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11/04/19 - Exploring the Kennedy Space Center with Mom and Aunt Teresa!

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id: 55132
What do the thermal folks have to say about those pants?
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Oh my.
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The CM is being pulled off of the SM!
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Just by coincidence, we're visiting KSC in the middle of my coverage of the Challenger accident for The Space Above Us.
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The waitress at our hotel had a ton of cool pins! I think she was hoping I'd get her a Restore-L pin
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Blue Origin is building something
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"Hey Aunt Teresa!"
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Aunt Teresa loves VR
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Mom with Atlantis!
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Mom and Aunt Teresa with Atlantis! They were both suitably impressed
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Who loves space shuttles?
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Hey old buddy
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Atlantis does not like belly rubs.
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Aunt Teresa ventured partway into the 3/8 scale ISS
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So many tiles!
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A deorbit checklist for the shuttle!
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Mom's the pilot on this mission
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I took this photo about 2 milliseconds before being run over by the shuttle
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It's MMU 2! I lost track of which ones actually flew
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Aft section of Atlantis
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Those big huge flight deck windows
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Hubble mockup rocking the NASA worm
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Aunt Teresa goes down the reentry slide!
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She was really moving. Mom chickened out!
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Mom examining artifacts from the Challenger
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It's pretty incredible seeing the Challenger debris up close and in person
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Closeup of the damage on Challenger
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Some of the white tiles that were common on Columbia and Challenger
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Columbia's eyes
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Incredible they survived in such good condition
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It's a pretty sobering room
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SpaceX Heavy!
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Lunch has crashed
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How will I eat??
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Going on the early space tour!
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On the bus
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Just a couple of Falcon 9 first stages hanging around after returning from space, no big deal.
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This is how the Falcons get moved around
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The tour guide made fun of SpaceX for putting their logo on everything... something NASA definitely definitely isn't guilty of
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Hangar S! Where it all started
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The birthplace of the human spaceflight program
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These are the range radars that sometimes cause scrubs when they have issues
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Secret NRO building!
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STINKTOWN: population Bryce
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A V2 engine! It's so complicated but at the same time has an elegance to its design
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The Navaho.. the most influential program to go nowhere
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Listening to the Air Force tour guide
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Little weather sensor sent up on sounding rockets to see if it's OK for the big rockets to fly
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Check out these stylish control panels
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Isogrid skin for a Delta. This is the old style. For Vulcan they switched to rectangular patterns that are even lighter
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Look who I found just lying around! It's Gemini 2! One of the first vehicles to fly in space twice
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The history of Gemini 2
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They actually cut a hole in it and then put the cut out piece back in to see if it would survive reentry
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I wonder where that piece is today? Also, I think this hole is bigger than the original piece. I'm guessing they cut out a bigger piece to analyze
id: 55188
Pretty impressive model collection!
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X-20! Also known as... Dynasoar!
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The commander's seat is full of robot parts
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Also the pilot's seat
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Closeup on Gemini 2's skin
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Early communications satellites are funny. I think they didn't have much emphasis on attitude control
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That's a big heavy computer to put in a missile
id: 55195
Mom and Aunt Teresa thought it was pretty interesting
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Closeup of the V2 plumbing
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Dynasoar and Manned Orbiting Laboratory! Big space programs in an alternate history
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Pffft. Dynasaor
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Gemini's a neat spacecraft
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The tour guide told the story of Gemini 2
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Old antennas
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Old Delta IV core lying around. The rain stripped away teh insulation
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Like a tornado shelter?
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Mom got excited about Jeanie. What's funny is that comic down there makes fun of everyone getting excited about I Dream of Jeanie instead of Mercury!
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So many clocks
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Original controls from the Mercury days
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This computer looks like a fake computer from some 50s movie
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Watch your levels!
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Look at all these little switches and lights!
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Cool big dials
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Our tour guide was great
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Hello, and welcome to The Space Above Us..
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This is a cool window to look through
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Unfortunately it's extremely green and misty since it's so thick and old. It's really a whole bunch of windows stuck together
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Whoa! An actual teletypewriter! As in TTY! But not the virtual type
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DIGITAL, you say
id: 55218
Like core rope memory?
id: 55219
These are the windows Wernher von Braun watched America's first orbital launch from. Standing right where I'm standing
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This is how you control it?
