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  #11  
Old 01-27-2018, 07:01 AM
Richschindler Richschindler is offline
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Very interesting post. As Iím a little older than you I remember from day one, all the launches. From the first Mercury through Gemini then came the Apollo and finally the shuttle launchís.
I watched every single one. To this day I have memorabilia from the early days. I was in aviation so had the great opportunity to actually meet some of my boyhood heroís over the years.
Itís just so unfortunate we had to lose so many great men and women in our quest for space.
The story not so often told is the hundreds of men and women lost in the quest to make aviation what it is today. All the test pilots that never came back.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2018, 08:01 AM
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umtutsut umtutsut is offline
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I have tributes to the Challenger and Columbia crews on my home office wall. And I built this 1/12 Apollo 1 crew model from a Space Helmet Models resin kit.

Les (The Voice of Authority)
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2018, 09:11 AM
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eagleclaw4935 eagleclaw4935 is offline
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Thank God these folks are never forgotten. Bottom line. If we never learn from failure, why even do it.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2018, 02:55 PM
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Thank you! One of the best posts ever on any forum.

Thank you once again for the memories you've brought back.

You Honor many!

Mike
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2018, 06:47 PM
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beckychestney beckychestney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Hansen View Post
I'm sure I know this poster and I had it. I may still have it somewhere. Did it have the photo of Earth from the Apollo 17 mission on the reverse?
Yep! The original is long gone but here's a quick snap of a replacement I bought a couple of years ago:

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  #16  
Old 01-27-2018, 06:49 PM
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beckychestney beckychestney is offline
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Originally Posted by wideride View Post
Me and about six other kids in our school were members of the NASA Explores Club. That was one of the programs developed by NASA to fire up us young school age children to the space program, and maybe inspire some of us to look at a career in engineering or the sciences. We met every Friday with one of our science teachers, during lunch, just to keep up with the space program and show off the posters, booklets and models that came thru the mail nearly every week.
1-27-1967 was a Friday. The announcement came over the intercom to whole school. Gus Grissom grew up just 50 miles north of here. He was a local hero that would visit schools around the area, when he had the chance. We had just talked about the capsule tests going on at the space center that day.
Grissom. White. Chaffee. Three space heroes gone.
One of those days that I've never forgotten.
George
I was in high school and heard a similar announcement in 1986. Sticks with you doesn't it?
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2018, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by umtutsut View Post
I have tributes to the Challenger and Columbia crews on my home office wall. And I built this 1/12 Apollo 1 crew model from a Space Helmet Models resin kit.

Les (The Voice of Authority)
Cool! I never knew those kits existed.
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2018, 11:44 PM
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luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
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Originally Posted by beckychestney View Post
I was in high school and heard a similar announcement in 1986. Sticks with you doesn't it?
I skipped school that day to work the fields up in preparation to plant the cotton crop. Dad got up early (he worked nights) and came down to the field about noon and picked me up in the truck and we went back to Grandma's to eat lunch. He told me in the pickup on the way up the road to Grandma's that "the shuttle blew up!" He knew I was a big space fan and was really interested in the space program, and I knew he didn't follow that sort of thing very closely, so I figured he saw the boosters come off during the launch on TV or something-- when the separation motors fire it looks for a moment like it "blew up" particularly from the ground, because of the huge plumes from the rocket motors that fire forward and in front of the orbiter to push the boosters back and away from the ET and orbiter. I figured that's what he saw... Boy was I surprised when I walked in the house and saw what was going on TV. We sat and watched the continuing coverage on TV for awhile and ate lunch and I popped a tape into my new VHS VCR I had bought with my crop money from the previous year, (first one in our family-- an old Sears top-loader) and set it on slowest speed "EP" and went back to the field to work.

I remember that day like it was yesterday-- It was cool and clear and bright, not a cloud in the sky... the fields had dried off from the light rain we'd gotten a day or two before when the same cold front that froze up Florida blew through our area just west of Houston around the 25th or 26th. We had gotten a pretty good freeze those nights, but that's not particularly unusual for us. The front blew through pretty much "dry" so the ground dried out in the wind and sun the next day and I decided to miss school the 28th to work in the field. I'd always pick a day on the tractor over a day in school any time-- I REALLY disliked school-- SO boring. I made good grades without even trying, and I really didn't like the other kids and nonsense... I'd rather be working.

