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  Columbia Memorial Space Center: Apollo BP-19

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Author Topic:   Columbia Memorial Space Center: Apollo BP-19
E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
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posted 04-05-2007 11:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo Boilerplate-19 to 'drop-in' at Downey

Apollo Boilerplate-12 (BP-12) will not be alone at the new Columbia Memorial Space Science and Learning Center in Downey, California. Current plans show that when the center opens in 2008, the command module-shaped test capsule will be joined by another, Boilerplate-19 (BP-19), on exhibit in the center's lobby. BP-19 was thought to be under the control of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, according to A Field Guide to American Spacecraft.

The two spacecraft will be dedicated to the legacy of all who worked at Downey to help America to be the first nation to allow mankind to walk on the Moon.

BP-19 was constructed in Downey, California by North American Aviation and accepted for use by NASA in 1963. It was used in parachute tests at Naval Air Station China Lake and was later configured as a Block II type vehicle. It has been on outside display in a gazebo for many years at the Apollo Park in Lancaster, CA. It is owned by the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, which has approved it moving to Downey. It is planned to be moved to its new home late this year.

BP-19. Credit: Rob Godwin, Apogee Books, used with permission

Thursday, April 12 will mark the groundbreaking of the new Columbia Memorial Space Science and Learning Center in Downey, CA at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited. The address is 12214 Lakewood Blvd., Downey, CA outside Downey Landing Studios.

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
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posted 07-10-2008 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Smithsonian Apollo test article is coming home on July 16, 2008.

The City of Downey, with assistance from the Aerospace Legacy Foundation and Industrial Reality Group (who now own the historic NASA/NAA Apollo production site) will receive a second Apollo command module boilerplate by truck on July 16. It will, after restoration, be exhibited in the new Columbia Memorial Space Center, which when open this winter, will tell the story of the history of the site while preparing youth to take trips into space in the future.

The Apollo boilerplate is on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and will be trucked from Lancaster, CA.

The new Columbia Memorial Space Center and Aerospace Legacy offices will have limited access while we await the two spaceship test articles to be unloaded. Some veterans of Apollo and shuttle programs who worked at the site will be available for questions. Arrival time is expected within a three hour window between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The two Apollo boilerplate test articles are from the earliest periods of America's lunar exploration program.

Apollo Boilerplate #12, which is already on the site, was flown and recovered on the first Apollo test flight on May 13, 1964. Thereafter, it was used on at least two impact tests at Downey before being given to the local union hall until it was recovered by Downey last year.

Apollo Boilerplate #19 was carried aloft at least nine times and used in parachute drop tests over El Centro Naval Station before it was given by NASA to the Smithsonian. It has for many years been on display in Lancaster.

Can't attend on July 16? The City of Downey will be having a program and ceremony at a later date where city officials will have both test articles open for public inspection before they are prepared for display.

FFrench
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posted 07-10-2008 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is great to see Downey's legacies return and be recognized like this — looking forward to the continued expansion!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 07-11-2008 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We here in Downey are so proud to be presented with the opportunity to have BP-19 in the new Columbia Memorial Space Center by the Smithsonian.

The Aerospace Legacy Foundation will have its president, Gerald Blackburn on site advising on the recovery of the test article from Lancaster. He was an engineer on Apollo and Shuttle before he retired to run our Foundation.

A few of the great people who built Apollo will be coming down for the day — so it should make for a nice mini-event.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 07-15-2008 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yesterday the command module was visually inspected and passed with flying colors. The ID plates were checked to be BP-19 and today it is being cleared of the gazebo that surrounds it and loaded up. The departure time remains at 9:00 a.m. headed for us at Downey afternoon.

Surprisingly, this is the command module that appears in the parachute tests dropping from a C-133 Cargo Master in the recent "Moon Machines: The Command Module" episode.

Amongst the folks that will be here tomorrow will be one of the Apollo-204 accident commission team members, and a few surprises!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 07-16-2008 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As of 10 a.m. Pacific time, Boilerplate 19 is starting to be loaded onto its truck in Lancaster.

Meanwhile here in Downey: Apollo BP-12 is loaded and will move in a few minutes back beside the building where it was built (290) for the start of restoration beside BP-19, after it's arrival in a few hours.

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
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posted 07-16-2008 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo Boilerplate 19 (BP-19) arrived by truck at almost exactly noon here in Downey.

