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Also in the lobby at the Cosmosphere...Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule "Liberty Bell 7" from the second US manned spaceflight in 1961. Piloted by Virgil "Gus" Grissom, the flight went as expected until just after splashdown when the explosive bolts on the hatch blew. Grissom was recovered safely but the capsule sank into the Atlantic Ocean and was not recovered until 1999. The recovery was financed by the Discovery Channel and the Cosmosphere took on the task of disassembling and cleaning the spacecraft. After a national tour ended in 2006, "LB7" went on permanent display in Hutchinson, KS...with the occasional visit to other museums. I first saw it here in the Kansas City area during the first week of March this year.

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If you look back at the exterior image of the Cosmosphere, the rocket displayed prominently in front of the building is a Mercury-Redstone combo...similar to how "Liberty Bell 7" would have looked at launch. All right...let's get past the lobby and on into the heart of the Hall of Space Museum...the first thing we come upon is a replica of Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1 "Glamorous Glennis" from the movie "The Right Stuff" and a stained-glass panel featuring the motto of the state of Kansas..."Ad Astra per Aspera"...Latin for "to the stars through difficulties". The motto was coined in 1861 and was described as meaning: "the aspiration of Kansas is to reach the unattainable; its dream is the realization of the impossible."

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Didn't this story put Gus Grissom almost out of the space business for some time, then he was called back but died in the mission? Or am I totally mixing stories?
 

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watchadude...you may be including some bits from the movie "The Right Stuff". ;) There was never any indication that Grissom accidentally or intentionally blew the hatch on Liberty Bell 7. He was Command Pilot on Gemini 3, about 3 years after the Mercury flight; making him the first NASA astronaut to fly twice to space. He was backup Command Pilot for Gemini 6A but was transferred to the Apollo program and assigned as Commander for the first crewed mission. That, of course, led to the tragic incident on the launch pad during a pre-launch test of Apollo 1 in January 1967 when the interior of the Command Module caught fire and burned. Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee all perished in the incident which led to major changes in the materials of the spacecraft interior and ended the use of 100% oxygen atmosphere in the capsules.
 

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October 1957 and the USSR put the world on notice with the launch of Sputnik 1...the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. The Cosmosphere has this flight-ready backup for Sputnik 1.

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Around the corner we found Red Thunder...RD-107 rocket engines were the power underneath the R-7 Semyorka launch vehicle, which was developed, modified and improved into the rocket that launched Sputnik. Later versions lifted Luna, Molniya, Vostok, Voskhod and even Soyuz spacecraft. Some variants of the RD-107 are still in production.

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Spacesuits! Spacecraft! Still only scratching the surface of the cool stuff at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas!! This suit is described as being 'similar to the suit worn by Yuri Gagarin on his historic spaceflight'.

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This helmet (and accompanying suit) is described as the 'type of spacesuit worn by Leonov when he performed the first spacewalk'.

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How about a flown, unmanned Vostok capsule!! A total of 8 Vostoks were flown...6 with a human crew. The Vostok 3KA was the type flown by Gagarin in 1961...the first human spaceflight.

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And a replica Voskhod capsule with a flight-ready Volga inflatable airlock! In March 1965, Voskhod 2 carried Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev into orbit where the airlock allowed Leonov to exit the capsule for a 12-minute EVA.

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watchadude...you may be including some bits from the movie "The Right Stuff". ;) There was never any indication that Grissom accidentally or intentionally blew the hatch on Liberty Bell 7. He was Command Pilot on Gemini 3, about 3 years after the Mercury flight; making him the first NASA astronaut to fly twice to space. He was backup Command Pilot for Gemini 6A but was transferred to the Apollo program and assigned as Commander for the first crewed mission. That, of course, led to the tragic incident on the launch pad during a pre-launch test of Apollo 1 in January 1967 when the interior of the Command Module caught fire and burned. Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee all perished in the incident which led to major changes in the materials of the spacecraft interior and ended the use of 100% oxygen atmosphere in the capsules.
Thanks. I recall the story now. I watched a documentary on TV some months ago, which said that Grissom had been unformally reproached the loss of the Liberty Bell while nothing in the documentary showed he was guilty of anything--so probably politics.
 

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The museum describes this exhibit as illustrating "the docking of the Americans and Soviets in the first joint manned mission in space". Which tells me that it's a mock-up and doesn't include any flown, or otherwise actual, space bits. Still...the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP in the US, Soyuz 19 in the USSR) in July 1975 was a big deal for space nerds as well as international...even interstellar...diplomacy. The mission is generally considered to mark the end of the Space Race, begun in 1957 with Sputnik I.

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ASTP would be the last US spaceflight for six years until the first Space Shuttle in 1981...and the last US flight in a capsule until the Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch in May of this year. The Apollo capsule that rendezvoused with Soyuz was a leftover from cancelled Apollo missions and was the last Apollo capsule to fly.

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On a human level, Apollo Commander Thomas Stafford and Soyuz Commander Alexei Leonov...who exchanged the first international handshake in space...became lifetime friends. It was the final spaceflight for both veteran spacemen.

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Just behind the Apollo-Soyuz display is this amazing photo of a launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome!

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Looking at the mock up, didn't realize the difference in size between the two - if my memory serves me right, there were three crew on each vessel, but looking at the Soyuz compared to the Apollo, looks almost a 'single seater' in comparison:unsure:
 

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Looking at the mock up, didn't realize the difference in size between the two - if my memory serves me right, there were three crew on each vessel, but looking at the Soyuz compared to the Apollo, looks almost a 'single seater' in comparison:unsure:
For ASTP there were three in Apollo, two in Soyuz...only two due to modifications needed to allow the cosmonauts to wear the new Sokul space suit, designed to protect the wearer in the event of an unexpected depressurization during launch or reentry. But yes...even with only two, that's a tight fit.
 

