Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to.       Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to.       Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to.       Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to.       Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to.       Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to.       Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to.       Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.
     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.
     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.
     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to. 

     Ever wonder who astronauts are talking to when they say “Houston”? Here we are. The “White Flight Control Room” at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, housed Mission Control for every shuttle flight after STS-70, which launched in July of 1995. It was renovated in 2014 for future use with the SLS program, which will ultimately fly to Mars.

     It may be interesting to compare this modern facility with the Mercury Control Center, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). The Mercury Control Center, and the inception of “Mission Control”, was headed by Christopher Craft, whose name now graces the side of the building which houses the White Flight Control Room.

     While standing in places like the White Flight Control Room, I often think, “If these walls could talk~”. I didn’t have that feeling here. This was my generation’s flight control room. I followed the drama that unfolded here via live TV. Instead, I thought to myself about what future drama might happen here. I can’t wait to see.

     So, there you have it. When astronauts are standing on Mars, and begin a radio transmission with the word, “Houston”, you’ll know what room they’re speaking to. 

     As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.      As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 
     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.

     As you can see, Blackbird Airpark in Palmdale, California is home to not one, but two Blackbird aircraft. In the first photo, you can see SR-71A #17973 on the left, and A-12 #06924 on the right, which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). On the far right side of the photo, you can see D-21B #525, and U-2D 56-6721 is in the background. 

     On May 24, 1987, SR-71A #17973 was flying in the RAF Mildenhall Air Fete Airshow, when the pilot, flying too slowly, pulled up just as the afterburner ignited, overstressing the airframe. The aircraft landed safely at RAF Mildenhall, where temporary repairs were made. On June 21, she was flown to Palmdale for permanent repairs, but it was decided that the aircraft was essentially totaled. She was retired with a total of 1,729.9 flight hours, then put on display at Blackbird Airpark in September 1991, alongside A-12 #06924, creating probably the most stunning Blackbird museum display.

     Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas.       Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.
     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.
     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas. 

     Charles H. Zimmerman designed this Navy funded, proof of concept fighter prototype in January of 1942. That year, on November 23, the Vought V-173 took her first flight. The idea was to design an aircraft that was capable of flying so slow, that she could more easily operate from aircraft carriers, but still fly at the fast speeds required for perusing and intercepting other aircraft. She would have had a tailhook that protruded from the top of the trailing edge of the fuselage; which is interesting, because almost every tailhook lowers from the underside of the aircraft. Her top speed was 138 MPH, but her minimum speed was more impressive; she could stay in the air while traveling very slowly, and she was nearly impossible to stall.

     This lower speed paid off during a test flight on June 3, 1943, when pilot R. H. Burroughs lost an engine to vapor lock over Lordship Beach in New York, and was forced into landing on the sand. While trying to avoid hitting some stunned sunbathers, he flipped the aircraft upside down. Burroughs was totally safe, and the aircraft was minimally damaged. Zimmerman, the aircraft’s designer, was watching the incident, along with the legendary Charles Lindbergh, who was very impressed with how the bird handled the accident. After that day, Lindbergh flew the V-173 many times.

     The V-173 experimental aircraft was one of a kind, meant to prove the idea of this all-wing design. A second design was created, called the Vought XF5U, which was larger, beefier version, and was tested for the role of a conventional fighter. The bird performed well, but it never got past prototyping because she fell at the beginning of the jet age, and was suddenly outdated. If she had been developed a couple years earlier, we might have had thousands of these bizarre looking all-wing fighters, instead of this solitary V-173, on display at the Frontiers of Flight museum in Dallas, Texas. 

     Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower.       Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.
     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.
     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 
     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower. 

     Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, on Northern Merritt Island, Florida, was built in the mid-1960s, to launch the Saturn V moon rocket for peaceful exploration of space. Over the years, this complex launched every Saturn V, Saturn IB, all the Space Shuttle missions, and an Ares I rocket. Needless to say, this is the most iconic launch facility in history. The complex is split into two launch pads; 39A and 39B. Both pads launched Saturn rockets and shuttles, but the future of these pads will tell very different stories.

     The first photo in the set shows the crawlerway leading out to Launch Pad 39A. This path holds the weight of the crawler transporter as it moves the launch vehicles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad. The second and third photos display the pad itself, which is now owned by SpaceX. As you can see, the shuttle launch tower is still in place, but this will eventually be scrapped, and SpaceX will convert the area for use with the Falcon 9 Heavy rocket. When this vehicle launches, it will be the most powerful rocket currently flying. The fourth photo shows a Liquid Hydrogen tank, which stored propellant for the space shuttle.

     Photo number five shows Launch Pad 39B, photographed from Launch Control Center, 3.5 miles away. The sixth photo shows the pad up close. NASA removed the shuttle launch tower from this facility, and constructed three large towers, used for lightning suppression, shown up close in the seventh photo. This pad configuration allows multiple types of launch vehicles to operate here, and will allow commercial companies to rent the facility when NASA doesn’t need it. NASA’s primary use for 39B will focus around the enormous Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in history, edging out the Saturn V boosters that previously launched here. 

