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2011 Archived News

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December 23, 2011:

I'm sorry for the lack of updates this month; I've been very busy both at work and with family matters this month, and of course with the impending Christmas holiday.

I had a little time to work on the Website today, and I made a few (mostly administrative, uninteresting) updates today. About the most interesting thing I did was update my NASA Headquarters Circa 1983 page with a link to a NASA PDF with additional information on the history of the buildings occupied over the years by the NASA Headquarters.


December 1, 2011:

A cut-away diagram of the Saturn S-IC Booster Major Components.


November 27, 2011:

A high-resolution cut-away drawing of a V-2 rocket engine combustion chamber.


November 26, 2011:

A number of Agena upper stage-related pictures sets and resources:


November 25, 2011:

Today I uploaded one of the "Project Paperclip" photos taken of the von Braun Rocket Team at Fort Bliss. I also prepared an interactive version of this photo, allowing the identification of team members.


November 19, 2011:

A whole batch of (mostly) F-1 engine goodies!


November 5, 2011:

Uploaded photos of the Wernher von Braun Team Tribute bricks at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

I also created an info page regarding the tribute's unveiling ceremony, include scans of the event's program.


October 27, 2011:

Alan Lawrie reminds me that today is the 50th anniversary of the launch of SA-1, the first launch of a Saturn rocket.

I have photos of the remaining Saturn I Block I hardware: SA-D, the dynamic test vehicle, and SA-T, the static test stage. I also have a number of resources regarding these early Saturn vehicles.


October 18, 2011:

With the prep for my August Huntsville trip, all the goodies I scanned at UAH when I was there, and other projects to be uploaded soon, it's been a while since I actually uploaded any picture sets.

To remedy this shortcoming, I have uploaded and updated the following:


October 1, 2011:

Since NASA recently put up a page of cell phone ring tones, I decided to put together my own page containing my Saturn IB cell phone theme, containing Saturn IB phone backgrounds and two Apollo-themed ring tones.


September 24, 2011:

More from my visit to the archives of the University of Alabama in Huntsville: the Apollo Lunar Module Controls and Displays.

This is the largest, most readable LM control panel you're likely to find on the Internet.


September 17, 2011:

More from my visit to the archives of the University of Alabama in Huntsville: the Apollo Command Module Main Display Console.

This is the largest, most readable CM control panel you're likely to find on the Internet.


September 13, 2011:

From my visit to the archives of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, I present the Assembly Layout S-IC Stage, Saturn V (10M04564), a two-sheet drawing featuring various engineering views of the S-IC stage.

Sheet 1 is a whopping 55" wide!


September 5, 2011:

On a recent visit to Huntsville, I spent some time in the archives of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. One of the many documents I scanned was the "Saturn V Apollo Flight Configuration" poster.

Copies of Sheet 1 of this document aren't that uncommon, but the quality of all of the ones I've seen on the Internet have left something to be desired. My copy of this Saturn V poster includes both Sheet 1 (the Saturn V) and Sheet 2 (the Apollo Command Module, along with the A6L Apollo space suit), and both sheets were scanned off of a vintage copy of this diagram. Thus, the quality of the resulting drawing is pretty good.


August 24, 2011:

Pictures of Apollo 16's hatch at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. For a while when Apollo 16 was displayed in Space Hall, the hatch was displayed separately. Once Apollo 16 was moved to the Davidson Center, it was reunited with its hatch.


August 15, 2011:

Today marks heroicrelic's third birthday! The site went live on August 15, 2008.

By sheer coincidence, I decided to start a Website on the 50th anniversary of the authorization of the Saturn program. Thus, today also marks the Saturn program's 53rd birthday as well.

To celebrate this event, I've been busying readying all sorts of Saturn-related goodies:


August 14, 2011:

I updated my F-1 engine throat closures page with some video captures showing the closures.


August 13, 2011:

I updated my Saturn I Block I second stage adapter page with some video captures of the instrumentation canisters.


August 3, 2011:

Today I completed a large picture set of Lunar Test Article 8 (LTA-8) at Space Center Houston, along with a smattering of additional photos for various other lunar module-related picture sets.


August 2, 2011:

I uploaded a few pictures of Apollo 15 when it was located at the Air Force Museum's Presidentical Hangar (it is now located in the Missile & Space Gallery).


August 1, 2011:

Uploaded some pictures of the J-2 engine at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, both when it resided in the Rocket Park and in the Davidson Center.


July 31, 2011 (4:00 pm CDT):

I switched to a new web hosting plan. For a bit under an hour was unavailable as this change-over took place, but should be mostly OK for most US-based visitors (tech support tells me that it'll take a little longer for overseas visitors). Every now and then I'll get a spurious "page not found" or "there is no Website configured at this address", so things must still be sorting out.

As I write this, is still inaccessible, but it's still within the "expected" window as the updated domain name server information propagates.


July 2, 2011:

Uploaded photos from Ivy Hill Cemetery, resting place of Wernher von Braun.


July 1, 2011:

Uploaded a page containing pictures from a recent trip to the Moon (as in Moon Township, Pennsylvania).


June 6, 2011:

Scanned and uploaded the informational pamphlet from the Grissom Memorial in Mitchell, Indiana.


May 25, 2011:

Today is the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's first famous moon speech, the one in which he declared, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."

Officially known as the "Special Message to Congress on Urgent National Needs," I have prepared a page on the speech, reproducing the space-related portion.


