. :)

Jeanie said...

I so remember the Grissom tale. So very, very sad. I'm glad he is remembered in this museum.

This does look like a fabulous museum. I've enjoyed all your posts on it -- and learned something too.