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2013 Archived News

News from 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

December 26, 2013 (Update #3):

No, not another batch of photos, but simply announcing a site milestone.

Google has a suite called the Webmaster Tools which I use to request that Google crawls new content, see what errors I may have on my site, see how many Google click-throughs I get, see what other Websites link to mine, and more.

One of the features counts the number of web pages I have on my site. With this last update, Google tells me that I have 10,038 pages on my site. Over 10,000!

Now, Google counts "web pages" a bit differently than the counters on my home page: Google counts things like main museum pages, artifact gallery pages, and all sizes of PDFs.

But, still, over 10,000 seems noteworthy.


December 26, 2013 (Update #2):

I uploaded photos of some Apollo artifacts at the National Air & Space Museum, including

I also uploaded my remaining crawler-transporter tread photos:

I don't remember exactly why, but I somehow wound up uploading my photos from a Mission Control room on the Space Center Houston tram tour of Johnson Space Center.


December 26, 2013:

Uploaded several photos of Apollo 12 at the Virginia Air & Space Center.


December 15, 2013:

Keeping with the Mars theme, today I uploaded

I first visited the Great Lakes Science Center this summer, and this is my first upload to include photos from GLSC. The GLSC is primarily an "interactive" children's museum, with their space-related artifacts inherited from the Glenn Research Center when it closed their on-site visitor center.

The GLSC has a relatively few space exhibits, most of them small, and so I've uploaded many of them along with this update:

Additionally, I uploaded a few photos from some of their more significant artifacts

Since GLSC inherited these artifacts from Glenn Research Center's former visitor center, I uploaded a few photos of some of these artifacts back when they were at Glenn Research Center for comparison:


December 13, 2013:

A Project Viking-related update:


December 9, 2013:

Photos of the Apollo 17 statue at the Kansas Cosmosphere. Also a handful of photos of Apollo 17 at Space Center Houston.


December 1, 2013 (Update #2)

During my September 2013 visit to Marshall Space Flight Center, I found some F-1 rocket engine parts which appear to be from F-6090, the disassembled F-1 rocket engine, behind a building:


December 1, 2013

A page regarding the F-1 rocket engine propellant high-pressure ducts.


November 30, 2013 (Update #2):

An update related to the recently-demolished Cold Calibration Test Stand at Marshall Space Flight Center:


November 30, 2013:

A couple dozen additional photos of the H-1 rocket engine at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


November 29, 2013:

A page dealing with the Saturn I/IB H-1 rocket engine wraparound suction lines.


November 28, 2013:

I was surprised and distressed to find that the Internet didn't have a cut-away diagram of the F-1 rocket engine main LOX valve, so I put an end to that problem.


November 27, 2013:

Photos of the Red Bull Stratos travelling exhibit when it was at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


November 25, 2013:

Uploaded my USSRC Saturn V restoration photos from July 2006. No significant work had been done to the Saturn V itself as compared to my December 2005 visit, but the ends of the stages had been wrapped in protective plastic.


November 24, 2013:

Uploaded my USSRC Saturn V restoration photos from December 2005, after the bulk of the conservation had been completed and the stages had been painted (although they would undergo a final painting after they were moved into the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in summer 2007).


November 23, 2013 (Update #2):

Two dozen photos of the J-2 rocket engine at Science Museum Oklahoma.


November 23, 2013:

An S-II-related update today:


November 17, 2013:

All of my remaining photos of the outdoor displays at the former Stennis Space Center Visitor Center:


November 16, 2013:

A bunch of new photos of F-1 rocket Engine F-5036, in front of Marshall Space Flight Center Building 4200, the MSFC headquarters building.


November 15, 2013:

As you may have noticed, heroicrelics tends to focus on the "heroic age of manned space flight", primarily the 1960s Space Race. However, during my visits to Marshall Space Flight Center, I have taken a few ISS-related photos, and today I've uploaded those photo sets:


November 8, 2013:

A pair of Marshall Space Flight Center-related updates:


October 30, 2013:

New and updated photos of Building 4200 and the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) in front of it at Marshall Space Flight Center.


October 26, 2013:

Major update to my F-1 Engine G4080 Nozzle Extension Handling Fixture page, with several new diagrams.


October 14, 2013:

Additional photos of the EM-1 move to the De Soto Ave facility.


October 8, 2013:

Received a photo of EM-1 newly installed at the De Soto Ave facility.


October 2, 2013 (Update #2):

Aerojet Rocketdyne is moving the F-1 engine mockup (EM-1) which sat in front of their Canoga Park headquarters building on Canoga Ave. since 1979 to their new headquarters on De Soto Ave; the move is scheduled to be completed tonight.

Vince Wheelock sent me a photo of EM-1 on a flatbed trailer, so I created a page with some background information on EM-1 and the impending move.


October 2, 2013:

By special request, I've upgraded the maps on my Saturn barge routes page, replacing maps from the Internet with my own scans.


September 29, 2013 (update #2):

By special request, the F-1 rocket engine LOX flow meter.