May 23, 2011:

Prepared and uploaded a Pratt & Whitney magazine advertisement regarding the RL-10 engine used on the Saturn I's S-IV (second) stage.


May 21, 2011:

Prepared and uploaded a Douglas magazine advertisement regarding static testing the Saturn I S-IV (second) stage.


May 1, 2011 (update #2):

As submitted by reader Paul J. Lizanich, a wind storm early last month damaged the P-51 replica at the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant. (Note that Paul actually emailed me the day of the storm, but I neglected to report this until now.)


May 1, 2011:

Sorry for the lack of updates as of late; I've been doing a lot of work around the house, filing income taxes, cleaning the basement, and the like (too darn much life getting in the way of the Web site!).

To atone for the lack of updates, I scanned a booklet from the Marshall Space Flight Center Space Orientation Center. The booklet seems to date to late 1962 or early 1963, and contains pictures of the rocket garden and the exhibits inside the Space Orientation Center.


March 20, 2011 (third update):

I uploaded some photos of the NASA headquarters buildings circa 1983.


March 20, 2011 (second update):

I just uploaded number of Lunar Module-related pages:

Since both the LEMS and FLEEP were designed to be used or tested in the Lunar Landing Research Facility, I updated my Langley Research Center page with additional info on the LLRF.


March 20, 2011:

I uploaded vintage photos of Gemini 3 (aka "Molly Brown") and the SL-2 (Skylab 1) Apollo Command Module.

These spacecraft are currently exhibited at the Grissom Memorial and the Naval Aviation Museum, respectively.


March 13, 2011:

I updated my MSFC Rocket Garden page, including some additional facts and additional vintage photos of the Rocket Garden, the S-I-D stage, and the Space Orientation Center.


February 23, 2011:

I put together a page showing the barge routes used to transport the various Saturn stages.


February 19, 2011:

Pictures of the SA-7 ejectable camera capsule, representative of the type used on the Saturn I, Saturn IB, and Saturn V programs, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


February 18, 2011 (third update):

A little-known bit of trivia: Mercury spacecraft Sigma 7 played a role in the 1984 presidential race. Read all about it in The Political Career of Sigma 7.

I also added another picture to my recently-uploaded vintage USSRC photos page.


February 18, 2011 (second update):

I made a page to display my collection of vintage photos from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


February 18, 2011:

I uploaded another brochure, "The Official Guide to the Alabama Space & Rocket Center", depicting the U.S. Space & Rocket Center circa 1972.


February 12, 2011:

I uploaded an early Alabama Space & Rocket Center brochure, depicting the U.S. Space & Rocket Center shortly after it opened in 1970.


January 31, 2011:

Today is the 50th anniversary of Ham the chimpanzee's Project Mercury spaceflight. For the occasion, I've upload photos of the Project Mercury chimp couch at the Air Zoo.


January 29, 2011 (second update):

In conjunction with SpaceAholic, I just uploaded a new document, Mechanical Design of the Lunar Module Descent Engine, containing a description of the Apollo Lunar Module Descent Propulsion System engine itself; its gimbal assembly, combustion chamber, and nozzle extension; as well as extensive information on the LMDE component test program.


January 29, 2011:

Today I uploaded a few pictures of Gemini 3 and its Command Pilot's hatch at the Grissom Memorial in Mitchell, Indiana.


January 27, 2011:

Today is the anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire and is the designated NASA Day of Remembrance.

For the occasion, I will direct your attention to the astronauts section of my Arlington National Cemetery page. I have also uploaded my photos of the Astronaut Memorial (Space Mirror) at Kennedy Space Center.


January 18, 2011:

I added a set of diagrams from Lunar Module 4 (LM-4) to my Lunar Module Structural Drawings page.


January 17, 2011:

Today I uploaded several pictures sets from the Museum of Aviation:


January 15, 2011:

I scanned an uploaded an early pamphlet depicting lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR).


January 1, 2011:

With the start of a new year, I archived 2010's news.

2010 saw a number of technical improvements to the site.

Around the beginning of the year, I finished rewriting the software I use to maintain the site. Over the years, I've made several visits to many museums, and I've upgraded my camera between some of those visits. Prior to this rewrite, it wasn't possible to combine the batches of pictures I've taken with different cameras in a single page, because the software only supported a single camera resolution on a given museum page. This forced me to maintain two different data files for each of these museums, and was quite a bother to deal with. But, now I've got all the pictures from each museum residing in a single data file, allowing me to mix-and-match pictures from each trip.

In October, I moved away from "plain-text" info pages. I rolled out a theme loosely-based on the Apollo command and lunar module control panels, making these pages as attractive to look at as they are informative. I hope to modify my software again so I can use this theme on all remaining pages, but that'll be a fair chunk of work.

Another goal in 2010 was to upload at least one picture set from each museum or other venue I've visited. Creating the initial upload for a museum involves a fair amount of overhead, and there'd been times when I wanted to upload a picture set in response to a news event or some forum post, but I couldn't quickly do so because that picture set was part of a museum I'd not yet uploaded. I didn't quite meet that goal – I still have five museums to go – but I'm in a much better position and I hope to get those remaining museums online in the coming weeks.

In the "bragging" portion of this news item, in August I was asked to prepare a version of my S-II stage insulation page for inclusion in NASA's Apollo Flight Journal; it's available via the Journal's home page or at

Finally, in the "vital statistics" portion of this news item, 2010 ended with 5,585 pictures of relics and 255 supplemental images online, an increase of 2,118 and 110, respectively.


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.


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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