On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.      On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.      On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.      On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.      On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.      On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.      On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.      On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.
     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.
     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.
     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 
     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.

     On July 4th, 2014, I photographed A-12 #06938, on display at the USS Alabama Museum in Mobile, Alabama. Even though I’ve photographed #06938 numerous times, I always attempt to create fresh, interesting photos. This time, I photographed the two the liquid nitrogen tanks in the nose gear bay, shown in the final photo. The liquid nitrogen was stored in these tanks, converted into gaseous nitrogen, and used to inert the atmosphere in the aircraft’s fuel tanks. This inert nitrogen atmosphere was required, because the fuel heated 350° Fahrenheit inside the tank during flight. At that temperature, an ambient air environment could have caused combustion inside the fuel tank. If the nitrogen environment could not be achieved during flight, there was a danger of combustion inside the fuel tank.

     The Blackbird aircraft has what we call “wet wings”, which means that the skin panels of the wings and fuselage double as a fuel tank. There is no bladder inside the aircraft to hold the fuel, and every joint and screw has to be sealed from the inside, to prevent fuel leakage. When the aircraft flew at full speed, Mach 3.2, the compression of the air against the surface of the aircraft would cause serious heating, up to 620° Fahrenheit in some places. This heating would cause the entire length of the aircraft to grow about five inches in flight.

     When the aircraft would constantly contract and expand, it would cause the sealant in the fuel tanks to wear out, and fuel leaks would take place. These leaks were monitored by maintenance crews, measuring them in drips per minute (DPM). If the DPM reached its tolerance in a certain area, maintenance crews would go inside the fuel tanks, and reseal the area, which was a nightmarish process.

     Nearly every time I photograph a Blackbird in a museum, I hear a museum guest mistakenly saying, “The Blackbird had to refuel mid-air immediately after takeoff, because it leaked so badly.” This is not true. The real reason they refueled after takeoff was, when the Blackbird was fueled on the ground, the atmosphere inside the tank was ambient air. This had to be replaced with gaseous nitrogen before they reached full speed. When the tanker aircraft topped off the Blackbird’s tanks, all of the ambient air would be expelled from the tanks through relief valves. Then, as the aircraft consumed fuel, the space created in the fuel tanks would be replaced with gaseous nitrogen. This created a safe, inert atmosphere in the fuel tanks. If the aircraft, for some reason, could not create this 100% nitrogen atmosphere, the flight could not exceed 2.6 Mach. 

     It was possible to fully fuel, then defuel the aircraft to a partial load on the ground, before flight, to create this inert nitrogen tank environment, but this was a maintenance nightmare. This procedure was called a “maintenance yo-yo.” When you put the gaseous nitrogen head pressure in the fuel tanks on the ground, it caused excessive leaking, so maintenance always preferred to perform this procedure in the air, after takeoff.

     The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."      The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 
     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.
     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.
     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”
     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.
     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.
     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

     The first American in space, Alan Shepard, launched from this complex on May 5, 1961, and marked the beginning our country’s human presence in space. On Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I visited Launch Complex 5 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I walked out on the pad, and inside the blockhouse. I was allowed to push the firing command button, which ignited Al Shepard’s Redstone Rocket engine, creating the column of thrust that he rode into the sky, and the history books. 

     When I create visual media, such as photography, I attempt to bring the audience, not only into the scene, but also into the emotions that I experienced while photographing. These photographs struggle to express what I felt while visiting Launch Complex 5. To share these emotions, I have to explain a few concepts that govern the majority of the way I think. I’ll talk about nature, music, spaceflight and how they relate to each other.

     In my life, one of the most important things is nature. And to me, science and nature come hand in hand. When I’m in a national park, surrounded by wild beauty, I get an overwhelming sense of curiosity, and a sense of how grandiose the world, and the universe is. I feel small, but not in a bad way. I feel the same way when I look up at the stars. This is clearly why spaceflight is so important to me. Space exploration is simply a way to celebrate nature’s beauty. All of the future manned adventures in space connect with this place, Launch Complex 5.