     The SLS mobile launch platform and tower, stored next to the Vehicle Assembly Building, can be seen in in the eighth photo. Our final photo shows a shuttle mobile launch platform next to the new SLS launch platform and tower. 

     Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”      Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”      Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”      Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”      Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”      Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”      Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”      Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.
     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”

     Palmdale, California is a magical place for many aviation enthusiasts, housing the Lockheed Skunk Works, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, and Air Force Plant 42. Unfortunately, these facilities are difficult, or impossible for the public to gain access to. But one thing in Palmdale is free, and open to the public; Blackbird Airpark. This museum houses a U-2D, D-21B, two Blackbird aircraft and many historic artifacts that you can’t find anywhere else.

     The first photo in the set shows SR-71A #17973 on the left. This particular article will focus on A-12 #06924, shown on the right. #06924 represents the beginning of an era. On April 26, 1962, at Area 51, this aircraft became the first Blackbird ever to fly. Test Pilot Lou Schalk sped down the runway for the first time, lifting off a few feet, experiencing, in his words, “a little instability, both longitudinally and laterally”. The aircraft wobbled in flight for a few seconds, then immediately touched back down. On April 30, Lou made another attempt at flight, this time with the pitch, yaw and roll dampers turned on, which prevented this instability. Lou said, “The dampers make all the difference in the world, and the aircraft flies very smoothly.”

August 13, 2014
      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.
     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.
     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show.  August 13, 2014
      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.
     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.
     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show.  August 13, 2014
      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.
     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.
     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show.  August 13, 2014
      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.
     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.
     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show.  August 13, 2014
      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.
     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.
     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show.  August 13, 2014
      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.
     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.
     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show.  August 13, 2014
      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.
     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.
     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show. 

August 13, 2014

      For my money, there’s no better show than a rocket launch. This Atlas V launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base today, carrying a DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 commercial earth observation satellite.

     I photographed 2.5 miles away from Space Launch Complex 3, which is the closest I’ve been to a rocket assent. The sound was incredible. It wasn’t as loud as I expected; though you don’t really hear the sound as much as you feel it. From my vantage point, with a large berm separating me from the pad, I heard the rocket before I saw it. First, as the sound travelled through the berm, I heard a deep growl. Then, as the rocket crested the hill, the growl grew more present, accompanied by a piercing crackling sound; all from the single RD-180 engine. Best sound I’ve ever heard.

     The rocket gracefully gained speed as I snapped away, starting its contrail just as it passed through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. We had a fairly dry day, and the rocket ceased to create a contrail nearly as quickly as it started. As the rocket sailed downrange, we watched for staging, but it went out of sight just beforehand. Though, we could still hear that same rumble, just quieter. Eventually, the sound went away, and we packed it up. Wonderful. Thanks, United Launch Alliance, for such a great show. 

     Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.      Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.
     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.
     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.
     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.
     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.

     Project Habu recently had the honor of touring behind the scenes at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the Space Shuttle External Fuel Tanks were manufactured at this site, including this tank, ET-94, the last remaining fully assembled External Tank.

     During launch, the external tank contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants, which are stored at −182.8 °C and −252.8 °C respectively. One of the systems in place to maintain this cryogenic temperature is the thermal protection system surrounding the tank; the orange foam that gives the tank it’s distinctive look.

     You may ask, why didn’t ET-94 fly? Some light may be shed on the subject when you learn that the tank made before this one, ET-93, flew on STS-107; the final, disastrous flight of Columbia.

     Through the whole 8.5 minute duration of launch, this external tank feeds its cryogenic propellants to the orbiter’s three main engines. Then, it drops away from the orbiter to disintegrate in the atmosphere. During that 8.5 minute ride uphill, the tank is subject to extreme vibration. During the launch of STS-107, a piece of thermal protection foam shed itself from ET-93, and struck the leading edge of the orbiter’s wing, putting a basketball sized hole in a reinforced carbon-carbon panel, exposing the vulnerable internal structure of the orbiter to the vacuum of space. Days later, during reentry, superheated plasma was allowed to enter the structure of the wing, impinging upon key structural elements of the orbiter, causing a breakup, and the ultimate loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew.

     During the accident, ET-94 was at Kennedy Space Center, in the vertical assembly building, being readied for the next mission. ET-94 was shipped back to Michoud, then dissected and studied in an effort to learn how to prevent future foam strikes. ET-94 never flew, but she played an extremely important role in enabling a safe return to flight.

     On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.      On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.
     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.
     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.
     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.
     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.
     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.
     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.
     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.

     On June 30, Project Habu was honored to take a tour of the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is not typically something that is open to the public. I started my journey by entering the badging office and getting my credentials. The first photo shows a plaque in front of the badging office.

