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11/09/12 - A trip to the Udvar-Hazy center to see Space Shuttle Discovery!

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id: 37209
This piece is titled "Ascent"
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Liz, Amanda, and Bryce are ready to hit the museum!
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The Udvar-Hazy Center entrance
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An SR-71 Blackbird with... what is that peeking out in the back??
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Hey look, normal airplanes
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Meanwhile, the magnificient SR-71 is ready for its closeup
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Hello, beautiful!
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Landing gear structure
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Up close and personal with Space Shuttle Discovery
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The aft section of Discovery
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Aww, spiderwebs on the orbiter already
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The business end of Space Shuttle Discovery
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Absolutely gorgeous
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Amanda poses with Discovery
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After years of admiring the orbiter fleet from afar, it was pretty amazing to be this close
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The forward windows
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Reaction Control System
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Listening to other visitors, people seemed very surprised at how the thermal protection system was made up of so many individual tiles
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The door seems so small!
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My favorite application of the Helvetica font
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Discovery's tail
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The reinforced carbon-carbon panels that doomed Discovery's sister ship Columbia
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Space Shuttle Main Engines and the OMS engines
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I could spend all day in this room
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Amanda looks at the rear of Discovery
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..more vertical!
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Discovery and me!
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Thanks to Amanda for agreeing to lie down on the ground to take this awesome shot
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Closeup of the main engines and OMS engines
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Spacelab. This was carried in the orbiter cargo bay and carried many experiments
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I was surprised at how small this duplicate of New Horizons was!
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Bryce loves space shuttles
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A better view of Spacelab
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I doubt Liz was aware of Nixon's role in authorizing the space shuttle, but it works!
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This is where liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen would enter the orbiter from the external tank
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I love the marks left by many reentries on the thermal protection system
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Wing and tail
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Looking up through the gap between control surfaces
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The landing gear assembly is smaller than you might think
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Jim Irwin's Apollo 15 space suit!
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Various suit connectors
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Closeup of Irwin's gloves
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These gloves were worn on the moon!
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Irwin's gloves, helmet, and visor
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Hi there!
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Closeup of Irwin's suit
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Blue and red connectors!
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Discovery's starboard side
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id: 37259
Neil Armstrong's glove!
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Details on Armstrong's visor and gloves
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Neil Armstrong's visor
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Saturn V Instrumentation Ring
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This photo was accidentally much more clever than intended, with Neil Armstrong's gloves and visor in the foreground, and the Saturn V Instrumentation Ring and Space Shuttle Discovery reflected in the glass
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An unflown Mercury capsule. Alan Shepard wanted to fly it, but it never happened
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It's incredible that people would fly in these
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Frank Borman and Jim Lovell spent two weeks in this vehicle
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A few days into the flight they got a song stuck in their head and sang it for the rest of the mission
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Looking into the Gemini VII capsule
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Such a small capsule
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So many switches!
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The front of Discovery
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Looking along the starboard side
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I'm not totally sure what all those connectors are under the OMS pod
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The view along the top of the wing
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The RCS thrusters are bigger than I expected
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The whole vehicle seen slightly from above
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I turned around and was struck again by how amazing this vehicle looks
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Two eras of spaceflight, side by side
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Various spacecraft from the 60s
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The orbiters are a lot more dirty and beat up than you'd imagine
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Yet another angle on the shuttle
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The capsule is not real, but apparently these are the actual flotation devices used on Apollo 11
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The Skunkworks logo on the back of the SR-71
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The delta wing on the SR-71 is bigger than I realized
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The rear of the SR-71
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The Pegasus is a lot bigger than I thought!
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The nosecone is one enormous piece of reinforced carbon-carbon
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A shuttle-era ACES suit
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This sight does not get old
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I could look at it all day
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Looking into the engine of the Blackbird
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Liz thought the shuttle looked like a panda, so we made Amanda stand in front of it with all her panda gear
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Posing with the most incredible jet ever made
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Liz jumped in for a photo with me! Yay Liz!
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The service module engine was smaller than I thought. Of course, this doesn't include the engine bell, but still
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Various thermal protection systems
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One last closeup before leaving
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Such an incredible view
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I couldn't stop taking photos
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I'm definitely going to have to come visit this place again
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On my way out I discovered the Enola Gay!
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Standing this close to a vehicle that killed so many people kind of freaked me out. Especially after hanging out with something like Space Shuttle Discovery
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See you soon!
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