     The other most important thing in my life is music. Nature and music evoke the same emotions in me. This can be best described by a quote from Shelton Johnson, US Park Service Ranger, as he interviewed for the Ken Burns film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. Johnson said, “When I think of a grove of giant sequoia, I think if a cathedral or a church, where you are not necessarily worshiping the name of something, but the presence of something else. There is no need for someone to remind you at there is something in this world larger than you are, because you can see it. And you look up in a storm and cannot see the rim of the valley, all you can see are clouds gathered there at the rim of the valley, and Yosemite falls seems to flow out of the clouds itself, as if out of nowhere. It is a gatherings place of water, all the waters of the sky flowing into that one spot, which makes it a gathering of life, and a gathering of spirit as well, and all of those thing are flowing through Yosemite, and so I think that, ‘what better place is there that has such a confluence of so many things flowing together’ and the result is music.”

     Spaceflight, nature and music all mean different things to different people. Humans tend to pull what they want or need to feel from these forces. I think some of the most moving songs have somewhat cryptic lyrics. An example of this would be the song, “Cape Canaveral” by Conor Oberst. Oberst wrote, “Saw the migrants smoke in the old orange grove, and the red rocket blaze over Cape Canaveral. You’ve been a father to me, in 1960’s speak, in the comatose joy that we’re on TV, while the mountain’s side was shining, wild colors of my destiny”. When it’s not clear what the songwriter was trying to say, it may be easier to adapt the lyrics into something personal and meaningful to you. This is one of the beauties of spaceflight. It fuels the hopes and dreams of so many people, in so many different ways.

     All of these things go through my head when I’m standing in a place like Launch Complex 5. I believe that these emotions that fuel  our innate human curiosity, and cause us to explore the universe around us. It’s this drive that has pushed every scientist and naturalist in history.

     Lastly, I’ll share a quote from John Muir, a naturalist and wilderness preservationist, whose life was dedicated to the great adventure of exploring and celebrating the natural world around him, just as the lives of so many people involved in spaceflight. "This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

