For something different this Friday, some more cool guy stuff!! As I mentioned in a previous post, every once in awhile Ray needs a break from all the birdies and nature trails and we go find some cool guy stuff to look at. Last time it was the Daytona International Speedway and today, the space center!
I usually take my camera along when we do these types of things even though I am not expecting to get any nature/landscape shots. But you just never know what you will encounter and the speedway was a success, so I took my camera and one lens along with me. In retrospect I chose the wrong lens because, well, rockets are uh big! Really, really big. Unimaginably huge. I also thought most of my images would be taken outside where they display the rockets. Turns out they had some cool stuff inside that I could photograph and outside wasn’t very good because of the white sky that day.
It really was a fascinating place – a learning adventure day.
First up, the space shuttle. This is a little toy shuttle that was on display and obviously it was very dark. I didn’t have my tripod so I made this image at ISO3200 (yes, 3200, I didn’t put in extra 0’s).
Check out the Canada Arm. This one was done at ISO6400!
Next up, the incredible Saturn V rocket used to send men to the moon. You really gotta see this to believe how big it is. Lying on its side displayed indoors, it is 363 feet long and 33 feet wide. Fully fueled it had a total mass of 6.5 million pounds. There is some really interesting information about it on its wikipedia page. Obviously I couldn’t come close to photographing it in its entirety, I would have to be miles away, but I did get an image of the five engines at its base which propelled the spacecraft to a speed of 5,000 mph and consumed fuel at a rate of 15 tons per second.
Approximately 2.5 minutes after launch, the engines cut off and the first stage of the rocket was jettisoned into the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the actual control room where they ran the show.
And this is the space capsule, the section of Saturn V that returns to earth with the men inside.
This is the only image I made outside that I like. It was hard with the white rockets against a grey sky. I made this image by combining 3 exposures so I could get some detail and colour in the sky.
Finally, my post would not be complete without Snoopy. Snoopy was adopted by NASA as its mascot in 1968 to act as a watchdog for flight safety. Charles Schulz welcomed the idea and allowed NASA to use the image for free as long as he drew Snoopy. In 1969 one billion people watched on television as Apollo 10’s Charlie Brown command module and Snoopy lunar module traveled to the moon from the Kennedy Space Center as as a rehearsal mission for the historic moon landing of Apollo 11. Charlie Brown returned safely to Earth after 31 lunar orbits. The Snoopy lunar module remains in solar orbit to this day, the only surviving lunar module sent into space.
The “Silver Snoopy Award” is a silver pin awarded to individuals in NASA and others in the industry for outstanding performance and contributions to the space program.
By the way, Snoopy is my own mascot! I have always loved the character, I have my very own beagle, and I named my boat Snoopy since I like to put my nose to the ground and go exploring like a beagle would. That means that all of my boating friends refer to me as “Snoopy” since that is how you would call me on the marine radio.