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.Home
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:
- At the Air Zoo:
- At Battleship Park:
- I'm also uploading the initial picture set of a new venue, the private collection of Mark Wells (of Rocket Relics):
- At the Marshall Space Flight Center:
- The Mercury-Redstone at the Michigan Space & Science Center
- At the Udvar-Hazy Center:
- At the U.S. Space & Rocket Center:
- An info page with several diagrams of the Redstone A-7 rocket engine steam generator, including some diagrams of the hydrogen peroxide and propellant flow systems.
- An info page with a number of diagrams detailing the Redstone missile.
And my meanderings through space history:
- Mark Wells' H-1 rocket engine turbine.
- Additional photos of the Marshall Space Flight Center Rocket Garden, plus the rockets and missiles in it:
In the U.S. Space & Rocket
Center for Space Exploration:
- Some photos of the Saturn V S-II (second) stage.
- Several photos of the Saturn V S-IVB (third) stage.
- A number of photos of the Saturn V Command/Service Module and Spacecraft/Lunar Module Adapter (CSM/SLA).
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.Home
April 6, 2013 (Update #2):
Another F-1 Engine Test Stand update: The final demolition of the F-1 Engine Test Stand.Home
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.Home
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.Home
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.Home
March 13, 2013:Home
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.Home
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.Home
February 13, 2013:Home
February 3, 2013:
Improved graphics in my S-IC positions diagram.Home
January 28, 2013:Home
January 23, 2013:
I'm back from my visit to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville archives.Home
January 3, 2013:Home
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, space.com 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 David L. 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).Home
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.
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).Home
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 http://history.nasa.gov/afj/s-ii/s-ii-insulation.html.
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.Home
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.Home
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 space.com.Home
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!Home