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2010 Archived News

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December 29, 2010:

Today I uploaded a report, scanned from my personal collection, entitled AEDC-TR-65-85: A Simulated Altitude Test of a Saturn S-IC Retro Development Motor (Test Unit No. SD-20). Issued by Arnold Engineering Development Center, it documents the general characteristics of the Saturn V S-IC (first) stage's retro rockets and the AEDC test cell (J-5) used to perform the test.


December 10, 2010 (update #2):

Many times, when a flying bomber visits an airport, local pilots owning warbirds bring them out to the airport to show off a little for the crowds. Most of these planes don't warrant their own gallery, so I put together a "Miscellaneous Warbirds" gallery for these planes.

Planes uploaded in this batch include


December 10, 2010:

Uploaded my pictures from the 2006 Camp Jeep event at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport, featuring a P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, TBM Avenger, and the Mustang and Corsair's departure flight.


November 26, 2010:

I uploaded some additional pictures of the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) and Spacecraft-Lunar Module Adapter (SLA) at Space Center Houston, concentrating on the Service Propulsion System (SPS) propellant service connections.

I also prepared a page with additional diagrams of the Service Module Service Propulsion System (SPS) servicing connections, detailing the SPS propellant service connections and the associated plumbing under the SM's aft heat shield.


November 10, 2010:

I am continuing to perform the initial upload of locations which I've visited but not yet uploaded any pictures.

I've seen a number of boilerplates at facilities which do not host any other space artifacts, so I decided to consolidate them all into a single page. Since Apollo boilerplate BP-1207 at the Discovery Science and Outdoor Center falls into this category, I've "demoted" the Discovery Center, moving it to this new "miscellaneous boilerplates" page.

Joining Apollo BP-1207 on this new miscellaneous boilerplates page are

Having consolidated and uploaded these boilerplates, it looks like I'm down to the last 5 or 7 museums which are not yet represented on the Website (I plan to do some additional consolidations on the remaining picture sets, which is why that number is vague).


November 4, 2010:

The 100th Bomb Group Restaurant, located in Cleveland (not far from Glenn Research Center), features two "airplanes on a stick", a P-47D Thunderbolt and a P-51D Mustang; I recently received confirmation that these are replicas, rather than actual planes.

However, I'm pretty sure that the Army Jeep and ambulance on the grounds are real automobiles :-)


October 31, 2010:

Happy Halloween!

To celebrate the holiday, take a look at my S-IC pumpkin.


October 30, 2010:

I updated my "Omniplex" page to reflect the fact that museum is now known as Science Museum Oklahoma.

I also uploaded a number of new pictures sets from the museum:


October 17, 2010:

Well, I'm finally done with that update I mentioned almost a month ago.

Some time ago, I was playing around with a lighter-weight theme for the various "resource" and "picture" pages on my site. I'd come up with theme based on the control panels on the Apollo command and lunar modules. Compared with the main pages, this new theme is much lighter on graphics and loads much faster (which is a necessity for people trying to look through artifact pictures).

So, I started rewriting all of my "resources" pages; it turns out that there are 69 of them. I'm now able to extract the original graphics used to generate PDF files (I had previously just been doing screen captures to extract graphics from PDF files), so I thought that I might as well upgrade the graphics on those pages, too. (I think you're beginning to see why it wound up taking my longer than I expected ...)

In the end, I wound up updating 233 files.

Since all of the HTML on the "resources" files are hand-formatted, it was straight-forward (if not long and tedious) to update these pages. All of the museum, artifact, and picture pages are generated from a program, based on hand-formatted comments. Some day soon, I'll rewrite that program and revisit all of the hand-formatted HTML comments so that I can extend the theme to the rest of the Website, but today is not that day.


September 19, 2010:

A couple of weeks ago I suffered an unfortunate hard drive incident on my home PC on which I develop this site. I had backups, and really only lost about a week's worth of work (which I was able to reconstruct from the files I'd uploaded). While these backups contained all the files I'd lost, it was way too cumbersome and tedious to restore, so I've revamped my backup methodology and hopefully I'll be in a better place the next time this happens.

While going through those backups, I found some old projects I'd started longer ago but never finished; I've been working on some of those and hope to make an announcement within the next several days.

Also as a result of going through my backups, I've launched a companion site, I'll use this site to provide mirrors of 60s Space Race-related Web sites from days of old which are no longer available on the Internet.