     The Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is a three-part system, including a liquid oxygen tank (LOX), liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and an intertank which joins the two tanks. The component shown in these photos is the LOX tank. This tank sits at the top of the complete ET arrangement. The LOX tank is much smaller than the LH2 tank, which takes up most of the main body of the ET.
     The particular LOX tank shown in this photoset is the Ground Vibration Test Article (GVTA). The GVTA was manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is stored today. Project Habu was honored to take a behind the scenes tour of the Michoud facility on June, 18, 2014. This tank was tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and was part of a series of early test articles that were never meant to fly, but proved the integrity of the ET system.
     The final photo in the set shows a LH2 tank aft dome. Both this dome, and the GVTA show residual foam left over from their construction decades ago.      The Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is a three-part system, including a liquid oxygen tank (LOX), liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and an intertank which joins the two tanks. The component shown in these photos is the LOX tank. This tank sits at the top of the complete ET arrangement. The LOX tank is much smaller than the LH2 tank, which takes up most of the main body of the ET.
     The particular LOX tank shown in this photoset is the Ground Vibration Test Article (GVTA). The GVTA was manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is stored today. Project Habu was honored to take a behind the scenes tour of the Michoud facility on June, 18, 2014. This tank was tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and was part of a series of early test articles that were never meant to fly, but proved the integrity of the ET system.
     The final photo in the set shows a LH2 tank aft dome. Both this dome, and the GVTA show residual foam left over from their construction decades ago.      The Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is a three-part system, including a liquid oxygen tank (LOX), liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and an intertank which joins the two tanks. The component shown in these photos is the LOX tank. This tank sits at the top of the complete ET arrangement. The LOX tank is much smaller than the LH2 tank, which takes up most of the main body of the ET.
     The particular LOX tank shown in this photoset is the Ground Vibration Test Article (GVTA). The GVTA was manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is stored today. Project Habu was honored to take a behind the scenes tour of the Michoud facility on June, 18, 2014. This tank was tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and was part of a series of early test articles that were never meant to fly, but proved the integrity of the ET system.
     The final photo in the set shows a LH2 tank aft dome. Both this dome, and the GVTA show residual foam left over from their construction decades ago.      The Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is a three-part system, including a liquid oxygen tank (LOX), liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and an intertank which joins the two tanks. The component shown in these photos is the LOX tank. This tank sits at the top of the complete ET arrangement. The LOX tank is much smaller than the LH2 tank, which takes up most of the main body of the ET.
     The particular LOX tank shown in this photoset is the Ground Vibration Test Article (GVTA). The GVTA was manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is stored today. Project Habu was honored to take a behind the scenes tour of the Michoud facility on June, 18, 2014. This tank was tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and was part of a series of early test articles that were never meant to fly, but proved the integrity of the ET system.
     The final photo in the set shows a LH2 tank aft dome. Both this dome, and the GVTA show residual foam left over from their construction decades ago.      The Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is a three-part system, including a liquid oxygen tank (LOX), liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and an intertank which joins the two tanks. The component shown in these photos is the LOX tank. This tank sits at the top of the complete ET arrangement. The LOX tank is much smaller than the LH2 tank, which takes up most of the main body of the ET.
     The particular LOX tank shown in this photoset is the Ground Vibration Test Article (GVTA). The GVTA was manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is stored today. Project Habu was honored to take a behind the scenes tour of the Michoud facility on June, 18, 2014. This tank was tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and was part of a series of early test articles that were never meant to fly, but proved the integrity of the ET system.
     The final photo in the set shows a LH2 tank aft dome. Both this dome, and the GVTA show residual foam left over from their construction decades ago.      The Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is a three-part system, including a liquid oxygen tank (LOX), liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and an intertank which joins the two tanks. The component shown in these photos is the LOX tank. This tank sits at the top of the complete ET arrangement. The LOX tank is much smaller than the LH2 tank, which takes up most of the main body of the ET.
     The particular LOX tank shown in this photoset is the Ground Vibration Test Article (GVTA). The GVTA was manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is stored today. Project Habu was honored to take a behind the scenes tour of the Michoud facility on June, 18, 2014. This tank was tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and was part of a series of early test articles that were never meant to fly, but proved the integrity of the ET system.
     The final photo in the set shows a LH2 tank aft dome. Both this dome, and the GVTA show residual foam left over from their construction decades ago.

     The Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is a three-part system, including a liquid oxygen tank (LOX), liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and an intertank which joins the two tanks. The component shown in these photos is the LOX tank. This tank sits at the top of the complete ET arrangement. The LOX tank is much smaller than the LH2 tank, which takes up most of the main body of the ET.

     The particular LOX tank shown in this photoset is the Ground Vibration Test Article (GVTA). The GVTA was manufactured at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is stored today. Project Habu was honored to take a behind the scenes tour of the Michoud facility on June, 18, 2014. This tank was tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and was part of a series of early test articles that were never meant to fly, but proved the integrity of the ET system.

     The final photo in the set shows a LH2 tank aft dome. Both this dome, and the GVTA show residual foam left over from their construction decades ago.

     Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.      Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.
     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.
     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 
     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.
     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.

     Every rocket has a payload; even the small, solid fuel rocket that I built and fired while attending Space Camp as a child. My rocket launched an earthworm as its payload, carrying it about 1,000 feet above the ground. A parachute opened and brought my payload it back to the ground, alive and unscathed. Obviously, larger rockets tend to carry larger payloads. The Saturn V Moon rocket was the largest launch vehicle ever successfully flown. The whole point of the Saturn V was to lift this, the Lunar Stack, off of Earth, insert it into a brief period of Earth orbit, then push it toward the Moon.

     The Lunar Stack consisted of several systems. The very tip of the rocket is a component called the Launch Escape System. This was a tower fixed to the nose of the manned capsule during launch, which contained a solid rocket motor that would be fired if the rocket started to break up, pulling the crew to safety. Luckily, this never had to happen in the Apollo program. If everything was performing nominally, the Launch Escape System would be jettisoned away from the capsule after ignition of the S-II second stage.

