Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cosmosphere, 2017: Part 6


If you haven't seen the previous segments, here are part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5 at these links.

As promised,

on May 8, 1945

peace has arrived in Europe.  Unfortunately, the war with Japan in the Pacific was still taking American lives.

Germany has surrendered and it was time to pick up the pieces and rebuild much of Europe.

In February, 1945 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at Yalta a second time during the war. During the conference, the three leaders agreed to demand Germany’s unconditional surrender.  Stalin agreed to help fight the war against Japan in return for land lost to the Japanese, and allow free elections in eastern Europe.  

Although originally kept secret, these plans later became known once American and Soviet relations broke down, which led to the Cold War.  Here you see a scale model of the original V-2.

Project "Paper Clip" was a secret project instigated by the U.S. in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians (many of whom were formerly registered members of the Nazi Party), including Wernher von Braun's rocket team, were recruited and brought to the U. S. in order to gain a military advantage in the Space Race between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

You can read how angry Stalin was over the fact the Russians helped defeat the Nazis and occupied Berlin, only to learn the U.S. had "stolen" many top scientists from Germany.  He shouldn't complain, though.  According to Wikipedia:
By comparison, the Soviet Union were even more aggressive in recruiting Germans: during Operation Osoaviakhim, Soviet military units forcibly (at gunpoint) recruited 2,000+ German specialists to the Soviet Union during one night. 



These are original V-2 flight trajectories that somehow survived Stalin's instructions that once all documents had been translated, were to be destroyed.

"The threat of execution hung over the heads of those who did not heed the order."


From May, 1945 to August, 1945, relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union deteriorated quickly.

The Cold War had truly begun just as everyone thought peace had arrived.  Lenin is on the left and "Uncle Sam" is on the right.

This shows where the statue of Lenin came from.

In case it's hard to read, the Soviet Union's race to space began with the ORM-1, shown here.  It is a working model of the liquid fueled engine, first fired in 1931.

Sergei Korolev, credited as being the founder of the Soviet Union's space program, and Werner von Braun, the father of the U.S. space program hated each other, but were apparently very much alike.  Both men were passionate about outer space and reaching the moon.

I'm going to digress a bit here and show something you won't find at the Cosmosphere.

This is Dr. Randall (Randy) Chambers (1927-2007).  According to C.C. Publishing:
Dr. Randall M. Chambers is one of the space research pioneers, having designed and implemented many of the earliest astronaut training and research programs. After receiving the Ph. D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1954, Dr. Chambers served in the U.S. Air Force. There he became enamored of the challenges of space exploration after attending seminars by Dr. Wernher von Braun. In 1958 Dr. Chambers was appointed Projects Director of the newly-organized acceleration research training program set up for astronaut training for Mercury, X-15, Gemini and Apollo astronauts. This research was conducted at the Aviation Medical Acceleration Laboratory of the U.S. Naval air Development Center in Johnsville, Pa. in conjunction with the newly-created NASA-Langley Research center in Virginia. Dr. Chambers conducted astronaut training programs there for the next 10 years. In the process he became one of the world’s authorities in human performance in unusual environments and in space flight imulation. Then at NASA Langley he served as an aerospace engineer and chief life scientist, working on the human factors research for such programs as the lunar lander, the shuttle, Sky Lab, dynamic loads and flight simulators. Dr. Chambers is the author of more than 200 scientific publications and research reports. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work including the Commander’s Awards, including the Commander’s Award Medals for civilian scientific service and NASA service awards and medals. Dr. Chambers has presented research reports to numerous scientific meetings. He is a Fellow in many Scientific organizations. Dr. Chambers had also given programs about space to community groups and school classes of all ages. After 29 years in government research, he began a second career in 1988 as a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Wichita State University in Kansas.
Please note I made the words bold in the above statement.  Not knowing anything about how humans would react in space, during the 1950s, Dr. Chambers and his team of scientists were charged with creating that experience for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts. Training them for what was then the unknown created a new area of science, human factors in space. In figuring out every variable of the physical, mental, and psychological stress encountered by humans in space, he and other scientists went through the same bruising tests as their trainees did in gathering data that would be used to design the training program.  These data would later be used by engineers in designing the control panel, space suits, and capsules that went to space.

Dr. Chambers was one of the professors who sat on my Dissertation Committee.  I was SO PROUD to have known this soft spoken man who was moved to go into this field after attending seminars by von Braun.  I took every engineering class he taught and the stories he could (and would) tell were out of this world.  TRULY out of this world!

 Back at the museum, the V-2 landed at White Sands, NM and the space race began.