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Nomad began his time with me on August 17 and two days later, we journeyed to Indianapolis, Indiana and race week for the Indy 500 auto race. Seems like only yesterday! Today, Nomad and I got on another airplane and we've returned to Indianapolis for this week's Harvest Grand Prix double-header races on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I think this will be a good way to bookend my time with Nomad, so once I return to Kansas (there's no place like home ;) ) I will be sending Nomad along to his next host: Father of Five.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Nomad and I'll have more photos before he leaves the Midwest USA...I have some more Cosmosphere pictures and will have some from this week. My crack-of-dawn flight from Kansas City...sunrise as we passed by the new airport terminal under construction (all the cranes)!

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Some very interesting clouds over the water as we approached Detroit, Michigan...

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Once I got inside the airport, we recreated a photo from our first trip to Indiana back in August...

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Some random airplane photos as we taxied...

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Safe and Secure in my window seat.

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If you're lucky when flying to Indianapolis, and you have a window seat on the starboard side of the plane, you just might fly a landing approach that takes you past the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway...the "Brickyard"! This view is always amazing as it gives a good perspective of just how huge the facility really is...(for reference, that's a 1/4-mile dirt track inside Turn 3 in the upper right hand corner of the Speedway).

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It's fantastic to think that the track...opened in 1909...still hosts modern IndyCars. The average speed of the first Indy 500 was 74.602mph (120.060km/h), the average speed of last month's 500 Mile Race was more than double at 157.824mph (253.993km/h); while the fastest qualifying speed this year was 231.068mph (371.868km/h). On a 111-year-old track design!
 

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Nomad began his time with me on August 17 and two days later, we journeyed to Indianapolis, Indiana and race week for the Indy 500 auto race. Seems like only yesterday! Today, Nomad and I got on another airplane and we've returned to Indianapolis for this week's Harvest Grand Prix double-header races on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I think this will be a good way to bookend my time with Nomad, so once I return to Kansas (there's no place like home ;) ) I will be sending Nomad along to his next host: Father of Five.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Nomad and I'll have more photos before he leaves the Midwest USA...I have some more Cosmosphere pictures and will have some from this week. My crack-of-dawn flight from Kansas City...sunrise as we passed by the new airport terminal under construction (all the cranes)!

View attachment 15475840

Some very interesting clouds over the water as we approached Detroit, Michigan...

View attachment 15475841

Once I got inside the airport, we recreated a photo from our first trip to Indiana back in August...

View attachment 15475843

Some random airplane photos as we taxied...

View attachment 15475845

View attachment 15475846

Safe and Secure in my window seat.

View attachment 15475847

If you're lucky when flying to Indianapolis, and you have a window seat on the starboard side of the plane, you just might fly a landing approach that takes you past the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway...the "Brickyard"! This view is always amazing as it gives a good perspective of just how huge the facility really is...(for reference, that's a 1/4-mile dirt track inside Turn 3 in the upper right hand corner of the Speedway).

View attachment 15475850

It's fantastic to think that the track...opened in 1909...still hosts modern IndyCars. The average speed of the first Indy 500 was 74.602mph (120.060km/h), the average speed of last month's 500 Mile Race was more than double at 157.824mph (253.993km/h); while the fastest qualifying speed this year was 231.068mph (371.868km/h). On a 111-year-old track design!
I'll bet Nomad felt right at home in the Cosmosphere! He's had some wonderful travels with you. Thank you!
 

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Nomad began his time with me on August 17 and two days later, we journeyed to Indianapolis, Indiana and race week for the Indy 500 auto race. Seems like only yesterday! Today, Nomad and I got on another airplane and we've returned to Indianapolis for this week's Harvest Grand Prix double-header races on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I think this will be a good way to bookend my time with Nomad, so once I return to Kansas (there's no place like home ;) ) I will be sending Nomad along to his next host: Father of Five.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Nomad and I'll have more photos before he leaves the Midwest USA...I have some more Cosmosphere pictures and will have some from this week. My crack-of-dawn flight from Kansas City...sunrise as we passed by the new airport terminal under construction (all the cranes)!

View attachment 15475840

Some very interesting clouds over the water as we approached Detroit, Michigan...

View attachment 15475841

Once I got inside the airport, we recreated a photo from our first trip to Indiana back in August...

View attachment 15475843

Some random airplane photos as we taxied...

View attachment 15475845

View attachment 15475846

Safe and Secure in my window seat.

View attachment 15475847

If you're lucky when flying to Indianapolis, and you have a window seat on the starboard side of the plane, you just might fly a landing approach that takes you past the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway...the "Brickyard"! This view is always amazing as it gives a good perspective of just how huge the facility really is...(for reference, that's a 1/4-mile dirt track inside Turn 3 in the upper right hand corner of the Speedway).

View attachment 15475850

It's fantastic to think that the track...opened in 1909...still hosts modern IndyCars. The average speed of the first Indy 500 was 74.602mph (120.060km/h), the average speed of last month's 500 Mile Race was more than double at 157.824mph (253.993km/h); while the fastest qualifying speed this year was 231.068mph (371.868km/h). On a 111-year-old track design!
It's been very interesting, his stay with you, from car race to space race, trolley busses to airplanes - thank you for letting us into your life (y)
 
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