BP-19 on its lift in front of the Apollo construction high bay at Bldg. 290. This was the clean room where the lunar spacecraft were built (the boilerplates did not need such care and were built in Bldg. 1). Notice that the resin and fiberglass heat shield has already been removed.
As the day was so warm, it arrived uncovered so it must have been an incredible sight to see on the freeways of Los Angeles. About 50 people lined the street beside building #290 where Apollo spacecraft were assembled in a huge white room.

Among the visitors was one man who helped work on missile guidance systems here — in 1949! Also present were various news crews and the widow of one of the former company's vice presidents, Eva Thomas.

Also in attendance was "Andy Astronaut" — a long time Apollo staple from the old plant days and open houses. This was his first appearance here in nine years.

After the truck with the capsule stopped in front of the building, the heat shield was removed as the capsule was lifted free of the truck. It was then placed next to its sister spacecraft Boilerplate #12 from the first Little Joe flight of May 1964. Then the suspense was too much and the hatch was opened by the Columbia Memorial Space Center director Jon Betthauser, and we could see inside BP-19 for the first time in 35 years.

It was exceptionally nice inside except for some debris in the capsule's base caused from an opening in the roof from many years ago it seems. It still has its rigging and weights inside, and it will make for a beautiful display of how Apollo appeared during the heyday of its testing before it took man to the moon.

Above, below: BP-19 being swung into its restoration area.

Credit: JayCee Cruz, Aerospace Legacy Foundation

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
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posted 07-16-2008 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BP-19's resin fiberglas composite heat shield used for the drop tests has stood up to many years in the high desert.
Columbia Memorial Space Center Director Jon Betthauser holds the hatch that he just removed from BP-19 and it's ID plate mounted on it. To the right is Aerospace Legacy Foundation Director Jerry Blackburn.

(There was an ID plate on the heat shield also - I got to see it first and I laughed as I read it aloud for the crowd - it said- "Heat Shield. Made at NAA- Downey, CA")

Boilerplate BP-12 with "Andy Astronaut" striking his best Major Matt pose. Andy Monsen had been the resident astronaut figure at the plant from 1979-1999. You can't see inside his face plate so people would not know who he was - and not mistake Andy for our real astronaut heroes.
Photographs courtesy JayCee Cruz, Aerospace Legacy Foundation

I want to thank the City of Downey and the Columbia Memorial Space Center for allowing those who came down to see this event, and the IRG group who owns the site for allowing us to come onto the property.

The Aerospace Legacy Foundation supports the center and was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the center.

We are excited about the future, and hope that you will be a part of this!

dtemple
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From: Longview, Texas, USA
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posted 07-16-2008 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will both boilerplate Apollo CMs be restored to their original as tested appearance?

E2M Lem Man
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posted 07-16-2008 11:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Both boilerplates are planned to be restored to the way they appeared during their testing.

BP-19 doesn't need all that much, but has to be approved by the Smithsonian. BP-12 we hope to get it to appear as it did with an escape tower and service module, perhaps. But it needs more work than the other, and we need to find funding to restore it as it appeared in 1964.

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 07-17-2008 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Additional photos courtesy Michelle Evans with the Orange County Space Society.

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
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posted 02-11-2011 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am laid up right now for another month, but I received this news today from the Aerospace Legacy Foundation President, a spaceship has landed on Earth and it came back to Downey!

Apollo Boilerplate 19...

Apollo Boilerplate 19 exhibit installed at the Columbia Memorial Space Center at Downey California.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-06-2012 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Restored drop-test capsule to land at learning center

A drop-test dummy capsule that NASA used in the lead up to the Apollo moon landings has been restored to its former glory to inspire a new generation of space explorers.

The red and white painted capsule, known as "Boilerplate 19A" (BP-19A), was built in the early 1960s by the same aerospace company and to the same basic design specs as the space-worthy command modules that flew crews to the moon and back. Instead of lifting off though, BP-19A was dropped out of the back of a cargo plane to test the recovery systems that would safely land astronauts back on Earth.

More than four decades after its final test flight and years after being displayed outdoors in a county park, BP-19A was entrusted to SpaceWorks, the exhibition design and artifact preservation division of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, KS, for its restoration.

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 03-06-2012 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We are all very excited to see BP-19 come home. I noticed that on the heat shield there was originally a misspelling. I hope they retained that... it shows we are all human!

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
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posted 03-08-2012 05:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a good looking piece, Jim.

dtemple
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From: Longview, Texas, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 03-10-2012 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "after" photo shows the CM without its fiberglass heatshield. Why has it not been reinstalled?

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