     The next major system down the line is the Command-Service Module (CSM). This two-part component consists of the Command Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM). The CM carried all three astronauts during the whole flight, from launch, all the way to splash-down, excluding the time when two of the three astronauts would transfer to the Lunar Module (LM) for their excursion to the moon. The particular Command-Service Module pictured here is called CSM-115, which was manufactured for the cancelled Apollo 19 mission. It is only partially completed. Normally, the unflown Command Modules are a shiny silver color, but this module sat outside for decades, and has taken the appearance of one that has suffered an entry into the atmosphere. 

     The conical structure aft of the CSM is the Spacecraft-Lunar Adapter, which housed and protected the Lunar Module (LM), and the CSM engine during launch. Once the Lunar Stack was on a path to the moon, the CSM would detach from the SLA cone, which would open up like flower petals, exposing the LM. The CSM would turn 180°, dock with the LM, and pull it away from the S-IVB third stage. Then, the CSM and LM would continue their path to the Moon, separate from the S-IVB third stage.

     Each small component of the Apollo System, from the launch, to the Escape Tower, and everything in between, is incredible to me. I could go into endless detail about each small component within these systems, but that will have to wait for future articles.

     The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.      The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.
     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.

     The contour of this F-5E’s nose and fuselage was modified by Northrop-Grumman, to shape the sonic boom that emanates from it, reducing its intensity. The program, called the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, was a joint effort between NASA, Northrop-Grumman and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

     After this modified boom was recorded thousands of times, using an F-15B as a close-up chase aircraft, a Blanik L-23 Glider from afar, and an array of 42 sensors on the ground, the data showed that the noise level of the modified boom was 1/3 less intense than one emitting from an unmodified F-5E.

     This interesting R&D aircraft can be viewed at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville, Florida, just outside the gate of Kennedy Space Center.

     NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.      NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.
     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.
     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.
     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.
     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.
     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.

     NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, in Hancock County Mississippi, was formed in 1961, out of a need for a rocket testing facility with a large acoustical buffer area surrounding the test stands. Back then, it was referred to as the Mississippi Test Facility. Before this facility, rocket testing took place in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, on test stands which I covered in a previous post (click here to view). Once Marshall started testing the large S-IC stage of the Saturn V rocket, the nearby town of Huntsville was suffering broken windows and structural damage. The need for this new facility was obvious.

     One critical step in rocket engine development is static testing, where an engine, or the entire rocket stage, is fixed to an enormous test stand, and fired for different periods of time. The data from these tests is analyzed, and used in countless ways to refine design, and prove that these engines will work in their mission.

     The third photo shows the A-3, A-2 and A-1 test stands (from left to right), most recently used fire the J-2X rocket engines.

     Photos six and seven show the enormous B1/B2 test stand, where the Saturn V S-IC stages were fired during the 1960s, and the Space Shuttle Main Engines were tested most recently. These photos of B1/B2 stand were taken on March 21, 2014. They are pretty exciting, because they show renovation underway, in preparation for testing future SLS Core Stage, which will ultimately bring humans to Mars. When I went to Stennis on September 14, 2013, the cranes, shown in these photos, were not yet present.

     Several companies and agencies operate from the Stennis property, including the NOAA oceanic buoy headquarters, and Rolls-Royce, who tests their Trent 1000 jet engine, installed in the 787 Dreamliner.

     Wernher von Braun’s office, shown in the second photo, rises above the treetops, for ample viewing of the B1/B2 test stand from afar. I would love nothing more than to go back and time to March 3, 1967, and watch the first Saturn V S-IC-T stage test from this building.

     This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view).       This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view).       This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view).       This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view).       This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view).       This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view).       This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view).       This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 
     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.
     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.
     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view). 

     This SR-71 Blackbird cockpit got more flight time than all of the other Blackbird aircraft put together, and every single Blackbird pilot, at one point or another, had their hands on these stick and throttles. This is the one and only SR-71 simulator, used for crew selection and training, on display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.

     Even though this is a simulator, this is truly a Blackbird cockpit. Every component is the same, and the only visual difference are the windows are not transparent. At one point, the Air Force considered installing a virtual reality display system in the windows, but it was decided that the Blackbird simulator did not need a visual reference to the world surrounding them, because in this bird, you were more of a systems operator than a pilot. 

