3 Space Shuttles in 2 Weeks


Between a work trip to NASA Kennedy Space Center a little over a week ago and a visit today to the California Science Center, I have had the privilege of seeing 3 of our Space Shuttles in the last two weeks (see photos of Endeavour above and Atlantis below).


Years ago I was also able to see Enterprise at the National Air and Space Museum outside Dulles for a life total of 4. I understand it has since been replaced by Discovery, which happens to be the only shuttle I haven’t seen  yet so I guess I have a stop to make next time I’m in DC.

These really are amazing to see in person, particularly when you compare the scale to the other Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules typically on display near by. The shuttle is immense in person.

The textures are also something that stand out, both the black heat tiles and the white quilted surface. You can’t help but marvel at the engineering that went into the design and operation, and the bravery of those who flew them.

They are a tribute to what our nation has achieved and an inspiration for what it can again.

Howard Hughes Camarillo Airport Connection

Came across this little gem in the Wikipedia article about Oxnard Air Force Base, or what is today Camarillo Airport:

Oxnard Airport was opened in 1934 by the County of Ventura and consisted of a 3,500 foot dirt runway … During the thirties Howard Hughes erected a tent on the airport to shelter his H-1 racer, which he tested from the Oxnard Airport.

All the more interesting considering that I always suspected the scene in The Aviator when Hughes crashes the H-1 into a beet field was filmed in Oxnard. Locals may recognize some of the nearby features in these shots (ignoring the simulated bipack color Scorsese annoyed us with), better to just watched on the DVD at 46:35:

Which pretty confidently puts the shooting location about here. The real event took place near Santa Ana, CA captured in this National Geographic photo.