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  Kansas Cosmosphere Gathering in June (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Kansas Cosmosphere Gathering in June
STEVE SMITH
Member

Posts: 480
From: WICHITA, KANSAS, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 06-28-2004 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be submitting several items on this gathering. This is to attempt to break them into digestible pieces, and partially because I'm in sensory overload from the experience.

There were 11 in attendance from collectSPACE including myself. They were:

1)Mike Middleton from Kansas City, who made his first post just above here

2) Patrick Franklin of Kansas City, a long time poster

3/4)Russ Davoren and his wife from Oklahoma City. Russ is a long time "lurker" who we hope will start posting. He is an FAA instructor, and a long time collector with some nice pieces.

6) John Fongheiser of Danvillle, Ohio who traveled the greastest distance. John runs Historic Space Systems, and is EXTREMELY KNOWLEGEABLE.

7) Charles Klofas of Fort Worth, TX. A frequent contributor, and often a vistor at related functions all across the country. Another very knowlegeable person.

8/9) Todd and Debbie Franklin from Camenton, Missouri (Near Lake of the Ozarks).

10) Steve O'Leary of Kansas City. Steve has some outstanding photos he has taken including Apollo XII at Langley, VA. It made a very nice signed print from Captain Gordon.

11) Yours truly. I'm so high from this experience and the way Cosmosphere treated us, that I should be geting Astronaut Wings for being above 100KM.

I was extremely taken by the freindliness of the group, their interest, and enthusiasm, and knowlege. The guides from Cosmosphere seemed to feed on our enthusiasm, and thus the tour was even better.

When Jim Remar opened up the storage shelf, and pulled the protective cover from Deke Slayton's ASTP suit, there was a perciptable gasp from the group. Several times, I literally got goosebumps.

I'd encourage those who took digital pictures to get them into Robert ASAP so we can all enjoy.

Also, I'd sure like to sse your impressions posted. John, sure would like to see some more posts from you with technical details of what we saw, including yur story of the Agena, and its separated cone.

Now, the dissapoinment. I sure wish we could have had more than 11!!!!! Having said that there were probably 10-15 people cancel from say two weeks ago, to as late as Friday. And you know what, they were iron clad reasons, not excuses. My young friend Rodrigo who I have been hoping to meet had appendicitis. Rob Pearlman had conflicts at the last minute which was dissapointing.

But, Robert has indicated he might try later this summer. And sevewral attending said they'd like to to this again, and maybe even regularly like 2-4 times per year.

Robert, keep me posted. Many including Cosmosphere staff would really like to meet you. (BTW, go ahead and forward all the surprises. I'll get them forwarded. The Armstrong personalized Autograph you have for me will be greatly apreciated.)

So, I'd like to propose another gathering. Whats the group think. When? I think there will be a new exhibit hall on Early Space opening next year that will be a show stopper. Maybe special guests. That could be a possiblility, although we'd not get as much fine attnetion as we did this time. Cosmosphere out did their self in attention and hospitality.
Obviously I'll check with Cosmosphere and get their take on this.

More on Captain Gordon, and what we saw in susequent posts.

Miss Fw, True North; mission accomplished. Payload launch to your stations shortly

[This message has been edited by STEVE SMITH (edited June 28, 2004).]

MrSpace86
Member

Posts: 1379
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 06-28-2004 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve,
I have been wanting to meet you too for a long time now. If there is another gathering later on this summer or later on this year, I don't care if my arm is falling off, I'm going. I'm sure the attendance will be higher as the word spreads more. Good luck!

-Rodrigo

Spacebug
Member

Posts: 72
From: Yacolt WA USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 06-29-2004 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacebug   Click Here to Email Spacebug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve,
Notice of pending Payload launch noted, current docking station too small to receive w/o damage, will send secondary rendezvous station via personal email.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-30-2004 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I regret that I could not have joined what sounds to have been an amazing weekend. Preparations for the opening of Rocket Town this weekend kept me in Houston, otherwise I already had airfare tickets waiting.

As Steve mentioned above, I do plan to make the trip before I depart in August from Houston for Virginia.