     This simulator, operating from 1965 to 1999, was just as top secret as any of the Blackbird aircraft, for obvious reasons. Every Blackbird pilot went through a selection process, and a year of training. During the selection process, applicants spent 30 hours in the simulator. If you were lucky enough to be selected as a pilot, you spent 100 hours in the sim before you would even touch one of the two-seat SR-71B or SR-71C trainer aircraft. This training process was longer and more intensive than any aircraft in the world, excluding the space shuttle. This was because each Blackbird was truly a national asset, and there were so few of them.

     Nearly every Blackbird pilot author, at one point or another, has mentioned this simulator in their book. They recount tales of sweating bullets during the selection process, spending hours in the sim at a time, learning hard lessons. They also tell about how good the sim was, and how once they finally flew an actual Blackbird, they felt right at home.

     The Frontiers of Flight Museum was gracious enough to let Project Habu inside the cockpit to photograph up close, which is typically not open to the public. It was truly surreal to sit in this cockpit and touch the controls, knowing every one of the pilots whom I admire so much, started right here. You can view the outside of the simulator in a previous post (click here to view). 

July 14, 2014
     Today, I attended the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This launch carried six Orbcomm Generation 2 communication satellites into orbit. So far, in Project Habu, I’ve only covered aircraft and spacecraft which are firmly attached to the ground in museum static displays. This is the first article that I’ve shared which actually displays an object in flight. I thought this was appropriate, because SpaceX rockets are truly paving the way for modern spaceflight systems and are certainly not destined for museum duty any time soon. 
     This marked the 10th launch of the Falcon 9 system, but the first launch for me. Before this, I’d never seen a launch. Things hadn’t timed out quite right until now. But finally, here I was. The event was spectacular. Perfect.
     I arrived at the Kennedy Space Center facility early in the morning, and traveled to the Banana Creek Viewing Site, positioned 6.3 miles away from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40. After a brief delay, the countdown progressed, and our rocket took flight. I was caught up in the emotions of the moment, but I remember every thought that came during the launch sequence.
     First, I remember seeing the steam cloud generated by the water deluge system erupting away from the pad as the rockets ignited. Then, a bright plume appeared under the rocket as it crept away from the pad. The rocket seemed to move slowly at first; almost too slowly. I wanted to urge it forward.
     Eventually, she rose above the launch tower, and the full exhaust plume was visible, which doubled the length of the rocket. Still, while witnessing all this drama, there was no sound. The rocket rose, and followed a precise path, as if riding invisible rails, quickly accelerating.
     As the rocket rose further, she disappeared behind a large cloud. I took the opportunity to double-check camera settings, and expose for this different angle, pointed nearly directly toward the sun. As the rocket emerged from behind the cloud, we saw that she had finally started producing a beautiful contrail. Then, 30 seconds after liftoff, the sound finally hit us. The deep, thunderous growl shook my body, and suddenly this all became real. I was watching a rocket launch. This brought a tear to my eye, but there was no time to waste. I had to keep shooting photos.
     While the contrail was crossing in front of the sun, I looked down at the launch complex, which was shrouded in the quickly dispersing steam cloud produced during the early moments of liftoff. Eventually, I saw the contrail pass through the sun, and continue on. The contrail was much smaller at this point, which gave a wonderful perspective of how far away the rocket was now.
     The sound remained long after the launch vehicle was out of sight. I just stood and gazed toward the water, listening to that growl fade into the sky, taking it all in. So much, in such little time. This is what it was like to live a dream, to finally see a launch, like I’d wanted since before I remember. July 14, 2014
     Today, I attended the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This launch carried six Orbcomm Generation 2 communication satellites into orbit. So far, in Project Habu, I’ve only covered aircraft and spacecraft which are firmly attached to the ground in museum static displays. This is the first article that I’ve shared which actually displays an object in flight. I thought this was appropriate, because SpaceX rockets are truly paving the way for modern spaceflight systems and are certainly not destined for museum duty any time soon. 
     This marked the 10th launch of the Falcon 9 system, but the first launch for me. Before this, I’d never seen a launch. Things hadn’t timed out quite right until now. But finally, here I was. The event was spectacular. Perfect.
