Saturday, July 16, 2011

Space Ships and Orbital Trips

As promised, here are some photos on the saga of space from the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum. I've written before about my love of space, so I don't see too much reason to rehash it here. We've come from barely be able to walk more than a few miles from our birthplaces to having a flag on the moon. It is on the moon. It takes a little bit to get that through your head, I think.

The Mercury Friendship 7 capsule. (Photos by Matt Sablan)

This is what our earliest space capsules looked like. Small, cramped and expensive. It would be decades until we had more advanced space transport.

Space would become fixed in pretty much every school child's mind. We'd get it in half hour and hour doses on television; we'd hear about it in a long time ago and a galaxy far away.

We were exposed to movies like "The Right Stuff" and "Apollo 13" that tried to do some mixture of entertain and inform about America's space travel. Then we also had movies like "Armageddon," which I'm not exactly sure what they tried to tell us about space travel, except that apparently anyone could do it.

Apollo 11 Command Module.
Which, you can imagine, is something every child wants to believe.Well, at least I did. The Air and Space museum is one of the few places that most people can catch a glimpse of our space history.

Where else can you go to see these command modules and touch a moon rock? It is a rock, and it is from the moon. What more do you need, really? Not much, in my opinion. But, the final piece that shows how far we've come is below.
The Viking Lander.

SpaceShipOne, the ship used in the first manned private spaceflight in 2004.

Think what this means. It is entirely possible in a few more decades, that we may be able to go to space commercially as easily now as people go on cruises to the Bahamas. That's a bright thought.

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