The initial site I'm mirroring the former Kennedy Space Center Library press kit archive (former available via Although there are other places on the Internet to get some of these press kits, they ones I've found are incomplete (Apollo 6 Press Kit, anyone?) and some of them are stuck behind slow search engines. Hopefully, this will be a concise repository for those press kits.


August 24, 2010:

Today I uploaded some pictures of the Gemini engineering development fixture (which is just a fancy phrase for a mockup) at the Prologue Room.

I also uploaded the initial few pictures from the St. Louis Science Center, home of the unflown Gemini 3A spacecraft and Mercury spacecraft #19.


August 19, 2010:

The first B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber had its first flight 70 years ago today, August 19, 1940.

I've already had pictures of the B-25 exterior and B-25 interior from the Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom tour and the B-25 at the Grissom Air Museum uploaded for some time, but to commemorate this anniversary, I uploaded the following additional B-25-related pictures sets:


August 15, 2010:

Today marks Saturn's 52st birthday, when ARPA Order No. 14-59 called for the development of a 1.5 million-pound booster.

Today also marks's 2nd birthday (go have some birthday cake). In the last year, I've posted 1,912 new pictures "relics" which I've taken, plus 135 "supplemental" images (mostly diagrams I've scanned or captured from other electronic documents), ending the Website's second year with a total of 5,164 images and 223 supplemental images.

Now, those of you who've visited before know we take our Saturns pretty seriously around here, so to commemorate the event(s), I've uploaded a number of Saturn-related items:

  • Handling, Transporting, and Erection Instructions Saturn S-1 Stage, SA-1, a manual documenting handling procedures for the Saturn I Block I first (S-I) stage at both the MSFC Static Test Tower and at Cape Canaveral's LC-34, and also documenting the Saturn S-I Transporter. At 147 pages, scanning, cleaning up, and preparing for PDFification represents a large time investment.
  • A diagram detailing the LC-34 service structure, used for launch Block I Saturn Is and Saturn IBs.
  • Several photos from Launch Complex 34 (LC-34), which saw the launch of the first four Saturn Is, the launch of the first two Saturn IBs, the Apollo 1 fire, and the first manned launch of a Saturn IB, Apollo 7.
  • Photos from Launch Complex 37 (LC-37), which saw the launch of all of the Block II Saturn Is as well as two Saturn IBs (including the first, unmanned flight of the Apollo lunar module, Apollo 5). Mothballed after is second Saturn IB flight, the launch complex was reactivated by Boeing to launch its Delta IV EELVs.

These new resources and picture sets join the multitude of Saturn-related resources and picture sets already on the site.


August 12, 2010:

Today marks the 50th anniversary (August 12, 1960) of the launch of Echo 1, the world's first communication satellite.

The Udvar-Hazy Center displays an Echo 1 flight spare and launch canister. The Cradle of Aviation displays an Echo launch adapter and satellite container, although this appears to be from Echo 2.


July 28, 2010:

Today marks two aerospace anniversaries and site milestone.

The first flight of the B-17 took place 75 years ago today, July 28, 1935. Called the "Model 299" at the time but later retroactively renamed the "XB-17", it was originally passed over in favor of the B-18 "Bolo". Of course, the Air Air Corps eventually purchased large numbers of B-17s, and the B-17 went on to become one of the most famous warplanes of all time.

I've had pictures of B-17 Miss Liberty Belle (SN 483690) at the Grissom Air Museum and exterior, interior, and in-flight photos of B-17 Nine-O-Nine (SN 483575) from the Collings Foundation "Wings of Freedom" tour on the site for some time now, but to commemorate the flight, I've uploaded the following additional B-17-related material:

Today's date, July 28, 1973, also saw the launch of the second manned Skylab mission (SL-3, but frequently referred to as "Skylab 2"). I've also uploaded the following Skylab-related picture sets:

And, of course, this wouldn't be heroicrelics if I didn't go way overboard on "related" picture sets:

Having sufficiently covered the two aerospace anniversaries, it's time to move on to the site milestone: This update encompassed 364 photos, sending my total number of photos past the 5,000 mark (all the way to 5,133).


July 17, 2010:

You know, it's really hard to upload just a small update.

