Friday, January 28, 2011

Space Junk

This post will complete my three part set on the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. When you walk out of the aviation building and walk towards the space building you walk right by the iMax building. This is a side and back view of the iMax building.

As you walk towards the space building you walk along round marble inlays in the pavement depicting the various planets. It is amazing to see how far apart they are until you get to Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury and the Sun. It really shows you just how close we are to these neighboring planets compared with Uranus and Pluto. Yes, I still think of Pluto as a planet. The scientists of today cannot undue years of teaching.

After a short walk in the sunshine we were in the space building. One of the first things I noticed was hanging over our heads.

Somehow I don't think there was anyone in that suit. Here is a picture from the back side.

That wasn't the only thing suspended from the ceiling.

Not everything was up above. Some things were tall enough to go from the ceiling to two floors into the basement such as this Titan II.

The bottom level was closed for maintenance but we were able to go one level down where they housed a mock control room. RickRick pushed the button and we got to experience a 5 minute missile launch countdown. Was pretty neat. Didn't get any pictures of that room as it didn't have great lighting. Lots of old official looking "Houston we have a problem" type machines.

Back upstairs we saw more space junk.....

FYI - I don't know what the surface of the moon really looks like up close, but the museum is depicting it as looking like a lot of kitty litter.

This is a NASA X-38.

"It was designed to be lifted to the cargo bay of the space station by a space shuttle and attached to a docking port. It was supposed to be the emergency escape route. It was designed to detach from the dock during an emergency, fire it's rockets to escape orbit, and glide back down to earth until a steerable parafoil parachute unfurled at an altitude of about 40,000 feet to float the rest of the way. The life support systems were to have lasted 7 hours. For some reason they discontinued the project several years ago."

We didn't take as many pictures of the space exhibits as we did the aviation ones. I have a hard time with the money our government spends on NASA. Think of how many people those billions of dollars would feed and house and provide health care for. But no. It is more important to them to discover a planet that can sustain life so that when they totally destroy this one they'll have another to take over. Some days I'm not so proud to be an American.

There were other items in the museum that were not space related, or at least I didn't think so. I think these were more aviation related.

They even had a 1957 Hiller XROE-1 Rotorcycle....

According to the literature, during the Korean War the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics requested proposals to design and build a one-man helicopter to be used by Marines. Small enough to be dropped by parachute to a service man who's been shot down behind enemy lines. Thirty firms responded and Hiller Helicopters won the job with their collapsible helicopter. Two prototypes were built to start (12 total) and due to the noise and lack of navigational instruments the project was cancelled before it ever went into military service. This one was built third of twelve and is on loan from Mr. Hiller's son.

It is powered by one Nelson H-59, two cycle, 40 hp, four cylinder opposed air-cooled engine. It had a maximum speed of 70 mph. The machine itself weighed 290 pounds.

They also had some jets and drones on display. Here is a 1966 Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird capable of more than 2,200 mph - approximately mach 3+.

And a few other random pictures....

(Disclaimer - the following may contain photographs not suitable for all ages)

Now, I promised proof positive that either someone in the Air Force or in Research & Development had a sense of humor. I discovered something as I was wandering. I have a habit of looking up and down and at strange angles just to see what might make a good photograph. I was looking at the front of a jet and randomly taking these pictures......

....when I made my way around the jet and zoomed in to the tail fin....

While looking at the tail fin I noticed what looked like a happy face on the back of the jet. I was intrigued and moved further around the back. Sure enough it was a happy face. The camera was already zoomed in so I focused and got this shot....

Now, I thought to myself... no one will ever believe this was on the back of a jet... so I zoomed out and took a picture of the back of the whole jet. Because of the backlighting I wanted to review the picture to see if I should turn on the flash. It wasn't until I looked at the camera that I saw ......... it.

Now you'd think the happy face was enough of a joke, but no, it went further.....

"Oh my!"

"Is that...?"

"You tell me...."

It wasn't as obvious to the naked eye, but on camera it tells a different tale. Of course the red strap with 'remove before flight' doesn't help matters....

Troubadour laughed and mumbled something about only me being able to take pictures in a building full of planes and come up with that shot.

I took a picture of the engines on the jet next to it, but it just wasn't the same....looks like a really big owl with a thyroid problem.....

Just in case an aviation museum, a space museum and an iMax theater dedicated to space and aviation movies and documentaries isn't enough, they are building a new building. They had a model of it in the aviation museum.

See those plastic tubes? They are for the waterslides. They are building a water park. Complete with water slides in and around the plane on the roof. They have already started building it.....

Take care, look up, and keep smiling......

-Au Revoir

"She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket." ~ Raymond Chandler


  1. Great post. I have visited the NASA Space Center in Florida and found it very interesting although it did not have the same photogenic displays that you found :)

  2. Cats everywhere will be lining up for the next trip to the moon. One small step for catkind...

    With regards to the happy face jet, we had a similar discovery on a bicycle tour. A tree in one of the campgrounds had similar anatomy. Of course most of us were under the influence of a Rogue brew or two. Can't recall if the tree had a big smile on it's face...

    Looks like a fun visit. I like the older planes and stuff the best. Love the style and design from that era. Great series of posts! :)

  3. Even though my wife was born there, I have never been to Oregon. When I do, I will now want to come and see those planes and space junk for myself. What a place! I loved reading this post and the terrific pictures! Thanks for doing such a good job on your three posts.

  4. LOL!! Kitty litter and smiling... Thanks for making me laugh. I'm usually the one that finds those in my group too.

    A water park integrated with an airplane. What will they think of next.

    Would have loved to see the planetary system on the walkway. But great images of the entire museum.


  5. Thank you very much for the journey through aviation and space travel history. Breathtaking pictures. The kitty litter reference and the big smilin' fella with the... made my day.
    Next time in Oregon I will need to visit and see for myself.