     I arrived at the Kennedy Space Center facility early in the morning, and traveled to the Banana Creek Viewing Site, positioned 6.3 miles away from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40. After a brief delay, the countdown progressed, and our rocket took flight. I was caught up in the emotions of the moment, but I remember every thought that came during the launch sequence.
     First, I remember seeing the steam cloud generated by the water deluge system erupting away from the pad as the rockets ignited. Then, a bright plume appeared under the rocket as it crept away from the pad. The rocket seemed to move slowly at first; almost too slowly. I wanted to urge it forward.
     Eventually, she rose above the launch tower, and the full exhaust plume was visible, which doubled the length of the rocket. Still, while witnessing all this drama, there was no sound. The rocket rose, and followed a precise path, as if riding invisible rails, quickly accelerating.
     As the rocket rose further, she disappeared behind a large cloud. I took the opportunity to double-check camera settings, and expose for this different angle, pointed nearly directly toward the sun. As the rocket emerged from behind the cloud, we saw that she had finally started producing a beautiful contrail. Then, 30 seconds after liftoff, the sound finally hit us. The deep, thunderous growl shook my body, and suddenly this all became real. I was watching a rocket launch. This brought a tear to my eye, but there was no time to waste. I had to keep shooting photos.
     While the contrail was crossing in front of the sun, I looked down at the launch complex, which was shrouded in the quickly dispersing steam cloud produced during the early moments of liftoff. Eventually, I saw the contrail pass through the sun, and continue on. The contrail was much smaller at this point, which gave a wonderful perspective of how far away the rocket was now.
     The sound remained long after the launch vehicle was out of sight. I just stood and gazed toward the water, listening to that growl fade into the sky, taking it all in. So much, in such little time. This is what it was like to live a dream, to finally see a launch, like I’d wanted since before I remember. July 14, 2014
     Today, I attended the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This launch carried six Orbcomm Generation 2 communication satellites into orbit. So far, in Project Habu, I’ve only covered aircraft and spacecraft which are firmly attached to the ground in museum static displays. This is the first article that I’ve shared which actually displays an object in flight. I thought this was appropriate, because SpaceX rockets are truly paving the way for modern spaceflight systems and are certainly not destined for museum duty any time soon. 
     This marked the 10th launch of the Falcon 9 system, but the first launch for me. Before this, I’d never seen a launch. Things hadn’t timed out quite right until now. But finally, here I was. The event was spectacular. Perfect.
     I arrived at the Kennedy Space Center facility early in the morning, and traveled to the Banana Creek Viewing Site, positioned 6.3 miles away from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40. After a brief delay, the countdown progressed, and our rocket took flight. I was caught up in the emotions of the moment, but I remember every thought that came during the launch sequence.
     First, I remember seeing the steam cloud generated by the water deluge system erupting away from the pad as the rockets ignited. Then, a bright plume appeared under the rocket as it crept away from the pad. The rocket seemed to move slowly at first; almost too slowly. I wanted to urge it forward.
     Eventually, she rose above the launch tower, and the full exhaust plume was visible, which doubled the length of the rocket. Still, while witnessing all this drama, there was no sound. The rocket rose, and followed a precise path, as if riding invisible rails, quickly accelerating.
     As the rocket rose further, she disappeared behind a large cloud. I took the opportunity to double-check camera settings, and expose for this different angle, pointed nearly directly toward the sun. As the rocket emerged from behind the cloud, we saw that she had finally started producing a beautiful contrail. Then, 30 seconds after liftoff, the sound finally hit us. The deep, thunderous growl shook my body, and suddenly this all became real. I was watching a rocket launch. This brought a tear to my eye, but there was no time to waste. I had to keep shooting photos.
     While the contrail was crossing in front of the sun, I looked down at the launch complex, which was shrouded in the quickly dispersing steam cloud produced during the early moments of liftoff. Eventually, I saw the contrail pass through the sun, and continue on. The contrail was much smaller at this point, which gave a wonderful perspective of how far away the rocket was now.
     The sound remained long after the launch vehicle was out of sight. I just stood and gazed toward the water, listening to that growl fade into the sky, taking it all in. So much, in such little time. This is what it was like to live a dream, to finally see a launch, like I’d wanted since before I remember.