September 29, 2013:

An update featuring some material acquired on that recent Huntsville trip:


September 23, 2013:

I recently spent a week in Huntsville, and came back with 35 gigs of photos, scans, and files from a MSFC employee. After a week of trying to sort these files into my existing collection, I'm finally ready to start making site updates again.

Today I uploaded a detailed map of Redstone Arsenal. Marshall Space Flight Center, of course, is entirely contained within Redstone Arsenal, which is the reason I've posted it.


September 6, 2013:

I found another diagram depicting Launch Complex 39D, so I moved most of the discussion of LC-39 Pad C and Pad D from my existing Saturn V Apollo Moon Rocket page to a new page, Launch Complexes 39A, 39B, 39C, AND 39D, and added a couple of new diagrams.


August 27, 2013:

Two new info pages, one detailing Rocketdyne's rocket engine "family tree" from their first large rocket engine up to the H-1, and one comparing the S-3D and H-1 rocket engines.


August 15, 2013:

Today marks heroicrelic's fifth 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 marks the Saturn program's 55th birthday as well.

To celebrate this event, I've uploaded a large (58+ inch) fold-out diagram of an early F-1 Rocket Engine General Configuration. In addition to containing information about dimensions and angles of components on the F-1, this diagram is also interesting because it depicts several early design features which were changed prior to the engine went into production.


August 10, 2013:

Added another drawing to my Mark 3 turbpump page.


August 3, 2013:

I've started a page with information, diagrams, and photos regarding the Redstone A-6 and A-7 rocket engines, including a cut-away of the thrust chamber and photos illustrating the difference between the A-6 and A-7 models of this rocket engine. I have additional photos that I'll add to this page as I have time.

I've also prepared a page with Michigan Space & Science Center aerial photos, including photos from when they still displayed artifacts outdoors.


July 23, 2013:

A page containing a vintage Cape Canaveral Air Force Station map.


July 3, 2013:

Today I uploaded a booklet for a driving tour of the Atlantic Missile Range entitled Welcome to Cape Kennedy Air Force Station.

The booklet was quite faded and had a number of stains; as usual, I spent entirely too long restoring the photos ...


June 29, 2013:

I've added another photo of my Marshall Space Flight Center Rocket Garden page.


June 28, 2013:

I've scanned a document and am preparing it for upload, but the photos in it are in pretty poor condition and restoration is taking longer than expected. So, just to let everyone know that I've not abandoned this site, I've prepared a small update, the couch in which squirrel monkey Miss Baker made her famous space flight in a Jupiter nose cone, on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


June 7, 2013:

Another Redstone-related update that nearly spiralled out of control.

I started out with a page of photos and diagrams of the Redstone A-7 rocket engine mounted on its missile.

Before I was done, I cut a swath through


May 28, 2013:

My Redstone-related updates continue with a page featuring some diagrams of the Redstone A-7 rocket engine turbopump, as well as some some turbopump-related photos of the Redstone A-7 rocket engine at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.


May 18, 2013:

I just uploaded photos of an interesting item, one which you've seen dozens of times, but with a unique twist: Mark Wells has in his collection an F-1 rocket engine turbopump LOX inlet closure. Not attached to an F-1 engine (Mark has a lot of cool artifacts, but no F-1 engine :-) one is able to rotate the closure to get details of various features and also to view the reverse side of this cover.

In keeping with my motto of "never a small update," I've also created a small page regarding the F-1 turbopump closure assemblies. I've also uploaded additional photos of F-1 engine F-6045, located in the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's Davidson Center for Space Exploration, photos of the engine's interface panel and turbopump inlet closures.


May 2, 2013:

Today I uploaded my long-languishing update. It started out small and focused (as most updates do) and wound up meandering through a large swath of space history (as many updates do).

The update started out as a Redstone missile-related update:

And my meanderings through space history:


April 26, 2013:

I uploaded a log book documenting the daily activity at MSFC's S-IC Test Stand, including preparation for the various static test firings of the S-IC-T, S-IC-1, S-IC-2, and S-IC-3 stages.


April 6, 2013 (Update #2):

Another F-1 Engine Test Stand update: The final demolition of the F-1 Engine Test Stand.


April 6, 2013:

Another F-1 Engine Test Stand update: F-1 Engine Test Stand Pre-Demolition Documentation Photos, taken in March 2009, presumably as part of the pre-demolition documentation effort.


April 5, 2013:

Another update in lieu of that large project ...

Suppose you had an F-1 rocket engine that you wished to static fire, and you further had a test stand in which to static fire it. But, how do you load the engine into the test stand?

To solve this dilemma, refer to my F-1 Engine Test Stand Load and Test page, which details the process by which an F-1 engine is loaded in Marshall Space Flight Center's F-1 Engine Test Stand in preparation for a static firing.


April 2, 2013:

My large project continues to consume my time, and is still not ready for upload.

I have, however, found some additional photos of the F-1 Rocket Engine G4049 Engine Vertical Installer from its SSME days. I've also learned that the installers are now being used in the J-2X program at Stennis. I've also exchanged emails with a current and a former Stennis employee, adding their comments on the installers.