Anyway, that front had blown on across the South over the next couple days and arrived in Florida the night of the 27th, when it got SO bitterly cold-- down in the 20's on the launch pad, which stiffened the O-rings so much that they didn't seal properly, dooming the crew. Saddest part was, years later we'd learn that NASA *HAD* been warned, but the warnings were overruled due to "go fever", and so...

Same thing with Gus's crew... they KNEW that the block 1 Apollo was SO full of bugs he had even hung a lemon on the simulator, and was famously heard commenting, "how are we supposed to get to the Moon if we can't talk between 2 or 3 buildings?" during communications problems. He had made comments and talked to other astronauts and people... there's even a photo of the crew praying over a model of the Apollo 1 capsule that they gave to one of the engineers or program managers... BUT he also knew (and said as much) that if he refused to fly it, they'd wash him out of the program and it'd fly anyway with someone else in the capsule... So... That was before I was born, by about 4 years...

Then there was Columbia... Again NASA *KNEW* they had a problem but CHOSE to 'roll the dice' figuring "if anything bad was gonna happen, it would have already happened". They'd had shuttles come back with broken and missing tiles from foam strikes; had for years-- BUT they'd always been in "non-critical" areas... They even had one of the flights immediately preceding Columbia's last flight come back with a big hole melted through the aluminum skin on the orbiter's belly, due to a foam strike smashing and crumbling and knocking off tiles (the tiles themselves are about the same consistency and strength as "astronaut ice cream" that they sell at the visitor centers, or "divinity" candy at Christmas-- I've held a tile and they're VERY light (since they're essentially "glass foam") and very brittle and chalky-- you can easily scratch or dent them with your fingernail or put your fingerprints into them squeezing them too hard!) Anyway, luckily for that crew that the foam strike and missing tiles and burn-through of the belly occurred in a non-critical area, and the hot gas entering the structure dissipated before it burned through major spars or structural beams... Columbia wouldn't be so lucky. I had just been married about a year and a half when that happened. I remember it well because we'd just returned home to Texas from visiting the mother-in-law and Betty's family in Indiana... I had showed my niece and nephews the shuttle tracker program on my MIL's computer while we were there, and we discussed the mission-- might have even gone outside to watch it fly over, can't recall exactly... I just know we talked about it a lot one afternoon for sure. We'd gotten home and I flipped on the TV that morning to watch the shuttle landing, and instead the weatherman was showing the weather radar-- you could see the debris trail on the weather radar clear as day. They were in the process of "locking down" the control room at that point, and wouldn't say anything, but when the landing time came and passed, it was clear it was down *somewhere* and not in Florida... We knew what happened watching Houston TV weathermen before most other people knew, even at NASA I'd bet, because they were still waiting to regain telemetry from the shuttle. The debris path crossed over the Piney Woods of east Texas, and my great-great-uncle and his VFW troop participated in the recovery of debris-- they had a huge signed banner above their entry inside the building that NASA had sent them in appreciation of their efforts, signed by many in the shuttle program.

Later! OL J R
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  #19  
Old 01-28-2018, 01:40 AM
Mark Hansen Mark Hansen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckychestney View Post
Yep! The original is long gone but here's a quick snap of a replacement I bought a couple of years ago:

That's the one. From memory, Apollo 1s crew are the three just above the flag.
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  #20  
Old 01-28-2018, 07:42 PM
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beckychestney beckychestney is offline
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Originally Posted by luke strawwalker View Post
I skipped school that day...signed by many in the shuttle program.

Later! OL J R
It's hard to imagine ole' Gus going for a spacecraft with such a crappy hatch design (especially after the dog he got on Liberty Bell 7). One account I read said it took 90 seconds to get it open under the best of circumstances. Wally Schirra did refuse to fly in a block one so maybe if there had been a more united front by the astronauts it would have been different.

Challenger was a warning to us about putting lives into the hands of corporate executives. Engineers were concerned but it seems executives put their corporate image ahead of safety.

In a post Columbia interview Story Musgrave said it best: "You just do a walk."
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