These are the 104 German rocket scientists and aeronautical engineers, including von Braun, who worked at Fort Bliss, TX in the race to space.



Moving away from the V-2, the Bell X-1 is a rocket engine powered aircraft.  It was the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound.  This is a replica and is the one used in the movie "The Right Stuff." 

The supersonic aircraft was first flown in 1947 by Chuck Yeager who named it Glamorous Glennis after his wife.



I probably should have showed this authentic Sonic Wind II Rocker Sled before I showed the two photos above. 

It is authentic and was used to study wind blast at supersonic speeds.



Please note that these were mere mice, yet they were safely parachuted back to earth.  I remember Dr. Chambers saying it didn't matter what species you shot into space, you wanted them to return safely. 

We will soon contrast that with Russia's first dog in space.

This is the X-8.  Note how much smaller than the V-2 it is.  According to the plaque,

it is the only one remaining of the 100 or so that were built.  It is authentic and flew in space.


As I was taking photos

I took these of my friend Scott.  He is 6'5" tall and had to reach to capture the front of the Bell X-1 (Glamorous Glennis).  You can see the genuine Bell X-1 engine in the foreground.  This is an authentic artifact, and was flown in space by Chuck Yeager.

The U.S. had an advantage with the atomic bomb.   However, by 1949 the Soviets had created one of their own from designs stolen from the U.S. by Soviet spies.  By the 1950s, a smaller, but far more deadly hydrogen bomb was created by the U.S.  It only took three years for the Soviets to develop their own, and once again even the balance of power between the two countries.

The U.S. and Soviet Union each believed their political supremacy was superior.  Although the U.S. underestimated them, the Soviets had now taken control of nearly two-thirds of the world's population.

The U.S., on the other hand, controlled nearly one-half the world's wealth and power.  According to the plaque, the U.S. thought they could be anything they wanted to be, including "powerful, generous, moral, and visionary."

This is the only known color photo of the first atomic bomb detonated in New Mexico in July, 1945.

Immediately after WWII, the U.S. had the advantage.  Although the Soviets now had an atomic bomb, it was so big, no aircraft could carry it.  The U.S., on the other hand, had many aircraft that could deliver atomic weapons anywhere in the world.  The bombers were known as the "Big Sticks."

This is an authentic ejection seat from one such bomber.  I sat in it the last time I was here, but because this was not a day to dally (since the museum would soon be closed for the day),

it was time to shoot and run.  Unfortunately, this shot was a bit off target!

Apparently, this was a mask the pilots wore to shield them during supersonic flight.  I think this is a good time to stop, because, as we will soon see (tomorrow in fact), the U.S.'s arrogance will soon take a big hit.


I thought you might like to see a map of this convoluted area in the basement or museum level of the Cosmosphere.  We arrived here through the stairs in the north west corner near the disabled sign and entered the German room.  As you can see, the V-2 is on the far left and the V-1 hangs on the right.

After leaving the German room, we saw to the Bell X-1, the Sonic Wind Tunnel, and lots of plaques.  I decided to not overwhelm you with more, so we will start with America's big embarrassment tomorrow.  Thanks for your continued support of my photos, because putting these on the computer and my blog has eaten away much of my time.  Of course, I'm reliving this museum as well as sharing it with each of you, so I hope you are enjoying this as much as I have. 

8 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for sharing the photos, and glad you enjoyed the exhibition. Have a fun day, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

WOw.. a really interesting exhibition! Thanks for sharing all the photos Elizabeth!
Happy weekend!

My name is Erika. said...

After reading and seeing Hidden Figures, I've got to say this museum is lacking that whole story. But maybe it will come. With the movie being out and the book. For women in general and our role. But, that being said, they did a nice job with guy history of the space program, as far as you've shown us. Can I guess the big embarrassment must be Sputnik? Happy Saturday. Rainy here. But m daughter is taking us out to breakfast. :) Hugs-Erika

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning Saturday, thanks so much for sharing the museum with us-what an awesome place
Have a great weekend! we got invited to a grill out so baking up a big pie today to share

Meggymay said...

More great photos and information. I wonder how you managed to visit all the areas in just one day, you must have been exhausted at the end of the tour.
Yvonne xx

CJ Kennedy said...

WOW! So much history here. Really interesting to see so thank you for sharing

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

Great tour. How exciting to have this scientist as one of your professors. You were indeed lucky. xox

Jeanie said...

I don't know how I missed this one, Elizabeth. And I'm glad I found it -- that WWII info is my period and it's fascinating. Looks like such a terrific museum. I can see why you devoted several posts to it -- I would have, too!