     Nearly all the S-IC first stages of the Saturn V rocket were manufactured at Michoud. Photo two shows the Apollo Dock, which was used for loading the enormous rocket stage onto a barge. The barge would transport the rocket to Stennis Space Center for static testing on the B1/B2 test stand, shown in a previous post (click here to view). Then, the stage would be barged to Kennedy Space Center, and assembled along with the rest of the rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Most recently, the Apollo Dock was used as a storage place for the Deep Horizon blowout preventer, which malfunctioned and was partly to blame for the 2012 BP oil spill disaster. The blowout preventer made landfall on this dock, and was examined by countless lawyers for weeks.

     The Shuttle External Tanks were manufactured at Michoud, and had to be loaded on their barges via the External Tank Dock, shown in the third photo. This dock is larger than the Apollo Dock, but does not bear as much weight, because the External Tanks were much lighter than the S-IC first stage. The External Tanks were loaded on NASA’s Pegasus Barge, transported by commercial tugs to Gulfport, Mississippi, (which is where I happened to live for the last year). At Gulfport, the Pegasus Barge would be handed over to one of NASA’s SRB recovery ships, Freedom Star or Liberty Star, and transported to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for launch.

     Photos four and five display the Space Shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank Pneumatic Testing facility. In this building, technicians would pressurize a shuttle Liquid Hydrogen Tank, and submit it to static loads for 16 hours. During this test, technicians were forced to stay inside a bunker, shown in photo five, to protect them from a catastrophic failure (i.e. kaboom). The building, shown in photo four, was constructed to separate in panel sections in case of an explosion. This would prevent dangerous shrapnel from traveling across the facility, and into New Orleans. Of course, this never happened; however, this building did suffer major damage during Hurricane Katrina, because of this construction.

     On May 24, 1988, TACA Airlines Flight 110 was just starting its descent into New Orleans, from Belize, when the 737-300 hit unexpected thunderstorms and hail up to 1” in diameter. The aircraft throttled to idle to descend, which allowed hail to build up in the core of the engine. Then the melting ice exceeded the water ingestion limit for the CFM-56 engines, causing both engines to stop. A windmill restart was attempted, but a hot start occurred, and both engines overheated, permanently shutting down. Captain Carlos Dardano saved the 45 souls aboard, slipping into a perfect deadstick landing in the grassy meadow shown in the sixth photo. This was the first time a 737 performed a safe deadstick landing outside of an airport.

     The decision was made to fly the aircraft off of the property using the former Michoud Factory Airfield runway, which had been converted to a road, shown in the seventh photo. The right engine was replaced, and the left engine was overhauled. The aircraft was gutted to reduce weight, and minimally fueled. Test pilots brought her into the air, and landed at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. This accident led to modifications in the CFM-56 engine design, improving hail deflection, and water bleed time. The aircraft involved in the emergency was back in service in less than a month.

     Photo eight displays scaffolding used with Shuttle External Tank construction.

     The building in the final photo was used for F-1 engine cold flow testing, and is now used for structural testing for the Orion Capsule hull, which is built at this facility.

     This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.      This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.      This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.      This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.      This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.      This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.      This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.      This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.
     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?
     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.

     This Command Module was flown into space by Walter Schirra, Don Eisele and Walter Cunningham on Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo Program. On October 11, 1968, they became the only crew to fly from Launch complex 34 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, a launch complex which I have covered in a previous post (click here to view). The crew orbited the earth for 11 days, the length of a future Apollo Moon mission, testing the various Command Module systems.

     On this blog, one of the things I typically try to cover is test flight aircraft. This capsule qualifies, sort of. Apollo 7 was the first test flight of the command module system. Also, this spacecraft maneuvered through the air during re-entry, so we could, without too much of a stretch, call it an aircraft. There you have it. Test flight aircraft. Sounds good, right?

     This capsule is on display at the incredible Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas. I was very impressed with this museum. They have a pristine, non typical collection, beautiful facility, and very friendly, knowledgeable staff.

     Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 
     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.
     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.      Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 
     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.
     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.      Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 
     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.
     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.      Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 
     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.
     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.      Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 
     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.
     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.      Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 
     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.
     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.      Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 
     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.
     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.

     Sometimes, I get really lucky! A few weeks ago, I was driving back home from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, when I took a wrong turn in Louisiana. I stumbled upon this F-4 on the side of the road, which sort of blindsided me. I had no idea it would be there. It had just been repainted and put on display along side US Interstate 12, in the community of Satsuma, Louisiana. 

     McDonnell F-4N Phantom II, Bureau# 150442 was put on display here after plans for an air museum in St. John Parish fell through. The aircraft will be the centerpiece for a future military park. This F-4 may also mark the entrance to a future airport in Livingston Parish.

     I love the way this bird was illuminated by a single streetlight. It made photographing this scene feel like shooting fish in a barrel. So beautiful.