Friday, June 9, 2017

The Cosmosphere 2017: part 3


I had intended to have a post ready, but I haven't been able to access my internet for nearly two days.  It's very frustrating, and I've made numerous calls to AT&T my internet and phone provider trying to get it straightened out.  They did lots on their end, and had me try various things on my end.   So instead of visiting my blogging peeps or making art, I was on the phone the better part of the day and night.  They finally got me on about an hour ago.  Consequently, that is why I haven't been by to visit, and why this post is so short and later than I normally post.  Now that I'm back online, I'm going to catch a couple hours sleep!

In case you missed part 1 and part 2, catch them at these links.

We have now entered the display area.  This mural caught my eye, but there was little time to linger, since we were off to our next adventure (after the flight simulator) and only had a few minutes to get there.  We had spent way too much time in the lobby.

While the others rushed ahead, I stopped to take photos of Apollo 1, the doomed first space craft that didn't even get off the ground.

The small TV screen that was on a loop showed the astronauts rookie Roger Chaffee,

veteran Gus Grissom, America's second man in space, who flew Mercury's Liberty Bell 7, which has since been restored and lives at the Cosmosphere,

and Ed White, the first American to walk in space.

Here they are on the pad prior to the pre-flight test.


You can read about the problems they encountered the day everything went wrong.  One of the main problems, not mentioned in the placard above, was Apollo was the third new spacecraft in just five years.   In the 50 plus years since, NASA has flown just one other crewed spacecraft: the Space Shuttle.  Faulty design, faulty wiring, and an unwillingness on the part of the astronauts to complain too loudly for fear of being booted from the program, led to this costly accident where these three astronauts were killed in the inferno of the cabin when pure oxygen ignited and wires caught on fire.

Pure oxygen was a key component in the fire.  As we learned later that day when we visited Dr. Goddard's Lab, pure oxygen under high pressure requires nothing more than a spark to ignite and rapidly burn.

Perhaps the accident was the best thing that could have happened to the space program.  The laziness of the developers, the carelessness of the builders, the poor attitude of NASA management, and the pressure to keep a certain timetable were all put aside after the fire took the lives of the three astronauts who died that day on the launchpad in Apollo 1.  Even the astronauts were given a say and if they didn't like what they saw, the manufacturer had to retest, even if it meant more time and money.   The fire forced a hard reset of a space program that had been rushing headlong toward the Moon, but had lost its way due to overconfidence. A better Apollo capsule was developed from that accident.

Even though there was still a push for speed, NASA learned to balance speed with safety.

A temporary exhibit that was added in January to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 1 displayed an emergency egress plan, a hat from a pad worker on site the day of the tragedy, and a schematic book that belonged to backup astronaut Walt Cunningham, who later flew on Apollo 7 (see two photos above).

But it was now time to walk down the long aisle of planets that make up our solar system.  There was lots to read and see, and little to no time to do so.  I can see why Joseph's sons were bored, even though Joseph and I patiently tried to answer their questions.

Our blue earth shares space with Apollo 12's lunar module replica that landed on the moon.  If you were here for part 2, you saw the full scale replica of the Lunar Module (LIM) of America's first lunar landing which was taken into space in Apollo 11.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the full scale Lunar Lander.  The original is housed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. 

This replica is for Apollo 12, the second moon landing.
 More details

and more models:

this time a model of the Mars Rover.  This is an exact replica of the Sojourner, which is 2 feet (65 centimeters) in length.  It's hard to imagine this tiny piece of equipment was launched in July, 1997 and sent data back to JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) for analysis until it became inactive about three months later.

But it was now time to put the wall of planets aside and enter Dr. Goddard's Lab.  I will share that show tomorrow, providing my internet is still humming along.

Thanks for joining me today.  I appreciate your visit and I appreciate your patience in my visit to your blog.  Thanks again, because I can't say it enough!

13 thoughtful remarks:

Blogoratti said...

Great stuff and photos, and thanks for sharing. Hopefully your internet issue is all sorted out by now. Have a nice weekend!

Gibby Frogett said...

oh dear - its frustrating and stressful sorting out connection problems so I do hope it is now rectified and stays ok for you Elizabeth.
This was a fascinating read as I've always been interested in star gazing and the moon landings etc but never gave much though or knew about the earlier Apollo Missions... I probably am more aware from 11 onwards maybe.
Wishing you a lovely weekend Elizabeth...
Gill xx

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful photos of that fascinating exhibition. I hope you soon get the problems with your provider sorted - is there no other possibility to get (and stay) connected in your area? Have a good sleep, hugs, Valerie

back2brack said...

Thank you for taking us on your space travels..very interesting and informative. Hope all your internet problems are solved, and you have a happy weekend.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Hope your problems are all sorted for you , I can imagine how stressful this is for you! Hope you sleep well now!
A fascinating exhibition - absolutely interesting!

My name is Erika. said...

Fascinating museum. Dr. Robert Goddard came from my hometown neck of the woods. He tested his first rocket (fuel) in Auburn, MA, which although isn't my hometown in right next door to it and was where my mom grew up. I remember the news when the Apollo test flight burned and those astronauts couldn't escape. Its always sad when something bad happens and lives are lost. Thanks for sharing. This looks like a cool museum. Glad too to hear you got your internet back. Technology is a great thing but sometimes more of a pain too. Hugs-Erika

Divers and Sundry said...

I remember Apollo 1 and that horrible day. Such a tragedy. I remember how crushed I was by it, having never considered such a disaster on the ground as a possibility. :(

Thanks for sharing all your photos. It sounds like a museum worth the trip.

Meggymay said...

More fabulous photos from the exhibition, it was surprising to read how small the Sojourner was, the data it sent must have been amazing for the scientists.
I can imagine how you felt about the internet. It happens to us nearly every time we go off in the caravan now. The sites say they have connection services and we pay an annual fee to the Caravan Club, but this year the reception has been , snails pace, slow or none.
I hope yours is all sorted out for you now,
Yvonne xx

da tabbies o trout towne said...

thanx for sharing this post !!! I enjoyed reading it; and I hope your connection stays like it should; it is aggravating; it happens here at work and we are all at a stand still....what's the old adage; a PC is great...when it wants to work !! ☺☺♥♥

Let's Art Journal said...

I hope your computer is working ok now and that you have managed to catch up on some sleep. I enjoyed visiting the Cosmosphere with you, there are so many interesting things to see 😀. Have a lovely weekend! J 😊

chrissie said...

Pleased you are back with us and I am sure we all missed you. How frustrating to spend all that precious time on the phone and your computer.

More great photographs of your visit to the Cosmosphere and thank you for taking us along with you to this amazing place.

Have a nice weekend-we have heavy rain so not sure where the sun went.

Love Chrissie xx

CJ Kennedy said...

I can see how the format can be boring to kids. There really needs to be a hands-on area where they can be entertained while learning.

I love how this museum intertwines the history as well as the science.

pearshapedcrafting said...

This really is a fascinating place! I can see that there is a lot of information to take in - our grandchildren don'r respond so well in those sort of places either! Hugs Chrisx