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Ham's little space pod
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Aunt Teresa is taking lots of pictures
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Mom's in the Firing Room!
id: 55224
I guess these two Jupiter launches were pretty boring
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I didn't realize Enos got his own mission patch!
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Also ham!
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This is a sample of those green windows. You can see just how thick it is
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Firing Room B. Just as it was over 60 years ago
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A lot of history happened in here
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I guess this is before 911
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Mom couldn't resist posing with Jeanie
id: 55232
Details on the blockhouse
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This is where it all started! For the US at least
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Old train engine used to move the rockets around
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An old Hound Dog missile that's broken down a bit
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A Titan I, the predecessor to the Titan II!
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The engine on the back of the Delta IV core
id: 55238
I believe this is an authentic Redstone missile, erected where Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom launched on their Mercury flights
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Thrust deflector
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"MR7" is painted on the bottom, just like it was for Alan Shepard
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Mom and Aunt Teresa on the pad where Americans first launched into space!
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It's a photogenic rocket
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Our guide for this was pretty great. He knew everything
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Aunt Teresa says "neat"
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Everyone gather around the rocket!
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Awkward DSLR selfie
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Sacred ground
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One last look at the Redstone
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Beefy looking door
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The view launch controllers would have had for Alan Shepard's flight. Pretty close to the launch vehicle!
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This is the button that launched it! I definitely didn't reach up around the plastic to touch it when nobody was looking!
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Old controls
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A photo of the actual launch next to the current Redstone
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Quite a view
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Old school electronics
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It was tough to make the Redstone visible through the thick green windows
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Old headset?
id: 55258
Lots of electronics in a rocket like that
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Such chunky electronics
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Switch to launch!
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Yeah, calibrate that computer
id: 55262
The remains of Challenger are somewhere in this area, at the bottom of a missile silo
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Blue Origin is building stuff
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SpaceX added a second landing zone since the last time I was here!
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Looking down towards the landing zones. No rockets there this time.
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Right next door is SLC-14
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This is where the orbital Mercury flights launched from!
id: 55268
Hey let's accidentally include a nearly identical photo
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A monument to the Mercury Seven
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Patriotism at the site of the Apollo 1 accident
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Abandon in place
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Space past and space present
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The Apollo 1 launch mount is falling apart
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It's a pretty incredible place
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It's amazing how these big chunks of concrete can have so much emotional meeting
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Hey it's the ocean!
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December 6th, 1960? This is before any human launches!
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Let's read the kiosk!
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Back on the bus
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It's the astronauts' beach house!
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Launch Complex 39-A looking good. The new black cladding is in place. And look at that crew access arm!
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Back at the visitor complex
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Hey it's the Orion capsule from EFT-1!
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Closeup of the thermal protection tiles on Orion
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A little wear on the flag
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A wide angle view to see the whole spacecraft
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Windows up front
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Each tile gets an identification number
id: 55289
Up near the docking port
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Hey it's my Dragon! This is the Dragon from COTS-2+!
id: 55291
This RCS quad looks so handmade!
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The edge of the heat shield
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Funky connectors
id: 55294
I was there when this Dragon launched as the first commercial vehicle to dock to the ISS
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It was only SpaceX's 8th launch
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Looking inside the Starliner mockup
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Lots of seats in there
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id: 55299
Orion is hard to take pictures of in this dark room
id: 55300
Me with Dragon!
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Nice looking isogrid on Starliner (I think)
id: 55302
What the hell is this aspect ratio?? It's looks like a 16:9 image stretched out to 48:9??
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The pressure vessel for maybe-Starliner
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Bye, Dragon
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Mom's got some cool glasses
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Peeking inside Wally Schirra's Mercury capsule
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The original Project Mercury consoles
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The lighting of this shot was impossible! Mom and Aunt Teresa liked it though
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Looking at personal artifacts of astronauts
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Gordon Cooper used this checklist!
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The mission control center was so basic. But they had to start somewhere!
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Look at the little CRTs!
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Big ol' printer for telemetry
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Overview of the Mercury control center
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Aunt Teresa snaps more pictures
id: 55316
What's that thermal blanket under the heat shingles?
