Sunday, 28 September 2008

Skylab and beyond.

Alan Bean proudly displays the US flag that traveled with all three crews for the duration of the manned Skylab program.

A piece of Skylab debris recovered from Esperance Shire, Western Australia. With help from NASA, Australian authorities were able to eastablish that this piece was cut from a lightweight structural beam the rest of which....

... was gifted to the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C.

This flown embroidered patch was carried on the historic joint US-Soviet ASTP mission in 1975 by Commander Tom Stafford.

Tom then gifted the patch to his close friend and Apollo 10 crew mate Gene Cernan and it remained in his possession until I purchased the piece at a Novaspace Gene Cernan "Garage Sale".

This US flag was flown aboard the test shuttle orbiter "Enterprise" on one of her many drop tests in the late 1970s. Fred was the commander on one such flight and he was happy to pose with this "Approach and Landing Special Award" typically given to NASA employees in recognition of their contribution to the flight test program.

The launch of STS-1. The first space bound shuttle flown by Commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen. The beginning of a new chapter in maned space exploration.  


Commemorative US flag, flown aboard the first space shuttle mission - STS-1

On the face of it two shuttle thermal protection tiles. The tile with the "VT" number is I believe a test or engineering tile. The other, with the "VO" number, was likely attached and possibly flown on an orbiter. Remnants of the red silicone caulk adhesive used to attach the tile to the orbiter are still evident.

These silica tiles are used extensively on each orbiter providing effective yet light weight protection for the delicate aluminium skin of the vehicle.

Advanced Flexible Reusable Surface Insulation (AFRSI) blankets were developed after the orbiter Columbia was built. AFRSI blankets consist of sewn composite quilted fabric insulation that is sandwiched between two layers of white fabric that are sewn together to essentially form a quilted blanket. This piece was a sample provided to media in the Cape Canaveral area.

AFRSI blankets were used extensively on the orbiter upper surfaces.

This display is a commercially produced piece using Thermal Protection material, flown in shuttle Columbia's payload bay on one or more ocassions between 1981 and 1986.

NASA, in support of bringing the Olympics to Houston — home of Mission Control and the U.S. astronaut corps — launched aboard Atlantis 1,000 lapel pins for the Houston 2012 Foundation.  The eventual winner of the Olympic bid for 2012 was London.

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