I've posted at least a couple of pictures from nearly all of the museums I've visited to the site; there were only a dozen or so museums for which I've posted no pictures at all. Having a museum's framework in place on the site is very convenient, because there's a certain amount of overhead associated with presenting a new museum on the site. If I've got a museum's "skeleton" uploaded, I can upload new artifact pictures sets more quickly and easily.

I noticed how the 8th Air Force Museum and the Strategic Air & Space Museum (neither of which were represented here on the site) both had Titan II Mark 6 reentry vehicles. I thought that I could post each museums' RVs (along with the one at Stafford Air & Space) to make a nice little update which would also bring two new museums online.

What started out as a "nice little update" quickly snowballed into one of the largest updates I've made in the history of the site, for a total of 238 pictures. I also wound up adding the framework for a third previously-unrepresented museum.

My problem is that things are too inter-related: A picture here can best be explained by posting some additional pictures somewhere else, which of course can be put into context by pictures from a third location, and so on.

Here, then, are the major pictures sets I uploaded with this update:

If you're scratching your head, wondering how in the world three little Titan II reentry vehicles could have snowballed into all that, just start at the 8th Air Force Museum or the Strategic Air & Space Museum and follow all the links ...


July 15, 2010 (update #2):

I uploaded some additional ASTP-related picture sets to mark the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. In this batch, I present


July 15, 2010 (update #1):

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. To commemorate, I posted a number of pictures related to the unique hardware flown on the flight, the docking module:

Just for good measure, I also posted some pictures of the full-scale Soyuz model at KSC, some ASTP in-flight garments at Stafford, and a few pictures of the Apollo probe and drogue assembly, also at Stafford.


July 8, 2010:

I uploaded some pictures of the new Apollo white room exhibit at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


June 24, 2010:

Today I updated my USSRC Saturn V restoration page, to include restoration progress as of June 2005 and August 2005 (as well as "sneak peeks" of progress as of December 2005, and July 2006) and with the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Saturn V Center.

I also added a brand-new topic, the Saturn/Apollo Reunions at the US Space & Rocket Center, including the Second Annual Saturn/Apollo Reunion (2005), Third Annual Saturn/Apollo Reunion (2006), and the fireworks from the 2007 Reunion.

Finally, I delve into the topic of the external S-II LH2 tank insulation (primarily focusing on the honeycomb insulation) and provide a brief overview of the construction of the S-II stage.


June 11, 2010 (update #2):

I've updated my S-IVB (Saturn V) Propellant Tank Pressurization info page with an improved cold helium diagram and updated the ambient helium tank numbering section, based on information forwarded by Alan Lawrie.


June 11, 2010:

I started off just wanting to upload the rest of the pictures I've taken of V-1 and V-1-like vehicles:

The KD2G-2 Firefly is a post-WWII American pilotless target which bears an overall resemblance to the V-1; I'd never heard of it before, so I put together a KD2G-2 Firefly Descriptive Arrangement page (thanks to the Standard Aircraft Characteristics Archive).

But, long-time readers will know that with an update like this, I just can't leave well enough alone.

Since Battleship Memorial Park is a "new" museum (for which I had not previously posted any pictures) and it is home to the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama and the Gato-class WWII submarine USS Drum, I had to upload a few pictures of those vessels (as well as a few other planes and missiles in their collection).

Since I mentioned the Drum, I couldn't help but mention the other Gato-class sub of which I have pictures, the USS Cobia at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Since this, too was a "new" museum, I uploaded some pictures of other submarine-related artifacts in their collection, including an Exide submarine battery cell, a 92KA40T/1.4.H.A periscope, a Mark 27 "Cutie" torpedo, and a cut-away of what appears to be a Mark 14 torpedo.

The innards of that cut-away torpedo were very interesting; it runs on a turbine system which is reminiscent of a rocket engine's turbopump, so I uploaded a picture set of the cut-away V-2 engine turbopump at the Air Force Museum. And, of course, what good is a cut-away view of a V-2 turbopump if there aren't also a few pictures of its location on an actual V-2 rocket engine?


June 10, 2010:

I scanned a vintage "Alabama Space & Rocket Center" booklet which had pictures of Apollo 6 when it resided at the ASRC. Today, of course, it resides at the Fernbank Science Center.


May 31, 2010:

On this Memorial Day, remember our fallen heroes by taking a virtual trip to Arlington National Cemetery or perhaps the Eighth Air Force Memorial at the Air Force Museum.