Steve surprised me with a picture of the sign that was greeting visitors this past weekend:

I am very grateful to Jeff and his staff at the Cosmosphere (including Steve) for extending their invitation to the cS community and hope that we can perhaps put that sign to re-use on future visits.

space1
Member

Posts: 506
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 06-30-2004 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The time at the warehouse was a different kind of treat. How many dusty fenced-in yards in the world would have dozens of missile reentry nose cones at one end, and a rusting car at the other?

Next to those nose cones was a long cylinder with a launch shroud. It was an Agena, in need of work and scheduled to get it. The tail end was missing quite a bit, but some good framework remained.

Inside the warehouse... well, what would you expect to see inside the Cosmosphere warehouse? There were Saturn engines, movie props from Apollo 13, large pristine tanks from the Apollo Service Module and Lunar Module, and much more.

A few of us weaved our way to the back and found an Apollo fuel cell, a Saturn Instrument Unit divided into 4 sections (ready for use), and more. I recognized something on top of a large crate. No one was sure what it was. But the green color and tiny fins gave it away as the engine bell for the Agena Primary Propulsion System. So it will come in handy when they work on the Agena sitting outside.

The crate it was sitting on? It held an engine bell for a LM descent stage.

What a place!

More later.

------------------
John Fongheiser
President
Historic Space Systems
http://www.space1.com

STEVE SMITH
Member

Posts: 480
From: WICHITA, KANSAS, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 06-30-2004 07:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for STEVE SMITH   Click Here to Email STEVE SMITH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To follow up on John Fongheiser's excellent post above, some other items seen:

a restored Redstone Rocket being returned to White Sands AFB (we recently returned a V2 to them)

a full size North American Contractors model of an X-15

a plethora of USSR space hardware that was acquired during a touring exhibit in the USA when USSR broke down. The touring company couln't afford to get it home. One of the items is a simulation capsule. Another appears to be the Lunaskod that explored the surface (there is also a production unit on display in the museum).

the "Apollo 13" movie props John mentioned were made by the former "Spaceworks" division of Cosmsphere htat also made the X-1 for "Right Stuff" and replicas and props for several movie and TV shows.

the Agena John mentions likely may have a place in the new Early Space Gallery to open next year

It is a sensory overload to try to digest everything. Like a fun trip to Grandpa's Barn or attic.

cklofas
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 06-30-2004 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cklofas   Click Here to Email cklofas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great time !! The Cosmosphere is a top notch facility and the staff were absolutely wonderful. When they said we were going to see the "basement" everyone was excited. The items were just breathtaking. Then, Jim, one of our guides, showed us a Vostok suit, I was speechless. Then he said, "We're pretty sure Gagarin wore this at some point", I was forced to pick up my jaw in order to continue the tour. Then the private time with Dick Gordon- WOW! He was so generous to allow this. It was the small group of us and him in a private room, no public looking on, no line, just us. He answered our questions and signed autographs with humor and grace. As Steve said earlier, the experience was so awesome, I still havent fully processed it.

mdmyer
Member

Posts: 899
From: Humboldt KS USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 07-05-2004 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am hoping that the Cosmosphere and Collectspace will host another gathering soon. I would have attended the event but we had made plans for a Washington D.C. trip 4 months ago and we had to do that.

If there is another Geekfest at the Cosmosphere I will be there.

Mike
Humboldt KS

Spacebug
Member

Posts: 72
From: Yacolt WA USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 07-05-2004 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacebug   Click Here to Email Spacebug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve,
Space Geekfest Payload arrived, perfect docking, no damage! Thank you!!!!
I would also like to thank Robert for this website that brings us together from around the world in our passion for Space. My knowledge (and Collection) would be sorely lacking without it.

Regards to all!

Sheila (FW) Spacebug

space1
Member

Posts: 506
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 07-13-2004 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are a few photos of our collectSpace day at the Cosmosphere:

The morning group in front of an Agena awaiting restoration. Our guides were Jim Remar (back row right) and Kiersten Latham (front row right).

Michael Collins space suit from Gemini 10.

Richard Gordon explaining the design of the Apollo rotation control grip. The microphone trigger switch was designed so that it would not be activated while tightly squeezing the handle. It would require moving the trigger finger downward slightly.

The shape of the grip was dictated by the need for astronauts to grasp it bare-handed or wearing gloves. The general shape was made by having astronauts tightly grip a molding material so that it would readily fit the shape of their hands.

------------------
John Fongheiser
President
Historic Space Systems http://www.space1.com

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited July 13, 2004).]


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