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 I understand it has since been replaced by Discovery, which happens to be the only shuttle I haven’t seen  yet so I guess I have a stop to make next time I’m in DC.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.

Mercury 2 involved three vehicles and 13 launches, captured by two fixed DSLRs and one pad-mounted video camera.  We lost the hero of Mercury 1, my 20″ RTF, to a nearby tree but the star of the day was the flying outhouse.

More rocktes and payloads are currently being prepped for our next launch.  New launch sites are also being scouted as we await the current Santa Anna wind conditions to change.

You can see the whole photoset of Mercury 2  and the video from Mercury 1 below.  Scott and James can add links to their content in the Comments.

It’s been 20 years, but I’ve returned to model rocketry with a successful mission (dubbed “Mercury 1’”) that included five launches, one rocket, two video cameras (one in HD), three still cameras, three GMRS radios, one fire extinguisher, and two dogs.  Total cost: $42.27.

The first test launch, with a small B motor, is captured in this video and includes footage in slow motion and from our “pad cam” (parachute deployment is discernable near apogee).

Time permitting, I will post the other launches (which triple the altitude and land much further downrange) and some good outtakes.

And for those who’d like participate in Mercury 2, I highly recommend Hobby People in Camarillo.  Stay tuned for mission updates.