July 14, 2014

     Today, I attended the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This launch carried six Orbcomm Generation 2 communication satellites into orbit. So far, in Project Habu, I’ve only covered aircraft and spacecraft which are firmly attached to the ground in museum static displays. This is the first article that I’ve shared which actually displays an object in flight. I thought this was appropriate, because SpaceX rockets are truly paving the way for modern spaceflight systems and are certainly not destined for museum duty any time soon. 

     This marked the 10th launch of the Falcon 9 system, but the first launch for me. Before this, I’d never seen a launch. Things hadn’t timed out quite right until now. But finally, here I was. The event was spectacular. Perfect.

     I arrived at the Kennedy Space Center facility early in the morning, and traveled to the Banana Creek Viewing Site, positioned 6.3 miles away from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40. After a brief delay, the countdown progressed, and our rocket took flight. I was caught up in the emotions of the moment, but I remember every thought that came during the launch sequence.

     First, I remember seeing the steam cloud generated by the water deluge system erupting away from the pad as the rockets ignited. Then, a bright plume appeared under the rocket as it crept away from the pad. The rocket seemed to move slowly at first; almost too slowly. I wanted to urge it forward.

     Eventually, she rose above the launch tower, and the full exhaust plume was visible, which doubled the length of the rocket. Still, while witnessing all this drama, there was no sound. The rocket rose, and followed a precise path, as if riding invisible rails, quickly accelerating.

     As the rocket rose further, she disappeared behind a large cloud. I took the opportunity to double-check camera settings, and expose for this different angle, pointed nearly directly toward the sun. As the rocket emerged from behind the cloud, we saw that she had finally started producing a beautiful contrail. Then, 30 seconds after liftoff, the sound finally hit us. The deep, thunderous growl shook my body, and suddenly this all became real. I was watching a rocket launch. This brought a tear to my eye, but there was no time to waste. I had to keep shooting photos.

     While the contrail was crossing in front of the sun, I looked down at the launch complex, which was shrouded in the quickly dispersing steam cloud produced during the early moments of liftoff. Eventually, I saw the contrail pass through the sun, and continue on. The contrail was much smaller at this point, which gave a wonderful perspective of how far away the rocket was now.

     The sound remained long after the launch vehicle was out of sight. I just stood and gazed toward the water, listening to that growl fade into the sky, taking it all in. So much, in such little time. This is what it was like to live a dream, to finally see a launch, like I’d wanted since before I remember.

     Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.      Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

     Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.

     When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.

     Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)

     The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).

     The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.

     The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

     All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.      All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.
     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 
     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.
     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.

     All of the NASA Astronauts since the Gemini Program have trained in Building 9 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.

     In the first two photos, you see Crew Compartment Trainer II (CCT-II), representing a continuous cycle of old being replaced with new. CCT-II could be tilted 180 degrees, into various nose-up or nose-down configurations, to simulate different phases of a shuttle flight. This is one of three orbiter mockups that used to be in the facility, two of which have been moved to museum duty. Another piece of old hardware is shown in the third photo, a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) trainer, which hasn’t been used since 1984. The fourth photo displays the Space Station Robotic Arm, which is now retired. 

     The rest of the photos show items that are currently being used. Our fifth photo shows the Low-Fidelity Orion Mockup, and sixth shows the Medium-Fidelity Orion Mockup. Crews are currently training in these, preparing for the first manned SLS launch scheduled for 2021.

     Photos seven, eight and nine show the manned, pressurized rover vehicles NASA is experimenting with. These could be used, first, on the surface of the moon. These photos also show two of the air bearing floors, that simulate a frictionless environment, used for microgravity training. The Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System, shown in the final photo, simulates the mechanics of two spacecraft meeting and docking in space.