Saturday, December 26, 2009

Entrance Missile and Space Gallery

Opened to the public in 2004, the Missile and Space Gallery is contained in a silo-like structure that stands 140 feet high. Visitors can view missiles such as the Titan I and II and Jupiter from ground level or can take in an aerial view from an elevated platform that hugs the inside circumference of the gallery. As part of the museum's ongoing expansion efforts, the gallery also features a portion of the museum's space collection, including the Apollo 15 Command Module, Mercury and Gemini capsules, rocket engines, satellites and balloon gondolas.

Entrance to the Missile and Space Gallery with Rocketdyne LR79 engine, Apollo 15 Command Module, and Aerojet-General LR87 Liquid Rocket engine. From the balcony of the Mezzanine Level one has a great view across the whole Cold War Gallery. The person standing there while I took the picture is my colleague Gary.

Apollo 15 was the fourth mission to land astronauts on the moon and the only Apollo mission with an all-Air Force crew. Col. David R. Scott, Lt. Col. James B. Irwin and Maj. Alfred M. Worden flew the command module on display, named Endeavor, to the moon in 1971. The craft is named after the ship that carried Capt. James Cook on his famous 18th century scientific voyage. After launch on July 26, 1971, the crew spent four days traveling to the moon. On July 30, Scott and Irwin landed the lunar module Falcon on the moon, and spent about 67 hours on the lunar surface. Worden remained aboard Endeavor in lunar orbit conducting experiments and taking photographs. The crew returned to Earth on Aug. 7, 1971, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. The successful mission lasted just over 12 days.

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