March 13, 2013:

I've added a new diagram to my Saturn I/IB turbine exhaust page.


March 9, 2013:

The primary hard drive on my primary computer started going bad. Although I had backups of everything, it did cost me two weekends to reload the computer and restore the backups. That, however, isn't the main reason for the lack of updates as late; I'm working on another project whose scope has expanded entirely too far.

In the meantime, I've uploaded a photo of scrapped F-1 rocket engines in a Rocketdyne junkyard.


February 19, 2013:

By special request, a page concerning the F-1 Rocket Engine G4049 Engine Vertical Installer, as well as an F-1 Rocket Engine G4049 Engine Vertical Installer data sheet.


February 13, 2013:

By special request, additional photos of the Lunar Module Mission Simulator at the Cradle of Aviation.


February 3, 2013:

Improved graphics in my S-IC positions diagram.


January 28, 2013:

Another update stemming from my recent UAH visit, I've added another diagram to my S-IC Assembly page.


January 23, 2013:

I'm back from my visit to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville archives.

I've added another diagram to my F-1 Engine with Callouts page.


January 3, 2013:

I'm preparing for my next visit to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center later this month. As part of this effort, I sorted through and uploaded additional photos of their RL-10 rocket engine section.


January 1, 2013:

With the start of a new year, I archived 2012's news.

In 2012, heroicrelics was in the media a bit. Ars Technica ran an article about a behind the scenes tour of Mission Control, including a copy of my Apollo 13 Command Module control panel diagram near the bottom of page 4. When Freedom 7 was moved from the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center at the U.S. Naval Academy, ran an article which included my Freedom 7 spacecraft/earth composite photo. And I supplied a number of diagrams to the Haynes Lunar Rover Manual: 1971-1972 (Apollo 15-17; LRV1-3 & 1G Trainer).

The highlight of my year came in July, when I visited Marshall Space Flight Center to photograph an F-1 engine which had been disassembled. Coincidentally, at the time I was just about finishing up an in-depth series of pages on the F-1 injector, injector baffles, and thrust chamber, as well as a page of F-1 cut-aways. Although it was not pre-planned, I also received a tour which included the East and West Test areas, including the top of the Dynamic Test Stand, the Cold Calibration Test Stands, the Static Test Tower, the top of the S-IC Test Stand, and the F-1 Test Stand (which, sadly, was demolished in 2012). I also had some time by myself to photograph the engines in front of Building 4200 and Building 4205, as well as spending some quality time in the Rocket Garden.

In addition to my visits to the "normal" document archives, I also visited the home of aerospace consultant Dave Christensen, scanning a number of V-2 and Jupiter-related diagrams, as well as some interesting reports, including some related to H-1 and Jupiter engine development, as well as the original MSFC memo regarding Esther Goddard's patent infringement claims.

I ended 2012 with 7,368 photos (an increase of 1313, which seems oddly coincidental, going into 2013) and 679 supplemental images/PDFs (an increase of 177).

Shortly before the end of the year, I realized that I had not updated the program I use to count supplemental images when I started posting medium-sized versions of photos (it was already properly filtering out small-sized versions of photos). The program was also not filtering out the small- and medium-sized PDFs. So, I updated that program today, and reset the supplemental images counter to 592 (I didn't change the program and counter earlier, so that I could more easily track year-to-year changes).


January 1, 2012:

With the start of a new year, I archived 2011's news.

It seems that in 2011 I spent more on research and historical documents, rather than uploading photos of artifacts in museums. This isn't any sort of strategic shift, but rather what held my interest long enough to bring a project to completion.

I visited the archives of the University of Alabama at Huntsville several times, taking my laptop and scanner. Many of the items I put online in 2011 came from the archives at UAH.

Some of the original documents I scanned at UAH were already available on the Internet, but of a much lower quality (e.g., the Saturn V Apollo Flight Configuration Saturn V poster -- including the elusive "Sheet 2", a huge Apollo Command Module Main Display -- where all the labels on all of the buttons and switches are clearly readable, and the similarly large Lunar Module Controls and Displays). I also painstakingly restored the famous "Operation Paperclip" photo of the von Braun Rocket Team at Ft. Bliss and made an interactive identification version of this photo.

Something I'd not seen elsewhere on the Internet is my 55-inch-wide Assembly Layout S-IC Stage, Saturn V, an impressive engineering drawing of the Saturn V first stage.

One of my larger research projects included my F-1 Major Configuration Change Points. This started off as a transcript of a memo I found at UAH. I annotated this memo and added many photos illustrating these changes. While several of the photos were ones I'd taken and were already on the site, many of the photos are much rarer, being ones I scanned at the UAH archives or obtained from a Rocketdyne retiree.

I've already got the first road trip of 2012 planned; it includes a stop at the UAH archives, the USSRC, Grissom Memorial, and a stop off at somewhere I've not previously visited, one of the few German-produced V-1s in the U.S.

So, I ended 2011 with 6,055 pictures of relics (an increase of only 470) and 502 supplemental images online (an increase of 247, nearly doubling this number).


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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