It's been a while since I've had much time to devote to the site; I've been doing a bunch of (mostly less-interesting) other tasks. However, I do hope to upload a couple of small picture sets later this week.


March 28, 2010:

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first static test firing of a Saturn rocket. Prior to the creation of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the test firing and preceding development was conducted by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at the Redstone Arsenal. Clustering eight rocket engines was still something new, so for this initial test firing only two rocket engines were installed and they were fired for less than eight seconds. Over the next several weeks, additional engines were installed and the test time increased until the tests reached full duration.

That first test firing 50 years ago used the SA-T (Static Test) Stage installed in the static test tower.

I've had all of my pictures of the SA-T and STTE uploaded for some months, so to commemorate this anniversary I decided to keep with a Saturn I Block I theme: I uploaded my pictures of the SA-D (Dynamic Test Vehicle). Since this Saturn is currently located in the MSFC Rocket Garden, I've uploaded a few pictures of it, as well. And, for good measure, I've also uploaded a number of pictures of the Block I holddown arms on which the SA-D rests, as well as Block I support arms (at the USSRC) for completeness and some pictures of the Block II/Saturn IB holddown arms at the Ardmore Welcome Center and at the Kennedy Space Center for comparison.

I've also prepared info pages chronicling the history of the MSFC Rocket Garden, as well as a diagram detailing the orientation of the SA-D in the Rocket Garden.

And, on a Website milestone note: With this batch of photos, the site now has over 4,000 pictures that I've taken of heroic relics (in addition to the 170-some-odd supplemental images and PDF files which I've assembled).


March 21, 2010:

Minor updates to my Saturn I Block I profile diagram.


March 20, 2010:

I uploaded a number of pictures from my second visit to Marshal Space Flight Center, including additional pictures of Building 4200 and the engines on display on its front lawn: an F-1 engine, a J-2 engine, and a Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME).

Additionally, I uploaded or updated picture sets for the J-2 engine at the Air Zoo, the Saturn V S-II (second) stage at Johnson Space Center, and the RL-10 engine at Glenn Research Center.


March 20, 2010:

I created a Titan I Missile Configuration diagram.


March 18, 2010:

I created a page explaining the F-1 engine's regenerative cooling tube markings, and updated my F-1 engine pictures at Stafford Air & Space appropriately.


March 14, 2010:

Happy pi day (3-14)!

Rather than do any of the various things I probably should have worked on this weekend, I instead reconstructed a diagram of the Apollo spacecraft inboard profile (complete). Taken from a PDF on the NTRS, I pasted five pages worth of the diagram and painstakingly reconstructed the missing portions.

I also uploaded a couple of pictures of the Apollo Launch Escape Tower jettison motor at the Museum of Science & Industry.


March 2, 2010:

Once again, I embarked on a seemingly small task which just ballooned into two weeks' worth of effort (and I'm still not done).

I planned on doing an info page on the Saturn V S-IVB stage O2H2 burner (aka "helium heater") and upload various pictures that I have of the O2H2 burner.

So, I uploaded some overall pictures of the Saturn V at Kennedy Space Center, splitting the picture set into pictures of the S-IC (first) stage, the S-II (second) stage, the S-IVB (third) stage, and the Command-Service Module/Spacecraft-Lunar Module Adapter (CSM/SLA) (the same way as I did for the Saturn V at Johnson Space Center). I also uploaded additional pictures of JSC's S-IVB stage, focusing on pictures of the aft skirt and the helium heater itself. And the U.S. Space & Rocket Center has a cool cut-away O2H2 burner.

While writing the O2H2 burner info page, I was going to make a passing reference to overall S-IVB stage propellant tank pressurization and repressurization systems. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any reference detailing the number of ambient helium spheres on the S-IVB. In fact, many of the references I consulted were inconsistent, specifying one number of spheres on one page and another number of spheres on another. Of course, this piqued my interest, and I've been reading S-IVB documentation ever since.

But, since it's been over two weeks since I last posted anything I thought I'd upload what I have now (you can find it, if you look hard enough), and finish it (hopefully!) soon.


February 14, 2010:

I'm finally announcing the upload of a bunch of new pictures. I've been working on this for a couple of weeks; if you've noticed the picture counters on the main page going up but didn't see any announcement here, this is why.