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Gus Grissom's Mercury spacesuit
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A legend wore this suit
id: 55319
Detail at the front of the Gemini-IXA spacecraft
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The gap left by the parachute switching to horizontal mode
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Primitive controls.. but good enough to effect an orbital rendezvous!
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Tom Stafford's controls
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Lots of switches
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Aunt Teresa and Mom with John Young's plaque!
id: 55325
Lots of astronauts in the Astronaut Hall of Fame!
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Even a Titan II needs a brushy brushy now and then
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Mom's turn to crawl into the Mercury capsule
id: 55328
Mom's ready for space! I guess this makes up for the shuttle slide
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How do you get out?
id: 55330
Mom's back from her Mercury trip!
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The Atlas is so shiny
id: 55332
Learning about rockets
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What happened to the F-1 engine!
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Saturn-1B looking good
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Gotta love the rocket garden
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What's up with this bird?
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Mom and Aunt Teresa pose with the SRBs!
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I definitely didn't include this almost identical photo by accident
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Mom and Aunt Teresa agree that the SRBs are big
id: 55340
I miss the space shuttle
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The Columbia crew on the Space Mirror
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A visit to the Space Mirror is always sobering, but I make sure to go every time I'm at KSC
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Flowers for Ted
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The Challenger crew
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The conquest of space is worth the risk of life
id: 55346
Bob Crippen's flight suit!
id: 55347
Wow, this model actually has the updated field joint! You can see the third o-ring and the capture feature
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The original astrovan
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Max Faget's shuttle model
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Big doors for the landing gear
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The actual gaseous oxygen vent arm and hood, aka The Beanie
id: 55353
Looking up at Atlantis' body flap
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The wide angle cell phone view captures the whole thing
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There's that little thermal tile around the water dump valves! After Discovery had icicles building up on the side they replaced the thermal blanket with tiles
id: 55356
No birds allowed on Mars!
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Astronaut Dan Tani! He was a really cool guy and now he actually listens to my podcast!
id: 55358
Tani telling great stories about being in space
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Watch out, the ISS is right behind you!
id: 55360
Aunt Teresa, Mom, and me with astronaut Dan Tani!
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NASA ambulance!
id: 55362
I was right next to these bleachers when I watched the Falcon Heavy launch
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Gruber Ditch?
id: 55364
SLC-41, with the Boeing crew access arm
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id: 55366
The support structure for SLS is on the pad over at LC-39B
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Looking back at the VAB. Who left the windows open?
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Panorama from the observation gantry
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Mom and Aunt Teresa with LC-39A!
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Group photo!
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Not quite yet though
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Looking up the ramp to LC-39A
id: 55373
What is SpaceX up to?
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Peeking from behind the launch complex
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I love that crew access arm
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id: 55377
Recreating a photo from 2004!
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It's a good looking launchpad
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Milling about the camera station
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That's a big camera
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SLS support structure
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Building a tank? You can do that?
id: 55383
Is that access arm supposed to be so... bending down?
id: 55384
Our tour guide was awesome
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This pre-Saturn V show is just as hokey as I remembered
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Nice looking consoles though
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Mom seeing the Saturn V for the first time
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I couldn't catch this guy's name! But the red nametag means he's a marine so that certainly narrows the list
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Mom with the Saturn V!
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Mom and Aunt Teresa with the Saturn V!
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LM-9! This almost flew on Apollo 15
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The ladder is so high
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Looking up into the commander's window
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Aunt Teresa dutifully explores the interactive educational thing
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Aunt Teresa and Mom examining the Apollo 1 hatch
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Scorch marks on the Apollo 1 hatch
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It was too complicated to unlatch
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KSC has the most irritating setup for the Apollo 1 display. Most of the time the artifacts are obscured by useless videos
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Take good samples!
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The top of the S-II stage
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Apollo 14 CM Kitty Hawk's door
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Thrusters for use during entry
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It's a good looking spacecraft
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"Landing in Apollo is a crash!"
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I love the handwritten additions
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Alan Shepard's suit
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A spaceflight legend
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Mom and Aunt Teresa had to pose with the meatball
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Aunt Teresa loves the space shuttle
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And then we played Head's Up!
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