My SpaceQuest Begins: Apollo 8

This, along with MA-7 “Aurora 7”, started this adventure, or SpaceQuest, of trying to see all the American space capsules. I was in Chicago for a National Science Digital Library meeting and had the morning and about half the afternoon free to explore Chicago. I visited the Alder Planetarium in the morning, then headed down […]

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Mercury-Atlas 5

This capsule carried a chimpanzee named ‘Enos’ into space on November 29, 1961. The two-orbit flight lasted three hours and twenty-one minutes. Although Enos, encased in his chimp cabin, could not use any of the controls, the spacecraft was fully equipped with all the switches and gauges that the Mercury astronauts would use. This successful flight […]

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Lunar Electric Rover

  Inside Building 9 (aka Space Vehicle Mockup Facility) is the Lunar Electric Rover. The end of the Level 9 tour, included a stop here. Although this a tram stop for the regular tour, with the Level 9 tour we are able to get on the floor of the facility. In addition to seeing training […]

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Gemini Trainer

One of the exhibits at the Goddard Visitor Center is this Gemini Trainer. Visitors can climb inside the trainer can see what it would have been like to spend up 13 days in one. Since I first visited, the authentic seats have been removed and replaced with something more accommodating.

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Apollo BP-12

The Apollo Boilerplate 12 was the first full-sized capsule used to test the launch escape system of the Apollo spacecraft. It was launched atop a Little Joe II booster rocket at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on May 13, 1964. The capsule now sits outside the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, […]

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Lunar Module Engineering Trainer

One of many space artifacts at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences, is the Lunar Module Engineering Trainer, TM-5. The museum has it displayed as the Apollo 15 landing.   This trainer was used by all the Apollo astronauts for their landing training. It is also identified as JSC-12. Thanks to Cathy Lankford […]

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Boilerplate MSC-307 was most likely a simple engineering shape and there are no indications that are was ever out-fitted for actual astronaut egress training or for stress testing. It would have been used by recovery forces for splashdown training in preparation for the actual Gemini missions. This boilerplate was delivered to the USS Hornet in November […]

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