Now, it all seemed simple enough. I was going to upload my pictures (59 of them, as it turns out), of Apollo Command-Service Module #119 (CSM-119) at the Kennedy Space Center.

But, of course, I can't leave well enough alone. For just about every detail on the CSM itself, I had some other pictures somewhere that I wanted to use to explain the KSC CSM. And, of course, for many of those pictures, I had other pictures I wanted to use, and, well, things just got out of hand. Eventually, I had to stop myself, or else it would have been Easter before I would have been through.

So, in addition to the 59 CSM pictures, it turns out I needed at least 148 other pictures to explain them, including (some full sets, some only a few pictures)

I also made a couple of info pages:

So, there it is. Not only do I think I did a half-way decent job on the CSM, I'm also in a better position to make a few more now-much-smaller updates, hopefully in the coming days ...


February 11, 2010:

Contrary to what it may look like, I've been pretty busy these last few weeks, preparing a major update (I'll hopefully finish that this weekend). However, in honor of today's launch of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, I upload pictures I took of the SDO while it was under construction when I visited Goddard Space Flight Center.


January 24, 2010:

Uploaded a batch of Apollo space suit-related pictures:


January 21, 2010:

Uploaded pictures of Suzanne Parish's pink P-40 Warhawk (47619), at the Air Zoo.


January 19, 2010:

Uploaded a few pictures of Apollo 13, its hatch, and ablative panels at the Kansas Cosmosphere.


January 18, 2010:

Additional Lunar Module propulsion updates at the USSRC:


January 18, 2010:

The picture on the Internet on which I based the mission control console was off on its white balance; it's been bothering me for a while, and today I finally uploaded a color-corrected set of of graphics and CSS. If the color scheme is scrambled, your browser is probably caching the old files; just do a "reload".


January 17, 2010:

Uploaded a detailed new picture set of the lunar module Ascent Propulsion System (APS) engine at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Also uploaded a few new facility photos from the USSRC.

Additionally, I uploaded several new photos of lunar test article 3A (LTA-3A) (at the Kansas Cosmosphere) and the LM simulator at the Cradle of Aviation.

Finally, I updated the APS engine picture sets at Glenn Research Center and the Air Zoo with links to the new photos uploaded above.


January 9, 2010:

I made some changes to the HTML and CSS files which make up the main index page and all of "auxiliary" pages (associated with the console buttons). This should make the pages load some theoretical amount more quickly and improve latency (if you sometimes would get a "blank" button when you click it, this should solve that problem).

If your screen looks scrambled, it's probably because your browser is caching the old CSS pages; just do a "reload" in your browser and all should be well.

Also uploaded an expanded "About" page.


January 5, 2010:

Uploaded some pictures from the Air Zoo:


January 1, 2010:

With the start of a new year, I archived 2009's news.

The Website continued to grow in 2009. In May I moved away from a "plain text" main page, adding the Mission Control console theme, and splitting the main page into multiple sub-pages.

2009 ended with 3,467 pictures of relics and 145 supplemental pictures online, an increase of 1,779 and 126, respectively. 1,007 of the new relics pictures were added during the nine-day Apollo 11 anniversary.

The end of the year came with a bit of a fizzle, as I haven't posted many picture sets since early October. The NASA Technical Reports Server being down for several weeks, raking leaves, and shoveling snow all contributed to this. However the main factor was that I was busy rewriting the software I use to maintain the Website. Previously, I was unable to include pictures of multiple geometries (e.g., pictures taken with my old camera and pictures taken with my new camera) in the same picture set. I've rewritten the software to allow that, and importing pictures is a whole lot easier and quicker. So, I'm hoping that 2010 will see a whole lot more picture uploads!


January 1, 2009:

With the start of a new year, I archived 2008's news.

2008 was quite a year for me, as I'd been talking about starting a Website for several years. I realized that I was never going to be "ready", so I finally just went and did it. 2008 ended with 1688 pictures of relics and 19 supplemental pictures online.

Certainly the highlight of the year came December 22, when collectSPACE ran a feature article (the basis of which was written by Alan Lawrie) about an Apollo 8 F-1 engine I photographed while touring MSFC, and then a day later when a "teaser" version of that same article hit the front page of


August 15, 2008:

Site goes live. "Live" might be too strong of a word for it, as there's nothing here other than a "welcome" page, but at least I do have a presence on the web!


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